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but me I'm not a gamble, you can count on me to split

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The house is empty for the first time in weeks. The air has thinned and the carpets are settling and the walls are blushing. The ceiling is whispering old fables, the stories Harry had murmured at night while Louis fell asleep on his shoulder and pretended to care. Stories of what has yet to happen and what will never happen scorched into the paint by a boy as hopeful as the words being ripped from his soul.

Maybe that was it. Maybe it was how raw and solid the thoughts were, the intensity of every syllable that clouded all his thoughts with an overcast of rejection.

("Do you think we'll ever burn out?"

"What do you mean?"

"I mean, do you think we'll ever love each other too much? Do you think we'll run out love?"

And Louis doesn't know what he was thinking, but.

"Maybe.")

The house is breathing deeply, expectant, and Louis can't find it in his heart to say no again.

("What?"

He always forgot how young Harry was.

Is.

"Of course we won't.")

It's not raining like he had imagined it would be. The clouds have left and the grass is choking underneath the sole of his shoe.

("I love you."

Louis kept quiet.)

There's a teenage boy running across the street, alone, his jacket in his arm. He's shivering, he's crying, he's panting, and he's gives the passing car two glances before he continues.

("Lou?"

"Love you, too."

And it's not enough, it won't ever be enough.

But Harry seems to think it is, so he curls into Louis' stomach and holds him tight with a message of, "closer, closer, closer."

And Louis can feel himself drowning with every letter.)

The street is dry and its been paling from the recent sun. Harry's probably home.

("I'll help you."

"Don't.")

Louis doesn't know if Harry's looking for him, if he's calling him, if he's searching. And maybe Louis doesn't know Harry as well as he thought he had and maybe that's a good thing.

("Let me."

"Why?"

"You deserve it.")

He hasn't made it too far, he can still see their apartment burning in the distance. He stumbles forward, shaking his legs to loosen the tight grip of Harry he has plastered through his blood.

("I don't."

"Yes, you do."

"And what if I'm already dead?")

He hopes Harry is looking for him, he hopes Harry is making a scene.

(And honestly he'd been looking for a poetic response, something to encase what he knew he'd never be able to say, because isn't that what Harry does? But, no, of course not, because Louis would be a waste of Harry's poetry, so: "I'll save you.")

He hopes Harry is calling his cellphone and asking the neighbors stupid questions and interrogating their cat and whispering sweet nothings to the blank walls.

(Louis left the apartment.)

He hopes Harry is lost, he hopes Harry is trembling as he makes his way to the car.

("Can I kiss you?"

Louis misses the innocence of highschool, the innocence of the unknown and Harry and everything he'd kept hidden.

"Of course."

And Louis thinks he regrets that night more than anything.)

He hopes Harry's vision is blurry as he pulls out of the driveway.

("Write me a poem."

"Anything for my favorite hypocrite."

And Louis wonders how many favorites you can have. He struggled with one.)

He hopes Harry takes a wrong turn.

("What the fuck is this?" And all Louis could wonder was how Harry hadn't noticed earlier.

"I-" Louis stopped.

"Well?" Harry looked angry, and it scared Louis more than what he'd done to himself.

"No."

"Why didn't you tell me?" Louis forgot to tell Harry a lot of things.

Louis left the apartment.)

He hopes Harry is screaming and burning and ripping apart that undying passion.

("It's not something to be ashamed of."

Louis left the apartment.)

He hopes Harry is confused.

("I can find the old you."

But that was just it.

Harry was always looking and prying and digging and taking and taking and taking things Louis didn't want to give him.

Louis left the apartment.)

He hopes Harry's car makes a teenage boy glance twice.

("Just let me take care of you."

"I can't.")

He's standing above water.

("How have you been lately?"

Louis left the apartment.)

He can't see his reflection. He can't see Harry's words.

("I think I may be in love with you."

"I think I may be in love with you, too.")

It's jealously, probably. The way Harry can suffocate his entire being in a sentence or a glance or a touch, and he wants to be able to do that. He wants to take something as his own and control it. He wants to do beautiful things with words. He wants to captivate and enchant and terrify. He's tried being dominant with Harry, but his skin always there, blazing red and raised above the skin and it reminds him that he wasn't made to control things.

("And I know you have a heavy heart, I can feel it when we kiss,"

Louis hated the way Harry sang in the morning.)

He hopes Harry is tearing up in a way that should make Louis think "Harry, Harry, Harry," not, "finally, finally, finally."

("I thought I'd make dinner. You know, to celebrate."

Louis hated Harry's cooking.)

Maybe this will drag Harry down with him. He needs flames, needs to feel every ounce of himself burn and burn and cry.

("I'm going to make you feel good, Lou."

Louis hated the way Harry could never make him feel good.)

He hopes Harry knows what's happening.

("How long will you love me?"

"I'll never stop."

Louis froze.)

Maybe this was all inevitable. Maybe this was what fate had always wanted.

("You should stop."

Harry didn't respond.)

So he falls.

("So, this is what love feels like?"

Harry leans forward and kisses him, "It's wonderful, isn't it?"

"Don't forget this.")

Louis is suffocating and Harry is confused and nothing has really changed.

(Harry forgets.)