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Bright Lights That Shine and Guide You Back

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Harry Styles exited his high school on Friday afternoon with his neck fully craned.

He looked toward the visitor’s parking lot as hundreds of other students milled about, searching for their own rides or their designated buses to head home for the weekend.

But Harry wasn’t taking the bus today. He had someone coming to pick him up. Harry just had to find him.

He heard a series of long honks from a car horn, coming from his left. He turned his head to see the twenty or so parking spots lined up in front of the cafeteria.

There, leaning against the driver’s side of his car, was Louis Tomlinson, his best friend who was finally home from college for the summer.

Louis had a huge grin on his face as he reached through his open window to honk the horn again.

Harry returned the smile and made his way over to the car.

As he walked, Harry noticed the changes in Louis since he’d last seen him, about three weeks ago.

The natural highlights in Louis’ light brown hair that showed up every summer were becoming more visible thanks to the May sun. The little pudge in his tummy that always formed in the fall but vanished by spring was noticeably gone. Harry could see Louis’ flat abs through his gray Stockton University T-shirt.

He could also see Louis’ arm muscles sticking out from under his sleeves; the same ones that Louis worked so hard on building in high school, and managed to somewhat maintain once he moved to the Stockton dorms in August.

“Hazza!” Louis yelled as Harry approached his beat up blue Honda.

“Boo Bear!” Harry shouted back.

Louis shushed him. “Don’t say that so loud! I don’t want anybody to hear that and remember me.”

“Louis, you graduated last year. Nobody remembers you around here anymore.”

“Forgotten already?” Louis placed a hand to his chest. “I’m hurt.”

“You are not. Now come on. My mom’s probably already wondering where we are.”

Louis nodded, and the two of them got in the car.

“So, you nervous?” Louis asked as he backed out and got in line to exit the parking lot.

“I don’t think so. I mean, the hard part is already over, isn’t it?”

Last weekend, Harry had asked his mom to sign, for lack of a better term, a permission slip for him to get his first tattoo.

He wasn’t eighteen yet, and wouldn’t be for another nine months, in February, but he really wanted to get a tattoo now.

He knew he could just wait until he actually turned eighteen, but he didn’t want to. And because he was so impatient, he needed his mom's permission. 

After a lot of begging, his mom finally said, ‘I’ll think about it,’ which, for Anne, was almost as good as a ‘yes.’

He figured a week would be an appropriate amount of time before bringing up the subject again, and this time, he would have Louis for support.

“Are you still getting ‘I Can’t Change’?”

Harry nodded. “Yeah,” he added softly when he remembered that Louis was driving and probably didn’t see.

“Cool.”

Harry didn’t know if ‘cool’ would be a good word to describe Harry’s tattoo. He might use ‘pathetic’ or ‘dumb’ or maybe even ‘pitiful.’

The phrase ‘I Can’t Change’ wasn’t particularly groundbreaking, but it was a tribute to the song that was playing the first time Harry and Louis had gotten each other off.

It had been last summer. The two of them had spent all day together at Warped Tour and had come back to Louis’ house, sweaty and exhausted from the day’s events.

They crashed on Louis’ bed, and Louis put on a playlist of bands that they had watched perform just a few hours earlier.

With each song that played, the two of them got closer together. It was when “Make it Stop” by Rise Against started playing that it happened.

“This is such a good song,” Harry said.

Louis nodded his head, listening as the lyrics filled the room.

He turned on his side to look at Harry, who was still on his back, looking up at the ceiling.

“Think back to the days we laughed,” Harry sang along. “We braved these bitter storms together.”

“We’re still gonna be best friends, right, Haz?” Louis asked insecurely. “Like, when I go to school and everything?”

Harry shifted so that he was facing Louis, too. “Of course we will be.”

“You promise? Because I’ll be an hour away, busy with school and everything. I probably won’t be able to come home that much.”

“I know. But we’ve been together this long; why should fifty-something miles put any distance between us?”

“Was that a pun?”

Harry pondered that for a second. “It was unintentional.”

“For once.”

Harry giggled.

“You know I love you, right Hazza?”

Harry nodded. “Love you, too, Lou.”

Louis lifted up an arm, and Harry slid under it, letting Louis wrap them together in a tight hug. He buried his face in Harry’s still-sweaty curls, and kissed him on top of his head.

They pulled back slightly from each other, smiling and staring right in each other’s eyes.

Right as “Born me, no I can't change” started playing from the speakers on Louis’ phone, Louis leaned his face down, connecting their lips together.

Harry, taken aback by the turn of events, didn’t know what to do. This was his first real kiss, and he didn’t have a clue what he was supposed to do.

He knew Louis had kissed other people before, at parties during Spin the Bottle or after being made to during Truth or Dare. But Harry had never wanted to play those games, wanting to save his first kiss for someone it would mean something with.

Although, for a long time, he’d known that special person was Louis, so he closed his eyes and went with his instincts.

He pressed his lips firmly against Louis’, sighing deeply with relief when Louis didn’t pull back and start laughing at him.

In fact, if Harry was correct about whatever hard thing he felt in Louis’ pants, he was kissing him right. Louis moaned softly, and he ran his hand down Harry’s side, letting his thumb sneak under the bottom hem of Harry’s T-shirt.

“Lou,” Harry whispered, momentarily breaking apart from Louis to catch his breath.

Louis followed Harry’s lips, catching them back again as he rolled them over so that he was on top of Harry, holding his body up on his forearms.

Harry wrapped his arms tightly around Louis and spread his legs, letting Louis fall between them.

Now that their crotches lined up, Louis rolled his hips down, rubbing them together.

Harry cried out in relief at the friction. He knew it wouldn’t take much to get him to come, especially now that both of them were moaning into each other’s mouths.

Louis moved his lips away and focused on the side of Harry’s neck.

Harry bit his lower lip, rolling his hips up into Louis’, feeling himself getting closer to orgasm. He moved his hands to grasp onto the back of Louis’ biceps, squeezing them each time Louis thrusted down.

“God, Haz…” Louis mumbled, trailing his lips to Harry’s ear. Louis started nibbling on his earlobe, and Harry knew that was it.

Harry let out a whimper as his jaw fell open and he started coming in his shorts.

Louis’ hips stuttered a few times, and when he stilled, Harry knew that Louis had come, too.

The two of them lay there for a minute, holding onto each other, neither one of them ready to let go.

Louis placed a soft kiss to Harry’s warm lips once more before rolling off him.

They put the song on again after they came down from their orgasms, both of them now with warm, sticky underwear.

That had been the night that Harry realized that he was in love with Louis.

Maybe ‘love’ was a little strong, but he was definitely infatuated. Harry never knew if it was a mutual attraction, and figured that it wasn’t, because the next morning, he and Louis ‘agreed’ that what had happened didn’t mean anything, and they were still best friends.

And then a month later, Louis packed up his room and moved to the freshman dorms on Stockton’s campus.

Harry snapped out of his memory when he heard the car engine shut off.

“Curly? You want to take care of that problem before you go talk to your mom?”

Harry glanced at Louis, who was smirking and flicking his eyes between Harry’s lap and Harry’s flushed face.

Harry felt it before he saw it.

He looked down and, sure enough, he was hard; all because he thought about hooking up with Louis almost a year ago and his damn teenage hormones had to go and give it away.

“Uh…” Harry stalled, folding his arms over his lap. He looked out the window to see that they were already outside of his house, meaning he had to go in, where his mother and sister were, and act like everything was normal.

“I’ll distract your mom and Gem so you can get upstairs and uh, deal with that,” Louis offered.

It wasn’t the first time they had seen each other with a boner. They’d slept over each other’s houses and woken up next to each other way too many times for that to still be a possibility.

Louis and Harry had grown up together, and had been best friends since Louis defended Harry against Terrence Daniels when he wouldn’t stop throwing bits of paper in Harry’s curly hair in elementary school.

Harry’s hair had only gotten curlier as time went on, and their friendship had grown just as much.

The two of them did everything together since that fateful day when Louis pushed Terrence off his seat on their school bus, and had continued to do so until the day Louis left for Stockton.

Harry had thought that his life was over once Louis left. He was losing his best friend to a college an hour away, plus Harry had to go and be a junior in high school.

But now Harry was about to be a senior and had since started worrying about his own college experience while Louis had just completed his first year away.

The two of them were still best friends, but it wasn’t the same as it was before, since Louis didn’t come home that often. Their friendship had been reduced to scheduled hour-long phone calls throughout the week and random text messages every day.

“Thanks,” Harry mumbled.

“Who were you thinking about?” 

Harry stared at Louis, figuring out the best way to not tell the truth. “Tim,” he finally said.

“Tim?”

“Yeah, Tim.”

“Who’s Tim?”

“New kid. He’s in my English class. He’s really hot.”

He didn’t know why he added that last part, but he wanted to take it back as soon as he did.

“Oh?” Louis asked.

“Yeah. Like, really hot.”

“Oh. Well good for Tim.

There was no Tim.

Well, there were Tim’s in the world, but there wasn’t a Tim in Harry’s English class. The ‘Tim’ he was referring to was Tim McIlrath, the lead singer of Rise Against who had just been singing all through Harry’s inconveniently timed memory.

“Hmm.”

Harry looked at Louis, whose grip on his steering wheel had gotten so tight it was turning the skin on his knuckles white.

“You OK?” Harry asked.

Louis nodded and pursed his lips, but stayed otherwise silent.

They got out of the car and Harry unlocked the front door, keeping one hand in front of his crotch.

He pushed the door open and peeked his head inside, hearing his mom and sister in the kitchen, near the back of the house.

Since the coast was clear, Harry walked inside and hurried up the stairs, which were just on the right.

As planned, Louis continued walking into the house and headed back toward where Harry’s family was.

Harry burst into his room and shut the door behind him. He dropped his book bag on the ground and sat down on his bed.

After he unbuckled his belt and pulled his jeans and boxers down to the ground, he opened the drawer on the bedside table next to his bed and squirted some lube into his hand.

Without hesitation, he wrapped his hand around his cock and started gently stroking.

He let out a sigh of relief as his cool palm rubbed up and down his dick.

He already knew this wouldn’t take long; he was too worked up thinking about Louis.

Louis’ lips passionately pressed against Harry’s; Louis’ quiet moans as he rubbed himself off against Harry’s crotch; Louis biting his lower lip as his hips went erratic in rhythm.

Harry tightened his grip on himself and moved his fist up and down his cock. He thumbed at the tip when his hand was at the top.

He quickened his pace, and heard the soft pants coming from between his own lips.

Harry thrusted his hips forward as his hand moved down.

He thought about what it would be like to have sex with Louis, to have Louis hovering over him as his cock moved inside of him and Harry had his arms wrapped tightly around Louis.

He pictured Louis’ ass clenching tightly as he thrusted into Harry, pounding away at his hole and prostate.

Harry’s grip on himself sped up even more when he envisioned Louis and himself coming at the same time, clinging to each other while they panted into each other’s mouths, coming down from the best orgasm of their lives.

And then Harry came all over his hand.

He bit down on his other fist to keep from screaming out at his intense orgasm. He moved his hand over his cock a few more times, working his way through it.

Harry flopped back on his bed once he was finished. He struggled to catch his breath, and waited until it was more even before grabbing some tissues and cleaning himself up.

He threw the tissues in the trashcan and went into the bathroom across the hall. He splashed some cool water on his face, hoping to make himself look less flushed.

It didn’t work all that well, so Harry changed into a pair of basketball shorts that were probably Louis’ at one point, and a new T-shirt.

After a few more minutes, Harry decided it would probably be safe enough to go downstairs.

As he descended the steps, he heard a lot of laughter from the kitchen.

Sure enough, he went in and found Louis, Anne and Gemma giggling about something.

“There you are,” Anne said, noticing Harry walking into the room.

She walked up to him before whispering, “I didn’t even know you were sick.”

“What?”

“Yeah, Louis said you had to go upstairs because you were having some bowel issues? I didn’t know you were so backed up, sweetie. I would’ve given you something to help with that.”

Harry’s eyes widened as he processed his mom’s statement.

He looked over at Louis and Gemma, who were trying to restrain their laughter.

“Oh, Louis told you about that, huh?” Harry asked, keeping his gaze on his best friend.

“Yeah, he did. Why didn’t you tell me? I have Imodium in the medicine cabinet if you need it.”

Gemma choked back a laugh, but Louis let his own be heard.

“No, I’m good!”

“OK; well you let me know if you need it,” Anne said.

“Sure thing, Mom,” Harry replied, holding back an eye roll.

“On that note,” Gemma grinned, “I must be off. I’ll be back later.”

Gemma left the kitchen after giving the three of them quick hugs, and also ruffling Louis’ hair, much to his annoyance.

“So, mom,” Harry started once Gemma was gone.

“Oh, here we go,” Anne sighed.

“I was just wondering if you thought any more about my tattoo?”

 Anne looked at her son, and moved over to the fridge.

“Mom?”

“Harry… Look, I just think you should wait a little bit longer to get your tattoo.”

“Mom, please?”

Anne pulled some vegetables out of the fridge and set them down on the island counter in the middle of the room.

“Harry…”

“Mom, please. I’ve been saving my money since last year. I can totally pay for it on my own, and it’s small. It’s only gonna go across the outside of my wrist. You won’t even notice it.”

As she listened to Harry's plea, Anne rinsed off the vegetables before putting them on the cutting board.

Harry leaned against the island across from her and stared her down. “Mom, I’ll never ask you for anything else as long as I live.”

Anne scoffed. “OK.”

“OK, maybe not, but still. I would love you so much for letting me do this. All I need is your signature and I can get it. Please? Please?”

“I don’t know. You’re still seventeen, Harry. You can wait a few more months.”

“Louis’ getting one, too,” Harry blurted out.

“He is?”

“I am?” Louis mouthed, his eyebrows raised slightly.

“Yeah, Louis is getting a tattoo,” Harry lied. “He said we could get one together. Not like, a matching one, but he would get one the same day I did. He’ll even hold my hand and everything.”

“I will?” Louis whispered.

“And you know Louis already has tattoos. I’ll go to his guy and get it done. It’s totally safe. We all know Jay would never let Louis get a tattoo and live under her roof if it wasn’t.”

Anne had stopped protesting and was actually appearing to consider it.

Harry held his breath in anticipation of his mom’s answer.

The three of them stood in the kitchen, their eyes all flicking between each other.

“I want to talk to this guy,” Anne finally resolved.

“Absolutely; of course,” Harry quickly agreed.

“I want him to tell me exactly what will happen in this tattoo session and walk me through all of the aftercare procedures, because so help me God, if you get this tattoo and let it get infected…”

“I won’t! I swear! Mom, I promise I’ll take care of it.”

“This is not a definite ‘yes,’ Harry,” Anne reminded him. “It’s still ‘maybe.’”

“It’s fine. Thank you so much, Mom.”

“Call over there and find out when we can come in to talk through all the details. Louis, will you be joining us?”

Louis, who had checked out of the conversation after Harry had cornered him into agreeing to get a tattoo, jolted when he heard Anne say his name.

“… Yeah. Of course.”

Harry could tell he wasn’t sure what he had just agreed to, but he was sure he could convince him of it later.

Anne nodded. “Fine. Let me know when we can go, and if it works in my schedule, then we’ll make it happen.”

“Thank you so much, Mom!” Harry swept Anne into a huge hug.

Without giving her a chance to change her mind, Harry took Louis’ hand and pulled him up the stairs to his room.

Harry put his hands on the sides of his head once they were there. “I can’t believe that just happened.”

“Me, either.”

“Can you believe that? She said ‘maybe.’ We just have to talk to Tom and get the slip signed. I know she’ll sign it after she talks to him. I mean, everybody loves Tom, right? You loved Tom when he did your tattoos?”

Louis had two tattoos. The first was the number 78 on his chest, which was the number of the house where his grandparents lived. The second was across his ankles, and it read ‘The Rogue,’ which was the name of Louis’ band that he’d given up on before he left for college. They’d only been an official band for about a year, but Louis had loved singing with them.

“I did love Tom; you’re right.”

“Oh, my gosh, I could be getting a tattoo.”

“Apparently, so am I,” Louis said.

Harry turned to look at Louis, who didn’t seem angry as he said that, but definitely wasn’t too pleased.

“I’m so sorry, Lou. I mean, I really should’ve talked to you about that first, huh?”

“Probably.”

“Shit. You’re not mad, are you?” Harry wondered. “I mean, I would get it if you were, but please don’t be mad. It’s just, I’m so close to getting this tattoo, Louis. I would’ve said anything down there.”

“Harry, relax. I’m not mad. I was just caught off guard. I guess this is as good an excuse as any to get some new ink. I’ve been wanting something new for a while, anyway. And I’m happy for you. Your first tattoo! That’s awesome!”

“I know! I’m so excited!” Harry couldn’t contain his grin. “I need to call Tom now. Do you have his number?”

“You don’t even have his number? How were you gonna set this all up without his number?”

Harry blushed. “I don’t know. I didn’t think that far ahead, I guess.”

“What would you do without me, Styles?”

“Not be getting a tattoo, that’s for sure.”

---

On Sunday, Harry, Louis and Anne went down to Tom’s Ink, one of the local tattooing parlors in town.

Tom, the owner and head tattoo artist, greeted Louis at the door with a hug.

Tom had been the one to do both of Louis’ other tattoos, and the two of them had formed a quick friendship.

While Tom introduced himself to Harry and Anne, Louis walked around the shop, checking out the tattoo designs on the walls.

Harry tried to listen to everything that Tom told him and his mom, but it was too hard. Mostly because he was so excited to actually be there, but also because he couldn’t stop watching Louis, walking around with an easy confidence.

As Anne looked around Tom’s tattooing station, Louis asked Tom, “are these ones new?”

He was looking at a poster of tattoo designs on the wall nearest the door, which he had skipped over when he first came in.

“Eh, maybe a month or two old,” Tom answered. “See one on there you like?”

“Possibly. How much for this one?”

Tom walked over to see which one Louis was pointing at. “For you, let’s say a quick fifty.”

“Done. I’ll get it the same day as Harry.”

Harry knew he was staring, but he was trying to see the tattoo Louis wanted from where he stood across the room.

“Which reminds me,” Tom said. “We need to pick a date. Harry, how’s next weekend? If your mom fills out the paperwork, you two can come in Saturday morning. Get in, get out, get on with the rest of your day.”

Louis shrugged. “Fine with me. I’m home now, so I got loads of time. Just depends on Harry’s mom.”

“That sounds good,” Harry agreed. “And yeah, like Louis said, it depends on my mom.”

“Stop talking about me like I’m not here.”

Anne walked back into the room, a stern look on her face. “Tom, this place looks good, looks safe.”

“Thank you.”

She fixed Harry with a stern stare. “You really want this?”

Harry nodded.

She sighed. “All right, where do I sign?”

---

On Saturday morning, Louis picked Harry up at 9 a.m.

“You have everything?” Louis asked as he backed his car out of the driveway.

“Yup. Money’s in my pocket. Tom has all the paperwork on file. I have my phone so I can send my Mom a picture when it’s all done.”

“Good. You nervous?”

“I’m not, actually,” Harry answered honestly. “I mean, maybe the nerves will start when I’m sitting in the chair or when I hear the needle start, but right now, I’m good.”

“Cool. Yeah, you’ll be fine. I don’t think it’ll hurt that much, either. Maybe just on the ends.”

“Can we not talk about the pain, though? I don’t know if I’m ready for that.”

“You can handle it,” Louis replied. “You’re pretty tough. And you can squeeze my hand if you want to.”

“I probably will.”

Louis just smiled.

They pulled up to the tattoo parlor, unsurprised to see that there was only one other car in the parking lot.

Louis opened the door and Harry walked in first, feeling his heart jump.

“Hello, boys,” Tom greeted them from the black couch near the door. “Who’s first?”

Harry raised his hand. “I am.”

“Follow me.”

Tom led the boys to the back, where he had all of his supplies set up.

Harry’s eyes gazed over everything on the table next to the chair, but paused when it saw the tattoo gun. It was a lot bigger than he thought it was going to be.

“OK, Louis, you can use that chair,” Tom instructed. “Just roll it over here next to Harry.”

Louis did as told, grabbing a black rolling chair in the corner and bringing it to sit on Harry’s right side.

“Harry, this is the stencil I drew up for you. How’s it look?”

Harry sat down and examined the paper that Tom held in his hand. The words ‘I CAN’T CHANGE’ were there, in slim, block lettering. He liked how it looked. It was long enough to go across his whole wrist, but it wasn’t too bulky. If he put it up high enough, he could still wear a watch without it covering up the ink.

“Looks good.”

“OK. Where exactly would you like it? Be very specific.”

Harry held out his left wrist and dragged his finger from one end to the other, right above where his wrist bone jutted out.

Tom nodded. After he raised the chair up to a better height, he prepped Harry’s wrist, running a razor over the skin to make sure it was clear of any hair before rubbing some jelly-looking cream over it.

Once that was done, he took the stencil and placed it where Harry had pointed.

He pressed down on the paper to ensure that the design stuck. He peeled the paper back and asked Harry if that was exactly what he wanted.

Harry took a deep breath as he turned his wrist in all different angles, to make sure he liked all aspects of it.

“What do you think?” he asked Louis.

Louis checked it over and nodded his approval. “It suits you.”

“Cool. OK.”

“You like it?” Tom asked for verification.

“I do.”

“OK, then. Let’s make it permanent.”

Harry got comfortable in the seat and watched Tom prep his needles. He grabbed a little cup full of black ink and pulled it closer to him.

Once Tom was ready, wearing a surgical mask and a fresh pair of gloves, he turned the needle on.

Harry tried to relax, but he could feel his heart racing too much as Tom got closer to his skin with the gun in his hand.

Louis grabbed his hand then, giving it a tight squeeze.

Harry turned his head to look at him, his green eyes glued to Louis’ beautiful blue ones.

The tattoo didn’t hurt as much as Harry thought it would. It felt sort of like a cat scratching him over and over again on top, but it was the ends that got him the worst.

“How ya doin', Harry?” Tom asked.

“I’m good,” he gritted out.

“You need to take a break?”

“No. No, keep going.”

Tom nodded once and continued with the ink.

Once again, however, Harry felt it before he saw it. His stupid, teenage hormones.

Louis must’ve noticed it about the same time as Harry did. He sat up straighter in his seat and cleared his throat quietly, catching Harry’s attention.

Harry looked over at Louis, with wide eyes and a noticeable flush to his cheeks.

Louis slipped his jacket off and asked Tom, “Hey, T, what time does that clock say over there? I can’t tell.”

When Tom turned around, Louis threw his jacket on Harry’s lap, successfully covering Harry’s growing problem.

“Oh, it says four p.m.” Tom turned around just as Louis was taking Harry’s hand back in his own. “I keep forgetting to change the batteries in it.”

“Oh. Yeah, I knew we hadn’t been here for seven hours already.”

“Nah, I wouldn’t take that long.”

If Tom noticed the jacket sitting there, he at least had the decency not to say anything.

When he finished Harry’s tattoo, he told him to inspect it and see if there was anything that needed to be touched up.

Harry couldn’t hold back his smile as he read it. It was perfect. The letters were done right, and the simple font was easy to read. It was in the right spot and went straight across his skin.

“I love it,” he said.

“Excellent. Let me clean you all up, put on some cream and walk you through the aftercare again.”

Harry sat still, letting Tom get him situated. He watched as Tom rubbed A&D ointment over his skin and covered it up with a bandage. He listened intently to all the rules of caring for his new tattoo carefully, not wanting to mess anything up and piss off his mom.

When he was finished, Tom said, “Now, uh, I need to make a phone call, if that’s all right with you boys?”

“Sure,” Harry answered.

“Everything OK?” Louis wanted to know.

“Yeah, yeah. Just, my daughter Lux broke her leg the other day on the trampoline. She’s with her mom, so I know she’s fine. I just want to check up on her.”

“Sure, go ahead.”

“Thanks. I’ll go make that call, and I’ll have a quick smoke break, and then I’ll come in for you, Louis. Shouldn’t be more than ten, fifteen minutes.”

“Yeah, man. Take your time.”

“Awesome. Thanks again, guys.”

Tom lowered the chair closer to the ground and stood up to clean his station, throwing away the mask and gloves. He capped the gun for now before exiting the room.

“I’m so excited,” Harry grinned. He got out of the chair, letting Louis sit there instead.

“It looks awesome, Haz.”

“Thanks. You know I wouldn’t have gotten it without you, right?”

“Yes, you would’ve. You just might’ve had to wait a little longer.”

“Exactly. I got it now because you were there and just your presence somehow convinced my mom to give me the OK.”

“Hazza, it really wasn’t a big deal.”

Harry just kept smiling until Louis rolled his eyes. “But, you’re welcome, I guess.”

“Thank you.”

Harry swept Louis up into a tight hug, and Louis quickly returned the embrace.

The two of them stood there for a moment, holding each other close.

When Harry stepped away, he didn’t move too far back.

They locked eyes, the tension in the room immediately making its presence known.

Harry ducked his head, waiting to see if Louis would do anything.

Louis licked his lips and tilted his head up, bringing their faces closer together.

With one last glance between Louis’ mouth and his eyes, Harry pressed his lips to Louis’, catching them in a firm kiss.

He heard Louis exhale against his lips, and Louis’ hands wrapped around Harry’s waist.

Harry let his hands wander over Louis’ body, starting with his chest and moving slowly down. He rested his hands on Louis’ thighs and pushed back, making Louis lean all the way back in the chair.

The two of them stayed there, desperately making out like nothing else mattered.

Harry moved his right hand to Louis’ crotch, cupping his clothed cock.

Louis quietly moaned at the contact and bucked his hips up into Harry’s hand. He moved one of his hands up to Harry’s hair and weaved his fingers into it.

Harry smirked to himself before running his hand up to the top of Louis’ sweatpants and sliding his fingers under it.

Louis pulled all the way back, breaking their lips apart. “What are you doing?”

“Thanking you,” Harry said as if it was the simplest thing in the world.

“With a hand job?”

“Well, I was thinking about sucking you off, actually.”

“Harry, you don’t have to do that,” Louis replied as he tried to catch his breath.

“I know, but I want to.”

Harry reattached their lips, but didn’t move his fingers any closer to Louis’ cock.

“Harry, you can’t blow me in a tattoo parlor.”

“Why not?”

Louis gaped at Harry, struggling to come up with an answer.

“Look, Lou, if you really want me to stop, I will. I’ll totally leave you alone. But, um, I don’t think you want me to.”

He cupped Louis’ cock again, getting an involuntary moan from Louis.

“Tom’s gonna be back in a minute,” Louis tried.

Harry grinned. “I’ll be quick.”

He dropped to his knees in front of the chair, trying not to laugh at Louis’ bewildered expression.

“Get your pants down,” he instructed.

Louis looked toward the curtain, the only thing separating them from the front of the tattoo parlor, where anybody could walk in at any moment.

“Louis, come on. We don’t have much time.”

With a groan, Louis lifted his hips and slid his sweatpants and briefs down to his ankles.

Harry happily took Louis’ cock in his hand and licked up the underside of it, pressing his tongue flat against the thick vein going up it.

Louis covered his face with his hands and threw his head back against the chair.

He was doing this. He was letting his best friend suck him off as a ‘Thank you for getting my mom to sign my permission form so I could get my tattoo.’

He couldn’t believe his life sometimes.

He gasped when Harry took the tip into his mouth and sucked lightly over it. Harry flicked his tongue over the head a few times before moving down an inch.

Louis uncovered his face to watch Harry move.

Harry was bobbing his head up and down over what he had taken into his mouth.

Louis knew that Harry had given one other blow job before in his life, to a guy he went to a party with a month or two ago.

Maybe it was that Tim guy.

He growled lowly in the back of his throat and shot a hand out to grab onto Harry’s curls, tightly gripping onto the hair.

Harry whimpered at the move, and sunk down a little deeper.

Louis held back a groan when Harry went too fast and took in more than he could handle. He gagged and had to pull back for a second.

“You OK?” Louis asked worriedly.

Harry nodded, his glassy eyes flicking up to Louis.

“You’re doing really well, babe,” Louis praised.

Harry smiled and dove back in, sinking down on Louis’ cock as far as he had been.

“Shit, Haz.”

Harry reached up his right hand and started fondling Louis’ balls, lightly rolling them between his fingers.

“Fuck,” Louis whispered. He was gonna come. He thrusted his hips forward a little, catching Harry off guard. But it wasn’t unwelcomed.

Harry looked up to Louis and winked – fucking winked – before hollowing his cheeks and sinking down just a little bit more. The hand that had been holding Louis’ cock in place went from Louis’ dick to Harry’s, as Harry slid his hand down his own shorts.

Louis licked his lips before pulling his lower one in between his teeth. “Haz, I’m gonna come.”

Harry stared at Louis and picked up his pace.

Harry stopped touching Louis’ balls and covered up the base of his dick, pumping his hand and moving his mouth in sync with each other.

“Shit, shit, shit,” Louis whimpered.

He gasped for air, feeling all of his oxygen being sucked from his body as Harry worked him over.

And then Louis heard the front door to the shop open up. That’s when he came down Harry’s throat.

His body lurched forward as he came, his torso folding over toward Harry.

Harry slurped as he swallowed everything. When he was sure Louis was done, he quickly stood up and tucked Louis back in his sweats.

He adjusted himself in his own shorts and sat down in the chair that Louis had been sitting in before.

Louis crossed his arms in front of his chest and moved one hand to cover up his mouth just as Tom walked back in.

“All right, Louis, you ready to get started?”

Tom looked at Louis, who was still catching his breath, and Harry, who was still glassy-eyed. Both boys had a light sheen of sweat on their foreheads.

“Are you guys OK? You both look a little flushed. Is it too hot in here?”

They nodded, neither one of them trusting their voices yet.

“OK. I’ll adjust the air. Why don’t you go up front and get some water out of the fountain?”

Wordlessly, the two of them stood up and hurried away from Tom.

When they were successfully out of his sight, Louis pushed Harry against the nearest wall, pressing their lips together.

He forced his tongue between Harry’s lips to find Harry’s. He could taste himself on Harry’s tongue. He placed his hands on Harry’s face to hold him there while they kissed, slowly and deeply.

Before it could go too much farther, Louis pulled back. “We’re finishing this later.”

“We better,” Harry whispered.

Louis grinned.

They got some water and let themselves cool down a little before going back into the room to see Tom.

“You boys feel better?” he asked concernedly.

“Much better,” Louis answered with a grin. “Let’s get started.”

---

After Louis got his tattoo and Tom reminded him of how to care for it, Harry and Louis paid for their fresh ink and left the shop.

Harry got into Louis’ car, not knowing whether he was going straight home or not.

“Let me see it one more time,” Harry said.

Louis fondly rolled his eyes before peeling back his bandage on his right forearm.

He had gotten a small paper airplane with dashes behind it to show the path it had traveled.

It was small, but it looked great.

“I really like that one,” Harry complimented.

Louis thanked him as he put the bandage back over it. “So what the hell was that in there?”

Harry pressed his lips together, not wanting to answer.

“Is that something you’ve wanted to do for a long time?”

“What? The tattoo?” Harry stalled.

“Harry…”

“Maybe. I mean, maybe since like, Warped Tour.”

“Since War- That was almost a year ago, Haz.”

“I know. But it – It meant something to me, Lou. I like you as more than my best friend, but I know you don’t think that about me, so I didn’t say anything about it.”

“What do you mean, ‘I don’t think that about you’?”

“I mean… The morning after we… hooked up… we agreed that it didn’t mean anything.”

“Because I thought that’s what you wanted!”

“What? Why would I want that?”

“Because you were only sixteen, Harry. And I was about to go off to college! I didn’t think-“

Louis stopped talking and stared out the windshield.

“Can I give you something?” he finally asked.

“What is it?”

“Um, well, hang on. We have to go to my dad’s house first. Is that OK?”

Harry just nodded. Now that he thought about it, his throat was still sore. He should save it.

“OK.”

Louis turned the key in the ignition and backed out of the parking lot, headed toward Mark’s house.

They got there in less than twenty minutes, and Louis used his key to open the front door.

Louis’ parents had divorced almost two years ago, and his dad, Mark, had moved to the new house so that he could stay close to Louis and his sisters.

Louis had his own room in the house. He led Harry up to it after they took their shoes off at the door.

“Where’s your dad?” Harry wondered as they walked into the bedroom.

“Should be at work.”

Louis went over to the dresser and opened the top drawer of it. Harry watched him pull a black box out of it.

“OK, so,” Louis started, “I bought you this months ago, and I had every intention of giving it to you at Christmas, but I chickened out. And then for your birthday, but I talked myself out of that, too.”

“What is it?”

“Do you know why I got the paper airplane, Harry?”

Harry shrugged. “Because you liked it?”

“Well, yeah, of course. But also, paper airplanes are supposed to represent the idea that like, you can go anywhere in life, but you have to remember where you started and remember where to land, because where you land is where you want to be.”

“OK…”

“So, well… here.”

Louis gave Harry the box and looked down to the ground, waiting for his reaction.

Harry flicked his gaze between Louis and the box before slowly opening it.

Inside, laying a silver chain with a silver paper airplane hanging from it.

“You got me a paper airplane?”

Louis nodded. “Yeah.”

“Louis, what-?”

“Will you be my place to land, Harry?”

“Like an airport?”

“No, not like an airport. Shit, this isn’t going right. Was that too symbolic? It really was. I wouldn’t say ‘yes’ to me, either. ‘Be my place to land.’ Like, seriously who even says that?”

“Louis-“

“Because, I want to come back from college to you. And I want to be with you. So, I want you to be my place to land. Is that better?”

“Louis, just ask me!”

“Harry, will you be my boyfriend?” Louis yelled.

“Yes!”

“You- Wait, really?”

“Of course, you loser.”

Harry threw his arms around Louis, the box still clutched in his hand.

Louis caught Harry, holding him close.

“Of course I’ll be your boyfriend, Louis Tomlinson,” Harry whispered in Louis’ ear.

Beaming, Louis pulled back and kissed Harry, his new boyfriend.

“Put this on for me?” Harry asked a moment later.

Louis nodded and took the necklace from the box.

Harry turned so his back was to Louis, who raised his arms over Harry’s head, laying the necklace against Harry’s chest and connecting the clasp together.

“How’s it look?” Harry wondered, turning back around.

“Perfect, boyfriend.”

Harry grinned and pulled Louis back to him, reattaching their lips.

Louis grabbed onto Harry’s hips, running this thumbs up and down as he held him.

“What was that you said about finishing what we started earlier?” Harry asked, taking his lips off Louis’ for just a second.

Louis hummed in acknowledgement as he kissed Harry again. He started walking backward, guiding Harry toward his single bed. Considering the small size of his room, it didn’t take more than a few steps.

Harry felt the back of his knees hit the bed, and he sat down on it, pulling Louis with him.

The two of them shifted so that they were horizontal on the bed, Harry’s head resting on Louis’ pillow.

They continued kissing, their lips moving softly together in a smooth rhythm.

Louis trailed one hand down, his fingers playing with the top of Harry’s shorts. He rolled his hips down, feeling Harry’s cock stiffening up.

Louis tilted his head, deepening their kiss, sighing when Harry spread his legs for Louis to rest between.

He reluctantly pulled his lips from Harry’s and trailed down his throat. He was careful not to leave any marks, though, since he knew they would have to see Harry’s mom at some point in the near future.

Louis moved back up, shifting his head to nibble at Harry’s earlobe.

He heard Harry gasp as he flicked his tongue out before taking the delicate skin back between his teeth.

Harry turned his face toward Louis’, capturing his lips again.

Louis cupped Harry’s face as he kissed him back, feeling himself still hardening up.

With one last peck to Harry’s lips, he sat back on his shins and stuck his index fingers under the top of Harry’s boxers.

He glanced up to Harry for permission, and after Harry nodded, he pulled Harry’s shorts and boxers down Harry’s legs and tossed them to the floor.

He ducked his head and took the head of Harry’s cock between his lips.

He flattened his tongue on the bottom of it, and moved his head down a little.

Harry moaned, his back arching slightly off the bed. Louis grabbed onto Harry’s hips to keep him still.

He bobbed his head up and down, getting gradually lower on Harry’s dick.

He kept his lips tightly wrapped around it, letting them drag slowly across Harry’s skin as he pulled his head up.

He glanced up at Harry, only to see him staring at the ceiling, his lower lip between his teeth and his hands playing with his nipples underneath his T-shirt.

Harry was rolling the sensitive buds between his fingers and flicking them, surely making them red and puffy.

Louis pulled off with a loud ‘pop!’ noise and told Harry to sit up.

Harry did, and Louis yanked his shirt up and off him. He did the same, tossing his own shirt to the floor.

Harry reached for Louis’ sweatpants. He pushed them down to his knees before pulling Louis back to him.

Their lips met in the middle, and they parted their lips almost immediately, letting their tongues wrap around each other.

Harry took a gentle hold on Louis’ cock. There was already precome leaking from the tip, so he smeared it down the shaft.

He lay back down, bringing Louis with him. Once they were horizontal again, Harry took both of their cocks in his one large hand.

Their dicks, slick with spit and precome, slid together easily. Harry wrapped his fingers tightly around them and jerked them off together.

“Shit, Haz,” Louis moaned against Harry’s lips.

He buried his face in the crook of Harry’s neck, feeling his orgasm start to build.

He thrusted his hips forward as Harry’s fingers slid up.

Harry stopped moving his hand, and Louis started fucking into the tight circle formed between Harry’s cock and fingers.

“Oh, my God, Lou,” Harry cried out when Louis’ motions started to become too much.

“You gonna come?”

“Uh-huh,” Harry whimpered.

Louis slammed their lips together roughly, giving Harry just one long kiss. They broke apart when they needed to breathe, and rested their foreheads against each other’s.

Louis kept moving his hips despite the fatigue that was starting to set in.

“Come on, come on,” he muttered to himself.

Harry moved his hand up and down again, keeping tight pressure on both of their cocks, jerking them off together. 

Louis panted for breath, staring deep into Harry's eyes, trying to keep his hips moving, praying that he was making this a good experience for his boy. 

With a few more thrusts of Louis' hips and even more quick jerks of Harry's hands, the boys came together.

Harry gasped as his cock shot white, hot streaks up onto his belly, and Louis looked down as his own dick did the same.

Their cum mixed together on Harry’s skin, and Louis started slowing his hips, which had gotten erratic in the last few seconds.

When Harry was sure they were both done, he took his hand off their cocks and let it flop down to the bed.

Louis rolled off him, careful not to move too far and fall off the mattress. He kicked his underwear and sweatpants off the rest of the way and let them drift down to the floor.

He grabbed tissues from the dresser and cleaned Harry off before getting back on the bed, where the two of them lay, snuggled together.

Louis felt himself starting to drift off when he heard Harry’s phone going off.

“Haz, get your phone.”

“No.”

“OK.”

Harry sighed and got up anyway, knowing it was probably his mom.

“Mom wants me home,” he said, reading a message on the screen. “She wants to see the tattoo. Shit, I never sent her a picture, did I?”

“No, I don’t think so. Well, let’s go.”

He got up and got dressed in new, clean clothes.

Harry put on his T-shirt, but borrowed some clean boxers and sweats from Louis’ drawer, promising to return them eventually.

Louis just shrugged.

He stripped the sheets off the mattress and put them in an old book bag, slinging it over his shoulder.

“I need to wash these,” he said in response to Harry’s unasked question.

“Oh, right.”

The two of them walked down the stairs and put their shoes back on before leaving the house.

“Wait a minute,” Harry realized as he buckled his seat belt. “You said you chickened out twice giving me this necklace, so instead, you got the airplane tattooed on your arm forever?”

“Yeah, that sounds about right.”

“That doesn’t make any sense.”

“Sure, it does. Once I had the tattoo, there was really no way I could back out.”

“But it took me blowing you before getting the tattoo to make you realize that I liked you, too?”

Louis stopped, thinking of his next words. “Yeah, well…” his voice trailed off.

“Well?”

“Well, it all worked out in the end, didn’t it? Now shh; I’m driving.”

Harry rolled his eyes, but got comfortable in the passenger seat.

The drive back to Harry’s house went by quickly, and soon enough, they were walking through the front door.

“Mom!” Harry called out.

“In here!”

They followed her voice back to the kitchen, walking in to find her at the counter, making lunch.

“Let me see!” Anne enthused.

Harry peeled back the bandage so his mom could look at it.

“Do you love it?” she asked.

“I love it. One hundred percent.”

“Good,” Anne said as she moved back and looked up. “Louis, what did you get?”

Louis pulled back his bandage to show Anne. “It’s a paper airplane.”

“Cute. Do you love yours?”

“I definitely do.”

“Well, good. I’m glad you- What’s that?”

Her gaze had landed on the necklace around Harry’s neck.

“It’s a paper airplane necklace.”

Anne’s eyes squinted slightly, glancing between the necklace, Louis’s tattoo and both of their faces.

“I gave him it,” Louis told her.

“Right…” she finally said. “Harry, remind me to have an updated ‘Birds and Bees’ talk with you later.”

Louis laughed while Harry groaned. “Mom!”

“Can’t be too safe, dear. Anyway, I’m glad you boys are both happy with the new ink.”

“Oh, definitely. You know, I already have plans for my next tattoo,” Louis told Anne.

“Oh yeah? What’s that?”

“I want quotation marks on the inside of my right wrist.”

Harry furrowed his brow. “Why?”

“You’ll see.”

---

A month later, Louis got those quotation marks. When people asked why, all he did was grab Harry’s left hand and show them how they lined up.