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A Yellow Scarf

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I walked through the door with you, the air was cold,
But something 'bout it felt like home somehow and I
Left my scarf there at your sister's house,
And you still got it in your drawer even now

 

"Harry," Gemma says from the couch she's on, blanket covering her lower half as she holds a bowl of cereal, spoon paused in mid-air, "what the fuck?"
Harry smiles sheepishly. "Hi Gem."
"Who the hell is this?" Gemma asks as she stands up, setting the bowl down on the coffee table littered with books and papers and a laptop and a mug half filled with tea thats long cold. Harry kicks the door closed, shutting out the biting cold air outside.
"Uhm," Harry chuckles nervously. "I uh, dont know?"
"What the fuck do you mean you dont know!?"
"Shhh! Gem! He's asleep!" Harry whisper shouts.
"Not asleep." The brunette wearing a hideous yellow threadbare scarf hanging limply from Harry's shoulder slurs.
"Well who the fuck are you then?"
"Gemma!" Harry scolds.
"Harry!" Gemma retorts. "Why the hell did you bring some stranger to my house!?"
"He ... He needed help Gem. I couldn't just leave him there."

The brunette seems to slip lower and they both hear a snore.

"Bloody hell." Gemma says. "Fuck, just .. take him to the spare."

She grabs one of his arms and throws it over her shoulder, placing a hand on his hip and helping Harry move him down the hall.

Gemma lets go as Harry sets him on the bed causing Harry to lose his balance and practically fall on top of the drunk sleepy stranger as he too falls flat on the bed.

"Shit!" Harry hisses.

He pushes himself away from the stranger and looks at him for a moment, thinking he'll wake. Behind him, Gemma clears her throat.

"So? Care to explain?"
"Uhm," Harry looks back at the man. Despite him being drunk he looks so innocent as he sleeps. "Yeah. Well .. I uh .. I went out for a drink with a friend-"
"Friend?"
"Yes. Friend. And .. He was there," Harry motions to the boy in bed. "He was loud. Kind of obnoxious. Think the bartender was at his wits end with him long before I came in because he practically knocked him off his barstool when he shoved a drink in his hand. I went to grab a couple of drinks and he was laughing with some bloke next to him. Dont know what about.

His laugh .. It was .. Mellifluous."
"Melli - Harry. What the hell does that have to do with why you brought him here?"
Harry sighs and nods. "His boyfriend broke up with him."
"And?"
"I couldn't leave him there Gem! He was so torn up about it! I think he would've drunken himself into a stupor."
"Oh Harry." Gemma sighs.
"And uh .. Bartender thought we were together so he made him leave with me."
"Why would he think that?"
Harry flushes and picks at his lip. "We .. sort of snogged. Right in front of him."
"Jesus Harry."

Harry smiles and shrugs.

"I swear," Gemma shakes her head. "you're just like mum."

Harry laughs.

"At least take his scarf off. Think he's warmed up enough now yeah?"

 

Oh, your sweet disposition and my wide-eyed gaze
We're singing in the car, getting lost upstate
The autumn leaves falling down like pieces into the place
And I can picture it after all these days

 

"Whose bright idea was it to drive through the country side in 40 degree weather anyway?" A brunette says as he plucks yet another leaf from his hair.

Harry chuckles as he glances over at his boyfriend.

"You did. You said, and I quote, 'You know what would be romantic Harry? If we go cruising in Nick's convertible through the country like they do in the movies you watch. Then we'll pull over on the side of the road as the sun sets and make love on the roof of the car.'"
The brunette laughs uproariously. "I definitely didn't say that last part."
"Not a bad idea though." Harry winks at him.

The man in the passenger seat looks at him with all the love in his heart and smiles.

"Harry."

When he says nothing more Harry looks over at him.

"Yes Niall?"

Niall grins then looks around.

"Harry, where are we?"

 

And I know it's long gone,
And that magic's not here no more,
And I might be okay,
But I'm not fine at all

 

"And if anyone would have told me that I'd be marrying a bloke at a pub who called me cute then pulled me in for a snog before I could even respond well .. I would probably believe them because I'm a romantic. I love you Niall Horan and I'll never want anyone else."

Niall sniffles, removing his hand from Harry for a moment as he wipes a stray tear.

"I love you too."
"I now pronounce you-"

Harry pulled Niall in for a kiss before the vicar could even finish. There were laughs, cries and cheers from the crowd. Probably all coming from both of their mothers.

"Please, dont leave." Niall whispers, eyes shut as he rests his forehead on Harry's chest.
"I promise."

 

'Cause there we are again on that little town street
You almost ran the red 'cause you were looking over me
Wind in my hair, I was there, I remember it all too well

 

The drive was quiet, Taylor Swift crooning softly through the radio. Its days like this that make Harry wish he had the power to suspend time. To just stay in this moment forever and always.

Its just a simple drive to the local market because his mum forgot a few ingredients for the monthly family dinner but Niall asked to come with anyway, Harry of course agreeing.

He looks over at Niall, elbow in the open window and he looks down at his phone typing away. The sun seems to be in the perfect position as Niall looks like an angel right now, sun bouncing off his hair as if he has a halo around his head.

Niall lowers his phone and looks over at Harry and smiles, eyes so sparkling blue its hard to not go blind staring into them. Niall turns back to the road and Harry wishes he'd look back. He loves looking at Niall. Harry must be the luckiest man in the world right now.

Niall looks over at him and Harry sees his lips moving. God how he loves those lips. Loves them on his lips, his forehead, his cheek, his nose, his stomach, his inner thighs. He especially loves them on his co-

"Harry!" Niall shouts, eyes panicked.

On instinct Harry slams on the brakes, heart pounding.

"Bleeding CHRIST!" Niall yells as he puts a hand to his chest. "What the fuck. Oh my god that was so close."

Harry looks up and sees the light is red and there's a car driving past in front of them flipping the bird.

Oops.

 

Photo album on the counter, your cheeks were turning red
You used to be a little kid with glasses in a twin-size bed
And your mother's telling stories about you on a tee ball team
You tell me 'bout your past, thinking your future was me

 

Niall sighs heavily, shaking his head as he holds it in his hands.

"We've never had a fight this bad Anne. I dont know what to do."
"Just give it some time dear." Anne says soothingly, rubbing his back. "He'll get over it."
"I hope so, but I wish he'd do it at home." Niall lifts his face and looks to Anne, tears welling up again. "He's been gone two days. He wont answer his phone. I'd worry but Gemma told me he spoke to her this morning. I just .. I dont even know what happened. One minute we were cuddling watching telly and the next he's storming out. I dont know what I said. What I did."
"Oh honey,"
"Maybe this is it. We've been fighting a lot lately. This is the end."
"Niall sweetie dont think that way."
"He never even said goodbye." Niall puts his face in his hands and cries.

Anne holds Niall as he sniffles and blubbers. Once he's calmed down, she stands and squeezes his arm.

"Stay right here. I've got something to show you."

She comes back with a green photo album. They spend a little over an hour looking through pictures, Anne telling stories of nearly each one.

She stops at one in which Harry and Niall are both leaning into each other, grinning ear to ear, no idea they're being photographed. Niall takes the book and traces his thumb over Harry's face.

"That was before you two even became a couple." Anne starts. "He once told me that the minute he laid his eyes on you, he knew you'd be in his heart forever."

Niall gives a small but sad smile.

"Dont give up on him. I know he can be a little stubborn sometimes but I know how much he loves you and I have faith he'll come around."

Niall nods. He really hopes she's right.

 

And I know its long gone
And there was nothing else I could do
And I forget about you long enough
To forget why I needed to

 

"This is a familiar sight." Gemma says as she steps aside, letting Niall into her flat.
"What is?"
"You. Here. Drunk. Its like I'm living in a flashback."
"I'm not drunk." Niall all but slurs.
Gemma scoffs. "Right. Course not. Whats going on then?"

Niall slumps to the sofa, leans his head back and closes his eyes.

"Harry."
"Figured. What I mean is what happened now?"
"Same thing as always. He wants something I dont and he makes me feel bad about it then acts as if I'm the bad guy."
Gemma shakes her head. "That kid."
"I dont know why I haven't divorced him yet." Niall runs his hand over his face. "I'm sick and tired of all this fighting."
"Dont say that Niall," Gemma places a hand on his leg. "He'll-"
"Get over it? Yeah." Niall laughs humorlessly. "He will. Then he'll come up with some new fuckin idea and make me feel bad about that too."

Niall stands, nearly toppling over as he does so.

"I'm done Gems. I cant do this anymore."

 

'Cause there we are again in the middle of the night
We dance around the kitchen in the refrigerator light
Down the stairs, I was there, I remember it all to well, yeah

 

The light of the refrigerator the only light in the otherwise dark and metaphorically cold house as Niall has it open to pull out yet another beer because who even cares if he gets alcohol poisoning? Certainly not Harry.

Just as he pops the cap off, the light above him comes on. He looks up to see Harry standing there, eyes hard.

"You're drinking again?"
"Yeah, so what?"
"Its 3am."
Niall snorts. "Dont act like you care all of a sudden."
"You're my husband."
"Yeah? Since when?"
"Niall .." Harry steps into the kitchen, in no time right in front of Niall and pulls the bottle from him. "We need to talk."
"We're done talking." Niall reaches for the bottle but Harry pulls back. "Harry, fuck."
"Please, just listen."
"What? What is it now? You gonna apologize? Tell me you think this isn't worth fighting over? Explain how sometimes you just want something different? Wish that maybe we should have waited a while before getting married and then fuck me like I didn't hear the last part? What is it Harry?"
"Gemma told me you wished we were divorced."

Niall rolls his eyes and crosses his arms.

"So .. I had papers drawn up."
"Harry .. What?" Niall's face drops as does his arms and heart. "I .. What?"
"I'll give you til the end of the week to sign them." He says, no sadness nor bitterness in his tone.

It wasnt until Harry walks out of the kitchen that Niall notices the bags by the archway.

"I'll be at my mum's." He says and walks out the front door.

Niall's legs give out on him then and luckily his body hits the fridge.

"But .. You promised .. not to .. leave."

 

Maybe we got lost in translation, maybe I asked for too much
And maybe this thing was a masterpiece 'til you tore it all up
Running scared, I was there, I remember it all too well

 

Louis and Liam try their hardest to console Niall but to no avail.

"He hasn't cried once Lou and its freaking me out." Liam whispers as Niall naps on his sofa. "Aren't you supposed to be devastated when you get a divorce? I know I would be if I were to get one."
"I know, but some people experience things differently."
"Do you think he's alright though? I mean, isn't it kind of strange that he's showing no emotion to this breakup?"
"I think he's trying to prove something to himself. Like he can get over Harry."
"Have you talk to him? Harry I mean. Do you know where he is?"
"No. His mum says he's fine though."
"Do you think Niall knows where he's gone? Do you think thats why he's not upset? Because he can go and talk him out of this anytime?"
"Yes and no."

Liam and Louis jump.

"You can stop talking about me like I'm not here." Niall says as he sits up, rubbing his eyes.
"S-sorry Niall. We're just .. worried. 's all." Liam states.
"What do you mean yes and no?" Louis asks.
"Yes I know where he is and no I'm not not upset because I can go talk him out of this." He sighs. "I'm not going to try either."
"Where is he then?" Liam asks.
"Yeah so we can go knock some sense into him." Louis says punching his own hand then not to subtly shake it a bit and hid it behind his back.
Niall shakes his head. "He's where he wants to be. Far away from me. From any of us."
"What does that mean?" Liam asks, voice going up an octave, eyes going wide.
"He always told me he wanted to go to California." Niall begins. "Wanted me to go too but I was fine here. I thought .. I thought he'd gotten over it."

Niall stands and goes over to the window, over-looking London, gray skies and wet pavement, people walking around in coats and umbrellas.

"Said his tears used to fall down like the British showers."
"Thats .. so sad." Liam says.
"Stupid more like." Louis scoffs.
"He was always writing in that leather bound journal I bought him one Christmas." Niall places his hand on the cold window. "Should have listened to him."

 

Hey, you call me up again just to break me like a promise
So casually cruel in the name of being honest
I'm a crumpled up piece of paper lying here
'Cause I remember it all, all, all to well

 

Seven months into radio silence from Harry, Niall has been slowly getting better. He's smiling again and laughing, going out occasionally with Louis (who sometimes tries to hook him up with people and its fine, he's just doing a friend would do but Niall's no interested right now) and Liam and he's finally starting to feel like his old self again.

"How about another night out Niall?" Louis asks. "Ya up for it?"
"Nah. Anne's having a family dinner tonight and she wants me to come over."
"Oh," Louis' face turns serious and cautious. "Are .. you going? I mean .. when's the last time you-"
"Its fine Louis." Niall smiles softly. "I'm okay now. Its been a while but .. I think I can handle it."
"Are you sure? Should I come with you?"
"No, I'll be fine Louis. But .. thanks for asking."

Around five that evening Niall is on the road making his way to Anne's. He's listening to a new artist, Shawn Mendes. Not a bad looking lad either Niall thinks. He's supposed to come over for a concert soon. Niall thinks he might well go.

His phone rings and as he picks it up and looks he sees its a number he doesn't recognize. It might be a telemarketer so he leaves it.

Its only when it starts ringing again and its the same number that he thinks he might know the person on the other end. Perhaps his da? He did say he was having trouble with his phone a couple months back. He stops at a red light and picks it up.

"Hello?"

There's complete silence for a moment.

"Uh, da? Is this you?"

There's an exhale of breath and Niall waits.

"Niall."

His heart races and all the breath is taken from him in an instant.

"Niall I .."

A horn blares behind him but he cant move or speak.

"Its me. I uh .." Harry takes a breath. "My mum told me she invited you to dinner."

Niall shakily nods his head. He forgets Harry cant see him. He makes a keening noise in his throat then clears it.

"Yeah. I'm .. on the way there now."
"Are you close?"

Niall shuts his eyes as his cock twitches. He can almost feel Harry whispering it in his ear, can almost feel Harry's hot breath on the shell of his ear, can almost feel the sweat from Harry's forehead as he places it in the crook of Niall's shoulder.

"Yeah." Niall exhales. "Yeah I'm close."

Niall hears what might have been a chuckle but Harry quickly covers it by clearing his throat. Niall flushes with embarrassment.

"I .. I mean yeah. Just .. five minutes maybe."
"Dont bother."
"What?" Niall asks taken aback.
"She's trying to get us in the same room. Make us realize we still love each other and get back together and I-"
"You .. still love me?"

Niall's throat closes and tears have already made streaks on his cheeks.

"No. Are you listening to me?"

Niall's breath catches and he sucks in dry air.

"Of course not. You never do." Harry scoffs. "My mum is playing matchmaker Niall. Its not going to work what she's trying to do. I dont want you here."

Everything seems to slip away from Niall after that. He's not sure what hurts more. Harry saying he doesn't love him or telling him he doesn't want him around his family. The family Niall thought he built when he left Ireland and came here. The family that took him in before he and Harry properly began dating. The family that held him together when he and Harry were on the ropes. The family that kept calling and checking up on him when they reached the inevitable end.

They're Niall's family but they're Harry's. And Harry doesn't want him around them.

Hell, even Louis and Liam knew Harry before they knew Niall.

He's got no one left now.

 

Time wont fly, its like I'm paralyzed by it
I'd like to be my old self again, but I'm still trying to find it
After plaid shirt days and nights when you made me your own
Now you mail back my things and I walk home alone

 

Niall moves back to Ireland a few days after the phone call. Louis and Liam try and tell him not to listen to Harry. That they'll always love him and Louis said he's always like him better than Harry. That the only reason he tolerated Harry was because he was Liam's friend. Gemma even comes over after Liam calls her. She tell him Harry's an idiot and even though he's her brother she's taken Niall's side.

But Niall doesn't listen. Harry doesn't want him anymore. Doesn't want him to be around his family. What other choice does he have but to leave?

"Niall!" His dad calls from downstairs. "Come here a minute son!"

Niall reluctantly gets up from his bed and walks slowly down the steps. He finds his dad in the kitchen standing over a box, a worried look on his face.

"Da? Whats wrong?" Niall looks at the box. "What is it?"
"Uh .. Its .. I think you'd better open it."

Niall hesitantly takes the knife his dad hands him. His hands shake as he cuts through the tape. As he opens a flap, he can see a red and purple plaid shirt.

He drops the knife and steps back, hitting the counter.

"There's .. a letter here. Do you .. want to read it?" His dad asks.

Niall pushes away from the counter, running up the stairs, slamming the door to his room.

 

But you keep my old scarf from that very first week
'Cause it reminds you of innocence and it smells like me
You cant get rid of it 'cause you remember it all too well, yeah

 

Its been five months since he's been in Ireland and he begins to think maybe he should never have left. His old friends dont really know Harry so there's no talk of him. This town is far from posh like Cheshire so there's not anything that reminds him of the place he first met Harry. His friends and family complain about driving so far just to see footie games so there's nothing to make him remember how Harry always wanted to travel to Cali.

And most of all,

There's no Harry. So there's no one that can take his focus from trying to get better.

Niall sits in his room, the box from the second month he got here sitting in front of him. He hasn't been able to go through it until now.

There are so many memories in this box and more than sadness, he's angry that Harry could just throw this all away. After all the years they had together he can just pack up all of Niall's things and send them off.

And he was sending it to another country no less. What if it had gotten lost? Would Harry have even cared?

It isn't until Niall's first date after a year and a half when he's walking home and its cold out that he remembers a thin yellow scarf he once had. He wonders what ever happened to it...

 

'Cause there we are again, when I loved you so
Back before you lost the one real thing you've ever known
It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well

 

Niall first met Harry in July of 2010. They officially ended in December of 2015.

Today, its March 24 of 2019 and when Niall looks away from his friend he catches in his peripheral someone staring at him. He turns his head and its like time stops.

The person hair is short and his tiny ears are visible. He's wearing dad jeans, white t-shirt and a tan cardigan. There's a paddy cap hanging from his hand. He's got on black and white Vans.

Despite him looking like someone's grandpa, he still ensnares Niall's heart.

The next thing Niall knows, he's standing in front of the man. The man reaches up and cups Niall's cheek in his hand.

"You're cute, you know that?" The man says.

Niall grins. They both lean in at the same time and their lips slot together as if they were meant to. Of course they are. Niall knows this is his heart.

After they pull apart Niall rests his forehead on the mans chest, he can hear and feel his heart pounding hard.

"I love you Harry."

Harry hums and holds Niall tight. "I know."

 

Wind in my hair, you were there, you remember it all
Down the stairs, you were there, you remember it all
It was rare, I was there, I remember it all too well

 

Niall pulls away and looks Harry in the eyes.

"I still have this flicker of hope. Please, please dont give that to me if you're not in this. Please Harry. Its going to hurt but if you dont love me anymore just .. walk away. Right now."

Harry takes Nialls wrist and pulls him in, holding him by the waist.

"I'm not going anywhere. I love you too Niall."

Niall begins to cry. He reaches up to wrap his arms around Harry's neck and feels something soft.

"Is .. is this .. this my sc- .. scarf?"