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Speak Now

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I am not the kind of boy who should be rudely barging in on a white-veil occasion, but you are not the kind of boy who should be marrying the wrong girl.
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Harry
It wasn’t supposed to end this way.

With me, speeding down the highway, 25 over and swerving lane-to-lane in a desperate, but futile, attempt to make up time.

And with him, standing up on that altar, watching his lovely bride-to-be floating down the aisle dressed like a pageant queen.

But that was just how things went, never in our favor. Or mine, really.

If only I could’ve stood up to management, who would forbid I even sit next to Louis during interviews or signings or anywhere in public. If only I’d have taken advantage of that miserable afternoon after their first breakup…if only I’d comforted him and not wallowed in my own sorrows. If only he’d ever caught on to my constant staring, my arm around his waist or the deathful glares sent onto Eleanor when she got too close to him.

If only it had been different.

But here I was, time running out, listening to the sounding of horns and squealing tires around me as I sped across lanes. And of course now I realize ever mistake, every loss of mine, while I’m driving to go send my best friend off to the girl, whom I found so hard to hate, with all my best wishes.

Shouldn’t a light have gone on, that moment I opened the invitation?

Shouldn’t I have torn it to shreds and went to him and cried out my feelings that I’d so desperately hid for all the years I’d known him?

Ever since that accidental “Oops” and that “Hi” with a hidden meaning.

And yet, I did no such thing. “Congrats, Lou.” That’s what I said. And I watched the light fall from his eyes as he looked to his feet, trying to bite back a frown. Or maybe that was my masochistic imagination.

Screeching interrupted my thoughts when I realized my foot had hammered down on the brake, and the church loomed ahead of me, towering and intimidating. The bells were sounding, ever so subtly, and it sent off such a happy vibe that my stomach began to feel sick. Painfully sick.

How could I do this?

—-

Louis
I could feel my nerves starting to get to me, and pulling at the collar of my tuxedo was not giving my any more air. I realized how much I didn’t want this, of course, as I was rolling up the cuffs on my sleeves in the back room of this damned church. Sorry God.

I’d seen Lottie and Fizz just a bit ago, before I was standing on this altar…almost alone. If not for Zayn, Liam, and Niall’s presence up here…I’d for sure be running for the hills. And now, I almost wished they weren’t here for that very reason.

Either way, Lottie seemed to be staring into my soul through all the black and white fabric, and she knew the interworkings of my mind better than even I did. She knew just as well that I didn’t have both feet into this marriage. She’d pulled me aside by my wrist violently, ruffling the long hems of her bride’s maids dress. That was the work of Eleanor, and she’d done the same to Felicity.

“Lou, are you sure-“

“Yeah. About what? I’m perfectly fine! What’re you worrying about?! I’m right here aren’t I? I want this, it’s fine. I’m fine. You’re fine, right? Are you ok? Do you have a fever? Cause I have this awful pain in my stomach and my throat is all tight. Maybe we should cancel this- Wait, no I’m fine. Ha….ha…” Wow, real subtle Louis.

Lottie wasn’t having it though, but before she could open her mouth the bells that hung from the steeple outside the church were ringing and she caught herself, eyes all too concerned. I gave her a light hug and just as light-headedly walked to the front of the church and stumbled up the step to the altar. I would’ve fallen if not for Liam. Who had oddly cat-like reflexes for someone who looked more like a puppy.

“Thanks, Li.” I mumbled with a forced smile that didn’t reach my eyes when I realized that shouldn’t it have been Harry I fell back on? Remembering that he’d failed to show up as Best man, I glanced down and bit back a frown. The absence of curly hair and green eyes was sure taking a toll on me though. How could he not come? It was quite masochistic of me to have him stand there as I would swear my life away to Eleanor…but I wanted it to be him. Maybe then I’d get over what never really was.

But too late now, with the Priest joining me and clapping me on the back, I sucked in a shaky breath and put on a brave face. Maybe I didn’t look like I was about to cry, but the feeling in the back of my throat disagreed.

As the classic wedding music began to emanate from the piano across the way from me, I watched as the bride’s maids were escorted by Liam, Zayn, and Niall who I hadn’t even realized had left my side. On Zayn’s arm was Lottie, who was sending me sympathetic and concerned glares which I couldn’t even reciprocate in pure humor…I couldn’t even swallow at this point. Fizzy was holding onto Niall’s elbow, not quite sure what was wrong but knowing there was definitely something. She looked with confusion towards me but moved on despite.

By the time my mum and stepdad walked down the aisle, I couldn’t even catch my breath. I had to remind myself to breath, seeing the look in her eyes and knowing that she knew what was up. A clenching in my stomach was beginning to settle in.

The music changed swiftly, which I couldn’t even focus on because I was staring at the closed doors that were almost peeking open. Flashes of white in between, I felt dizzy.

What had I gotten myself into?

—-
Harry
I felt childish, hiding behind the purple curtains in the foyer of the church as soon as I’d seen Eleanor walk through those giant doors and down the aisle, all dressed in white. Peeking out from behind the violet fabric, I could just barely see Louis in his place at the altar. He looked nervous, not just wedding nerves though, he looked miserable and depressed and high-strung. Not in the normal Louis-way, though. If anyone knew a fake smile from Louis, it was me, and that was the most false smile I’d ever seen on that boy’s face.

But too late now, as I could hear the Presider speaking now “We gather together in this church today, to join two young people in holy matrimony.” And all that rubbish.

I swallow the lump in my throat, creeping silently out from the curtains to stand at the entrance of the church. A stranger stood beside me, someone I’d never seen before in my life…but he was looking up at me with sympathy like he thought he was my best friend… as if. My best friend was getting married. He was leaving me behind, and I had let him.

All I could do was stare at how damn good Louis looked in the fancy clothes he so hated. They sure weren’t his skinny jeans and red Toms. All I could notice was the blue of his eyes, god how had they gotten so blue? Were they always so bright? The slight point of his fringe of hair, that lay almost messily on top his head. The perfectly tan complexion I was always so jealous of. His sculpted cheekbones that weren’t so prominent now that he wasn’t really smiling.

All that and so much more.

There must have been some sort of longing in my eyes because the man next to me nudged my side. I looked down at him in surprise, still not recognizing him because I really hadn’t an idea. At all. But he seemed to know too much, and that was what worried me. His gaze was intense, and I didn’t know what he was getting at until he spoke up.

“Last chance, son.” He said bluntly, eyes motioning inside to the silence that had swept over the room.

“-speak now, or forever hold your peace.”

My hands were shaking. Was he for real? Did he just expect me to barge in and ruin the wedding all because I’d screwed up somewhere down the way? It just wasn’t who I was, to interrupt on the occasion.

But looking forward through the windows of those large doors, I could see Louis biting his bottom lip. His eyes were desperately hazing over the crowd, as if they were looking for something…or someone. I found myself biting my own lip, trembling all over now.

I had to.

Swallowing what could’ve been the least of my pride, I tried to take a step forward…but found I couldn’t even breathe. I settled my hand on the door handle, trying to steady myself.

It was then that I heard the priest speak again. “Alright, good. Now-“

My heart dropped about ten stories to my stomach, and I felt tears budding at my eyes. Another time, yet again, I’d failed to step forward and say what was on my mind. And now I’d be losing Louis forever.

I felt a pair of hands on my back though, and with greater than expected force, I was pushed into the doors that easily swung foreword. I stumbled to regain my balance, but with all eyes on me. Horrified looks appear on almost every face in there, not included would be Jay, Lottie, Fizz, Liam, Zayn, and Niall. But I’m only looking at Lou. I clear my throat, watching Louis’ expression as it seems to soften just slightly. Or was I imagining that?

“…I’m not the kind of person who should be so rudely barging in here…and for that, I’m sorry…” I saved my voice from cracking under the pressure and glaring eyes, but swallow the rest of my pride and continue. I can only look at him.

“But you’re not someone who should be marrying the wrong girl.”

Gasps echo off the walls and a few women are fainting into their husbands’ arms, the priest looks surprised because, usually, no one ever speaks. But Louis is all I care about now.

And he’s all I can see. Blue eyes looking right back at me, his frown pulled ever so subtly into a smile. And I can see the light in his eyes, I can see it.

A shriek of anger and embarrassment comes from the altar, and I wrench my eyes away from Louis to see Eleanor throwing her veil down on the marble steps. “This is absurd! Who the hell do you think you are to just come in here and-“

Her words halt abruptly as Louis takes a step down the altar, and her eyes widen intensely…and so does everyone else’s. He looks back to her in a glance, as if that’s all she really deserved anyway.

“He said, ‘Speak Now.’” Louis says, smile pulling so wide that it looks painful.

Eleanor shoots the Priest the dirtiest look I’ve ever seen in her eyes, and the fat man holds up his hands in surrender.

I can’t even feel my feet, but my expression must be something of fear because Louis is walking down the aisle, backwards of the way he came I might add, to me. I hold my breath as he stops, quite close to me, and I am forced to let out the breath only to hold another one.

As my green eyes melt into the blue of Louis’, he smiles knowingly, tugging down on my wrist a bit roughly. My shoulder falls along with it, until my ear is at his lips, and the hot breath is sliding down my neck, sending shivers up my spine.

“What took you so long?” he whispers, in almost a growl, and I can feel my cheeks getting hot with a blush. I open my mouth to defend myself, but realize I don’t have to when I feel the ever-so-familiar feeling of being kissed…by Louis.

And it’s a soft, sweet kiss, lacking lust and desire, but more of a promise kiss. And I can’t help but to reciprocate it, Holding his cheek in my hand as his fingers gentle ruffle through my hair.

A few cries of upset sound around them, as well as a few cheers from the three boys at the altar, and a few ‘aws’ as well. Likely from Jay or Lottie. But I don’t hear them. I don’t see them, because right now they don’t matter.

Louis is smiling into my lips, and he slowly pulls away…just enough to whisper.

“Let’s make our exit now. I’ll meet you when I’m out of my tux, at the back door.”

And I’m frowning slightly in concern, now about Eleanor and everyone else who came here for a wedding.

But he pulls my chin back to look at him, and I’m melting into his touch, knowing I don’t have a chance.

“Babe, I didn’t say my vows. I’m so glad you were around when they said-“

“Speak now?”