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Do we lay, down and die, I don’t want to, want to hide

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His eyes fell upon the cup on the sink. The cup that had been His, but wasn’t any longer. Because He wasn’t there anymore. It now belonged to Harry, just like everything else in the flat. The thought made his heart clench painfully and he let out a breath that he didn’t know he’d been holing, and fuck it, he’d thought it would get easier with time but now when he stood in their - his - kitchen and stared at that cup that had been standing there ever since it had last been used by its original owner, the very same day He had been taken away.

It was peculiar, Harry thought, that he’d only really paid attention to it now, even after spending so much time in the kitchen since it had happened. His eyes had never really taken the time to rest on that special piece of drinkware before, standing there on the side of the sink. He’d made quite a fuss over it when people had wanted to wash it, wash away one of the only things that remained of Him. When he actually thought about it, the cup must’ve been the very last thing to touch His lips. Not even Harry had been given that privilege - how could he be envious of a cup? It meant so much to him, yet he could barely stand to look at it.

 

He’d waited, that’s what. Deep down inside he knew that He wouldn't come back no matter what, but still he waited.

The other boys had turned up more often during that period of time since he didn’t, couldn’t, do anything but wait. Because that’s what you do when you love someone. You wait for them to come home or wake up so they can hug you and tell you that everything only was a nightmare. The worst one you’ve had in your whole life, and you will cry against their shoulder until it stops hurting. Because what if it had been real.

He had waited. He really had. The other boys had practically dragged him out of their – his - flat to get him to a therapist.

When he’d gotten there, he’d  obviously been confused.

Why wasn’t he waiting in their flat, waiting for his love to come home and make everything stop hurting?

She had been nice, the therapist. She’d tried to be gentle with him while she explained why there was no use waiting. Because He wouldn’t come back, no matter how long Harry waited.

She’d been so nice and had a soft aura. Harry had liked that. It’d made him feel calmer.

That’s why he didn’t get why she said those things. That the most important person in Harry’s world, wasn’t coming back. Harry had cried because why would she say such hurtful lies? He’d spent countless hours with her that day, with her telling him things over and over again. Things that weren’t true. Because they couldn’t be. Because if what she said was true then Lo-

 

Harry had to stop himself. He never thought of His name - no matter what. Only the thought of it made his fingers tremble and legs shake, and having almost thought his name sent him sliding to the cold kitchen floor, breathing heavily and gasping for air because the thoughts ran through his head over and over again beacuse heisnotcomingback, heisnotcomingback, heisnotcomingback.

 

——

 

He’d started calling the therapist Glow because of the warm glow constantly surrounding her, and because he didn't want to know her name. The visits would end soon when they realised that he didn't need them and He came home - so why bother?

Herglow had a nice warmth to it, not very different from how His had been. All bright and colourful. She hadn’t minded the nickname of course, she was there to help and if it helped Harry to call her Glow then that was fine.

He’d finally given in, though. He gave in and took in all of the carefully chosen words Glow so gently spoke to him in her velvety voice.

 

But then she’d said His name, and everyone knew that was off limits. It had sent him into a spiral of hysterics, which of course meant, yelling and crying out denials.

She'd felt bad afterwards, rightfully so, for using the name she’d been advised not to say, seeing how much it affected the curly haired boy on the floor, curling in on himself.

He’d calmed down, eventually. He’d been bound to. No one so exhausted both menatlly and physically could possibly keep up such a tiring activity for an outstretched amount of time.

 

Harry hadn’t bothered after that, really. Not with anything. It had worried the therapist - he refused to call her Glow anymore, it didn’t quite fit after what'd happened- when he’d suddenly spaced out in the midst of her speaking, and not quite coming back at all after that. She’d seen it before with others and she never liked to witness something so raw like emotions make a person pull into themselves into a cocoon of false safety, unable to accept the harsh truth that awaited them.

She’d given one of the other boys, Liam, a recipe for anti-depressants, since he’d overtaken the role as Harry’s supervisor, instead of Him. She’d made it clear that he needed to keep the bottle of pills a safe distance from Harry at all times. Liam had nodded with a serious expression on his face. The pills would no matter what, never come into Harry’s possession for more than one pill at the time, under Liam’s watching eyes. Liam had felt the responsibility weigh down on his shoulders, but he knew that he had to do this. He owed it to the boy that wasn’t among them anymore. It was the least he could do for him now, and that was to take care of the pieces he left behind.

 

The memories flooded through Harry’s head as he held it between his hands. He didn’t need this now.

He’d been getting better. He had not, however, uttered a single word to anyone since he’d calmed down after that meeting when the therapist had said His name. He’d trusted her, and she’d betrayed him. All because she had voiced His name when he knew she’d been told not to.

The silence had worried everyone. He was in a band, for god’s sake, he sang for a living. And they could only pull the vocal rest excuse for so long. The fans became more and more worried. At least, that’s what the other boys had told him.

Harry had felt quite bad for the fans, to be honest. First they’d lost one member of their favourite band, and now one of the remaining four had stopped talking. He hadn’t dared to get on the internet since the it had happened, and would probably not make any attempts to in the future either. He was scared of what he would see, of how many times he would see that name that was forbidden to even think, all of the condolences, even more so to see what everyone else had written about them, and how many tears that would spill when he read the fans messages to him, comforting, telling him over and over again that he would be okay. That he wasn’t alone.

But that’s where they were wrong. He was alone. He was surrounded by people he knew and loved, yet he could never feel the presence of that one person he needed it from most again. And that made him alone.

Frankly, he was tired of it. He was tired, even if he did nothing but sleep. He didn’t want this to be what it was anymore – each day consisting of nothing.

So he made a decision. Because, why linger in a world that stopped spinning the very same instant its most beloved soul disappeared from its surface.

 

——

 

He put the dirty cup in the sink with shaking hands, for the first time daring to touch it where the other set of fingers had touched it last. He could almost feel the burn of the fingerprints on it, barely being able to place it at the bottom of the sink before he would’ve dropped it, and most certainly, shattered it across the metallic surface.

Then he made his way to the only other bedroom in the flat. Where he hadn’t been since that last time. Where he’d been staying the night, the last night he'd had with Him. He regretted that morning since it happened. It had all began with, “Goodmorning, love,” and ended with a, “Well, be that way then! I’m going out. Don’t stay up.”

He’d known for quite a while now, that it was in there that Liam kept the bottle of pill. The onesthat he so strongly desired. Liam must’ve thought it had been a good idea to put it in there where there was absolutely no chance of Harry ever coming in, when he couldn’t even move a damn cup. Every time someone had made any attempt to remove it he’d yelled. Not words, just shouts. And crying. He’d done that a lot too. So they let it be. And that must’ve been why Liam had been so sure that His room would be the perfect hiding place.

Harry opened the drawer beside the bed and found the pills instantly. It had almost been too easy, but he didn’t care. He was beyond caring at this point. The room reminded him of so many memories that now only hurt him, but they only kept him going.

He’d watched Liam sneak into this room the other day when he’d thought Harry had been asleep and changed the empty bottle to a brand new full one. Harry had tiptoed back to his bed and pulled the covers back over him with the hint of a smile ghosting his lips. The very first genuine one since he’d heard the news. He hadn’t decided yet, then, but he’d had an idea of what would happen next.

It was almost the same smile that was grazed upon his lips now and he felt calmer than he’d ever been since it had happened. This was it.

Surprising himself with humming their song quietly to himself, he quickly worked the cap off the water bottle he’d brought with him in. He opened the lid to the pills. There were so many of them in there. Probably more than he needed, but he needed to be on the safe side. There was no room for failure.

He found a piece of paper and a pen on the desk and scribbled down the best, yet most easy and simple thing he could think of. It was perfect.

Satisfied with the note, he put it beside the pillow on the bed and sat down.

It was time. The other boys had been forced to do an interview, something they’d not wanted to do, but Harry was thankful for the opportunity it had given him. They had been reluctant to leave him on his own, but Harry had insisted in his own quiet way and they'd given up because Harry had actually been doing better recently and they had no other choice, really. So they let Harry stay in the flat by himself. And for that, Harry was immensely grateful.

Tilting the bottle of pills into his hand, one of them dropped right into his palm and it felt heavy with importance. He put the bottle on the bedside table and stared at the first pill. He wasn’t unfamiliar with its shape and appearance; he’d been taking them for a little while now. But never this many at the same time. 

The smile on his face grew slightly, and he opened his mouth but no sound came out. He cleared his throat and tried again, this time succeeding in speaking the word that made his heart ache with truth. Because nothing could be more true than that.

“I love you, Lou. And I can’t be without you, so I gotta do what I have to do, so that I won't have to be. I just hope that you’ll forgive me for it one day.”

He felt a surge of proudness mingling with all the other feelings in his chest when he managed to say all of it. It had been a while, and his voice was hoarse and raw with unuse.

One single tear slipped down his cheek as the burning in his chest almost became unbearable with the mention of Louis’ name. He wiped it away angrily - he should be happy. He would finally be reunited with his love - and that was all that mattered.

Louis was gone, and soon, Harry would be too and then they would be gone together.

 

He put the pill in his mouth and swallowed it with help from the water. The love in his heart swelled when he thought about how he was one step closer to Louis. And so he kept going, until there were no pills left in the bottle.

He’d started to feel dizzy a while ago, but had ignored it. Now it had taken a strong hold of him and he made his way into Louis’ untouched bed with more effort than should’ve been necessary. The pillows still smelled like him and Harry nuzzled his face into it, taking deep breaths of the intoxicating scent that'd been Louis. It almost felt as if Louis was right there beside him, comforting and holding him, as he got closer and closer to being with him.

While he was slipping in and out of consciousness, Harry smiled. Maybe not a happy smile, but a relieved one. This was the end, after all.

He fell into deep sleep for the last time in his life, with a final peaceful smile on his lips.

 

——

 

It should’ve alarmed him to find Louis’ cup in the sink, but Liam hadn’t thought so much about it. He’d had a bad feeling in the pit of his stomach ever since he’d left the flat earlier, but he’d ignored that too. How could he have known that by ignoring that feeling, it would end up like this?

They’d had an important interview and he had needed to seem put together for the fans. Their loving fans that supported them through everything. They'd certainly needed some reassurance after everything that’d happened.

 

It was when he stepped into Harry’s empty room that he felt the dread pool in his stomach. Harry never left his room willingly, and there was only one other room that Liam hadn’t passed on his way here, and that was Louis’ room. Where he’d hidden the pills that Harry at no cost should get a hold of.

He raced towards what had been the oldest of the boys' room, he stopped dead in his tracks when he reached the threshold and stayed there, frozen.

The first thing he saw was that Harry was tucked in under the covers of Louis’ bed. If the circumstances had been different, Liam was sure that he would've thought that Harry only had been asleep, but there were too many facts pointing into another direction. He felt the remaining colour drain from his face when his eyes found the empty water bottle and to his mortifying realisation - the empty bottle of the pills that should’ve been hidden better. His gaze flickered over to Harry again and noticed the complete look of peace and calm on the younger boy’s face.

Liam walked to the side of the bed with shaky legs and fell to his knees as he grabbed a hold of the curly haired boy’s hand and buried his face into the bedside. When his mind registered that Harry’s hand that should’ve been warm, was in fact rather cold, he felt the last piece of his composure crumble and he broke. He fell apart as he clutched the cooling hand of the youngest member of their band, their supposed ‘family’.

 

——

 

It’s wasn’t until some time later when the two remaining boys, Zayn and Niall, arrived at Harry’s flat in search of Liam who hadn’t answered any of their texts or calls, that they sensed that something was seriously wrong. They stood in the hallway and could feel the tension vibrating in the air with a choking intensity that they couldn’t describe.

Then they heard a sound coming from the part of the flat they hadn’t heard a sound from since the accident that had taken Louis away from them. Anxiously, they made their way to Louis’ former bedroom and nothing in the world could’ve prepared them for the sight that was displayed before them.

A lifeless curly haired boy that easily could’ve been seen as sleeping, lying in Louis’ bed and beside him, a sobbing broken mess of a boy kneeling beside it on the floor, gripping one of the cold hands in one of his own, and a crumpled note in the other, with the words ‘I’m sorry’ written on it.