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Take Me By The Hand, Take Me Somewhere New

Chapter Text

The tile on the bathroom wall is cool against Harry's forehead. He closes his eyes and feels the cold seep into his skin, wishing it would seep all the way into his brain, making everything numb. Quieting the noise that was there, always there.

Reaching into his pocket, he touches the little oval pills. He slides them around with his fingers, the feel of them making him calmer yet more anxious all at once.

Moving away from the wall, he walks over to the sink and looks in the mirror. Same brown curls, same green eyes, same pink lips. He’s never understood why anyone would think he looked special, was special. He’s Harry Styles, nothing special about that.

He turns on the faucet, splashes cool water on his face, and looks back up at the mirror. He smears his wet hand over the glass and watches as his face contorts; the water droplets making his features distorted and misshapen. Staring for a bit, he thinks that it’s definitely a more accurate view.

He looks at his watch and sighs, realizing that he has only five minutes left of his break. It isn’t that he dislikes his job. He loves working in the library. Has always loved libraries since he was a kid. The calm quiet, the smell of the old books, the excitement of the new ones. Sure he works with mostly old ladies that tut over him and call him “dear”, and deals with a lot of mothers and kids and old men. But the library has always been his escape and working there as an adult just makes sense. It’s probably the only part of his life that does.

He looks at his watch again with another sigh, before putting his hand back in his pocket to pull out four of the pills. He stares at them for a minute, then pops them into his mouth, before sticking his head under the faucet and slurping up water to help swallow them down.

Even though it’s too soon to feel the effects, he’s already feeling a bit calmer, some of the static in his brain starting to fade, his hands shaking slightly less. With one final glance in the mirror, Harry heads out the bathroom door.

***

The library is usually quite slow on Tuesdays, or at least until school lets out. No children’s programs; no book club meetings. He walks over to the circulation desk where Annie stands scanning returned books into the computer. She looks up at him with a smile.

Annie is your stereotypical librarian. White hair, glasses on a chain draped around her neck. Always shushing the children and especially leery of the teenagers, yet she has a sweet smile and a soft spot for Harry.

“How was your break dear?" she asks.

"Oh it was great yeah, miss anything?"

"Just a few books that came in.” Annie lowers her voice conspiratorially “If you don't mind love, I think I'll sneak upstairs and have some tea. You okay here?" she asks, her eyes twinkling as if they’ve just shared a guilty secret. This makes him laugh sadly. If she only knew what he was always sneaking off to do.

"Oh yeah, I'll be fine. No one even in here right?" Harry looks around and sees a man in the corner reading the paper but otherwise, the place is empty.

"But school will be out in 10 minutes, ring me if you need me?" Annie worries, concern in her eyes.

"Annie go," Harry chuckles. "I'll be fine" Breaking out the smile; the one he knows makes his dimples extra big and his eyes sparkle. The one everyone loves, even if he never could figure out why.

After she leaves, he steps behind the desk to sit in the little chair in front of the computer. Sighs a bit and closes his eyes. He feels the the pills start to work their way through his body. The slight warmth, the fuzzy feeling, the way they make the noise in his head finally, finally, quiet. He feels himself becoming lighter, his mood elevating slowly, like a switch being slowly turned in his brain. His hands stop shaking and he begins to relax.

He doesn’t know how long he’s been sitting there, it seems like only seconds, when he hears a small “ehem” and his eyes fly open. He looks up to discover what is probably the prettiest boy he’s ever seen.

“Oh sorry. Hi, can I help you?” Harry asks, jumping up.

Closer up, Harry can see that the boy has bright blue eyes shadowed by really long eyelashes, and a brown fringe sweeping slightly over his forehead. Harry wants to reach out; wants to push the fringe away from his eyes, just to see if the boy’s hair feels as soft as it looks.

“Hey mate, my sister here needs a book about unicorns,” the boy says, looking down. It’s then that Harry notices a little girl next to him, the same blue eyes starring up at Harry expectantly.

“I’m Daisy and I’m seven so I can’t read any little kid books. These have to be about real live unicorns. You know, the ones with the horns that live in secret gardens.”

Harry smiles at her, his gaze sliding toward the boy and, noticing those gorgeous blue eyes again. The boy rolls his eyes with an apologetic smile.

Being used to these types of requests, Harry takes it in stride. “Well of course they would have to be real, wouldn’t they? I could tell as soon as I saw you that cartoons wouldn’t work for a smart girl like you,” Harry nods at her quite seriously, then looks back up at the boy, again smiling.

He pulls up the call numbers he needs from the computer, then leads them over to the non-fiction section. Perusing the shelves a minute, he pulls out three books that he thinks Daisy might enjoy, before turning to hand them to her.

Looking them over, she gasps with delight and runs over to one of the smaller tables to start pouring over the pages.

Harry looks over at the boy again. He really is quite pretty.

“You’re a lifesaver mate, this has been a nightmare. You’ve no idea how hard it is to find a book about real unicorns. My mum will be eternally grateful.” the boy says with a chuckle.

“Eh, it’s my job.” Harry shrugs.

“I’m Louis, by the way,” the boy offers, extending his hand.

“Hi Louis, Harry, it’s nice to meet you,” Harry takes hold of his hand and shakes it, surprised at how small it looks in his big one. It’s a very nice hand, soft and warm. When he looks back up, he notices Louis looking at him thoughtfully, a slight smile playing on his lips.

“What?” Harry asks, thinking that he would normally feel quite self-conscious, but thanks to the pills, all he feels is warm.

“You’re just not the typical librarian, is all.” Louis smirks, his appraising glance taking in Harry’s tattoos and tight jeans.

“No guess not,” Harry replies. “Is it the tattoos or how incredibly fit I am that makes you say that?” he asks, winking at Louis. This is what he loves about being high. He becomes a better version of himself. One that everyone likes. One that even he can like.

Louis lets out a startled laugh that makes the man with the newspaper look up. He puts a hand over his mouth, flushing slightly. Harry thinks it makes him look even prettier.

“Well you’re definitely the most humble,” Louis teases back, eyes twinkling. He opens his mouth as though to say something else, when they hear the ding from the bell at the desk.

“I’m being called,” Harry winks at Louis again, before walking back over to the patron waiting at the circulation desk. As he walks away, he glances over his shoulder to look back and is quite sure he catches Louis checking out his bum.

***

Annie comes back from her break and the afternoon passes quickly, the library filling up as the kids arrive after school; demanding to use the computers, or needing books for school essays.

Every now and then Harry sneaks a look over at Louis, who sits with his sister, excitedly looking at all the things she points out. More than once he catches Louis looking up at him, their eyes meeting across the crowded room. Louis’ twinkling, a small smile on his pretty lips, before he turns his attention back to whatever Daisy wants to show him next.

Noticing the returned books starting to pile up, Harry decides he should take the opportunity to shelve them while he can. Unfortunately, none of them are from the section where Louis and Daisy sit.

It takes him awhile to shelve them all, the frequent interruptions from patrons needing to be led to specific sections or asking questions about the computers, slowing his progress.

Once he’s finally done, he returns to the desk seeking out the table where Louis and his sister had been, only to have his heart drop at seeing it empty. He looks around to see if they’ve moved to a different section, then stifles a twinge of disappointment when they are nowhere to be found.

Annie looks up at him when he steps back behind the desk and hands him a folded slip of paper. “That nice boy that was in here with the little girl asked me to give this to you.” Harry opens it. a smile curving his lips as he reads.

Seeing that you are the fittest librarian a boy has seen, and you basically saved all of our lives at home, I think it would be only fair to repay the favor. Text me if you’d like to go for coffee or a drink. My treat. 07-673-539-146 xx-Louis

***

Harry’s mood slowly starts dropping as the evening moves on; his hands trembling a bit while he shelves the last of the returned books; the dull static returning to his head. At the desk, Annie is gathering the last of the evening paperwork. He walks over and writes his hours in the time book, noticing how shaky his handwriting is. Harry takes a deep breath and tries to calm himself.

“I’ll just go run and lock the front door, okay dear? Then I’ll grab my things from upstairs. Need me to get anything for you?” Annie asks.

“Nope, my coat and bag are down here. I’m good. Thanks, though.” Harry hopes his voice sounds less strained to Annie than it does to his own ears.

Once she’s out of the room, Harry reaches into his pocket and palms four more pills. He pops them in his mouth, and grabbing his bottle of water, swallows them down. Once again, he becomes instantly calmer just knowing the relief he is about to feel. He puts his hand in his other pocket and pulls out the note from Louis. Smiling as he reads it again, noticing the scribbly handwriting, remembering those blue, blue eyes.

Once Annie is done, they walk outside and Harry watches her walk to her car, waving as she drives away. He stands on the sidewalk for a minute, breathing in the cool spring air. Looking up at the night sky, he stares at the stars a bit, wishing he were one of them. Thinking how easy it must be to be a star. Sitting there quietly, in the blissful blackness of the night sky, looking down on everyone and everything until you just burn out and disappear.

***

Harry walks into his flat and sighs at the quiet, remembering that his flatmate Ed is out for the night. He debates texting to see where he is, thinking of going to join, but decides quickly he’d rather stay in.

Walking to the fridge, he grabs a beer before heading to his room. Popping the top off, he takes a long, deep swallow, then lies back on his bed. Closing his eyes, he can feel the effects of the beer and the pills course through his body and seep into his bones. He feels so light he’s sure he could float off the bed if he tried, and the thought makes him giggle.

He sits up, and pulls the paper out of his pocket again, unsure what to do. Louis seems like a nice guy. Then again, so do I he thinks bitterly.But, with the blissful numbness that has settled over his body, his eyes half-lidded, he guesses he'll figure all that out later.

Grabbing his phone, he types Louis' name and number into his contact list, then taps out a message and presses send.

So do you leave your number for all the fit librarians you meet? Assuming, (hoping, rather) that he’s the only fit librarian Louis knows, Harry doesn’t bother to sign off with his name.

A few minutes later his phone buzzes and he sees Louis' name light up the screen.

Only the ones with crazy tattoos and cute bums ;)

Harry laughs to himself, taking another pull of his beer, before responding.

So you WERE checking out my bum!

While he waits for a response, Harry drains his beer and walks back to the kitchen for another, taking two with him this time to save on trips. He stumbles slightly while he walks, the beer and pills mixing and leaving him unsteady, but with a silly smile on his face. Everything is fuzzy, the noise in his head is gone, and all he feels is light and happy.

His phone buzzes again and Harry reads the text with a smile.

Well in those jeans who wouldn't? But speaking of bums, you really should see mine, it's quite spectacular. I was actually disappointed that you never had the pleasure of walking behind me.

Who is this guy, Harry muses lightly to himself. He drinks down almost half of his beer in one long gulp, before typing a response.

Well I'll make sure you walk ahead of me the next time I see you then! Harry's fingers are starting to get clumsy on the keys of the phone, his hands feeling numb and thick, and he has to correct several errors before he presses the send button.

I promise you won't regret it. How about tomorrow?Louis soon texts back.

Harry had nodded off a bit and the buzzing of the phone in his hands jolts him awake. Clumsily he types:

haha I'm sure I won't. Text me the details tomorrow yah? I'm off. Again having to fix multiple errors, he presses send.

He sits up, finishing the rest of his beer in another long swig, then shakes his head to clear it a little and re-read what had been written. Chuckling to himself he adds.

Did you just ask me out on a date to show me your arse? O_o

Who said it was a date?? :p Goodnight Harry the librarian

Goodnight Louis with the nice arse xx

Harry reaches to grab his second beer, not realizing he’s already finished it. Shrugging his shoulders, he switches on some music and leans back on his bed. He feels himself smiling, thinking about the pretty boy with the blue eyes and what promises to be a great bum.

He feels his whole body buzzing around, light and warm, like he’s floating. There’s a light hum in his ears and he feels perfectly, beautifully numb. A song comes on that he particularly enjoys and while he listens, he closes his eyes and lets himself drift away.

Chapter Text

Harry's sitting at a metal table outside of Starbucks, waiting to meet Louis. The table has an umbrella, and Harry folds it down so he can enjoy the sunshine that is much too infrequent during April in Doncaster.

He slouches down in the chair, leans his head back, closes his eyes, and just lets the warmth of the sun sink into his face. He already feels happy and loose thanks to the pills he took earlier, and the sun just adds to the effect.

The heat feels good, soaking into his black jeans and t-shirt, and he decides to take off his gray blazer so he can better feel the sun on his arms. He sits up, pulls off his jacket and throws it over the chair next to him. Looking up, he sees Louis standing there, a smirk on his face.

“Worshiping the sun?” Louis asks

“Louis!” Harry jumps up and wraps his arms around the smaller boy, hugging him tight. Harry's always been affectionate, and seeing this pretty boy standing in front of him, well he doesn't even think about it twice. With his arms still around Louis' neck, Harry pulls his head back and looks into those amazing blue eyes “Hi,” he says smiling.

“Wow all that, and you still haven't seen my arse.”

Harry lets go of Louis and, stepping back, takes a good look. He swears Louis' gotten prettier since yesterday. Harry knows he's staring but he doesn't care, he can't help himself.

Louis seems to notice and almost looks like he's blushing “How about I go in and order, yeah? Whaddya want?”

“Does it have to be from the menu?” Harry asks waggling his eyebrows.

Rolling his eyes, Louis groans. “Good thing you're hot because that was one of the cheesiest things I've heard in a long time.”

“Just one of my many charms,” Harry grins.

“How about telling me what you want that is on the menu, charmer,” Louis says dryly, but with a quirk of a smile on his lips.

“Iced Mocha, please,” Harry replies, returning to his chair.

Louis turns to walk away, glancing back over his shoulder to look at Harry and pointedly sticks out his bum. Bloody hell, Harry thinks, that really is a spectacular arse. He gives a low whistle and Louis sashays into the shop, wiggling his bum as he goes.

When Louis returns with their drinks, Harry watches him walk back and takes in the full view appreciatively. Louis is wearing a white t-shirt, a denim jacket over it with the sleeves rolled up, showing off his tanned lower arms. His legs (and that amazing bum) clad in dark jeans, cuffed at the bottom, and he seems to be wearing no socks with his black Vans.

Louis hands Harry his drink and sits across from him. “Thanks,” Harry says and smiles.

“So, amazing right? I told you I had a great bum!” Louis exclaims, sounding quite proud of his assets.

Harry nods his head appreciatively, thinking of all the things he could do to an arse like that. “Definitely the best bum in Donny,” Harry agrees with a wink.

 

***

 

Conversation flows easily while they sit and sip their drinks. Their hands brush against each other every now and then when one of them picks up their cup or sets it down.

Harry finds out that Louis had been studying drama at the University of London, but moved back home to help take care of his four younger sisters after his dad left. Louis' eyes softening when he mentions his mum and sisters, causes Harry's heart to squeeze a little.

Harry tells Louis that he had lived in Holmes Chapel until he was ten, when his mum and dad split up. How his mum then moved him and his sister to Doncaster, where she had gotten a better job and that he'd lived there ever since. How he'd started working at the library after school and had never left.

There's lots of laughter and lingering looks. Once, Harry even gives in and allows himself to push Louis' fringe from his forehead, just to realize that his hair is as soft as it looks.

Too soon though, Harry starts to feel the all too familiar tightness building in his chest, his body getting heavier and his hands starting to slightly tremble.

“Hey, I'm gonna run in and use the toilet quick, yeah? Want anything else?” Harry asks.

“Nah, mate. I'll just wait for you here,” Louis answers.

Harry gets up and walks into the shop, wiggling his bum this time as he goes, and hears Louis laugh from behind.

 

***

 

Closing and locking the bathroom door, Harry instantly reaches in his pocket for his pills, only to find it empty.

He lets out a quiet “Fuck” after checking all his pockets. He had left the house so quickly that he must've forgotten to grab the pills from his nightstand.

The realization makes his hands shakier; the noise in his head gets louder. He's not ready to end his date with Louis, but he knows he needs to get home, to get to the pills.

He walks over to the toilet and sits on it, putting his head in his hands. This was one of the worst parts about this damn addiction. It can be so fucking inconvenient and it's always there, always a part of him. Like a bittersweet memory that he can never forget.

Standing back up he goes over to the sink and washes his hands and scrubs his face. Well, he'll just have to come to mine. Harry has plans to cook for Ed and Niall anyway, no reason Louis can't come along. Then Harry can get his pills, calm his damn head, and still spend time with Louis. Easy peasy.

 

***

 

When they get to Harry's flat, Louis having followed in his own car, Harry grabs Louis' hand and winks at him as he pulls him toward the front door. The feeling of Louis' hand in his is definitely something he could get used to. But as much as he enjoys it, all he can hear is the noise building in his head and the growing need to get to the pills.

They walk into the flat and can hear Ed and Niall in the living room; where they are obviously playing a very loud game of FIFA.

“Oi you wanker, that's cheating. That goal was mine!” Niall yells.

“Admit it Horan, you suck,” Ed replies back.

“Are they playing FIFA?” Louis asks. “That game is sick!” Harry thinks Louis looks adorable, his blue eyes twinkling like a child's.

“You guys will get along great then,” Harry grins, pulling him into the living room to meet his two best mates.

Harry met Ed years ago, during a rather hard time in his life. Harry had been staying with his friend Chris at the time, and woke up one morning to find a ginger-haired bloke on the couch opposite him. Looking like he'd had quite the night before, and a little green around the edges, the bloke had looked at Harry for a minute and said “Well, since neither of us are naked, I'll go ahead and assume we didn't shag then, yeah?” Harry had barked with laughter and he and Ed had been inseparable ever since.

Ed was actually Harry's best friend. His true best mate. The one he could talk to about anything and the only person in his life that truly knew how bad it really got. When Harry ran out of pills and got sick, or when he just got so tired of it all, it was Ed that would help him through it.

Niall and Ed are both musicians; they play guitar and sing, and Ed had introduced Harry to Niall soon after. Harry instantly loved Niall. He's a great guy, full of this crazy energy, always eating and drinking and singing, blaming it on his Irish blood. Harry trusts both of them with his life, quite literally.

He had told Ed about the pretty boy that he'd met at work the day before, this morning while they were both nursing their hangovers. This was a common ritual for Harry and Ed. Harry will get up and make the tea and toast. Then Ed will stumble out, slouching at the table while they sip their hot tea and fill each other in on the happenings in their lives. Ed telling Harry about the last girl he'd shagged or about the “sick-ass” song he and Niall had written. Harry talking about work, or boys, or both as had been that morning's conversation.

Still holding Louis' hand, they walk into the living room. Ed and Niall are sprawled out on the couch, drinking beer and eating crisps. Bottles and crumbs litter the coffee table, and Niall is still complaining about his FIFA loss.

They look up and greet Louis and Harry when they walk in.

Harry surveys their mess, and rolling his eyes says, “Louis, meet Ed and Niall, the two biggest slobs in all of Britain.”

“Hey Louis,” Ed answers with a wave of his hand, an easy smile on his face.

“Oh hey, Louis. I'm Niall, nice to meet ya, mate.” Niall walks over to shake Louis' hand. He gives Louis the once over and looking at Harry says, “You're right, he is pretty!” before smacking Harry on the shoulder and returning to plop back down on the sofa. Taking a handful of crisps, he shoves them all in his mouth at once.

“Told ya Harry met himself a pretty boy,” Ed says, sounding pleased.

Harry, who is completely used to this, isn't bothered in the least. Laughing, he just shakes his head and shrugs his shoulders.

“Well, good to know Harry doesn't lie then, innit?” Louis replies, looking at Harry and winking, and honestly Harry is delighted with how easily Louis is able to banter with his mates.

Still, all Harry can think of is getting to his room and he looks at Ed pointedly when he says “Hey, I'm gonna go grab something quick, yeah? Make Louis here feel like home would ya?” Ed looks at him for a moment and nods his head slightly, letting Harry know he understands.

Harry turns to Louis and assures him, “I'll be right back. They're harmless.” Louis just smiles and, as Harry walks away, he can hear Ed asking Louis if he wants a beer, and Niall asking who Louis' favorite footy team is.

Harry goes into his room, closes the bedroom door, and sinks down on the bed. He lets out a breath that he didn't know he'd been holding and grabs the pill bottle. His hands have really started to shake and he has a bit of trouble getting the top off. Cursing under his breath, he finally gets the bottle open and pulls out 4 of the pills. He pops them in his mouth, taking a swig of the water on his nightstand to swallow them down.

He sighs with relief and lies back on his bed. Closing his eyes, he wills his heartbeat to slow, his hands to calm. Waiting for the peaceful bliss to finally take him over, so he can be the Harry everyone loves again.

After about 10 minutes, his phone buzzes in his pocket. He pulls it out and see's Ed's name across the screen.

You ok? I think your boy is starting to miss you.

A large smile stretches across Harry's lips as he types back Well, then send him in :)

Harry stands up and stretches. He quickly pours a few more pills in his hand and shoves them in his pocket, before sticking the pill bottle in the nightstand drawer.

There's a light tap on the door, and his phone buzzes as he calls “Come in!”

Looking at his phone, he see's Niall's name.

Hey loverboy, don't forget you promised to feed me!!!

Chapter Text

“Hi,” Louis says when he walks in, carrying two beers and handing one to Harry.

“Heard you missed me,” Harry teases, winking at him.

He takes the beer, pops the top, and takes a swig.

“You okay?” Louis asks, peering at him with concern and sitting on the edge of the bed.

“Oh yeah, 'm good. I came to take some paracetamol and my mum called. Sorry 'bout that.” Harry feels a bit bad lying to Louis, but sadly lying has become part of the game, so he shoves the thought to the back of his head.

He's feeling really good now anyway, and this beautiful boy sitting on his bed makes him feel even better.

Harry reaches out and touches the side of Louis' face, his thumb stroking his cheek. “They weren't lying you know. I did tell them how pretty you are,” his voice soft. Harry moves his face closer to Louis', sliding his hand down to the back of his neck, pulling him in and kissing him gently.

Louis' lips are so soft, and Harry can't help but push them open with his tongue, needing to feel the wet heat of Louis' mouth. Louis puts his hands around Harry's waist and pulls him closer. Their tongues glide across each other, lips pressing together hungrily.

Louis pulls back first, breathless. “Fuck, I've been waiting for that all day.”

Harry laughs and pulls him in again, anxious to get his tongue back in Louis' mouth. Louis tastes like beer and boy and something sweet. The taste of his mouth almost as intoxicating as the beer and drugs coursing through him.

Harry wraps his arms around Louis' neck and lies down, pulling Louis on top of him. Shifting a bit, he slots his thigh between his legs. Harry grinds his hips up, Louis groaning and growing hard against Harry's leg.

Soon they are rutting up against each other, hands under shirts and mouths exploring eagerly. Louis leans down and sucks against Harry's neck softly at first, but when Harry bucks his hips up, moving them in little circles, he sucks harder, a bruise forming in the soft skin of Harry's neck.

Fuck Harry feels good, but he knows he can't come when he's this high. It'll take too long and they can't stay in here forever, Niall and his stomach will never allow it.

Harry can feel how hard Louis is against his thigh, Louis groaning each time he circles his hips and slides his leg up and down against the bulge in his jeans. And god Harry wants to make him feel good, wants to watch him come undone; his head swimming with how badly he wants it.

Harry pushes him up, Louis whining a little at the loss of contact, and smiles at him. “Lie down,” he says, his voice husky and deep.

He climbs over and straddles Louis' hips, biting at his neck and pushing Louis' shirt up. Moving his lips down his chest, Louis makes small grunting noises in the back of his throat with each lick and bite, and slides his fingers into Harry's hair, twisting and pulling.

Harry reaches down and palms Louis through his jeans. The friction making Louis moan and lift his hips, pressing his bulge against Harry's hand.

He unzips Louis' trousers, reaches his hand in through his pants and grabs Louis' cock, freeing it from the constraints of the fabric. Louis moans a bit more loudly and puts his hand over his mouth. Harry laughs “Feel good babe?”

“Yeah,” Louis lets out breathlessly as Harry slowly slides his hand, dry, over Louis' dick. Pulling up and down and twisting slightly at the top while sliding his thumb over the slit, slick with pre-come.

Harry lets go and climbs off the bed. He kneels in between Louis' legs and, putting a hand under each of his knees, pulls him forward so his hips are partially off the bed.

He looks up at Louis, who is looking down at him through thick lashes and half-lidded eyes. Harry can't believe how gorgeous he is, how much lust is showing in his eyes, pupils blown wide with only a thin ring of blue showing, and that Harry was the one to make him look like that. He groans low in his throat and grabs Louis' cock again, sliding his hand down to the base, making Louis jolt as he slowly licks around the head, then takes it in his mouth, sucking hard. Louis' hands tangle in Harry's curls, small noises escaping his mouth.

Harry pulls his mouth off with a little pop. With Louis' hard cock in his hand, he turns his head to the side, and licks a long, wet stripe from the head to the base, lingering there and licking where his balls and dick meet, then licks back up.

“Fuck Harry, god,” Louis stutters out. At this point Harry feels his phone buzz in his pocket again and figures that if he doesn't hurry Niall will come walking in, demanding food. Obscene noises and closed doors don't stand in the way when it comes to Niall's stomach.

Harry surprises Louis by quickly taking all of him into his mouth, Louis' eyes going wide as he sucks harder and reaches down to roll Louis' balls around in his big hand. “Shit, like that, yeah” Louis babbles, when Harry starts bobbing his head up and down in a quick motion. Sucking, and flattening his tongue, humming a bit each time Louis' cock hits the back of his throat.

Louis starts fucking up into Harry's mouth, pulling his head up and down muttering “Yeah right there, oh god your mouth. Feels so good.” Harry continues his steady rhythm of sucking and bobbing until he can feel the muscles in Louis' stomach contract and his thighs start to shake. “Fuck Harry, fuck, almost there” He tries to pull Harry's head off but he just shakes Louis' hand away, sucking even harder as Louis says “Shit, 'm gonna come,” Harry pushes his head all the way down to the base just as Louis says “Harry” in a strangled, pleading voice and then shoots, hot, down Harry's throat. He sucks him through his orgasm, rubbing his hands along Louis' hips until they stop jerking.

Harry looks up at him and smiles, then looks back down at Louis' glistening cock and licks once more around the head, causing him to shudder. He presses a little kiss to the tip of Louis' dick  and climbs back up on the bed.

Louis lies there, boneless and panting, his arm around Harry's back, and Harry tracing his fingertips over the words tattooed on Louis' chest. It Is What It Is the words say and Harry thinks it's rather appropriate.

Harry feels so good, he can hardly think straight. He just made this gorgeous boy come apart with his mouth, and he is so high that his head is humming, and in this moment he can't imagine anything ever being wrong again.

Louis turns to look at him, slightly dazed, “God Harry, that was amazing. I don't think I've ever been sucked off like that before. Shit, you were just so into it.” Louis looks amazed and this makes Harry smile so hard, he thinks his face might split in two. Louis pokes lazily at Harry's dimple.

Harry leans in and kisses him again. Sighing he says “We better get out there. If I don't go feed those mongrels you never know what might happen.”

“What about you babe?” Louis asks, sliding his hand down Harry's chest.

“Oh no, I had to impress you somehow, after seeing that bum of yours!”

Louis rolls his eyes and sits up slowly. He laughs once he gets a good look at Harry, the view different while he's upright and eyes fully open. “Fucking hell, your mouth. It looks obscene. They're definitely gonna know what we were doing.” Louis leans forward to lick Harry's swollen, reddened bottom lip.

“Um Lou, did you hear yourself? I think half the block knows what we were doing. Come on.” Harry drags Louis upright, tucks him back in his trousers, and pulls him out the door.

 

***

 

Louis sits on the counter, swinging his legs and singing to the music playing in the kitchen while Harry starts dinner. They laugh and joke, Harry swatting Louis' hand when he reaches out to grab a piece of bell pepper that Harry's chopping.

Niall comes in for another beer and says “Listen, I'm glad you two get on so well, but next time could ya wait till I'm fed?”

“Sorry mate, Louis was feeding me first,” Harry grins up at Louis.

“Oh god,” Louis groans, going slightly pink around the ears. "You are the absolute worst."

“Oi, Haz, keep some things to yourself yeah? That's almost enough to make me lose my appetite,” Niall groans

Harry just reaches over and kisses Louis, being sure to make loud smacking noises.

 

***

 

After dinner, Louis helps Harry clean up and load the dishwasher.

“You don't have to help, you can go in and play with those losers,” Harry tells Louis, yelling the last part so Niall and Ed will hear him.

“Suck it, Styles,” Ed yells back.

“Pretty sure he already did,” Niall states.

Harry shakes his head at Louis “I told you, you were loud” and swats Louis on the bum with the dishtowel.

“Hey, you're the one that told him in the first place,” Louis protests, trying to grab the towel from Harry but only getting smacked again instead.

“If you're coming in here, would ya bring some beer?” Ed shouts.

“Yes dear,” Harry yells back. Grabbing four beers in one hand, he takes Louis' hand in the other and they go to the living room.

After handing out the beer, making sure to linger long enough in front of the tv to make Niall miss a goal, Harry figures it's probably pill time again. So he tells Louis he'll be right back and runs into the bathroom. He pops two pills this time instead of the usual four, because he knows the pills and the beer make him sleepy and he doesn't want to fall asleep yet. Then makes sure to flush and run the water, so it seems like he'd used the toilet.

He glances in the mirror, starting to feel the guilt that comes with sneaking off to get high. Though he quickly pushes the feeling away, convincing himself that the only reason Louis likes him at all is because of the pills. Without them he's nothing, no one a boy like Louis would waste time with. Shaking his head and pushing a hand through his hair, he heads back to the pretty boy waiting for him.

 

***

 

Harry climbs into the big over-stuffed chair that Louis is sitting in, slotting himself between the arm of the chair and Louis' side, and stretches his long legs over Louis' lap.

Louis looks over, smiles and kisses him. They drink their beer, Ed and Niall rowdy and crude like usual. Jeering each other over the game while Harry snuggles against Louis, feeling so warm and light and loose. He could sit there forever.

After a bit, Louis looks at the time on his phone. “Shit, I should probably head out. Mum has to work really early in the morning, and I have to get the girls up and to school.”

Harry's disappointed and gives a little pout. Louis laughs and kisses it off him, then picks Harry's legs up and moves them off his lap. “Sorry, I wish I could stay. Walk me out?” Louis asks.

After saying goodbye, and getting teased a bit more about the bedroom encounter, they walk out to the car.

Louis leans against the driver's side door and says, “Thanks for having me over Harry. It was nice.”

"Nice?? It was nice? You got a first rate blow job, if I do say so myself, and home-cooked meal and all you can come up with is nice?" Harry is pinching Louis in the side, making him squeal a bit and side-step, trying to get away from his jabbing fingers.

"No really, it was good, it was fun."

Harry gives him a pained look, and Louis rolls his eyes.

"Okay it was great, it was spectacular," Louis says laughing, throwing his arms in the air. Looking up at Harry's face he softens a bit and says "No really H, I really did have a good time. Best day I've had in awhile, if I'm honest."

“Oohh best day in awhile, eh? Which was it? My cooking skills or my bedroom skills?”

“Oh definitely the cooking, the bedroom skills could use some work. We should practice a bit more on that I'd say,” Louis deadpans

“Oh please, you were in heaven. Did you even hear yourself? Oh Harry Harry your mouth, fuck oh god Harry, You were practically praying to me!

“Okay okay enough, I get it,” Louis laughs and kisses Harry to shut him up before he can embarrass him further.

“So when can I see you again?” Harry asks, not caring if he sounds over eager.

“Do you work tomorrow? I have to bring Daisy to get more books, so I can see you then,” Louis says.

“Um, yeah that's good but I was hoping for something non-work related.”

“Well, what time do you get off? We could hang out after if you want.”

“I'm off at eight,” Harry tells him. “Ed will be gone, you could come back here if you want, you know for practice?” Harry smiles down at him.

“Haha, thought you didn't need practice,” Louis teases

“Well no one is actually perfect after all,” Harry says staring at Louis' lips. “You have pretty lips.”

Louis laughs “That was random.”

Harry steps forward and puts one hand on each side of Louis' head, while pressing his whole body up against him. Brushing his mouth up against Louis' ear he breathes “I'm a pretty random guy,” Then licks his earlobe, chuckling as he feels Louis shiver.

Louis puts his arms around Harry's waist, slipping a hand up the back of his shirt, and Harry turns his head to kiss him.

“I really have to go,” Louis says pulling his head back. Harry sighs and steps away, letting Louis get into the car.

Louis rolls the window down and Harry bends to kiss him again, then stands there and watches as he drives away.

Harry stays there for awhile after Louis is gone, wondering what he's doing, thinking this is a bad idea. Letting anyone in his life is a bad idea. He'll just fuck it up like he does everything else. But the pills and the beer help him push the bad thoughts away and again, he tells himself he'll worry about it later. It is what it is, right?

With that last thought he heads back to the flat, where his friends, his beer, and his pills are waiting for him.

Chapter Text

Louis pulls into his driveway and turns off the car. Sitting there, he looks at the house he grew up in. The porch light is on but otherwise the house is dark. Everyone inside tucked in and sleeping.

He pulls out his phone, remembering there had been a few missed texts from earlier. Checking, he sees the first is from Stan, his best mate since childhood.

Soooooo......?????!!???

Louis chuckles at that. He had told Stan right away about meeting Harry. How his green eyes shined, how good he was to Daisy, how he had this calm, amazing energy about him.

Louis wants to tell Stan now, how he tangled his fingers in Harry's curls. How gorgeous he had looked, all puffy lips and bright eyes.

Something stops him though. He'll tell Stan, of course, because he's always told Stan everything. Right now, though, he wants to keep this to himself for a bit. Like a special trinket that he can tuck into his shirt pocket, right next to his heart. Something he doesn't have to share with anyone else.

It was fun had a good time. I'm beat mate up early with the girls. Talk to you tomorrow yah? Louis replies back.

He checks the other two texts from Liam and Zayn.

Hope you're enjoying yourself Lou. You need to have fun. Oh and I told Zayn about your librarian. Miss you!!!

Tommo a LIBRARIAN??? He better at least be fit. Tell me you took photos. xx Z

Laughing, he shakes his head. Typical for both of them really. Liam and Zayn always worrying in their own ways.

His mind flashes back to the flat he had shared with them in London. Always a madhouse, friends coming and going. Pints and music and football. He is lucky to have found them actually. They are really good lads, always had Louis' back when he lived there and still do. He misses them and London terribly, but he has responsibilities and this is where he needs to be now. London isn't going anywhere, Louis reminds himself.

He taps out a quick reply to both of them at once.

Ofc he's fit did you forget who you're talking to? And yes mum I'm having fun! Talk to you lads tomorrow. Miss you both too! xx

He shoves his phone in his pocket, grabs his keys, and heads toward the house. Once inside he toes his shoes off at the door and walks quietly to the kitchen. There is a tiny light on above the stove and Louis can see a note on the worktop.

Boo-

I hope you enjoyed yourself tonight. I'm sorry you have to be up early for the girls tomorrow. Their lunches are in the fridge and backpacks are ready to go. Thank you so much for all of your help. I don't know what I would do without you. We keep missing each other hope we can get some time to catch-up soon.

Love-

Mum xx

Louis hasn't told his mum about Harry, just said he would be with friends. She always feels so guilty that he doesn't spend enough time out doing things with his friends, that he left London to begin with. He doesn't want to tell her about Harry yet, especially since it probably won't turn into much of anything. He doesn't want her to have something else to worry about.

His mum had fought him on the idea of leaving London and moving back to Doncaster after his dad had left. She didn't want what she called her problems to affect him. In the end, he had convinced her that it was what he wanted, that they were a family and families help each other. It was true, honestly. Sure he misses London and school and his friends but he couldn't be so far away while his mum and sisters are going through this. Hell, while he goes through this.

Grabbing a bottle of water from the fridge, he turns off the stove light and heads up to bed. After washing up and peeking in on the girls and his mum, Louis quietly goes to his room and shuts the door.

Getting into bed he makes sure to set his alarm for 6:30, sighing at the early hour. He shuts off the light and falls asleep thinking of green eyes and dimples.

 

***

 

The alarm beeps much too early and Louis reaches over to slap snooze and snuggles back into his covers. He has never been a morning person, had scheduled all his classes as late as he could back in London.

When he would have an early class Liam and Zayn would literally have to come and jump on him just to make sure he got up on time. It had annoyed him then, but he misses it a bit now. Misses a lot of it now actually. Oh well, London isn't going anywhere, he reminds himself.

It feels as though he has just closed his eyes, when the alarm is beeping loudly again. With a groan he sits up and smacks the off button to stop the dreadful noise. Turning on his bedside lamp Louis grabs his phone off the nightstand and sees that there is a missed text from Harry.

ur really pretty and i miss ur lips and wish you were here now ok? is thatok? night lou xx

Louis just looks at the text, and while it makes him feel good to know that Harry thought of him last night, it also leaves a bit of an uneasy feeling in his stomach that he can't quite pinpoint. This type of text feels a bit soon, a bit much maybe. Reading it again, he decides that Harry had just gotten really drunk last night and was horny, maybe a bit sappy. Hell, he'd sent a few drunk texts in his day. Deciding it's nothing to worry about he taps out a reply.

Get a bit drunk last night H?? He wonders if he should add more, wants to comment on Harry's pretty lips but figures he shouldn't push it. So he just adds Text you later. x and presses send.

Getting out of bed he stretches until his back and shoulders pop and then pads down to the bathroom to shower. While the hot water hits his back, he thinks about Harry's mouth and hands and how good they had felt. It really had been a fantastic blow job.

Heat floods Louis' stomach as he remembers Harry's glistening, bright red lips as they sucked around Louis' cock. He grabs the body wash and pours some in his hand and then starts to lightly stroke himself. He closes his eyes and remembers how he had fucked into Harry's mouth and how Harry had taken it all, not even gagging as he swallowed him down. The thought makes Louis shiver and he wraps one hand around the shower bar to steady himself and starts pumping his hips, fucking into his fist. With each stroke he swears he can feel the slick heat of Harry's mouth, and the beginning of an orgasm stirs in his stomach. He fucks his fist harder, flicking his hips faster and bites his lip to stifle his moans. He squeezes his eyes tight and his body starts to tremble as he pictures Harry's glazed green eyes looking up at him, Louis' cock sliding in and out of that pretty mouth. With a final shudder Louis comes hard and shoots thick and hot into his hand, wobbling a bit and breathing hard as he comes down.

He finishes his shower, to the sound of whining girls and fists pounding on the door, and goes back to his room feeling light and relaxed.

As he's pulling on his jeans, the memory of Harry lightly kissing the tip of Louis' dick flashes into his mind. He had been too gone at the time to actually notice, but now the gesture makes him feel warm and a smile tugs at his lips. Harry is definitely not like any of the others he'd been with.

He can already feel the very real possibility of getting swept away in all of this. He hasn't stopped thinking about Harry since the moment he set eyes on him at the library.

"Shit," Louis mutters quietly. He can't allow this to happen, there is already way too much on his plate. He can't let Harry Styles, with his dimples and shiny, green eyes, carry him away. He just wishes he knew how to stop it.

 

***

 

After finally getting the girls out the door and successfully to school on time, Louis stops to grab a coffee and heads back home. Once in the house, he flops on the couch; his head still a tangle of harryharryharry and stopstopstop. Needing a distraction he grabs his phone from his pocket and calls Stan.

"Tommo what's up man?" Stan answers

"Not too much, just got the girls to school. Relaxing for a bit. You?"

"I have a bit of revision to do, but not much other than that."

"Wanna come over for a bit? FIFA or something?" Louis asks hopefully, really needing a chat with his oldest friend.

"Sure, give me a half hour yeah?"

"Sounds good, see you then mate," Louis replies and hangs up.

He gets up and starts washing the dishes left from breakfast. Then runs upstairs and grabs all the dirty clothes and towels the girls have left all over the bathroom, and starts a load of laundry. By the time he's finished he can hear Stan in the foyer, yelling his name.

"Hey Lou, where ya at mate?"

Louis walks out to the foyer and greets Stan with a hug. "Hey man, you alright?"

"Yeah good to see you," Stan grins and hugs him back, squeezing tightly.

They head into the living room, and Louis sets up FIFA on the PlayStation.

"Ready to get your arse handed to you bro?" Louis asks.

He turns around and stops when he sees Stan sitting there staring at him, an amused expression playing on his face.

"What?" Louis asks

"We both know why you invited me over here Lou. You gonna pretend that you're not gagging to tell me about it?"

Louis shrugs his shoulders, trying to look nonchalant but also knowing that Stan will see right through it.

"Oh please," Stan says, narrowing his eyes at Louis.

"Alright, alright," Louis says, mocking annoyance "Last night was great. His friends are a riot, and Harry made dinner, he's a really good cook."

"That's great, he's a good cook," Stan says slowly while rolling his eyes. "Anything else he might be good at Lou? Cuz I can see that look on your face."

"What look?" Louis practically sputters "I do not have a look on my face!"

Stan cocks his eyebrow, and continues to look at Louis. He's been Louis' best mate since the first day of primary school. He can see right through him.

Louis sighs, looking at Stan for a minute, and biting his lip. Sitting down on the couch, he thinks of Harry again with his bright eyes, and dimples, and puffed out beautiful mouth and says "Yeah ok well, I might've gotten the best head of my life last night."

"Ha!" Stan shouts "I knew it. I can always tell mate. You are like an open book. So tell me, I mean not all the details but you know. Tell me about the night."

"I don't know man, like we had a great day. We talked about everything, he's really funny. He got a bit jittery at one point but I think it was just cuz he didn't want to end our date but had plans to make dinner for his mates. So he invited me to come. I was gonna say no cuz mum and the girls, you know, but he just had the cutest look on his face and so I found myself following him to his flat," Louis smiles softly at the memory.

"When we got there he went in his room for awhile, and I had a beer with Niall and Ed, his mates, and played a little FIFA. After a bit Ed texted Harry and then he told me to go in there."

"He just disappeared in his room and left you with his friends?" Stan laughs, surprised "Isn't that a bit weird?"

"Not really, he said he was gonna take some painkillers and then his mum called. But anyway, I went to his room and well, yeah," Louis trails off, biting his lip.

"And this is when the best head of your life happened I'll assume," Stan chuckles

"Yeah," Louis says, chewing worriedly on his lip.

"And you said you had a great time right?"

"Really great actually," Louis says quietly.

"Hey," Stan reaches out and touches Louis' leg "Why the worried face? It sounds like he's a great guy. You had a great time, I mean best head of my life? How often does that happen?"

"I'm just not sure I'm ready for all this, you know? I mean, I can't stop thinking about him Stan. Every time I close my bloody eyes, he's there. It's driving me mad," Louis lets out a frustrated breath. "Plus he sent me an odd text this morning. I know I shouldn't look too far into it. He was probably just really drunk when he sent it."

Louis pulls the text up on his phone and hands it to Stan so he can read it.

"That's sweet Lou. Normally you'd be all smiles and way too may details after a night like that. I don't understand the problem," Stan pulls his eyebrows together, confused.

"I wanked to the thought of him while in the shower this morning," Louis says a bit miserably, chewing on the side of his thumb.

Stan laughs and says "Lou, you've wanked to hundreds of guys. How is this time any different?"

"He wants to see me again today Stan and I said yes. I haven't seen mum properly in days. She's going to be exhausted when she gets home. I need to be here helping with the girls, not off getting great head from a hot guy, you know? Plus, I think maybe he wants more than I'm able to give. I think I want more than I'm able to give."

"I get it Lou, I do. I know this is hard for you with the girls and Jay, but you do so much. You deserve something great," Stan says quietly, rubbing a circle on Louis' calf with his thumb.

"But what if I just don't have time for something great? You could say I deserve to be in London too but sometimes you don't get what you deserve, at the time you deserve it. I mean it's not mum's or the girl's fault that that asshole..." Louis trails off, his throat constricting and his fists clenching.

He's quiet for a minute then says "I shouldn't have left that note for Harry in the first place. I don't know what I was thinking. You know me, you know where this leads Stan. I can't let myself get distracted."

"Lou, it's been one date. It's not like the lad has asked you to marry him right? Have you told him what your life is like right now? How hard it is?"

"Yeah."

"So he gets it then. You worry too much, honestly. Just see how it goes, nothing has to be planned now. No promises have to be made. Let yourself have fun," Stan puts his hand on Louis' chin and turns his head so Louis is looking him in the eye "You can have this Lou."

Louis stares at Stan for a minute, thinking maybe Stan's right. If Louis can set boundaries and let Harry know that he doesn't have a lot of time, maybe it will be ok.

Feeling better, Louis looks at Stan who still has his hand on Louis' chin and says "Is this where you kiss me or?"

Stan pulls his hand away and laughs "Wanker," and like that the mood lightens. They spend the rest of the day playing FIFA, doing chores, and laughing a lot until it's time for Louis to get the girls from school.

When Stan leaves he hugs Louis and says "It's ok to be happy Lou. You didn't cause this, what happened here. You don't have to feel guilty if you have a bit of fun, yeah?"

Louis just nods, his eyes shining a bit, and says goodbye.

He thinks about his conversation with Stan on the drive to the twins' school. He can do this. He can be there for his family and enjoy some fun too. Once he's pulled into the lot Louis grabs his phone and taps a message to Harry.

Won't be there to visit you at work. Gonna have dinner with mum and the girls but I'll meet you at your flat at 8:30? Will you be hungry? I can bring food and a film.

A few minutes later a message from Harry buzzes on his phone.

Food sounds great! Can't wait to see you Louis :)

Louis is smiling as he gets out of his car and walks into the school to fetch the girls.

Chapter Text

When he gets the text from Louis, Harry is sitting on the living room floor. His legs are spread in a wide V, and he's trying not to give in to the beer and pills that are on the floor in front of him. He's been at it for exactly forty-seven minutes now. Tearing the label from the beer bottle into little pieces, rolling the pill container back and forth trying to see just how long he can go. It's a game he likes to play with himself sometimes, every minute feeling like an hour and a victory. His mind and body growing more tense and anxious as the time goes on, adding to his already foul mood. He's not sure why he chooses to torture himself on the bad days, but he always does; and today has been a bloody bad day, pure shit from the start.

He'd woken up with a steady thump in his temples and his body shaking from head to toe. Pulling the blanket over his head, he'd swallowed a handful of pills and went back to sleep.Things got worse from there.

Three hours after he should've been to work, he'd finally been able to drag his sorry arse out of bed. "Shit" he muttered when he saw the time. He sent a quick text to his boss saying he had the flu and had overslept, ignoring the numerous missed calls. He knew he should ring in but really didn't want to deal with it. Plus, he hadn't been too worried, they really did love him there. Still, he felt like shit for the lie and the lateness and the fact that he knew he was taking advantage of their kindness.

Grabbing a pair of sweatpants off the floor, he pulled them on and shuffled out to the kitchen in search of tea. What he found instead was Ed, leaning against the counter, talking on his mobile. The look in his eyes and the tone of his voice told Harry who he was talking to.

His stomach twisted with guilt and his hands started to shake. He couldn't just stand there and listen, so he practically ran to the loo and brushed his teeth as slowly as he could, counting to twenty twice until he was sure the conversation was over.

Ed was putting the phone in his pocket when Harry walked back into the kitchen. His hands were still trembling as he filled a mug with tea, his back to his friend.

"How is she?" Harry already knew the answer, didn't know why he was asking.

"Same as always H. Worried about you, of course. But she loves you, wanted me to tell you. Gemma too."

"I know Ed. I know they do, I just," Harry trailed off, scrubbed his hands over his face.

It's the same conversation every time his mum rang Ed to check on Harry. He'd never really understood why she rings, nothing ever changes. She hangs up disappointed, Harry feels like shit, and then he gets high. The purpose of her call causing exactly what she'd been trying to avoid.

"Yeah, I don't know man. I'm never sure what I'm supposed to say, to any of you."

"You do know they don't blame you, yeah? Like, I'm not your responsibility. You aren't expected to fix me," Harry stared down at his tea, still not turning around. They'd had this conversation too many times before. There wasn't anything left to say that Harry hadn't already heard a thousand times. Ed knew talking about it made it worse so instead he just turned Harry around by his shoulders and looked him in the eyes.

"You okay Harry?" Ed's eyes were pulled down with worry, his voice sounded weary.

"Yeah, I'm uh, I'm staying home today though. But it'll be fine. You know they love me there."

Ed dropped his hands from Harry's shoulders and stepped back a bit, rubbing the back of his neck and avoiding Harry's eyes.

"Haz okay man, I mean I trust ya, yeah. It's just you can't lose this job. For a lot of reasons, but mostly because I can't float yer arse. I do enough as it is ya know?" Ed had said it nicely. He hadn't been trying to make Harry feel bad, but Harry did feel bad and Ed knew it.

"I hafta go meet Niall," Ed smiled sadly, picked up his keys, and left.

Still sitting on the floor, Harry rubs his temples. It's now been sixty-three minutes, that he'd been able to avoid the pills and beer. He hated the control they had over him. His hands were starting to shake again, his heart beating more rapidly. His thoughts bouncing around his head, jumping from thought to thought and making his head hurt.

He thinks about what a shitty person he is. How he hurts all the people he loves and how he always let's them down. It's not that he doesn't want to be a good person, he thinks that maybe he just doesn't remember how. All the drugs and alcohol have re-wired his head and he just can't work out who he used to be, the person that people liked sober. He wonders if anyone understands that he misses that Harry as much as they do.

He hates the way he is, this person he's become. A person who has a better relationship with drugs than people. The pain from missing his family is always hovering in the background. They don't understand that it's not that he doesn't want to take their help, it's that he can't take their help. If he could, he'd still be talking to them now.

Why can't he find a way to make everyone understand that he doesn't want to be this mess of drugs and alcohol and pain and deceit? Harry hates deceiving people, because lies grow and turn into messy piles of lies that take over everything, especially relationships. There is no one that he can be completely honest with, not even himself. The lies hurt everyone the most, the lies make him hate himself.

How do you get away from the person you hate the most, when the person you hate the most is yourself? It's a question he thinks about often. It's always there floating around his head until it's all he can hear. Until he wants to beg his head to stop, to shut up, to please just leave him alone.

He finally gives in and grabs a handful of pills and washes them down with the warm beer. Scrolling through the music library on his phone, he chooses Perfect Blue Buildings by Counting Crows and lies down on the hard floor.

With the the pills and the alcohol coursing through him, he closes his eyes, listens to the words of the song and sings along softly.

So, help me stay awake, I'm fallin'
Asleep in perfect blue buildings,
Beside the green apple sea,
Gonna get me a little oblivion, baby,
And try to keep myself away from me

 

***

 

Harry wakes slowly, unsure of where he is, or why his back is so sore. Gradually he remembers that he has fallen asleep on the living room floor and the events of the day come floating back to him. Groaning from the pain in his back and the memory of the shitty day, he turns his head to look at the window. The sky is starting to get dark and shadows are casting across the living room floor.

Louis Harry suddenly remembers, sitting up quickly and knocking over the bottle of warm beer that was next to him. "Shit!" He sits there and watches the amber liquid flow over the living room floor and just sighs. "Fuck."

He reaches for his phone and sees that it's half seven. The living room is still a mess from last night, the spilled beer adding to it. He rakes his hands through his hair, knowing he needs to shower and clean up before Louis comes and he only has an hour to do it. Yet he still sits there because today everything is overwhelming. Life is overwhelming and honestly, it's just too much to handle.

He considers calling Louis and asking if they can do it another time, actually has his phone in his hand. But then he's picturing blue eyes that crinkle when he smiles and soft lips that fit his perfectly and figures it's worth the trouble. Besides, once he gets a few more pills and some beer into his system he should be just fine.

Harry grabs the pills now, pouring four into his hand and winces at how few are left in the bottle. There is no way that's going to last him until he can get more. How does this always happen? He'd promised himself that this month he was going to make them last. Putting two back he curses himself for sleeping through his high twice today, basically wasting it.

There are other pills he can take. Pills that help the shaking and quell his anxiety. Pills that stave off the sickness from the withdrawal. They aren't the good pills, the ones that make things quiet and soft and numb. So he only takes them when he has to. When he basically has no other choice. Like now, and he hates when he leaves himself with no other choice.

He pulls himself up off the floor and walks to his room. In his nightstand drawer are an array of pill bottles, all shapes and sizes; his own personal pharmacy. He starts looking for the ones that help the anxiety, the ones that will keep him calm tonight while his body starts to detox slightly from the opiates it's used to. The ones that will keep him well, instead of high.

Harry hates that tonight has to be one of these nights. Why does it always sneak up on him? When did his life become centered around a small white pill and how many he has and when he can get more?

Popping the two opiates he's allowing himself and three of the other meds he runs to take a quick shower. When he's done he wraps a towel around his waist, and heads to his room to get dressed, stopping quickly in the kitchen for a beer. The combination of pills and beer is going to make him sleepy, but there's nothing he can do. Better to be sleepy than sick.

By the time he's dressed in a pair of tight dark wash jeans and a gray wool jumper, has cleaned up the living room, and is in the bathroom fixing his curls the doorbell rings. He grabs his beer off the bathroom counter and walks, barefoot, to greet Louis at the door.

Chapter Text

When the door opens, Louis just stands there and stares. He drags his eyes up and down Harry's body and takes him all in, like he didn't just see him yesterday, less than twenty four hours ago. He opens and closes his mouth, trying to say something, anything but apparently his mouth has forgotten how to function. He needs to get himself together.

But, to be fair, Louis isn't totally at fault. Not with Harry standing there all long limbs and bare feet. His curls still damp and his mouth split in a giant smile that reveals his dimples and makes his green eyes shine. Louis is only human after all.

Harry definitely looks happy to see him and it makes Louis' stomach flop around like a fish. He bites his lip in hopes of stopping the dopey smile that is threatening to spread across his face. He wishes Zayn was there to smack him upside the head or something. He'd do it himself, if his hands weren't full, and if it wouldn't make him look like he'd gone completely mental.

"Lou, hey," Harry says rather softly, taking the various bags that Louis is carrying and setting them, and the beer he'd been holding, on the floor. Harry pulls him in for a hug, arms wrapping around his waist, and lips touching the dip in his neck. And okay, maybe Louis isn't feeling quite so stupid anymore.

He returns the hug, breathing in the smell that is Harry. Cinnamon, and soap, and something else he can't put his finger on. That's when Louis realizes that his mouth works after all. Funny that.

"Mmm you smell good," He sighs into Harry's curls.

Louis lifts his head and leans in to press his lips against Harry's. Smiling against him at how well they fit, how nice it feels. He hasn't let himself enjoy someone like this in a long time he supposes, and he's not going to let his head fuck it up for him, no matter how badly it may want to.

Harry pulls back and looks at the bags that Louis' brought with him.

"Aww, did you cook for me pet?" Harry teases, eyes sparkling.

"Funny lad," God, Harry is adorable when he tries to tease Louis. "Don't get too excited, it's just leftovers from tonight."

They bring the bags out to the kitchen and start to unpack the parcels of meat and veggies and rice.

"Looks really good Lou, thanks. You having some?" Harry asks, reaching for plates.

"Nah, I ate with mum and the girls. I'll take some tea or a beer, though."

"Both things you'll always find in this house," Harry opens the fridge and grabs a beer. He pops the top and takes a sip before handing it to him. Louis takes the bottle, smiling.

"I hope you like it. My cooking skills are more stay-at-home mum than Gordon Ramsey, I'm afraid. I could barely make toast until I moved back home and had to learn how to cook proper meals."

"Stay-at-home mum huh? Is that what you are Louis?" Harry asks, mischievous grin playing on his lips.

"Is that one of your things Harry? Should I bring an apron with me next time?" Louis tries to say with a sexy smile, but ends up laughing at the thought.

"Hot," Harry says and kisses Louis on the nose.

They sit at the table, Harry eating and talking, Louis drinking his beer and listening. Harry is telling a hysterical story about Ed and Niall at a pub, playing truth or dare. Each of the dares getting more ridiculous with each pint they drank.

"Yeah, I basically saved Niall right before he danced, completely starkers, on the billiard table. I was actually the sober one that night. Believe it or not."

Louis is laughing and when he looks down to pick up his beer, he notices that the fork in Harry's hand is trembling. Harry sees Louis looking at him with concern and immediately puts the fork down, grabbing his own beer and putting his other hand in his lap.

"Harry, you okay?" Louis asks, pulling his eyebrows together with concern.

"Yup m'fine. I always get nervous when I'm around a fit, gay, stay-at-home mum. Don't know, does something to me," Harry winks and stands up, clearing the dishes and putting them in the sink.

"What film did you bring?" Harry asks, trying to change the subject.

Louis notices but decides to let it slide. So he grabs the DVDs out of a bag and shows them to Harry.

"I didn't really know what you liked. So I brought Notting Hill and Ocean's Eleven."

"Yay!" Harry cheers, picking up Notting Hill. "Ed and Niall never watch these movies with me. If nothing blows up or catches fire, they don't like it," Harry pouts adorably.

"I'll watch any movie you like," Louis stands and pulls Harry to him, kissing the pout off his lips.

"Any movie?" Harry asks suggestively, waggling his eyebrows.

"What do I see in you?" Louis asks shaking his head fondly, staring in those green eyes until they're kissing again.

 

***

 

They bring fresh beers into the living room, and Louis sets up the film, while Harry says he's going to go to the loo and change into sweats. Louis sits down on the couch, toes off his shoes, and gets comfy. He leans back, waiting for Harry, and sipping his beer.

After what feels like forever, Harry is back with a blanket, looking soft and warm in his oversized sweats and long sleeve jumper.

"You get lost in there?" Louis teases. An odd look passes over Harry face and Louis thinks he sees something similar to panic in his eyes. Just as Louis is about to open his mouth to ask what's wrong, it's gone. Leaving Louis to wonder if he's imagined it.

"All good things come to those who wait," Harry grins and wiggles his bum close to Louis' face, just before dropping the blanket on his head.

Louis scrambles out from underneath it and grabs Harry by the waist and down on top of him, wrapping his legs around him and digging his fingers into his ribs. Tickling him relentlessly until Harry is helpless with laughter.

"Okay, okay!" Harry yells, breathless. "Enough, I'm sorry, just please don't tickle!"

Louis finally relents and untangles himself from around Harry. They both climb back up on the couch and Harry curls himself up against Louis cozily.

"Ready?" Louis asks, after Harry seems to have stopped fidgeting. He nods his head and Louis presses play.

Louis' back is against the arm of the couch and he's sitting cross-legged with a pillow over his lap. Harry is stretched out on his side, half leaning against Louis and the pillow, with his head against Louis' arm while he plays lightly with the soft curls on Harry's head. Louis thinks that Harry looks like he's about to purr as he scratches his scalp a bit, Harry's eyes fluttering shut and leaning his head back into the touch.

As the movie plays, Louis is trying to concentrate but his mind keeps wandering to the boy lying next to him. Harry has slowly slouched down, so now his head is on Louis' chest and Louis is resting his chin in Harry's hair.

Louis' not sure why he feels so comfortable, it's really surprising him actually. Not only because he's only known Harry for two days, and two days? How is that even possible? But also because he's never really done things like this before.

Most of the guys he's dated in the past, he'd met at a bar or at school. The relationship tending to revolve around sex, alcohol, and more sex. Louis would always get swept up fast, thinking each new guy was perfect, yet when it was time for one of them to say goodbye it was always rather anti-climactic. No tears, no fights, just both of them moving on.

Louis wasn't sure why things worked out that way, but he's always been glad that they did. Watching other friends of his go through heartbreak and such always made Louis think it must be the most horrible thing in the world. Certainly nothing he would ever want to go through.

So as he lays here, soft curls brushing his face, he can't figure out why this feels different. Why the thought of one day not seeing Harry anymore has his stomach in knots. It honestly makes no sense. Bloody hell Tommo, two days and you're already a fool over this boy. This boy you don't even know.

Louis shakes his head a bit and takes a sip of his beer. Harry peers up at him, his eyelashes making a soft fan around his eyes, and smiles. He purses his lips for a kiss, and Louis leans down and softly presses his mouth against Harry's. When he pulls back, Harry makes a kind of mewing sound and snuggles deeper into Louis' chest. He's glad that Harry can't see the smile that is threatening to split his face in half.

 

***

 

The movie ends and they both still sit there, arms wrapped around each other. Neither seeming to want to move. Louis notices that both of their beers are on the coffee table, forgotten and getting warm.

"You don't want your beer H?"

"Nah, not in the mood tonight I guess," Harry's still lying on Louis chest, eyes closed now.

Louis leans down and brushes his lips softly against Harry's ear. "What are you in the mood for then?" Louis says it quietly enough that it could be taken as suggestive or not, depending.

Harry smiles up at him and then struggles up, stretching and turning towards Louis. His hair is matted on one side from lying on Louis' chest and the rest of his curls are sticking up all over from Louis playing with them for hours. He's rubbing his eyes with curled fists and Louis thinks he looks like one of the most adorable creatures he's ever seen.

"I'm actually really tired Lou, I was thinking bed maybe. I'm not sure I can stay awake much longer," Harry says sleepily, yawning again.

"Oh yeah sure, no that's totally fine. Um, I should probably be getting home anyway," Louis says, starting to pick up the beer bottles to bring to the kitchen.

"Lou," Harry says in a small voice, almost like it's a question, reaching for Louis' hand. "Um, well, do you think that you could um, lay down with me? Even if you can't stay, maybe just lay with me until I fall asleep?"

Harry looks almost bashful, and tiny, and Louis wants to scoop him up and carry him to the bedroom. "Sure H, yeah. I can do that. No problem," and Louis is smiling openly now at this sweet boy in front of him.

Louis puts the beer bottles in the sink and they both head to the bathroom. Harry takes a piss while Louis is brushing his teeth, using Harry's toothbrush, and Louis' stomach tightens at the closeness of it all. How it feels familiar, even though logically there is no way that it could.

They switch, Louis using the toilet and Harry brushing his teeth and by the time they are done Harry looks dead on his feet. "Aw, you sleepy babe?" Louis asks, ruffling Harry's head and pulling him in close. Harry nods and kisses him sweetly a few times before taking him by the hand and leading him to his bedroom.

Harry strips down, looking at Louis "I sleep naked, that okay?" Louis gulps a little because he's never actually seen Harry's penis before and wow. But he knows that's not what this is about tonight so he kinda takes a deep breath and with a slightly shaky voice says "Oh yeah, sure." Rolling his eyes inwardly at himself.

Louis pulls off his jeans and shirt, opting to keep his underwear on, and climbs into bed. Harry climbs in after him and turns out the light. Then pulls the covers around them. He scoots over so his head is on Louis' chest and they lay there for awhile. Louis playing with Harry's hair, Harry tracing his fingers in lazy patterns on Louis' stomach. It's a comfortable silence, and it surprises Louis that he doesn't feel the need to fill it. Empty silences usually make him uncomfortable. Louis is thinking about how he's glad that his mum works later tomorrow so he is able to do this, when Harry's voice rouses him from his thoughts.

"Louis, is this okay?" Harry asks in a small voice.

"Is what okay love?"

"You know, this. Just us lying here, sleeping and nothing else? I know I promised you other stuff tonight," And wow, this is probably one of the most endearing things Louis has ever heard.

Louis puts two fingers under Harry's chin and pulls his face up so he's looking at him.

"This is more than okay H. I'm really glad you asked me to stay," Louis leans down and kisses Harry on the lips softly, then on the nose, both eyelids, and the forehead before lying back down and wrapping his arms around the sweet boy lying below him.

Chapter Text

Harry wakes up with a familiar feeling of dread, a tightness in his chest makes breathing difficult. He stretches out his legs, the muscles sore and twitching; sticky all over with sweat, his hair is matted to his forehead and his stomach is churning. With his eyes still closed he can tell that it's barely dawn and he groans inwardly at how awful he feels.

He slowly opens his eyes and turns his head to see Louis sleeping softly beside him, his arm thrown over Harry's hip casually. The sheet has slipped down to the dip in his back and Harry feels something other than nausea stir in his belly. Maybe if he can take a couple pills to feel better and not get high he can actually have sex this morning. That's a nice thought and he realizes he hasn't looked forward to doing anything while sober in a long time. So long that he can't quite remember when the last time was.

He carefully tries to push Louis' arm off of his waist without waking him. Harry freezes as Louis pulls his arm back and cracks open one eye.

"You okay?" Louis asks, his voice gruff and sleep soft and it almost makes Harry's toes curl with want.

"Yeah just hafta go to the loo. It's early, go back to sleep babe," he whispers.

Louis mumbles a bit and then snuggles deeper into his pillows, the sheet falling further down his back. Harry has to force himself to look away from the swell of his bum.

He slides out of bed quietly and reaches for his nightstand drawer, opening it as carefully as possible. He really doesn't want Louis to know the real reason he's up, or what he has in the drawer, and is afraid the rattle from the bottles will make him stir again.

Harry looks over at Louis, who is now facing toward the wall and snuffling softly. Confident he's sleeping, he carefully picks up two bottles, hoping they're the right ones and trying hard to keep them quiet; a nearly impossible task due to his shaking hands. Closing the drawer as softly as he can, he grips the bottles and walks quickly and quietly to the bedroom door and down to the bathroom.

Once safely in the loo, Harry closes and locks the door and looks to see what he's grabbed. He sighs with relief that he's gotten what he needs and picks out two white pills and two green ones and washes them down with water from the tap. Dropping down onto the toilet, head in hands, he waits for the pills to kick in.

He only has two Oxycodone left after this and three days until he sees the doctor to get more. This is the drug that has such power over him, it's like good and evil in a bottle, they make him a better person yet a worse one. He loves them and hates them; he loves how they make him feel when he's high. Like he can do anything, like the world is his oyster. Well, bad metaphor since he hates oysters but the pills are lovely and they make him feel amazing and make everyone love him. But when he runs out, that's when they become evil and the withdrawals make him so sick he could die.

Feeling slightly better, Harry brushes the sour taste out of his mouth and decides to wash up, wanting to go back to bed clean and fresh. He turns the water on hot and steps into the steam filled shower, letting the spray beat down on his head.
He remembers back a few years, before he'd developed this awful habit, he'd gone through a bit of a party stage. Had tried a lot of different drugs and was going out nearly every night but it had never affected his life, not like it does now. He hadn't gotten addicted to any of the various drugs he'd tried but had loved the feeling of being high. Cocaine, crystal, ecstasy, various pills, he had never been one to say no but he also never liked the comedown from the drugs; the disgusting feeling he would have the next day. Street drugs made him feel dirty and guilty, like he'd done something awful and that had made it easy to stop using them.

It was during this time in his life that his mum had first started to worry, worried that he wasn't going to Uni, worried that he was drinking too much. She hadn't known about the drugs and Harry had never felt like any of it was a problem.

He didn't have one specific life event that he could name as the reason why he craved getting high, had fallen in love with the feeling of instant confidence and happiness. He had always been a good kid in school, never got in trouble other than the random call home about a missed homework assignment or the time he and Jonny had gotten into a fight during recess. After he'd finished sixth form and had passed his A levels, that's when he had started to stray a bit. He'd been overwhelmed with his new freedom and had fallen in with bad apples, as his mum used to call his friends back then.

Once he'd met Ed and Niall, his partying and drug use had slowed down. They were never ones to say no to a pint and would light up a joint now and then but they weren't druggies and Harry's mum had been so happy that he had finally started to settle down. He'd gotten a job at the library, moved into a proper flat with Ed and off of random couches, and had been planning to start Uni to study English. Things were looking up and Harry had felt hopeful and excited for his future.

Then he'd torn some ligaments in his knee playing footie with Niall and it had all gone down hill from there. The doctor had given him an Oxycodone prescription and by the second day he was taking twice the dose. All it had taken was a month, one month and he'd gotten hooked.

He'd been surprised at how the medication had made him feel, hadn't expected the warmth and the euphoria, how it made not only his body pain free and numb but his mind as well. Harry didn't even know if he could pinpoint what it was that he was trying to drown out but his mind had always been so loud and it was finally quiet. Plus, this drug was legal and hadn't felt wrong. He didn't feel like a bad person because he wasn't breaking the law. He convinced himself that since the doctor had given them to him, it was okay to enjoy how they made him feel. Sadly, he'd been wrong.

The shower water is starting to run cold so he turns off the tap and steps out. He's toweling off when he hears a light tap at the door. Surprised, he walks over and unlocks and opens it to find a rumpled, sleepy Louis standing there.

"I have to take a wee and you were taking forever," Louis says sleepily, his face scrunched up in a small but adorable scowl. He's thrown on one of Harry's t-shirts and it's hanging half way down his thighs and makes him look even smaller. Harry is so endeared at the sight of him that it makes his chest tight.

"Aw I'm sorry Lou, I was gonna come back to bed. Just wanted to clean up a bit first," Harry says wrapping Louis up in a hug and kissing him on the forehead. "Did you miss me?"

"Yeah, you're really warm."

Harry laughs and turns to let Louis into the bathroom. He notices the pill bottles on the counter too late to hide them and sees as Louis notices them too, almost in slow motion. Shit.

"Are these yours, are you sick?" Louis asks, his eyebrows scrunched with concern.

"Nah not sick, just some meds I take. Not a big deal," He assures him, grabbing the bottles up quickly. "I'm gonna go back to bed and wait for you okay?"

Louis just nods and Harry turns and walks out of the bathroom and down to his room. He puts the bottles back in the drawer and sighs as he takes off the towel and sits down on the bed. Fuck he's tired of all of this. He always feels like he's hiding something and doesn't want to hide anything from Louis. But there is no way he can tell him the truth. Louis isn't the kind of guy that dates a pill addicted loser. No, Harry will just have to do his best and bide his time until Louis realizes the kind of person he is and moves on. It will hurt but Harry has been hurt before, he always gets through it, and will get through it again.

He lies back, arms under his head and looks up at the ceiling while he waits for Louis. Want and desire are curling in his stomach and he really is amazed that he doesn't feel the overwhelming need to get high that has become his norm. He's just glad to be well, not sick in withdrawals, and happy that he might actually have a proper orgasm. Even happier that it will be with Louis, assuming Louis wants him of course.

When he is high even wanking can take hours so he usually doesn't bother. He is definitely someone that enjoys sex but something about the pills make orgasm basically impossible and since he is always high he never really thinks about it much. Chasing the high always trumped everything else.

Louis comes back in the room and shuts the door, stopping short and swallowing hard when he sees Harry lying naked on the bed. Harry chuckles softly and pulls his legs up, letting him climb over next to the wall. They both turn so their noses are only inches apart.

"Hi," Harry whispers, looking into Louis' blue eyes that are still puffy with sleep.

"Hi," Louis whispers back, smiling softly. "You sleep with your mouth open. Did you know that? It's pretty cute actually."

"Were you watching me sleep Lewis? You creep!" Harry pretends to be appalled but the affection lacing his voice gives him away.

"I am not a creep, and I wasn't watching you. I just woke up and happened to have noticed," Louis says haughtily. "S'still cute," He sets his hand lightly on Harry's hip, stroking his thumb over his skin.

The contact is like a bolt to Harry's stomach and he reaches over and puts his arm around Louis' neck, pulling him forward until their noses bump. His warm breath coming in quick puffs on Harry's face and their mouths mere millimeters from touching. They lie like that, looking into each others eyes for awhile. Louis tracing patterns on Harry's hip, Harry carding his fingers through the soft hair at the back of Louis' neck. Neither of them speaking, just looking, searching for something maybe. Harry doesn't know what, he just knows that he's becoming overwhelmed with want for this boy next to him and isn't going to be able to just lie there much longer. Yet he is enjoying the closeness, the desire he can read in Louis' eyes, it's nice to be looked at like that. Like someone desirable and wanted, not something to be pitied.

It's true that people like him everywhere he goes but he never pays attention to anyone long enough to really let them in. He assumes he will be judged and isn't sure why Louis is different. He just knows he's powerless to stop whatever is happening here, even though he knows he probably should.

Without realizing he's doing it, Harry moves his head forward a fraction of an inch and their lips are touching. Not really kissing at first, eyes still open and then Louis is pulling him closer so their bodies are pressed together and Harry closes his eyes and gives in to the pleasure of the moment.

He savors the softness of Louis' lips and the feel of his hands running up and down his spine, making him shiver. Smiling against him, Louis parts Harry's lips with his tongue and then he's licking into his mouth.

Harry's kissed Louis quite a few times now but this time it feels different. His head is clear and he can focus on every sensation. Every spark that flies through each nerve ending and makes him feel like he's on fire. He can't believe how quickly he's getting aroused, already half hard from having Louis' tongue in his mouth.

He cups Louis' face to tip his head up a little so their tongues can reach deeper and their speed quickens. Their kissing soon becomes messy and urgent and Harry feels Louis nudge his knee between his legs, lining up their hips, and grinding in slow circles. The friction making Harry jump and bite Louis' tongue.

"Sorry," he mumbles, going back in for more. Louis just smiles and pulls him closer, licking around his lips and then mouthing at his jaw. Harry rolls over on his back, pulling Louis with him and tips his head back so his neck is exposed and Louis doesn't hesitate to latch on. Sucking a bruise into his skin and then licking it softly afterward.

Harry can feel something like a whine escape his lips and would be embarrassed if it all didn't feel so fucking good. It has been so long since he's been touched and wanted and he doesn't want Louis to stop but wants him to hurry up at the same time.

Louis starts kissing down Harry's throat, over his chest, licking the bird's wings inked on his skin. He goes to one of his puffy, tight nipples and starts sucking and biting and it's enough to make Harry buck his hips up and grab hold of Louis' hair. Wanting and needing more and more.

Louis licks his way over to his other nipple with a maddeningly slow pace that makes Harry huff out in frustration, but all that earns him is a small laugh from Louis and and an even slower pace.

"Lou, please, you're killing me," Harry bites out through clenched teeth. Louis' only response is to lick even more slowly down to his navel and back up. Making Harry shiver and goosebumps cover his skin. He's so hard that his cock is leaking against his stomach, but Louis determinedly avoids it.

"Louis Tomlinson you are a fucking tease," Harry accuses with impatience but with no real malice behind the words.

"And you have four nipples Harry Styles," Louis laughs, moving to lick each one.

"Yeah well, I'm full of surprises," Harry mumbles, annoyed and pulling slightly on Louis' hair. He reaches down to try to touch his own cock but Louis bats Harry's hand away and shakes his head. He looks up at him, determination in his eyes and Harry just nods because what else would he do.

Louis crawls over and pushes Harry's legs wider and climbs between them, on his knees. He grins up at Harry wickedly and starts sucking and biting on the inside of his thigh. The sensation makes Harry's dick twitch and okay he's had just about enough. He's writhing his hips, trying to rub his cock against Louis' head or face or something. Anything to get a little friction and is pulling Louis' hair a little, trying to get him to lift his head.

"Louis I swear to god if you don't...oh!" Harry is cut of as Louis grabs his cock in his hand at last and gives it a few quick pulls, smearing precome over the head with his thumb. Giving Harry one last look up through his eyelashes, Louis licks his lips and stretches his mouth over the head of Harry's cock. Hollowing his cheeks and sucking hard, while pumping the shaft and running his tongue around the sensitive underside.

And fuck, it's been a long time since he's had his penis in anyone's mouth. But this isn't just anyone and Harry feels like he's going to burst into a million pieces. Like one by one he's just going to break apart and scatter and cease to exist.

Harry tries hard not to buck up into his mouth, as Louis takes a breath and then slowly goes down as far as he can, until Harry can feel him swallow around him at the back of his throat and his nose is pressed against his belly. Louis reaches under him and grabs each cheek of his bum and kneads softly. Then he starts bobbing his head and sucking and licking and Harry knows he's not going to make it much longer.

"Oh my god Louis, Lou, fuck," He's just mumbling now, his whole body is heat and fire and god he can't believe how good he feels. This is better than any drug and he can't imagine wanting to do anything to make this not possible again.

Louis reaches his hand up and slowly pushes a finger into Harry's mouth. Harry sucks on it and licks it until he's breathless. Then Louis is carefully putting his hand under Harry's bum again and fucking hell. Harry loses all ability to think when Louis nudges his wet finger against his hole, sliding it in slowly as he starts sucking even harder on his cock. He's able to get it all the way in and then crooks it just right and moves it just a little and that's all it takes.

Harry tries to warn Louis but when he opens his mouth he sees stars and his orgasm slams through him so hard that he can't breathe and tears spring from his eyes. Louis sucks him through it, rubbing his outer thigh softly until he's sure Harry is done. Then he carefully, slowly pulls his finger out and climbs back up to lay next to him, breathless. Harry can't do much other than drape a a hand over Louis' chest as he tries to catch his breath and the stupid tears are still coming from his eyes and he doesn't know why but he's too spent to care and Louis doesn't say anything. Just kisses both of his eyelids, licking at the tears on his cheeks and then kissing his lips again.

When Harry can finally speak he says in a wrecked voice "You are amazing, do you know that?" Reaching over and cupping his cheek with his big hand, rubbing his thumb over his cheekbone.

"I might've been told that once or twice," Louis laughs and then kisses him again. Lightly trailing his fingers up and down Harry's chest.

Harry turns on his side to face him, and can see the lust in Louis' eyes and Harry wants to make him feel just as good. To see if he can make him explode with desire like he just did.

He reaches his hand down and palms Louis through the light cotton of his boxer briefs and Louis moans, his eyes heavy and biting at his lip. Harry thinks he looks so beautiful like that.

"God Lou, you're so fucking beautiful," he says and goes in to kiss him again. Biting and sucking on his lower lip.

Louis doesn't say much, just starts circling his hips to try to get some movement against his cock and Harry reaches down and tries to pull off his underwear. Louis lifts his ass and hips and helps him, then lays back down on his side, closer to Harry. His dick pressed against Harry's stomach.

He wraps his big hand around Louis' cock and pulls a couple times dry and Louis lets out a small gasp. Soon Harry's hand is coated in precome and he starts gliding his hand up and down between them. Kissing Louis and sucking on his tongue. Louis starts making the most amazing sounds Harry has ever heard and he is awestruck at how gorgeous he looks when he's coming apart.

It doesn't take long, a few more pulls and Louis is gasping his name and coming hot and hard over Harry's fist and down both of their stomachs. He's gripping so hard to Harry's hip that he's sure there will be fingertip bruises and god that's so fucking hot it takes his breathe away.

After Harry has stroked him through his orgasm, he reaches down for the towel he had brought from the bathroom and cleans them both up. Louis is soft and boneless, his eyes glazed over and he just lies there, allowing Harry to take care of him. He throws the towel over the side of the bed and props himself up on one hand, looking at Louis.

"What?" Louis asks, grinning sleepily.

"Did I tell you that you're amazing, cos you really are amazing. Like fuck Lou," Harry still can't believe Louis is real or that he's known him such a short time. Because he feels like he's known him forever and the thought that any day at any time he could lose this makes his heart feel heavy. But he decides he's not going to focus on that now, there is nothing he can do about it when it happens so might as well enjoy himself now.

Louis pulls Harry to him, wrapping himself up in Harry's arms, their legs tangled together. "You're pretty amazing yourself babe," Louis whispers just under Harry's ear.

They lie like that for awhile, just breathing each other in and enjoying the quiet of the early morning. A loud rumble from Louis' stomach breaks the silence though, and Harry laughs loudly, while Louis buries his face in Harry's shoulder.

"Hungry babe?"

"Maybe a little," Louis smiles up at him, crinkles forming around his eyes.

"How's pancakes?" Harry doesn't wait for an answer, just kisses Louis on the nose and hops out of bed. He throws on his boxer briefs and heads out to the kitchen, humming as he goes.

**

They eat pancakes and drink tea lazily in their underwear at the table. Ankles hooked together and smiling dumbly at each other, they find silly excuses to touch and kiss. At one point Harry smears syrup on Louis' nose just so he can lick it off.

When the food is gone and the dishes are clean, Louis checks the time and says he should get home to get some things done and Harry reluctantly agrees because he has to work today anyway.

Louis pulls on his jeans, still wearing Harry's t-shirt and it makes his stomach curl with desire again at the sight. He walks him to the door, slipping his arms around his waist and cupping his ass, pulling him up on his tiptoes to kiss him hard and deep.

Their mouths come apart with a wet smack and then Louis is kissing over Harry's jaw and running his hands up his chest. Finally pulling back and shaking his head and laughing, like he's trying to clear his head.

"What kind of spell did you put on me Styles? Hm?" Louis teases.

"A wicked wicked spell, that makes you powerless to resist me," Harry narrows his eyes and tries to look menacing but Louis just laughs instead.

"You're such a dork," He says fondly, rubbing his thumb over Harry's cheek.

"Yeah but I'm cute right? A cute dork at least?" Harry asks hopeful.

"Yes, a very cute dork. But now I have to go. Put clothes on before going to work please, don't want anyone to get the wrong idea," Louis kisses him one more time and grabs his phone and keys and opens the door to go.

"Text me?" Harry asks and Louis looks at him like he's crazy for thinking he wouldn't.

When he's gone Harry leans up against the door and it occurs to him that he hasn't felt the need or desire to get high all morning. And fuck if he doesn't feel better than he has in a long long time.

As the morning wears on, he putters around doing things he's been wanting to do for awhile but never has. Like organizing the books and dvds in the living room, and putting up the new curtains he'd bought for his room two months ago.

He's right in the middle of changing the sheets on his bed when it hits him like a punch in the gut and he has to sit down. The desire to get high is so strong that it almost makes his head spin and he sighs. Deep inside he knew it wouldn't be this easy to just make the cravings go away. He'd never been able to fight it before, why would he be able to now?

He grabs his last two pills out of the drawer, knowing it's not nearly enough to get him high and heads to the kitchen to grab a beer. Hoping the alcohol will be enough to potentiate the pills and make them a bit stronger without actually getting drunk before work.

It's Friday and he doesn't see the doctor until Monday. He considers thinking up some excuse to give the doc so he can get his refill early, but he knows that's a slippery slope. Dr. Northrup has kept him on the pills because he hasn't shown any signs of addiction. He's never asked for a script early, and he doesn't want to start now.

He has one option, he can call Stephen. He's a complete prick and not someone Harry would ever want himself associated with, but he always has the pills he needs and doesn't fuck him over too badly with the price.

Disgusted with himself and on the verge of tears he makes the call, arranging to meet before he goes to work. As Harry gets dressed and grabs his keys and wallet and heads out the door, he promises himself that this will be the last time. The very last time he has to do this.

In the car he blares Jane's Addiction, Perry Farrell's high voice filling the car, I'm gonna kick tomorrow, loud enough that he can almost drown out the nagging voices in his head telling him that he's full of shit.

Chapter Text

Harry's drumming his fingers on the steering wheel nervously, his car idling at the curb in front of Stephen's house. He's debating whether or not to go in; drove around the block four times before he finally stopped.


He really doesn't want to do this, fuck he can't afford to do this. He’s about to spend £250 just to get through the weekend. Sure, he can buy £150 worth of Oxy, get just enough to keep him from getting sick. Sadly the only place that would leave him would be back in the same place a few days from now, spending the other 100 quid. At least he's smart enough to realize how much power the need to get high really has over him, though the thought does little in easing his trepidation.


Making the pills last isn’t his strong suit, obviously, or he wouldn't be in this mess...again. He just has no self-control, if he has the pills he takes them until he’s high, and then until they’re gone. There is no middle ground with him, which is the problem.


Ed will absolutely kill him if he does this. Harry won't be able to make his share of the rent this month, just barely able to help with other bills if he spends over 200 quid on drugs, and it's not fair to Ed. Harry knows he's taking advantage of his kindness, but he just can't see a way to avoid it.


He drops his head onto the steering wheel and closes his eyes. This part is never easy, actually going and buying the pills, having to face up to the fact that he is a drug addict and not just taking the pills for pain, as prescribed. No, this part really fucking sucks and the sad thing is that he really needs to get high. It’s the only way to make all the shit better. When he's high nothing matters and things just end up being okay, or if they don’t he doesn’t care as much. Being high is his happy place, where nothing can hurt him and things are calm and peaceful and yeah, he really needs that right now.


Harry's startled by a loud rap on the glass by his head. Looking up he sees Stephen standing there, gesturing at Harry to put the window down.


"The fuck bro, you coming in or what? You think I run a fucking drive-up?"


"Yeah, yeah I'm coming, just uh, needed a minute," Harry mumbles. Stephen intimidates Harry and it pisses him off. He doesn’t like the feeling of being bullied or pushed around. Unfortunately, he has to deal with this arsehole to get what he needs and that pisses him off even more.


"Well, let's go yeah?" Stephen opens Harry's car door and waves his arms, irritated, for Harry to get out.


"Don't be a prick Stephen, I'm coming," Harry says quietly, turning off the car and following him into his house.


Once inside, Stephen takes him into the kitchen and tells him to sit down. Harry thinks it’s a bit odd because normally this is just a quick transaction, but he does, his eyebrows knitted together in confusion. There’s another guy sitting at the table, his eyes half lidded and obviously high as fuck on something. He nods at him and Harry nods back.


“So yeah, I know you asked for Oxy but supply is low man. I can’t get you what you need today,” Stephen says, holding up his hand to stop Harry before he starts to protest.


“But I got this, and it’s so much better than Oxy anyway mate,” Stephen pulls a small plastic bag from his pocket. It’s twisted at the top into a small pouch and is filled with a beige-ish colored powder.


“The fuck is it?" Harry asks


"It's H, bro. Heroin."


"Heroin?” Harry asks slightly horrified. “Are you fucking serious? I came here for pills, not to put a fucking needle in my arm.”


Stephen opens the baggie and pours a little powder onto the table, grabs a card out of his pocket, and starts to scrape the pile back and forth a bit and then dividing it into lines. “Relax mate, you don’t have to shoot it, you snort it.” Then picking up a small straw, that Harry hadn’t noticed on the table, he puts it to his left nostril. With his other hand he holds his right nostril closed and neatly snorts up a single line.


Harry stares at him, his mouth slightly agape. “I had no idea you could rail it.”


"Fuck yeah you can rail it, best way to do it really. Feels amazing. You should try it," Then sniffs another line into his other nostril and presses the sides of his nose together, his eyes watering a bit. He hands the straw to the other bloke sitting at the table, who then snorts a half a line into each nostril and lays the straw back down on the table.


Harry had always known that the pills he takes are an opiate, that they come from the opium poppy plant, same as heroin. But the thought of actually doing heroin had never crossed his mind. Never even during the worst of his withdrawals, where he would almost kill for something to make him feel better, had it even been an option. Oxy and heroin had just never been two things he’d put in the same category.


Heroin users were strung out junkies who would do anything for a fix. Not someone like him, he isn't even a real drug user, and he certainly isn’t a junky... at least that's what he tells himself. His drugs are legal, usually, and he takes them for legit pain reasons, usually. Either way, he’s not some strung out junky and has no plans to become one.


“Does it feel like Oxy? I mean I’ve railed those a few times, but I'd run out too fast when I did that. Heroin is stronger right? I mean, I’m not looking to become some junky with a needle hanging out of my arm, ya know?”


"Dude you need to relax. Yeah it's stronger, that's why you take so much less. The high is fire and it lasts a hell of a lot longer. Not like those shit pills you waste your time on, but H is easy to control, won't knock you out unless you want it to," Stephen laughs, looking over at the guy at the table. His head is tipped back and he looks completely blissed out.


Harry remembers feeling like that, before he had built up a tolerance to the pills, and it's like nothing else. Now he isn’t really able to get that high from the pills anymore. Sure he still gets fucked up, and feels really good, but the high isn’t how it used to be. It used to be fucking amazing and he’s practically salivating from the memory of it. The desire to feel that way again stronger than his fear of trying heroin.


"You wanted 250 quid Oxy yeah? For 60 I can give you the same in H," Stephen picks up the straw and holds it toward Harry. "At least do yourself a favor and try it.”


He looks at the straw in Stephen's hand and then back at the pile on the table. With a slightly shaking hand he takes the straw and watches as he cuts lines out again, a bit smaller this time. Then looks over at Harry and nods towards the powder.


Harry was never one to be bullied into trying something he didn't want to do. Every drug he'd done in his life had happily been his own choice. But when he hears the price difference his eyes almost bug out of his head. He'll be able to make rent, with money to spare. Plus it's not like this would become a regular thing. Just something to get him through the weekend until his refill. Then he'll figure this shit out once and for all.


Finally he just shakes his head, still kind of shocked at what he's about to do, and leans down over the table. Closing off one nostril with his other hand, he holds the straw to his nose and sniffs up one of the smaller lines, tipping his head back to make sure none of the powder falls out, and then sniffs again.


His eyes are starting to water, and his nose burns, but he’s surprised that it doesn’t burn nearly as much as other drugs he’s railed. Also, unlike other drugs, the powder dripping down his throat is only slightly bitter, practically tasteless.


It’s been seconds but already his mouth and throat are numb from the drips, and he is starting to feel the familiar warmth take over his body. His mood is lifting and fuck he just feels really, really good. Mellow and warm and happy.


"How long will it last?"


"Well, you'll have to take a little more than you just did. That was just to try it. So probably do about double next time," Stephen scrapes up a bigger line to give Harry an idea of how much he should take. "This amount should last you a good eight hours mate. If you just do a small bump in the morning then you’ll hafta re-dose sooner, but you won’t get as fucked up. You know the deal,” He looks over at Harry who is smiling and laughs. “Feels good yeah?”


Harry feels like warm honey has just been poured over his head and down his body. His mind is so sure and calm that he nods and pulls the pound notes out of his pocket before he even realizes what he's doing. He doesn’t have to think about it because nothing that makes him feel this good could be bad, plus he’s saving so much money, Harry honestly thinks he should get an award or something. What a fucking score.


While Harry counts out the right amount, Stephen gets together little packets of powder wrapped in tiny glassine bags. Explaining that each one holds a third of a gram and that he should split each bag into three, making one bag last him all day, probably more.


He hands Stephen the money and takes the bags, putting them quickly in his pocket.


"Take another little bump for the road bro and you'll be good for the rest of the day," This time Stephen pulls out a credit card and scoops a bit onto the corner of it. He hands Harry the card and Harry sniffs it up the other nostril this time. Tilting his head back like before and pinching his nose together, eyes watering a bit less than before.


He's surprised again how fast his whole body goes warm. An overwhelming sense of happiness travels from his head to his toes and back again, almost like waves of warm water flowing smoothly through his veins.


He thanks Stephen and gives a small nod to the bloke at the table and leaves. He gets in his car and just sits there for a minute, still feeling the waves of warmth and happiness rush through him. He feels like his heart is actually swelling with joy and everything feels perfect.


He can’t believe he saved so much money and feels this good. Ten times better than the pills, but he knows he needs to be careful, can’t let himself get too carried away. No this will be just for the weekend, then Monday he’ll get his Oxy refill and figure out a way to get himself out of this mess once and for all.


He turns the car on, and glancing at the clock, he’s happy to see he has enough time to drive through Starbucks before going to work. He pulls out his iPhone and plugs it into the radio, puts the music library on shuffle and smiles when The Dead come on. He lays his head back on the headrest, and sings along with the lyrics. Well, I ain’t always right but I’ve never been wrong. Seldom turns out the way it does in a song. Once in awhile you get shown the light. In the strangest of places if you look at it right. And he definitely feels like he’s just been shown the light and the light feels fucking amazing.

 


***

 


Work speeds byt and Harry goes home with full intentions of calling Louis and having a relaxing, early night. Once home, though, with a beer and a few lines cut out all beige and beautiful he gets caught a up in his high and ends up listening to music all night, nodding in and out of consciousness. Caught up in a blissed out, euphoric, opiate driven, dream-like state, this feeling something he hasn’t felt since his early days of Oxy. Unfortunately, this means he doesn't return any of Louis' texts or phone calls, instead falling asleep on his bedroom floor, his head lolled back against the mattress, a straw clasped in his fist.


So, Harry spends all of Saturday making it up to him. They only leave his bedroom for bathroom breaks, showers, and to order in food. Harry finds time for a quick line here and there while Louis is in the loo, but honestly, Stephen had been right. Harry doesn’t need as much of the heroin and Louis is a nice distraction anyway.


By the time Monday rolls around, and Harry gets his Oxy prescription, he’s shocked that he still has a bit of heroin left and feels better than he has in a long time. In fact, he had such a good weekend, and feels so much better on H, that he isn’t sure he wants to go back to Oxy. Harry is controlling the drug now, not taking too much, pushing the dosage where he wants it to be. He was able to get off again with Louis this weekend, which he never could have done on pills. Also, he had none of the withdrawal cycle that Oxy always gives him. It’s almost like heroin has been his miracle drug.


So, Harry makes a new plan. He decides to sell his Oxy to Stephen, who then gives him what he wants in heroin. Plus, Harry makes a good bit of money on the side. Stephen is a right arseshole but he’s honest when it comes to dealing and that’s why Harry goes to him in the first place. He can’t believe that he’s getting his drug for free and making money on the side. Sure he’s messing around with illegal drugs again but he just feels like he's in a much better place. Things are better than they’ve been in a long time.
The rest of April and most of May go by in a happy, drug, sex, and love filled haze. He and Louis spend nearly every day together and just keep getting closer and closer. Harry starts to wonder if he’s falling in love and it’s something he hasn’t felt or thought about in a long time. For the last few years it’s been all about the drugs, and while they are definitely still playing a starring role in his life, Louis is taking center stage and Harry just feels really lucky.


One Thursday night they are sitting naked on Harry’s bed, eating cold Chinese takeaway. It had arrived hot, but Harry’s hard cock became more important than eating when he saw the way Louis’ bum filled out his boxers when he bent over. Louis’ bum is something that Harry just doesn’t think he, or his cock, will ever get used to.


They are both happy, and silly, riding out their post sex highs and just enjoying being together. Harry feeling good because he had just done a quick bump while he’d gone to the bathroom to get a wet cloth to wipe them both up.


He's telling cheesy knock knock jokes and Louis is groaning and telling him what an idiot he is, while his face betrays him and shows he actually thinks Harry is the exact opposite.


“So you remember my old flatmates, Liam and Zayn, from London?” Louis asks, reaching into Harry’s take-away container to steal a prawn.


“Yup,” Harry says, trying to stab Louis’ hand with his plastic fork (eating with chopsticks in bed never turns out well).


Louis pops the prawn in his mouth triumphantly and says “Well, they’re having a bit of a get together this weekend to celebrate the start of summer hols. I was thinking I would go.”


Louis is now looking at Harry up from under his eyelashes, almost bashful and so absolutely adorable that Harry could burst. He can tell Louis wants to invite him but isn’t sure if he should and Harry can’t help himself, he just starts laughing.


“What?” Louis asks confused.


“You, you’re just so adorable,” Harry says, leaning over and kissing Louis on the nose.


“‘M not,” Louis pouts, looking pitiful and making Harry laugh even harder.


“Yes you are, you know you are. And you want to ask me to go to London with you but you’re nervous and it’s the most precious thing I’ve ever seen in my whole bloody life,” Harry says, a giant smile on his face. He puts one hand on either side of Louis face and looks him in the eyes.


“Oh cocky are we?” Louis raises his eyebrows, pushing Harry’s hands away. “Actually, I was gonna see if you knew if Niall was free this weekend. He’s the one I was hoping to ask actually. You know, live music and all.”


“Hmmm well, Niall is a good choice. He is a great entertainer and is always up for a party. But, well I’m not sure Niall can give head like I can,” Harry says, a wicked gleam in his eye, and starts to dig his fingers into the spaces between Louis’ ribs, searching out the spots that he knows are most ticklish.


Louis starts kicking and begging Harry to stop and pulls him down into a sloppy, silly kiss. The kiss quickly turns dirty, the Chinese food long forgotten, and as they rut up against each other in a mess of knocked over take-away containers, if bits of rice and noodles end up places they don’t belong, it’s a small price to pay.

 


***

 


Friday before the party Louis spends the night and they go to bed early, hoping for an early start in the morning. Harry’s not been to London many times, plus this is their first road trip together and they want to take their time. Maybe stop and have lunch along the way and walk around London a bit before they head to Louis’ old flat.


As they are lying there, Harry can tell Louis is restless “What’s up babe? You okay?” He picks his head up from Louis’ chest and puts it on his own pillow, looking at him with eyebrows raised in concern.


“Yeah, I mean yeah of course I’m okay. I just um, well. I don’t know,” Louis says looking away.


Harry reaches up and strokes Louis’ cheek. “You can tell me anything, you know that right?”


“I know I can, but I guess it’s hard to put into words something you’ve never really felt before and aren’t really sure how to explain. Like when a feeling is so strong, and what you have to say is so important, but you aren’t sure there are words that have even been invented yet to fully capture what you’re trying to say. So, then sometimes it’s easier to show you than to tell you but then that doesn’t always feel like enough either,” Louis rushes out in one breath, then nibbles nervously on the side of his thumbnail. “So then what?”


“So then you do your best, and trust that the person you’re talking to knows you well enough and feels enough of the same feelings to be able to understand, yeah?” Harry asks, turning Louis to look at him and nodding his head. When Louis nods back Harry says, “Whether the words have been invented yet or not,” a slow smile spreads across his face and he lightly pinches Louis in the side.


“Harold Edward Styles you pick on me while I’m sitting here trying to tell you that I love you?” There’s a beat of silence, while Louis’ eyes go huge and then he gasps and smacks both hands over his mouth.


Harry’s trying to be understanding, to see how embarrassing this must be for Louis right now but he can’t help himself. He suddenly bursts out laughing, so hard his sides hurt and there are tears in his eyes. “I’m sorry, I’m sorry but your face! You should’ve seen your face!” Harry gasps out, clutching his side.


Louis crosses his arms and huffs “Have you quite finished?” Trying to keep his voice angry but slipping at the sound of Harry’s laughter.


“Almost, yes,” he gasps “I’ve almost quite finished,” Just about under control another peal of laughter, once again, takes him over.


Once he’s finally gained his composure, he reaches over for Louis who pulls away from him. They wrestle a bit before Harry’s strength wins and he is able to pin Louis down, his hands holding him by the wrists and his thighs squeezing Louis’ legs together.


“I hate you,” Louis pouts, turning his head when Harry tries to kiss him.


“Do not, you love me. Said so yerself,” Harry says with a giant grin and just before Louis is able to protest or pout Harry lowers his head, lightly resting their foreheads together, his mood growing serious. “And so you know, I love you too Louis,” Harry whispers. “Think I have since the day I met you, if I’m honest,” and presses their lips together softly.


After kissing for a bit, they lay there together, kind of caressing each other, holding hands.


“I’ve never told that to anyone before,” Louis says quietly.


“Well, to be fair, you never did say it properly to me,” Harry says. He doesn’t look at Louis because he knows this is hard for him, so instead Harry starts to press soft kisses up Louis’ jaw and over the shell of his ear.


“I haven’t have I?” Louis says softly, almost to himself. “Well, before I do say it properly, which I will. I’d like you to promise me something. I know things change, people change, nothing is certain. But no matter what, just promise that you’ll never lie to me. I just don’t think I could handle that from you,” Louis’ voice cracks a bit at the end.


Harry looks up “Of course baby, never. I’d never lie to you,” He reassures, stroking Louis’ cheek and feeling wetness there. He doesn’t mention it, just brushes the tears away with his fingertips. Then lies his head on Louis’ chest and waits for him to taIk.


“You see other than Stan, Zayn, and Liam, I’ve never had a man in my life that I’ve cared about, that hasn’t lied to me. I know I don’t talk about it much and I’m not good with like emotions and shite but some things, once they hurt you that never goes away. Then you just expect everyone to act the same.”


Harry murmurs a response, tracing his fingers over Louis’ various tattoos, feeling Louis’ tears hit his cheek, but not looking at him, afraid he’ll stop talking.


“So then I met you, and we got on so well and it kind of terrified me honestly. After our first date, that text you sent me freaked me out. I wasn’t even sure if I was going to reply. But Stan came over and he talked some sense into me and made me realize that maybe not everyone is the same and that maybe I do deserve something good too. So I texted you back, and well. I’m just really glad I did.”


“I’m really glad you did too babe, more than you know. So I guess I have Stan to thank for this?”


Louis laughs wetly, then reaches down and pulls Harry up for a slow kiss. They kiss like that for a long time, lazily rutting up against each other, their kisses soft and sweet.

Slowly their movements start to heat up and Harry can feel Louis growing hard against his thigh.


He puts his hand down between them and palms Louis through his pants, making him groan and bite Harry’s earlobe. Harry is quickly getting hard himself and with a swift movement pulls down Louis’ boxers, leaving his dick exposed, thick and hard.


“Your cock is beautiful,” Harry says in all sincerity.


Louis laughs “You’re so weird, but thank you. You’re beautiful,” he says, running his thumb over Harry’s bottom lip.


Harry bites Louis’ thumb and then looks up at him through his lashes and licks his lips and stretches his mouth around the head of Louis’ dick. He starts bobbing his head up and down, taking him further each time, until his nose hits his belly.


Louis has his hands in his curls softly, murmuring nonsense, his eyes closed and just rubbing Harry’s head. Every time the head of Louis’ dick hits the back of his throat, Harry can tell that Louis has to stop himself from bucking his hips. But then Louis is telling him to stop and gently pulling Harry up to him.


Louis looks so beautiful, his eyes blown out so just a circle of blue shows, his lips red and swollen from biting them. Harry could look at him forever. He reaches up and nips at Louis’ bottom lip simply because he can’t help himself.


“Why’d you make me stop?” Harry asks.


Louis pulls Harry close and starts to kiss him, kiss him with so much emotion and passion that Harry almost can’t breathe. “I love you Harry, I didn’t tell you before. But also, I want you to fuck me.”


Harry’s mouth drops open. They’d done just about everything in the bedroom but they hadn’t done that yet. Harry isn’t sure why, but now that Louis is spread out in front of him there is nothing in the world that he wants more.


Harry almost growls and is practically feral, kissing and biting Louis all over his neck and chest and then going back up to kiss him, smashing, bruising kisses. Then working his way back down Louis’ chest again, like he can’t get enough.


Louis laughs “So I guess you’re good with that then?”


Harry stops sucking on one of Louis’ nipples and looks up “You have no idea.”.


Finally, Harry makes it back down to Louis’ forgotten cock, which is lying full and flat against his stomach. He doesn’t touch it but just licks the underside in one long wet stripe up to the head and back, then goes down to suck on each of Louis’ balls.


Louis is wriggling and writhing underneath him, trying to lift his bum to make Harry get the idea and maybe move a little faster.


“Come on!” He practically whines.


Harry laughs and licks from Louis balls down to the little puckered hole that Louis so desperately wants attended to. Louis sucks in a giant breath and Harry laughs, the heat of his breath making Louis buck his hips.


Harry licks around the hole again and looks up “Have you ever?”


“No,” Louis whispers breathlessly.


“Then are you sure?”


“Yes, yes oh my god,” Louis pushes Harry’s head down slightly for emphasis.


“Okay on your knees then babe, yeah?” Harry is trying to keep his composure, but his voice is starting to shake a bit.


Louis turns over quickly onto his knees, his bum in the air and Harry is absolutely breathless at the sight. He just sits there for a second on his knees, overwhelmed.


Louis turns around over his shoulder “What’s wrong?”


“God nothing, you’re perfect Louis. You’re absolutely perfect,” and starts kneading and kissing and sucking all over Louis’ arse. Finally getting to the pretty pink hole.


He starts to lick at it slowly, enjoying the feeling of Louis tremble with each movement. He licks in slow circles and then slowly starts to breach the entrance with the tip of his tongue. Louis gasps and tries to push his bum back against his tongue, so Harry holds onto his thighs, keeping him still.


Finally, he slowly pushes his tongue inside and can feel Louis’ entire body contract. He starts licking around in circles and then pushing his tongue in and out. Louis’ whole body is shaking and he’s making the most beautiful noises Harry’s sure he’s ever heard.


After a while he slowly pulls his tongue out, laughing while Louis whines and wiggles his bum in the air.


He reaches over to his nightstand drawer and grabs some lube and condoms that he had bought in the hopes that this might happen sooner rather than later.


He squirts the lube on three fingers and gently pushes one inside, sliding it in and out. Because of his tongue Louis is ready for another, so Harry gently pushes in his middle finger, scissoring them slightly. He crooks them just rights as he pulls them in and out and smiles at the strangled noise that Louis makes. After adding a third finger Louis starts to almost beg.


“Harry, please, Harry I just, I need it...please,” Louis says resting his head on his folded arms and thrusting his hips back onto Harry’s fingers.


“Okay baby, okay,” Harry rasps and slowly removes his fingers, Louis sucking in a breath at the loss.


Harry gently flips him over and Louis looks up at him, sweaty and flushed red from his chest up to his face.


“Why this way?” Louis bites his lip, suddenly shy.


“I wanna see your eyes when my cock makes you come,” Harry says slowly.


Louis hitches a breath and then he’s pulling Harry by the head and kissing him hard. “I love you Haz, I love you so much,” He says into his mouth.


Harry grabs a pillow and Louis lifts his hips so he can put it under him. Then he spreads Louis’ legs open and kneeling before him, he rips the foil wrapper open and rolls the condom up his cock. Tremors run through him at the feeling, because his cock is achingly hard after having been neglected up until now. He then reaches for the lube again, and slicks himself up.


With one hand, he lifts Louis’ leg by the thigh and puts it over his shoulder and then lining up his cock he looks up at Louis “Ready?”


“Fuck yes,” Louis pleads and wiggles around a little, making Harry smile.


Harry slowly starts to push in, he knows Louis isn’t a virgin, they had the past partners talk a long time ago, but also knows it’s been a long time since he’s done this and he doesn’t want to hurt him. So each time he slowly pushes in a tiny bit, he waits for Louis to adjust and looks up, eyebrows raised in a question, to see if he’s ready for more.


“Oh my god babe, I’m not made of glass.”


Harry laughs and pushes in a bit further this time. Louis gasps but nods his head, letting Harry know he’s alright and to keep going. Soon he’s pushed in to the hilt. “Fuck Louis, you feel so good. So so tight.”


Harry starts to slowly rock his hips in and out setting a slow rhythm. It isn’t long before he feels the familiar stir of his orgasm creeping towards him.The tightness and the heat almost suffocating him in it’s perfection. And it’s all too much because it’s Louis and he’s so gorgeous laid out before him. And to think that he loves him? Yeah it really is too much and he’s pretty sure he’s not going to last much longer. He grits his teeth, sucking in some air, trying to remember to breath.


“Babe, I’m not gonna last very long. I’m sorry.”


Louis reaches up for him and Harry leans over, one hand on each side of his shoulders, their mouths open, lips barely touching. At this angle Harry is hitting Louis’ prostate perfectly and his dick is rubbing up against Harry’s stomach.


“Stay like this and I’m not either.” Louis whispers, his breath hot against Harry’s mouth.


They kiss softly and then he starts pumping faster, the sound of their skin slapping together, and their quiet moans filling his ears. Finally, Harry can start to feel Louis’ thighs shaking as he wraps his legs around Harry’s waist.


“Almost. There.” Louis grits out, his eyes squeezed shut.


Harry turns Louis’ face toward him and says “Open your eyes, I want to see them.”


Louis turns and looks at him and they stay that way, staring into each other eyes. Harry’s hips snapping against Louis’. When Harry can tell that Louis is almost there he reaches one hand down and starts to tug on Louis’ cock. Three pulls and Louis is babbling Harry’s name and coming all over them both.


The look on Louis’ face when he comes, mixed with the contractions coming from his orgasm are all it takes to send Harry over the edge, a strangled Louis! coming off his lips. His orgasm seems to go on forever and by the time the aftershocks have finally subsided the only thing he can do is collapse on top of Louis. Sticky, and sweaty, and happier than he thinks he’s ever been in his life.


It’s only after they shower and are curled up together in bed, Louis pressed up against him and snuffling softly that Harry realizes he’s already fucked up the only thing that Louis has ever asked of him. He’s already lied to him, and the drug addict in him will lie again. Shame and guilt eat at his stomach, but he pulls Louis closer, his arms around his waist, and he let’s his tears fall softly into Louis’ hair.

Chapter Text

“What time did we say we’d be there?”

Louis checks the clock on the dashboard and frowns, “In about ten minutes. Traffic is always a nightmare at this hour, we should have left earlier.”

Harry laughs and Louis takes his eyes off the road, it’s not like they’re moving much anyway, to look over at him. “What?”

Harry raises his eyebrows, “Well someone refused to get out of bed before, and I quote, ‘I’ve had at least one orgasm, preferably two’. Blame yourself.”

Louis gently hits him on the arm, “It’s hardly my fault I’ve taken a strong liking to that cock of yours.”

Harry licks his lips, grabs a hold of Louis’ left hand and places it on his crotch, “It likes you too.”

“Shit,” Louis’ eyes flick over to the cars beside them to see if anybody has noticed, luckily they haven’t.

“Harry, I’m driving. Also, that line was incredibly cheesy.”

Harry hums in agreement, “You love it. You love me, remember? Also, your hand is still on my dick.”

Louis realizes that too, and giving Harry’s jean covered cock a teasing squeeze, he puts both hands back on the wheel as the traffic has finally begun to move.

He feels the excitement inside him swell as he takes in the tall Canary Wharf skyline and the streets filled with people rushing around in the warm spring sun. It feels so good to be back in London, made even better by the beautiful boy he’s with. He really can’t wait to introduce him to Liam and Zayn, maybe show him off a little if he’s honest. Letting his hair down and not having to worry about anything will be nice too.

He loves his mum and would do anything for her but that doesn’t mean he hasn’t badly missed the life and the friends he had in London. Yeah, getting away for the night with his boy and his friends is just the thing he needs.

Louis turns onto his old street, marveling at how everything looks just the same as the last time he had been here. The same groups of people walking around, riding bikes and skateboards, and kicking about a football.

He finds a parking space rather quickly, which is a surprise in this area. Humming at his good luck he turns the car off, then shifts a bit in his seat so he’s angling toward Harry.


Harry is chewing on the side of his finger, an adorable habit he has when he seems to be thinking something over.

“You nervous babe?” Louis rubs his knee, giving it a light squeeze.

“Nope,” Harry says, popping the end of the word, and shooting Louis a smile, dimples on full display.

Louis chuckles to himself, “Of course not. Don’t think I’ve ever seen you nervous.”

Harry just rolls his eyes a bit, leaning over the center console to give Louis a smacking kiss, "Let’s go meet your friends yeah? Plus, I need a wee.”

They get out and, after grabbing their bags, head up the front steps and into the hallway of Louis’ old building.

Music is playing somewhere in the distance and they can hear the tinkle of laughter from an indistinct place down the hall.

Louis leads them up a set of rickety wooden steps and down a brightly lit hallway. Stopping in front of a door, he knocks twice, turns the handle and walks in.

“Daddy’s home!” Louis shouts into the foyer and then there’s Zayn and Liam running toward him, and he’s almost knocked off his feet; engulfed in a huge hug.

He’s startled for a moment and then latches on, breathing them in deeply. Surprised at the rush of emotion he feels, the slight burn at the back of his eyes.

They pull away and Louis reaches his arm around Harry, pulling him in close to his side, “Lads, this is Harry. Harry, Liam and Zayn,” Louis sweeps his hand, gesturing to his friends.

“Nice to meet you, thanks for having me,” Harry says in his slow drawl, shaking Liam and Zayn’s hands in turn. Louis’ wonders if a time will come that he hears that voice and it doesn’t cause warmth to curl into his stomach.

Feeling happy and truly at home, Louis pulls Harry inside and they settle in the living room. Louis accepts the bottle of beer that Liam is handing him, pops the top and hands it to Harry.

“Such a gentleman,” Harry teases while his green eyes sparkle. Louis pokes at a dimple, watches as Harry’s smile widens.

“How was the drive?” Liam asks, polite as ever and making Louis roll his eyes fondly.

“Not bad, though a bit distracting,” Louis says pointedly, turning to Harry and pinching his side.

“Heeey,” Harry whines and Louis can’t help but press a kiss to his mouth, happy to be sitting there with his favorite boys.

“Oi, so is that what we’re in for then? You two snogging each other’s faces off every second?” Zayn groans, punching Louis lightly in the arm. An air of practiced irritation surrounds him.

“Oh Zaynie poo, are you jealous?” Louis coos, crawling into his lap and pinching Zayn’s cheeks. The look on Zayn’s face as he tries to bat Louis’ hands away is so comical that Liam chokes on his beer, causing it to come out of his nose. Louis glances over and sees Harry clutching his stomach, shoulders shaking with laughter. And yeah, this is good. This is how things are supposed to be.

Pleased that he’s done his job, Louis climbs off of Zayn and settles back down next to Harry. Harry slings his arm over Louis’ shoulder and kisses the top of his head, “How about that wee?” Harry asks and shit, Louis had totally forgotten.

“‘M sorry babe. Should’ve reminded me sooner.” Standing up, Louis reaches for Harry’s hand and pulls him off the couch. With a hand on each of Harry’s slender hips, he directs him to the bathroom, then plants a quick kiss on the tip of Harry’s nose.

Louis heads back to the living room, knowing he has a silly smile on his face and not caring to try to remove it.

“He’s proper fit, yeah? Doesn’t look like any librarian I’ve ever seen. Well done!” Zayn claps Louis on the back and holds out his beer bottle, clinking it to Louis’.

“Well done?” Liam asks, rolling his eyes and smacking Zayn in the back of his head, “You do realize he’s a person right? Not a prize winning dog for god’s sake.”

“Since when have you gone all feminist on us? Huh Payno? Is it that new girlfriend of yours, turning you soft?” Zayn asks, cracking up as his own joke.

Liam pointedly ignores him and turns back to Louis, “So how are you Lou? You look great.”

“I am, actually. Harry is amazing, honestly everything I’ve ever wanted. I, uh, I really love him,” Louis can feel his cheeks heat up and can’t stop the smile that pulls at his lips.

Zayn rolls his eyes but is smiling, while Liam reaches over and pulls Louis into a one-armed hug, squeezing tight.

“I still miss it here so much though, it’s really nice to be back,” Louis takes a wistful look around, taking in the surroundings that used to be his own.

“We miss you too, mate. How’s things at home?”

Louis lifts a shoulder in a kind of half shrug. “They’re okay. The girls are good. Mum is working too hard, and worrying too much. I wish I could do more to help her, honestly.” He picks idly at the label on his beer bottle.

“You’re doing so much already Lou. I know she’s grateful to have you there. Don’t be so hard on yourself, yeah?” Zayn reaches out and squeezes Louis’ shoulder, his eyebrows knitted together in concern.

“No, yeah I know. I do. It’s just hard to watch her, like, go through this, I guess.” He rubs his hands, the palms having grown sweaty, on his jeans, “So, fill me in, what’s been happening around here?” Louis asks, not actually meaning to change the subject but grateful for the change all the same.

After about ten minutes of catching up on the latest gossip, and hearing about all the things that have happened while Louis was gone, he’s realizes that Harry is taking forever to get back. He looks toward the bathroom, and sees the door is still shut. He’s contemplating whether he should go check on him, when the door opens and Harry walks out.

As he comes around the side of the couch, his nose looks a bit red and his eyes are glassy. He almost looks as though he’s been crying, which makes no sense; has Louis looking at Harry with concern.

He sits down next to Louis and lays his head on his shoulder, looping his long fingers with Louis’ and taking a big swig of his beer.

“You good?” Louis asks softly.

Harry nods, brushing his lips over the shell of Louis’ ear.

After a while Zayn and Liam decide to pop down to the shops to get the booze and snacks for the party. Louis is about to offer to tag along when he feels Harry’s fingers tighten on his thigh, his hand moving up slowly.

Louis turns his head to look at him, one eyebrow raised. Harry’s tongue pokes out and licks his lips, a wicked gleam in his eyes. Louis just shakes his head fondly and tells the guys that he and Harry will wait there. They need to get ready for the party after all.

Zayn gives Louis a knowing look, “No funny stains on the carpet.” Liam hides his laugh behind his hand and pulls Zayn out the door by his elbow.

As soon as the door closes, Harry is on top of Louis, pushing him back on the couch. He slips down on his knees and pushes Louis’ thighs apart, settling himself in between.

“Oh my god, you are unbelievable. You are not going to blow me on my best friend’s sofa!”

“Used to be your sofa, didn’t it?” Harry asks, already popping the button and lowering the zipper on Louis’ jeans. Sliding the palm of his hand over Louis’ cock, which is thickening up quickly despite Louis’ protestations.

“I suppose yeah. Does that make it better?” Louis asks, biting his lip when Harry starts mouthing over him, soaking the head of his cock with his tongue.

“All better, completely better,” Harry states, his voice muffled by the fabric of Louis’ pants.

Louis closes his eyes and tries to focus on Harry’s hands and his mouth, oh god his crazy talented mouth, but he just can’t get over the fact that he’s in the living room. In broad daylight. When Zayn or Liam could walk in at anytime.

With concentrated effort he puts his hands under Harry’s arms and pulls him up and next to him. “Bed,” he says and then he’s pulling him off the couch and stumbling down the hall to his old room.

Fifteen minutes and one mind blowing orgasm later and Louis is panting, fully dressed, on his old bed. Harry in his ridiculously tight jeans, is crouched below him, wiping off his obscenely red and swollen lips with the back of his hand.

“What even was that?” Louis asks, his chest heaving, as Harry climbs up on the bed draping his long limbs over Louis’ stomach. Smiling like the cat that got the cream or, well, the boy that got the cream technically. And yeah okay, that was cheesy but Louis figures he can hardly be blamed after he had been practically ambushed by Harry’s lovely mouth.

“Mmm, don’t know,” Harry says “You’re really hot, sometimes I can’t help myself I guess.” His mouth twists into a lopsided smile.

“Oh please,” Louis laughs and pushes Harry off of him by his shoulder. “You’re a menace. Anyway, we should get ready. People will probably be here soon.”

Harry tilts his head to look at him, their noses almost brushing, and swipes his thumb over Louis’ cheek,“You’re excited huh?” His voice and face soft.

“Yeah I guess, haven’t seen these people in a long time. It’ll be nice to pretend I’m a normal Uni student again for awhile.”

Harry is quiet then, looking thoughtfully at the tiles on the ceiling. Louis is about to ask him what’s wrong when he hears his phone beep. He scrambles around to look for it, patting his pockets and looking over the side of the bed to see if it had fallen on the floor.

When he leans his head over, he spots what looks like a baggie full of powder, lying on the floor where Harry had been kneeling. Reaching down he grabs it and holds it up, “What’s this?”

Suddenly Harry is bolt upright, and snatching it out of Louis’ hands, “Where did you get that?” His voice hard.

“It was on the floor. What is it?” Louis asks, something like fear clenching his stomach, though he can’t figure out why.

“It’s, um,” Harry jumps off the bed and shoves the baggie back in his pocket. Stands in the middle of the room with his hands on the sides of his face, panic clear in his eyes.

Louis gets up slowly and walks over to him, tries to put his hand in Harry’s pocket, tries to pry the baggie back out so he can look at it again, “Let me see.”

Harry takes a step back, bumps into the wall and jumps. He looks like a wild animal that’s been cornered, like he’s ready to flee at any moment. And Louis is so confused. He can’t understand what is happening, just that everything is moving so slowly and his blood is running cold with fear. It matches the look in Harry’s eyes.

Harry, who is just standing there and won’t say anything, who is just standing there and looking everywhere but at Louis.

“Hazz?” Louis says softly.

Harry snaps his head up, angry as he glares at Louis, the green of his eyes so dark they’re almost black,“Don’t be stupid, Lou,” he spits out.

But then the anger is leaving as quickly as it came, and Louis watches the different emotions play over his face, stormy to panicked to something else that Louis doesn’t quite understand, but it breaks his heart just the same.

Tears well in Harry’s eyes and he slowly presses his back against the wall and slides down, landing with a small thud. He pulls his knees to his chest, and covers his face with shaking hands, tears slipping through the cracks between his fingers.

Louis tries to make sense of this. He watches Harry and tries to push down the single thought that keeps creeping into his head.

“Is that,” Louis starts, clears his throat and tries again, “I mean, uh, are you doing drugs?” His voice almost a whisper at the end.

And it’s so ridiculous because how could Louis not have known? How could he have been with Harry for all this time and never even have suspected? Louis shakes his head because it’s just not possible, he didn’t think he was that stupid, that oblivious.

But then images start flashing behind his eyes, unwanted and unasked for. Harry with shaking hands, his mood swinging like a pendulum, taking off for bathrooms for far too long. Unexplained sickness that disappeared as quickly as it came. Bottles of pills on the bathroom sink and the same look of panic flashing through Harry’s eyes.

It’s then that Louis knows, he really truly knows, and the knowledge makes him step back. Knocks him almost off his feet and he has to sit back on the bed. Because Harry has a drug problem and Louis feels a bit like he’s going to throw up. He also feels like he would do anything to make it better.

Across the room Harry is still crying and Louis wants to sit next to him, pull him into his lap and tell him it’s going to be okay. But he can’t make himself move, and he doesn’t want to make promises he can’t keep.

“How long?” Louis whispers, needing to break the silence but not expecting an answer. So he’s not surprised when Harry just sits there, rocking himself slightly, side to side.
He can’t take it anymore, the silence thick and suffocating, the air like syrup. He slides down onto the floor and crawls over to where Harry is sitting, kneels in front of him and puts his hands on either side of Harry’s head. His hair is damp, his cheeks wet with tears, and yeah he absolutely can’t take it anymore.

“Harry, look at me, please,” Louis hates the way his voice cracks. He needs to be stronger for Harry, to show him that he’s someone he can rely on. That he’s strong enough to hold him.

After what feels like hours but could have only been minutes, Harry looks up, wiping his nose and eyes with the sleeve of his shirt.

“I’m sorry,” Harry whispers and fresh tears start to slide down his cheeks again.

“How long, Harry? Please.”

“Louis...” and Harry sounds like he’s begging now but Louis can’t let it go. He needs to know how bad it is, he’s praying it’s not as bad as it looks.

“You can’t expect me to just pretend, to act like I don’t know Harry. I love you, I want to help you if I can.”

“Help me? I don’t need help Louis, god. This isn’t a fucking problem to solve,” Harry is shaking his head, anger filling his eyes again.

“Then what is it? I mean, if you didn’t need help Harry, if this wasn’t a problem then you wouldn’t be sneaking around with drugs in your pocket.” And yeah ok, maybe he is raising his voice a little but fucking hell. What does he really expect him to do?

Harry’s clenches his teeth, his jaw working back and forth, and then he’s pushing at Louis’ chest “I don’t need your fucking help Louis. Trust me bigger people have tried and failed, just let it go.”

“Let it go?” Louis asks, incredulous. Like that’s even an option at this point.

“Yes, Louis, let it go. Fuck, can’t you see?” Harry’s hands are curled into fists, he presses them against Louis’ chest, “Can’t you tell yet, that I’m not fucking worth it?”

Louis sits there, his mouth agape, because how could Harry possibly think that?

Louis opens his mouth to say so but Harry stops him, “Don’t,” and then he’s jumping to his feet and running out of the bedroom, to the foyer and out the front door.

Louis chases after him, yelling his name, but Harry won’t stop. He crashes out the front door and sees Zayn and Liam on the sidewalk, Zayn has both hands on Harry’s shoulders, bags on the ground as though Harry had run right into him.

“What’s wrong?” Zayn asks and Harry just shakes his head, his lips drawn into a tight line.

“Harry stop, where are you even going? It’s not like you can run home for fuck’s sake!” Louis runs down the steps, stopping next to Harry and Zayn.

Liam puts down his bags and walks over, confusion playing over his face.

“Can you take me to the train?” Harry asks Zayn frantically, his eyes wild.

“Don’t. Please, can we talk about this?” Louis pleads and reaches out a hand to touch Harry’s arm but he jerks away.

Sighing, Louis closes his eyes, bites his lip,“Ok then, I’ll take you home. I just, don’t leave like this.”

“Zayn, Liam, can someone please take me to the train? I’m sorry, I know you have a party to get ready for, I just can’t stay here. Please?” Harry’s voice breaks on the last word and he’s crying again. He wraps his arms tightly around himself, tears sliding soundlessly down his cheeks, his body shaking.

Zayn and Liam both look at Louis, worry and confusion clouding their eyes.

“Louis?” Liam asks.

Louis closes his eyes and puts his hands on his head. How did this happen? A half hour ago he was in heaven and now he feels like he’s just a couple of steps from hell.

“I don’t know, Li.” He lets out a shaky breath.

“Harry?” He tries again. “I can drive you home, we don’t have to talk right now. I just...” His voice trails off. Harry is standing there, eyes closed, shaking his head.

“Yeah, I guess. Take him then,” Louis says after a few minutes, looking at the ground.

“I’ll go get his bag and run this stuff upstairs quick. Be right back,” Liam says. He and Zayn pick up the bags and head up, Zayn trailing his fingers over Louis’ shoulder gently as he goes.

Louis sinks down on the front steps, his elbows on his knees, and puts his head in his hands. His chest feels like it’s crushing in on him, feels like he can’t take a full breath. He rubs his eyes with the heels of his hands and looks back up to Harry. He’s still standing there, arms holding himself tight, and it makes Louis’ whole body ache with how much he wants to hug him. Please don’t leave me.

“Please don’t go,” Louis says softly.

Harry looks over at him and his shoulders slump forward, his hands shaking as he rakes them through his hair, “I can’t do this Lou, I’m sorry.”

“Can’t do what?” Louis asks, panic clawing at his throat.

“Can’t do what, Harry?” He asks again, louder when Harry doesn’t answer him the first time.

“I knew better, I knew this wouldn’t work. I’m so so sorry,” Harry’s voice trembles, his face crumpling.

And no nope, absolutely not. Louis won’t just sit there and let Harry break up with him, not when Louis has done nothing wrong.

He stands up and walks over to Harry, pulls him roughly into his arms, squeezing as hard as he can. Harry wriggles a bit but gives up, a defeated sigh huffing out of his mouth.


“We can get through this Harry. You just need to talk to me, to trust me. I know we can fix this,” Louis whispers softly and drops his forehead against Harry’s cheek. “You promised me.”

Harry closes his eyes and shakes his head tightly. “You can’t fix me Louis, you’ll just end up broken too,” Harry kisses Louis lightly on the temple then pulls away.

Next thing Louis knows, Liam and Zayn are back downstairs with Harry’s bag. Liam shoots Louis a worried look and then gets in the car with Harry next to him, and Zayn wraps his arms around Louis’ shoulders firmly as the car drives away. Louis turns in Zayn’s grip, buries his face in his shoulder, and finally lets himself cry.

 

***

Liam and Zayn offer to cancel the party but Louis won’t allow it, figuring he could use the distraction anyway. So the night passes by. His friends making sure his cup stays full, and Liam finally taking his phone away at one point.

“Why are you torturing yourself?” Liam carefully pries the phone out of Louis’ hands, slipping it into his own jeans pocket.

It’s mostly a blur of music and lights and Louis lets the alcohol numb his brain, until he isn’t sure what is real anymore. Until he finally passes out in Liam’s bed, his friends stroking the hair off of his forehead and wiping his tears.

In the morning Louis opens his eyes, wishing it was one of those times where he had woken up forgetting. Where the knowledge slowly creeps up, and he has a blissful few minutes of this not being his reality. But he isn’t that lucky and the full knowledge of what his life is now pounds into his head with the time of his hangover. When he stumbles to the bathroom and wretches, he isn’t sure if it’s grief or alcohol that makes his stomach feel like it’s trying to claw it’s way up his throat.

After brushing his teeth and resolutely avoiding his reflection in the bathroom mirror, he makes his way back to the bedroom.

Liam is awake, head propped on his hand, “You okay?”

Louis just shakes his head and crawls back under the covers, letting Liam wrap his arms around him and whisper soothing words into his ear until he falls back asleep.

After what feels like only a few minutes he feels himself being shaken awake, an urgent tone in Liam’s voice.

“Louis, Louis wake up.”

Louis cracks his eyes open and sees Liam above him, holding Louis’ phone out.

“Louis it’s Harry, he’s in the hospital. Come on, we have to go.”

Chapter Text

Bright light is coming in bursts above his head, cold and relentless, piercing his closed eyelids and burning his retinas. Nausea swells in his stomach, bile rising up his throat and searing his esophagus. He tries to sit up but can’t, something is holding him down, a heavy weight pressing into his shoulders. He wonders if he should be scared; tries to cry out, but the sound gets lost in his throat.

 

**

 

“Harry, you have to stay awake!” someone’s shouting and he feels like he’s swimming. Fighting his way to the surface, he opens his eyes and that bloody brightness is back. He closes them again quickly, would do anything to make the light go away.

“Harry!” someone yells again, frantic. He reckons if he concentrates hard enough he would recognise it, who the panicked voice belongs to. Instead he closes his eyes (at least he thinks they had been open). He’s so tired, isn’t sure he’s ever felt this tired before, and just wants to sleep. Even though he thinks he can hear someone crying off in the distance, and figures that probably should concern him at least a little, he lets himself slip back into the darkness that starts creeping around his eyelids.

 

**

 

Harry opens his eyes gingerly, pain shooting through his temples, and sees his mother’s face. She’s smiling down at him, tears glittering in her eyes, her fingers smoothing over his forehead. She’s so beautifulhe thinks.

“Mum?” he croaks out, his voice sounding foreign to his ears, like it belongs to someone else.

“Baby, I’m here. It’s okay,” she soothes, fingers moving to rest on his arm, “How do you feel?”

“Thirsty.” Then after a beat, “Mum, why are you here?” his tongue feels thick and clumsy in his mouth, he tries to swallow but his throat sticks and won’t allow it.


He takes the plastic cup his mum holds out to him, placing the straw in his mouth, sucking on it greedily.


“Slow,” she says.


“Mum?” he asks again. He’s so confused, like he should know what’s going on, like if he just thinks hard enough he’ll figure it out.


“Do you know where you are, love?”


Harry narrows his eyes, looks around the room, taking in his surroundings as best he can from where he lies on the bed. Blue chairs, blue walls, a blue curtain hanging beside his bed. The lyrics to a ridiculous song that was so popular a few years back pops into his head Yo listen up here’s a story about a little guy who lives in a blue world.He hums the chorus.


“I’m in the hospital?” he wishes he could understand what was happening.


He looks back to his mum.


“You are, yes.” She turns her head, gaze resting on someone to his left. That’s when he realises his sister is there too, sitting in a chair close to the bed.


“Gem,” he tries to smile, flinching a bit at the pain that lingers between his eyes.


“Hey, Hazzhead.” Her eyes look sad and it hurts Harry to look at them. Instead he closes his eyes, focuses on the sound of the machine beeping by his head.


The curtain is pulled back and a woman in a white coat walks into the room. She has long hair pulled into a ponytail and kind eyes. Her nametag says Dr. Moore and she shakes his mum’s and then Gemma’s hands before coming to stand beside Harry’s bed.


“You’re awake, wonderful! How are you Harry?” her eyes take in his face, her voice gentle.


“I’m good. Well, I guess. My head hurts a little, and I’m really thirsty.”


“That makes sense.” She smiles, looks at him thoughtfully, “Do you know why you’re here Harry?”


He thinks for a minute, eyes flitting from his mum to Gemma searching for answers. His mum is still holding his hand and squeezes gently, encouraging.


“I guess not,” he says quietly. Feels ashamed for some reason that he can’t quite identify.


“Can I ask you a few questions?” When he hesitates, she asks if he would like his family to step out.


“No, they can stay. It’s fine,” he looks at his mum again, smiles slightly.


“Okay, great. Then I’m going to ask you some questions about what was going on before you were brought here. No one is going to judge you but the truth is important.” She looks at him, waiting, continuing only once he nods in agreement. “When is the last time you drank alcohol or took drugs recreationally?” her eyes remain kind, no judgement showing through, as promised.


His heart jumps at the question, he can feel his pulse quicken and he pulls his hand out of his mum’s grasp.


“Have I..? I mean, I haven’t overdosed have I?” his voice trembles and he bites his lip, looking at the far wall.


“Yes, Harry you did. It was very serious, you’re lucky to have pulled through.”


He wraps his arms around himself, holding tight. The IV line pulls against his hand, the pain giving him something to focus on. You’re lucky to have pulled through. You’re lucky. You’re lucky. The words crash around inside his head, knocking into each other. He doesn’t feel lucky at all.


“Luck is relative,” He says it softly but his mum still sucks in a harsh breath. He can feel his sister’s angry gaze boring into him.


“Yes, well,” the doctor looks at the clipboard in her hand, “You really are doing much better now. Your blood pressure has stabilized, your oxygen levels are good. I’m sure you won’t be surprised to hear your blood results returned positive for heroin and a large amount of alcohol?”


He closes his eyes again, can’t look at his mum or his sister while the doctor discusses his drug abuse as though it were any other symptom. While his family stands there and isn’t even surprised at the results.


“You were administered Naloxone by the paramedics at the site to counteract the effects of the heroin overdose. You have an IV of fluids for hydration, and we’ve given you 10 milligrams of Valium every hour since you’ve gotten here to help stabilize your blood pressure. We will then taper the Valium to 10 milligrams every three hours as needed.”


Naloxone holy shit, he can remember watching a drug program with Ed awhile back where a doctor in America had walked around drug areas with Naloxone and needles looking for people overdosing. He remembers the man saying that Naloxone given quickly can save someone’s life. He can’t believe he’s now one of those people.


“I need to get some information about your past drug history.” Harry still lies there, his eyes closed. How is this outcome lucky?


“Anne, Gemma why don’t you get yourselves a cup of tea. I’d like to talk to Harry for awhile if you don’t mind,” the doctor says kindly but firmly and Harry can’t help but feel grateful. He’s so glad they are here but can’t possibly discuss these things while his mum looks at him, knowing how much pain he’s caused her.


After they leave, Dr. Moore pulls a chair over to the bed and sits down. Crossing her legs and setting the clipboard on top, she smiles. “So, how about we be honest now yeah? I can only imagine that this is very hard for you. I am not here to judge, I only want to see you get better. If you want help, I’d like to see you get that too, okay? But I can’t do it unless you tell me the truth.”


Harry turns his head to look at her, nodding once slightly.


“Good, now. How long have you been a heroin user?”


Harry flinches at the question, never thought he would be sat in a hospital bed while a doctor asks him questions about his heroin use. Never thought he’d be a heroin user to begin with.


“A few months is all,” he says quietly, eyes focused on the white blanket that covers his legs. He chews absently on his bottom lip.


“That’s good then, and what was your route of delivery? Did you snort it, inject it?”


“Snorted it. Never used a needle.”


“Even better. So can you tell me what brought you to heroin use? Were you on other drugs beforehand? Do you have previous history of substance abuse?” she flips pages in the clipboard, looking up and smiling.


Harry tells her about his knee injury, and how he’d been put on Oxycodone for the pain short-term, how short-term had turned into two years. He picks at the fabric of the blanket the whole time he talks, never once looking up. When he finally finishes the part where he turns to heroin he stops talking all together.


“Thank you for sharing that with me Harry. I know none of this is easy for you. Would you mind if our on staff drug and alcohol specialist comes and sees you? He can explain options for recovery, if that’s something you’re interested in.”


Recovery. He’d heard that word so many times. Always wondered if it was actually possible to recover, how does one go about recovering from a shitty life?


“Um, I guess yeah.” He doesn’t want to disappoint this doctor who has been so kind to him.


“Great, then I will set that up and he should be in sometime later this afternoon. Now, do you need anything? Are you hungry? In any pain?”


“No thank you, I’m fine.” He lies, wondering if he ever actually will be fine.


The doctor smiles warmly again, lightly lays her hand on his arm, “You will be okay, if you want to be. I know this all seems scary right now, but there is a way out. We all want to help you.”

 

Her smile is so warm, and her words so kind that he finds himself having to clench his jaw to keep the sudden tears at bay.


He whispers out a small “Thank you” and she leaves.


After a few minutes he hears his door open and the curtain pulls back and there’s Ed, smiling at him.


“Look at you, royal treatment eh? You could’ve chosen a better way to have a lie about, you know.”


“Fuck off.” Harry laughs, happy to see someone that he knows won’t judge him. That he doesn’t have to worry about how his fuck ups have affected him.


“How you feelin’?” Ed asks, his eyebrows pulled together in concern.


“Like I overdosed, I reckon.” Harry tries to keep his voice light.


“Sounds reasonable then.” Ed clears his throat, shuffles his feet nervously.


“What’s wrong? Not like you to seem nervous bro,” Harry says, curious.


“Um, look don’t freak out okay?” Ed starts.


“Yeah, perfect way to make me freak out Ed.”


“Okay yeah,” Ed laughs a little, “Well, Louis’ here.”


Harry’s mind goes completely blank. He absolutely can not think of anything for what feels like forever and then suddenly he is engulfed in panic.


“No, no he can’t come in here. Make him go!”


“H, he’s a mess. He came all the way from London with his friend.”


“I don’t care. I can’t. He can’t see me like this. Fuck, who told him?” Harry looks up.


Ed looks away, biting his lip.


“Fuck Ed, are you kidding me? Why would you tell him?” Harry rolls his eyes, pissed off.


“I didn’t know! You never told me you two had a row. Louis was actually the one that told me, once he’d gotten here.”


Yeah, okay right. Harry tries to think back, tries to remember coming home from the train from London yesterday and shit, was that only yesterday? He rubs his hands over his eyes, pushes his hair off his forehead.


“You have to tell him to go. I just, I don’t know Ed. It’s too much right now.” He can feel the tears he’s been fighting so hard to keep away flood his eyes. He blinks rapidly, but can feel them spill over regardless.


Ed just looks at him for a second, opens his mouth like he’s going to argue and then nods, “Yeah okay, I’ll tell him.” He smiles a tired smile, “I’ll be back okay? You rest, don’t worry about anything.”


Harry sighs and closes his eyes. Part of him desperately wants to see Louis, to hug and kiss him, to hear him say it will all be okay. He thinks about how nice it would feel to let himself be comforted right now by someone else.


But more than that he’s terrified, of that look in Louis’ eyes. The look he had when he found the heroin. He never wants to see Louis look at him like that again, he can’t bear it. Right now he just needs him to stay away. Anyway, why isn’t he furious with him? He’d lied all these months, Louis should hate him right now.


It’s all too much for him to think about, and his head hurts and he just wants to sleep. So he closes his eyes and let’s his exhaustion pull him under.

 

 

***

 

 

Harry picks at the food tray that sits in front of him. The turkey and mashed potatoes wouldn’t appeal to him on a normal day and this being shitty hospital food is even worse. He pushes it around with his fork, gravy jiggling on the plate. He nibbles a bit at the roll and then finally pushes the whole thing away. His mum will worry that he’s not eating but he just can’t stomach it right now. Worry and fear and regret taking up too much space in his stomach to allow room for the food.


He grabs the pamphlets that the man from the Addiction Center had brought him. They describe the different options available to Harry for recovery. That’s the big word around here of course. “Recovery”. Harry sighs and flips through the papers, looking at the treatment centers and what services they offer.


The Inpatient Treatment Centers actually don’t look as bad as Harry had always pictured them. All the times he’d heard of rehab, he’d always pictured the facilities to look like hospitals or institutions, but the ones in these pamphlets look more like spas or hotels than any hospital he’s seen. They certainly look nicer than where he’s sat now.

 

The idea of going away to rehab is very scary and Harry wants to push it aside. He wants to pretend that it’s all okay and that he can just quit if he really puts his mind to it. But he knows deep down that it won’t be long before he’s back to getting high again and who knows how much worse it could be for him next time. He’d already fucked up the best thing he’d ever been given with Louis, how much else was he going to allow this addiction to take from him?


His eyes tear up again when he thinks of Louis. He wants so desperately to call him, to hear his voice. But when he thinks about it his hands start to shake again and he can’t make himself do it. He has put Louis through enough with his selfishness. It’s about time he starts thinking of others than himself.


He doesn’t want to go to rehab but he knows he can’t just go back home, so the choice is pretty clear. He decides to let the Addiction Specialist know that he’s made his mind up before he changes it again, and presses the buzzer hanging from his bed, asks the nurse to call the man down for him.

 

 

**

 

 

Harry stays in the hospital for three more days. That’s how long the Addiction Specialist suggested he stay before finishing his detox at the rehab facility. A heroin detox isn’t fun or pretty and even though they’ve been giving him Methadone to help with the sickness, he still hasn’t been feeling great.


His mum and Gemma and Ed and Niall visit him everyday. His mum and Gemma cry when Harry tells them that he’s decided to go to rehab. Ed says he will take care of Harry’s rent for the month and Niall claps him on the back and they all say how proud they are of him. Harry doesn’t feel proud of himself yet, but it does feel good to have made a decision. Even though he’s disappointed to find out that he won’t be allowed to return home before going to the rehab facility, he’s still excited  to leave the hospital.


On the day he’s set to go, his mum and Gemma and Ed come to pick him up and take him to the facility. His mum, with the help of Ed, had packed up Harry’s favorite, most cozy sweatpants and hoodies and tshirts in a bag along with some of his favorite books. His mum had also stopped off at the shop and bought him some notebooks and pens and a box of envelopes. “Make sure you write to me love.” she’d said when she gave him the items.


Of course there are lots of tears but the vibe is mostly good and Harry feels a twinge of hope for the first time in ages. Maybe he can get his life together after all. Maybe he does deserve a second chance. He still isn't sure but the thoughts linger in the back of his head, warm and fuzzy and comforting.


When it's finally time to go a nurse pushes Harry down to the hospital entrance in a wheelchair (he had insisted he could walk but all he heard back was "hospital policy" so he gave in). Ed stays with him at the curb while his mum and Gemma go get the car. As soon as they walk out of sight Ed turns to Harry, a familiar nervous look on his face.


"I've been in touch with Louis these past couple days. Seemed only fair to let him know how you were doing." Ed rubs the back of his neck nervously. A look on his face like he expects Harry to get angry.


Harry isn't angry though. He's actually a bit relieved because be had been worried about Louis and hadn't had the courage to bring it up himself.


"Actually, I'm glad you did. I'm sure he's been worried."


Ed smiles in relief and then pulls something out of his pocket and hands it to Harry. It's a thick envelope and Harry sees his name on the front in what he recognizes as Louis' slanted scrawl.


He rubs his finger over the ink, traces around the writing almost as if he can feel Louis through the paper.


"When...?" Harry trails off, looks up at Ed.


"I called him to let him know you'll be going to rehab, and then yesterday he asked if he could drop this off for you. I hope that's okay. I know he's supportive, wouldn’t cause shit for you or anything.”


"What did he say? When you told him I was going to rehab?" Harry's afraid to hear the answer, can't look at Ed while he waits.


"He was so relieved, Haz. So proud of you too but... just read the letter. I don’t know what it says exactly but, I think you’ll be happy with it. He's a really great guy."


"God, I was such a shit to him. From the start Ed, you've no idea how badly I fucked him over. Why would he even care?" Harry can feel tears prick the back of his eyelids, and he squeezes his eyes shut tight.


“I can’t answer that H, but sometimes people forgive us for things even when we can’t forgive ourselves yet.” Ed rubs Harry’s shoulder, gives it a squeeze. “I’ll go stand over there and have a smoke if you wanna read that.”


Harry smiles at him, grateful. His hands tremble a little while he tears open the envelope. He pulls out a few sheets of white paper, unfolds them and reads.


Harry-

 I think about you every minute of every day. There isn’t a moment that goes by that I’m not wondering how you are, praying that you’re doing better and feeling good...happy. I wish so badly that I could talk to you or see you, hold your hand, give you a hug. I’m not telling you this because I want you to feel bad. I’m telling you this because I want you to understand how much I love you. I want you to understand that nothing that I’ve found out about you in the last few days has changed that.


I understand why you kept your drug use a secret from me, and I don’t hold it against you. I can only imagine how hard it was, walking around with such a big load to bare. I do wish that I could have helped you but I realize that this is something you have to do yourself. Maybe you had to reach a bottom point in order to get better. I don’t know and I suppose that’s something you’ll have to figure out. I do realize now though that I couldn’t have fixed you and I don’t think you would have wanted me to try...you are a stubborn fool after all :)


I want you to know that I am amazed by how strong you are. I always knew you had strength but now I’m truly blown away by it. Your decision to go to rehab is a scary one I’m sure. I’m so glad you’ve decided to go, I know you can do this. But you don’t need me to tell you that. The real reason I’m writing to you is because I want you to know that I will be here when you get out, if you want me. I hope you do but I don’t want you to worry about it now. Basically, I want you to focus on you while you’re in there and not worry about me or whether you’ve hurt me or not. I’m fine, as long as you get better. I will be here if you decide this is what you want. If you don’t then that’s okay as well and we can work it out then. But regardless of what you decide, I will be here cheering for you and rooting you on (maybe picturing my arse in a little cheerleader skirt will help?).


This is going to be a hard journey but a rewarding one, if it ever feels too difficult please look at this picture of me and know that I am here, at that very moment, thinking of you with complete confidence that you can and will do this. You are the most amazing person I’ve ever known Harry and I can’t wait to see where this leads you.


All my love-


Louis


By the time Harry has finished reading, the paper is stained and some of the words blurred where his tears have hit. He pulls open the envelope and looks inside and sure enough, there’s a picture. It’s a picture of Louis that Harry had taken one night at his flat. Louis had been laughing and his eyes are still sparkling, his cheeks slightly pink.


Harry traces his finger over Louis’ lips now, remembering how soft they are. Then he folds everything back up and puts it back in the envelope.


He feels as though a weight has been lifted from his shoulders. He doesn’t know what he did to deserve Louis but he can’t believe that this amazing person loves him enough to stand by him through this. He doesn’t know what he is going to do yet, but knowing that Louis is waiting for him makes it all so much easier to bare.


He stands up and walks over to Ed and smiles.


“Good?” Ed asks.


“Yeah, really good actually.”


Ed nods and ruffles Harry’s hair. His mum and Gemma are waiting at the curb, so Harry and Ed pile in and his mum drives off. Harry looks out the window and watches the world pass by. He wonders what the next 28 days is going to be like. Will the people be nice to him? Will the food be good? Most of all will he be able to do this?


He looks around the car at the three people seated with him, sticks his hand in his pocket and feels the smoothness of the envelope from Louis. He can’t believe how much love is surrounding him, even after all the shit he’s put everyone through.


Harry turns in his seat, facing his mum and looking at Ed and Gemma in the back.


“I love you guys, so much,” He says, his voice thick with unshed tears (he thinks he should probably get used to it. The next few weeks are bound to be emotional.)


He reaches out and squeezes each of their hands, lingers on his mum's. That feeling of hope from earlier blooms in his head again, a little bit bigger and stronger this time.