It should have never happened.
And after the first time, it shouldn’t have happened again.
But, three months later, Louis is more screwed than ever – no pun intended.
There’s yelling coming from inside the flat and Louis is a bit nervous to knock.
He does anyway, knowing it’s probably just a bunch of friendly banter between flat mates. Maybe a heated game of Fifa or Mario Kart.
When no one answers the knock, Louis lets himself in, and reminds himself to get onto Harry and Niall about locking the door.
He drops his book bag on the floor and toes off his shoes before realizing that the yelling is from Harry’s room. “Honey, I’m home!” Louis calls out, not wanting to walk in on his friends when they’re clearly in the middle of something.
The yelling stops immediately, and Niall immerges from Harry’s closed off bedroom not a moment later. “Hey, Lou,” he says half-heartedly, and Louis now knows that Something Big is up. Niall’s never like this.
“You okay, Ni?” he asks, grabbing his shoulder.
Niall shrugs him off. “Yeah, just headed out. See you.” He walks out without his wallet or keys.
Louis makes his way to Harry’s bedroom, grabbing a water bottle from the kitchen on his way, and smiles when he sees his boy lying on the too-small bed. “Hi,” he says softly.
“Hi,” Harry says, in a similar tone to Niall’s earlier one.
Louis groans. “What’s up with this flat today, did I come at a bad time? Why is everyone so grumpy?” He pokes Harry in the stomach before lying down next to him and taking a gulp from his water bottle. “I had a great day, thanks for asking, H. Aced that test I was worried about, no thanks to you. Still have to get presents for the girls for Christmas.”
“Is that where you’re going with her then? When you’re done with me? Shopping?”
Harry interrupts Louis by standing up and stretching. Louis groans, because, Christ, he’s only wearing a pair of black briefs and one of Louis’s shirts he’s left over here. “Don’t worry about it, Lou. Did you come to study or play video games or fuck?”
“I came to spend time with my best mate,” Louis says quietly, sitting up, knowing that his answer would probably piss Harry off.
“So we’re fucking.” It’s not a question.
“H, what’s with you today?”
Harry sighs. “Nothing, Lou. Don’t worry.”
Harry promptly leans down to kiss Louis before he can question further, ending that conversation quickly. His tongue is in Louis’s mouth almost instantly, no finesse about it. Louis would pull back, try to talk to Harry, but this is what he came over for, this is one of his favorite ways to spend time with his boy.
See, kissing Harry is probably the greatest thing anyone could ever do with their time. He can go from slow and relaxed to fast and passionate. His lips are soft and pillowy but strong and demanding, his tongue warm and soft and skilled.
Usually Louis is the dominant one, if Harry calling him ‘daddy’ on occasion is anything to go by, but today, Harry seems content on taking control.
“Gonna ride you,” he mumbles in Louis’s ear, his words going straight to Louis’s dick, before taking their shirts off and unzipping Louis’s jeans.
“H—“ Louis cuts off, groaning at Harry mouthing at his cock. “H, don’t have a condom.”
Harry pops up. “We have some here,” he says surely, eyes already glassing over a little. Louis can tell that Harry won’t be the one in control of the situation much longer.
Louis shakes his head, sitting up a little. “Used the last one Monday.”
Harry pulls Louis’s jeans and pants down, licking at the head for a moment, before pulling away all together. He stands and stumbles before taking his own pants off, opening the top drawer of his bedside table. He holds up a tube and smiles sheepishly. And honestly, who else can pull off cute and innocent while being naked and hard? “We have lube?”
Louis contemplates it for about a second before nodding. It’s not like he’s sleeping with anyone else, anyways. “C’mere, baby, wanna get my tongue in you first.”
“Louis, what’s wrong?” Eleanor asks as they leave Hollister, a bag of presents (two perfume scents) for the eldest Tomlinson girls in hand.
“Hmm?” Louis asks, shaking his head. He’s thinking about Harry, how could he not be? He’d looked so sad when Louis had to leave earlier. But he’s with Eleanor, his girlfriend, not Harry. He puts on a winning smile, trying not to let on that something is going on other than shopping. “Nothing, love. Don’t worry.”
She shrugs. “Okay. Want to get some food before heading home? Or did you eat with Harry and Niall?”
Louis looks at his girlfriend, a sheepish grin on his face. “I can still buy you lunch, you did help me get presents for the girls,” he offers, secretly hoping she’ll say no. And when did it get to this point, where he’d rather spend time with his best friend he was sleeping with than his girlfriend?
“It’s okay, Lou,” she says, taking his hand and steering him towards the car park. “I have a test tomorrow in French and Max is tutoring me.”
Louis used to feel jealous about Max for reasons unbeknownst to him, and his reason for not being jealous anymore is really shitty. He pretends that it’s because Max has a girlfriend. “So is this a no to the movie?” he asks.
“Damn, I completely forgot about it. Rain check?” When Louis nods, she kisses him quickly. “We’ll go tomorrow after classes, yeah?”
“Sounds great, El. Don’t study too hard.”
Louis never wanted to go out with Eleanor in the first place.
When he was a first year, some older guys on the footie team accused him of being gay, which, well, it was as true then as it is now, but they didn’t need to know that. So he told them about his high school girlfriend Hannah, how in love he had been with her, even made up a few lies about their (non-existent) sex life.
Then one of the defenders, Toby, told Louis about his girlfriend’s roommate Eleanor, told him how great they would be together. Louis stupidly agreed to go to out on a date with this girl. Going on one date wouldn’t hurt; if anything, it would help solidify the straight image he was going for until he wanted to come out in a year or two.
He didn’t mean to go on a second date with her, or a third. He definitely didn’t want to kiss her. Somewhere along the way, they became great friends, and Louis loved her. Maybe not in the way she would want, but he loved her.
And it certainly wasn’t fair to this poor girl to lead her on and not let her date someone actually interested in her gender, but she didn’t seem too intent on dating anyone in the first place.
On their first date, Eleanor had complained about her roommate constantly setting her up on dates. Apparently, this is the tenth date set up by Maria, Eleanor’s roommate, this semester, but only the second Eleanor had actually showed up for.
“I like being single,” she had told Louis as they ate their lo mien at the best Chinese restaurant in town. “I don’t like feeling tied down. I want to focus on school or binge-watch Netflix or drink the night away whenever I want. I want a relationship that will let me do all of those things if I’m to get in one.”
Louis had nodded, even laughed and agreed, and could see himself becoming great friends with this girl.)
Harry was already in class by the time Louis got there, drinks from Starbucks in hand. He plops down in his usual seat next to Harry in the front of the room and offers up the coffee in his right hand. “Good morning, light of my life,” Louis says dramatically.
“Morning,” Harry mumbles, taking the coffee from Louis and drinking half of it in one go.
“What’s crawled up your arsehole?”
Harry smirks. “Besides you?” Louis laughs in a loud bark before Harry continues, his smile fading. “Nothing. Hung over.” He sounds cold and distant, the least like himself he could be.
Louis frowns. “You went out drinking last night? Without me?”
“You didn’t mind going places without me yesterday. Decided to go out with Nick.”
Which, ouch. Harry knows how much Louis hates Nick, and he probably realizes how low of a blow that was. Louis rolls his eyes. “Whenever you decide to tell me why you’re being pissy, I’m all ears.”
Harry doesn’t respond.
“Zayn!” Louis calls as he walks into the flat he shares with Zayn and Liam. “Liam! I need someone!”
When no one answers, he takes off his shoes and throws his bag on the ground and heads for his bedroom, sighing at his incompetent flat mates not being here in his time of need. He needs new friends.
He’s walking past the kitchen when he hears it. Crying.
“Hello?” he asks quietly before seeing Zayn sitting in front of the oven with a bottle of wine clutched in his hand and tears running down his face. “Zayn, what the fuck is going on?”
Zayn pauses mid-sob to look at Louis and roll his eyes. “I’m having a fucking crisis, Lou, have some respect.” To make his point more clear and dramatic, he continues with the sob and downs another gulp of wine. Louis almost forgets which of them is the drama major. But Zayn has always had a bit of a dramatic flare, moody and reading nothing but Tolstoy one day, a geek who’s obsessed with comic books and superheroes the next.
“Is this your first bottle, babe?” Louis asks, sitting down in front of Zayn, trying to pry the bottle away.
“Second,” he says, refusing to let Louis take the bottle. “Or third. Check the rubbish, I don’t remember.”
Louis groans and crawls on his hands and knees to the rubbish bin and sees three empty bottles of wine. “We’re going to have to start recycling if you have many more crises, okay?” Zayn sobs louder and Louis moves to sit beside him. “Wanna tell me what happened?”
“Liam—” he gets out before taking a long sip from the bottle. “Liam and I. We.” More sobbing.
“You and Liam fucked?” Louis asks quietly, holding in his shock. He’s so telling Harry about this the second he gets Zayn in bed sleeping.
Zayn punches Louis. “No, asshole.” He pauses for another sip of wine. “We made love.”
Ah. Leave it to Zayn to be poetic and sappy about it. “Then what’s the problem?”
“He thinks he’s straight, Louis. He’s going on another date with Sophia tonight.” He starts sobbing again, and Louis is pretty sure that’s all he’s getting out of Zayn for the night.
“Want to hear about my problems?” Louis asks.
“Want to go to bed after you finish this bottle?”
“Yes. Cuddle with me?”
“Tomlinson!” Coach Leicester yells. “What the hell is wrong with you?”
Louis stops running and puts his hands on his knees. “Sorry, Coach,” he calls before seeing Leicester signal him over. He groans.
“What’s going on today, Tomlinson?” Coach asks when Louis gets in front of him. The normally gruff older man actually sounds soft and caring. Louis must look awful, he thinks.
“Nothing, Coach, just distracted. Sorry. I’ll focus,” Louis promises, praying to whatever god is up above that Harry can leave his mind alone for the last ten minutes of practice.
“Is it that boyfriend of yours? The tall kid who’s always at games with big signs?”
Louis blushes and shakes his head. “He, uh. He isn’t my boyfriend. I have a girlfriend, actually. Eleanor. Harry is just a mate.”
“Does he know that?” Louis blushes and looks down, stammering, but the coach takes pity on him. “Go on, finish up practice then get out of here.”
Louis does as his coach says, finishing the drill he had been on before being called over to Leicester. Once the drill is over, he showers and finds Niall, ready to walk home with him. He and Harry actually needed to study for psychology, as their test is tomorrow and every time they’re together they get distracted by more interesting things than parts of the brain and their functions.
It was because of studying they got into this easy friendship, the friendship that made falling into something else all too simple.
Louis and Niall have been walking for about five minutes with still another ten to go when Niall speaks. “You know, he loves you.”
Louis stops in his tracks, taken back a bit. Niall doesn’t mean Harry, he can’t. But who else could it be? “Coach?” Louis asks, trying to change the subject, because he’s not ready for the conversation Niall is gearing up for. He continues walking.
“He sounded weirdly nice today. I must have looked miserable out there,” Louis continues, trying and failing to play oblivious. You’d think majoring in drama would’ve helped by now.
“Was he weird with anyone else today? Or just me?”
“Louis!” Niall yells, stopping and jerking Louis back by the arm. “Shut up an let me talk.”
Louis sighs, accepting his fate of a good chewing out. “Alright. Let’s hear it. Tell me how fuckin’ terrible of a person and boyfriend and best mate I am.”
Niall nods. “You are. You’re a shit boyfriend and a worse mate to Harry.” Niall pauses, shaking his head with a small smile. “But you’re one of the best people I know.” Niall releases Louis’s arm and they start walking again.
Louis laughs, sounding a little manic and a lot hysterical. He’s officially gone mad. “I’m an awful person, Ni. I’m cheating on my girlfriend with my –“ Louis can’t say best mate. Harry’s so much more than that, but he can’t say that either. He settles with, “Harry. Cheating on my girlfriend with Harry.”
“When was the last time you had sex with El?” Niall asks. Louis stops and thinks, because how can he tell Niall that he’s never done anything with her? “That’s what I thought,” the blond continues. “Harry fucking loves you, Lou. I should let him tell you, yeah, but you have to get your shit together before my best friend ends up with even more of a broken heart.”
They’re in front of Niall and Harry’s building. “Then what do I do?” Louis asks quietly. “I can’t break up with El because of Harry, that’ll crush her. She’ll know that I’ve spent so long lying to her and I can’t do that.”
“Someone is going to get hurt, Tommo. If you don’t tell her, she’ll find out, then all three of you will be hurt.” Niall takes a breath and shifts his weight. “But if you tell her, break it off with her, and give it a shot with Harry, you can all end up happy. El can go live her life with someone that will actually like her gender, and you can live happily ever after with your soulmate.”
Louis laughs a little, a bit more sane this time. “How’d you get so smart, Nialler?” he asks. He’s still upset about the whole thing, but feels a little better. “You know, I went to talk to Zayn about this. Dark, dramatic, emotional, poetic Zayn, and he just told me to grow a pair and then continued with his drinking.”
“About Liam?” Niall asks with a giggle. Louis nods, but before he can ask how Niall knows, Niall says, “Liam was at the bar that night, pissin’ and moanin’ about being in love with Zayn blah blah blah. Swear to god, all my mates are in sixth form again. Ready to go up?”
It was because of Niall that Louis and Harry met.
Louis had been drawn to the loud Irish lad as soon as they met on Niall’s first day on the football team. After talking with him, he liked him even more, and even took Niall up on his offer of a beer once practice let out.
It was a hard practice, Coach trying to scare off the guys who only were on the team because it seemed like the thing to do since they were on their high school’s team. Drill after drill after drill. Suicides for what felt like hours. Niall got hit in the balls three times because of his position as goalie.
Louis definitely deserved that beer.
It was a fifteen-minute walk back to Niall’s flat, which they discovered was only a couple blocks away from Louis’s own flat. Niall had said his roommate, his best mate since they were kids, shouldn’t be in the room, but that Louis would probably like him if he were there.
He was wrong about the first thing and 100% correct about the second.
Louis recognized him the second he spotted him, the curly haired kid who always sat in the front of the room during his intro to psychology class, but he had never realized just how… beautiful he is.
Harry was in a t-shirt and sweats that hung low on his hips, steaming mug of something Louis assumed to be tea in his hand, headed towards the couch where his psychology textbook lay closed next to an open laptop.
“Oops, sorry, didn’t know anyone was coming over,” Harry had said in his slow deep voice Louis had heard during class, but it was different in this setting, softer somehow.
Louis shook his head, opening his mouth to offer to leave, but Niall beat him to it. “It’s cool, H, just invited Louis here over for a pint.”
“Hi,” Louis had said, uncharacteristically quiet.
Harry had recognized him as well, of course, because Harry notices everything. Louis passed on the beer; instead going for the tea that Harry offered him. Louis tries to talk to Niall about football and music, like they had done on the walk to the flat, but Harry has this pull to him, and Louis can barely look away.
They talked about everything, Louis conveniently leaving out Eleanor, because, even then, Louis could see himself telling El it wasn’t working out and pursuing Harry. Could see himself coming out for Harry.
And that had scared him. They’d exchanged numbers, setting a date for Harry to help Louis with psychology, because Louis was dreadful with it and it turned out to be Harry’s major.
Louis wasn’t going to bring Eleanor up, not yet anyway, but that plan went to hell when she called him right before he left Harry and Niall’s. He’d said that he loved her before hanging up, because he thought he actually did love her at that point, and watched as Harry’s face fell. Niall had coughed awkwardly, telling Louis he’d see him later, and then he was gone.
That didn’t stop Louis from sitting next to Harry the following day in psychology, and every day after that.)
Louis and Eleanor share one class, a required world history and religion class that takes place on Tuesday mornings at eleven.
They usually go for lunch after, the same quiet little café that’s far enough from school to be empty and close enough to be cheap. It’s a dingy little place, mismatched chairs at every table, a couch with holes in the fabric, and a few beanbags. The walls have a minty green paint that’s chipped in places, and the art and decorations look like a forty-year-old woman from the 50’s decorated and it was never updated. The owners are two small girls, twins, called Jen and Em, and they’re very fond of Louis when he comes in. It’s the sort of place Harry would love if Louis were to take him.
And that’s the thing. Louis shouldn’t be thinking of Harry. He’s having a lunch date with his girlfriend of a year and some months, but his thoughts are clouded with Harry.
Eleanor notices. “Something on your mind, Lou?” she asks sweetly. Which makes it worse, because it would be a lot easier to cheat on her if she were a bitch.
Louis groans and shakes his head. He decides to tell her something like the truth. “Harry is mad at me and I don’t know what I did.”
Eleanor makes a sympathetic noise. “I’m sure it’s that boy he’s been dating. Nick, right?”
“He isn’t dating Nick,” Louis says, jealousy flaring up. “They’re friends.”
Eleanor laughs quietly. “Aw, little Lou jealous he’ll lose his best friend?” she teases.
Something like that, Louis thinks, but nods regardless. His phone buzzes in his hand, startling him. He looks down and sees a text message from Niall, containing only two words.
Louis sighs. Niall really knows him too well. It’s a bit scary, actually. “El—“
He’s cut off by Em walking over to take their order, even though it’s pretty unnecessary, as they always get the same things. They both have a tea, Louis’s black with two sugars and Eleanor’s with a little milk and one sugar; Louis orders a chicken salad sandwich and Eleanor orders a grilled chicken wrap. It’s the same as always.
“What were you going to say?” Eleanor asks once Em walks off to give their order to Sal, the cook who Louis has never seen. Louis opens his mouth, ready to tell her that they can’t be together anymore, but the words don’t come out. She gives him an odd expression, and asks if he’s okay.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” Louis says with a sigh. He’ll tell her first thing tomorrow, he swears to himself. “Just wasn’t paying attention when Clarke was talking about the Crusades during class. Can I borrow your notes?”
He’ll just tell her tomorrow.
He doesn’t tell her.
Instead, he leaves for Christmas break pretending everything is okay. Zayn and Liam give him odd looks when he insists he’s fine, but they don’t push it. He doesn’t say much to Harry or Eleanor, and nothing to Niall, just casual comments about class and break and when he’ll be back from Doncaster.
He gets home late on a Thursday night, and everyone but Louis’s mum and only brother is asleep. Jay knows something is wrong immediately, would have seen it even if Louis hadn’t broke out into tears the second he saw his mum.
“Oh, baby,” she says quietly as she strokes his back while they sit on the couch in the living room. Louis insists that holding Ernie will calm him down, and he’s asleep minutes after going into his big brother’s arms. “Are you going to tell me what’s wrong, munchkin?”
Louis shakes his head, and then nods after a pause. “I’m gay.”
Jay lets out a breathy laugh. “Oh, darling, I knew that. I suspected for years, then you brought Harry home and I knew you were in love with him.”
Louis stops his crying to scoff at his mum. “Thanks for letting me know,” he says sarcastically. “That could have saved a lot of trouble, Mum.”
“That’s what this is about? Harry?”
Louis nods. “Please don’t hate me?”
“I’m still with El, but I’m sleeping with Harry,” he says quietly, afraid to say it out loud. He’s never said it, really; no one knows but his friends, and he never had to tell them, just nodded sadly when they asked.
Jay frowns. “I know a lecture is the last thing you need now, so I’ll save it for tomorrow. But you do need to break it off with one of them.”
“But I’m—“ Louis stops abruptly. He can’t actually say his feelings out loud; it’ll make them too real, and he doesn’t know if he can handle that.
“In love with Harry,” Jay finishes for him. “You need to tell him, Boobear. Even if you don’t do anything about it, at least tell him.”
Louis’s sisters are excited to see him, even little Doris, who’s only show of affection is a big toothless smile and lots of drool. She’s teething, Louis remembers, trying not to get a tissue for every drop of drool.
After the first night, save for the lecture about cheating two days later, they don’t bring up Louis’s current problem.
Louis doesn’t text anyone but his best mate from Doncaster, but even that doesn’t work out, as Stan is in Spain with his family for the holiday. He doesn’t answer in the group message he’s in with Zayn and Liam, or the one he’s in with his flatmates plus Niall and Harry. He doesn’t answer his happy birthday messages on the twenty-fourth, but he does send out five happy Christmas texts the day after, and then turns his phone off again.
Other than crushing guilt whenever he thinks about Harry or Eleanor, the holiday is wonderful. He contemplates not going back for the New Years party Niall is throwing, but his mum says he’ll be staying on the streets if he stays after he originally planned.
So he goes back to campus with his mum’s words in mind.
Even if you don’t do anything about it, at least tell him.
The first thing he does is get a good chewing out from Liam about not communicating the entire break, Zayn nodding along and giving the occasional glare, but then he turns his phone on and calls Eleanor.
He’s going to do it. Today. In an hour, when they’re set to meet at their café.
“We need to break up.”
That’s the first thing Eleanor says when she walks to their table five minutes late.
“What?” Louis says, dumbfounded.
Eleanor lets out a sigh and smiles a little before sitting down. “Louis, we haven’t been a real couple in ages. Maybe we never were. I know you love me, and I love you, but we aren’t in love.”
Louis almost prepares an argument, especially because this was the same speech Hannah gave him before he came out to her and they spent the summer crying over David Beckham. “I know.”
“I never wanted a relationship, that’s why I stayed. You’re an amazing friend, and a good boyfriend when you actually try, so it never bothered me.” She pauses. “But I want a relationship that isn’t with you, Lou. I want someone who will love me. Preferably someone who likes my gender.”
Louis can’t help it, he let’s out a long laugh. “How long have you known?”
“About you being gay or about your feelings for Harry? Cause they were about the same.”
Louis’s jaw drops. “You… know?”
“Didn’t know for sure until now. But it’s okay, Lou. You’re in love with Harry, and I really like Max. I want us to be friends still, because you’re probably my best friend. But we can’t be together anymore.”
And, really, the only thing Louis can think to say is, “I’m so glad I didn’t have to be the one to start this conversation.” They both stand and hug. Louis says, “I have somewhere I need to go.” He gives Eleanor a kiss on the cheek and grabs his bag, running out of the café door.
He turns right and starts running for Harry’s flat. His stomach and chest feel tight, like they’re contracting out of fear and expanding with happiness. Because he’s going to tell Harry.
He takes the stairs two at a time, not caring about how much he hates taking the stairs, but the elevator would have taken too long, and it would have given Louis time to talk himself out of this.
He tries to knock on Harry and Niall’s door, but ends up banging.
This is it.
The door is opening.
Louis smiles the biggest smile he can manage, ready to fling himself at his boy but—
“What are you doing here, Tomlinson?” asks a shirtless Nick Grimshaw, leaning on the doorframe. Louis’s smile turns into a scowl quicker than humanly possible.
“Oh, uh… is Harry here?” Louis asks, taking a step away from the door, trying to calm his breathing.
“He’s in bed, want me to go get him?”
“Oh. Okay. No, thanks though. I can just talk to him later.”
Louis starts to walk back to the stairs, before Grimshaw calls, “You look a little winded after climbing those stairs. Maybe you should take the elevator down.”
Louis doesn’t even give him enough thought to flip him the bird or tell him to go fuck a blender, just walks down the stairs. It isn’t even walking though, more like… falling, and barely catching himself on the step below. His heart remains on the third floor.
Louis is drunk.
He told Zayn and Liam, who he’s started to call Lima Bean after the third or fourth hurricane, about Harry moving on from him, and Zayn had immediately suggested getting blackout drunk.
Liam Responsible-until-drunk Payne thought it would be more of a fun-night-out if they went to a club versus staying at home and crying. Apparently, that’s called being an alcoholic or something along those lines. Louis can’t remember much, other than that he really, really loves Harry.
And he tells the entire club.
“Louis. You’re never going to have sex to get over Harry if you keep telling everyone you’re in love with him,” Lima Bean informs Louis, and when did he get a second nose?
“Listen, Lima,” Louis slurs. “Don’t be a dick.”
“I’m trying to help, Lou.”
Louis looks for the other friend he’s with, but can’t seem to remember his name. “Lima, who’s in love with you?”
Liam is taken aback. “Someone’s in love with me?”
“Yeah, the boy you fucked. He lives with us.”
“Zayn?” Liam squeaks out. “Zayn is—“
“Zayn! Thank you, you beautiful hunk of man. I would kiss your nose but I don’t want to kiss both of them, so I’ll leave it for Zayn!” Louis beams. “Go find him and I’ll go find Harry!”
And Louis is gone. Once he’s out in the open air, he feels a bit more grounded, just enough to get a taxi and tell the driver the address. He decides that telling the cab driver, a lovely woman named Sherrie, about what he’s doing is a good idea. She sounds very interested in the story, most likely because Louis’s words are slurred and he goes on a five minute rant about Harry’s dimples.
Once they drive up to Harry’s building, Louis fumbles to pull out his wallet, but the cabbie tells him that it’s okay, he just needs to go get his man. He gives her a big whopping kiss on the cheek and darts up to the building.
This time, he doesn’t think he can actually make the stairs, so he takes the elevator. He uses the extra time to prepare his speech.
When the elevator opens, Louis is immediately at the door to Harry’s flat. He starts banging and yelling, because it seems like a great idea.
“Louis!” Harry yells the second he opens the door. “Shut your fucking mouth, why are you yelling?” He shakes his head, then says, “C’mon inside, drunkie.”
“Harry,” Louis starts, but Harry shushes him and leads him to his bedroom.
“I’m going to get you some water and medicine, you just take off your clothes and get into bed.”
“No, Harry—“ But Harry’s gone. Louis does as he’s told, regardless, stripping down to his pants and crawling into Harry’s unmade bed. It’s warm, so Harry must have been in here when Louis started banging on the door.
“Here you are, Lou,” Harry says quietly, walking back into the room with some paracetamol and a glass of water.
“Louis, take your damn medicine,” Harry says forcefully. Really, he just looks like a grumpy kitten.
“You look like a grumpy kitten,” Louis tells him before taking his medicine. “Now, Harry—“
“Bed time,” Harry says, cutting him off. “We can talk in the morning.”
“Harold, shut up,” Louis says. “I’m—“
“Really in love with you.” Louis smiles. “There. I said it. Now I’ll go to sleep.”
Louis knows that Harry is royally pissed off the second he lays eyes on him after waking up. “Morning,” Louis says weekly.
“What the fuck, Louis.”
“Don’t. You don’t have the fucking right to call me ‘baby,’ understand? I shouldn’t even let you still be here.”
“Look, I get that you’re mad, but why?” Louis asks. “I want to know what I can do to make it up to you.”
“You—“ Harry cuts himself off with a humorless laugh. “You have to get drunk to tell me that you love me.”
Rage flares up in Louis. “No, I had to get drunk to try to forget the feeling I got when Nick fucking Grimshaw answered your damn door yesterday without a fucking shirt on.”
Harry rolls his eyes. “Oh, really? You couldn’t just push past him like you do every other time you two are in the same place?”
“He wasn’t wearing a shirt, Harry! He told me you were in bed, and he was half-naked!” Louis sighs, head pounding. He loses all fight in him. He wants to go home and cry on his own and start to get over Harry. “What was I supposed to do, H? Tell you I love you when you’re about to fuck someone else?”
Harry’s mouth opens, then closes. “You think that’s why he was over here? That that’s why he was shirtless? Lou, in case you haven’t noticed, I’m sick. He was taking care of me since Niall is still back in Ireland with his dad. I threw up on his shirt right before you knocked on the door.”
Louis’s thoughts stop in their tracks. “You aren’t fucking Nick?”
“No,” Harry says with a small smile.
“And you… how do you feel about me?”
“That’s the dumbest question ever. Of course I’m in love with you.”
The weight that’s been on Louis’s chest for months let’s up. He’d stopped thinking about it after Christmas break, and he’d forgotten how good it felt to not feel like you had something crushing your chest. “I—“ he pauses and smiles, wider than possible, eyes crinkling up. “I’m so in love with you.”
Harry doesn’t waste any time after that, immediately jumping on top of Louis and slotting their mouths together messily, but easily. Like they belong together.
Regretfully, Louis pulls away. “Wait. What do you mean, you’re sick? Are you okay, baby? What’s wrong?”
Harry takes a deep breath. “I’m pregnant.”
“Louis Tomlinson, you get your ass out here right this minute!” Louis hears his fiancé yelling from the living room of their shared flat. “They’ll be here soon!”
Louis smiles and makes his way out of his and Harry’s bedroom. “Yes?”
“Can you please hold Grace for me, Lou? I still need to put the sign up,” Harry says, pointing to a banner that reads, ‘happy birthday Gracie’ in Harry’s neat writing.
“Of course I can hold this little birthday princess!” Louis says as he scoops his daughter from Harry’s arms. “Hello, pretty baby!”
“Da-ey!” she exclaims, her two teeth on full display. “Pay!”
“No!” Louis laughs. “We can’t play! Papa needs us to finish getting ready for your party!” He spins her around a few times before looking up at Harry. “What do I need to do, baby?”
Harry looks down from his stepstool, one hand on the banner and the other on his hip. He worries at his lip before saying, “Could you set out the food I made yesterday? It’s all in the fridge. Your mum is bringing hot stuff.”
“Your mum made hot stuff,” Louis says in a moment of cheesiness, but he’s never claimed to be anything but.
“Wow, okay, get out of my sight.”
He looks down at his daughter – not believing that she’s already one – and looks up at his fiancé – his husband in one month and three days – and smiles. He loves his life.