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the way that you're thrilling me

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Harry couldn't pinpoint the exact moment he'd stopped fantasising about growing up, but he did remember a particularly strong fantasy he used to have. He was around twelve or thirteen and he remembered imagining himself eighteen-years-old (officially an adult), living with a faceless someone who kissed him just because, and watched films with him, sitting close on their own small couch in their own small house, holding hands the whole time. He remembered thinking he’d surely be engaged by then, and it wasn’t so much images but the feeling his fantasy evoked that stuck with him through the years.

The person in his fantasy had been an alpha, of that there was never any doubt. Or rather, it had always been the default in Harry’s brain, something his twelve-year-old self never stopped to think twice about. Alphas married omegas, omegas married alphas—that’s the way the world worked. There wasn’t anything about the fantasy that made the other person an alpha, or anything that made them not an alpha. They were an alpha because they were supposed to be.

He liked to dive into the safe and cozy feeling of his imagined future, the security and happiness it enveloped him in. He would be married before he was twenty, he was certain. He couldn’t wait to be in love—for real in love, not the kind that didn’t go beyond passing notes in class and pecking each other’s lips behind the stone stairs at school. He wanted to feel like a character in a film, so in love he stood on rooftops and burst into song, and he wanted someone to feel that way about him, too.

In year nine, they had a special lesson at school. They divided their class in three groups and made them sit in different rooms. The lady who taught Harry’s class wasn’t a teacher—she’d come especially to show them a video and talk to them. Harry wasn’t sure why they’d split them in groups when they were all going to watch the same film, but he got it as soon as she started speaking.

“Who here’s had their first heat already?” she asked and Harry felt his cheeks go hot. He didn’t dare to look at anyone sitting around him. “No one?”

They were all omegas, he realised for the first time. There were only six in total in his class, and all of them were there with him. No one moved or said a word. Harry felt very uncomfortable.

“We’re going to talk about what to expect when you do, then, and we’re going to watch a little video, and then you can ask questions. There’s no need to be embarrassed, we’re all the same here.”

Harry wasn’t sure what that had to do with anything. He didn’t go around talking about heats with his omega friends, or any of his friends for that matter. He’d only talked about them with his mum, but she was his mum, it was practically mandatory that they talked about it. Sitting there in that classroom feeling awkward shouldn’t be mandatory, and yet Harry couldn’t make himself look up from his desk to ask to leave.

The lady played the video.

And then the lady showed them pictures.

And then she told them they could ask questions.

Harry felt both ill and curious, waiting for someone to speak up. No one did.

“There’s no need to be shy,” the lady said again, smiling a little pitying smile. It made Harry feel very young, and he felt his jaw clamping shut even harder.

“Does it hurt?” A girl to his right asked.

“Does what hurt?”

“Um, well, it. Sex,” she said and a few people snickered.

“Maybe a little the first few times,” the lady said. Harry’s stomach turned over. “That’s why your bodies produce their own lubrication, so it doesn’t hurt.”

“Why does it grow like that?” A boy asked, pointing to one of the pictures. It was a drawing of a prick, a poster like they had at doctor offices, and it was an alpha’s. The boy was pointing at the swollen knot at the base. The video had shown them that it happened and that it was supposed to, but not why.

The lady explained that it helped with fertilization. She told them what older, married couples did when they wanted to have babies. How the alpha put the knot inside the omega and plugged them up and they were stuck like that until the swelling went down. She said it was very special, and very intimate.

“It doesn’t happen if you’re not married?” Harry heard himself ask, light-headed with how much he was blushing.

“It happens with every ejaculation, whether an alpha is married or not.”

“Gross,” someone said and Harry had to agree.

“You won’t always feel like that,” the lady said, again with that smile that made her look as if she had a secret she was happy not to share.

It was probably around that time the fantasies stopped. Instead of feeling secure in his own head, Harry couldn’t stop thinking about knots, and how much he really, really wanted nothing to do with them.

He’d known about them, of course, the same way he’d known about erections but didn’t really get it until he got his first one. And he’d never been particularly curious, never thought to search for pictures or ask more questions. Having watched the video didn’t make him any more intrigued, it only put him off.

The idea of sex was still nice, at least. It made his stomach go tight and tingly, it made his cock hard and his bum wet. He found omega-centered porn and imagined himself in their place, imagined what it would feel like for someone to suck him, or kiss his nipples, or lick into his mouth. He wanked nearly every night, and sometimes he even pushed the tip of his finger into his hole when he was about to come, just enough to feel the sticky clutch of it, and he liked it a lot.

During his heats, which were irregular and annoying, coming every two months or so instead of three, Harry curled in his bed and hugged his pillow and imagined it was a person. Someone who touched his hair and ran their hands up and down his back. If he was feeling especially riled up, he pictured a mouth around his cock. He tried to imagine how it would feel, if it’d be cold or hot, if it’d get too messy, and if that’d be okay. He didn’t mind the mess, the way he leaked everywhere, how the insides of his thighs would be coated with slick, but maybe the other person would.

Sometimes, he imagined someone slipping inside him. As he grew older, the need seemed to grow with him, and every heat left him exhausted and strangely hollow. He knew what his body was doing, he’d read the text books and seen the educational films. He’d talked to his mum and even to his friends eventually, when they realised that they were allowed to. Some of them had had sex already, and they held court during their little huddles behind the school building, answering questions with an air of importance about them but still giggling behind their hands.

They were all curious, they were all eager, but no one else seemed to be as apprehensive as Harry. He wanted to have sex, but he wondered if an alpha was really essential to the process. The idea of being naked with one didn’t appeal to him one bit. He was sixteen by then, and not once had he felt really attracted to anyone. He thought people were objectively good looking—he could recognise when an alpha had a pretty face, or nice arms—but he didn’t want to be close to them the same way his omega friends seemed to. Sometimes he wondered if everyone was pretending. Alphas were smelly and cocky and mostly arseholes, in Harry’s experience. Or at least they were at school. He didn’t understand how his friends—lovely, soft-skinned, sweet-smelling omegas—could actually want to touch them, or be touched by them.

Maybe he was just immature. That’s what his friends said, anyway. He’d want it eventually.

When he was seventeen, he got his first boyfriend. He was older than Harry, and he was nice, and funny, and going by Harry’s friends’ stories, small for an alpha. When they had sex for the first time, Harry was so terrified they kept all the lights off and he laid on his back and didn’t move until it was over.

It wasn’t terrible.

It wasn’t great, either.

Kissing was good. And the feeling of skin against skin made him gasp the first time; cock so hard after over an hour of heavy petting that it dripped onto his navel.

Then a finger started prodding at his hole. It pushed in to the third knuckle, curled once, and slipped out. A second later there was something else poking around, and Harry seized up, images of that stupid diagram of a knot flashing in his head.

It hurt a bit, and breathless words were spoken about him being tight, as if that was a good thing when Harry was sure he wasn’t supposed to be tight. Omegas produced their own lubrication, the lady had said all those years ago. It wasn’t supposed to hurt. Besides, Harry always used at least two fingers to feel stretched, and he was definitely more eager for it when he was by himself.

Harry felt himself go a little soft.

He tried to think of something else, opened up for a kiss, tried to spread his legs a little wider, but he kept flinching, biting down whimpers, waiting for the first hint of swelling, dreading it.

In the end, nothing happened. His boyfriend pulled out before he came, tore off the condom and spilled on Harry’s chest before Harry could blink. He saw, blurry in the darkness, the swollen flesh near the base, being squeezed and milked and Harry had to turn away. There was just nothing pretty about it. Harry couldn’t imagine actually having it inside him.

It was alright, though. None of his friends had had amazing first times. And the cuddling afterwards was actually perfect, even if alpha sweat wasn’t Harry’s favourite smell.

It was alright.

It was alright the second time as well, and the third. It kept being alright when he stopped keeping count, and the first time he slept with someone new, it was a little less than alright, because he had to have the “pulling out” conversation and the “we’ll need lube” conversation. But then it was fine.

He still didn’t know what the big fuss was about. His friends were always whining about not having enough sex. When they were away from their boyfriends and girlfriends, they worried about their alpha partners cheating, afraid they would need sex so badly they would fall on the first omega that walked by. It was incomprehensible to Harry. He couldn’t imagine needing it that much, especially outside of the haziness of heats. To him, it was a necessary evil. It was expected of him, of any normal couple, to have sex every once in a while, even if the thought made him queasy. Even if it took a long time to really get into it. Even if he was still too tight at twenty, and at twenty-three, and at twenty-five.

It was safe to say Harry was not married by then, not even engaged, or in a proper relationship, since the last one had ended a couple of months before.

“You’re just a bit frigid for me,” the alpha had said. “I need someone who knows how to enjoy themselves.”

Harry knew how to enjoy himself. In fact, he’d gotten really good at enjoying himself. He never came harder than when it was just him in his bed. There was no way someone could enjoy having a heavy alpha panting in their face, blunt fingers grabbing too hard, knot fat and red and there. He’d finally tried popping that particular cherry some weeks before the breakup, a little drunk on birthday shots, and he’d lasted all of three seconds before he was regretting it. Of course there was no going back after it was done, and Harry had to endure the grunts in his ear, the pressure of something too big stuck inside of him for an undefined amount of time, the sickening pulse of it.

By that point Harry was convinced every single omega in the world had to be faking it.

.

So no, Harry wasn’t married, or engaged, but he did live with someone.

He’d met Louis years before, his first day at his very first job. Louis had been the shop manager, a bit older than him and an omega, which made him so much less intimidating to Harry, who had been expecting to have an alpha overlooking him, so much easier to get along with. And get along they did, since the moment they met. Louis was friendly, and kind, and so, so pretty Harry found himself staring sometimes. They had tons of things in common, they got each other’s sense of humour, and when customers were difficult, they had each other’s backs.

Often, Harry found himself thinking that if Louis were an alpha, Harry’d already be half in love with him; he was that perfect.

The idea of living together started as a joke, them killing time on slow days, leaning against the counter with their shoulders pressed together, Louis’ sweet scent in Harry’s nose. Before they knew it, they were talking about choosing a neighbourhood and listing their must-haves. Harry wanted a good view and to be at a walking distance from the tube station. Louis wanted big wardrobes.

They got two out of three, in the end, since their windows looked out to an alley, but Harry didn't mind—he found himself thinking that if Louis counted as a view, Harry’d gotten everything he wanted because Louis was stunning. Harry then felt a bit sleazy, because that surely was the kind of ridiculous thing an alpha might say to try to pull him.

It didn’t change the fact that Louis was gorgeous. He was everything an omega should be, according to the ideal drilled into Harry’s head since he was a kid. He was soft, graceful, compact, gentle. Next to him, Harry was awkward, weird-looking and apparently frigid, on top of it all.

Yet it was Harry who was always going on dates, even if he’d rather stay in and snuggle on the couch with Louis, and it was Louis always choosing to stay in, or to go out with friends. While Harry was grateful not to have to share Louis’ time with a boyfriend (he couldn’t even imagine letting an alpha into their flat knowing he’d go into Louis’ room and take his clothes off, God), he wondered why Louis always seemed to be single.

Back when they worked together, Harry had witnessed countless weird advances made by customers. He hated when it happened to him, because he had to pretend it didn’t bother him, had to keep smiling, but he hated it even more when he caught someone looking at Louis for too long, or touching his arm to get his attention. Louis was attractive, and people liked him, and he was probably not broken and weird about sex like Harry, but he never mentioned dating, or spending the night at someone else’s. Unlike Harry’s other omega friends, Louis didn’t talk about intimate things, other than to complain when his heat was coming on.

He was very reserved about sex stuff, he didn’t even ask Harry about his disappointing dates, and Harry wondered if maybe some of his own strange hangups about sex were so obvious Louis was trying to be thoughtful by not bringing the subject up.

While Harry felt very comfortable and at ease with Louis, finding a good time to bring up his depressing sex life wasn’t simple. It wasn’t like Harry could start randomly talking about how his sphincter clenched up as soon as the alpha manhandling him went for his belt. Or he could, but he wanted Louis to still like him afterwards.

Harry liked Louis more than anyone, he was his best friend, and he was the only person Harry would feel okay talking about it with. His other friends didn’t get it, they thought Harry was a priss, that no one really thought knots were pretty and yet they weren’t constantly crying about it like Harry was. But it was more than finding them ugly for Harry—the sight alone brought up a feeling of deep, absolute rejection. His friends didn’t think knots were pretty but they still touched them, they still licked them, still wanted them locked inside them.

Harry could barely stand to look at them.

.

One Friday, he went out on a date. It wasn’t unusual. He called them dates, but both parties involved always knew dinner was just part of the foreplay (the most enjoyable part for Harry).

This particular Friday, Harry met his date at a restaurant, they ate, and then went to the bloke’s flat. Harry didn’t really feel like it, but what else did people do after dates? The guy had paid for their meal, and he’d been pleasant enough—Harry didn’t mind.

Except that once they’d reached the bedroom, the guy kept pushing Harry’s face towards his crotch. He kept mumbling ‘please, babe, come on’ against Harry’s mouth, trying to get Harry to touch his prick.

Harry had only attempted to give someone a blowjob once, to a long-term boyfriend back in uni. He’d hated it. Hated the taste (bitter alpha scent, only stronger and inescapable), hated the way he’d felt the knot start to grow against his lips, and hated that his then-boyfriend held his head down and wouldn’t let him come up until he was done.

“Sorry,” he’d said after, “couldn’t help myself.”

This new guy really wanted Harry to go down on him, and Harry really didn’t want to. His stomach started to turn.

“Come on, come on,” he kept saying, fingers around Harry’s wrists.

“I’m— I don’t—” Harry wasn’t sure what to say. He couldn’t say he didn’t like it; that was weird, all his friends liked it. And he couldn’t say he was starting to feel ill, that’d ruin the mood. Not that there was much of a mood to ruin, but still.

“I can teach you,” the guy said. “Want those lips on me.”

Harry felt like he was going to be sick just thinking about it. He needed to dodge it, get to the next part, so it could be over and he could go home. Forget staying the night, he wanted to get away.

He shifted, and that’s when he realised—he wasn’t even wet. Sudden tears sprung to his eyes. Shit. There really was something wrong with him. Normally, he managed to at least trick his body into working properly for a bit. He preferred to use lube, but he usually got at least slick enough to avoid awkward questions. He was dry, and soft, and his chest ached.

He pushed harder into the kiss, eyes closed. The guy responded eagerly, licking into Harry’s mouth and letting go of his wrists to slip his fingers into Harry’s shirt. Harry jumped at the contact. He tried not to think too much.

But then the guy broke the kiss and said, all stupid and rough, eyes dark and scent sharp, “Want your mouth on me, bet you’d take me so well, want my knot in you so bad,” and Harry recoiled.

Ten minutes later he was in a taxi, heading home.

.

The first thing he did when he arrived was to take a shower. He needed to wash the scent of the alpha’s arousal off him. After, he put on worn pajama bottoms and a holey jumper, then walked to the kitchen to put the kettle on, feeling sorry for himself. Maybe he should see a doctor. Someone had told him once that maybe he had a hormonal imbalance or something. Maybe he just needed to take medication and he’d be fixed. He just wanted to feel like all his friends.

“I don’t think that water’s going to get hotter.”

Harry snapped out of his thoughts and clicked the kettle off before looking over his shoulder. Louis was stood in the doorway, hair mussed and joggers tucked into his socks. He looked like he’d been sleeping, his eyes hooded and his expression soft. He was the only person Harry knew who didn’t go out every Friday night and Harry wished he’d stayed in with him.

“You’re back early,” Louis said, walking into the kitchen and stopping to grab an extra cup from the cupboard. “Everything okay?”

Feeling embarrassed and not knowing why, Harry turned back to the kettle.

“Date not go okay?” Louis asked, and he never asked, so Harry must have looked particularly awful.

“Not really,” he replied. His voice came out too rough, too low. Louis’ voice was high and melodious and Harry loved it, wished his own voice was a little nicer.

“Did he—” Louis cut himself off. He put his empty cup next to Harry’s. “Are you alright?”

Harry kept his eyes down and nodded. He was being stupid. Prissy. He didn’t want Louis to see him upset because an alpha had done what alphas always did and Harry hadn’t done what omegas should.

“You don’t look alright. Did he hurt you?” Louis put a hand on Harry’s shoulder, soft and careful, before taking it away. “Did he? What’s his name?”

“He didn’t,” Harry said and couldn’t help the smile that tugged at his lips at Louis’ concerned tone. “We had dinner and we… we only kissed.”

“Oh.” Louis stood next to Harry by the counter, the small of his back pressed against it so they could sort of face each other. He was frowning when Harry flicked his eyes up, a furrow between his brows. “And you wanted more? I guess? More than kissing?”

Harry shrugged and nodded. He’d wanted to want more, at least.

“He didn’t, then,” Louis concluded. “I’m sure that’s not your fault, though, Haz. Maybe there’s something wrong with him.”

Harry wanted to cry. He knew what Louis was trying to do but it was backfiring horribly.

“No,” he choked out. “No, he wanted to.”

“Did he,” Louis said.

“Yeah, he—” Harry flicked his eyes up to Louis’. He seemed to want to talk. And Harry wanted to so badly, wanted Louis’ soothing words and attentive touches and encouraging little hums. “He wanted to, and I wanted to, only not really.”

Louis blinked.

“I don’t think I’m following, love.”

“I wanted to want to,” Harry tried to explain. “I… I always want to want to. I just don’t. Most times.” He started to panic a little. “It’s weird.”

“It’s not weird,” Louis said without missing a beat, and it was a balm on Harry’s soul. Three short words and he could feel himself relaxing, his heart settling. Louis didn’t think he was weird, everything was okay.

“Isn’t it?” he asked, wanting to hear the words again.

“No, not at all. I, um, I’m a bit like that, too, I think.”

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, it just… I never need it like them. And I think… I mean, they… am I supposed to like—”

He trailed off, cheeks a little pink, and Harry had stars in his eyes. They were so alike, Louis and him. Harry wanted to hear more.

“It’s alright in my head,” he said, hoping the conversation didn’t die, and Louis looked at him again. “Like, when I picture myself doing it.”

“So you’re not… you’re not—”

“I like sex,” Harry said and blushed down his neck. That was weird to say out loud. “Just not the sex I’ve had. I guess.”

Louis looked at him in silence and Harry’s cheeks burned. Maybe it was weird after all. He was twenty-five years old and he’d never enjoyed sex other than the sex he had with himself (if he could call wanking and playing with his own bum sex). He was a bit pathetic. Louis was probably nothing like him.

“What do you like?”

“What?”

“You said—” Louis coughed. “You said you like sex. But you haven’t had sex you liked.”

“Sounds like a song.”

Louis smiled. “Strange song.”

Harry shrugged and poured the hot water in his cup. He watched Louis reach for the tea out of the corner of his eye, waited for him to put a bag of black tea in his cup before pouring water again.

He added sugar to his tea and watched Louis add milk to his. Then they walked out of the kitchen.

Their flat was tiny and cramped—something they had to learn to live with if they wanted to afford a flat with big wardrobes near a tube station in the city. In fact, it was so tiny that they had turned the living room into the second bedroom. Harry had tried to be tidy at the very beginning, putting his bed to rights every morning so that they could still use the room like normal. That hadn’t lasted long, and eventually they had put the tiny table in the kitchen and the massive telly in Louis’ room and Harry was allowed to live in his mess without feeling too guilty.

Harry followed Louis out of the kitchen without a word, and sat next to him on his bed, still covered by a pile of discarded clothes from when he’d been choosing an outfit earlier.

The window was open, and sounds of the street drifted in. Harry’s hands felt cold even wrapped around his mug. He couldn’t stop glancing over at Louis, his pretty profile, the way his lashes cast shadows over his cheeks thanks to the garish lamp on Harry’s makeshift bedside table.

“So,” Louis said, one corner of his mouth turning up, “what do you like?”

Harry didn’t know. Most things he’d done he’d thought he would like, and then he hadn’t in practice, no matter how much he tried.

“Kissing,” he said. He took a sip of his tea and burned the tip of his tongue.

“Mmh,” Louis hummed, “Yeah, s’nice.”

“Are you—” Harry started to ask. He cut himself off and looked at Louis again. He was looking back at Harry, face open. Harry took a breath. “You never go out.”

“I don’t?”

“I mean, on dates.”

“I’m not a big fan of dating,” Louis said. Harry squirmed, uncomfortable for some reason.

“Don’t you want—” Again, he cut himself off. He didn’t want to tell Louis what he should and shouldn’t want, Louis was an adult and he probably knew what he wanted just as well as Harry did. But… Louis was so perfect. He was beautiful and smart. Why he would ever choose not to be with someone, not to even try, was baffling to Harry.

Louis’ eyes slid away.

“You like kissing,” he said. “What else?”

Harry swallowed, mouth dry. He was nervous and he wasn’t sure why. Maybe it was the novelty of Louis talking to him about sex stuff. Louis clearly wasn’t comfortable with it, but he was making an effort for Harry and Harry loved him for it.

“Um, cuddling,” Harry mumbled. His mind was blank, he couldn’t think of a single thing an alpha had done to him in bed that he had liked. Which was ridiculous—the thought of having eight years of experience to draw from and not a single pleasurable memory was almost funny. Depressing, but funny.

“You’ve… had sex. Right?” Louis asked carefully. “I mean, it’s okay if you haven’t but I thought you said—”

“I have,” Harry said. “I just—” He looked down at his tea and decided to just spit it out. “I don’t know if I’ve been doing it right, if I’m honest. The way everyone else goes on about it it’s supposed to be this… this religious experience and to me it’s, it’s just something to do. With your partner and with your dates because it’s what everyone else does. It’s always more of a bother to me. I just want it to be over.”

Louis was quiet, and Harry started to get scared again.

“I know I like sex,” he said quickly. “I like it when it’s just me, and when I picture it in my head. It’s just… alphas. They’re so, um, grabby. And they smell, and they say things I—”

They said things that made Harry flinch and want to pull away. The things they wanted to do to Harry weren’t things Harry wanted done to him, but the way they spoke told Harry that he was supposed to. And they always grabbed so hard, and bit a little too deep, and made Harry feel like he couldn’t get away if he wanted to.

“I don’t know, maybe I’ve had really bad luck,” he finished. His other omega friends didn’t like it when Harry got too whiny about alphas. They already thought Harry slept around a lot - they got annoyed if Harry complained about it, too.

No knot is good enough for precious Harry, they would say. Maybe Harry was too precious.

Louis was looking at Harry again, something sharp in his eyes. Harry tried to smile, but he could tell he didn’t quite manage to make it believable.

Instead of calling him out, though, Louis shifted closer until their arms were pressed together. He was warm, and he smelled like sleep, and Harry burrowed in closer as much as he could without spilling his tea on his lap.

If only all of Harry’s friends were like Louis. If only alphas were. Louis always knew when Harry wanted to be touched, and he always knew just how much he needed—if it was only a brush of his hand on his hair, or a hug, or an entire night sitting as close as possible, limbs intertwined. Louis listened and only teased enough so that he didn't make people feel bad.

Harry was jealous of Louis’ friends who’d gotten to grow up with him. He was glad Louis didn’t date—he didn’t want to share him. If Harry had to remain single and celibate for the rest of his life, he wanted Louis there with him. They’d grow old together and get a million pets and sit like this every night. Warm and safe and close.

.

“When you say kissing,” Louis said out of nowhere a few days later. It wasn’t even eight am, and it took Harry’s brain a moment to click. By then, Louis’ meaningful pause had grown a little too long. Harry choked on his toast.

“Yeah?”

“You mean… kissing. On the mouth. Snogging.”

Harry frowned. He didn’t see what else he could have meant by ‘kissing.’

“Yeah.”

Louis hummed and went back to his cereal.

.

“So, like, what about when they kiss somewhere else?”

This time, Harry wasn’t as thrown by the question. He still blushed, because as much as he talked with his other friends about things like this, he’d never done it with Louis.

“I— They didn’t. They don’t.”

Louis made an incredulous face.

“I like to get it over with fast,” Harry said with a shrug, looking down at his laptop. It was late afternoon and, as usual, he’d brought work home. It was Louis’ turn to cook dinner, so Harry sat at the kitchen table and kept him company, typing away.

Louis made a little noise, as if he wanted to ask more, but a second later the mixing over at the counter resumed. Harry sat very still.

“It feels weird when they get too close,” he said and the mixing stopped again. “I don’t know why.” Harry already felt vulnerable enough letting them on top of him, he didn’t want their mouths, their teeth, anywhere they could really hurt him.

“Did something happen?” Louis asked, tone light but careful. “For you to feel like that?”

One of his boyfriends had asked that once, all concern and soft words. But no, Harry didn’t think he’d had any traumatic experiences that could explain why he was the way he was. The concern and softness had quickly turned into annoyance, then.

“It’s always been like that for me,” he told Louis. He wanted to ask questions, too, because Louis had said he thought he was a bit like Harry. He wanted to ask if Louis also felt like there was something missing when he kissed alphas, like something was not quite right. He wanted to know if Louis also thought knots were unsettling, if the idea of them felt wrong and a little disgusting. Like they were not something that was supposed to happen. Alpha’s bodies looked sort of misshapen to Harry, nothing like the perfect balance and softness of omegas—of Louis. Harry wondered if Louis felt like that as well.

He wasn’t sure if Louis wanted to be asked.

.

“So, you’ve never enjoyed it? Not even once?”

They were in Louis’ bed, watching a film, and it had been two weeks since the first time the subject had been brought up. In that time, Harry had told Louis everything he wanted to know. He’d told him about his first proper sex-ed class, and the first time he got naked with someone else. He told him about trying to suck someone off and hating it and about getting a bit drunk and letting his last boyfriend knot him for the one and only time.

“I only really like it when I’m by myself,” Harry said. “Less crowded and hot that way.”

“But you don’t mind when I’m close to you.”

They were draped around each other. Harry had ended up leaning his back against Louis’ chest and Louis was breathing on his neck, his hands on Harry’s stomach. With an alpha, Harry would have been worrying about pressing against their crotch, about moving too much and making them think he was doing it on purpose to rub up on them.

With Louis, Harry was relaxed, leaning his full weight on him and enjoying the motion of Louis’ chest expanding with every breath, the shift of his thighs on either side of Harry.

“Of course I don’t mind,” Harry said. “You’re not—”

“I’m not what?”

Harry couldn’t answer. He’d been about to say Louis wasn’t trying to fuck him, but the idea alone lit something in his chest, something low in his belly. He couldn’t say it out loud.

“An alpha,” he settled on.

“That I’m definitely not,” Louis mumbled into Harry’s neck, making him shudder. Oh, no. “Sorry.” Louis moved back a bit.

“No,” Harry said. “It’s okay.”

He felt Louis shift close again, the tip of his nose brushing the side of his neck, his jaw, his cheek.

“So you don’t like it when they kiss you here? Like this?”

Louis’ lips brushed Harry’s skin, a spot behind his ear. Harry’s pulse spiked.

“No, I… I don’t.”

“But you don’t mind when I do it?”

“No.”

“You like it?”

“Yeah.”

He felt Louis take a breath.

“I like it, too.”

Oh, Harry thought. Louis was helping him. Two weeks of talking about his strange sex life hadn’t exactly made Harry any more comfortable with the gritty details and it probably showed, so now Louis was taking matters into his own hands. His lips were warm on Harry’s skin and Harry couldn’t stop shivering.

Louis kissed him again, left a trail of kisses down the side of Harry’s neck before pulling away.

“How’s that different from when they do it?” he asked. There was something raw about his voice. His lips felt hot.

“It’s you,” Harry replied, catching his breath.

“And that’s better? That’s all?”

“It’s you, Lou,” Harry said again. Of course Louis was better than anyone else, alpha or whatever. Nothing Louis did would ever make Harry feel bad, or like he wanted to pull away. He was sure of it. “Don´t you feel weird? With me?”

“Of course not.”

“D’you, um, you wanna kiss me again? To see if it feels good?”

“Here?” Louis asked, pressing soft lips against the back of Harry’s neck.

Louis smelled sweet. It was Harry’s favourite smell, that scent only omegas carried, yet he never seemed to smell it on himself. Louis’ was special, though—Harry could recognize Louis by scent alone in a sea of omegas. It was as distinctive as his voice, or his eyes, or the way he burned little kisses along Harry’s shoulder.

“Good?” Louis asked. Harry tingled all over.

“Lou,” was all he could say, ducking his head. It only served to have Louis’ lips returning to the back of his neck. He didn’t kiss Harry again, but he pressed his mouth to the top of Harry’s spine and tightened his arms around Harry’s middle.

“Is it okay?” he asked, voice vibrating against Harry’s back.

“Yeah.”

“You don’t hate it?”

“No, Lou.”

“But you don’t like it,” Louis said, and even though he wasn’t moving away, even though he was touching Harry everywhere, Harry pressed back against him.

“I do.”

Louis’ hands slid up Harry’s torso to his chest and he hooked his chin on Harry’s shoulder. When he spoke, his breath hit Harry’s ear and it sent a flash of heat down to his groin.

“So you do like it sometimes.”

Harry squirmed a bit, worried all of a sudden that Louis would realise that he was more affected than he should be, but when he moved, he pressed harder between Louis’ legs and—and Louis was hard.

Any other time, with anyone else, Harry would have flinched, jerked away. Instead, Harry rested his weight against Louis. He felt the hard line of Louis’ cock against the small of his back, his pounding heart between his shoulder blades. Louis’ fingers clutched Harry’s shirt so tightly the fabric pulled on Harry’s neck.

“You like it, too,” he said and a wave of warmth rushed through him at his own words. Harry didn’t like to think about what alphas saw when they looked at him. When they touched him and told him, all hoarse and heady, that he was making then hard, Harry didn’t feel much other than a weird sort of discomfort. It never seemed to take much to get them going, anyway, and the words had been said so many times, by so many irrelevant people that they’d become meaningless.

Knowing Louis was hard, because of him, was exhilarating. Knowing that he was making Louis’ breath catch, and Louis’ fingers tremble, and Louis’ knees push in to hold him closer was enough to make Harry melt into a puddle.  

“You’re hard,” he said, as if Louis didn’t know.

“Yeah, sorry,” Louis breathed, lips brushing the tiny curls on Harry’s nape.

“Sometimes you like it, too.” Harry shifted, felt Louis against him again. “Right?”

“No,” Louis said and Harry froze. “Not normally.”

When Harry started to move away, Louis’ arms tightened around him and brought him back down.

“Louis—”

“I’d never do this with an alpha,” Louis said. Harry supposed it was true—he didn’t know alphas who’d be okay in Harry’s current position, vulnerable, arse pressed against someone’s crotch. But he also knew that what Louis really meant was that he didn’t like sex and touching and accidentally getting people hard. Probably.

He still held Harry close.

“I don’t want you to do something you don’t want,” Harry told him.

“I’m not in the habit of doing things I don’t want to do,” Louis said. “Hence my problem.”

“Problem?”

“I—I’m not sure what I do like. I always stop before going too far. It just never felt right and I never—I don’t like to force myself to do stuff I don’t absolutely have to do.”

“You’re— Are you—”

“Yes and no.” Louis’ voice was soft, but his fingers were digging into Harry’s chest, his thighs encasing Harry so tightly Harry couldn’t move. “I— Once. I did it, when I was a kid. Fifteen. And never again after that.”

“Why?”

“I didn’t like it. I didn’t want to do it again.”

“I didn't like it either the first time… I don’t think anyone does.”

“Did you like it after?” Louis knew Harry hadn’t. “I knew I wouldn’t so I didn’t,” Louis went on. “Everything about it was… bad.”

“But—” Harry struggled to put his thoughts into words. “But you’re so pretty.” And he was older than Harry. Surely he should have more experience than him. More experience than one disappointing shag when he was fifteen.

“And pretty people have lots of sex?” Louis asked, and his voice was different. Not as soft, not as close.

“No,” Harry babbled, “I mean, yes, I guess… I don’t know—”

“Is it their duty as pretty people to give it up to everyone who asks? And what about people who are not so pretty? Would you question it if they were practically virgins at twenty-seven? Or it’s fine for them? Since they’re not pretty.”

“No, Lou, I didn’t mean—”

“Do you go on your dates because you’re beautiful?”

“I—” There was a lot going on in this conversation and Harry’s head was reeling. “Am I— I guess I… no, I don’t.”

“Why do you?”

“Doesn’t… doesn’t everyone? Most everyone.”

Harry could actually feel the eye roll. He liked it better when Louis had been kissing his shoulder.

“That’s not a good enough reason for me.” His voice softened a bit, and Harry heard him sigh. “I don’t want to date them.”

“But you want kids and stuff,” Harry said, trying to be gentle. Maybe this was a sore subject for Louis. Maybe that’s why he never talked about it.

“Yeah, I want kids and stuff.”

Harry wanted kids and stuff, too. He wanted to be married and live with the love of his life and not be scared of them wanting to touch him and get him naked. He wanted not to feel disgusted at the mere idea of his spouse’s genitals, at the very least.

Louis was still hard against the small of his back. His hands went up and down Harry’s chest.

“Is this still okay?” he asked, still a little gruff. Harry nodded.

“I like that you ask,” he said. A peace offering.

“Yeah?”

“Yeah, I like that you check.”

“You’d tell me if you didn’t want to… be like this, though. Right? If it felt weird.”

Harry couldn’t even imagine not wanting to be like this, lying on Louis, Louis’ hands on him, his voice in his ear.

“Of course.”

.

On a Saturday, three weeks after Harry’s last disastrous date and after a stilted conversation about their plans for the evening, an alpha standing in line behind him at Tesco asked him out. Harry stuttered, started saying yes out of habit, and then thought of Louis, waiting at home for him to come back from the shop. Louis who wouldn’t even consider saying yes if he felt the slightest bit uncomfortable.

And Harry was uncomfortable. The alpha had been standing too close behind him in line, and Harry had heard him scenting him before he tapped Harry on the shoulder, which was fucking rude in public and among strangers.

He said no, thank you, and after he had paid, walked back to the flat as fast as he could.

“What a creep,” Louis said when Harry told him about it later, while in Louis’ bed, trying to decide on something to watch. Louis held the remote and Harry was playing with his free hand, tracing each finger and each line on his palm and comparing them to his. Harry liked to pay attention to all the details that made him Louis, and Louis always let him. “I’m glad you ran away.”

“I didn’t run away.”

“Sure.”

Louis’ hands were smaller than Harry’s, kind of bony. They were nice. They looked like hands that would touch everything carefully, hold everything with just the right amount of strength.

Without much thought, Harry kissed a knuckle.

He felt Louis tense beside him and Harry’s heart pounded in his ears.

“That alright?” he asked.

Louis was looking at him, eyebrows up, expression cautious. It wasn’t that weird that Harry wanted to kiss Louis’ hand. Louis had kissed Harry’s neck and his shoulder. Harry could check what Louis wanted, too. They could both help each other figure things out.

He’d been thinking about Louis having sex since their last conversation. He’d been wondering how Louis could be so absolutely sure he didn’t want to have sex when he’d only done it once. Harry knew there were people who didn’t want to. He knew there were people who didn’t feel need or attraction of that kind. He’d even wondered if he was like that when he was younger, when all his omega friends were dating and alphas made Harry feel indifferent (or slightly threatened). When all his friends gushed about celebrities that looked quite average to Harry, regular old alphas that probably smelled all bitter and off in real life.

But Harry was still convinced that there was a right way to have sex, a right way for him, and he wanted to find it.

Whether Louis was the same way or not was ridiculously important to him, for some reason.

“Lou?”

“Yeah,” Louis rasped, then cleared his throat, “yeah, it’s fine.”

“Lou,” Harry said again, looking up at Louis’ pink face, lips still touching his hand. His skin smelled so very sweet. “Do you think you might be asexual?”

Louis blinked, licked his lips that way he did when he was stalling to answer.

“I did wonder, if I’m honest,” he said. His voice sounded almost normal. “Years ago. But I'm definitely not.”

“How do you know?”

“I just know.”

Harry pressed his lips to another knuckle as he thought.

“Lou?”

“Yes, Harry?”

“I think we could have good sex.”

Louis jerked, just slightly. His hand jumped in Harry’s grasp, and his mouth fell open.

“I— What do you mean?”

Harry lowered Louis’ hand and sat straighter, turning to face Louis fully on the bed. Louis’ ears were turning red.

“I mean I think there’s something we’re not doing right.”

“Again, what?”

“Like, I think there’s probably something we really like but we haven’t found it yet.”

“Oh,” Louis said. “You think?”

“Yeah, I think,” Harry said and then thought some more, for a few seconds, long enough for Louis’ fingers to twitch in his. “I think maybe we can figure it out. Together. Because… because I feel I can tell you everything. And we can, um, walk each other through it. Would it be too weird?”

Louis said nothing. He stared at Harry. Opened his mouth, closed it, and stared a bit more.

Harry started to pull away. He was such a fucking idiot. Of course it was weird. His stomach felt heavy all of a sudden, his palms clammy.

“I’m sorry—”

“No,” Louis cut him off, grabbing Harry’s hand before he could slip away. “No, don’t. It’s fine. I don’t think it’s weird at all, Harry. But… but are you sure you want… that?”

“Yeah, with you.”

“What if I do something you don’t like? You… don’t normally enjoy yourself.”

“I think I’ll like it with you.” As he said it, Harry realised it was the absolute truth. He thought of what he’d done with alphas. He thought of them touching him, pulling off his clothes, pushing his head down.

And then he thought of his head between Louis’ legs and he felt himself get wet. Louis’ nostrils flared and Harry blushed.

“Yeah? You’ll like it?”

As if Louis had to ask—he could smell it. And Harry could smell Louis, too, the sharp, citrusy scent of his arousal contrasting with his sweetness, overpowering it.

“Can we,” Harry said before he could think better of it, “can we kiss? We should. Don’t you think? Like, to check.”

Louis licked his lips and Harry mimicked him, tongue tracing his lower lip. Harry had kissed omegas before. But the few times he had had been for show, one of his friends pushing their mouths against his to get a rise out of an alpha standing nearby, laughing about it later. It had made Harry feel dirty every time, like he wasn’t allowed to enjoy it as much as he had. Like he was supposed to take it as a joke.

No one laughed when Louis leaned in close to him, and no one stared when Louis brushed his lips against Harry’s so softly Harry felt tingles climb from his lips up to the roots of his hair. They were alone on Louis’ bed and their mouths were touching.

Louis kissed him carefully, close-lipped and dry, feeling him out. Harry dragged his eyes open (he wasn’t sure when he’d closed them) and caught Louis staring. Harry kissed back, kissed Louis’ lower lip and the corner of his mouth and Louis licked his, quick, testing.

Warm everywhere, Harry opened his mouth to take in an overwhelmed breath and Louis pressed in closer, kissed him properly, firmly, and Harry kind of… surrendered to it. Louis was close, his hands on Harry’s shoulders, fingers against his neck, but Harry didn't feel trapped, he wanted to be closer, wanted Louis on top of him, his tongue inside him.

He had always loved kissing, but he couldn’t remember ever participating as eagerly and hungrily as he did now. He grabbed Louis back, held onto his waist and felt Louis shudder when he accidentally tickled his sides. He sucked on Louis’ tongue, tasted him, heard the way his breathing went shallow and quick. Their noses bumped when Louis’ turned his head, their teeth clicked, and it was wet, kind of messy, but Harry’s brain was in a fog. All he could think about was Louis and more and God.

When Louis drew back a while later, Harry followed him, a pitiful little noise escaping his throat.

“How was that?” Louis asked. He sounded out of breath.

“Huh?”

“Was that okay?”

“It was,” Harry said, licking his lips. There was spit on his chin, and he put his fingers to it, didn’t quite wipe it away. “Was great. You? Was it okay for you?”

“Yeah.” Louis’ eyes were dark and the room smelled so much of them it was making Harry even dizzier. “You taste good.”

Harry went hot. His pants were probably a ruin by then, he could feel them sticking to his bum. He rubbed his hands on his thighs and tried not to think about how hard he was, just from kissing. It always took Harry a long time to warm up with alphas, and it never seemed to be enough. He was always a little too dry, too tight, and not enthusiastic enough.

“You, too,” he said, licking his lips again. Louis tasted like the chocolate eclairs Harry had brought from the shop and he watched Harry with a look that made Harry feel as if he tasted just as good. Like Louis wanted to eat him whole.

He pinched the front of Louis’ t-shirt between his fingers and pulled. “Can I see you?”

“You’ve seen me,” Louis said, but pulled his top over his head and threw it on the floor. His skin looked soft and pale, the sparse hair on his chest such a light colour it was barely visible. His nipples were small and very pink and Harry wanted to kiss them. He had a feeling Louis’ chest would smell sweet if Harry ever got to press his face against it. “Can you...too?”

Harry fumbled with the buttons on his shirt until he could wrestle it off without ripping the fabric. Louis had seen him, too. They’d lived together for years and their flat got so hot during the summer Harry could barely stand to keep his shorts on, let alone his top. Still, Louis’ expression as his eyes raked over his torso was one of wonder, as if he was seeing Harry shirtless for the first time. Louis’ flush spread down to his collarbones.

A second later, they were kissing again, but something had changed. It was less exploratory and more eager and a little desperate and Harry knew this was supposed to be a test, or an experiment, or something, but all he cared about was being closer to Louis. He’d never felt quite like this before. Louis nipped at Harry’s lip and Harry felt it down to his cock, bum clenching and getting slicker by the second. He’d never felt this hot this fast before. Never wished to be closer, for it to last longer, for someone to touch him absolutely everywhere.

“Lou,” he said into Louis’ mouth. “Lou, how— what d’you wanna do?”

“Shit, anything, everything,” Louis mumbled against Harry’s cheek. Then he climbed into Harry’s lap and Harry was overwhelmed and confused and too turned on to control his limbs properly so he grabbed Louis’ arse—sitting right there on his thighs—and squeezed.

Louis made a noise like he was choking and Harry let go.

“Sorry!” he cried, detaching from Louis’ lips and pulling his head back. His vision was a little blurry but he didn’t think Louis looked angry. “M’sorry, I didn't mean—”

“It’s fine,” Louis said. “You can touch me.”

Fuck, Harry’s cock twitched at that, and he screwed his eyes shut, trying to calm himself.

“How?” he asked.

“However you want.”

Harry let out a little whimper. It wasn’t just the words, which were driving him a bit mad, it was Louis’ trust and his weight and his scent, the combination of everything was making it hard for Harry to focus. He felt a little like he felt during his heats, itchy in places he didn’t quite know how to reach, desperate for things he didn’t know how to ask for.

“How?” he asked again. He was present enough to remember Louis didn’t really like this. Louis was only trying because Harry had asked. “I don’t—”

“What do you want to do?” Louis asked. He shifted in Harry’s lap and dragged against Harry’s cock, probably on accident but Harry saw bloody stars. He groaned and fell backwards onto the bed, making Louis laugh and land on top of him, chest to chest. He kissed Harry again, pulled on Harry’s lips with his teeth. “Come on, tell me.”

“I don’t know. You, you’re not—” He was trying to say he didn’t want to do anything Louis might hate. He was trying to say he wanted to do whatever Louis wanted because he’d never felt so willing and wet and dizzy before, not with any alpha he’d fallen into bed with, not even with himself, humping his own pillow with his fingers up his bum and the sheets between his teeth.

But Louis didn’t let him finish. He kissed him again, deep and long, and then said, “We’ve both got cocks, don’t we? And bumholes. And mouths and hands and, and fingers. Don’t we?”

Harry nodded, and only then realised he was rolling his hips upwards against Louis’, searching for friction, and Louis was hard against the bulge of Harry’s cock.

“Can, um… take your trousers off?” he asked.

“Can I take yours off, too?” Louis asked back, already pushing his joggers down his thighs one handed as he held himself up over Harry with the other. Harry fumbled with his zipper and then gasped when Louis yanked his trousers down, palm hot on Harry’s hip and down along his thigh.

Harry looked down and his mouth filled with spit at the sight of their bodies, nearly bare and so close to each other. Then Louis lowered himself again and Harry’s breath hitched, he arched up, felt Louis through the thin fabric of their underwear and could have passed out, if he hadn’t felt Louis’ hands in his hair.

“Okay?” Louis asked. “You wanna be on top?”

It occurred to Harry then that he’d never been asked that before, not without the underlying “ride me” Harry could always hear when alphas said it. Then it occurred to him that he wouldn’t mind if Louis wanted Harry to ride him. He wouldn’t mind if Louis asked him to suck on his toes, he was that far gone. He didn’t even mind that it was the middle of the day and the room was bathed in light and Louis could see all of Harry because it meant that Harry could see all of Louis as well.

Louis’ skin was flushed and even though his pupils were dilated, there was still a blue ring around them. His mouth was puffy and Harry could only imagine his was red all around, scraped nearly raw by Louis’ stubble.

Harry had never really liked beard-burn but Louis was clearly the exception to everything Harry’d ever felt before. It was a little scary.

“I can smell how wet you are,” Louis said and Harry felt his stomach sink as if he was falling.

“I’m never, never like this,” Harry said. “Is that weird?”

Louis sighed and kissed Harry’s neck.

“S’not weird,” he said softly.

“You’re wet, too.” Harry could feel Louis seeping through his pants.

“M’dripping wet, Haz.” He rolled his hips so Harry felt more, so his own pants got sticky with it. “You’re gorgeous.”

“I thought… you didn’t like this.”

“I thought we were trying to find stuff we like.” Louis kissed Harry’s chest, moved until he was breathing over one of Harry’s nipples and Harry clutched at the sheets on either side of him. “I like you a lot.”

Harry cried out when Louis’ tongue swiped his nipple before he caught it between his lips. His hips stuttered and jerked, his legs restless and his heart pounding as Louis sucked gently.

“Lou, Lou,” he whined, voice high and loud, and Louis let go, which wasn’t what Harry wanted at all.

“Liked that?” he asked and Harry could only nod, face tilted up at the ceiling and eyes shut. “We should check everywhere, shouldn’t we?”

“Louis,” Harry said. “I want—”

“Yeah?”

“I wanna do you, too. Wanna check, wanna kiss you.”

“I know I’ll love anything you do,” Louis said, petting Harry’s face, and that was wrong because Louis didn’t know if he would like what Harry wanted to do, which was basically to bury himself in the place where Louis’ perfect scent was stronger, where he was getting both of them messy and slick.

“No, I wanna try,” Harry said, writhing in embarrassment, and desperate, but it was Louis, so Harry didn’t feel like he had to put on a show, he didn’t feel like he wanted to be invisible, he didn’t need to convince his body to work—his body was way ahead of him.

“Okay,” Louis said, sliding off of Harry and lying on his back next to him. “But don’t… do anything you don’t want to.”

Harry could have scoffed, but his mouth was already busy kissing Louis, pushing him into the bed and licking between his lips and hearing him breathe through his nose, feeling him arch under him.

Without thinking, Harry reached down and placed his hand on Louis’ stomach. It was sticky with sweat, heaving, and Harry slid his hand down, wanting to touch everywhere.

Louis nearly bucked off the mattress. He made a noise into Harry’s mouth but it wasn’t a protesting noise and Harry just… just held him in his hand, through his pants. Louis was hard and hot and Harry was panting, had to stop kissing to draw in a proper breath. Louis felt good in his hand, he felt both familiar and new and just knowing that Louis was just like him—he wouldn't swell and he wouldn’t look weird or ugly and, when Harry gathered enough courage to go a little further down, he would be wet and open and loose. Just knowing all of that was nearly enough to make Harry come on the spot.

“Can I take them off?” he asked. Louis was red in the face, sweat making his fringe stick to his temples and his forehead. He nodded and pulled on the elastic of Harry’s pants.

Harry got the message, and he got down from the bed to finish undressing before pulling Louis’ briefs down his legs and fuck, his scent. Harry’s head felt full of cotton as he knelt on the floor between Louis’ legs. He heard Louis curse above him just as his knees hit the floor.

“Haz,” he said but Harry was in a trance. He was lost in the sight of the inside of Louis’ thighs, shinny with slick, and the heady scent of it, strong down where he was kneeling, familiar, a lot like his own except there was something so Louis about it Harry’s mouth started watering again. “Harry.”

“Yeah.”

“What’re you doing?”

“Dunno,” Harry said and curled his hands around Louis’ thighs and spread his legs. Louis made another little noise, or maybe it was Harry, but he couldn’t be sure. It was just—Louis was pretty everywhere. And he was so wet Harry could see it. He could see him puffy and flushed and dripping. And then he could barely stop himself from leaning in.

“Can I?” he asked, nose touching Louis’ skin. He was so close he couldn’t see anything anymore.

“Fuck, yeah, Harry, if you want, yes.”

Harry dove in.

This was something Harry had imagined loads of times. It always seemed like it would feel good, and it sure looked pretty in porn. The omegas always went so wild for it, eyes rolling to the back of their heads, their moans seemingly genuine for a change. He’d wondered what it would feel like having it done to him but he’d also wondered what it would be like to be the one burying his head between an omega’s legs, getting an omega’s thighs wrapped around his shoulders to keep him from moving away.

In practice, though, Harry pushed Louis’ thighs as wide as they would go. He wanted to be closer, wanted to taste him as deep as he could. He pressed open-mouthed kisses right against Louis’ hole before licking him, gathering slick and sweat in his tongue and feeling himself go wetter and wetter, harder and hotter with every swipe.

“Harry, Harry, Harry,” Louis was saying, and Harry’d never heard him make those noises before, all raspy and high and desperate. Then he felt fingers in his hair and just thinking about Louis pushing his head down harder made him whine, cock leaking onto the floor.

But Louis didn’t push him down. He pulled him up, and Harry went blindly, eyes closed against the light, face a wet mess.

“Jesus Christ,” Louis mumbled, and pulled on Harry’s hair. Harry followed, got on the bed and fell on top of Louis and found his mouth to kiss him, and kiss him, and kiss him.

“Jesus Christ,” Louis mumbled again when he let his hands roam down Harry's back to his arse. His fingers dipped between Harry’s cheeks and into the slick gathered there. Harry’s cock jerked against Louis’ belly. “You really liked it.”

“Did you?” Harry asked into Louis’ neck as he pushed his hips up against his fingers.

“Of course I fucking liked it,” Louis said, kissing the top of Harry’s head. “I always knew I would.”

“Yeah?” Harry rocked against Louis. He felt the sticky head of Louis’ cock drag against his navel.

“Always, since before— Since— Always.”

Something wasn’t quite making sense to Harry but he felt too good to stop and think about it properly. Louis prodded a little harder, pushed two fingers against his rim and rubbed and Harry made a noise close to a sob.

“Lou, that—”

“Like that?”

“Yeah,” Harry groaned. He sucked on whatever skin was closest, which happened to be the underside of Louis’ jaw, and wished Louis would push inside.

He couldn’t quite remember how they’d ended up like this. He surely hadn’t been planning on it when he got up that morning, but now he wondered why they hadn’t been doing it for years. It was right, it was Louis and his wonderful scent and his gentle hands, hands that were on Harry’s arse, fingers that were rubbing a little harder now, pushing a little deeper until—

Harry whimpered when Louis’ fingers entered him, his legs spreading, his hips dropping so that his cock was trapped between them hard enough to hurt a bit. He was drooling on Louis’ neck and he couldn’t make himself stop, couldn’t stop himself from wanting more, opening for more, as Louis pushed in and in—Harry felt every knuckle—until he was in as far as he could and Harry’s eyes were blurry with tears.

“Oh,” he said, tongue too big in his mouth. He swallowed, and swallowed again. “Oh, oh.”

“Fuck, you’re—” Harry half-expected the usual words, the breathless wonder at how tight he was. Except he didn’t feel tight, and Louis’ fingers hadn’t burned going in. Harry felt like he could take a lot more. “You’re so fucking hot inside. So wet.”

“Oh,” Harry said, stupid and slow. “Oh, fuck.”

“Want me to move?” Louis hitched him up a bit, dragged Harry’s cock across his stomach.

“Yes.”

And, fuck, when Louis moved Harry went deaf, blood pumping in his ears so hard he could hear his own heartbeat and nothing else. He was aware that he was making noises, he could feel the rumble in his chest, and he was aware of Louis’ hand (the one not fucking him) clamped on his hip bone to keep him still.

He felt pressure building, hot and tight and ready to snap, and then, like from behind a padded wall, he heard the squelching of Louis’ fingers, the quick snick-snick-snick of them opening Harry up and making him moan high enough for only dogs to hear, surely. He felt feverish, bathed in sweat, and then he remembered he had hands of his own, and slipped one between his and Louis’ bodies and grabbed his cock as best he could, squeezed once around the head, and came.

Louis fucked him through it, even when Harry clenched down so tight he shouldn’t have been able to move. His mouth moved against Harry’s hair, but Harry couldn’t hear what he was saying. He couldn’t hear anything.

Harry didn’t move until Louis pulled his hand away. Harry heard that, the slick sound of it. And heard Louis’ curse, and the way they were both breathing hard. Then he heard the rustle of himself sliding down Louis’ body and off the bed, the thump of his knees on the carpet again, and Louis’ surprised ‘ah’ when Harry put his mouth on him.

This time Harry didn’t stop when Louis pulled on his hair, or when Louis’ voice cracked calling his name. He was watching himself as if he were floating above the bed, and the sight made him hard again.

Louis sounded so pretty, and he tasted so good. His thighs were around Harry’s head and Harry couldn’t really breathe but he’d pass out before stopping without having made Louis come. For once, Harry wasn’t comparing what was happening to what he’d done with alphas because this was something he’d never done before. He felt like it was the first time he was having sex, like all the other times hadn’t been completely real. This was what Harry had wanted every time he’d imagined it—Louis fingering him until his brain short-circuited, Louis moaning under his tongue, Louis’ slick all over his face.

He slipped a finger alongside his tongue.

When Louis came, Harry thought he would crush his head between his wonderful thighs. Harry wouldn’t have minded, but Louis let him go right when white spots were starting to flash behind his eyelids. Harry gulped in mouthfuls of air until his chest didn’t feel like it would explode anymore, and then looked up at Louis on the bed.

His arms were crossed over his face.

“Lou,” Harry called, voice shot, a hand on Louis’ knee. He cleared his throat. “Was that okay?”

It took a moment for Louis to reply, and it that moment, Harry went cold. He took his hand away and wiped at his face, shame starting to curl in his belly.

“Yeah,” Louis eventually whispered, muffled under his arms. “Perfect.”

Harry had been too desperate. Harry had been too weird and eager, that’s why Louis couldn’t look at him. No one liked the taste of slick, certainly no alpha that had put his finger in Harry had licked it afterwards like Harry wanted to do. Not only was Harry frigid but the stuff that did get him hot freaked people out. And now Louis—

“I knew I’d like it,” Louis said.

“What?”

“Since I was little, I knew—” He stopped. Harry waited. “I just don’t find alphas attractive. It’s not that I don’t like sex, I don’t like alphas. At all.”

“Oh.” Harry was glad he wasn’t an alpha. He was so glad.

“I knew I’d like it and I still—”

“I knew I’d like it, too. That’s why I asked you.”

“It’s different.”

“How?”

“I just,” Louis sighed and dropped his arms. His face was still flushed, and he was looking at the ceiling, still naked and shiny. Harry was still between his legs. “I feel like I took advantage of you. You’re figuring yourself out and I—”

“I would have asked even if I knew,” Harry said quickly. He couldn't stand Louis beating himself up when Harry was the strange one. “I’m sorry if I was weird, I—”

“Harry, for the last time, you’re not weird,” Louis snapped, sitting up. “You’re probably just really fucking gay.”

“Oh,” Harry said. And Oh, Harry thought.

“Or maybe not,” Louis said, wiping his hands on the sheets. His eyes were very blue again and there was come on his chest. His own and Harry’s. He was still the fittest person Harry had ever met. “I don’t know, I shouldn’t’ve said that. I’m sorry.”

“Lou, you think I might be?” Harry asked. It would explain some things. It would explain a lot of things . His brain felt split open. He’d never—

“I mean, maybe?” Louis said. “You did look really happy going down on me. You know any straight omegas who, um, do stuff like that?”

Harry wasn’t sure. Probably not. His head was spinning.

“I’m gay,” Louis said quietly, and he sounded in awe. “That’s the first time I’ve said it out loud. I am quite, quite gay.”

Harry’s chest felt full and warm. He was still on the floor, but he wanted to be curled up around Louis. He might possibly be gay, too, but he was definitely still weird on top of it because he wanted to put his hand on the mess on Louis’ chest and spread it all over him.

“Thanks for telling me, Lou.”

“And I like you, Harry. I think you’re gorgeous and I want to kiss you and finger you and lick you out until we both can’t stand it anymore. But I understand if you, if you don’t want to live with me anymore.”

As if.

“What else d’you wanna do, Lou?”

Louis looked down at him, and Harry smiled, wondering if he looked as wonderfully filthy as he felt, naked and kneeling and sticky everywhere.

“I wanna fuck you,” Louis said. “Wanna slip my fingers in with my cock and make you stretch so that you feel really full.”

“Yeah?” Harry asked, voice unsteady.

“Yeah. And I want to try, to—”

“What?”

“You, fucking me. The time I did it, I didn’t like it.”

“Was it with an alpha?”

“Yeah. It’s what you’re supposed to do, right?”

No. That didn’t sound right anymore at all. It didn’t sound right coming from Louis, and Harry was embarrassed he’d ever said it himself.

“I’d make you feel really good, Lou. If you wanted.”

Smiling, Louis slid over to the edge of the mattress. His cock was soft and close to Harry’s face. He still smelled like the most delicious thing Harry’d ever known.

“I guess we can figure out what we want together,” Louis said, leaning down and pushing Harry's hair off his sticky forehead. Harry looked into his eyes, bright and kind and careful.

“Yeah,” he said, and craned his neck to brush Louis' lips with his own. “I think we might be good at that.”