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let's start over (let's give love their wings)

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Louis wakes up hungover, on the floor, and in a horrendous mood.

He drank himself silly last night, an empty pit in his stomach that could only be filled with bottles and bottles of tequila.

He succeeded. Kind of.

Except the tequila bottle he had was only half full and he ran out unbelievably quickly. He’s fantastic at drinking tequila, a little too fantastic. He tried to get Zayn to go buy him more, even shoved money in the lad’s hands, but he refused and tried to put Louis to bed. Louis fled, running down the hall and up the the next floor. He flung himself into Niall’s room. His roommate was gone and he was more than happy to get smashed with Louis.

They downed Niall’s own bottle of tequila and then raided his roommate’s stash, stealing and drinking any and every bottle they came across. Louis really has no idea what he drank and he really didn’t regret it...until now.

His head hurts so fucking bad. His mouth tastes like death and the sleep he slept wasn’t deep. He feels groggy and unrested. And a little like he could vomit at any minute.

“Neil.” He groans. He lifts his head slowly from the floor, bracing himself before lifting his whole body. He’s sore, lower back radiating pain. He really should not have slept on the floor. He’s going to be fucked up for days.

Niall mumbles, face smashed into his pillow. His trousers are half way down his legs, resting at his knees. He’s only wearing one shoe.

“I feel awful.”

“I feel like feckin’ death, mate.” Niall turns over in his bed, moaning louder as light hits his face. Louis can sympathize. The sun is evil.

“This is all your fault.” Niall moans.

“Is not.” Louis defends, stumbling to his feet. He needs his bed. He needs water. He probably needs food, deep fried preferably, but he doesn’t think his stomach can handle it.

“Is.” Niall whines, wrapping himself up his duvet and kicking off his other shoe.

“You’re fucking Irish.” Oh fuck. Louis head. The blood is rushing from it and he feels so dizzy. “You shouldn’t be hungover.”

“I’m good with pints and Bailey’s. There’s no rule about tequila. Get out me room.”

“Fuck off.” Louis mumbles. He makes his way, slowly, but surely, to Niall and drops a kiss to his forehead. Niall wrinkles his nose and Louis flicks it.

“I’m going to try to sleep this off. See you later? Possibly tomorrow? Possibly, never? I might die.”

“Same.” Niall croaks.

Louis leaves his dorm room and begins his trek back to his and Zayn’s room. He’s grateful that it’s Sunday and most everyone in their building feels the same as him, or they are being like, studious. Either way, it’s relatively quiet and Louis is happy.

Zayn’s still sleeping when Louis pushes through the door. He yanks off his trousers and shirt, only managing to almost fall once and throws himself into his bed. He’s going to sleep forever.

--
Louis wakes up hours later to a smacking sound. He squeezes his eyes tighter, refusing to open them yet, and snuggles deeper into his pillows, trying to burrow himself into his bed. Maybe if he tries hard enough he can make himself a deep, dark hole he can sleep in forever. His burrowing doesn’t help though. He’s unable to create a hole and the smacking sound continues. Louis huffs and rubs at his eyes before turning over and squinting an eye open. He groans when he sees the sight.

Zayn’s on Liam, straddling his lap as they go at it, proper attacking each others’ faces. Ugh. So fucking gross. Louis shouldn’t have to wake up to this. He didn’t ask for this porn! And if this was some kind of free subscription, Louis would very much like to cancel! Okay, maybe he’s lying. Like, a little. They do look crazy hot together.

“Ugh.” He whines. The two boys ignore him at first, Zayn choosing to grip at Liam’s hair and nibble on his lip instead. They pull apart a moment later, a suction sound filling the room. Louis wrinkles his nose at that. Zayn smiles at Louis while Liam kisses at his neck. Disgusting. The neck kissing and the smile. Zayn is too fucking pretty.

“Morning, mate. Or, well. Afternoon.” Zayn laughs.

“You woke me up.” He pouts.

“It is 3.” Liam reasons. Louis sits up and one glance at the clock lets him know that it’s a little after 3 in the afternoon. Wow, Louis has almost slept his whole Sunday away.

“Oh my god.” He moans. “What the hell. It’s almost 3?! Why did you let me sleep this late? Why didn’t you wake me up?” Louis loves sleeping late, but 3 is a bit much. He needs to be able to sleep tonight!

“Tried.” Liam laughs. “You bit me.”

Eh, yeah. Okay, sounds like Louis. God, he’s such an asshole, but, really, he isn’t that sorry about it. He loves his sleep.

“Oh.” He frowns. “Sorry?”

“Nah, I should’ve known not to like, poke your face when you’re hungover.”

“It’s a deadly move.” Zayn agrees. “We were going to try to wake you again though. You have that essay due tomorrow, don’t you?”

Shit. Shit, shit, shit! It’s due at midnight tonight, or tomorrow morning, whatever! It’s just fucking due and Louis hasn’t started it at all! He throws the covers off himself and stumbles out of bed. It’s an unwise decision, because his head still feels all dizzy, but he pushes through fuzz and quickly dresses. He grabs his the two books the essay is over and his laptop and is out the door in two minutes flat. And if you ask Louis, that’s extremely impressive.

--
The library and Louis have never really gotten along. Mainly because the library has this whole “quiet” rule, and Louis isn’t really about that. Quiet isn’t something Louis knows how to be. Which is why whenever Louis has to step foot into this dreaded, almost completely silent hellhole, he makes sure to beeline straight to the back. If he’s lucky, he can even get a study room.

He’s unlucky today, all the rooms are filled, so he plops down at a random table, as far from other humans as possible. Louis is more likely to be quiet, and productive, if he doesn’t have as many distractions. People are huge distractions.

He looks around as he pulls out his laptop and books. The library is a huge fucking place, like there are so many books in here. Louis’ likes to read, sure, but some of these books just look so boring and way too long. They look like fucking snooze fests.

Louis shakes his head and forces himself to look back at his computer. All right, essay. He can do this. He can finish this essay in no time. It only has to be 6 pages. He can do it easy peasy.

--
Turns out, Louis can do it, but not in ‘no time’. In fact, it takes him 5 hours to throw the whole thing together. But, can you blame him? He had to write a 6 page essay over a fucking 50 page book. So, really, Louis’ a miracle worker.

He heads back to his dorm room, stopping to grab some well deserved chips along the way.

He winces a bit as he opens the door, praying to every god that he doesn’t walk in on Zayn and Liam again. They really need to learn how to use locks. Doors have them for a reason!

He lets out a sigh of relief when he sees it’s only Zayn. He’s sitting at his desk, back hunched as he leans over his sketch book.

“Whatcha sketching?”

“Liam’s hand.” Zayn murmurs. Louis rolls his eyes and lets out a little laugh. Zayn’s obsessed with Liam. But, Louis guesses it’s okay because Liam’s obsessed with him, too. They are very, very in love. It’s cute. And gross. It’s a gross kind of cute.

“Why can’t you draw my hand instead, Z?” Louis pouts, flopping onto his bed. His bag is still on and he lands on his books and his laptop. Ow.

“It’s not as beautiful and you know it.”

“My hands are very beautiful, thank you very much.”

Zayn flips him off and Louis weakly kicks at him. He’s feet away so it doesn’t really work, but it’s the thought that counts.

“Get your essay turned in?”

“Yep. I’m a proper worker bee. Finished it very quickly.”

“Yeah, only like, 5 hours…”

“Fuck off, Zayn. It was 6 pages over 50 pages. I had to scrape the bottom of the barrel for those last two pages.”

Zayn just laughs in response, turning to face Louis. His smile falls and he suddenly becomes oddly serious.

“What?” Louis asks. He feels uncomfortable. Zayn’s gaze is very intense.

“You want to tell me why you downed that bottle last night? Why you ran when I refused to go buy you more?”

And oh. Louis forgot. About that. The reason for his tequila binge.

“Um… cause I was really just thirsty for tequila.”

“Louis-”

“Alcohol tastes good, Zayn. It’s like, my favorite flavor.”

Zayn snorts at that and Louis joins in. It’s a quote from this unbelievably ignorant, stupid girl in their Sociology class. Really, there hasn’t been a class yet where Louis hasn’t wanted to straight cunt punch her.

“Seriously though, babes. What happened?”

Louis groans and rolls over, shoving his face into his pillow. “We broke up.”

“Again?” Zayn asks.

“Yes, again.” Louis huffs. “But, it’s for real. Like, completely real. We aren’t getting back together.”

“You’re sure?” Zayn asks, standing from his desk chair to come sit by Louis. Louis frowns, nodding his head slowly. He picks at his duvet and avoids looking at Zayn. He doesn’t want to cry. He really, really doesn’t want to cry. Fuck, he needs more tequila.

“Yeah.” Louis whispers.

“Oh, babes.” Zayn wraps an arm around Louis’ shoulder and Louis curls into him. “Maybe, this is for the better though, yeah?”

Louis nods. He knows it probably is. He and Sam, his boy- well, ex-boyfriend, haven’t had the smoothest of relationships. Or healthiest.

They met when Louis was first starting uni, when he was a wide eye, wee little lad. He was terrified, but hid it very well with his overly confident and loud attitude. Sam was one of the third years giving him a tour and they just kind of hit it off. And then got each other off only hours later in a janitors closet in the Music Department. It all spiraled from there.

Sam was gorgeous and sweet. He was older and mature and sophisticated. He was everything Louis was looking for in a man. Except, that he wasn’t. Sam was controlling and honestly, kind of mean. He was a master manipulator. He always turned things around and made Louis feel guilty and in the wrong, when he knew he really wasn’t. It was fucked up, Sam was kind of fucked up, but he was just so charismatic and gorgeous and sweet sometimes… Louis fell in love. Completely, head over heels.

They were together for three years and a few months (not that Louis did the math or anything) if you count it all together, like excluding their fifteen million breakups and makeups. Which, every time it was Sam who broke them up and Louis who came crawling back the minute he called.

It was a messy relationship and situation, always has been. Liam and Zayn hated him, or well, still do. All of Sam’s friends acted like they were better than Louis and then Sam started to act like he was better than Louis, which is something he had never done before.

Louis couldn’t handle that, he really just snapped. That’s when the fights started up again and before Louis’ knew it their relationship fell apart. Last night, Sam called him over and told him that they were done, for real this time. He was deleting Louis’ number and moving on with his life. It was time for him to “grow up and find a more mature man.” Louis threw water in his face and stormed back to the dorms. Because why not? If Sam thinks he’s immature, he will be fucking immature.

That’s when all the tequila drinking went down. Because Louis was fucking upset. Still is. Yes, Sam was awful at times, but he was great at others. Louis really loved him. It’s sucks that they are officially done. Louis will miss him so much.

“Yeah…” He mumbles. “Still sucks.”

“Yes.” Zayn agrees, kissing his head. “It does still suck. What do you say, ice cream? That always helps.”

“You’re so smart, Zaynie.” Louis smiles. “Let’s go get ice cream. All the ice cream.”

“My treat, too. For not like, buying you the tequila last night. I should’ve.”

“Yes, you really should. But, I guess I can forgive you. Only if you let me get whatever I want.”

“Of course, princess, anything for you.” Zayn laughs, smacking Louis’ cheek and racing out of the room.

“You forgot your fucking wallet!” Louis shouts. Fucking idiot. He grabs Zayn’s wallet and leaves the room to follow after him. Honestly, what would Zayn do without him?

--
The week passes slowly for Louis. He has a million exams (not really, only four, but still, that’s one every day of his school week, so Louis can’t even go drinking Wednesday night. He tries to, but Liam scolds him for like an hour.) and he has another essay due by Thursday night. He finishes it by six that night and now he’s just tired and sad. He wants to cry, sleep, and get drunk. Preferably simultaneously. Unfortunately, that’s impossible, so Louis settles for sleep. He can cry and drink later.

He only gets thirty minutes of snoozing in before Liam and Zayn are barging in. You know, Louis is sick and tired of waking up because of their asses.

“What?” He moans, pulling the covers over his head in an effort to hide. It obviously doesn’t work. Liam pulls them off a moment later.

“Get up.” Liam demands, pulling at the duvet. He yanks it all the way off. Louis gasps at the sudden rush of cold air hitting his bare legs.

“That was mean, Liam. Mean.”

“Get up.” Liam repeats. He makes his way over to Zayn’s bed, plotting down as Zayn undresses, flitting around the room as he looks for a new shirt.

“Why? I’m tired. Let me sleep.”

“All this sleeping is depressing.” Zayn adds. He’s yanking his jeans off now and Louis rolls his eyes as he catches Liam looking.

“Oh, well, I’m sorry, Zayn. Excuse me for being some what upset that my three year relationship just ended.”

“I was supportive for two days.” Zayn shrugs. “It’s been five now. That’s enough. Get your ass up.”

“Five days? You are giving me five day to get over a three year relationship!?”

“He was a fucking twat, Lou.”

“Good riddance.” Liam cheers.

“I loved him, Zayn. Loved. Still love him a bit. It was a proper relationship. What the fuck, allow me to be upset?!”

Zayn sighs and walks over to Louis. “Babe, I am allowing you to be upset. I’m not giving you like a time frame you are allowed to be upset, I’m saying that it’s enough for now. For this week at least. You killed yourself studying and yes, I get that you are tired, probably more emotionally than physically, which is exactly why you need to come out with us.”

“What?” Louis asks. He’s lost if he’s honest. Zayn used a lot of big words and he just woke up.

“Babes.” Zayn tries again. “I know you loved him. I know you still love him. But, I can’t just let you sit around and be sad. I’d be a shit best mate. So, we’re going to Liam’s friend’s party. We are going to get you drunk. We are going to make sure you have a good time. Because, you deserve to have a good time. You deserve to get laid. Like, a nice proper one. From someone not Sam.”

“I… I don’t know.” Louis mumbles. He’s fine with the party, more than really. He really did want to get drunk and now he can. But, getting laid? He’s not sure he’s comfortable with that just yet. Sure, Sam was being a proper fucking twat towards the end of their relationship, so much as Louis kind of hates him, but still. He loved him, was in love with him? Still is? Louis can’t really tell his feelings right now. All he knows is he is sad and he doesn’t want to touch anyone else physically yet.

“About the party?” Liam asks.

“No, I’ll go to the party. Obviously. Just… the laid thing. I don’t think I’m ready for that quite yet.”

“You are.” Zayn insists, sliding on a pair of black skinny jeans, literally identical to the pair he just pulled off.

“Okay, you think that, but I don’t, Zayn. Okay three-”

“Yeah, three years, Louis, I know. It’s been three years since you’ve sucked someone else’s dick-”

“It’s been two years since you’ve sucked anyone’s but Liam’s!”

“Yeah but-”

“Okay!” Liam says, standing up and getting in between them. Jesus, he acts like he’s breaking up a brawl. They were just shouting. It’s not like Louis would ever hit Zayn. Plus, he’s on the bed and Zayn’s all the way over there. Louis can’t be bothered to get up right now. That’s way too much work.

“How about we stop, yeah? Zayn, love. He agreed to go to the party and that’s all that matters. Louis will choose when he is ready to get laid, okay? Let him choose that.”

“Yes. Please.” Louis asks, batting his lashes at Zayn.

“It’s not like I was gonna like, force you onto someone or someone onto you, Jesus. I just, I don’t know. I want you to be happy, Lou.”

Louis laughs at Zayn. “I will be, bro. I’m just like, bummed right now. I don’t need dick to cheer me up, just you lads.”

Zayn raises his eyebrows.

“Okay, dick would also cheer me up, but right now I’m still a little heartbroken and lost without Sam’s dick. So. Let’s just get me drunk, yeah? We can get me fucked another night.”

Zayn laughs. “All right, all right. You got a deal.”

“Now, get up.” Liam says again. “You need to shower. Seriously. When’s the last time you washed your hair?”

--
The party is in full swing by the time the three of them show up. The host, ‘Grimmy’ as Liam keeps calling him (Louis is very confused as to why someone would want to go by a name that sounds like the grim reaper and reminds Louis of like, grime and mildew, but whatever, not his place he guesses), greets them as they enter, shouting a hearty ‘Payno!’ and pushing beers into all of their hands.

“How do you know him?” Zayn asks, sipping at his beer. Louis’ beer is a bit warm and very flat. It’s disappointing. But, he’s not too worried, there is a table stock full of bottles only a few feet from him. He spots tequila. And vodka. His favorite.

“I don’t think I remember you ever mentioning him?”

“Jealous, Zaynie?” Louis asks, smirking. Zayn rolls his eyes and shoves at him, mumbling at him to fuck off.

“He was the TA for my English class last semester. He’s the one who told me all my essays were quite shit.”

“And you still became friends with him?”

“Well, it’s not like he was lying.” Liam laughs. Zayn frowns.

“Babe, your essays weren’t shit-”

“Stop lying.”

“I’m not!” Zayn protests. “You just, like, write how you talk. And you can’t do that in papers.”

“Well, yes. Grimmy told me that and then my beautiful, immensely talented boyfriend helped me. In fact,” Liam smiles, wrapping his arm around Zayn and pulling him into him. “He even helped me finish with an A. I think me mum cried.”

Zayn bites at his lip and blushes. “Shut up.”

“Thank you.” Liam whispers, leaning in his brushing his nose against Zayn’s. Zayn grins and leans in further and that’s when Louis walks away. They are fucking disgusting. Too cute for their own good. Louis can’t stomach them.

He sets his beer on the table and reaches for a new solo cup, filling it with a hearty amount of vodka and topping it off with some lemonade. He doesn’t really need the lemonade, Louis’ very good at drinking vodka straight, but he feels as if he should get a little sugar in his stomach. It definitely couldn’t hurt. It tastes much better than the beer and Louis’ pleased. Maybe this party won’t be so bad.

--
The party isn’t so bad, once Louis gets into the swing of it. He finds Niall soon as he makes his third vodka lemonade (heavy on the vodka) and joins him for a rousing game of beer pong. They’re good. Well, Niall’s fantastic and Louis’ okay which makes them good. So good in fact that they keep playing and end up winning three rounds.

Louis’ fucking drunk by that time. He managed to have yet another vodka lemonade while playing and he has no idea how many beers he’s had. To celebrate each win, Niall and him decided to drink all their untouched beers. It’s stupid, and kind of defeats the purpose of the game, but Niall loves beer and Niall’s love for beer makes Louis love beer and he’s just. He’s fucking smashed.

He shouts at Niall after their final win that he needs a smoke. He’s head is whirling and it’s fucking hot in the kitchen. Too many people surrounded the table to watch them and Louis’ needs air.

He stumbles outside onto the deck and is happy to see that he’s mostly alone, his only other company a couple that’s eating each other near a tree. It’s two girls and Louis is glad he’s the one seeing this, and not some douche who would ogle them and go get his friends to perve with him.

Louis drops onto the deck stairs and yanks his pack out of his jeans. They are too tight, but Zayn forced him into them, claiming they do wonders for his arse. Which, isn’t a total lie. But, Louis’ ass is already wondrous, jeans or not.

He’s just lighting up when he hears the backdoor open. He takes his first drag and glances over his shoulder just in time to watch a ridiculously tall lad stumble over his own foot as he steps out.

“You alright, mate?” Louis asks, breathing out. The smoke swirls around him and Louis waves it away. He wants a good look at this giant who doesn’t seem to know how to walk.

The giant giggles and straightens out, closing the door before he glances down at Louis.

“Oops.” He grins. Louis’ kind of speechless as he takes in the guy’s face. It’s beautiful. Not beautiful in a Zayn Malik way, but beautiful in whatever this guy’s name is way. His skin is pale and looks porcelain like in the shallow light. Louis can’t see the color of his eyes, but he can see them sparkle, basically shining like some cartoon character. He must be fucking drunk. His mouth is wide, his lips bright pink and glossy.

“Hi.” Louis finally says. “You know how to walk, mate?”

“Not really.” The boy laughs. He walks towards Louis slowly, like he’s concentrating on not stumbling again. Louis snorts and the boy lets out a giggle. Louis spots dimples and his fingers twitch with the sudden urge to poke.

“My feet are too big and my legs are too long.”

Louis can’t help himself. “Well, you know what they say about big feet.”

The boy laughs, a loud, deep sound. Louis hears a gasp and he knows the boy must have startled the girls against the tree. He can’t help but laugh at that.

The boy plops down next to Louis and turns to face him, wagging his eyebrows. “It’s one hundred percent true.”

“You don’t say?” Louis asks, taking another drag. The boy’s even more beautiful up close. Louis wants to reach out and touch, see if he’s even real. Instead, he curls his free hand into a fist and shoves it under his thigh.

“I do.” The boy nods. “I’ll let you see sometime, gorgeous.” The boy’s right eyelid drops in a wink and Louis’ startles out a laugh. Was that… was that real? That was so bad.

“Jesus Christ.” Louis laughs. “That’s very kind of you.”

“I’m a very kind person.” The boy shrugs, watching Louis’ lips as he takes another drag. Louis gets the urge to exaggerate his movements, but decides against it at the last minute. It’s. It’s too soon for this.

“So…” The boy starts when Louis’ doesn’t say anything. “What’s a pretty thing like you doing out here all by yourself?”

Louis laughs at the ‘pretty thing’ comment. This fucking kid. “Needed air.”

“Yeah? Get too hot? Me too. I was watching this fit lad destroy at beer pong. Really got me going so I decided I should probably get some air. So, I walk outside and what do I see? The fit lad. Now, I’m all hot again.”

Louis snorts and shakes his head at the kid. Is he fucking serious? “You’re fucking ridiculous.”

“Might be.” He shrugs. “But, I got you, a really fit lad, to smile at me. So, this ridiculousness is working for me.”

“Guess so.” Louis mumbles, biting at his lips, trying to hide his growing grin. It’s completely useless though and he knows it. He takes the last drag of his cigarette before leaning down and ashing it on the cement patio in front of him.

“What’s your name, gorgeous?” Harry asks. “Not that- well, if you don’t want to tell me, that’s fine. I would be more than happy to keep calling you gorgeous. It’s the truth.”

Louis feels his cheeks color and he slides his shoes, a scuffed up, old pair of white vans, against the cement.

“You would, would you?” He glances up at the boy.

“Uh huh.” The boy grins, dimple dimpling even harder. Louis doesn’t understand how that works. How is that physically possibly?

“Good.” Louis decides. “You can keep calling me that, then.” This boy is absurd, but Louis likes being complimented. Every human does. So, whatever. It’s whatever.

“As you wish, Gorgeous.”

“What should I call you?” Louis asks.

“What have you been calling me in your head?”

“Boy.” Louis admits. Harry laughs before his lips in an exaggerated pout.

“That’s not as fun as Gorgeous.”

“I’m sorry. It’s the first thing that popped into my head. You’re uh… beautiful, though.” Louis mumbles.

The boy grins. “Well, thank you. Real name is Harry though.”

“Nice to meet you, Harry.”

“It is very nice to meet you, Gorgeous.”

Louis feels his cheeks heat again and he fiddles with his own fingers. Harry reaches out and stops him, intertwining their fingers.

“Want to get out of here?” He asks, voice low and seductive.

“Oh. I-” Louis stops himself because he doesn’t know what to say. Harry’s beautiful and he’s funny, kind of, in like, a dorky, stupid way. And he would no doubt, be a fantastic lay. But, Louis’ wounded right now. His pain is fresh, still new, still raw. He can’t. He can’t be with anyone yet. Harry seems to notice his hesitation because he smiles softly and squeezes his hand.

“I’m absolutely famished, mate. I would, could, probably kill for some waffles right now. You care to accompany me?”

Louis’ heart flutters at that. What a sweet thing to say. Harry wasn’t kidding when he said he was a very kind person.

“I’d love to, mate.” Because why not? Harry seems like a good lad and Louis’ kind of over this party. Why the fuck not?

“Great. My favorite diner is only a few blocks from here. It’s open twenty four seven! Let’s go!”

--
Harry talks the entire 15 minute walk to the diner. He talks about anything and everything, filling the silence with his opinions and thoughts and a million little facts about himself. Louis feels like he has known the kid for months by the time they reach the diner. He knows how old Harry is (20), what he’s studying (Economics), what he wants to become (a lawyer), where he’s originally from (Holmes Chapel), that he has an older sister (Gemma), that he hates buttoning up button ups all the way, and that he really, really loves cats.

“Even have one, his name is Dusty. He lives with my mum though, back home. I miss him a lot.”

“I bet you do, mate.” Louis says, nodding ‘thank you’ as Harry pulls open the door for him.

“What about you?” Harry asks as a waitress hands them menus. The diner is completely empty, it is one in the morning, so she let’s them choose where they wish to sit. Harry makes for a booth in the back corner.

“What about me?”

Louis plops down in the booth across from Harry and watches as Harry leans forward, resting his chin in his hands, staring straight at Louis. God, he’s so good at staring at people.

Harry shrugs. “Do you have a cat? A dog? Sisters? Brothers? How old are you? What do you want to do? What are you studying? Where are you from? Who’d you come to the party with? Do you like Beyoncé? What’s your favorite song of hers?”

“That’s a lot of questions, mate.” Louis laughs.

“Good thing we have time.”

The waitress stops at their table and Harry orders a chocolate milk and Belgian waffles with whip cream and strawberries. Louis asks for the same, but instead of strawberries he asks for chocolate syrup.

“But, aren’t you going to put maple syrup on them?”

“Is there a rule someone that says you can’t have chocolate and maple?”

“Well no.” Harry frowns. “But that’s a lot of sugar, pal.”

“Well, pal.” Louis sasses. “I happen to love sugar. So, leave me alone.”

Harry giggles. “All right, all right. I’ll stop being your mum.”

“Thank you.” Louis says dramatically. Harry rolls his eyes.

The waitress brings their chocolate milks and Harry takes a long sip before glaring at Louis.

“What?”

“Answer my questions!” He pouts.

“All right, jeez.” Louis laughs. “Um. No, I don’t have a cat. Or a dog. Never had a pet.” Harry gasps at that. Louis rolls his eyes. People always think that’s sad, but it’s like, how can Louis be upset about not having something when has never had it? Like, he doesn’t know what it is like to have one, so he isn’t upset that he doesn’t have one. “I have four sisters, all younger. My mum’s pregnant with my fifth and my first brother. I’m very excited to finally have a brother.”

“Wow!” Harry interrupts. “That’s so many sisters! All younger?! I’d die. I thought my older sister was bad.”

“Yeah, they can be quite troublesome at times, but I love them all to death, really.”

“I bet.” Harry smiles softly. “Sorry, I interrupted. Please go on.”

“Uh, right. Where was I?”

“Age?”

“22.” Louis takes a sip of chocolate milk before continuing. “I’m studying English and this is my last year. Cannot believe I graduate in a few months. I want to be a teacher, like teach college kids or some shite like that. I know it would be a pain in the arse sometimes, but I think I’d really like it. I’m originally from Doncaster. What was the next question?”

“Who were you at the party with? Nick’s one of my really good mates and I was trying to figure out who you were there with the whole night. I was getting worried, and kind of like, pissed. I thought one of my mates hid you from me.”

Louis snorts at that, rolling his eyes. This kid is something else. “I was with my mates Liam and Zayn. Liam knows Grimmy?”

“That’s what Nick goes by. I’m like, the only one that calls him Nick.”

“Well, Grimmy reminds me of mildew, if I’m honest.”

Harry lets out his loud chortle laugh thing. Louis’ really glad he wasn’t drinking milk at that time. It would’ve been all of the table. And while that would have been slightly funny, Louis would rather not deal with the aftermath.

“That’s hilarious. I’ll have to tell him that.”

Louis laughs. “You do that. And… what was your last question? Oh yeah. How could someone not like Bey? She’s the queen of the fucking universe, mate.”

“Completely agree.” Harry smiles, thanking the waitress as she sets their plates down in front of them. The waffles look and smell heavenly. Louis can’t wait to shove his face in them.

“And as for favorite song? How the fuck am I to choose? They are all amazing.” Louis stabs into his waffles and takes a huge bite. Oh, god. They taste like sex. These waffles are sex in the form of food. Louis seriously might pop a stiffy over these waffles.

Harry swallows his own bite and Louis watches as he sucks some whip cream off his thumb. Jesus Christ.

Louis can feel himself flush so he takes a sip of chocolate milk. It’s cold so it helps cool him down a bit. “Give me like, an album. I’ll tell you my favorite off an album.”

Harry nods and pauses to think. “4.”

“Fuck. That’s a great album.”

“Probably my favorite.” Harry agrees. “So many tunes.”

“Huh… well, I’d have to go with Schoolin’ Life. Or like End of Time. Fucking jams.”

“Shut up! Schoolin’ Life is like literally the most underrated song! It’s so fucking good! Oh my god, Gorgeous. I am so fucking happy to have met you. You’re amazing.”

Louis can feel himself blushing, yet fucking again. Is he 13? “I’m amazing because of my favorite Beyoncé song?”

“Absolutely. You can tell a lot about a person based on their favorite song of hers.”

Louis shrugs. He guesses that’s pretty true. Like all those bitches claiming they love Beyoncé when the only song they know is like, Halo. Fucking amateurs.

A silence falls over them as they dig into their waffles again. And wow. Seriously. Louis is in love with these waffles.

“Hey, Gorgeous?”

“Hmm?” Louis asks, wiping his mouth some chocolate from his mouth.

“I’m not a preacher, but uh, we can pray if you wanna.”

Louis chokes and lets out a surprised laugh. Harry did not. “You did not. You did not just use Beyoncé’s lyrics to tell me that you’d get down on your knees for me.”

“Oh, but I did.” Harry beams. Louis leans over and pokes at his dimple, hard.

“Shut up and eat your bloody waffles.”

“I’m not a doctor, but I can make you feel better.” Harry winks, plopping a strawberry in his mouth.

“Harold!”

“Name’s not Harold. Oh and...I’m great at writing physical love letters, Gorgeous.” He makes a show of wrapping his lips around the straw of his chocolate milk. Louis’ almost fucking speechless.

“I’ll kill you.” He squeaks out, watching as Harry sucks on his straw hard. Fuck. He is a fucking shit, isn’t he?

“You’d never.” Harry grins.

“You don’t even know me. You just met me.”

Harry shrugs. “Doesn’t matter. You could never. You’d miss me. I know it.” Louis shakes his head, trying to ignore the voice in his head that says yeah, he would miss him. He just fucking met this boy. This is absurd. Harry is fucking absurd.

“Eat your waffles.” Louis says, stabbing at his own.

“Yes, sir.”

“Shut up. Don’t talk. Ever.”

--
It’s almost three in the morning when they leave the diner. Louis’ stuffed and sticky with syrup. And tired. He really can’t wait to get back to his dorm and sleep.

Harry walks him back, chatting the entire time, going off about this and that. Louis listens, but doesn’t really listen. He just finds himself just getting lost in the deep, smooth drawl of Harry’s voice. He talks so slow. Louis thinks it would be great if Harry read him to sleep. Like, with a bedtime story or something.

Is that weird? Whatever, it’s fucking late. Louis’ allowed to be weird.

“You listening to me, babe?” Harry laughs. Louis startles and looks at Harry. He’s sure he looks sheepish because he one hundred percent feels that way.

“Your voice is kind soothing? Just got a little lost in it.”

Harry absolutely, positively lights up at that. “Gorgeous. That’s so fucking sweet, thank you.”

Louis shoves his shoulder. “Shut up. You’re annoying.”

“Am I? I just heard I have a fantastic, soothing voice. Not an annoying one.”

“I never said fantastic.”

Harry sticks his tongue out at Louis in response. Louis snorts and brings them to a stop because they’ve reached his building.

“This your hall?”

“Yep. It’s why I stopped, Harold.”

“You have become increasingly sassy over these past few hours. I’m going to assume it is because of the late hour.”

“Assume whatever you want.” Louis shrugs. Harry huffs at that.

“Now, you are being annoying.”

Louis sticks his tongue out in response.

“Brat.” Harry laughs. Louis giggles for a moment before falling silent. Harry’s silent, too, just watching him. His eyes dragging over his entire face. Really, Harry is kind of freaking Louis out with all this staring.

“So, I should head up. It’s late.”

“Indeed it is.” Harry nods.

“Okay…” Louis says. “So uh, thanks for the waffles. It was sweet of you. You sure you don’t want me to pay you back?”

“Absolutely not, Gorgeous. My treat. You looked lonely and sad.”

Louis swallows harshly. “I wasn’t lonely and sad. Just… needed air. And hey, I thought you said I was fit.”

“You are fit.” Harry assures. “Very, very fit. But, you looked sad sitting out on the deck by yourself, so you know, I came out to cheer you up.”

“You came out to try to get in my pants.”

“And to cheer you up!” Harry laughs.

“Yeah, all right, whatever you say. It’s late. I’m going to head in. Nice to meet you, Curly. I appreciate the evening.”

“Yeah, wait. Can I get your number? And maybe your name? Please?”

“Look… Harry. You’re sweet, but like… I just broke up with my boyfriend and I’m not really like… ready for anything yet. Sorry.”

Harry smiles softly. “That’s okay, Gorgeous. I don’t want to get in your pants anymore, I just want to be your friend.”

Louis raises his eyebrows.

“Okay, I still want to get in your pants. But, I don’t know. I had a good time tonight. I think we could be great friends. So, let’s do that. Let’s be great friends.”

Friends. Louis can do friends. He has a lot of friends. He is a great friend.

“All right. Let’s be friends.” He laughs. He reaches for his phone and pulls it out of his jacket. He’s mouth drops a little when he sees it. He hasn’t checked it all night and he has about a million missed calls from Zayn and Liam. Shit. That won’t be fun to deal with. He hates when they go call Mummy and Daddy on him.

He ignores them for now, opening up a new contact and handing his phone over to Harry, taking his in return.

“You going to give me your real name?” Harry asks, glancing up at Louis entering in his information.

“I don’t know if you earned it yet.” Louis shrugs. Harry pouts at him, holding his phone out. Louis locks Harry’s and hands it back over.

“Just kidding. I put my real name in. Have fun trying to figure out who I am.”

Harry looks puzzled. “That won’t be that hard. I’ll just look for the name I don’t recognize.”

Louis shrugs. “Duh. But, you have quite a few contacts, Curly. Well over three hundred. Have checking every letter. Goodnight.” Louis spins on his heels and heads into the building, laughing at the whine of “Gorgeous!” sounding from behind him.

--
“Louis William Tomlinson.” Louis cringes at the loudness of Liam’s voice. It’s late. People are sleeping. He should be fucking respectful!

“Hi.” Louis laughs awkwardly, shutting the door and leaning against it. Liam’s standing the middle of the room, scowl on his face, arms crossed aggressively across his chest.

Zayn’s sitting on his bed, clutching at his phone and gaping at Louis. “Dude, what the fuck!? We’ve been calling you for hours! Where the fuck have you been?”

“We turn away from watching you play beer pong for one minute and you just fucking disappear!” Liam shouts. Well, he isn’t entirely shouting. But, it sounds like shouting to Louis. Ugh, he wants to go to bed.

“You were watching me play? You care? Awh. I thought you were too busy sucking face.”

“Louis.” Liam starts. His chest his puffing out and he looks like he wants to smack Louis.

“Stop being cute.” Zayn snarls. “Where the fuck did you go?”

“I went out back for a smoke. One of Grimmy’s friends followed me-”

“Oh god, did he touch you? Louis, are you okay? Are you hurt?” Liam jumps in immediately. He drops the hard stare, deciding to look all panic-y instead.

“Relax, Li.” Louis shrugs out of his jacket. “His name is Harry. He was really nice. He stayed with me while I smoked and yes, he did try to pick me up, but I turned him down and we went for waffles instead.”

“Waffles?” Zayn asks.

“Yes, he bought.”

“You turn him down and he buys you waffles?” Zayn sounds incredulous. And yeah, now that Louis thinks about it, it is pretty weird, and hard to believe. But, Harry’s a fucking weird kid.

Louis nods. “Yeah. He’s kind of a weirdo, but he’s really sweet.”

“Huh.” Liam murmurs. “Well, good. I’m glad you hung out with a weirdo that bought you waffles. But, like. Please never ignore us, again? I thought you were getting like raped.”

“Liam, you watch too much of that American show.” Louis struggles out of his jeans and tears off his t shirt.

“I do not! SVU is a great fucking show.”

“Sure is babe.” Zayn assures. “But, seriously, Lou. Don’t ignore us. We worry. We care.”

“Sorry, Mum. I won’t, okay. I just genuinely forgot to look at my phone. Harry’s very entertaining.”

“Well, that’s great. But, don’t do it again. My blood pressure can’t handle that level of worrying a second time.”

“Yes, Dad. Can we go to bed now?”

“Yes, please.” Zayn mumbles, lying down. Liam turns off the light as Louis crawls into his own bed. Liam comes over and kisses his forehead, tucking him in.

“Goodnight, my son. Daddy and Mummy love you.”

“Shut up, Liam. God.”

Zayn and Liam both cackle and Louis flips them off. It’s only funny when he calls them Mummy and Daddy, not when they use it against him. Dicks.

He checks his phone one last time as Liam climbs into Zayn’s bed. He’s surprised to see he has a new message from one ‘Harry Styles’. And Lord, that has to be a joke. His name can seriously not be Harry Styles. He sounds like a fucking popstar.

Oops. Guess who already found you (; Turns out, I’m a very fast reader. I had a lovely evening with you, Louis Tomlinson. Can’t wait to see you again xx

Louis rolls his eyes and types out a quick response, telling him to read this (an emoji of a cactus).

Harry Styles: Well…from my reading, I can only assume that the cactus represents your cock and you want me to suck it. I would be more than happy to, babe.

Louis Tomlinson: You’re a curly-headed twat.

Harry Styles: Goodnight, Gorgeous. Talk to you soon xx

Louis Tomlinson: BYE.

--
Louis doesn’t really know how it happens, but before he knows it, Harry’s joining their “foursome”, a name that was cleverly derived by Niall, and in a blink of an eye they are a “fivesome”.

It only takes about a week of Harry bugging Louis constantly, sending him text after text and calling him at least three times a day (to literally talk about nothing!!), before Louis snaps and invites him to hang out with his mates.

Niall absolutely loves Harry. He thinks he is the bee’s fucking knees. He laughs at every stupid thing Harry says and the two of them bond over their mutual love of the guitar. Harry’s shit at playing and Niall basically fucking orgasmed when Harry asked him to teach him.

Liam warms up to Harry immediately. He gets charmed by Harry’s quirky attitude and his awkward way of standing like a drunk pigeon. Liam likes that Harry is actually really sweet and genuine to him and not always trying to punk him. And, okay, it’s really not Louis’ fault that Liam is so punkable. Jeez.

Zayn takes a while to get to open up to Harry. Zayn’s Louis very best mate and he’s a very shy lad. He keeps to himself and doesn’t really like chatting to new people that much. In fact, it took Liam two weeks to get Zayn to say ‘hi’ back to him and a whole month before Zayn agreed to go out with him.

Harry though, Harry’s weird and persistent. He respects Zayn’s whole shtick, but still tries his hardest to get Zayn to like him. He sits quietly next to Zayn in the library when he’s studying and he watches in awe when Zayn sketches. Eventually though, Harry wins him over by buying him coffee one morning when Zayn stayed up all night finishing a painting.

And now, here they are. The five of them. Suddenly best friends. It’s weird and Louis’ doesn’t really get how they all just click. But, they do. And honestly? Louis loves it.

--
“Lou, Lou!” Harry sings, bursting into Louis’ dorm.

“Damn. I really should lock that.” Louis murmurs from his spot on his bed. Harry frowns and kicks off his boots off before flopping down next to Louis.

“Meanie.” He quips, headbutting Louis in the arm. Louis doesn’t say anything, just locks his phone and curls into Harry, resting his head on his shoulder.

That’s another thing about Harry. He is a very touchy person, as is Louis. Louis thinks it’s probably the only reason he keeps Harry around. It’s not like he has very good jokes.

“What’s wrong?” Harry asks, pulling Louis closer. Louis sighs and squeezes his eye shut. It’s… it’s stupid is the thing. Really stupid. Louis feels like a fucking twat. A weak bitch. An actual asshole. But, fuck. He just can’t help it. He has fucking feelings. As much as he wants to bury them down and hide them in a fucking vault, he can’t. Fuck.

“It’s been a month.” Louis mumbles, his lips catching on Harry’s loose, white t shirt.

“Since what, love?”

“You know what.”

“Oh. Yeah. Him? Why are you thinking about him, Lou?”

“Saw him on campus.”

“What? Where? Why? He graduated like two years ago, why was he on campus?”

“Visiting his mate, Tyler. I saw them together. At the cafe. I walked by and they were just sitting there, talking, laughing, having a jolly ol’ time.”

“Lou-”

“He looked so happy. So fucking happy. It fucking hurts, H. Like, just fucking hurts. I feel all hollow inside. I feel so fucking sad. I miss him so fucking much and he’s just sitting there? Fucking laughing? Laughing with another man? Like. Fuck.”

“It was his mate, Louis. Not another man.”

“You don’t know that. What if they are fucking? Tyler always had a thing for him, I just could fucking tell.”

“Louis.” Harry laughs. “Babe, you are being absurd. So what if he was with another guy?”

“So what!?” Louis sits up. “So what?! Harry, I fucking love him. I love him. I don’t want to, I know we are broken up. I know I need to stop, but I love him. I was with him for three fucking years. I love him and I miss him. A lot.”

“Babe.” Harry sits up, too, and wraps his giant octopus tentacles around Louis. “I know you do, I know. I’m sorry, I didn’t mean that. You have every right to still be upset. I’m so sorry.”

“Thank you.” Harry’s neck is such a nice place for Louis to rest his head. Louis wishes he should stay here forever. Unfortunately, he can’t do that. He sighs and pulls back. Harry smiles softly at him, reaching up to brush back some of his fringe.

“Maybe you, uh, need a distraction?”

“A distraction? Like what-”

Louis gets cut off by Harry leaning forward and pushing their lips together. It’s a weird kiss and certainly not a perfect one, not with Louis’ mouth half open. It’s gentle, but quick. Harry pulling back before Louis can even really feel that Harry’s lips are on his.

“Like that.” Harry murmurs. And oh.

Oh.

Harry’s offering to distract Louis with sex. Oh.

“Oh.”

“Yeah…” Harry says, trailing off awkwardly. “Sorry to just kiss you like that. I really should’ve asked permission. Wow, I’m so sorry, I just wanted you to feel better and kissing always makes me feel better and I… yeah, sorry.”

“It’s okay.” Louis croaks out. Because, it is okay. It really is. That’s sweet of him. But, fuck… Louis isn’t sure he can do this.

“I don’t think we can though.”

“Oh.” Harry sounds kind of disappointed and Louis feels kind of like an asshole.

“It’s just. Harry, we are such good friends. Like, really. You have quickly become like, one of my best mates, like. I don’t want to fuck that up. Things like this always fuck up friendships.”

“Well, not always.” Harry offers weakly.

“Yeah, but more so than not.” Louis hasn’t personally tried casual friend sex, but he’s not an idiot. He knows things get complicated and people get hurt.

Harry nods. “Yeah, yeah. You’re right. I’m sorry, Louis. I just want you to feel better. I just want to help you get over Sam. I just want to help.”

Louis smiles and pokes at Harry’s cheek. “I know, babe. And I love you for that, really.”

Harry seems to cheer up at that. “Awh, gorgeous! I love you, too.”

“Good. I’m very fucking lovable.” Louis laughs, shoving at Harry’s shoulder. Harry giggles.

“Right, yeah. But, seriously, mate. You need a distraction. So, if we aren’t going to kiss to distract you, what do you want to do? Go for food? Catch a film?”

“Film sounds good, actually.” Louis agrees. “Sound probably get up and out of this bed.”

“Yes, you definitely should. So, let’s go! Up and at ‘em, Tomlinson! I’ll buy the tickets if you buy the popcorn.”

“You got yourself a deal, Styles.”

--
“Harry kissed me today.” Louis says later that night when he and Zayn are both lying in their beds. It’s a rare night, because they are both alone, have been for hours. Not one of their friends has bothered them and Liam is sleeping in his room. It’s just Zayn and Louis tonight.

And yes, they are high. But, only slightly. Unfortunately, they ran out of weed. It’s a fucking travesty.

“What?” Zayn’s eyebrows are raised super tall in confusion. Louis giggles as Zayn stumbles out of his bed to come join Louis in his.

“Yep. Like, right on the lips, kinda? My mouth was open, so.”

“Oh my god, what did you do? Why did he kiss you? Was it a good kiss?”

“It wasn’t really long enough for me to tell if it was a good kiss. He kind of like, took me by surprise. He kissed me ‘cause I was sad. I saw Sam today. He was with Tyler.”

“I fucking hate Tyler.”

“Right!? Thank you. Anyway, I was like, upset about it, obviously, and Harry kissed me to distract me.”

“Awh.” Zayn coos. “How sweet. So, did you guys make out? Fuck?”

“No, what? Zayn, I stopped him.”

“...why?”

“Um… because shit like that never ends well? I like being friends with him, I don’t want to fuck it up.”

“How would it be fucked up?”

“Like, I could develop feelings for him, or him me. Or, we realize we aren’t compatable sex wise and everything gets all weird and awkward and I lose him as a friend!”

“Okay, I don’t think the second would happen. But, what’s so bad about the first one? So you fall for him, who cares? At least you aren’t in love with Sam.”

“Okay, sure but-”

“Louis. Stop being absurd. You have fucked people before without falling in love with them. You have had one night stands. This would be just like that. But, many like multiple times.”

And okay, yeah. He is being kind of ridiculous about that. Sex doesn’t mean love. You don’t just fucking fall in love with someone because you put your dick in them. Or they put theirs in you. Like, sure people in love have sex. But, sex doesn’t always make people fall in love. Sure, it can help. But, the act itself, no.

“What if it ruins our friendship, though?” Louis asks. That’s his number one concern. He likes being friends with Harry too much. Harry’s a fucking weirdo, but Louis really likes him. He’s Louis’ weirdo.

“Louis, I really don’t think that would happen. I mean, he wanted to fuck you the first time he saw you. You said no and you’ve been friends ever since. I don’t think if you fuck like once, and then never again, that he will walk away and drop you. He isn’t that kind of person. He wouldn’t do that to you.”

Louis bites at his lip. Yeah, that’s fucking true. Harry’s too kind to only care about a person for sex. He wouldn’t do that.

“I’ll think about it.” Louis finally says, after a few minutes of Zayn just fucking staring at him. God, why do people just stare all the time. Louis does not enjoy it.

“Good.” Zayn smacks his forehead before climbing out of his bed to go back to his own.

“Um, ow? That was fucking rude.”

“Goodnight, my beautiful son. Sleep tight. I love you.” Zayn coos, making kissy noise. Louis grunts.

“Eat dick.”

--
Louis thinks about Harry, what he said, and what Zayn said for the rest of the week.

And like, he’s knows Zayn’s right. About fucking Harry. Like, if he were to fuck Harry, he wouldn’t fall in love with him like instantly or whatever.

He’s just worried is the thing. He likes Harry so much (as much as he pretends not to). He’s a great fucking pal, probably Louis’ favorite friend he has made here at uni. He doesn’t want a quick fuck to make Louis feel better backfire and end up making both of them feel like shit afterwards. He doesn’t want it to be awkward.

There’s just so many things that could go wrong is the thing.

But, at the same time, there could be so many benefits. Some many things could go right.

Louis could, or well, would hopefully get over Sam. Louis would see that other boys have penises and can use them make him feel fantastic, not just Sam. Louis would get to see Harry even more than he already does. Louis would get to hang out with Harry by himself even more, which would be fantastic (Niall’s fucking annoying and way too handsy for Louis’ liking sometimes). And best of all, Louis would get regular orgasms from someone other than himself.

Just, fuck. Louis doesn’t know what to do. Well, he thinks he knows what he wants to do.

He just wants to feel better. He wants to feel happy and satisfied. He’s tired of feel sad and mopey and down all the time. He doesn’t want to still be attached to Sam. He’s ready to be over it.

Which, is why he finds himself heading to Harry’s on Friday after his class instead back to his own.

He chews on his thumbnail nervously while he waits for Harry to pull open the door.

Harry’s biting at a banana when he yanks it open, mouth stopping mid bite to beam at Louis. And wow, Louis didn’t need that visual. He feels sweaty all the sudden.

“Lou!” Harry smiles. “To what do I owe this pleasure?”

“Hi, Haz.” Louis mumbles, pushing at his chest. Harry stumbles back and Louis forces his way into his room, slamming the door behind me.

“Ouch. You’re so strong, Lou.” Harry laughs, jokingly rubbing at his chest. Louis swallows nervously and lets out an awkward laugh. He wants this, he does, but he’s already so fucking awkward. How is this going to go do without being awkward? Louis does not understand himself.

“You okay?” Harry asks, plopping down at his desk chair. Louis nods and clears his throat.

“Yeah… just-”

“What’s wrong, Gorgeous? Talk to me.”

As stupid as it sounds, Louis relaxes a bit at the nickname. This isn’t a huge deal. This wouldn’t be a big deal. People do this all the time. It’s fine. It’s totally fine.

“I’m in.” Louis finally says.

“You’re in?” Harry’s looking at Louis likes he’s speaking a foreign language. God, idiot. Louis shakes his head, but continues on, forcing himself to look at Harry.

“I want to feel better, Haz. I just… I’m tired of moping and thinking about Sam twenty four seven, what he’s doing, how he’s feeling, did he eat dinner, is he out of shampoo. You know, just every little thing. I’m tired of it. Really am. Cause, like. He broke up with me. He treated me like shit. He doesn’t deserve to have me still thinking about him like that. You know, fucking like, caring about him. So, I’m in. I want to get over him. Help me, H. Help me get over him.”

Harry cottoned on close to the beginning of Louis little speak, so he’s standing by the end of it, looking at Louis cautiously.

“You’re sure?” He asks. “You really want this?”

He nods. “I trust you. You’re…don’t tell Zayn, but you’re basically my best mate. I need help and if there is anyone I want to help me, it’s you.”

Harry smiles, craters forming in his cheeks as he steps closer to Louis.

“You’re basically my best mate, too, Lou.”

“Hey, that rhymed.” Louis laughs stiffly. He can’t help it, Harry’s getting closer to him and he doesn’t know what to do. He hasn’t kissed anyone but Sam in over three years, just… how do you do this?! How do you kiss?! Oh fuck, Louis forgot how to kiss.

“Hey.” Harry whispers. His hands cup Louis’ cheeks and Louis feels lightheaded all the sudden. Who has hands that big? Who? Is Harry a mutant? Probably. Louis should get him help.

“I need you to calm down.” Harry says, thumb stroking across Louis’ cheek bone. “Relax for me, babe.”

“Relax?” Louis scoffs. “I am relaxed. So relaxed. I’m super chill. I’m super chill, like, all the time.”

Harry snorts. “Yeah, I know you are, so like, go ahead and become ‘super chill’ right now, yeah?”

“I am-”

Harry levels him with a look and Louis sighs reluctantly. He takes a deep breath and closes his eyes for a moment. It’s okay. It’s all going to be okay. Louis can do this. Louis wants to do this.

“I haven’t kissed anyone but him in three years, Haz.”

“That’s not true, I kissed you a few days ago.” Harry jokes.

“That doesn’t count, Harold! I didn’t kiss back!”

“I know, I know.” Harry says. “It’ll be fine. You’ll be great. I promise. Now, you ready?”

Louis reaches out to place his hands on Harry’s hips, steadying himself. Harry’s strong and firm underneath his grasp. It helps ground him a bit.

“Lay it on me, Styles.”

Harry lets out a giggle, but nods his head. He leans even closer to Louis, resting his forehead against him. He stays there a moment and just looks at Louis. Louis has determined that just looking is one of Harry’s favorite activities. Harry’s thumbs stroke over Louis’ cheekbones again and he feels himself getting jittery.

“Come on, H. Jesus.”

Harry pulls back and pinches his cheek.

“Ow!”

“If you talk, this is going to go like last time, when I kissed your teeth instead of your lips.”

“Well, you could’ve given me like a warning or something-”

“Warning.” Harry says, cutting him off. It’s fine because Louis’ brain forgot what he was even going to say anyway. He barely has a chance to prepare, to inhale a nice gulp of air, before Harry’s lips are on his.

It’s not spectacular. Louis’ life isn’t a movie. There isn’t a spark. Louis doesn’t feel an explosion of rainbows and sunshine inside him. He doesn’t feel the need to melt into a pile of goo.

But, he feels good. It’s fucking good and Louis feels really fucking good. Harry’s lips feel fantastic against his. They are warm and soft and it’s fucking working. Louis’ distracted. He isn’t thinking about Sam, barely even remembers Sam’s name and they’ve only just kissed.

All Louis can think about is Harry. Harry’s taken over all his senses. He’s all he can smell. He’s all he can taste. He’s all he can feel. Louis wants more.

“Yeah?” Harry’s breath rolls over Louis’ lips and Louis can’t help that he leans in a bit, chasing after the warmth.

“Yeah.” Louis licks at his lips, tightening his hold on Harry’s hips as Harry’s hand grips at his neck, both of them pulling each other back in. Yes, yes. This is how you kiss. Louis remembers. Fuck.

The next kiss is bruising, hard and urgent with pure want. Now that Louis has a taste, he can’t seem to stop himself.

Harry’s hand drops from his cheek and slides down his shoulder, squeezing at his bicep before dropping to grope at his bum. Jesus. Louis needs Jesus. Harry’s hand can cup a whole cheek. He can’t fucking breathe.

He shoves himself closer to Harry, pressing his chest against his, hands sliding up Harry’s shirt. Harry’s skin is soft and smooth. Louis can feel the ridges of Harry’s muscles. My fucking god, he has fucking abs. Louis can’t think. He can’t anything. He just wants.

Harry must feel the same because he moans loudly, dropping his other hand to Louis arse. Louis whines when Harry uses both of his hands to grab at Louis’ ass, pulling him in so they are flushed together. Louis can feel Harry’s dick press against his and everything is burning hot and bright.

Harry’s hands leave Louis’ ass to trail to the back of his thighs and before Louis knows it, he’s being hoisted up and carried over to Harry’s bed.

“Wanna make you feel good.” Harry murmurs, lips dragging against Louis’. He unceremoniously drops Louis after that. Louis squeals as he bounces slightly and Harry giggles before tearing his shirt off.

“Yours, too.” Louis obeys immediately because he wants this. He wants to feel Harry’s bare skin against his. His fucking wants.

Harry’s mouth is on his as soon as Louis’ shirt hits the floor. The kiss is heady and messy. Louis’ head feels so light. He’s certain it would float away if it wasn’t for Harry’s mouth. Harry’s licks at Louis’ lips and slides his lips along his jaw, teeth nipping at the skin and bone.

“Fuck, Haz.” Louis moans. Harry’s hands are trailing down his torso, his fingers pinching at his nipples. Louis feels himself get even harder, dick leaking steadily in his trousers. How did Harry know that? How did he know Louis’ a sucker for his nipples being played with?

Louis can feel Harry smirk against his jaw before he moves down, lips moving lower and lower. He bites at Louis collarbones, taking the time to suck a deep bruise. It hurts, but Louis is fucking living for the pain right now. Harry’s mouth is unbelievable.

Harry moves lower, inching down until his mouth is resting right over Louis’ right nipple. Louis can feel the warm, wet heat from his mouth and he shuts his eyes. He can’t look. He cannot witness this. He’ll nut right away, right in his jeans. Louis wouldn’t be able to handle that kind of embarrassment.

He moans when he feels Harry’s lips wrap around the sensitive bud. Fuck, god. Harry’s tongue feels so good. Louis- no one has touched Louis like this in well, only weeks, really. But, still. Fuck, he missed this kind of touch, this kind of interaction. It’s almost too much.

Thankfully, Harry must see that he is basically killing Louis, because he moves again quickly. He only licks at Louis’ other nipple for a second before he’s moving downward again, kissing and biting at Louis’ skin. He takes his time when he gets to Louis’ little tummy, sucking another mark an inch from Louis’ belly button.

“Harry.” Louis squirms. This is getting too much, but not enough. Louis needs more. He needs so much more.

“I got you, gorgeous.” Harry mumbles, taking the time to appreciate his work, dropping a quick kiss. Louis rolls his eyes and is about to sass him, but bites his tongue when Harry’s fingers move to the button of Louis’ jeans.

Harry may be horrendous at walking, but if there is one thing he is fantastic at, it’s unbuttoning and pulling off jeans. He must have it perfected is the thing because every night he has to deal with those. Those fucking absurd jeans that are practically glued onto his legs.

Louis jeans are on the floor in probably about two seconds flat and his briefs join them only a moment later. He’s completely naked, lying on Harry’s bed and Harry’s staring down at him like he wants to eat him. Gobble him up. And Louis?

Well, Louis’ is kind of starting to panic a bit. It’s just. No one but Sam has looked at Louis like that in literally years. Years. Even during their little break ups, Louis never hooked up with anyone else. He’s just. It’s so weird and what if Harry doesn’t like what he sees? What if he is disgusted? Oh god what if this is-

“Hey.” Harry’s hands are cupping at Louis’ jaw again. “Can you breathe for me?”

Louis nods and releases a breath he didn’t even know he was holding. “Fuck, sorry, sorry.”

“Don’t be sorry, love.” Harry smiles. “I just need you to calm down, yeah? It’s okay.” Harry’s hands stroke down Louis’ sides. “Everything’s okay.”

Louis nods again. “I know, I know. It’s just… no one’s seen me like this but him, in years, Haz. Years. It’s kind of scary.”

“Well, you are doing this with me.” Harry grins. “Your best mate.”

“My best mate.” Louis laughs. He feels himself relaxing a bit. He can do this. He fucking wants this. His cock is still bloody hard for fuck’s sake.

“So, relax for me, yeah, babe? Just want you to feel good. Want you to feel so good.” Harry leans down and kisses Louis. Louis sighs into it, melting into it so much he doesn’t even notice Harry’s hand lowering until he feels it wrap around his cock.

“Fuck.” Louis breathes. Harry grins against his mouth and pulls back, glancing down to watch his hand work over Louis.

“Fuck is right.” He mumbles. “So fucking beautiful, Lou. Wanna get my mouth on you.”

Louis chokes at that. “Jesus Christ, H. Got uh, fuck, mouth on you, don’t you?”

Harry glances up to smirk at Louis before he snakes down his body, situating himself between Louis’ spread thighs.

“You’ve no idea.” Harry throws Louis wink.

Louis stops breathing the minute Harry’s lips envelop his cock. Yes, Louis really had no idea. Absolutely none. But, now he does and he really means what he said earlier. Harry’s mouth is fucking unbelievable.

Harry’s carefully sloppy with his movements, his mouth making Louis’ cock even wetter than it already was on it’s own. He’s showing off, Louis knows he is, but Louis loves it. Loves it probably a bit too much. Harry’s barely just tonguing and suckling at the head and Louis already feels like he’s done for.

Harry works Louis over slowly. He takes his time, pulling off, making sure to kiss every inch of Louis’ cock. He licks deliciously at the vein along the bottom and Louis swears he sees God.

Louis has to look away when Harry’s tongue curls up to the head and dips into his slit, collecting the precome pooled there.

“Jesus fucking Christ, Harold.” Louis huffs. It’s way too much, way. Harry’s going to kill Louis.

He feels Harry wrap a hand around his shaft before he strokes him a few times in quick succession, licking and sucking at the head all the while.

“Fuck, fuck.” Louis mumbles. He can feel Harry’s lips twitch like he’s trying to smirk on his dick, so he reaches down and yanks at Harry’s hair. Harry moans. They both stop.

“Shut up.” Louis breathes, looking down. Harry shrugs sheepishly and pulls off Louis. .

“Love it.” His voice sounds scratchy already. Louis feels more precome blurt out. “Totally a thing of mine.”

“Hair pulling?”

“Hair pulling.” Harry confirms. “Now, fuck my mouth, yeah?”

Louis lets out an embarrassingly loud moan at that, letting his head drop back against Harry’s pillow. Harry giggles and goes back down, pretty pink lips wrapping around Louis again.

He taps on Louis’ hips and oh my god, this is real, this is really going to happen. Harry wants it.

Louis glances down at him and Harry nods, inching his way down Louis’ cock, not stopping until he hits the root. And holy fuck, Louis can feel himself in Harry’s throat. He feels so hot. Harry’s big green eyes blink up and he takes a deep breath in through his nose. He pulls back until the head is just in his mouth and Louis nods, reaching down to cup Harry’s cheeks before giving the first thrust.

Harry moans and something snaps in Louis. He gets going and he can’t fucking stop. Harry’s mouth is addicting, smooth, warm, and wet. He can’t get enough. He wants to feel it forever, never wants it to stop.

What really does it for him is watching Harry. Harry’s so into it is the thing. He’s moaning along with Louis and even reaching down to palm at himself. But, Harry’s face is what really throws Louis’ over the edge. Harry just looks so fucked out. His cheeks are bright pink, a blush spreading across the whole bone. His big eyes are closed, a few stray tears falling out and his lips. God, his beautiful pinks lips look so stretched and raw around Louis’ cock.

Louis only last another minute or so. He’s watching Harry’s face and then Harry opens his eyes and looks up at Louis and Louis fucking loses it. He gasps, thrusting forward harshly and coming down Harry’s throat, hand tangled deep in his curls.

Harry takes it like a champ, swallowing all of Louis’ spunk before pulling off and smirking at Louis.

“Good?”

Good? Louis feels like he’s been hit by a fucking bus he just came so hard. Louis nods and yanks on Harry’s hair, pulling him up. Harry comes easily, mouth meeting Louis’ while Louis shoves his hand down Harry’s trousers.

It doesn’t take lot, only a few hard and fast strokes before Harry’s freezing up, moaning into Louis’ mouth and spilling all over his hand.

“Jesus.” Louis laughs, dragging his hand out of his pants. Harry laughs and falls next to Louis, reaching over to get a tissue. He wipes Louis’ hand off and tosses it to the floor, flopping on his side to stare at Louis.

“So?”

“So?” Louis laughs. Harry pouts. “All right, all right. You are very good at sucking cock, mate.”

“I know.” Harry shrugs. “You thinking about him?”

“Harry, I can’t even remember his name. I think you actually sucked my brain out through my dick.”

“Damn, I’m good.”

Louis laughs and smacks Harry.

“Ow.”

“Shut up.”

“You shut up.” Harry mumbles. “Now, cuddle me. I like a good cuddle after sex and I sucked your brain out, I deserve it.”

--
Despite Harry joining their friend group and making it a “fivesome”, he still isn’t with them all the time. He has friends of his own, people different than them. It’s a weird concept for them, particularly Niall, to get used to. Yes, Niall is friends with everyone, but his go to, always with, always give me attention friends are Louis, Zayn, Liam, and newly added Harry. He doesn’t get why Harry turns them down sometimes, claiming he already has plans.

“Who the fuck names their daughter Pixie anyway?” Niall complains around a mouthful of pepperoni pizza. Louis rolls his eyes, laughing as Liam wipes at Niall’s chin with a napkin.

“I can clean me self up.” Niall grumples, snatching it from Liam’s hand.

“Now, babes.” Zayn tsks. “Don’t take your anger out on Leeyum, Harry’s allowed to have other friends.”

“I know.” Niall pouts, patting Liam’s arm in apology. “But, I don’t like it. I wanted to play FIFA with him. Wanted to kick his and Lou’s ass.”

“That’s a dumb thing to want.” Louis shakes his head. “Haz and I would kick your ass. I’m very skilled at footie, you know that.”

“Yeah, you’re all right, but Haz sucks.”

“I’m more than all right! I’m amazing.” Louis squeaks. “And Harry sucks in real life, not virtually.” Harry used to suck virtually, too, but Louis taught him tricks the other afternoon. Harry improved by about a million percent and sucked Louis’ dick as a thank you. Louis returned the favor. It was kind of weird at first, sucking a dick that wasn’t attached to Sam, but Louis has to admit, he really enjoyed himself. Harry has a excellent dick. Louis is man enough to admit it’s better than his. And better than Sam’s. By a long shot.

“Whatever.” Niall pouts, taking another big bite.

“Niall, stop pouting. Harry said he would try to come by after.” Louis says, rolling his eyes again. He may be the dramatic one, but at least he isn’t as big of a baby as Niall.

“Yeah. I know, but-”

Niall cuts off and looks at Louis. “What?”

“How do you know that? I didn’t tell you that.”

Zayn and Liam both look at Louis now, Zayn’s eyebrows raising and Liam’s doing that furrowing thing that he’s so good at.

And fuck. That’s right. He didn’t tell him, or didn’t tell him directly per say. Louis heard Harry say that from his spot hiding underneath Harry’s bed. He doesn’t really know what came over him, what made him leap from Harry’s bed and crawl underneath it at the sound of Niall calling from outside the door. But, it happened. He did it.

But, turns out Harry was a bit glad he did it, too. They discussed after Niall left that they should probably keep whatever they are doing secret. Because it isn’t a big deal, it’s just two friends hooking up and if they tell the others it might get them more involved and invested and like, worried that this will ruin their friendship. Even though, Zayn, like, totally encouraged it. Liam would definitely worry and that would make Zayn worry and. It’s just better that the boys don’t know.

“Harry told me?” Louis says.

“That a question or your answer?” Zayn asks.

“It’s my answer.” Louis nods decisively.

“When did you see Harry?” Niall asks. “He said he had to leave for dinner in like an hour when I left.”

“I stopped by before I came here.” Louis says, nodding at their surroundings. They are in Liam’s room because his room is the cleanest and smells the nicest. Niall’s room smells like booze and too much cheap cologne while Louis and Zayn’s reeks of weed, socks, and acrylic paint.

“I forgot something at his place and I needed it.”

“What?” Liam asks.

“Jeez, what’s with the third degree, lads? Harry and I are friends, why is it weird that I go see him?”

“It isn’t.” Zayn shrugs. “Just wanted to know. Why aren’t you answering?”

“Oh my god, I’m not not answering.” Yes he is. Jesus, what could he have been picking up. Fuck, fuck. “I forgot my wallet there the other day and I went and got it. Harry said he was sad he was missing out on our boys’ night and he promised he would try to stop by.”

Niall nods, accepting his answer. Good, they all should. That’s believable. Louis forgets his wallet all the time. Not as much as Zayn, but enough.

“You boys really need to keep better track of your stuff.” Liam chastises. “One of these days your wallets are going to be stolen. Like, for real.”

 

“Good thing we have you then, Li, yeah?” Zayn smiles, winking at Liam. He smiles and dips his head, a blush spreading across his cheek. Niall immediately leaps in and starts mocking him for ‘coloring like a feckin’ virgin’ and soon the whole thing is forgotten about. Louis feels incredibly relieved.

--
They haven’t fucked yet.

Louis doesn’t know why they hav-

Okay, yes, he does. It’s his fault they haven’t fucked. And it’s not that Louis doesn’t want to. Because he does. He really, really does. He knows Harry does, too. He can feel it, obviously. He can tell the with the way Harry grinds his hips down against Louis’ that he wants more than just a blowjob. Not that he doesn’t love Louis’ blowjobs, he has proclaimed his love, multiple, multiple times, but, he definitely wants more.

Louis wants more, too, of course he does. Of course he wants to feel Harry like that. Of course he wants to get fucked. He misses it. It’s been way too long. The thing is, it’s just a weird thing to wrap his head around.

He figures he should be used to it now. Touching, feeling, sucking another dick that isn’t Sam’s. To an extent, he is. He feels good about it, he’s grown accustomed to Harry’s dick. He’s grown very friendly with him. It’s been three weeks since they’ve started this, almost two months since Louis and Sam broke up. But…

The thought of it, of Harry in him, just kind of chokes him up. Makes him stiffen. Makes his muscle go all tense and his neck fold down, making him look like a fucking bird.

He’s just bloody nervous is the thing. Louis hasn’t been with many boys, can only count them on one hand. The others before Sam had happened before Louis even started Uni, so really, it’s been a really long time since anyone but Sam has, for lack of a better word, entered Louis.

It’s not that Louis doesn’t trust Harry, because he does. He’s just nervous and honestly, kind of scared. He can’t help it. He tries to tell himself to calm down, to relax, but he just feels so antsy. He wants it, but he’s just so scared of it.

He wishes Zayn knew so he could talk to him about it. It would be easier than talking to Harry. Maybe, probably.

Fuck. Louis doesn’t know. He just doesn’t fucking know anymore.

--
Louis decides to stop being a baby about three days later, at the worst possible time.

They’re at Louis’ least favorite place in the world and Louis is not happy about it. He wrinkles his nose as he looks around, taking in the unhappy faces of the exhausted students. This place is absolutely miserable. He spots a punk ass book jockey glaring at him from a cart some few away and he glares right back. That bitch is pretty cocky for someone whose job is basically obsolete because of the internet.

“Lou, stop glaring at the librarian. She didn’t do anything to you.” Liam whispers, glancing up and twirling his yellow highlighter in this hand.

Louis scoffs. “She’s glaring at me!”

“Because you are glaring at her!”

“Not uh, she started it!” Louis whisper shouts. “Diabolical, ruthless, well read bitch.”

Niall lets out too loud of a cackle and Harry giggles. Zayn ignores them all, typical, not bothering to look up from his reading.

The librarian shushes them and Louis’ blood boils. He hates this place. He can’t believe some people actually like the library.

“Can we leave?”

“Did you finish your assignment?” Liam asks.

“No.” Louis pouts, crossing his arms. He doesn’t want to fill out the bloody worksheet. He’s in Uni, why the fuck was he assigned a worksheet!

“The sooner you finish the sooner we can leave.” Harry assures, patting Louis’ hand. He frowns. He wishes the hand where somewhere else. Like his thigh maybe. Or, well, Louis certainly wouldn’t object if it found it’s way around his cock either.

He sighs heavily and Harry laughs, patting at his hand again before removing his hand all together. Louis frowns at that. Well, if everyone is going to ignore him he might as well do his work.

He only lasts three minutes. You can’t blame him, the worksheet is unbelievably boring and mundane. Louis can’t stomach it.

He looks up and glances at his mates. Niall’s chewing on his nails, eyes moving furiously across the pages in front of him. It’s a rare sight, Niall doing his readings. Louis almost wants to take a picture.

Liam’s highlighting away with one hand, yellow marker making occasional squeaking sounds, and twirling hairs on the back of Zayn’s neck with the other. Zayn’s reading a novel that is probably not even required for him to read, hand resting on Liam’s knee. It’s disgustingly domestic. Louis hates it. Hates them. Fuckers.

He looks away and when his eyes fall on Harry he feels his heart jump into his throat. His mouth feels all dry and he feels his cock twitch in interest.

And fuck. You cannot blame Louis. You cannot. It’s, just. Harry’s fingers. Harry’s fucking fingers. How did Louis not notice his fingers before? How was Louis so blind!?

They’re long is the thing. Longer than his own, certainly longer than Sam’s. They are a bit thinner than his own, but long. The point is that they are long! Louis suddenly can’t stop thinking about the length of Harry’s fingers. How easy it would be for him to find his prostate. How easy it would be for him to probably fit four fingers in him.

Louis can’t help the sudden clench of his entire lower body. It’s not his fault. It’s involuntary. His brain and muscles are losing control because of Harry’s fucking finger length. God, they are beautiful, too. How does one have beautiful hands!?

Suddenly Louis can’t remember why he was nervous, why he was bloody scared of fucking Harry. All of that is thrown out the window.

He wants Harry. He wants Harry fucking now.

“Lime.” He says suddenly, interrupting the quiet. Louis can see Liam rolls his eyes before he looks up.

“What?”

“Don’t sound so put out. I just want to know if you want to go help me find a book.”

“Why would I want to do that? I hate you.”

“I hate you right back!” Louis hisses, smiling internally that his plan worked. Liam blows him a kiss. Louis flips him off and stands up.

“Come on, Haz.”

He doesn’t have to look behind him to check that Harry’s following. He hears Harry curse quietly as he hurries to catch up. Louis shoots the librarian a fake smile and turns down an aisle, stopping abruptly. Harry slams into him.

“Jesus, Harry.”

“Sorry!” He laughs. “You just stopped so quickly and I was distracted by that lady. She was giving you this look-”

Harry cuts off when Louis shoves him back against the bookshelf and presses up against him, kissing him hard.

“Jesus.” Harry breathes when Louis pulls away. “What the hell? What about the book, you asked Li-”

“God, Harry. The book was a lie. I don’t need a fucking book. And I asked Liam because if I asked you first they would’ve been suspicious. Duh.”

“Oh, oh, okay.” Harry nods. He isn’t very quick on the uptake, so Louis just rolls his eyes and dives back in.

“Wanna fuck.” He mumbles against Harry’s lips. Harry gasps and his hips jerk harshly into Louis’.

“Fuck. Really? Like, real?”

“Yes, Harry. Really. Like real. Like your cock up my arse.”

“Oh, fuck, Gorgeous.” Harry groans, hands snaking down to Louis’ ass. “Here? With our friends just feet away? With all these people around? Want them to hear you?” Harry bites at Louis’ neck and Louis groans, his knees feeling weak.

Fuck, does that sound hot. But, no. Not the first time. Louis’ a fucking classy lady.

“Fuck.” He yanks at Harry’s hair and brings Harry’s mouth back to his. He gives him a quick kiss before shoving him away. Harry stumbles.

“What? Lo-”

“Not yet.” Louis breathes. He feels hot. He knows his cheeks are flushed. “I’m going to grab a random book, you head back to the table. When I get back we can leave, yeah? Think of an excuse.”

Harry nods, swallowing harshly. He looks dumb and a bit overwhelmed. Louis feels his lips quirk a bit and he leans forward, giving Harry another kiss before taking off down the aisle.

He meanders through the bookshelves for another few minutes, grabbing a random book with a sort of interesting cover before venturing back to the table. Harry’s gone and Louis feels fucking giddy. He’s so smart. So great at plans. God, he’s a fucking genius.

“Where’s the curly headed one? He said he would be back here waiting for me?” Louis asks, plopping down into his seat.

Niall glances up and pulls his finger out of his mouth for a moment to answer. So courteous, that lad. “Had a FaceTime date with his mum. Said to tell you ‘sorry’.”

“Huh, well, that’s cute. I guess I forgive him.” Louis gives Harry a score of 10/10 in his head. Absolutely outstanding excuse. No one can prove you’re lying when you use your mum as an excuse. Mums are the best.

“You find your book?” Zayn asks, glancing up as Louis tosses said book into his bag, shoving his pens in next. “You leaving?”

Louis nods. “I am. I unfortunately found the book and it looks atrocious, so I was planning to head back to our room. You know, to cry for a bit and then take a quick nap before getting up and actually doing some work. And then probably crying some more.”

“Sounds brill.” Liam adds as he turns the page.

“Brill’s my middle name.” Louis shrugs, sliding the straps of his bag over his shoulder.

“It’s fucking William, you ass.”

“Ugh, I was being sarcastic! Eat a dick, Liam.” Louis calls, full volume might he add, over his shoulder. Three librarians shush him on his way out. It’s a new record. Today’s a great fucking day.

--
Harry’s waiting for him outside, foot impatiently tapping. He looks so wired, like he’s ready to jump out of his skin at any minute. Honestly though, Louis feels the same. He just wants to fucking touch. He just wants to be touched.

Harry lights up when he sees Louis, almost faceplanting as he races towards him.

“What took you so long?” Harry breathes, hitching his own bag up higher on his shoulder.

“Calm down, tiger.” Louis laughs. He feels like a hypocrite, though. Inside he feels the same. It’s like an itch he is dying to scratch. He can’t wait to get his hands on Harry. Nor can he wait to feel Harry’s hands on him. In him.

“Fuck off.” Harry laughs, giant hand and long fingers wrapping around Louis’ wrist.

“Mine or yours?”

“Yours, please? There’s no way I could hide the stench of sex from Z.”

“Yeah, c’mon. Let’s hope my roommate’s gone.”

--
They’re lucky because his roommate is gone. Harry takes extra precaution anyway, locking the door, texting his roommate to stay gone, and sticking a sock on the handle. It’s clichè and Louis makes fun of him, but he weirdly loves it, appreciates that Harry is being so considerate. It’s fucking sweet.

Things get less than sweet in a matter of seconds. It’s like they both remember what the hell they are here for. Louis catches a glimpse of Harry’s hands, feels his fingers press into his hips, and everything gets fuzzy after that. Louis’ skin feels like it’s on fire and his brain feels like it’s going to fucking melt and leak out his ears, possibly his eyes.

He pulls Harry even closer to him, digs his fingers into the small of Harry’s back as Harry’s fingers slide into the pockets of his jeans, groping at his arse. Louis pushes back into them and Harry smiles against Louis’ lips.

“Bed, yeah?” Harry nips at Louis’ bottom lip and squeezes his arse once more for good measure before yanking Louis over to the bed.

He unbuttons Louis’ jeans and shoves them down his thighs. Louis kicks them the rest of the way off and then tears off his shirt while Harry works on his own, leaving him in his tiny little pair of bright purple briefs. Louis snorts at them and Harry scowls as he takes off his own shirt.

“Just playing, pal.” Louis assures with a giggle.

Harry open his mouth to respond, but loses his words completely when Louis flops back on the tiny bed and spreads his legs.

Harry’s eyes get impossibly darker and he licks at his lips, kneeling on the side of the bed and crawling between them.

“Gorgeous.” He whispers, leaning down and kissing at Louis’ hip. He feels his tummy quiver, the muscles jumping as Harry nuzzles across them, placing hot, open mouthed kisses on the skin.

“Haz.” Louis whines. He doesn’t want teasing. He wants it now. He wants it all now. “Come on, please. Please, I want it so bad. Want you so bad.”

“What made you want this?” Harry asks, purely out of curiosity. He thumbs at the band of Louis’ briefs, snapping it before kissing the skin.

Louis feels his face heat, a blush probably spreading all the way down to his chest. He’s sort of embarrassed to tell Harry he is very fucking attracted to his fingers. Isn’t that kind of weird?

“I uh…” He stutters because Harry starts nosing at the outline of his cock, licking at the head, making the fabric of his briefs even damper.

“Fuck.” He curses.

“C’mon. Focus, Gorgeous. Answer me.” Harry demands, teeth grazing slightly along the outline of Louis’ cock. It’s all fucking with his head. How does Harry expect him to answer? His brain is melting.

“Just saw you. Looked so good.” Louis finally spits out. “Just wanted you so bad. Want you so bad.”

“Yeah?” Harry asks, sitting back and sliding his hands up Louis’ thighs. Louis can feel goosebumps fall in his path. He nods in confirmation and Harry leans up to give him a bruising kiss.

“Let’s get this off, yeah, baby?”

Louis groans at the nickname, nodding furiously as Harry’s thumbs dip into the waistband again. He pulls them off Louis slowly, like he is purposely trying to grind Louis’ gears. Fucking twat.

“I think these are my favorite part of your body.” Harry comments as he squeezes at Louis’ thighs, leaning down and sucking a love bite. Louis groans, wiggling against Harry’s dark blue sheets.

“Besides your arse. And your eyes. And your lips.”

“Writing an ode to my whole body then, are you, Haz?” Louis rasps.

Harry giggles. “I’m not much of a writer, but I think it’d be a great piece. I’d title it ‘Gorgeous’.”

“Original.” Louis snorts. His voice gets all breathy at the end because Harry inches up, biting at the skin where Louis’ thigh meets his hip.

Harry giggles again and pats at Louis’ hips. “Turn over for me.”

Louis nods and makes to turn over, probably too fast. He doesn’t care though. This is important. This means fingers. Harry’s fucking fingers. He settles on his hands and knees and waits patiently for Harry to do something.

Harry stretches over Louis, leaning to rummage around in the bedside table. He finds what he wants, a bottle of lube and a rubber and drops them on the bed.

“Hope pineapple is okay.” Harry mumbles into Louis’ hair, dropping a kiss to the back of Louis’ neck. Louis wrinkles his nose, pineapple isn’t his favorite, but at the same time, this pineapple lube means Louis’ getting all the he wants in the world right now. So, he’s really more than fine with it.

“Fine.” He answers, breath all shaky again. Harry’s kissing down his spine and he can feel his cock leaking, precome sliding down his shaft.

“Haz, hurry. Please.” He whines. He’s about three seconds away from begging. Jesus, he fucking wants Harry.

“I’m getting there, Gorgeous.” Harry assures, kissing the base of Louis’ spine. Louis glances over his shoulder in time to see Harry reach over and click open the lube. Louis shudders at the snick and hangs his head, taking a deep breath and preparing himself.

He was expecting himself to be nervous, but he really isn’t. He’s more excited. He’s antsy and feels like he’s resting on the edge. He can’t wait, he wants it so much, he feels like he’s shaking with it.

He feels Harry drop a kiss to his arse and a moment later he feels a cool, slick finger press against his rim. He involuntarily clenches, muscles going tight as he sucks in a harsh breath.

“Shh.” Harry assures, running his free hand down Louis’ spine. Louis arches and nods. He fucking wants this so bad, so it only takes a second for him to calm down, muscles relaxing quickly.

“Perfect.” Harry whispers, free hand squeezing at Louis’ arse now as the first finger slides it.

It’s been a while, not so long that Louis’ body totally wants to reject the intrusion. It slides in easily enough, but it’s only one finger and it feels like so much. Louis feels full, but damn does he feel good.

Harry moves his finger out experimentally and Louis chases after it, grinding back. He can feel Harry smirk against his skin and mumbles at him to shut up and to not be so damn cocky.

Harry laughs and Louis hears him grab for the bottle again, more lube being added to his fingers.

“Think you can take another already?”

“Yeah, yeah.” Louis answers. Yeah, he can take another one. It’s tight, it’ll be a squeeze, but he wants it. He wants to feel that burn, he wants to feel that stretch.

Louis moans when he feels a second finger toying at his rim. Harry groans along with him when he pushes in.

“Fuck, Gorgeous. Fuck.” Harry moans. “So tight. So warm, babe. Fuck.”

Louis whines and grinds back on the finger. He didn’t build it up too much in his head. He wasn’t wrong. Harry’s fingers do feel amazing, immaculate even.

He doesn’t give himself much time to adjust, starts whining after only a few minutes, demanding Harry to add in another.

“You sure?” Harry asks.

“Yes.” Louis grits out. He’s never been more ready for anything in his entire life.

Harry doesn’t ask again, just complies and kisses up Louis’ spine. It’s a bit much. It burns, but it’s a good burn. A delicious one. Louis loves this burn. He wants to marry it or something.

“Oh, fuck.” Harry moans. “Look at that, Gorgeous. Look how well you’re taking my fingers. Fuck, babe. I can’t wait to get my cock in you.”

“Just do it already, then.” Louis gasps as Harry twists his fingers. He did it. He found Louis’ sweet spot and he wasn’t even trying. God, Louis wants to kill him. Jesus.

Harry laughs, pressing his fingers harder against the bundle of nerves. Louis squeaks and his cock practically jumps.

“Harry,” Louis cannot believe the amount of times he has whined in the past twenty minutes. “I’m not kidding, please. Just do it.”

Harry laughs, yet fucking again, and pulls his fingers out. Louis feels empty suddenly, and cold when Harry moves away, leaning back to rip open the condom. Louis turns his head to watch as he slides it on and drizzles lube over himself. His pretty good sized self. His big self. Louis can’t wait. Honestly, in this moment, he really cannot seem to recall why he ever wanted to wait, or was scared to do this, he must be fucking nuts.

Harry’s a twat, so he teases Louis, rubbing the head of his cock against his hole a few times until Louis turns to glare at him, three seconds from snapping at him and taking control of the whole situation himself.

Harry grins at Louis’ annoyance, because he seemingly enjoys it. Louis just groans, rolling his eyes and pushing back until Harry gives in, grasps at his hip when one hand and guiding himself into Louis with the other.

Louis drops onto his elbows, overwhelmed with the sensations. It hurts, only slightly, but it hurts. He could’ve used a bit more prepping, but he’s glad he didn’t have it. This is the burn he was searching for. It feels so good. He feels like he can feel Harry everywhere. Every nerve ending is responding to his cock. He feels tingling throughout his entire body, in his toes and up his arms.
“Fuck.” Louis exhales, arches his back as Harry bottoms out.

“Fuck.” Harry echoes. “So tight.”

Harry stays still for a moment, giving Louis a second to get used to the stretch. Louis uses just that, a moment, before pushing back and mumbling at Harry to get on with it. He’s impatient. He doesn’t want to wait around. He fucking wants this.

After that it’s like a damn breaks. A flood, a surge of desire overcomes them both and suddenly they are going at it harder than Louis’ every gone at it before.

Or, well, maybe. Louis isn’t sure. It’s been awhile since he’s been fucked.

But, they are going at it and it’s good. And hard and fast and dirty.

Harry pounds into him from behind, his grip so tight on Louis’ hips he can feel bruises forming. It’s fucking delicious and everything to Louis right now. He doesn’t want Harry to let go. Never wants him to let go.

It doesn’t take them long, in fact it’s almost embarrassing how fast Louis’ comes. But, he really can’t help it. He’s been worked up all afternoon from just looking at Harry’s fingers, and then they were in him, and now they are gripping unbelievably hard at his hips. It’s too fucking much. His cock actually aches with the need to release. It only takes a few strokes after Harry’s wrapped his giant fingers around his shaft before Louis’ screaming his name and streaking the blue sheets white.

Harry’s quick to follow, thrusts getting sloppier and sloppier as he nears his orgasm. He bites at Louis’ shoulder when he finally comes, so hard that Louis swears he feels his skin tear, but he doesn’t care. He just had the best fuck of his life, what’s a little blood?

Harry rests his sweaty forehead against Louis’ neck before he pulls out. He does it as gently as possible, but they both still hiss at the discomfort. Louis flops back on his back as Harry gets up to knot and toss the condom.

He smiles at Louis as he reaches the trash can, making a show of licking Louis’ come off his fingers.

“Gross, Haz.” Louis laughs. He’s lying. They both know it. They both just saw his cock weakly twitch at that. It’s too soon though. Louis’ basically an old man now. He can’t get it up that quick again.

That’s a lie, too. And they both really know that.

Harry winks at him and stumbles over to his bed, kicking a textbook and a pair of black boots out of his way.

He flops down next to Louis, curling an arm around him and pulling him in. Louis goes easily, never one to turn down a cuddle. It’s probably far from the rules. The whole rules of the “friends with benefits” thing, but. Well, they are both too touchy of people. They can’t not cuddle after every blowjob or handjob, why would actual sex be any different?

“How was that, Gorgeous?”

“Eh. Maybe, like, 6 out of 10? Maybe would try again?” Louis mumbles against Harry’s peck.

“Shut up.” Harry whines, kicking at his calf. Louis giggles and wraps his leg around Harry’s to stop his flailing, weak ass attempt.

“Shh. Nap time, babe. Nap time.”

“I love naps.” Harry sings. He drops a kiss to Louis’ lips and that’s probably against the rules, too. Kissing. But, Louis doesn’t fucking care. He’s always been a rule breaker, a ‘fuck the police’ kind of lad. He leans up and kisses at Harry’s lips harder, hand shooting out from underneath the covers to grip at Harry’s stupid, curly hair. Maybe it isn’t time for a nap just yet.

--
They’re like rabbits after that. They fuck all the time, anywhere and everywhere.

They fuck in the shower of the bathroom in Harry’s dorm and then same with Louis. They fuck in Niall’s room one day when he leaves for an hour to go hook up with this girl and he needs them to stay in the room because a kid’s to be delivering a case of beer any minute.

They fuck in Louis’ room when it’s nice enough for them to leave the windows open.

They fuck in library, on the third floor in the study room in the way back on the very right.

They fuck in Harry’s Macro classroom, in the campus Starbucks’ bathroom, in the back of Harry’s car.

It’s absurd. It’s the most sex Louis’ ever had in his entire life and he absolutely loves it.

He thinks someone should bless Harry Styles. Declare him a saint. Or, at least his dick one. He deserves it. The boy is absolutely miraculous and the sex is impeccable. Louis still can’t believe he’s having all of it. He feels fucking honored. That dick is out of this world.

--
Louis’ not in love.

That’s a thing, a big thing, he realizes one day, at least two weeks after he and Harry started fucking. He is sitting at his desk, actually working on one of his essays for once, and it just fucking hits him.

He’s not in love.

He’s not in love with Sam.

He doesn’t find himself thinking about him at random moments. He doesn’t find himself worrying if he is eating well, if he’s washing his clothes regularly, cleaning up after himself.

He hasn’t thought about that, anything relating to Sam, really, hasn’t been bothered to care. He’s been too busy to care. Too wrapped up in Harry. And in Zayn, Liam, and Niall, of course.

He’s not in love. Louis’ not fucking in love.

He feels a little overwhelmed at the realization. He’s overcome with the sudden need to sit down (even though he already is).

He stands from his chair and stumbles to his bed. Zayn’s out, so he’s by himself, left all alone to deal with this sudden, huge, big, fat thing. He feels like he should feel more. He feels like he should be sad, relieved, happy, elated, mad? He doesn’t know. He feels like he should just feel something. Anything.

But, he doesn’t. He doesn’t feel relief. He doesn’t feel upset. He doesn’t feel happy. He feels nothing.

He flops onto his back and stares at the ceiling. It’s weird thinking of Sam and not feeling anything. He doesn’t have butterflies, he doesn’t have a burning desire to punch him in the face. He has nothing.

Louis’ not in love.

He’s not in love with Sam.

He’s not in love with Harry, either.

At least he doesn’t think so. But, thinking about it, really thinking about it, he realizes he could. He could be in love with Harry. He could see himself falling. See himself marrying Harry, buying a house, adopting a cat, a dog, maybe a kid or two.

And fuck, if that isn’t overwhelming. Louis really needs to lie down now. He cuddles back further into his cheap duvet.

It smells like Harry.

Louis’ not in love.

--
“I’ll call you later, yeah, babe?”

“Liam.” Louis scoffs from the bed. “You are literally dropping him off after you just spent four hours with him. It’s almost midnight. You don’t need to call him later. See him tomorrow.”

Both Liam and Zayn are looking at Louis, eyebrows raised. Louis huffs at them.

“What? You are being ridiculous.” He folds his arms and pouts. A lot is happening in Louis’ mind right now. He needs to speak to his best mate. And yes, Liam is his friend and obviously he will hear everything Louis’ going to say to Zayn from Zayn, but Louis doesn’t care, he just needs Zayn right now. Only Zayn.

Zayn turns away from Louis to face Liam and their voices drop. Louis rolls his eyes. They are probably talking about him because they can clearly tell something is bothering him, but this is just rude. Talking about Louis right in front of his face. Why can’t they do it behind his back like normal friends?!

“Yeah?” Zayn says. Liam laughs and nods, leaning in to kiss Zayn goodnight.

“Love you.”

“I love you, too.” Zayn smiles, kissing him again. “See you in the morning?”

“Afternoon. I’ll let you sleep in. Won’t come see you until after my class.”

“You’re my favorite boyfriend, Liam Payne.”

“I’m your only boyfriend, Zayn Malik.”

“As far as you know.” Zayn giggles. Louis gags.

“This flirting is too cute.” Louis comments. Liam glares at him, sticking out his tongue before he pecks Zayn’s cheek and leaves. Zayn sighs before he closes the door.

“What’s wrong?”

“Nothing.” Louis huffs.

“Don’t play this game, Lou. Something is clearly wrong. Come on.”

Zayn kicks off his shoes and shrugs out of his “date jeans” (they are regular black skinny jeans, Louis doesn’t understand why they are qualified specifically as “date”, but whatever) and slides under Louis’ covers, cuddling close into him.

“What’s wrong, babes?”

Louis chews on his lips before answering. “I’m not in love anymore.”

Zayn’s quiet for a moment, his hand brushing down Louis’ arm. “That’s a good thing, though, yeah?”

Louis teeth are digging painfully into his bottom lip, but he doesn’t let up on the pressure. Is it a good thing? Probably. It’s good he isn’t hung up on Sam anymore. It wouldn’t be healthy for him to still love him. But- no. It’s too late for Louis to bring this up. He doesn’t have the energy to tell Zayn about Harry. To tell him how he doesn’t love him, but how he really could see himself loving him. And that that is scary, but not.

He settles on just shrugging and cracking at his knuckles. He can feel Zayn staring at him, but he won’t give in, at least not yet. Zayn finally nods his head slowly and reaches for Louis’ laptop.

“Netflix?”

“Netflix.” Louis’ too tired. Everything’s too confusing. It can wait until morning.

--
Zayn yells.

Like, really yells when Louis tells him the next evening. (Yes, he was too scared to tell him in the morning and ended up waiting until 9 o’clock at night.)

Louis’ fucking shocked at first, startled at the way Zayn raises his voice at him. He’s known Zayn his whole life and has only heard him really, truly yell a few times. And only one of those times was at Louis, the rest were at his sisters or parents.

He knows Zayn isn’t yelling at him because he’s angry, okay, he’s kind of angry, but it’s more because he is hurt that Louis would keep such a big thing from Zayn. Fuck, Louis feels like such a fucking arsehole.

“I cannot believe you didn’t tell me!” Zayn shouts one last time. “I’m furious, Lou. Furious.”

“I know, I know. I’m a dick. A massive dick.”

“Massive.” Zayn agrees. He huffs before grabbing his phone and heading towards the door.

“What? Z, where are you going? I drop this on you and you leave? Mate-”

“Don’t mate me. I’m mad at you. Furious. I’m not talking to you for 20 minutes. I need to cool down. I’m going to tell Li everything and then we are coming back and talking. About it all. You are telling me everything. Got it?”

“Got it.” Louis nods. “I… I’m sorry, Z. I don’t know why I didn’t tell you. I’m sorry.”

“I know.” Zayn nods. “20 minutes.” Louis nod and Zayn shakes his head again before leaving.

God, Louis’ such a shit best mate.

--
Liam glares at Louis when Zayn and Liam both come back. Louis knows he deserves it. Zayn’s a sensitive lad, he probably cried when he told Liam Louis hid this from him. Louis doesn’t blame him, he’s sensitive, too, he would’ve cried if Zayn didn’t tell him something like this.

He’s the worst person in the entire world.

“Hi.” Louis mumbles, sitting up on his bed.

“You’re a dick.” Liam says, sitting down on Zayn’s bed and pulling Zayn into his lap.

“I know.” Louis says, the same time Zayn mumbles that he knows.

“Talk, please.” Zayn clears his throat. “Explain. All of it. When did it start?”

“About a week after he kissed me.”

“Oh my god! It’s been going on for that long!?” Zayn gasps. “Louis, you fucking twat. Why didn’t you tell me!?”

“Because I’m a fucking twat!” Louis shouts. “And because. I don’t know. We thought. If we told you that we were like, hooking up, you guys would make a big deal out of it! And think it would like ruin our friendship!”

“Why would I say that!? I wanted you to hook up with him!”

“I know, Zayn, I know!” Louis falls back down. “I just. I don’t know. Harry thought we shouldn’t, and I didn’t argue it.”

“So, you are blaming him?” Liam asks.

“No, no. It’s my fault. I agreed. I should’ve just told you.”

“Yes, you should’ve.” Zayn says. “But, whatever. I’ve been mad at you long enough. Just, fuck. Don’t keep things like this from me ever again.”

Louis scrambles to get up and over to Zayn’s bed. He pulls him off Liam and into a hug.

“I promise, I promise, mate. I promise you. I’m so fucking sorry. So sorry.”

“Good.” Zayn says, squeezing him back just as tight before wacking him in the back of the head. He definitely deserved that.

“Now, tell us everything. Have you fucked?”

Zayn pulls Louis down so they are all sitting on his bed now. He feels kind of a like a girl at a slumber party.

“Yeah.” Louis bites his lip. “The first time was two weeks ago? When we both left the library?”

“Oh my god!” Zayn gasps. “I knew that was fucking suspicious! Liam, didn’t I say that was!”

“Yes, you did.” Liam assures.

“I fucking knew it.”

Louis nods and lets Zayn go along with it. Clearly, he didn’t know it, but, whatever. He likes that Zayn isn’t mad at him anymore.

“How many times have you fucked then?”

“I…” Louis doesn’t know. He hasn’t kept track, but if he had to guys. “Late teens? 15 times? Possibly more?”

“Jesus Christ!” Liam breathes. “Louis, in two weeks?”

“We are very compatible in bed?” Louis shrugs. Because they are. They work very well together. The sex is fantastic.

Zayn snorts. “I’ll say.”

Louis feels himself blush and he shoves at Zayn’s shoulder.

“Did something happen though? If you weren’t going to tell me, why did you tell me?”

“Because…” Louis trails. “I’m not in love.”

“You’re not in love.” Liam repeats.

“Yes.”

“With Sam… or Harry?” Zayn finally asks.

“Both.” Louis shrugs. “I don’t, I don’t care for Sam anymore. And, I don’t think I’m in love with Haz, but the problem is, I could be.”

“You could be?” Liam asks.

“God, for fuck’s sake Li, yes, I could be in love with him. I could fall in love with him. I could, I could like see myself marrying him.”

“Shit, Lou.” Zayn mumbles.

“Yeah.” Yeah, Louis fucking knows. “And I don’t know what to do with this. This, huge fucking realization. I don’t want to be that cliché that falls for his friends with benefits. But, like, I’m well on my way to doing that. So, like, what do I do? Do just not say anything? Keep hooking up with him like normal, or what?”

“You tell him.” Zayn and Liam says in sync. It’s weird how often they do that.

“I tell him? Tell him what? ‘Hey Harry, you made me not love Sam and don’t worry, I don’t love you, but I could!’?”

Liam snorts. “No, you tell him that you think that you two would be really good together.”

“Yeah. And then ask him out. Like, on a date.” Zayn adds.

“On a date?”

“Yes, on a date.”

“I… a date?”

“Yes, Louis. A date.” Liam snorts. “That’s what you do when you like someone. You ask them on a date. Normally, dates go before you know, the fucking, but, well. You can’t unfuck someone.”

Zayn snorts, but Louis ignores him, turning to Liam with wide eyes.

“A date?”

Louis knows he keeps repeating himself, but he doesn’t really know what else to say. A date. Louis’ never asked a boy on a date before. He’s always been the one to be asked. He doesn’t. Fuck, Louis doesn’t have enough balls for this! This is too much! He can’t do that!

“I can’t do that!”

“Lou, yes you can!” Liam laughs. “It’s not that hard.”

“Not that-” He cuts himself off. “I- How do I go to Harry, my friend with benefits, and tell him that I want to go on a date? How?!”

“Um, you do just that? Look, it’s not like you and Harry are strangers. You are best mates! Who fuck! You are practically dating already.” Zayn reasons.

Louis does nothing but ‘ugh’ in response.

“Look, babes. This isn’t that difficult. You go to Harry, tell him you don’t love Sam anymore, which is fantastic, thank him, and then tell him you think that you two could be something more and ask him on a date!”

“It’s that simple?”

“That simple.” Liam confirms. “And, if you are still scared, it is kinda late?” No it’s not, it’s barely passed 10. Liam’s just humoring Louis. But, Louis can say that he doesn’t hate it right now.

“Yeah, just do it tomorrow. After your class, go to his and just tell him what we said.”

“Okay.” Louis nods. Yeah, he can do this. He can tell Harry he thinks they could be something, something really, really, good. He can do this.

--
Louis feels sick. He can’t do this. He’s going to throw up. Louis doesn’t know why he is scared. It’s fucking Harry. Harry who is the biggest dork Louis’ ever met.

But, he has like, the best cock Louis’ ever seen, felt, and well, sat on. He doesn’t want to lose it.. He’s grown very attached to it.

He whines when Zayn grips his arm harder, steering him towards Harry’s building. Zayn caught him fleeing from Harry’s building before he even really entered, so now he is personally escorting him to Harry’s floor.

“You’re a dick.” Louis mumbles, yanking his arm from Zayn as they enter the elevator. Zayn pushes the fifth floor button and rolls his eyes.

“You’ll thank me later.”

Zayn doesn’t get out of the elevator, just shoves Louis from it.

“I’ll be in the lobby. Grow a goddamn pair and go see him.”

“I hate you.”

“Love you too, babes.” Zayn winks and the elevator door closes.

Okay, yes. Okay, Louis can do this. He takes a deep breath and barrels down the hall. Harry’s room is at the very end and he’s in a fucking stride. He’s not even stopping. He’s just going to burst in there. Louis’ always been one for dramatic entrances.

“Harold!” He shouts as he pushes open the door. He’s lucky it’s not locked. Ninety percent of the time it is.

Louis hears Harry before he sees him, before his eyes zero in and lock on the scene in front of him. Before his brain even processes what’s going on.

And, oh my god.

Louis should’ve knocked.

“Fuck!” Harry shouts, scrambling off the girl and standing up, awkwardly covering his dick as the girl pulls the sheets over herself.

“Oh.” Louis croaks out. Jesus Christ. It would be fantastic if the the ground just opened up and swallowed him whole right now. It would save him from a lot of embarrassment.

“Fuck.” Louis repeats. Harry’s face is red, whether it’s from exertion or embarrassment, Louis isn’t sure. Louis wants to die. And cry, and scream and kick things. He- fuck, he knew he and Harry weren’t exclusive, but. God, he just didn’t realize Harry would be fucking other people. God, he didn’t think he would ever see Harry fucking other people. Jesus, Louis didn’t think. Wasn’t thinking. Isn’t thinking.

Him and Harry? He wanted him and Harry to date? He was going to ask Harry out on a date. Fuck.

“I’ll just. Yeah, I’ll go.”

Louis spins on his heels and hurries out of the room. He’s halfway down the hall when he hears Harry running after him, shouting his name.

He reaches the elevator and jabs at the button. Harry’s getting closer and closer. Louis really should’ve just taken the stairs.

“Louis.” He breathes as he comes to a stop behind him. “Gorgeous, wait.”

Louis’ skin crawls at the nickname. He wonders how many other people he’s been calling Gorgeous. How many other people has he been fucking? God, Louis feels sick. He’s so fucking naïve.

He wants to punch Harry. Spit in his face and kick him in the ribs. But, he doesn’t really have the right. Harry isn’t his boyfriend. Harry didn’t cheat on him. He didn’t do anything wrong. But, why does it feel like he did to Louis?

Louis puts on his bravest face and shakes his hair out of his eyes, turning to face Harry. His face is still very flushed, his entire chest is, too, Louis can see. He’s only wearing a ratty pair of sweats.

“Um,-”

“I’m sorry.” Harry rushes out. “That, you, you know. Walked in on that? Saw that?”

“Oh, um. No, that’s totally my fault. I uh, should’ve knocked.” He laughs awkwardly and Harry smiles sort of gratefully at him.

“I mean, a knock wouldn’t have hurt, but I wouldn’t have knocked on your door, so like, I get it.” Harry’s smile is all goofy and Louis wants to smile back, he really does, but he doesn’t have the energy. He just nods.

Why isn’t the elevator here yet?!

“You should. I’ll go, yeah? You should get back to…” What? Your girl? Your friend? The chick you were banging?

“Yeah, yeah.” Harry nods. The elevator dings and Louis surges forward to get on it.

“Wait, Lou.” Harry puts his hand on the doors, stopping them from closing.

“Yeah?”

“Why did you come over? I mean, not like. Obviously, I love when you come over, but, did you need something? What’s up?”

“Oh, um. Nothing really, just wanted to hang.”

“You sure, you seemed like you wanted to tell me something?”

Louis shrugs, he might as well just tell him. “Just, um, just realized I’m over Sam. Like, I’m not in love with him anymore. So, just wanted to come thank you.”

Harry’s face lights up. “What? Lou! That’s great! I’m so glad! Wow! This is great!”

Louis laughs awkwardly. “Yeah, yep. Fantastic. I just wanted to come see if you wanted to get like celebratory pints or something.”

“Yeah, yeah I’d love to! I mean, obviously not now-”

“And to tell you that we don’t have to do this anymore. The fucking I mean. Cause, I’m over it. Him.”

Louis doesn’t know what prompts him to say that. Because he doesn’t want that. He wants the opposite of that really. He wants to fuck Harry forever, wants to date him, and love him, and like, marry him.

Or, well, he did want that. He isn’t sure he wants that anymore. Not after what he walked in on.

Louis can barely even look at Harry. He feels betrayed and lied to. It’s stupid but. He really thought he was the only one. And now? Not only is he not the only one, but Harry’s fucking girls, too? He doesn’t even remember if Harry told him he was bi? Or if gender mattered to him? Fuck.

He really isn’t sure what he wants from Harry right now, or what he wants at all anymore.

All he knows is he wants to leave. He wants to get away. He wants Zayn and he wants his bed. He wants to cry and be upset, but he doesn’t even know if he has a right to be upset. Fuck, he wants his Mum. God, this is so fucked up.

“Oh.” Harry looks crestfallen. Louis wants to laugh at that. Why the fuck is he upset? Losing Louis’ ass shouldn’t be that big of a deal. Clearly he’s getting plenty.

“Yeah.” Louis nods. “So, uh. We can get that pint sometime, later. When you aren’t busy. You should get back by the way. Poor girl is all alone.”

Louis says that kind of harshly, he can feel the bite in his voice. Harry flinches a bit.

“Yeah. I should…” He removes one of his hands from the doors. “But, we’re good, right?”

“Oh absolutely. Peachy, mate.” Louis smiles. He’s sure it looks a bit forced, but he really cannot help it. He’s trying his best here.

Harry nods slowly. He looks apprehensive, so Louis smiles wider until Harry smiles back and takes his other hand off the door.

“We’ll talk later?” Harry asks as the doors start to close. Louis doesn’t say anything, just nods and backs up to lean against the wall. Harry waves and the doors close. He feels sick.

--
Louis flies out of Harry’s hall, not stopping to look around for Zayn. He needs to get home. He needs his bed. He-fuck.

“Hey! Louis, hey!” He hears Zayn shouting behind him, but he doesn’t slow down, not until Zayn shouts at him that he’s being a fucking twat because not only did he lie and hide shit from him, but now he’s making him run. He stops at that, halting and allowing himself to catch his breath.

“Finally, god. You fucking dick. You just made me run. You’re such an ass.”

“I’m sorry.” Louis whispers. He doesn’t want to talk any louder, he doesn’t trust his voice. He throat feels constricted. It’s like someone’s pressing on his windpipe, trying to crush the cartilage and bone. It hurts. He wants to cry. God, he’s fucking pathetic.

“Hey.” Zayn’s breath is raggedy and harsh. He really needs to cut back on the smokes. Or, he could exercise more. But, that’ll never happen. Louis doesn’t blame Zayn, though, exercising is gross. “What was that? How’d it go? What happened?”

Zayn yanks at Louis’ shoulder, forcing him to turn and face him. It takes Louis a minute to meet Zayn’s eyes and he knows Zayn can tell exactly how it went.

“Oh, Lou. What happened?”

“Oh, you know, nothing really, just walked in on him fucking a girl, so.”

“What?!” Zayn’s face is probably accurate of how Louis’ looked at the time. He’s eyes though, they’re confused for a minute, but then get all filled with pity, and Louis can’t stomach that right now.

He doesn’t want pity, he just wants a hug, which, he guesses is kinda pitying, but. Whatever, fuck it. Louis just wants Zayn to hug him. He just wants his bed and ice cream. He wants to hide from the world and maybe cry and scream for a bit.

“Yeah.” Louis mumbles. “I didn’t know either. I didn’t know that he was like, into girls. I know we weren’t exclusive, but it sucks, yeah? Walking in on him fucking someone when I was going to ask him on a date? Wow, just. Wow.”

Zayn bites at his lip and nods, seeming to read his mind because he pulls him in close and hugs him tight.

“Let’s go back to our room, babes. We shouldn’t talk about this here.”

Louis nods and squeezes Zayn tight.

“I don’t really want to talk about it at all. Kind of just want to forget.”

“Okay, we can talk later then, yeah?”

“Zayn.” Louis whines. He doesn’t want to talk at all. He wants to forget. Didn’t Zayn hear that?!

“Louis.”

“Fine. Forget now, talk later.”

“There’s a lad. Come on.”

--
Harry texts Louis later in the evening, around 8, asking if Louis’ ‘free to grab that pint’, or since it’s a ‘school night, maybe dinner instead xx?’.

Louis frowns. It’s 8. Louis isn’t a heathen. He’s already eaten dinner. He ate it about three hours ago. He squints at the bright screen, rubbing at his dry eyes (he hasn’t cried, okay? He fucking hasn’t.) and rolls over onto his back to type something back to Harry.

He tells him he can’t, he already ate, and that he’s working on coursework so a pint would be counterproductive or some shite like that.

It’s a lie, obviously it is. He isn’t working on coursework, he’s lying in bed with Niall, listening to him suck the salty remnants of crips off his fingers as they watch Skins on Niall’s Netflix. Effy and Cook are fucking in the nurse’s office and Louis can’t wait for the scene to be over. It’s reminding him of Harry and him and how they fucked in that classroom that one time. It makes him sick.

“That him?” Niall asks, leaning forward to play the next episode. He’s fingers leave greasy prints on the track pad, but Louis doesn’t say anything about it, knows Niall doesn’t give a flying fuck.

Louis groans and nods, flopping his head back down on Niall’s shoulder.

“Fuck him.” Niall says defiantly. Louis smiles at that, kissing at the exposed skin of Niall’s shoulder. He knows it’s hard for Niall to say that, knows he loves Harry, but he loves Louis more. He hates seeing Louis hurt. He got all huffy and angry earlier when they told him about what was happening, what happened, and exactly what Louis saw. He went into protective dad mode and mumbled something super Irish and threatening. Louis doesn’t know what Niall said, it was too fast and thick to translate, but he’s assuming it was something unpleasant. He even told Louis he’d go punch Harry in the teeth for him. Louis said no to that, obviously. Harry’s teeth are too pretty to be punched out. It’s cute, though, seeing Niall act like that. Louis always sees him as his carefree, happy-go-lucky little brother that he needs to protect, so it warms his heart seeing Niall stand up for him and want to protect him.

“Yeah, fuck him.” Louis nods. Niall laughs and reaches over and steals Louis’ phone, locking it and tossing it to the floor.

“Hey-”

“Shh. This is a good episode. Shut up and pay attention.”

“I’ve seen it already! About 12 times!”

“So you know how good it is! Now, shh!”

“You’re annoying.” Louis moans. Niall just wiggles his eyebrows in response. Louis laughs and rolls his eyes. Yes, Niall is very annoying, but Louis’ grateful. He’s happy for the distraction. It’s all he needs right now.

“Freddie’s hot.” Niall adds, changing the subject.

“Yeah, he is. Mmm. Also, he kind of looks like Z? You see it?”

“No.” Niall shakes his head. They lapse into a moment of silence before Niall lets out a groan. “Oh, god damn it, Louis! Now all I can see is Zayn! Ugh, I’m uncomfortable! I like, accidentally thought of Freddie while wanking one time! Fuck!”

Louis laughs. “Oh come on, you’re telling me you’ve never wanked over Zayn!?”

“You have?!”

“You’re insane if you haven’t, dude! I don’t care if you are straight! Zayn’s gorgeous!”

Niall chews on his lip. He looks sheepish, so Louis grins, sitting up and pausing the episode.

“I’ll tell you mine if you tell me yours?”

Niall groans. “Ugh, okay, fine. But, Zayn never hears this, yeah? Also, you have to go first.”

“Obviously. Now, listen up, Horan. This is some hot shit!”

--
Louis wakes with his face in Niall’s armpit. It’s not a pleasant place to wake up in, but from the smell of it Niall remembered to put on deodorant. So, at least there’s one plus. He still startles back and punches Niall in the back for good measure. Clingy, cuddly Irish bastard.

He manages to turn off his alarm without looking, because he’s talented as hell, and stumbles out of Niall’s bed and over to his fridge. He isn’t worried about being quiet, Niall’s roommates gone (honestly, Louis can’t remember the last time he saw him. Neither can Niall.) and he doesn’t give two shits about waking up Niall.

He’s original plan was to grab a water. He swears, it was that innocent. He was just going to quench his thirst.

But then… he saw the bottle of tequila just sitting there and everything flooded back to him. He remembered what happened yesterday, what he saw, why he is in Niall’s room and… well, he couldn’t say no. Louis is a sucker for tequila.

He grabs it before thinking twice. He has two classes today, one of which starts in a half hour, but Louis isn’t in the mood. Class can fuck right off. He’d much rather drink and he knows Niall certainly won’t say no.

So, that’s how he wakes Niall up, with a bottle of tequila and a jug of orange juice. It’s like a less fancy, grossier mimosa is what he tells him. Niall laughs and laughs, even almost shoots the bloody tequila out his nose. It’s hilarious and exactly what Louis needs.

Tequila, Niall, no class, and to forget about Harry. What a perfect Monday morning.

--
He’s drunk by noon. Niall is, too. They are both fucking smashed. There was tequila and then there was vanilla vodka and Coke, and then just regular vodka when the vanilla vodka got too fucking gross for Louis to handle. Plus, the fizzy-ness from the Coke wasn’t good for his gag reflex. He learned that the hard way back in college, when Stan and him thought it was a good idea to use it as a chaser. It wasn’t and there’s a stain on his basement carpet to prove it.

Everything’s fine till around 12:30 when Niall suddenly thinks it’s a smart idea to go to his 1 o’clock class. Louis’ too drunk to stop him or put up a fight, so he just calls him an idiot, grabs his shit, and stumbles back to his own room.

It’s empty when he gets there, Zayn probably in class or at the studio, or maybe Liam’s room? Or the library? Louis doesn’t know. Their schedules are taped up on the door, but he’s too lazy to look. Honestly, Louis doesn’t even know if he can read right now. He frowns. That’s kind of concerning. Louis likes to read, he’s an English major after all. It would be heartbreaking if he could no longer read.

He fumbles for his phone and texts Zayn, whining about how he’s pretty sure he can’t read anymore and how they need to look into eye transplants immediately. Probably liver, too.

Zayn responds and tells him he’s a fucking twat because of course he can still read, he just texted him no problem. Plus, he’s reading this text right now.

And oh. He is. He feels better right away and sends Zayn a selfie of him trying to lick his nose and then scrolls through his texts. He hasn’t looked at his phone since last night, so he has quite a few. Louis’ a very popular lad.

He ignores the one from his mum because he can’t text her back drunk again, it’s too early in the day and she’ll judge the fuck out of him. Then, she’ll probably try to get him to go to therapy again, which ugh. He doesn’t have Daddy issues, okay? He doesn’t. He doesn’t need therapy.

He ignores group chat with Niall, Zayn, Liam, and Harry. It wasn’t very active last night, only a few texts, most of them Niall talking about how hot Kaya Scodelario is, so he doesn’t feel bad not responding. He ignores Liam’s text because it’s too caring and sweet and he really doesn’t want to throw up right now. He ignores Niall’s because it’s drunk gibberish and he ignores Stan’s because it’s a nude from this girl he’s seeing and Louis doesn’t give two fucks about her tits, nor does he care how hard Stan came on them last week.

When he’s finally done ignoring and reading all his messages, he only has one person’s left. Harold. He groans when he sees he has five messages from him. He doesn’t want to read these. He’s too drunk for this. He’s not drunk enough for this.

He crawls from his place leaning against the door over to the fridge and digs out Liam’s Bourbon. He doesn’t know why Liam has Bourbon or why it’s in Zayn and Louis’ fridge, but it is and Louis’ thirsty so he’s going to fucking drink it.

He takes a long pull before clicking on Harry’s messages. There are two from last night, the first a series of crying emojis and the next a text saying it’s okay, but ‘we have to go out tomorrow, pllllllllleeeeeeeease Lou, I miss you xxxxxxx’. Louis scowls at that one. Harry’s a turd. A straight turd. Shut up. ‘Miss you’. Louis scoffs. His fucking ass.

The next ones are from today, the first a good morning text, the next one asking him about how his lecture is going, and the last asking him if he’s okay followed by that really sad looking, down in the dumps emoji.

Louis shouldn’t text back, he knows he shouldn’t. He’s drunk, this is a recipe for disaster. But, he’s by himself, know one is here to stop him. Louis Tomlinson is a reckless, ballsy bastard. Of course he texts back.

Don’t know, didn’t go. Tooooooo d runk.

Harry’s reply is almost instantaneous.

Harry Styles: … Are you drunk right now?

Louis Tomlinson: V

Harry Styles: Oh my god. Louis, it’s 1 in the afternoon. How drunk are you right now?

Louis Tomlinson: v v v v v v v vvvvvvvvv ! ! ! ! ! ! !111

Louis giggles as he sends all those v’s. V is a funny letter. People should use it more often.

Harry Styles: Are you by yourself? Where are you?

Louis Tomlinson: V ! BOUR biiiiin, u fee l ? i don’t give a dick if u don’ t ! ha !

Harry Styles: Bourbon? You’re drinking Bourbon? Where the fuck did you get Bourbon? Are you in your room?

Louis Tomlinson: BBbbbbbouron !11 fridge bITCh

Harry Styles: Louis, answer me, are you in your room? Babe, please. Are you okay?

Louis Tomlinson: fuck u

Louis locks his phone. Fuck Harry. Fuck him so much. He doesn’t get to do that! He doesn’t get to act all caring and nice and sweet. Not when he fucks other people, girls, behind Louis’ back. Or, in front of his face? God, it’s just. He’s a dick. He didn’t do anything wrong, not technically, but emotionally? He did. He fucked Louis up. He doesn’t get to be nice. No.

Louis pushes his phone under his bed, ignoring Harry response. He turns back to their fridge. He wonders if he has anything good to mix with this Bourbon. Gatorade? Bourbon and Gatorade? That could be a new cocktail. Louis could invent that and get super rich, become a proper millionaire. Possibly billionaire. Then he could fly somewhere far away, like Fiji or Australia. There he can pretend Harry Styles never existed, or well, doesn’t exist. He could meet cute boys with stick straight hair and small, brown eyes that talk really fast and are of average height and have no tattoos.

It’s a great plan, possibly the greatest plan Louis’ ever made. He needs to get to work. He has to start mixing cocktails, like yesterday.

--
Bourbon plus Gatorade equals no. A serious no. A straight up no. An absolute no.

Louis only gets about half a glass down before he’s face first in the bin, throwing up the entire contents of his stomach.

It’s the awful kind of throwing up, the kind that’s nonstop. Louis can’t stop puking, can barely pause and get a deep breath. He can’t take a drink of water and he can’t wipe at his mouth. It burns, too, his esophagus is on fire. He doesn’t know when he started crying, but he is. He can feel the snot and tears run down his face. He feels like he is dying and there is no one here to save him. Fucking great, what a way to go.

He hears the door open, but he can’t look up to see who it it, but he has a pretty good guess. He wants to shout at Harry to leave him alone, but he can’t because he’s puking and crying and covered in snot and he fucking needs someone there. He needs help.

He sobs, choking slightly on his next round, and he hears Harry curse and start rummaging around. He feels him sit beside him and a moment later one of his big hands is rubbing soft circles on Louis back.

“Oh, babe.”

Louis doesn’t do anything, but whine. Harry’s hand leaves his back to card through his hair. He tugs slightly and Louis lifts his head from the pin slowly. He doesn’t seem to have to puke again, so he lifts it more and turns to meet Harry’s eyes.

Harry smiles softly as he takes in Louis’ face. “Still gorgeous as ever, even when covered with, well, all of this.”

Louis wants to shout, wants to lift his fist and punch Harry in the face for that, but he doesn’t have the energy. He just groans and takes the flannel from Harry’s hand. He wipes his face clean and takes the water and the mouthwash from him to rinse his mouth.

“What’s wrong, Lou?” Harry asks when Louis hands the cups back to him. “Why are you drunk right now, babe?”

Louis feels dizzy. He isn’t as drunk as he was (he puked a lot, okay?), but he’s still fucking drunk. He doesn’t want to cry at Harry, tell him this is his fault, that he broke Louis’ heart before Louis even had the chance to give it to him. So, he shakes his head and tries to stand up.

Harry helps him up immediately, securing an arm around his waist and pulling him to his feet.

“Can you answer me?” Harry asks again. He leads Louis over to sit on his bed. He goes over to his wardrobe after, pulling out a new, fresh t shirt for Louis, as well as some new trackies.

“Stupid.” Is what Louis settles on. “Niall.” He adds that because that’s one hundred percent believable. Harry laughs slightly and ruffles Louis’ hair as he hands him the clothes.

“You have to stop listening to him. You two are no good together.” Harry laughs and Louis forces out his own.

“Now, come on. Let’s get you changed and to bed, okay?”

Louis nods and Harry helps him pull off his shirt. He can feel his cheeks burning from embarrassment and he doesn’t understand why. Harry’s seen him ass naked, hell, Harry’s been in his ass.

He shies away anyway, dunks his head as Harry helps him slide on the new shirt. He lets Harry pull him to his feet and pull off his trousers to slide the new pair on.

“You want to go brush your teeth or is the mouthwash enough?” Harry asks as Louis climbs into his bed.

His mouth feels gross and honestly, the mouthwash probably wasn’t enough, but he doesn’t want to get up. Plus, his room is dark and the loo is probably too bright. So, it can wait.

“Fine.” Louis mumbles. Harry nods and Louis settles back into the pillows feeling really awkward all the sudden. Does he tell Harry to leave? Does he thank him? Does he-

He’s inner monologue of worrying is pushed aside when Harry peels of his jeans and climbs into bed alongside Louis, pulling him close for a proper cuddle.

“Go to sleep, mate. I’ll be here when you wake up.”

Louis cringes at that. He doesn’t know if he should feel relief or dread.

--
Louis wakes up halfway sometime later to voices. He’s in that groggy place where you aren’t really conscious, but you’re not fully unconscious. It’s weird and his head hurts, so he doesn’t open his eyes, just halfway listens to the voices around him.

He can hear Harry, his deep, slow, gravelly tone is close by, but not right next to. He must have gotten out of bed.

“I just don’t understand why he was so smashed, like, it was only the afternoon?”

“Mate.” That’s Zayn’s voice. “I don’t know what to tell you. Niall and Louis are really dumb, aren’t you guys?”

Niall’s laugh fills the room. “So dumb. But, I won. Fucker has to buy me Nandos for the rest of his life.”

“I’m pretty sure you just said a week 20 minutes ago.” Liam adds.

“I like the rest of his life more. I love food.”

“We know.” They all say in unison.

“Well,” Harry says. “I’m glad he wasn’t upset or anything. I’m happy this was just like, a dumb bet. Just… don’t leave him alone next time, Niall, yeah? He was a proper mess.”

“Yeah, but Haz, the bet was going and sitting through an entire lecture drunk without anyone noticing. I had to leave him! I wanted to win!”

“Well…yeah, okay. I get that. But, guys, he was just such a mess. It was…fuck, heartbreaking. He seemed so upset about something. Like, what’s wrong?”

“Nothing’s wrong, Hazzy.” Niall assures.

“Yeah, mate. Nothing is. Or, if there is, Louis hasn’t told us. So, I don’t know what to tell you.” Zayn says. Louis almost smiles. Harry doesn’t know they know and Louis almost forgot that. It was smart of them to say nothing was wrong.

“Right, okay.” Harry nods. “Yeah, um. I’ve to go, I have to meet up for a group project. But, stay with him, yeah? Please, for me? I can come back later if you guys need to go or want to eat or-”

“Harry.” Liam cuts him off from his babbling and Louis’ extremely glad. He’s overstepping. He’s being too caring. Louis’ too tired to cry right now.

“We have this.” Zayn says. “We have dealt with drunk Louis quite a few times. It’ll be okay, he’ll be okay.”

“Great. Good. I’m glad.” Louis can picture Harry nodding and a moment later he feels his lips press against his cheek. “Bye, Lou.”

Louis holds his breath while Harry cards his fingers through his hair before leaving, the door closing quietly behind him.

“This is messy, lads.” Niall mumbles. “Messy.”

Louis agrees. He never wants to open his eyes. Ever.

--
Louis is the King of Avoidance. The absolute King. He deserves a bloody crown.

He’s absolutely phenomenal at avoiding Zayn, even more so with Harry. He means it, he’s fucking ace at it.

He wakes up early enough to avoid Zayn (the boy sleeps like the dead), sneaking out and moving from place to place every hour so Zayn can’t find him.

The technique also works with Harry. It also helps that Harry is younger and busier and has other friends. He isn’t around enough to catch Louis in his lies. And Louis has made himself quite a web. Harry texts Louis all the time, but Louis is vague with all his responses, spinning and weaving bullshit lie after bullshit lie.

Harry buys them because he’s genuine and kind, and has like a heart of gold and all that jazz (though he doesn’t because he’s a piece of trash that hurt Louis). (But, fuck, he doesn’t realize so he isn’t trash… but he is, okay? He fucking is.)

But, Louis’ human after all. He isn’t a black widow and he isn’t able to sit on his web of lies forever. He might have the name of a king, but he isn’t one. He doesn’t have a crown or a throne, and it’s proven when it all comes to a head about a week later.

Liam catches him, because of fucking course he does, who the fuck else gets up so bloody early voluntarily!

“Stop!” Liam’s voice starts Louis and he drops his water bottle on his toe.

“Ow, fuck. What the-Liam!” Louis whispers, letting go of the door knob to pick up his dropped water. It’s still dark in the room, the curtains pulled tight and not a single light on. Louis and Zayn both hate the light. They’re far from morning people. The sun sucks.

“Stop.” Liam repeats again, voice firm. He’s sat up straight in Zayn’s bed staring at Louis all stern and shit. Louis feels ashamed. He thinks of spiders and kings again. He wonders if this is how kings feel when they get dethroned, or lose a war, or men, or some shit like that. Or, maybe this is how spiders feel when they see a foot about to come down on them. He feels sort of ashamed, yeah, but mostly he just feels fucked. Absolutely fucked. But, this was inevitable. He couldn’t hide and run forever. He can’t stop this, can’t stop Liam’s foot from crushing him, can’t stop him from dethroning him and destroying his kingdom of lies. As much as Louis hates it admit it, Liam’s stronger and well, he’s tiny. Honestly, Liam could probably throw him across the room if given the chance.

“Sit down.” Louis hears Zayn mumble, his face still in the pillow. He feels his mouth drop.

“Zayn?! You’re up? It’s 8 AM.”

“I fucking know.” Zayn grumbles, pushing up to his elbows. “You’re a fucking bitch.”

“Oh. Wow, okay. Well, I mean, why the fuck should I sit down if you are just going to call me-”

“Sit down.”

“That unison thing is creepy, I don’t like it.” Louis grumbles, marching over to his bed and plopping down. Oh, it’s so soft. Louis really wants to go back to sleep. Maybe he’ll be able to now. They caught him, so maybe they can just yell and be all parent-y and then he can go back to sleep. What a dream, Louis would love that.

“I don’t like you.” Zayn whines, sitting up further and rubbing at his eyes.

“Same.” Louis pouts.

“Shut up.” Liam sighs. “Both of you. Shut up.”

“Hey.” Zayn whines.

“Babe. I love you, but shut up. Louis, you shut up, too. Wait, no. Talk. Talk and explain.”

“Explain?” Louis asks, raising his voice. He’s trying his best to fake confusion and play dumb.

“Shut up.” Zayn voices. “You know. You know exactly what we are talking about.”

“Exactly.” Liam adds. “So, fucking explain yourself. Explain what you have been doing this past week. Why have you been avoiding us?”

“I haven’t been av-”

“Louis. It’s 8 in the morning. I shouldn’t be up, but I am. I am for you. I am doing this for you. So, don’t be a dick. Fucking explain yourself before I rip your balls off.”

“Ow.”

“Louis fucking William fucking Tomlinson.” Zayn snarls. “I’m three seconds from punching you in the dick.”

“Okay, okay.” He sighs. “I get it, okay? I’ll explain.”

“Thank you.” Liam sighs. Zayn nods and mumbles something, pulling the blanket around him and snuggling closer to Liam. Louis feels himself frown a bit, envy burning bright in his belly. He wants that. He wants that so bad. He misses it, he had that and then he almost had that again, with a better, hotter, nicer man, but then well.

They stare at him and Louis only lasts a few seconds before he cracks.

“I didn’t want your pity.”

“Our pity?”

“Your pity.” Louis nods. “I didn’t want it. I knew, I just bloody knew that when I woke up and you were all there, that you would all look at me with that, that fucking pity. And I didn’t want that, I don’t want that.”

“Loui-”

“I didn’t want your pity. I didn’t want you to look at me, like ‘oh, poor, sad Louis, didn’t know how to handle his feelings, how to handle his rejection’ even though, it’s not totally rejection because I didn’t even tell him, but I mean, I walked in on him fucking some whore! Okay, that’s mean, she’s probably not a whore-”

“Louis.” Zayn cuts in.

“Right, yeah, should stay on track. Um. I didn’t want you to look at me the way I knew you would look at me. I got drunk, too drunk, and he had to come save me, rescue me like some bloody prince charming. That fucking sucked. I was so fucking sad and upset, all from him! And then he comes and is so fucking sweet and gentle. He fucking cleaned up my vomit, like. What the fuck. It was fucking awful and I knew that when I woke up and saw you guys you would know how much that sucked. And you would pity me. Liam, you would look at me with your puppy dog eyes and Zayn, you would talk in that stupid accent I love so much. I just, I couldn’t handle that.”

He takes a deep breath after his speech, somehow feeling even more exhausted. His heart is heavy and his body aches and he just wants Harry, but this is all Harry’s fault. He’s embarrassed and ashamed and fucking tired.

“Babes.” Zayn whispers.

Louis feels like crying. He shakes his head. “Don’t do it. Your voice is doing it, don’t fucking pity me, Zayn. Don’t fucking do it. If you do it, I’ll start crying right now. I’ll scream. It’ll be ugly. Chaotic. Loud. It will take too much energy, energy that I don’t fucking have. Don’t fucking do it. I’ll leave, I mean it, I will.”

Zayn holds his hands up. “Okay, I’m sorry. I won’t do it.”

“Please don’t leave.” Liam pleads. “We won’t do it. Don’t leave.”

“You promise?”

“We promise.” Zayn nods, standing and coming to cuddle Louis. “We can just chill, yeah? Skip class and play some FIFA? Maybe get a little high?”

“You get more shit?”

“Obviously.” Zayn snorts. “Tried to tell you, but you were ignoring my texts and hiding from me. It was all very rude.”

“I apologize, sunshine.”

“Good.” Zayn laughs “And don’t call me sunshine.”

“Only his mum can. Isn’t that right, baby?” Liam laughs.

“Fuck off. You gonna skip with us or not, nerd?”

Liam scowls. “I’m paying a lot of money for these classes! I’m not just not going to go!”

“Oh shut up, Lemon. Go to your class and bring us back some chips, yeah? Really craving them.”

“It’s 8 in the morning, Louis!”

“You my mum or something, mate? Get to stepping and don’t forget to bring back the chips!”

“Did you just say stepping?”

“Zayn, how much do you love Liam? Like, how much would you miss him if I murdered him? I need to know how much crying I would have to deal with after.”

--
The rest of the day goes pretty much like that, Zayn and Louis lounging around in their pants, playing video games, stuffing their faces with the chips Liam brings them after his classes, and talking about everything but Harry. It’s fantastic.
The food isn’t enough to fill them, though, and soon Zayn starts complaining that he wants something other than chips and the Red Bull they’ve been guzzling.

Louis pitches a fit about getting dressed, but let’s them drag him out of the room to Niall’s and then to the dining hall.

The food’s shit, but they’re broke Uni kids so it’s not like they have many other options. Plus, Louis is saving his cash for more alcohol. The only bottle in their fridge is Liam’s Bourbon, and well, Louis doesn’t need to get reacquainted with that any time soon. He’d much rather hang out with his good friends, vodka and tequila.

Louis’ five years old and gets ice cream for dinner while the rest of them get actual food. Well, what is supposed to be actual food. It’s more like shit trying to disguise itself as food in Louis’ opinion. Niall eats it up like it’s gourmet, but that really isn’t saying much. The kid eats anything.

Dinner is going along just fine, until it’s not. Zayn and Liam are making heart eyes at each other while Niall talks animatedly at Louis with huge gestures and a mouth full of food when Louis sees it. Sees him. Harry.

He’s walking into the dining hall, all tall and gangly. He’s laughing loudly with some friends Louis thinks are Nick and Daisy, his big hands waving around stupidly. Louis feels sick. He tears his eyes away, forcing them back on Niall’s stuffed mouth, trying his best to ignoring his thumping heart and sweaty palms.

“Oh!” Niall stops suddenly, raising up a bit. “Haz is here! Should I call him over? Hey-”

Liam reacts before Niall can get the rest of his sentence out, clamping a hand on Niall’s mouth and forcing his bum back on chair.

“No.” His voice is all fatherly and scolding. Niall’s brow furrows and he looks confused for a minute before it hits him.

“Oh, fuck. Right, sorry, Lou.”

That’s it. Louis can’t do this. He just shakes his head and stands up. “I um, I can’t be here. I’m, I’m going to go. See you back at the room. Um, bye.”

With that he turns in makes his way towards the door. He makes the mistake of looking up and back over at Harry and his friends.

And, well, that’s the biggest mistake Louis could’ve made. Harry chooses that moment to look up and directly at Louis. Their eyes meet and Louis’ stomach drops.

He has to play it cool, though. He gives Harry an awkward, small smile and then tears his eyes away, hurrying his ass the hell out of there.

--
He thinks he’s in the clear, thinks he made it out scot-free. His phone isn’t buzzing with a call or text from Harry, so he’s all good, he’s perfect. Everything’s fine.

“Louis.”

Nothing’s fine. Louis’ heart drops, hand falling from the handle of the door to his building. Fuck, Louis’ way too confident for his own good. Way.

He spins, plastering a fake smile on his face. “Haz!”

Harry’s face isn’t a pleasant sight and Louis’ taken back, his own smile fading. “Haz?”

“Can we talk?” His voice isn’t pleasant either. Louis is a spider and he’s about to be squished. He should really text his mum and let her know he loves her endlessly.

“I, uh, yeah? What’s up?”

“Not here. Your room. Let’s go.” He’s quick with his words, spitting them out before pushing past Louis and heading inside.

He doesn’t wait for Louis, just starts right up the stairs (which, Louis isn’t happy about. He lives on the third floor. That’s high enough for the elevator, goddamn it.). Louis follows after him quickly, moving past him to unlock the door when they reach it.

“What’s up?” Louis asks again, leaning against the door after he closes it. Harry’s stares at him before he starts pacing, wringing his hands as he moves.

“What’s up?” He finally settles on, stopping to glare at Louis. “What’s up? You haven’t spoken to me in week and all you say is ‘what’s up’?”

“I’ve spoken to you!” Louis defends. Harry snorts.

“Sure. You’ve texted me, barely, just half arsed things. But, you haven’t properly spoken to me in a week, Louis. A week!”

“I-”

“You’ve been avoiding me.”

“Have not!” Louis sputters out. It’s a lie, but, well. What can Louis do!?

Harry snorts again. “Have to. Stop bloody lying.”

Louis doesn’t respond, because, fuck, he was lying, is lying. Harry shakes his head and barrels on.

“Yes, so you were avoiding me. And, well, I figured it was because you were embarrassed for what happened. I thought that was quite shit, there’s no need to be embarrassed about for being so sloppy drunk in front of me. I don’t care. We’ve all been there. I wanted to come and tell you that there was nothing to worry about it, that it was fine. And then I thought maybe it was because you walked in on me and Callie. You shouldn’t be embarrassed about that either, that happens. I mean, we’re in Uni for Christ’s sake-”

“Harry-” Louis chokes out. He wants him to stop. Stop talking about that night, that girl. Who he now knows is named Callie. Louis hates the name Callie. What a stupid name.

“I wanted to come and talk to you again, but then Niall mentioned that you were avoiding them, too, so then I thought, well maybe he is going through something, or just needs to be by himself for a while. I was just going to give you time, give you space. But, then I see you tonight!? With them!? Laughing and a fan-fucking-tastic time. I don’t get it. I don’t get why you avoided us all for a week, but all the sudden you are all over them again when you can’t even respond properly to one of my texts? So, what the fuck, mate? Explain yourself.”

Louis’ speechless. It’s the fastest he has ever heard Harry talk in his life. And, the harshest. And, it is directed at Louis. He feels sick, he needs to sit down, he just. He needs a hot minute.

“I said explain!” Harry shouts again. Louis feels himself physically jump at that. Harry actually, for real shouted at him. Louis feels himself just gape at him.

“Close your fucking mouth unless you’re going to goddamn explain yourself!”

“Fuck you!” Louis shouts because how dare Harry say that shit to him. How dare he. “Give me a fucking minute, yeah? Fucking jumping down my throat like that. Fuck off.”

Harry huffs, crossing his arms, but listens to Louis and doesn’t say another word. Louis uses that opportunity to take a breath. He doesn’t want to do this, he really doesn’t want to do this. But, he needs to. He needs to just be honest and get it out of the way. He can’t run from it anymore. Louis feels really, really sick.

“I’m not in love anymore.” He whispers.

“What?” Harry asks. “Speak up, I can’t hear when you whisper, mate.”

“Okay, I know you’re mad, but don’t be fucking rude.” Louis spits. “I’m not fucking in love anymore.”

“I know that, Louis. You told me that last week.”

“I know. That’s the problem.”

“The problem is that you told me?”

“No, the problem is that I’m not in love anymore, Harry. I’m not in love with Sam anymore. I don’t give a shit about him anymore. And it’s all thanks to you.”

“You’re welcome? I’m sorry, you’re mad about this?”

“No.” Louis shrugs. “I’m not mad. I’m grateful, really.”

“Louis, I’m really confused here. I feel like we are talking in circles.”

Louis sighs and looks away from Harry, choosing to stare at his thumbs instead. “The problem is I’m not in love with Sam anymore and I’m not in love with you.”

Louis doesn’t look up to see Harry’s reaction to that because he doesn’t think he’s physically able to. He feels his throat getting tight and he refuses to cry, so he clears it and continues on.

“I’m not in love with you, but I can see myself being in love with you. Falling for you. Starting a life with you. And, well, I didn’t want to be that cliché and technically I’m not, but I could be. And I told Zayn how I felt and then he and Liam told me that I needed to man up and like, ask you on a date. That uh, the day I walked in on you and her, Callie, I was going to ask you.”

“Oh my god.” Harry whispers. Louis can’t detect what emotion he’s feeling in his voice, but he still refuses to look up. He fucking can’t look up.

“I…” Harry starts. “Fuck, Louis it wasn’t supposed to be this way. It wasn’t supposed to go this way.”

Harry doesn’t even have Louis’ heart, but Louis’ pretty sure that he just smashed it into a hundred pieces.

He really feels like he could throw up.

“I know.” He whispers instead. “I’m sorry.”

“No, fuck. Louis, oh, god. I’m so sorry, I’m so sorry. Fuck, I don’t know what to say, fuck. I’m sorry.”

Louis sees Harry’s feet start to move and he backs up further into the door, his feet hitting it with a loud thud.

“Please, don’t.” He shakes his head. “Please don’t touch me.”

“Louis.” Harry’s voice sounds so sad, but fuck that. Louis feels sad. Louis is the one who gets to be sad here. He shakes his head and finally looks up.

Harry’s face is sad, too, the anger long gone.

“I think it’d be best if you left.”

“Louis.” Harry pleads. “Come on, no. Let’s talk about this.”

“I don’t want to talk about it anymore, Harry. I really don’t. I want you to leave. Now.”

“Louis-”

“Harry!” Louis voice cracks and he’s so fucking ashamed. He wants to crawl into a hole and hide forever. “Please. Please, just go.”

Harry nods slowly. “Okay, I’ll leave.”

Louis moves away from the door and leans against his desk instead, crossing his arms and curling in on himself.

“I’m sorry.” Harry says one more time.

“Yeah, mate. Me too.”

Harry nods softly and then he leaves. Louis slumps against his desk and tries his best to stop himself from crying.

“Me fucking too.” He straightens up and makes his way over to their fridge, opening up and frowning at the contents.

He wonders if he could steal an IV from student health and inject tequila right into his veins. It’s probably the only thing that would really help.

But, he doesn’t have the energy for that. Or the tequila. So, he reaches for the Bourbon instead, settling with drinking it straight from the bottle.

--
Louis’ drunk. And, possibly an alcoholic.

“Neil!” He shouts, rolling over on his back and sticking his cup out. “Freshen my drink!”

Niall sighs and glances over to Zayn and Liam. “Are we not going to say anything about this afternoon drinking? We’re just going to enable it?”

“Oh, big word, Neil. I’m very proud.”

“Fuck off, Lou.”

“Not until you freshen my drink!” Louis beams, giggling loudly. Niall moans and stands up.

“Are you two even listening to me?” Niall huffs. Louis watches as he unscrews the lid of his “adult sippy cup” and starts pouring in some tequila. He stops about halfway.

“Hey, add way more!” Louis demands, kicking his feet. Niall glares at him and caps the alcohol, grabbing at the orange juice next.

“Don’t push me, big boy.”

“Yes, Daddy.” Louis winks at him. Niall gags and Zayn snorts. Liam probably rolled his eyes, Louis is just too lazy to look.

“We aren’t ignoring you, Ni.” Zayn finally answers. Louis plucks up the energy to loll his head to the side to stare at him. He and Liam are sitting on his bed, both buried in textbooks. Louis kind of wants to vom at that.

“He’s tolerable when he’s drunk. Sober, he’s too sad and mopey. And while, yes, we are his friends and should be there for him and probably shouldn’t encourage him to get drunk instead of deal with his feelings, finals are coming up and we need to study. So, add a little more tequila.”

Fuck, finals are coming up. Louis should study. But, you know, Louis has priorities and tequila just happens to be number one.

“I love you, Zayn.” He says, turning back to grin at Niall when he adds a little more tequila. “I also love you, Neil. You too, Lima bean. You know who I don’t love?”

“Let me guess.” Niall says, coming back and handing Louis his drink. He plops on the floor and picks up a way too big textbook. “Harry?”

Louis wrinkles his nose, both at the name and at the book. “Harry.” He agrees. “What a fucking twat.”

“Totally.” Zayn agrees.

“Huge one.” Liam adds.

Niall just hums and Louis grins. “Yep. I don’t love Harry. Love you guys, not Harry. Love tequila, not Harry. Love cookies, not Harry.”

“I too love cookies, mate.” Niall laughs. Louis giggles and sticks the straw in his mouth. Yeah, this is good. Tequila is good. His boys are great. Everything is fine. No need for Harry. Fuck Harry.

--
Louis is miserable. Absolutely miserable.

Everything isn’t fine. Everything is the exact opposite. Everything is the sucky. Everything is the worst.

Alcohol doesn’t help anymore. Which, is one reason why Louis thinks he could be tipping the scale on that whole “alcoholic” thing. It takes longer for Louis to get drunk because he’s built up such a fucking tolerance and it doesn’t even work anymore. The tequila drinking used to stop the Harry thinking and the Harry feelings, but it does the reverse now. It’s like it intensifies the Harry feelings. It makes Louis’ brain think Harry and only Harry.

He can’t get away, can’t escape the feelings. He drinks, he feels. He doesn’t drink, he feels. It’s fucked. Completely fucked.

So, his solution is to hide from the world and to just cry. He decides to do it sober (okay, no Liam decided that for him “if it doesn’t work anymore Louis, there is no use for it. Jesus, give your liver a break, yeah?”), instead stuffing his face with milkshakes and not his signature cocktail (that’s the tequila and orange juice, of course).

It’s awful is the thing, awful and just fucking sad. And, kind of boring. At least with the alcohol he felt all these Harry feels while the room spun and he saw like five Zayn’s at one time.

Now, he’s just lying in his bed, having ditched Liam, Zayn, and Niall at the library because fuck studying, staring at the ceiling feeling hopelessly sad and completely sober. It’s boring to just stare at the ceiling, but Louis’ too sad and miserable to grab his laptop and watch some Netflix. He doesn’t think he could smile right now if he tried.

He takes another sip of his milkshake, frowning when he realizes he’s almost out. He grabs his phone, sending Niall a quick ‘be a good lad n pick me up a medium cookie dough. i’ll pay u in blowjobS, plural xxxx’. He snorts at Niall’s reply ‘this cock’s too good for ur dirty mouth, Tommo’, making to respond when there’s a knock on the door.

He groans because no one else is here to get it which means he has to and rolls out of bed, stumbling to the door. He hasn’t walked in what feels like years.

He looks like shit, he knows he does, he hasn’t shaved since the whole Harry thing (five days) or showered for three, but he doesn’t give two fucks. It’s probably his RA coming to bitch Louis and Zayn out again for god knows what. He seems to have some sort of vendetta against them. It may or may not be because of the dick pic prank they pulled last semester. It’s not Louis’ fault he found a photo of the dude’s dick, but he does take full responsibility for printing multiple copies and taping them to his door. Whatever, it was funny. He has no regrets.

“What?” Louis huffs, pulling open the heavy door. “Oh.” Because oh my god.

“Hi.” Harry croaks out, voice low and posture awkward as all get-out. Louis gapes because he’s literally speechless again. This fucking kid just absolutely takes the words right out of his brain.

He looks like shit, too, which makes Louis feel a sick sort of warm and fuzzy. His long hair is greasy, curls straightening at the end because of it. He’s in an oversized sweater and his jeans aren’t even that tight. He isn’t wearing boots, just a scuffed up pair of old converse.

The whole lack of boots thing is certainly out of character for him and Louis feels even warmer. He’s probably going to hell, but hey, it is what it is.

Harry clears his throat, reaching to scratch awkwardly at his neck. “Um, can I come in? Can we talk?”

“What are you doing here?” Louis demands, ignoring his question. Because, how dare he. How fucking dare he just show up to Louis’ room like this. God, Louis should punch him, clock him right in the eye, maybe the groin. Cause him pain just like he caused Louis. He deserves it.

Harry sighs. “Louis, please. Can we talk?”

“What’s there to say?” Louis asks, crossing his arms.

“Please.” Harry pleads. “There’s a lot to say. I need to say a lot. Please, don’t make me say it out here in the hall.”

“Scared someone will see you in those sneakers instead of your sparkly booties?” Louis cracks, shoving the door further open and moving so Harry can slink in. Like the fucking snake he is.

Louis isn’t really sure if he is a snake, but he is an ass, so whatever. If the shoe fits.

Ugh, Louis’ really isn’t drunk enough for this. Because he’s not drunk at all. He’s sober. God, fuck you, Liam.

“Can I sit here?” Harry asks, nodding to Zayn’s bed. Louis shrugs and moves to sit on his, tucking his feet underneath himself.

“How are you?” Harry asks. Louis scoffs.

“Let’s not do this. You said you wanted to talk. Talk.”

“Right.” Harry nods. “Okay.” He clears his throat and Louis fights the urge to lunge at it. You know, to attack and claw it. Not like, bite it or anything. No. No way.

“So.”

“Harry. I’m not in the mood to listen to your long winded stories. Just fucking get to the point, would you m-”

“I’ve liked you since the start.” He says, cutting him off. “Since the very start. Since the night I met you at the party. I’ve never kept it a secret, I was very open about it. Hell, I even called you gorgeous the whole night.”

“I know.” Louis states.

“Yeah, so. I’ve always liked you, Louis. Always. I always wanted more. I wanted to pick you up that night, but you turned me down, but I was just so intrigued and you looked so sad, I couldn’t leave you. So, I offered to buy you waffles. I just wanted to see you smile.”

“But, the thing is, I really wanted to feel you smile, as dumb as that sounds. I wanted to feel it. Against my own lips, against my skin. Anywhere. I just wanted to feel you. I wanted to kiss you so bad, but I couldn’t because you were sad and you were in love with him.”

Louis is a bit stunned if he’s being honest. Sure, he knew Harry must’ve liked him, he knew that he had an attraction to him because yes, he did try to pick him up and take him home, but still, it’s weird hearing it. It makes it way too real.

“You were so upset that you still loved him. You wanted to get over him and I wanted to kiss you, so I did what I thought was best. I just kissed you. And you freaked and then I realized I probably shouldn’t have just kissed you like that, but then we talked and became friends with benefits. It was good. That was good. And, fuck, Louis, you told me you were worried about being that clichè, but fuck, babe, I already was that clichè. I’ve liked you since that start. Becoming friends who just fuck that was selfish of me. I did that because I wanted to touch you. Yeah, I wanted to help you get over him, but I wanted you. All of you.”

“I-I didn’t know, didn’t let myself think that maybe you could like me too. That this thing could turn into something. I thought it was always me just liking you so much and you just trying to stop loving Sam. That’s all I thought it was. And I was fine with it, me being more into it than you, or so I thought, for a while. But, then, one day-fuck. We were in my bed and you were straddling me and messing with my hair, putting it into all those little buns and I just looked up at you and it’s like I was punched in that gut. You just looked so unbelievable gorgeous. Absolutely breathtaking, I couldn’t believe you were in my bed and you were with me. But, you weren’t mine and I just got so sad.”

Louis remembers that day. They had spent all afternoon in his bed, crawling into it the moment they finished class for the day. He had managed to put 15 tiny buns in Harry’s hair. He remembers Harry looking up at that, remembers the exact moment Harry’s face fell. He hadn’t known why, just bent down and kissed him until he smiled again. That was only a few days before he realized he wasn’t in love with Sam anymore.

“I knew I couldn’t do it anymore. I couldn’t mess around with you because I was falling and I couldn’t-I couldn’t do that to myself. It hurt too much. So, I decided to mess around with other people. You know, try to clear myself of the feelings. She, Callie, was the first person other than you I’ve slept with since we started this, just so you know. So, um, yeah. That’s it. That’s what I wanted to say.”

Louis feels himself nod. It’s a lot, a lot to take in and process. He looks up at Harry and studies him. He really does look like shit. His hair really does need to be washed and he probably needs to do his laundry, too. He also really needs to stop biting his lip.

“Did it work?” He asks.

“What?” Harry’s asks, teeth still digging into his lip.

“You’re gonna chew that off.” Louis says softly. Harry stops biting at it immediately and Louis smiles at that. This boy makes his heart ache. Possibly in a good way.

“Sorry, did what work?”

“Sleeping with her. Did it work? Did it rid your feelings?”

Harry shakes his head. “No, no. Absolutely not. I, um, I didn’t try anymore after you walked in. I’ve been trying alcohol instead.”

“That working?”

“Nope.”

“Hey, me either.” Louis smiles. Harry smiles and let’s out a small laugh. Fuck, Louis didn’t realize how much he missed hearing that.

“So…” Louis asks, standing up and walking the short distance towards Harry. Harry’s big, wide frog eyes stare up at him and Louis shoves at him until he’s in a position for Louis to slide comfortably onto his lap.

“You have feelings for me?” He asks, hands finding the straight, unwashed ends of Harry’s hair. Harry’s hands cautiously rest on Louis’ waist and he nods.

“Do you love me?” Louis asks. “Because, I- I don’t know if I love you yet, but I still mean it. I can still see myself falling for you and loving you. I can see it so clearly, Haz.”

“I can see it, too, Gorgeous. I don’t love you, but I can see it.”

Louis grins and Harry grins right back. He can feel all the misery he felt melting away because Harry’s here and he’s in Harry’s arms and they don’t love each other, but they could. Louis feels like happy sobbing.

“It’s a good thing that.” Louis smiles. “Because, you know, if you loved me you would be able to tell me that you didn’t want to kiss me because I can’t remember the last time I brushed my teeth, but since you don’t and I don’t love you, but we want to be in love, you have to be quiet and just kiss me and pretend you don’t notice how rank it is.”

Harry laughs, his loud, stupid seal laugh and Louis feels like rainbows and goddamn sunshine.

“I so don’t love you.” Harry laughs. Louis grins and kisses him quick, whispering ‘I don’t love you, too’ against his lips.

--