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hold you like it's not goodbye (before you fall for someone new)

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It’s been a while since Harry’s been around Louis, and it’s… weird. It’s been a while since he’s been around Niall, too, to be fair, but that’s weird for a whole different reason. But no, he’s not been around Louis in a while, and it’s hard getting back into the rhythm that they used to have back in the band. He’s trying though, as the three of them reminisce on the good old days. 

What’s even harder is getting used to being around Louis and Niall together. LouisandNiall. 

The two of them had always been close; of course, all five of them had been. But Harry’s never seen them quite like this before. After the whole Larry thing had blown out of proportion, and Louis and Harry had to cut back on their public interaction (and as a consequence, their personal interactions as well), it had created an unspoken division in the band as well, almost like a custody arrangement in a divorce. Louis had got custody of Liam and Zayn, and Harry had got custody of Niall. And so, surely Niall and Louis had interacted a lot, but maybe not so much in front of Harry.

He certainly hasn’t noticed them being so comfortable with each other before.

Louis tells a funny story, and Niall throws his head back laughing (which isn’t unusual for Niall, but it seems so genuine and fond, and Harry’s stomach turns).

Niall talks about his next single, and Louis beams at him and tells Harry that he’s already heard it, and that it’s absolutely beautiful (Harry thinks about a time when he was the first to hear a new song Niall had written, and his heart sinks in his chest).

Harry asks about Freddie, and Niall looks fondly at Louis while he tells him about what he’s been up to lately, how big he’s gotten and how clever he is. Niall interrupts him half way through. “Show him the video!” he says, as he nudges Louis’ thigh with his knee. 

(It’s a video of Freddie dancing to Girl Almighty. It’s probably the cutest thing Harry’s ever seen, but he also can’t stop looking at how Niall’s knee is now just resting against Louis’ thigh.)

They’re a couple of beers in each, and Niall is halfway through a story from the last time he was in Australia, when Louis (who’s apparently heard the story before) gets up to get them some more beers. 

“ -and then, remember, these guys have no idea who I am,” Niall says, laughing, “Slow Hands come on, and one of the lads groans, looks straight at me and tells me what a shit song he thinks it is.”

Harry laughs with him, he’s been there himself a couple of times. “And what’d you say to that?”

“Looked him straight in the eye,” Niall says, as he leans forward just a bit “and said, if you think this is shit, you should hear the rest of my album!”

 “‘course you did,” Harry says, “and how’d he take that?”

“Honestly, I don’t think he heard me over the music,” he chuckles, “he just smiled and nodded and turned back to one of his mates.”

“Bad news, lads!” Louis’s voice announces, and Harry looks up to see him standing in the doorway, pulling on a jacket. “We’re all out of beer. Good news, I’m going out to get us some more!”

Harry’s brow furrows. “Actually,” he starts, “I should probably get going soon, so-”

“Bullshit!” Louis says, “I’ve not seen you in ages, and knowing you you’ll probably drop of the face of the earth again as soon as you leave-”

“I don’t-” Harry starts to protest.

“So you-” he points at Harry, “stay, and you,” he points at Niall, “make sure he doesn’t run off!”

Niall snorts and mutters something under his breath that Harry doesn’t catch. 

“Right, see you then!” Louis turns around and starts walking.

“Lou,” Niall shouts after him. Louis stops and turns around. 

“Yes, love?” he says. He sounds exasperated. 

“You're not driving.”

“I’ve had two beers, Neil, ‘m not a lightweight!” Louis says, and starts walking again.

Niall snorts, “Right, and I’m shagging the queen!”

“Pretty sure that’s treason,” Harry mutters.

“Fuck you, Niall!” Louis shouts, “And I’ve already called an Uber!”

They hear the door shut behind him, and Niall cackles. “Idiot,” he says, fondly. Harry’s stomach turns again. He smiles though, when Niall looks at him.

“Then there were two,” Niall says, and leans back against the sofa. 

“Yeah,” Harry says. He’d been doing fine, when it had been three of them. Well, if barely holding it together could be defined as fine. But Louis and Niall had done most of the talking, so really all he’d had to do was laugh at the right times, and answer questions when they were directed at him. Now though, with only him and Niall in the room he’s at a loss for what to say. There’s so much hanging in the air between them, and Niall seems completely oblivious to it. 

“How’s Greg?” is what he ends up saying, which. Alright, as far as small talk goes, that’s not too bad. Niall seems taken aback though, and Harry realizes that he probably blurted that out a bit too suddenly. 

“Greg’s good, yeah,” Niall answers. “Theo’s getting real big now, it’s mad!”

“Yeah?” Harry says, and his heart clenches a bit at the proud look on Niall’s face. “You got any pictures?”

Niall huffs. “‘Course I do, what kind of uncle do ya take me for?” He fishes his phone out of his pocket and starts looking through it. After a bit, his eyes flicker up towards Harry again. “Well, come on then,” he says.

Harry looks at him dumbly. “What?”

“Come over here so I can show you the pictures,” he says, nodding his head to the side. 

Oh, right.

“Oh, right,” Harry says. He gets up from his spot on the other sofa, and walks over to Niall. He sits down, making sure to leave plenty of room between them. Niall looks at him with furrowed eyebrows, but he doesn’t say anything. He turns his attention back to the phone.

“This one’s from a couple of months back,” Niall says, holding out the phone between them. “And then this one,” he swipes through to another photo, “is from the last time I went out to see them,” it’s a picture of Niall with Theo on his shoulders, they’re both smiling from ear to ear.

“He looks like you,” Harry says, without thinking about it.

Niall smiles. “Yeah? Mum reckons so too. Oh!” he’s swiped to another picture, “this one’s from halloween last year! Little bugger went as the Hulk!”

“That,” Harry says, “might just be the cutest thing I’ve ever seen.”

“Cuter than Freddie dancing?” Niall asks. He’s smirking slightly, eyebrows raised.

Harry considers it. “Maybe just a bit,” he says. Niall laughs. “But don’t tell Louis I said that.”

“He’ll have your head for that,” Niall says, but he’s smiling, big and bright. 

Harry’s heart beats faster at the sight, and his stomach fills with butterflies. He’ll have my head for that too, Harry thinks. He doesn’t realize he’s staring before Niall turns his head and their eyes lock. There’s still a good amount of space between them on the sofa, but Harry suddenly feels like they’re sitting right next to each other. 

“Niall, I-” Harry starts, but his mouth and brain are doing that thing again where they aren’t cooperating, and he has no idea what to follow it up with. Niall’s looking at him expectantly. “I…” he tries again. Still, no words follow. 

Niall’s mouth quirks up into an amused smile. “Cat got your tongue?”

Harry can feel a small blush creeping onto his cheeks, and he smiles despite himself. “Yeah,” he mutters. 

Niall nods at him, and gives him a small, reassuring smile. “We should talk, probably, yeah?”

Harry takes a deep breath. His insides are screaming, but Niall is right. They probably should. “Yeah,” he says.

“So, Niall says. He’s put his phone down, and is now leaning back against the sofa. “San Francisco?”




Turns out they’re both staying at the same hotel. The world really is small, Harry thinks. 

Niall’s leading the way, so they end up in his room. It’s a nice enough room, not the biggest nor the fanciest they’ve seen, but that’s not so much about the quality of this room as it is about the lavishness of the other rooms they’ve stayed in. 

Niall grabs a couple of beers from the minibar and heads out to the small balcony that overlooks the hotel pool. Harry follows him, still aware of the tension in Niall’s shoulders. 

There’s a small table and a couple of chairs out there, Niall is sitting in one of them. Harry sits down on the other one, and grabs one of the beers off of the table. 

“So,” Niall says. He’s picking at the label on the bottle, avoiding Harry’s gaze.

“So,” Harry echoes. 

“How’s Gemma doing?”

“She’s fine,” he takes a sip of the beer. He can tell that Niall is trying to avoid talking about whatever it is that’s bothering him, but he doesn’t get what that something is, or why it’s making Niall act all tense and weird. He’d been fine all night, how could one encounter with a random guy change his mood this much?

“That’s good, then” Niall says, still focusing intently on the beer bottle in his hands. 

“Niall,” Harry says pointedly, “are you gonna tell me what’s going on or are we just gonna make small talk for the rest of the night?”

“Dunno,” Niall mumbles. “What do you think is going on?” He looks up then, and meets Harry’s gaze. Harry can tell that he’s schooling his features carefully, and he hates it, hates not being able to read Niall’s face like a book. 

“Dunno” he shrugs, brows furrowing. 

“If you had to like,” Niall says, “guess. If you had to guess what happened back there. What… how would you describe it, like?”

Harry considers him for a second. “You’re being really strange right now,” he says, in lieu of answering. 

“Harry, just… Please, will you just… guess?” he almost begs. 

“Alright,” Harry breathes out, “yeah, alright, I… You were fine, and then that guy-”

“John,” Niall supplies.

“John, right, he came up, and… From where I was sitting, I guess it seemed like he was, er…” He searches for the right word, “Propositioning you?”

Niall nods, but he’s not looking at Harry anymore. 

“And that… made you uncomfortable?”

Niall shakes his head, “No, that’s not… I mean, it’s… Ah, jesus fucking-” he leans his head back against the wall and lets out a deep breath. “For the record, this is not how I pictured this conversation going,” he says, and there’s almost the hint of a chuckle in his voice.

“What conversation?” Harry asks, confused. 

“It’s…” he starts, and then trails off again. “Ok, listen, I wasn’t… John’s a friend, right. Sort of, at least. Like, he’s a friend, you know?” He looks at Harry expectantly. 

“I… don’t think I do?”

Niall sighs frustratedly. “Oh for fucks sake, Haz, we’ve slept together,” he says in a rush. 

And that’s. 

“Oh,” says Harry. Oh. 

“And I freaked out,” Niall continues, “not so much because he was propositioning me, but like, because you were there, and… I hadn’t told you yet.”

“Hadn’t told me that you were sleeping with John?” Harry asks, furrowing his eyebrows.

Niall scoffs, “That I was sleeping with blokes, I guess.”

Blokes. Plural. And that’s when Harry gets it. 

“Oh,” he says. Niall actually laughs at that.

“Yeah,” he says. “ Oh.

They look at each other, and Niall smiles carefully. Harry returns it, and Niall visibly relaxes. 

“You… you didn’t think I’d have a problem with that, right?”

“No,” he shrugs, “reckon I knew you’d be cool. It’s just… I don’t know, it’s weird.”

“It’s not weird, Niall” he leans slightly over the table, to place a hand on Niall’s shoulder, “it’s who you are .

Niall looks at him and lets out a small laugh, “That’s not what I meant, but thanks, Harry.”

“Oh, right.” He leans back, and takes another sip of his beer. 

It’s quiet around them, the only sounds coming from the traffic on the streets below them. 

“You know that I…” Harry starts. “That I’m, I mean, I don’t do labels or anything, but. You know that I’m, like, open , right?” He feels like maybe he shouldn’t bring it up, because this isn’t about him, but he also. He also needs to know that Niall knows.  

Niall laughs. “Yes, Harry, I know.” He sounds fond.

“Good. That’s… good.”

“I do, you know.” He looks out over the balcony, and takes a breath. “Use labels, that is.”


“Bisexual” he states simply. He catches Harry’s eye as he says it, and the corner of his mouth turns up slightly. 

Harry can’t stop the smile that spreads across his face. “That’s good,” he says, “suits you, that.”

Niall laughs, big and open as the last of the tension he’s been carrying around seems to leave his body. “I’ll drink to that!”

They both smile as they clink their bottles together. 

“Jesus,” Niall chuckles, “I did not see this coming when I woke up this morning.”

“That makes two of us,” Harry smiles slightly as he looks out at the view that surrounds them.

He hadn’t even expected to see Niall, and he definitely couldn’t have predicted this. It’s a lot of information to take in. Harry’s spent a good portion of his life telling himself that how he feels about Niall is a bad idea. Whenever he’s started to feel like the feelings might get out of hand; like the carefully constructed walls he’s built around them might crumble, he always repeats three things to himself.

Best mate, bandmate, straight.

Whenever Niall would laugh extra loud at his jokes, or his hands would linger on Harry for just a second too long, that’s what he’d remind himself of. But now, sitting on a hotel balcony in San Francisco, of all places, his mantra doesn’t really work anymore.

Niall isn’t straight. 

Niall isn’t straight, and he’s technically not his bandmate anymore, either. Suddenly the only wall that’s left is best mate, and Harry’s not sure that wall is strong enough to withstand the sheer force of the feelings that are threatening to burst out of him at any second. 

He’s not sure what to do. So, like most reasonable adults, he gets drunk. 

They order champagne from room service. ( Harry orders the champagne. “I’m good with beer, mate,” Niall tried to insist, but Harry waves him off and mutters something about celebrating and friendship.)

And after a few glasses (added on top of the wine at the party and the beer they’d had earlier) Harry is pleasantly buzzed, sitting on the floor with his back against the bed and his head resting on the mattress. Niall is sitting cross-legged on the bed, with a guitar in his lap, because of course he’s got a guitar; he’s Niall.

“Hey, Niall,” Harry says. He’s acutely aware that if he turns his head just right, his face would be mushed into Niall’s thigh and he desperately needs a distraction from that. 

“Yes, pet?”

“Am I the first?” Harry asks.

“First what, Harry?”

“To know,” he says, and when Niall just looks confused, he continues, “about you, I mean. Like, I know I’m not the first , but like, in the band?”

“Ah,” Niall says. The strumming stops for just a second before it picks up again. “Yeah, I guess?”

“You guess?” Harry asks, brows furrowing. 

“I mean, you’re the first one I’ve told” he clarifies, and Harry has to hold back a smile at that. “But,” he continues, “I reckon… I reckon Louis might know, a bit.”

Harry turns his head slightly (carefully, as to avoid the face-thigh situation), “What’d you mean?”

Niall just keeps strumming, but Harry’s sure he sees a blush creeping onto his cheeks. But then again, they’ve been drinking and Niall tends to turn red when he does that.

“Niall,” Harry says, and raises a hand to nudge his knee. “What d’you mean?”

Niall clears his throat, “Nothing.”

“Niiiiaaaall,” Harry whines. He sits up straight and turns around so that he can look Niall in the face. Niall laughs, but it’s a bit awkward and strained. Harry just keeps looking at him.

“I, er…” Niall starts, and he’s only looking at the head of the guitar now, focusing intently on the way his fingers move from one chord to another. “Tried to kiss him once,” he says quickly. 

Harry looks at him, confused. “Tried to kiss who?”

“It’s whom, actually,” Niall says. He laughs and dodges when Harry tries to slap him. “Louis,” he says, once he’s settled down again. “Tried to kiss Louis, once.”

Harry feels like someone just punched him in the face. “What?” he says, and he doesn’t mean for it to sound like he’s an old victorian lady that’s just found out that her granddaughter is having a child out of wedlock, but that’s exactly what he sounds like. 

“It was a long time ago,” Niall says. 

Harry’s not sure what to say, so he just stares at him. Niall apparently interprets that as please keep talking i want to know more, when in fact Harry’s not sure he does want to know more. 

“It was during the X-factor tour,” he’s smiling slightly, but it looks a bit strained; embarrassed, “I was very drunk, so were you lot. We were in a hotel room, and the three of you fucked off to do God knows what. And, I dunno, I was drunk, as I said, and just starting to figure out that I liked guys. And, I mean, you know what Louis was like.”

Harry nods dumbly, but really he just wants to tell Niall to shut up. He really doesn’t want to hear this.

“He was so cool , and a couple of years older, and I just… fuck, I don’t even know why I’m telling you this,” he chuckles slightly, and runs a hand through his hair. 

Harry’s still just looking at him. 

“Anyways,” Niall continues, “our lips touched for about a second before he backed away. Then he looked at me with this small, sad smile, patted my head, and went to find you lot. Never mentioned it again.” He lets out a quick snort.

“Shit,” Harry says, “that’s…”

“Yeah,” Niall chuckles, “so he might have an idea. But I’ve not told any of the other lads.”

“Right,” Harry says, and clears his throat. That’s what they had been talking about. Should probably stick to that, or change the subject, Harry thinks. Maybe talk about football, or golf, or anything else, really.  “So was that your first kiss with a bloke?” is what comes out of his mouth instead. 

Niall snorts, “Wasn’t much of a kiss, at all really. But yeah, I suppose, if we’re being technical.”

Harry fixes his gaze on the wall, and tries to compose himself. Ok, so Niall’s first kiss with a bloke was Louis. That’s ok, right? It’s not like Niall is confessing his undying love for one of their mates. It was barely even a kiss. Harry shouldn’t feel like his heart is shattering just because two of his mates touched lips once, years ago. Alright, so he’s been half in love with one of said mates all of his adult life but that’s… neither here nor there. 

“Why’re you being weird?”

Niall’s question snaps him back to reality. He briefly shakes his head, trying to get some clarity. 

“‘m not being weird,” he mumbles. “‘m just drunk.”

Niall snorts. “Me too,” he says. He puts the guitar down on the floor and lays down on the bed, staring up at the ceiling. Harry’s still sitting on the floor facing the bed. He watches as Niall’s chest rises and falls as he breathes. 

“Niall,” he says. Niall hums in reply. “Niall, don’t fall asleep.”

“‘m not,” he says, but it’s followed by a big yawn.

Niall, ” Harry practically whines. “If you fall asleep I’m gonna draw on your face.”

Niall laughs, but he still sounds sleepy. “Fine,” he says. “Come up here and entertain me then.”

When thinking back on this later, Harry will realize that laying down on the bed next to Niall probably wasn’t the best idea. But right then, the wine and the champagne, along with the overwhelming amount of emotional stress he’s been put under so far today, his mind is just clouded enough that he doesn’t think that far ahead. He gets up, and flops down on his back next to Niall.

“Well?” Niall turns his head slightly to the side to look at Harry. Harry just looks back, confused. “Go on then, entertain me.”

Harry snorts. “What, d’you want me to do a little dance?”

Niall snorts right back, “I’ve seen enough of your dancing for a lifetime mate.”

Harry scoffs, “You’re one to talk!”

“I’m an excellent dancer, I’ll have you know!” Niall says with a smile. He tries to somehow do an irish jig whilst lying down; it doesn’t really work and mostly looks like he’s just kicking the air. 

“Oh, right,” Harry laughs, “when are they announcing your Strictly debut?”

“Oh, any minute now!” Niall grins. “ Can Niall Horan please come to the dance floor for his irish jig? ” he says, in his best impersonation of the Strictly Come Dancing announcer.

“Hah! I’d pay to see that,” Harry says. “I’m gonna call the BBC, tell them you’re interested. I’m sure they’d have you in a heartbeat.”

Niall laughs, big and loud. Harry smiles, pleased as ever to make Niall laugh. Not that it’s hard, like. But it still feels good, fills his stomach up with butterflies. They settle into silence for a minute. Harry keeps his gaze fixed on the ceiling, but he can see that Niall’s head is facing him out of the corner of his eye. 

Suddenly, Harry feels a finger poke him in his side. He turns his head slightly and raises an eyebrow at Niall. “What?”

“You’re not being very entertaining,” Niall says.

“Jesus, you’re demanding,” Harry mutters and turns his eyes back to the ceiling. “Isn’t my company entertainment enough?”

“Hm,” Niall considers, “no, not really. Come on, sing us a song. Heard you’re good at that!”

“Eh, I’m alright,” Harry quips, smiling. Niall starts poking his sides again, repeatedly this time. Harry squirms, and tries to fend him off, but he just keeps going. 

“Come ooooon, Haz,” Niall whines. He keeps poking.

“Jesus,” Harry mutters, “stop that!”

“I’ll stop when you sing!” He starts attacking him with both hands then.

“Ow!” Harry says, after a particularly painful jab. “Fuck, fine, fine! I’ll sing, just stop poking me, jesus!”

Niall hums, satisfied, and stops poking. He flops himself over so he’s on his stomach, props his head up on his arm, and looks at Harry expectantly. 

Harry clears his throat, and tries to think of something to sing.

“I’m waiting,” Niall says, mock serious. 

“Demanding and impatient” Harry mutters. He clears his throat again, “You’re insecure-”

“Booo!” Niall says immediately and pokes him in the side again, “that doesn’t count. I’ve heard you sing that a billion times!”

“So?” Harry says, with a laugh. “It’s what I’m offering!”

“No,” Niall insists, “sing something else, something I’ve never heard you sing before.”

Harry looks at him then, ready to give him a death stare. But when he sees the look on Niall’s face, so earnest and fond, he falters. 

“I, yeah, that’s…” he says, “alright.” He looks away, back to the ceiling. He starts trying to think of a song, and there’s one that crosses his mind immediately, but no, that’s-

Looking back, through changes, where we started from, ” he sings, before he can stop himself. He can see Niall’s face shift in the corner of his eye, but he can’t read his expression. He resolutely keeps his eyes fixed on the ceiling. “ Don’t know about you but I, knew it wasn’t wrong.”

“Harry,” Niall whispers, but Harry’s started now, and his mouth isn’t listening to his brain that’s telling him to stop.

You know I kept a place for you in my mind.

He can feel his heart beating in his chest, and it feels so loud he’s sure Niall can hear it too.

I know you did the same ‘cause you’re just the kind .”

Niall shifts besides him on the bed, and he rests one of his hands right next to Harry’s shoulder, just barely touching.

So if you knew all along, why did it take so long? We’ve known it since we were young, why did it take so long?”

Niall’s fingers stretch out and touches his shoulder then, making Harry turn his head towards him.

You know you make me feel loved, ” he sings, quietly.

“- make me feel like I’m home ” Niall joins in. Their eyes lock and Harry’s honestly surprised that his heart hasn’t jumped straight out of his chest. “ So if we knew all along-”

“- why did it take so long?

They let silence settle between them, as they look at each other. Niall’s fingers feel heavy on Harry’s shoulder, where they’re curling into his shirt while Niall looks at him with an unreadable expression.

“How’d you even know that song?” Niall asks quietly. His eyes are fixed on his hand on Harry’s shoulder. 

Harry’s brows furrow, “It’s yours, of course I know it.”

“No, but like,” he says, “it wasn’t even on the album.”

Harry clears his throat, “I uh… I mean, I heard it around, on like, twitter and stuff, and then on that album with the RTÉ.”

Niall looks confused, but he doesn’t say anything. Harry shifts slightly, so that they’re facing each other a bit more.

“What’s wrong?” he asks. He’s got the urge to reach out and smooth out the wrinkles that are forming on Niall’s forehead, but for once he’s able to control his impulses.

Niall lifts his gaze from where it’s been fixed on his fingers on Harry’s shoulder and meets Harry’s eyes. Slowly, he moves his hand up and touches Harry’s cheek. Harry’s heart is going wild in his chest, and he feels breathless. 

“Niall,” he whispers, but it still feels too loud in the quiet that surrounds them, “I-”

Whatever it is he’s about to say gets cut off when Niall leans in and kisses him. 

Harry has imagined this happening more often than he’d like to admit. What it would be like if he just said fuck it and kissed Niall; how soft his lips would be, how he’d be tender and sweet, or desperate and messy. 

No matter how many times he’s imagined it though, nothing could have prepared him for the reality of it. He freezes up, not sure what to do; where to put his hands, how to kiss him back. Niall’s lips are soft, and they’re moving against his ever so slightly, and Harry’s brain is short-circuiting because what. 

Niall pulls back a bit and looks at him. His eyes are filled with emotion, and it makes Harry’s heart beat impossibly faster. 

“Sorry, I-” he starts, and that’s what kicks Harry into action. He moves his own hand to cradle Niall’s cheek, and leans up to kiss him. Niall makes a surprised noise, but he doesn’t freeze up like Harry did. Instead he returns the kiss, and carefully strokes his thumb across Harry’s cheek. 

It’s slow and tender and good. Niall tastes of champagne, and something else that must just be Niall. Harry’s hand travels from Niall’s cheek to the back of his head, as his other hand goes to Niall’s side to pull him closer. Niall’s hand moves to the back of Harry’s head, and tangles in his hair. He shifts his weight and pushes closer to Harry, leaving their bodies flush together. 

It’s mad, really. Harry’s senses are overwhelmed with Niall - his smell, his taste, his touch. He wants so much, wants to touch and feel and kiss every single inch of skin he can get his hands on. He settles for pushing Niall down and settling his weight across his hips, straddling him. Niall smiles and hums into the kiss, and his hands go down to Harry’s waist. It’s still slow, but this new position adds a new level of intensity to it, and Harry can feel his dick stirr in his pants. 

He draws back a bit to look at Niall. His eyes are closed and his cheeks are flushed, and his hair is a mess from where Harry’s hands have been buried in it. He leans back in, first brushing their noses together, and then reconnecting their lips. Niall’s grip tightens on his hips, making his breathing go heavier. He moves his lips down to Niall’s neck, kissing slowly from one side to the other. His hands move from his head down to his chest, and starts trying to unbutton Niall’s shirt. Niall is breathing heavily, his hips moving slightly against Harry’s. 

“Harry,” he says, voice low. Harry hums in return, but doesn’t stop his kissing. He’s moved on to his collarbones now, and he’s got the shirt mostly unbuttoned, revealing the white undershirt underneath. He starts pulling it up from where it’s tucked into Niall’s trousers, and finally gets his hands on the soft skin of Niall’s stomach. 

“Off,” he mutters, as he pulls at the shirt. Niall chuckles, before pulling Harry back into a kiss. He rolls them over. It’s a bit of a struggle and not as smooth as he probably wanted it to be, but they get there in the end; Harry on his back and Niall on top of him. He leans in to kiss Harry again, before sitting up. Harry looks up at him, and their eyes meet. Niall breaks into a smile, big and open. He’s beautiful like this, Harry thinks. His hair a mess, his cheeks tinted red, and his smile bright. 

Harry’s hands settle on Niall’s waist, as Niall takes off his shirt and then pulls his undershirt over his head. The room around them is quiet, except for the sounds of the San Francisco traffic filtering through the open balcony door. They’re looking at each other, Harry’s thumb is stroking the soft skin of Niall’s hip, just above the waistband of his trousers. 

“You’re beautiful,” Harry says, into the quietness. It makes Niall’s cheeks tint even redder, and his smile turn bashful. The corner of Harry’s mouth turns up into a half-smile, and he lets out a small chuckle.

“Harry,” Niall whispers. He grabs one of his hands, bringing it up to his lips and places a kiss on the inside of his wrist.

“Niall,” Harry returns. He moves his hand to the back of Niall’s head, and pulls him down to meet him in a kiss. Their lips join together, and Harry thinks he could never get sick of this. Harry opens his mouth, and Niall’s tongue slips in, making them both moan into each other. Niall’s hands go to Harry’s shirt, which is still buttoned up. His fingers start working the buttons, but he doesn’t break the kiss. Once he’s got the shirt fully open, he runs his hands down Harry’s chest and stomach, leaving behind a trail of goosebumps on Harry’s skin. 

Harry’s mind is going a mile a minute, but everything around them seems to have slowed down. He can feel his heartbeat and he knows it’s going fast, but the way Niall’s hands are slowly, so slowly , moving towards his trousers and unbuckling his belt buckle makes it feel like time has stopped completely. 

He’s staring down at Niall, where he’s placing slow and gentle kisses just over his hip bones. He lifts his hips as Niall drags his trousers and underwear down in one go, and his breath hitches at the sudden rush of cold air hitting his skin. Niall looks up at him, and their eyes lock. Niall smiles at him, carefully. His eyes are big and filled with emotions that Harry’s sure are written all over his face as well. 

Niall leans down again and places a kiss on Harry’s thigh, making his breath hitch again as he lets out a low moan. He’s fully hard now, and Niall hasn’t even touched his dick yet. If he wasn’t so out of his mind right now, he might be a bit embarrassed about that.

“Niall,” he croaks out. His tongue feels too big for his mouth. Niall looks back up at him, and there are a million things that Harry wants to say, but none of it would make any sense or be even a little coherent at this point. 

“This is ok, right?” Niall asks, and that’s probably the stupidest question Harry’s ever heard. Ok? Ok doesn’t even begin to cover it. The look of Niall right now, between Harry’s legs and hair all messed up from Harry’s hands, lips red and swollen. It’s better than anything Harry could have ever imagined. 

He nods his head, yes . Niall smiles at him, and he looks relieved. As if he actually thought Harry would stop him. Ridiculous, really, but Harry doesn’t have the time to dwell on it, because Niall’s taken his nod as permission, and is currently taking him into his mouth. 

Harry groans, low and slow, and tries to keep his hips steady. His eyes fall shut, and he tries to steady his breath. The part of his brain that’s still capable of coherent thinking is struggling to understand that this is actually happening; it feels like a dream. A really, really good dream.

And the thing is, Niall is really good at sucking dick. Harry had never thought he would be bad per say, but he had imagined talking him through it, telling him what to do; what he likes. But Niall doesn’t need to be told, apparently, because he’s taking Harry apart like it’s the only thing he’s ever done. Harry’s hands have found themselves tangled in Niall’s hair, and just as Niall’s tongue does something particularly interesting, his grip tightens and pulls at Niall’s hair. It makes Niall moan around his cock, which sends a shiver down Harry’s spine and pushes him closer to the edge. 

“Niall,” he manages, through one breath and the other. “Ni, ‘m close.” Niall just hums, and keeps bobbing up and down, and brings one of his hands to work in rhythm with his mouth. “ Shit, Niall, ‘m gonna come.”

There’s a pinch at Harry’s hip, and realizing what that means is what sends him over the edge in the end. His entire body feels electric as he comes. Niall’s grip on his hips tighten, and grounds him through it. 

When he comes back to, Niall has pulled off, and he’s licking his lips and staring up at Harry with big eyes and a crooked smile. Harry thinks it might be the best thing he’s ever seen. 

He smiles back at him, and at a complete loss for words, he lets out a chuckle, and turns his eyes upwards to look at the ceiling. “ Holy shit, ” he says. 

Niall laughs at that, as he crawls back up and settles down next to Harry, tucking his head into his neck. He leaves a brief kiss there, and curls his arms around Harry. Harry presses a kiss to the top of his head. He smiles to himself and chuckles.

“What?” Niall mutters against his skin. 

Harry chuckles again. “Nothing, just,” he says, “was that entertaining enough for ya?”

“Shut up, you idiot,” Niall says, but Harry can feel his smile against his neck. 

Harry lets out a big yawn. “Just gimme a sec, and I’ll return the favour,” he mutters into his hair.

“No, that’s fine,” Niall says, and yawns just as big. “‘m knackered. You can return it in the morning.”

“Deal,” Harry mumbles.