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Against One's Wishes

Chapter Text

Louis is throwing on his coat, taking one last glance in the mirror, adjusting the collar; he's wishing he'd never agreed to go to this idiotic play on Broadway with his father.

But once again, Louis couldn't tell him no... that's the story of his life. He knows his father means well and only wants what is best for him... but Louis can't help but think he's meant to be living another life.

His father and he moved here to New York 3 years ago in 1941; his father is the district attorney who expects Louis to follow in his footsteps one day. He wants excellence for his son... attending university, even marrying a woman he hardly knows.

None of it is what Louis truly wants, however. And though he isn't sure what exactly it is he's wanting, he only knows that it has to be better than the life he is currently being forced into.

He sees his father's car pulling up out of his apartment window and he's taking a deep breath before he's grabbing the key to his apartment and leaving.

"Good evening, Mr. Tomlinson," the elevator operator Mr. Wilson is greeting Louis as soon as he's stepped in.

"Evening, Tom," Louis sighs while the doors are closing and Mr. Wilson is taking Louis down to the lobby.

"Plans tonight?"

"Uh, yeah... going to the theatre with my dad," Louis replies and glances around the elevator. "Not looking too forward to it, to be honest."

Mr. Wilson chuckles, "I've seen several of the new ones on Broadway... you might be surprised. The new one that's just begun a few days ago seems to be drawing the crowds in..."

"Is that so?" Louis asks and pretends to be interested..

"I've heard a lot of good things about it."

Louis licks his lips and lets out a breath; of course Broadway is where his father is going. His father has become friends with many of the local businesses, including the theatres... and Louis knows he's mainly done it for him. He wants Louis to broaden his horizons, become involved in the culture around him.

But Louis has no intentions on doing so. He's completely content staying to himself in his apartment, with the occasional outing to Central Park or to drink his thoughts away at a bar.

Louis tells Mr. Wilson goodnight and heads out of the revolving doors of the upscale apartment building, one his father had picked out for him.

"Well, look, you're right on time," his father William is saying as their driver is opening the door for Louis.

Louis tries to refrain from rolling his eyes while he's climbing in his father's glamorous but expensive car.

He stares out the window at the passing sights while on the drive, not even paying attention to his father's conversation that's aimed at him.

"Louis," his father says loudly.

Louis turns to look at him, "what?"

"Were you not listening?" He asks his son.

"Sorry," Louis mumbles.

"I was just talking about Alice coming over from England to stay," his father replies with a smile on his face.

Louis sits speechless; he doesn't want to see her. But of course, once again, his father decides this for him.

"Uh, when is she coming?" Louis decides to ask.

"Probably in a few weeks," his father replies, "her parents are paying for her hotel in downtown Manhattan."

Louis nods and forces a smile, "sounds brilliant."

They soon pull up in front of the Broadway Theatre and the driver is opening the door, Louis' father stepping out first with Louis right behind.

"Mr. Tomlinson," someone is calling from the front doors, "right this way. Mr. Jones is expecting you."

Louis fixes his coat again and wishes he were anywhere but here at this moment.

Other guys at 24 are out living lives... they are fighting in the war... yet, Louis is here, stuck... just stuck... and there's no escape in sight for him.

The Tomlinsons are led to their box seats before Mr. Jones is arriving and exchanging words with Louis' father.

Louis does his best to be polite, but quickly turns away again, placing his hands on the balcony and staring at the red curtains hanging over the stage. He must admit, this place is rather elegant... but he would expect no less from his father.

"I'm quite looking forward to this," Louis' father soon speaks up, glancing around the crowded theatre, "they say the actors for this play are outstanding."

Louis stays quiet. He's pulling his cigarettes out of his beige trench coat and lighting one before he's blowing it out.

His father glares at him for a moment, then looks away, and Louis almost smirks at his expression.

The lights are going down and the play is about to begin; and Louis is already wanting to lean his head back and sleep.

But it only takes him about 10 minutes to get interested in what he's seeing onstage below... when a young man with short, dark brown hair is coming onstage, saying his lines with such grace.

And Louis stays completely still, compelled by this man... the way he's talking, acting; he's flawless.

Louis wonders who he is; he pulls the playbill from his pocket and glances down at the names. Then, he's looking at the boy whose stage name is Tommy.

Louis' finger runs down the list of actors and actresses, stopping at who is playing 'Tommy'... his name Harry Styles.

Louis places the playbill back into his pocket while he's lighting another cigarette and resting his hands on the balcony again, watching this Harry closely.

And when the show has ended, everyone onstage takes their bows and Louis' eyes are still on Harry, standing in the middle with a smile that Louis has never seen on anyone before.

Mr. Jones has returned to their box seats and he's asking them to come backstage and meet the cast, and for once, Louis is agreeing with his father.

And when they enter the backstage area, Louis is glancing around at all of the actors and actresses, before his eyes fall on the tall young man with the dimpled smile not too far away from him.

"William and Louis Tomlinson," Mr. Jones begins as they're walking over to Harry and a couple of other guys, "I'd like you to meet Mr. Harry Styles, our main performer."

"Very nice to meet you, Harry," Louis' father smiles and shakes his head.

"You as well, sir," Harry grins, his dimples showing again. He's turning to Louis next. "You must be Louis?"

"Yeah," Louis nods slowly, extending his hand to Harry. Their hands meet and Harry smiles at Louis even more, and Louis finds himself smiling back.

"It's nice to meet you," Harry says out quietly.

"You, too," Louis manages to say, his eyes still on Harry.

"Harry, have you been on Broadway long?" Louis' father speaks up, a cigar in his mouth now.

"Uh, well, to be honest, this is my 3rd play here," Harry replies, "I've done others at the Imperial and the National Theatre."

"Wow, that's quite impressive. How old are you, if you don't mind me asking?"

Harry smiles a little, "uh, I'm 23 actually."

"You're also British," Louis' father is quick to point out with a grin on his face.

"I am," Harry nods, "uh, I'm from London... moved here 4 years ago."

"You're almost the same age as Louis here... he's 24," William smiles again and turns to Louis.

Harry turns back to Louis and Louis cheeks are red; Harry tries not to grin too much before he's saying, "well, perhaps we should get a drink sometime?"

Louis glances back at him, his face serious as he replies, "I'd... I'd love to, yeah. Why not?"

Louis' father gives Louis a nod of approval... as if Louis didn't expect his father to do this to him from the beginning... try to find him friends who have a name in this city and who are close to his age.

But yet, Louis can't help but be thankful his father did arrange this... because there's something about this Harry standing in front of him, now dressed in black slacks, a green button up with the sleeves rolled up, and a black vest over it.

Harry pushes his hair back some as he's looking at Louis, "uh, I've gotta be going... we're supposed to go out for drinks tonight, some of the cast and I."

Louis' father is talking with Mr. Jones again now and paying no attention to Harry and Louis talking.

"Would you like to come?" Harry asks, no hesitation in his voice.

Louis bites his lip before he smiles, "uh, yeah, sure."

Harry nods with a grin, "ok, great. Let me gather my things, Louis."

Louis tries to nod, a smile across his lips. He turns to his dad who's still chatting away.

"Uh, dad," Louis interrupts, "sorry, don't mean to be rude, but... I'm going to go have a few drinks with Harry and these lads."

Louis' father smiles at him, "good. You need to have some fun."

Louis doesn't say anything; he nods a little while his dad is turning back to Mr. Jones, discussing the upcoming play.

Harry's walking back over with a bag in his hand and a long black coat on, "uh, we can go out the backstage door and wait for the others... we're just going a couple blocks down the road... did you drive?"

"No," Louis shakes his head, "I didn't."

Harry nods and smiles, "alright, follow me."

Harry turns back to Louis' father before he's calling to him, "it was a pleasure meeting you, Mr. Tomlinson. Hope you enjoyed the show."

Louis chuckles and follows Harry to the backstage door that leads them out into the alley.

Harry pulls out a pack of cigarettes and glances at Louis, "would you happen to have a match?"

Louis takes out his zippo lighter and finds himself lighting Harry's cigarette for him, Harry's eyes watching him.

"Thank you," Harry smiles before he's taking a hit of it, "so, Louis Tomlinson, how'd you enjoy the show?"

Louis chuckles for a moment before they're walking, "uh, to be honest, plays are not really my idea of fun... but I liked it."

"Not your idea of fun?" Harry asks with a smirk, "why's that exactly?"

"I've just... never cared for them," Louis shrugs, though his stuttering to get the words out.

"Your dad's the district attorney, right?" Harry asks, hitting the cigarette again.

"He is," Louis replies, "guess that's well known..."

Harry laughs a little, "come on, who doesn't know the name Tomlinson around here now?"

Louis' face grows miserable and Harry notices immediately.

"Sorry, don't guess that's a subject we should venture into," Harry says with a radiant smile again, causing Louis to smile also. "You know what... fuck the others... they can catch up. Let's go on... you look like you could use a drink... or perhaps 4."

Louis laughs and agrees, following beside Harry, wondering how this person he hardly knows has made him so comfortable within a matter of minutes.

They sit in a nearby bar, chatting while Harry's ordering his 3rd shot of tequila and Louis is ordering his 3rd beer.

"I'm guessing you hold your liquor well?" Louis asks with a small chuckle as he's watching Harry throwing back the shot.

Harry sits it down, "you would be correct. I'm a terrible drunk..."

Louis raises an eyebrow and Harry laughs.

"No, I just mean, it takes a lot for me to get drunk," Harry grins at him, "I tend to be really bad at it... it takes a lot for me to get wasted."

"Must be nice," Louis nods, "or a curse."

Harry laughs a little and fumbles with the empty shot glass, feeling Louis' eyes on him.

Louis can't help but stare at him, though... he's never met anyone, seen anyone like Harry... and he's not even sure why he's feeling the way he is while he's sitting here next to this young man... maybe it's the alcohol... Louis isn't really sure.

"So, Doncaster, England, right?" Harry speaks up, glancing at Louis.

"Yeah, we... we, uh, moved here 3 years ago," Louis replies softly before he's smirking, "is there anything you don't know about my family?"

Harry licks his lips and grins a little, "I'm sure there's some things I don't know, yeah... though I'm sure I'll figure them out eventually."

Louis looks at him confused before a bunch of Harry's cast members are coming in and joining them.

And Louis watches them all talking about the performance, he watches Harry laughing... and to his surprise, he doesn't feel left out at all... because Harry makes sure his full attention is still on Louis, even when the others are talking to him.

"Did you like the show, Mr. Tomlinson?" A young woman asks with a smile.

Harry glances at her and then at Louis, "Louis, this is Nancy.... she's already drunk, as you can tell."

"Nice to meet you," Louis smiles, "and yeah, I did quite enjoy the show."

"That's great," she grins at him, "Harry, you should invite Louis here to the next show. I wouldn't mind seeing him again."

Louis smirks, swallowing his beer while Harry's rolling his eyes and trying not to laugh at Louis' facial expressions.

"Uh, I'm flattered," Louis begins, "but... I'm engaged."

Harry's head snaps in Louis' direction almost too quickly, the smile falling from his face.

"Oh, sorry," Nancy almost giggles, "she's a lucky lady, then."

Louis laughs and shakes his head before he's drinking down the beer, Harry sitting next to him quietly now.

"Uh, I think... I think I'm gonna head home," Harry finally speaks up.

"We just got here, Harry!" Harry's cast mate Jim is laughing.

"Yeah, well, I have plans tomorrow," Harry mumbles before he's standing and paying the bartender for his and Louis' drinks.

"You don't have to pay for mine..."

"I know," Harry interrupts, gazing at Louis, "it was my treat. Was really nice meeting you."

Louis glares at him, a confused look on his face, "uh, you, too, Harry."

Harry tries to smile before he's starting to walk out.

"Harry," Louis calls after he's gotten the courage to speak up. Harry turns around while Louis stands from the barstool and walks over to him, "uh, would you wanna get together again sometime?"

Harry stares at him for a long pause before he finally replies, "yeah, I'd like that. Want my number?"

"Yeah," Louis replies as he's still staring at Harry.

Harry smirks and pulls the playbill that's sticking out of Louis' trench coat before pulling a pen from his own pocket. He writes it down on the back of the paper and glances back up at Louis.

"Can I get yours?" Harry asks, his voice deep.

"Sure," Louis nods, "I don't have anything else to write it on..."

Harry just smiles and pulls out a small piece of paper from his pocket and Louis grins while he's telling Harry his number.

"Thanks," Harry replies, "hopefully we can get together again sometime."

"I'd... I'd like that," Louis nods and says softly. "I guess I should go as well. I don't usually stay out too late."

"Are you on a curfew?" Harry chuckles before he's opening the bar door, holding it for Louis.

Louis steps out, "I'm not on a curfew... I just... I like to stay home. I'm not much for going out."

"That's quite sad... you have all of New York at your fingertips," Harry grins before he's hailing a cab, "uh, why don't we share?"

"I... I live uptown," Louis stutters out.

Harry nods, "it's fine... your stop is first. I don't mind."

Louis swallows the lump in his throat before he's climbing into the cab, Harry getting in after him.

"Where do you live?" Louis decides to ask while they're driving.

Harry has his elbow resting on the window, his finger on his lip, "I live in Greenwich village actually."

"Oh, those are lovely," Louis says.

"Really?" Harry asks looking back at Louis and laughing, "yeah, I'm sure it's much lovelier than your high dollar apartment."

"To be honest," Louis starts, fumbling with his fingers, "my dad wanted me to live there... not that I hate it, but I don't particularly like it."

"Does your dad control your life or something?" Harry jokes, running his fingers through his hair again before he's pulling out his cigarettes.

Louis' face changes while he's handing Harry his lighter once more.

Harry lights the cigarette and stares at Louis, his face serious, "something else I suppose I shouldn't have asked... I'm sorry."

"Don't be," Louis tries to smile, "nothing to be sorry for."

Harry hits his cigarette, glancing at Louis every few seconds, wondering what exactly his life is like.

"So, you're engaged," Harry decides to say after clearing his throat.

"Yeah," Louis replies, his eyes glancing out the window.

"You seem very excited about it," Harry teases again with a grin.

And Louis looks back at him, laughing a little, "yeah, can't you tell?"

"Well, I've seen several engaged folks," Harry starts, hitting his cigarette, "but most of the guys are usually at least a little bit excited... probably because they're all virgins and can't wait to get laid..."

Louis almost snorts, putting his finger to his nose while the taxi driver is giving Harry a look.

Harry shrugs and looks back at the driver, "what? It's true."

"Oh my god," Louis laughs out.

And Harry hits his cigarette again, a cheeky grin on his face as he's staring at Louis laughing.

They soon arrive in front of Louis' apartment building and Harry's grinning again, "ah, must be nice to have a rich father."

Louis shakes his head but smiles, "uh, thanks for tonight... I had fun."

Harry nods and says quietly, "was my pleasure."

Louis steps out of the cab but hesitates on closing the door. He sighs a little and can't believe he's about to ask this...

"Uh, would you wanna come up for a few drinks? Unless you have plans?" Louis asks in a nervous tone.

Harry grins, "uh, well... my plans aren't that important... I can reschedule."

"Are... are you sure?"

Harry pays the cab driver and scoots out of the cab, closing the door behind him before he's staring at Louis, "I'm positive."

"Ok," Louis nods, biting his lip before he's motioning for Harry to follow him inside.

Louis waves to the night guard before they're both going to the elevator.

Mr. Wilson greets him immediately and smiles at Harry.

They ride up in silence, Louis feeling nervous about this for some reason... while Harry is standing beside him as calm as can be.

When they step out on Louis' floor, Louis is pulling his key out and opening the door. He switches on the lights in the foyer and Harry's eyes are glancing around at this stunning place.

"Shit," Harry mumbles out while he's looking around the living area and the kitchen. He sees the fireplace in the living area before he's looking out the windows. "Your dad seems to have great taste."

"Yeah, well," Louis mumbles and takes his trench coat off slowly, throwing it on his couch, "he thinks I have to have the best of everything."

Harry doesn't say anything while he's sitting his bag down by the sofa and taking off his coat. He follows Louis to the bar while Louis is pouring them both scotch and placing ice in each glass.

Harry smiles and clinks his glass with Louis' before he's drinking it down quickly.

Louis just chuckles at him and watches Harry making another.

"You invited me for drinks," Harry shrugs with a smile.

Louis grins, "drink as much as you want... I don't mind."

"Only if you do," Harry tells him with a wink.

"Oh, God, I really shouldn't," Louis chuckles, "I'm already a bit drunk."

"So?" Harry laughs, "this is your place... drink however much you fucking want to."

Louis smirks and pours more for himself.

"Let me guess... It's inappropriate for me to use that language, right?" Harry asks, "if so, I'm regretfully sorry."

"No," Louis laughs, "it's actually quite refreshing to hear... everyone I'm surrounded by are proper dicks."

"Well, I can assure you of one thing," Harry replies, holding the glass close to his lip, "I'm not proper in any way."

Louis smiles again at him, "I already suspected that. It's... it's rather nice."

Harry shrugs and looks around the room, "I don't like conforming... that's just the truth."

"Conforming?" Louis asks curiously.

Harry smiles a little and downs the scotch again, "it's a long story."

Louis nods and drinks his scotch down rather quickly, making a sour face afterwards.

"I'm guessing you usually nurse your drinks?" Harry teases him before he's walking off, glancing around Louis' apartment with more scotch in his hand.

He sees a small library room full of books with windows that have an amazing view; he sees 1 guest room, a bathroom, and then he's coming to Louis' room.

He stops in the doorway, looking at how neat everything is; his huge bed is made, there's no clutter or clothes thrown everywhere... and he smiles at the different photos that sit on Louis' dresser top.

Louis watches him walking in and picking up a certain photo.

"That's... that's my mum," Louis manages to speak up.

"You favor her," Harry compliments while he's studying the photo, "are your parents divorced?"

Louis licks his lips before he drinks some of the scotch and says quietly, "she, uh, she passed away when I was 13, almost 14."

"Oh," Harry looks back at Louis, his face turning serious, "I'm... I'm sorry."

"It's fine," Louis says softly, "it was years ago... I miss her still obviously... she was... she was the best."

Harry tries to nod while he's placing the photo back, "mine are divorced... that's a long story as well."

"Oh, sorry to hear that," Louis says quietly.

"Don't be," Harry forces a smile, "it's not such a bad thing... I hate my dad."

Louis looks at him surprised while Harry's walking past him and into the library room again.

"You read a lot, I see?" Harry questions, his eyes going over all the books.

"Uh, yeah," Louis replies and lights a cigarette, "I hardly ever leave my apartment... so, I read."

Harry pulls out a few of the books after sitting down his glass, looking them over and then placing them back, "literature... and poems."

Louis doesn't move; he stays against the doorway watching Harry's finger run over the books in front of him.

He bites his lip when Harry pulls out a rather significant novel. But Harry doesn't look back at him, though Louis can see a small grin creeping out of his lips.

"I've always liked this one," Harry speaks up finally.

Louis still doesn't move... he doesn't even know what to say now.

"Does your dad know you own a book like this?" Harry decides to question Louis, his eyes on the pages he's turning with his fingers.

"No...," Louis stutters out before he's drinking down the rest of his scotch quickly.

Harry nods and keeps turning the pages, "it's quite an interesting read... I've read it several times myself."

Louis glares back at Harry, Harry turning to face him finally.

"Just don't see why you'd have a novel like this on your bookshelf," Harry smirks and places it back slowly.

"I...," Louis begins but stops himself; he doesn't know how to explain it to this person.

"Let me guess...," Harry puts a finger to his lip and taps it slowly, "your father never really comes in here to see what you read and what you don't... so, therefore, you buy books like that one... because..."

Louis bites his lip and looks away, but Harry's eyes stay on him.

"...Because you like them," Harry manages to finish saying, his voice deep as his eyes are staying on Louis' face.

"I like a lot of different books," Louis shrugs and looks back at Harry, "so what?"

"I wasn't trying to offend you," Harry starts slowly, "really..."

Silence fills the room; it's an uncomfortable silence for Louis now.

Harry finally smiles a little before he's saying, "uh, I should be going probably... sorry if I insulted you."

Louis licks his lips while Harry's walking out of the room and back to the living area, picking up his bag before he's using his right hand to push back his hair.

"That's not a very popular book," Louis speaks up, watching Harry from the hallway. Harry looks up at him as Louis crosses his arms, "so, I'm just assuming that... that's your idea of not conforming."

Harry stares at him, his face serious, "why'd you ask me to come here?"

Louis is taken back by the question... and Harry's natural behavior... his way of being open about anything, it seems. He's never met someone like him.

"I... I thought it was the polite thing to do," Louis finally shrugs and walks to the bar, sitting his glass down before he's filling it with scotch again.

Harry's eyes don't break from him as he sits his bag down again; he pulls his cigarettes from his pocket again, looking for the matches on Louis' bar. He strikes the match and lights the cigarette before he's exhaling and staring back at Louis next to him.

"My... my father wants me to find friends here," Louis admits with a sigh, "he thinks I need friends who... who have a name in this city, I suppose."

Harry smirks, Louis' eyes falling back on him. "I... I don't think your father had me in mind, Louis."

Louis stares in the emerald eyes again, questioning why he feels drawn to this person so much... he's just met him.

Louis wonders if perhaps Harry reminds him of a life that he has dreamed of before... a life of no conformity or rules... or unrealistic expectations. He wonders if that is what he sees behind those eyes next to him.

"You're on Broadway," Louis decides to say with a small laugh, "of course he'd mean someone like you."

"He doesn't know me," Harry almost whispers, standing inches from Louis now, "and... I think if he did... he wouldn't like what he knew about me."

Louis smiles some before he's saying softly, "I'm intrigued, Harry Styles."

Harry grins before he's pouring more scotch and noticing Louis' record player; he starts looking through Louis' records immediately and Louis can only smirk at him.

"What are you doing?"

"Just seeing what kind of music you like," Harry shrugs, pulling a record out and placing it on the player and starting it.

Louis stops drinking his scotch when the song, "It Can't Be Wrong" begins to play softly.


 (It Can't be Wrong - Dick Haymes)


Harry smiles down at the record, "I've always liked this one."

"Me, too," Louis whispers. He glances at the large clock on his wall, seeing it's nearly 11 pm... yet, he doesn't want to ask Harry to leave.

"Uh, so when is your next play?" Louis asks.

"On Broadway, 4 nights from now," Harry replies and hits his cigarette again.

"Oh, so... what do you do in your spare time, then?"

Harry grins and looks back at Louis, "uh, I write. I write plays."

Louis' eyes widen, "really?"

Harry nods and takes a seat on Louis' sofa, "yeah... they're not... like the ones you'll see on Broadway. I do them at another theatre."

Louis curiously stares at him before he's taking a seat on the end of the sofa.

"Uh, I could show you," Harry turns to Louis and says quietly, "if you'd like to come to one."

"Sure," Louis nods slowly, "I'd... I'd like that."

"Just... don't bring your father," Harry laughs, "please."

"No," Louis smiles, "I... I won't."

"So...," Harry hits his cigarette again, "what's your fiancée's name?"

"Uh, Alice... Alice Wells," Louis mumbles out, his face turning miserable again.

Harry keeps his eyes on Louis' face, "do you love her?"

Louis looks down at his hands, "it'd be sorta stupid to marry someone if you didn't love them, right?"

"I suppose," Harry whispers out, pushing the longer pieces of his hair back again, "do you have anything in common?"


"Is she... intelligent?"

"Not really."

"Does she support whatever you plan on doing with your life?" Harry asks softly.

"Uh," Louis starts, "I... I guess. I mean, of course her family is wealthy... and they're more than happy that she's marrying into a wealthy family..."

"So, it's about money," Harry states, putting his cigarette out in Louis' ashtray on the table in front of him.

"It's...," Louis starts, but can't find the words. "It's about stability, I suppose. It's about building a family for myself."

Harry tries to nod, though he's having a hard time believing a word Louis is saying.

"Uh," Harry clears his throat and glances at the clock on the wall, "I should... I should probably go. It's getting really late."

"Sure, yeah," Louis whispers out as he glances back at Harry, "thanks for... for having a few drinks with me."

"Well, I'm sure by now, you're probably pretty drunk... maybe you'll sleep well," Harry winks and stands, pushing his hair back again. He grabs his bag while Louis is standing. "Uh, this was nice... let's do it again sometime."

"I'd like that," Louis responds quietly.

Harry stays still in front of Louis, his eyes glancing from his eyes to his lips. And Louis stands frozen, watching this tall young man staring at him in a way no one ever has.

Harry gently fixes Louis' quiff before his hand is running down his cheek slowly... and Louis can't move.

Harry decides to take a leap of faith and lean in, watching Louis' eyes on him. He presses his lips against Louis' gently and softly... and Louis closes his eyes, kissing him back.

So many thoughts are rushing through Louis' mind... thoughts of his father, his fiancée... but they're drowned out by the plump, soft lips on his... the lips of another man.

Harry finally pulls away, his eyes not leaving Louis'.

"I'll show myself out," he whispers, throwing his coat over his shoulder with his bag in hand.

And Louis stands speechless; he doesn't even know what to say to Harry.

He didn't push Harry away; Harry didn't apologize for making a move on him... and Louis can only guess why he didn't... Harry did find that novel in his library, after all.

Louis walks to the foyer, watching Harry open the door and head out, not looking back at him.

Louis stands there, completely still as he continues to stare at the door that just closed.

Harry takes the elevator down again, making small conversation with Mr. Wilson with a grin on his face.

He soon exits the apartment building, hailing a cab straight away, not knowing that 7 floors up, Louis Tomlinson is watching him leave... and feeling a desire burning within himself... one he has never actually experienced, until this stranger, this man showed up.

Chapter Text

Harry's alarm clock sounds from his bedside table and he's reaching over, his face buried in the pillow as he's switching it off. He groans and sighs, his longer pieces of hair on his head falling in his face.

His room is messy, there's clothes everywhere, but this is just who Harry is. He never focuses much on cleaning his room; he spends most of his time on his fire escape outside his window writing.

"Are you not getting up?" Harry hears a voice calling from his kitchen. He groans and puts his face down in the pillow.

"Harry, come on!"

"I've got a hangover from hell," Harry calls back, doing his best to lie.

"Then roll one and smoke it."

"Jesus Christ," Harry sighs and rolls over in the unmade bed. "Can't I just sleep in for once, Nick?"

Nick appears in the bedroom doorway, "sleep in? You're the one who wanted to go down to the theatre to make sure everything was set up and ready... you're the fucking stage writer."

Harry looks back at him and groans, "it can wait till this afternoon."

"Right... sure," Nick nods before he's picking up the cigarettes on the opposite table of the bed.

"What time did you get up?" Harry asks quietly.

"About an hour ago," he starts, striking a match and lighting the cigarette before he's sitting down on the bed beside Harry, "I told you I was getting up early with you to make sure everything was finished."

"You can go home if you want," Harry whispers, covering his face with his hand, "I'll go down to the theatre later."

"There's a lot to do before tonight," Nick says, pulling Harry's arm down, "come on... you've been excited about this production for a while."

"I know," Harry sighs and sits up slowly, "the costumes and shit are already there..."

"Yeah, well," Nick laughs, "we've done one fitting for the costumes... you know we have to do another."

Harry nods and rubs his head some.

"Where were you last night?" Nick asks, "before you got here?"

"Does it really matter?" Harry almost laughs before he's standing slowly and stretching.

"Well, you asked me to come over... I didn't expect you to be 3 hours late," Nick shrugs and hits the cigarette while he's watching Harry pick his underwear and pull it on slowly.

"Just went and talked to someone," Harry replies before he's picking up Nick's cigarettes and lighting one. He takes a seat next to him and sighs, "I need coffee."

"Already made," Nick replies and hits his cigarette as he's staring at Harry, "the play was brilliant last night."

"Thanks," Harry mumbles out, rubbing his eyes.

"Look, I made breakfast for you," Nick starts as he stands up, "I'll go ahead and head down to the theatre if you want me to... just come as soon as you're ready."

Harry nods a little before Nick is leaning down and kissing him gently before roughing up Harry's hair and laughing.

"Stop," Harry chuckles and watches Nick picking up his wallet and cigarettes, "thanks for the breakfast."

"Welcome," Nick winks, "just hurry your ass up, alright?"

"I will," Harry smiles. Nick grins and walks out of the room, Harry hearing the front door close a few seconds later.

He gets up slowly and walks in the small kitchen, seeing a cup of coffee made as well as a plate of eggs, bacon, and toast.

"You dumbass," Harry shakes his head and chuckles to himself as he's taking the bacon from the plate and throwing it away.

He takes his plate and coffee to the bedroom, opening the window and looking out at the busy streets below. He sits there and eats, watching people go about their day. He wonders where each car is going; maybe one is a man going to work at a big company... another maybe is a woman going to a hair salon.

He eats quickly, his eyes still glancing around outside; the sun is shining finally, though there's snow on the way for the city of New York, as if it hasn't snowed enough already.

When he finishes his plate, he's going to his closet, picking out simple clothes: a white shirt and a pair of brown slacks. He's throwing them on quickly before he's going to the bathroom and doing his best to fix his hair. Even though it's short at the bottom, the top of it being longer usually creates a mess for him.

He doesn't bother trying to style it or gel it back; he parts it to one side, leaving it hanging down the side of his face before he's opening the mirror to pull out his stash of marijuana. He takes some that's already been rolled and walks back into the bedroom.

Harry sits on the window pane now, his feet on the fire escape while he's lighting the joint and glancing around again.

And while he's holding it between his fingers, staring off at nothing in particular, a certain face is coming to his mind... a certain pair of blue eyes.

Harry still wonders if the night before was a dream; obviously it wasn't... he has Louis' number sitting on the nightstand beside his bed.

He can't focus on much of the night before except for the kiss itself; Louis hadn't rejected him... and somehow, Harry knew he wasn't going to... not after finding that novel in Louis' library.

Harry smiles a little, glancing at the small stack of books in a chair that sit in the corner of his room, that same book lying on top.

But Harry's still quite confused with Louis... he's engaged obviously, yet he's read a novel on accepting one's sexuality... Harry wonders what mysteries lie behind Louis... he wonders what exactly it is Louis wants most... what he himself wants, not his father.

It's going on 10 am when Harry's putting on his coat and grabbing his gloves, stuffing them in his pockets.

He looks at Louis' number lying there on the nightstand and bites his lip, wondering if he should invite him to the show tonight... or if Louis even wants to see him now, after last night.

He swallows the lump in his throat and picks up the phone by his bed, dialing the numbers slowly. He listens to the ring and thinks of just hanging up... until he hears that soft, Doncaster accent...


"Louis," Harry speaks, his voice deep, "hey, it's Harry... hope I didn't wake you..."

"No," Louis' voice gets higher as he's stuttering, "no... I, uh, I was up."

"Right... guess someone like you doesn't sleep late," Harry jokes, "uh, look... the show I was telling you about... it's tonight, if you'd like to come, that is. I thought that... that I'd invite you..."

"Uh, sure," Louis replies softly, "where exactly?"

"It's a theatre on the outskirts of Manhattan," Harry replies, "it's not... it isn't well known... for a lot of different reasons. But... we have good audiences who appreciate it."

"What's the name?" Louis asks.

"It's called The Angle," Harry replies, "you've probably never heard of it."

"I haven't," Louis laughs into the phone, "uh, but I'd love to come... what time?"

"Starts at 7... you can come at 6 if you'd like," Harry responds, wondering how desperate he sounds, "it's up to you."

The phone stays silent for a moment before Louis is saying, "alright... uh, I'll get directions and be there at 6, if that's ok."

"It's fine," Harry reassures him, "it's sorta my place... so, I can invite whoever and whenever."

"Wow," Louis chuckles a little, "I didn't realize you owned it as well. You must stay quite busy, Mr. Styles."

Harry smiles, his dimples showing, "yeah, well, I have to make a living somehow, you know? We all don't have rich dads."

The line stays quiet again and Harry regrets saying that immediately.

"I was just joking, sorry," Harry sighs and rubs his head slowly.

"No, I know," Louis replies in almost a snicker, "trust me... you're better off making a living for yourself. I can assure you of that."

"So, I'll see you at 6?" Harry asks quietly.

"Yeah," Louis replies, "you will."

"This isn't Broadway, so don't feel as if you have to wear a suit," Harry smiles, "just causal is fine."

"Are... are you sure?"

"Positive," Harry replies, "trust me."

"Ok," Louis chuckles a little, "uh, I'll see you in a few hours, Harry."

Harry wants to ask him about the night before, but he bites his tongue. "Ok, see you soon. Thanks."

"No problem," Louis starts, "I'd like to see what kind of writer you are, after all."

Harry chuckles before he's telling Louis goodbye and hanging up the phone. He takes a deep breath and the smile returns to his face before he's standing again and grabbing his cigarettes and wallet.

He closes the apartment window, then he's picking up a large suitcase before he's heading out of the apartment.

"The costumes don't need alteration," Nick is saying to Harry as soon as he has arrived at the theatre on the outskirts of Manhattan.

"So, they all fit ok?" Harry questions before he's sitting his suitcase down in the changing room.

"I'm assuming they all do... including yours?" Nick asks while Harry's opening the suitcase and pulling out a long, silver and white gown.

"I've tried it on," Harry mumbles out as he's looking around at the other performers.

"Hey," Nick tells him softly as he pats his shoulder, "this is going to go great... you know it. The crowds love you, Katherine."

Harry smirks and shoves Nick while Nick only laughs and starts chatting with one of the other guys who is dressing in drag.

Harry doesn't opt to dress like this with every play, but some that he writes, he wishes to express the different side of himself. But no one knows he's the one who is dressed as 'Katherine'... if they did, he's afraid he'd be arrested. He pulls off the woman look quite easily... his mannerism can certainly pass for a female when onstage; Harry's creative in every aspect of his work... whether it be writing the play itself or performing it.

"Hey," a young Irish man greets Harry with a smile.

"Hey, Niall," Harry grins, "how are you?"

"I'm good," Niall replies and looks around backstage, "do you think we'll have a big turn out tonight?"

"Don't we always?" Harry asks, pulling a bag from the suitcase that's full of make up.

"Hey, I love the script, by the way," Niall tells him, "I really think your work gets better and better."

"Thanks, man," Harry smiles.

The closer it gets to 6, the more anxious Harry becomes while he's onstage making sure everyone knows their lines and when they come in.

"And you come in when?" Niall speaks up, looking at Harry.

"We've been through this... I come in as soon as you say your line," Harry replies while he's glancing down at the paper in his hand. "James will be onstage with you..."

Harry points to a man that's taller than himself, whose quite muscular and handsome.

"Right, and you make out with him?" Niall laughs a little.

"Something like that," Harry replies while his eyes stay on the paper, "just remember your lines and cues... we've done this a million times."

"Harry," Nick calls as he appears from backstage, a small blonde headed man standing next to him, "hey, this is Louis..."

"Yeah, I invited him," Harry interrupts, smiling at Louis immediately, "hey."

"Hey," Louis grins, though he's nervous as hell, "the front doors were locked..."

"Yeah, we open the doors in 30 minutes," Niall replies.

Louis nods, glancing around at the different members of the cast, about 4 of them dressed in women's clothes... and he's not sure whether or not they're really women.

"Ok, we've gone over everything," Harry speaks up again, "I've gotta get backstage... you guys finish touch up."

"On it," Nick nods and walks backstage with the others.

Harry walks over to Louis slowly, noticing his beige trousers and white sweater, his hair not slicked back like the night before... and Harry's positive he prefers this hair on Louis more than anything.

"You look nice," Harry says in almost a whisper, "it's quite the hair you have there."

"Uh, yeah," Louis chuckles a little, "well, this is how I wear it if I don't have to dress a certain way... it's much easier."

"It looks great on you," Harry compliments before he smiles, "uh, I've gotta go get ready, but you're more than welcome to wait backstage... or just take a seat in the front."

"I'll just take a seat," Louis smiles at him. Harry nods and walks past him slowly and Louis watches him the entire time.

"You didn't tell your father where you were, did you?" Harry turns and asks, seeing Louis already glancing at him.

"No," Louis replies abruptly, "uh, I told him I was going to be out this evening... with you."

Harry nods a bit, "well, that's sort of the truth, isn't it?"

Louis grins and Harry only smiles as he walks backstage.

Louis walks down the steps and takes a seat in the front row, center stage, looking around this small, yet comfortable theatre. He can't help but think Harry has a good investment here. It's no Broadway by any means, but it has such an elegant atmosphere.

The theatre fills up almost immediately when the doors have opened, and Louis is glancing around at all of these people, men and women, dressed in casual clothes like him.

They all seem to be in good spirits, some of them even drunk... and Louis smirks to himself, thinking just how far away from his type of society he is... and how much he loves it.

The play begins at 7 sharp. Louis sits on the edge of the seat, watching this play about 2 sailers who seem to be in love with the same woman... yet, one of them can't commit themselves fully to her, as they won't give up the secret life they live. And even though it's not told in the play what that secret life is, Louis has already guessed what it is.

But to his surprise, as he watches this play, the woman named 'Katherine' chooses the man who refuses to give up his secret life... she chooses him on the sole reason that everyone has secrets, and that it's ok to have secrets... she even states herself how she holds so many secrets inside of her... secrets she will never reveal... and that maybe true love doesn't exist after all, for if you must keep secrets from one another, how can it exist? Maybe only affection and attraction matter truly.

Louis is in awe of the play Harry has written, to put it simply. He watches the entire thing in amazement. And at the end, when Katherine is kissing the sailor named John and the curtains begin to close, everyone begins to clap and stand to their feet... even Louis himself.

He smiles to himself as he thinks just how intelligent Harry really is... to incorporate things that are forbidden into a play like this...

After the final bows from the cast, the curtains close again and Louis starts making his way out of the front row.

"Louis," he hears someone calling from backstage.

Louis hurries up the stairs and behind the curtain to the same man who had led him in the back entrance.

"Hey, Harry told me to bring you back," Nick smiles at him, putting an arm around Louis' shoulder, "what'd you think?"

"I think Harry's brilliant," Louis replies before they're entering the dressing room.

And when they do, 'Katherine' is standing at a dressing table laughing with the other actor who played the sailor... and Louis watches as the long brown wig comes off, revealing Harry underneath it.

Louis stops in his tracks, his eyes staring at him, thinking how he never would've guessed it was Harry dressed as the woman.

Harry starts taking the dress off slowly, still oblivious to Louis a few feet away who's eyes are on Harry's back, noticing for the first time just how fit Harry is.

"We got a standing ovation," Niall is saying, "that says something..."

"I was so scared they'd fucking hate it," Harry sighs out before he sees Louis in the mirror, standing behind him. He turns around instantly and grins a little, "so, uh, what did you think?"

Louis is still speechless as he's staring at Harry with make up on his face.

Harry notices and he tries to smile, "I'll go in the bathroom and change real quick..."

He picks up his clothes and heads off for the bathroom while Louis watches him.

"Have you never seen a show like this?" Nick asks, his hands on his hips.

"No... no, I haven't," Louis admits quietly.

"So, you've never seen a guy dress in women's clothes?" Nick questions again.

"I haven't, no," Louis replies, not looking back at him.

"You're the son of the district attorney," Niall speaks up suddenly as he's staring at Louis, "aren't you? I've seen you in the paper."

"What the bloody hell?" Nick almost exclaims, "the district attorney? William Tomlinson's son?"

Louis bites his lip and stays quiet.

"Oh, that's just great... why the fuck would Harry bring you here? Is he trying to get them to shut us down?" Nick exclaims.

"Hey," Harry yells back at him, now dressed in the clothes he wore to the theatre, "he's not here to spy... would you calm your ass down, Nick?"

"How do you know that?" Nick asks in an angry tone.

"Just... calm the fuck down," Harry tells him, placing his hands on Nick's shoulders, "alright?"

"Look, my dad doesn't even know I'm here," Louis speaks up, his tone harsh, "just because he's the fucking district attorney, doesn't mean I fucking work for him, alright?"

"Isn't that what he wants for you?" Nick asks turning to Louis with a hostile tone, "to become him?"

"Stop!" Harry finally shouts at Nick, "just shut the fuck up already. God dammit... leave him alone."

Nick stares at Harry for a long pause before he finally puts his hands up and walks off.

"Maybe I shouldn't have come," Louis mumbles out.

Harry turns back to him, "no... I invited you... and I trust you not to say a word to your father."

Louis looks up at Harry, "how can you trust me? You just met me."

Harry pushes his hair back again and sighs. He grabs several towels and washes his face quickly before he's grabbing his things and putting them in the suitcase he's brought.

"Niall, James, make sure to lock up if Nick doesn't," Harry mumbles out before he's taking Louis by the shoulder and guiding him to the back entrance.

They walk outside, the door slamming behind them; Harry lights a cigarette immediately and sighs.

"I'm sorry," he manages to whisper out as he looks back at Louis.

"It's... it's fine," Louis replies, "I didn't realize the trouble I'd cause..."

"You didn't cause any trouble," Harry quickly says, "everyone just associates you with your dad... which is really unfair. And... I guess I should've warned you about this."

Louis licks his lips and looks down at the ground.

"Guess you probably think I'm a freak now, right? For parading around in women's clothes?" Harry asks, almost smirking.

Louis glances back and he can't help but smile at Harry's face, "uh, no... I don't. I find you... different, which is a brilliant thing, in my eyes."

Harry's smile grows and his dimples deepen, "so, I wasn't wrong about you."

"What do you mean?" Louis asks.

"That you'd rat us out to your dad," Harry grins, "you see, a lot of people in this city aren't too fond of what we do here... you have this side of town who truly loves it, then you have your side... they probably would never step foot into this theatre."

"But the audience doesn't know they're guys," Louis whispers out.

"Correct," Harry nods, "and anyone who dresses as a woman has to change before they leave the theatre... or else... well, you know..."

"Yeah, I do," Louis says quietly.

"Still think your dad did the right thing by introducing us?" Harry asks with a smirk before he's hitting his cigarette.

"To be honest," Louis starts, his voice breaking as he stares at Harry, "yeah... I think he did."

Harry's face turns serious as he's staring at Louis, thinking only of how much he wants to kiss him again... but at the same time, he doesn't want to push himself on Louis.

"My dad may not be happy he introduced us if he ever finds out," Louis speaks up again with a laugh.

"I'm good at hiding it," Harry winks and licks his lips, "although I'm not fond of hiding it... at all... but I do when I have to."

"So, you're completely...," Louis stutters out, not even sure he wants to say the word.

"Homosexual?" Harry finishes for him, as if he's used to the word rolling off his tongue so easily, "an immoral threat against human kind? Yes... yes, I am."

Louis wants to laugh at how Harry has phrased it, he's not sure why; he grins a little and Harry just smiles back at him.

"Yeah, I told you," Harry whispers softly and leans forward until his face is inches from Louis', "I don't conform. Some people can accept to not conform, while others..."

Harry's fingers run through Louis' short fringe on his forehead while he's staring into the piercing blue eyes in front of him.

"... Others continue to conform... maybe out of fear... maybe because they're expected to be more by someone," Harry states, his voice deep, "but... it doesn't change the fact that who they really are is not who they're pretending to be for the society around them."

Louis' eyes don't break from Harry; he feels Harry's fingertips in his hair and his mind is lost... lost in the emerald eyes staring back at him.

The stage door opens and Harry is quickly stepping back as Niall is coming out.

"Oh, you're still here," Niall smiles before he's turning to Louis, "look, sorry about all of that... Nick has a hot head sometimes."

"It's fine," Louis nods and tries to smile while Harry's leaning on the brick wall hitting his cigarette, his eyes still on Louis.

"He's locking up the theatre, he said," Niall tells Harry, "see you later, yeah?"

"Yeah," Harry nods as Niall is walking off, giving them a wave. Harry looks back at Louis, "so, did you drive here?"

"Uh, I did," Louis replies quietly, "I parked out front. Was fortunate enough to get a good parking space since I was here so early and all..."

Harry smiles at him, putting the cigarette between his lips, "do... do you wanna go have a drink? It's only a little after 9."

"Are you buying again?" Louis asks grinning.

"If you want," Harry shrugs and picks up the suitcase, "care if I stash this in your car?"

"No," Louis shakes his head, "it's... uh, it's fine."

Harry nods and takes the cigarette out of his mouth before he's motioning, "lead the way, Mr. Tomlinson."

Louis chuckles and takes off up the alleyway, Harry close behind. They round the corner and Harry's eyes fall on Louis' car immediately; he knows it's Louis... after all, it's the best looking car in the neighborhood.

"Damn," Harry says quietly, "your daddy bought this as well?"

Louis smirks a little and opens the door slowly, "uh, actually, it's mine... well, sort of mine."

"Sort of yours?" Harry laughs and tosses his cigarette before he's climbing in the passenger's seat and throwing the suitcase in the backseat.

"Well, I have money that my dad had set up for me," Louis responds hesitantly. "Basically, just money for me to do whatever, I suppose."

"Christ, that must be nice," Harry smiles as Louis is turning on the engine. "And you don't use it for anything?"

Louis shrugs, "I stay at my apartment... don't really go out much. What's the point in spending it?"

"Damn, Lou," Harry chuckles, "you need to broaden your horizons... you need to start thinking bigger."

"Lou?" Louis asks as he turns to Harry and grins.

"What? You've never been called that?" Harry asks him, "it rolls off the tongue much smoother than Louis."

"Uh," Louis laughs and backs out slowly, "no, no one has ever called me that."

Harry nods, "suppose they prefer the 'proper' name."

"Yeah, I suppose so," Louis replies.

"What's your middle name?" Harry decides to ask.

Louis bites his lip as he's driving, "it's William."

"Oh," Harry says softly, "like after your dad..."

Louis doesn't say anything; he simply nods and keeps his mouth shut.

"Mine's Edward," Harry says with a grin, "it's after my dad as well... and my dad tried to have my mum call me that... thankfully, she didn't listen."

"I guess Edward is too formal for you?" Louis asks with a grin as he's looking back at Harry.

"Much too formal," Harry sighs and lights another cigarette, "I hate the name."

"Is your real name Harold?" Louis decides to ask.

Harry grins and looks back at him, "one would think so... but, no... it's just Harry. There's no Harold."

Louis smiles, "too proper."

"Too proper, yeah."

"So, where are we going?" Louis asks.

"Depends on what you prefer," Harry replies with a small grin creeping out of his lips, "do you prefer up town or my kind of place?"

"Your kind of place?" Louis looks at Harry curiously.

"You know what I mean," Harry answers softly, "they're not... freaks or anything. They're all nice guys."

"Oh," Louis says, the realization dawning on him suddenly, "uh..."

"We don't have to go there," Harry chuckles, "I get it if you're not comfortable with people like that."

Louis bites his lip and mumbles out slowly, "well, you're in the car with me, aren't you?"

Harry's dimples deepen, "are you saying you're comfortable with me, Mr. Tomlinson?"

Louis clears his throat and nods slowly, "I guess I am."

"Guess you'd have to be," Harry starts as he hits the cigarette and stares out the window, "because you didn't push me away last night."

Louis swallows hard, wondering if Harry even has a filter on that mouth of his; obviously he doesn't.

"Uh, so how far?" Louis asks, changing the subject.

"It's up here on the left," Harry replies, pointing with the cigarette in his hand.

They soon park and get out together and walk in this small bar, a bar full of only men.

Louis feels uncomfortable at first, looking around at all the men sitting in here drinking. He's never really been around people like Harry... for obvious reasons.

"Hey, Harry," the bartender smiles, "tequila?"

"Please," Harry replies, "and a beer for him."

"What kind?" The bartender looks at Louis.

"Uh, doesn't matter," Louis replies and takes a seat on the barstool next to Harry while he's glancing around the small place.

"Don't worry... they won't attack you," Harry leans over and whispers to Louis, "besides, they think you're with me."

Louis swallows hard again and looks back at Harry who's only smiling at him before he's picking up the shot glass the bartender has just sat down.

He throws it back and sits the glass down, telling the bartender to refill it... while Louis drinks down the beer slowly, not completely sure if he wants to get so drunk tonight.

Harry downs another shot before someone is coming over to talk to him, whispering in his ear. Harry looks back at the older man and he nods before he's looking at Louis.

"I'll be right back, alright?" Harry says softly, "don't look at them and they won't look at you."

Louis stares at him confused while Harry's getting up and following the older man towards the back.

Louis takes a deep breath and finishes off his first beer, ordering another quickly. He has no idea what goes on in this place, where Harry's gone... and he suddenly feels out of place... yet, a part of him says this is where he belongs.

"I haven't seen you in here before," the bartender speaks up and Louis glances back at him.

"Uh, yeah, my first time here," Louis stutters out and fixes his hair a little.

"You're a friend of Harry's?" The bartender asks.

"Uh, well, I just sorta met him yesterday... at the Broadway play," Louis replies.

"Ah," the bartender nods and smiles a little, "well, Harry's a good kid. He's very talented."

"He is that," Louis nods and drinks down the beer slowly, feeling several eyes on him.

He doesn't turn around to look; he only continues drinking the beer as fast as possible, hoping it might calm his nerves.

He sees Harry walking back a few moments later, adjusting his pants before he's sitting down beside Louis and the bartender is filling his shot glass again.

Harry drinks it down quickly, then lights a cigarette and exhales the hit, knowing Louis is watching him.

"Did anyone bother you?" Harry asks smiling at him.

"Uh, no," Louis replies and finishes his 3rd beer, "pretty sure they were staring at me though."

"Can you blame them?" Harry grins with a wink before he's hitting the cigarette again.

Louis knows his face has just turned a whole new shade of red as he's pulling out his own cigarettes.

"Sorry," Harry almost whispers, "sometimes the words just slip out."

"Don't apologize," Louis quickly tells him, "you were just being honest."

Harry raises an eyebrow as he's grinning, "ok, I take it back, then."

Louis smiles to himself and orders another beer while Harry's getting another shot.

Louis isn't even sure what the time is; they've been sitting at the bar for so long talking and laughing with one another... and he hasn't bothered to keep up with the time.

The place is almost empty while Harry's laughing and telling Louis a story, Louis only smiling as he's watching Harry talk.

"... Anyways, the dick head says to me, 'we don't need your kind in our city. You're an abomination to what America stands for'," Harry mocks as he's laughing and Louis is snickering beside him, "so, I looked at the guy, told him America was founded on freedom, even for 'kind' like mine... and if I wanted to suck a dick, I'd suck one."

Louis covers his mouth, almost spitting out his beer as Harry's laughing beside him and watching him.

"Jesus, Harry," Louis shakes his head, still chuckling.

"I looked him right in the eye and told him I was positive I could sick his dick better than his wife could," Harry giggles and shrugs some.

"Oh my god," Louis stares at him with wide eyes, "you're... wow."

"I'm what?" Harry asks, playing with the shot glass while he's smiling.

"You're amazing," Louis laughs and lights another cigarette, "you really don't give a fuck, do you?"

"I really don't," Harry replies, "it'll probably get me in a lot of trouble one day..."

"Maybe not," Louis smiles.

"It's coming," Harry grins down at the shot glass and sighs, "God, it's gotta be past 11 by now."

"It's nearly midnight, kid," the bartender speaks up with a smile.

"Oh," Harry says and glances at Louis, "didn't realize we had been here this long."

"Me neither," Louis smiles, "I think I'm a bit too drunk..."

"Shit, but your car," Harry laughs and points outside, and Louis starts laughing again before Harry's suggesting, "I'll drive it."

"What?" Louis asks with a smirk, "you're drunk, too."

"I'm not," Harry smiles, "I'm perfectly capable of driving. Let's go."

Louis snorts and follows Harry out of the bar to his car, not a care in the world in his mind at the moment; his mind is only focused on this man, this incredible, free spirited man.

"Keys," Harry says. Louis throws them to him and Harry catches them instantly before he's opening the door. He gazes over the interior and smiles, "don't think I've ever driven something like this."

Louis chuckles and Harry cranks the car slowly, "best money can buy, right?"

"I suppose," Harry shrugs, "wouldn't know myself."

"Come on... you have to make a killing with all you do," Louis says and hits the cigarette between his fingers.

Harry smiles a little and lights his own, "I guess. It's good money, yeah."

"I don't suppose you prefer fancy items though," Louis states as Harry begins driving.

"Fancy isn't me," Harry replies in a simple tone, "fancy represents a culture that I want no part of."

Louis glances at him as he's driving, the cigarette between his lips and the hair falling around his face; Louis knows he's way too drunk to be in this car with Harry. He's not in the right state of mind at the moment, and his judgement is limited.

Yet, while Louis is staring at Harry, he doesn't feel guilty. He doesn't feel like he's doing anything wrong; in fact, he feels like he's finally doing something right in his life... something that's just right for himself.

"So, I'll drop you off at your place and catch a cab back to mine," Harry states when they're almost to Louis' apartment building.

"Ok," Louis nods while Harry's pulling something else from his pocket. He watches Harry lighting it and his eyes grow wider. "You're smoking..."

"Marijuana?" Harry smiles, "I am, yeah."

"In my car," Louis almost smirks, "Harry, if my dad smells that..."

"Does your dad run every aspect of your life?" Harry interrupts, "really... are you not allowed to think for yourself every once in a while?"

Louis licks his lips and stays quiet for a moment. Harry extends the joint to him and grins.

"Live, Lou," Harry almost whispers, "it's not going to kill you to live for yourself."

Louis takes the joint almost too quickly and takes a long hit of it before he's coughing some.

Harry smirks, "yeah, take a smaller hit next time."

Louis grins and stares at it between his fingers, wondering why he's never felt this free in his entire life... how it's even possible to feel so free next to a person he hardly has gotten the chance to know... while he's doing things he normally wouldn't.

They pull up to the apartment building and Harry parks perfectly as Louis is taking one last hit and giving it back to Harry.

Harry looks Louis over, noticing how high he is and he chuckles a little, "Jesus, you've never smoked before, have you?"

"I haven't," Louis sighs, "wow... it feels amazing."

"It has its perks," Harry grins and steps out of the car, putting the joint out quickly.

Louis climbs out the other side, stumbling some as his whole body is buzzing. Harry just chuckles and steps around the car to grab him.

"Should I help you upstairs? Or are you ok?" Harry jokes.

"Uh," Louis laughs a bit, "I think I'm ok."

Harry nods before he's saying quietly, "well, maybe we'll see each other again soon, yeah?"

Louis stares back at him, "do you wanna come up for a few?"

"It's past midnight," Harry smiles a little, "you sure that's a good idea?"

"It's fine," Louis nods, "who's gonna care?"

"Your dad doesn't make house calls, does he?" Harry laughs.

"No, not unannounced," Louis chuckles some.

Harry nods before he's saying quietly, "uh, sure, yeah. I'd love to come up again. Maybe I can look through your library some more."

Louis shakes his head and smiles before he's leading the way into the apartment building.

Mr. Wilson greets him and Harry both and notices how drunk they both are... but he only grins and takes them up to Louis' floor.

When Louis opens the door, Harry walks in immediately and straight to Louis' record player again.

Louis laughs and watches him; he's so high and drunk that nothing else really matters to him right now. He's in his apartment with this man, this carefree man who he can't help but look at and smile.

Chapter Text

Harry has a record playing while he's lighting a cigarette and dancing a little to the beat of it. Louis just watches and laughs at him.

"You ever been to a symphony, Lou?" Harry asks, still dancing some.

Louis flops on the sofa with a smile, "yeah, of course. You should know that."

"Yeah, stupid question, right?" Harry grins and sits down on the sofa, putting his feet up on Louis' coffee table and hitting his cigarette. He sighs a little, "what's your favorite part of the symphony?"

"Uh," Louis thinks out loud, his mind so gone from the weed itself, "I don't really know... probably the finale because I can leave finally."

Harry snickers and Louis laughs as he's looking back at him.

"You're one of those people who sleep through them?" Harry asks and hits his cigarette.

"Well," Louis shrugs, "not all the time... just sometimes. I'm usually accompanied by my father, so I think that itself overshadows the enjoyment of the symphony."

Harry nods, leaning his head back on the sofa and watching Louis closely, "tell me about your father."

Louis bites his lip, wondering if he even wants to go into detail about him.

"Come on," Harry encourages, pulling the joint out again and lighting it, "it's just me here... do you think I'd tell someone or something?"

Louis glances back at Harry and Harry slowly extends the joint to Louis, his face serious. Louis licks his lips and takes it, taking a slow hit.

"I wouldn't know where to start," Louis admits and stares at the joint in his hand.

"Ok," Harry starts, placing his arm on the back of the sofa behind Louis' head, "start wherever you want."

Louis exhales the small hit and leans his head back until it's touching Harry's hand. He doesn't mind though. His body almost relaxes immediately at the feel of Harry's hand behind him.

"Can I ask you a question?" Louis starts as he's glancing back at Harry.

Harry nods and takes the joint from Louis' fingers.

"What age did you begin to hate your father?" Louis almost asks in a whisper.

Harry bites his lip, trying to smile; he doesn't usually talk about his personal life to anyone... he's never wanted to.

"I was about 11," Harry replies quietly, "why? When did you start hating yours?"

"Why did you hate yours exactly?"

"I don't... I don't like to talk about myself," Harry finally replies and takes a long hit of the joint.

"Ok," Louis says slowly and takes the joint from Harry, "I won't ask you, then and you won't ask me."

Harry glances back at Louis and he can tell he's serious. Harry bites his lip a little before he tries to start, "my dad knew I was different... that should tell you all you need to know."

"How'd he know?" Louis asks curiously.

"Does that matter?" Harry asks and tries to laugh.

"It kind of does," Louis replies softly.

Harry sighs, "I told my mum I liked a boy at the private school I attended. She didn't act like it was a big deal... she assumed I would grow out of it. But, of course, she discussed it with my dad... and let's just say, he didn't want a son like that."

"When did your parents divorce?" Louis decides to ask as he stares at Harry.

"When I was almost 16," Harry replies, "after my dad had put me in an institution."

Louis' eyes widen and he can see the hurt on Harry's face, though Harry doesn't want to show it.

"There you go," Harry says finally after a few moments of silence, "that's it."

Louis' mouth has suddenly gone dry and he doesn't even know what to say now; he's heard of people who have gone to institutions to be turned 'straight'... and the horror stories he's heard only makes him wonder what Harry went through himself.

Harry stands up slowly and goes to Louis' kitchen to look through his fridge, "Jesus... all you have is beer. I can't get drunk on beer."

Louis smirks and then watches Harry going to his bar and pouring scotch with no ice. Harry drinks it more slowly than he had the night before.

"So," Harry looks back at Louis, "why do you hate your dad? What's he done to you?"

"He's... he's never really done anything to me," Louis mumbles out and lights a cigarette, "he just... he expects more of me than I can give him."

"I already knew that," Harry speaks quietly and takes a seat again on the sofa, taking another drink of the scotch. He holds it in his hand and stares at Louis, "he wants you to be like him, right?"

Louis nods and sighs, "after my mum died, he became... callous. There was never really a relationship between me and him before she died, but... she was what held us together the most. She always told me to be who I wanted to be, something that he's never understood... something that he's tried to push out of my head. And maybe he has..."

"I don't think so," Harry speaks up, his voice deep, "I think what your mum told you still resides in you. It's obvious it does. If he had pushed that thought out of your mind, you wouldn't be miserable at the mention of his name... you wouldn't be upset when someone associates you with him. You would be proud of it, like so many of these proper dicks are in this city."

Louis chuckles a little and shrugs, "I guess so, yeah."

"You wouldn't be sitting here talking to someone like me either," Harry whispers out, placing the scotch down on the table and leaning back again, his hand behind Louis' head.

"You're right," Louis admits, "my father would want to kill me if he even knew..."

"Has he ever suspected you weren't normal?" Harry decides to ask.

Louis bites his lip and mumbles out, "I... I am normal."

Harry grins a little, his fingers moving gently through Louis' hair now. "I don't think you are."

Louis doesn't want to look at him. He doesn't want to look in those eyes and know Harry's right.

"Maybe you've always been 'normal'," Harry whispers, his long fingers going through Louis' hair slowly, "or maybe you've questioned what you were. Maybe no one has ever shown you who you really were."

Louis licks his lips and hits his cigarette again, his heart racing at the feel of Harry's hand in his hair, and how much he wants to just close his eyes and get lost in his touch.

"I can't be different," Louis admits when he finally looks back at Harry.

"But you are, Louis Tomlinson," Harry says slowly, his eyes staying on Louis', "you're not your dad... you know yourself you never will be... what is it that you want? Right now?"


 (Take Me to Church - Hozier)


Louis doesn't break eye contact from Harry. He watches Harry leaning over, his lips inches from his.

"What do you want, Lou?" Harry whispers again, staring at Louis' lips, "do you want to keep pretending to be something you're not... or do you want to be shown a world you've been dying to discover?"

Louis gulps and Harry takes the cigarette from his hand, putting it into the ashtray before he's glaring back at Louis.

"Tell me what you want," Harry demands softly, "right now, in this very moment... what is it you want the most? Is it me?"

Louis takes a deep breath and begins to nod slowly, "I want you."

Harry licks his lips, his face staying serious as he leans in and his lips meet Louis' so softly.

Louis doesn't even know what to do, but he doesn't have to even try; Harry knows every step and is more than willing to show him.

Harry's tongue enters Louis' mouth and Louis' whole body feels as if it's on fire when his tongue touches Harry. He's never felt something so real, so right... even if others think it's wrong.

Harry's fingers run more aggressively through Louis' hair as he's kissing him hard. His other hand glides down Louis' sweater before he's touching his bare skin underneath, his fingernails running softly over Louis' gentle skin.

Harry guides his lips down Louis' neck next and Louis is leaning back into the sofa, sighing out loud at the feel of Harry's lips.

Louis feels nothing but pleasure in this moment; he feels as if his whole body has become alive all of a sudden... and it all started with a simple kiss from another man.

Harry takes Louis' sweater and begins pulling it over his head slowly as he's glaring at Louis with fire in his eyes. He throws it away and begins running his lips down Louis' bare chest now as he climbs down in the floor to sit on his knees in front of him.

Louis breathes out heavily, watching Harry closely. He hesitantly puts his fingers in his hair, gliding them through it slowly.

Harry starts undoing Louis' belt next, and then his slacks as he's glancing up at Louis.

"You've never had a guy do this, have you?" Harry asks, his voice deep and seductive.

"No," Louis mumbles out, feeling almost embarrassed at how aroused he already is.

Harry nods and says seriously, keeping his eyes on Louis', "don't worry... I'm really good at it."

Louis bites his lip and Harry leans up to kiss his lips again, and this time, Louis pulls Harry into him, kissing him with the same amount of eagerness.

Harry's hand wanders into Louis' slacks and he's putting his hand around his cock as Louis is almost moaning into Harry's mouth.

Louis doesn't want to admit that no one has ever touched him, boy or girl; he knows that what Harry is about to do to him is all new territory to him... and somehow, he's thankful that it's Harry.

"You ok?" Harry whispers, his fingers gliding over Louis' cock slowly.

"I'm... I'm good," Louis manages to mumble out as Harry's staring at him.

Harry nods and Louis is almost surprised that Harry has stopped in the heat of the moment just to make sure he's alright.

Harry kisses down Louis' chest, his stomach, before his hands are gripping the slacks and underwear, pulling them down Louis' legs and revealing every inch of him.

Harry stares at every part of Louis for a moment, his fingers gliding along Louis' pelvis.

"You're beautiful," Harry whispers out in a deep voice, glancing up and down Louis' body.

Louis bites his lip again, staring at Harry as he's leaning forward, his lips almost on the head of his cock; his eyes look up at Louis and Louis feels himself flinch from the eye contact.

Harry doesn't grin... he just watches Louis' face and starts running his tongue over the head slowly and gently.

Louis flinches even more and he's throwing his head back and sighing out loud at Harry's tongue touching him.

Harry continues watching him as he's taking all of Louis' cock down his throat, burying his face into the hair surrounding it.

"Oh my god," Louis mumbles out, his eyes squeezed shut as Harry begins moving up and down on him slowly.

Louis even hears Harry moaning around his cock and he wants to come from the sound, the motion, the warmth... Harry's right... he is very good at this.

Louis grips the long pieces of Harry's hair as Harry moves faster, up and down, glancing up at Louis every few seconds.

And of course, it doesn't take Louis long at all... he has never experienced anything like this and he loves it more than he should.

He feels himself coming and he's bucking his hips up immediately as Harry deep throats him and catches every last drop of him, his fingernails digging into Louis' thighs. He moans at the taste of Louis' cum on his tongue.

"Shit," Louis sighs out and rests his head back on the sofa as Harry is raising up, staring at Louis.

Louis glances back at him, watching Harry swallow and lick his lips afterwards, a grin crossing his face.

And Louis is suddenly speechless; what words can possibly be said now?

Harry stands slowly, picking up the scotch again and drinking it down quickly.

Louis can see how aroused Harry is and he wonders just how big Harry actually is; he tries not to stare at it while Harry is taking a seat again.

He leans over and kisses Louis gently and smiles before he's lighting a cigarette.

Louis pulls his pants back up and sits completely still after lighting his own cigarette.

"Well, it's like 1:30," Harry sighs out, "maybe I should get going..."

"You don't have to," Louis quickly says, drawing Harry's attention back to him. "I'd... I'd like it if you'd stay longer."

"Alright," Harry says softly, "sure."

Louis hits his cigarette again, his mind still not clear from the weed or beer... but he knows when he wakes tomorrow he won't regret what just happened.

"Do... do you mind if I use your bathroom?" Harry asks.

"Uh, no," Louis replies and smiles, "you know where it is."

Harry grins and gets up quickly, walking down the hall and closing the bathroom door behind him.

Louis licks his lips, takes a hit of the cigarette before he stands, fastening his pants back and walking down the hall slowly.

He knows what Harry is doing, as if it wasn't showing obviously through his pants... the question in Louis' head is, though, does he go in the bathroom?

He slowly puts his hand on the doorknob, twisting it, and not being surprised by the fact that Harry hasn't locked it. Maybe he expected this from Louis.

Louis opens the door slowly and he sees Harry standing in front of the toilet.

Harry's hand is wrapped around his long, thick cock and he's moving it quickly back and forth, his eyes shut as his body begs for release.

Louis' bathroom door creaks and Harry's instantly turning to him, Louis' eyes on Harry already.

No words are said; Louis walks over slowly, staring at Harry, his eyes wandering over every inch of his face.

Harry only stares back as Louis' hand is slowly reaching down and touching Harry's cock.

Harry sighs out loudly at Louis' gentle touch and he removes his hand completely while Louis' fingers are wandering over every last inch of Harry.

Harry bites his lip and looks back at Louis, "I'm guessing this is a first for you as well?"


 (Too Good - Troye Sivan)


Louis doesn't say anything; Harry already knows the truth. Louis simply leans in, crushing his lips into Harry's.

Harry's hand pulls Louis closer and Louis starts stroking Harry slowly.

Louis wants to taste him so badly, but he isn't sure he would even know how to do it properly... and he isn't sure he wants to ask Harry for instructions.

Yet, he finds himself removing his hand from Harry and closing the toilet, taking a seat on it as his eyes are staring at Harry's cock in front of him now.

He glances up at Harry while he's gently pulling Harry's pants down some.

"I have no idea what I'm doing," Louis admits.

Harry nods and says deeply, "it's not hard, at all. Just... just do what you want."

Louis licks his lips, taking Harry's cock into his hand again before he's leaning forward and running his lips over the head slowly, feeling how soft and delicate Harry's skin is.

Harry places his fingers into Louis' hair immediately, encouraging him to take him into his mouth; he doesn't rush him though... he simply guides him.

Louis does his best to take all 9 inches of Harry without gagging, and thankfully he doesn't. It takes him several seconds to get comfortable with what he is doing, but in no time, he's enjoying the feel of Harry's cock running in and out of his mouth. He tastes a few droplets of Harry and he finds it's not as bad as he would've thought; in fact, to Louis, it tastes like one of the best things he's ever tasted... maybe because it's always been forbidden... maybe because he's always been told it's wrong.

Harry moans out loud, gripping Louis' hair and pulling him forward more into him.

"Fuck, yes," Harry whimpers out, throwing his head back and closing his eyes.

Louis' heart rate increases, knowing how much he's pleasing Harry... it only makes him move faster on him, until Harry's grasping his hair hard and nearly screaming out.

The cum meets the back of Louis' throat and surprisingly, he doesn't gag, though he was sure he would've. He sucks Harry off, finishing him completely as Harry's letting go of his hair and breathing heavily above Louis.

Louis sits back, pondering on whether to spit or swallow. He swallows it finally and wipes his lips while Harry's only grinning down at him.

"That was good," Harry whispers out, his eyes not leaving Louis', "well done."

Louis almost snickers, "I think I need another drink."

"It doesn't taste that bad," Harry laughs and fixes his pants again.

He follows Louis back to the living area, watching Louis going to the fridge and grabbing a beer.

"I didn't say it was bad," Louis tells Harry with a smirk after he's taken a drink of the beer.

Harry smiles a little, "you taste delicious, by the way."

Louis' cheeks turn red, but he grins, "uh, thanks."

"Welcome," Harry says softly, "your fiancée must think so as well."

Louis almost snorts, "Jesus, do you say whatever comes to mind, Harold?"

Harry grins at the name and shrugs, "I sort of do, yeah."

Louis shakes his head and drinks down the beer.

"So, when do you get married exactly?" Harry decides to ask as he's leaning against the kitchen sink and staring at Louis.

Louis' face is miserable again, and maybe Harry knew he would be if he discussed it.

"Uh, it's several months away," Louis replies quietly.

"You don't want to marry her, do you?" Harry asks flatly.

"No," Louis replies honestly, "I don't... but my dad wants me to."

"You're 24 years old and you can't run your own life?" Harry asks softly, "no wonder you hate him so much."

Louis bites his lip and looks down.

"Uh, I'm gonna go," Harry whispers out, "I should anyway..."

Louis stares back at him, "you... you don't have to. You're more than welcome to stay here tonight."

Harry smiles, his dimples showing, "uh, think that's such a good idea? I'd hate for someone to think something, you know... last thing you need is trouble caused by me."

"You're not causing me trouble," Louis says seriously, "far from it actually. I... I enjoy your company, Harry."

Harry crosses his arms as his face stays serious, "you sure you want me to stay?"

"I don't mind," Louis replies, "really... unless you just need to go..."

"I don't," Harry quickly interjects, "I don't have plans until tomorrow sometime."

Louis nods and smirks a little, "have any more pot on you?"

Harry chuckles and nods, "yeah, I do... why? You want more? You look like you're about to crash now."

Louis shrugs and smiles a beautiful smile at Harry, "if I crash, I crash... come on."

Louis motions for Harry to follow him and Harry just chuckles while Louis is picking up their cigarettes.

They're sitting in the floor of Louis' library a few moments later, sharing the joint. It's close to 3:30 am now while they're chatting and laughing.

"But these books are so lame," Harry groans and tosses another one in the pile beside him.

Louis laughs and hits the joint as he's propped up on his elbow watching Harry, "yeah, well, I have to keep a level of 'normalcy', you know."

"Yeah, you do a fine job of that," Harry jokes and glances back at the books on the shelves, "that novel you have... I have it at home."

Louis' face grows serious as he tries to nod, "I figured that."

"Yeah," Harry smiles back at him, "why do you think I kissed you?"

Louis grins down and takes another hit of the joint.

"I knew you were different," Harry almost whispers, "when you're like me... my kind... you can just sort of tell, you know? At least, most of the time..."

"Harry," Louis starts. He's high as a kite and still buzzing from the beer and knows he'll say anything now, "I've never done anything."

Harry glances back, the cigarette between his lips, "you told me that."

"I meant... with girls as well," Louis bites his lip and responds, placing the joint in the ashtray.

Harry's eyes widen, "really?"

Louis nods a little, "sad, right? I'm 24 and have no history at all."

"Jesus," Harry whispers out, "you... you should've told me."

"Why?" Louis laughs and picks up the joint again.

"I didn't know I was... your first," Harry mumbles and hits his cigarette.

"Does it make a difference?" Louis grins and looks back.

Harry shrugs, "I don't suppose so... if you don't really care."

"I could care less," Louis speaks softly, staring at Harry.

Harry bites his lip and tries to smile, "I think you've had enough of that. Jesus."

He takes the joint from Louis and takes a hit of it before he's putting it out in the ashtray.

Louis leans back on the floor, staring up at the ceiling as he's sighing in contentment. And Harry watches him closely, wondering what Louis is thinking about him now... and what he's feeling for him now.

Several moments later, Harry's lying beside him, his head close to Louis'.

"What do you think the world will be like in, say, 30 years from now?" Louis asks.

"Hmm," Harry starts, the cigarette between his teeth while he's staring up at the ceiling too, "I'd like to say that it will be better than this shit... that more people will be accepted for being different, and not shunned for it... or thrown in jail for it..."

"Or sent to mental hospitals," Louis lets the words slip out of his mouth before he realizes it. He glances back at Harry and sighs, "I'm sorry. I shouldn't have said that."

"It's ok," Harry smiles and pretends to yawn, "it's like going on 5 am. Mind if I sleep on your sofa?"

"You can sleep in my bed," Louis whispers and sits up slowly.

Harry sits up as well, putting the cigarette out in the ashtray before he's watching Louis standing and stretching.

"You sure?" Harry asks.

"Yeah, why not," Louis shrugs and offers his hand to Harry. Harry smiles and takes it, standing up slowly.

Louis leads the way to his room, pulling his pants off and climbing into his side of the bed. Harry starts taking off his shirt slowly and then goes for his pants, Louis' eyes on him.

"How do you stay so fit?" Louis asks softly.

Harry smirks and slips under the covers, his bare chest still visible. "I try to work out as much as possible."

"You have a pretty amazing body," Louis tells Harry as he's lying on his side, staring over every inch of his chest.

"You're drunk and high," Harry chuckles and looks back at him, "you might not think so tomorrow morning."

"No," Louis says quietly, "I'm pretty sure I still will."

"Yeah, we'll see about that," Harry mumbles and grins as he settles down in the pillow beside Louis.

Louis smirks and lies on his stomach, watching Harry beside him. "Are you going to be here when I wake up?"

Harry doesn't glance back at him, "depends on what time you wake, I guess."

Louis smiles a little, "ok, fine... if you're not here, call me when you wanna get together again."

"I can do that," Harry whispers and closes his eyes as he's sighing out.

Harry's used to this; he's used to sleeping over at men's homes... he's used to men sleeping at his apartment... what Harry isn't used to, however, is the feelings that are beginning to surface inside of him, because of the man next to him.

But he can't possibly feel something for Louis... he's never felt anything for any of the men he's had affairs with. Somehow, though, Harry feels as if Louis isn't going to be just another man to him... and he isn't sure he wants to feel this way.

Louis wakes to the sound of his phone ringing next to the bed. He's not sure what time it is, but by the look of it outside his window it must be passed 11 by now.

The phone continues to ring while Louis' eyes fall on the empty side of the bed where Harry lay. He sits up, looking in the floor for his clothes and sees they're gone... and Louis is suddenly feeling his stomach sink... Harry's already left.

He sighs and answers the phone finally, "hello."

"Where've you been?" His father asks immediately.

"Uh, sorry, dad... I stayed out late getting drinks with Harry and a few others," Louis does his best to lie as he's sinking back down in the bed, closing his eyes.

His father starts going on about Louis' schooling again, for what seems like the millionth time to Louis.

"Dad, I was just taking a semester off," Louis sighs, "I'm going back this summer..."

"You're damn right you are," his father scolds. The line stays quiet before his father is saying in a more calm tone, "we're having dinner with Mr. Jones tomorrow night. Why don't you ask Harry to come?"

Louis bites his lip, feeling that same sinking feeling in his stomach again at the mere mention of Harry's name.

"Uh, I'll... I'll ask him, yeah," Louis responds quietly.

"Good. I'm glad you've found someone your age in this city that you can finally be friends with," his father says, no emotion in his voice.

And Louis almost snorts at the term 'friends', but he refrains himself while his father tells him he has to get back to work.

Louis tells him goodbye and quickly puts the phone down, letting out a deep breath.

He gets up slowly, wondering if maybe Harry is still here somewhere. He lights a cigarette and starts walking down the hall.

The bathroom door is open and empty, so is the library... and Louis also sees no one in the living area or kitchen.

He hits his cigarette again and wishes that Harry would've at least woken him when he was leaving.

He tries not to dwell on it too long as he's going back to the bedroom and gathering clothes to shower; he's supposed to meet up with his 'so-called friend' Liam Payne, who moved here with his family from England.

Louis has never really cared much for him... Liam is rich, just like himself, but he's arrogant and all about the luxurious "American Dream". While Louis is the complete opposite of him.

After Louis is dressed and ready, he is soon leaving his apartment, walking to the elevator.

Mr. Wilson isn't on duty now, and Louis knows he probably wasn't when Harry left this morning. But Louis still wonders when he left... he also tells himself he really has no right to wonder.

Louis quickly goes out to his car, climbing inside before he sees Harry's suitcase in the backseat. He sighs again, shaking his head.

He finally meets Liam for lunch in a rather fancy restaurant in Manhattan; while Louis sits and listens to Liam going on about college and his upcoming marriage, he can't help but look around the place and feel... out of place now.

"So, when is Alice coming?" Liam asks Louis.

"Oh, uh," Louis starts and looks back at him, "in a few weeks, I think. She's coming out to stay for a week."

"And the wedding?"

Louis lights a cigarette slowly, wanting so badly to roll his eyes. "It's set for July... here in New York."

"That's nice," Liam smiles, "you are coming to mine and Julia's next weekend, right?"

"Yeah," Louis nods and almost smirks as he asks, "can I bring someone?"

"Sure," Liam shrugs, "but who? Is Alice going to be here for it?"

"Most likely not," Louis mumbles, "I was going to bring Harry Styles."

Liam chews his food slowly and nods, "the actor."

"Yeah," Louis replies, "my dad introduced us... he's pretty brilliant actually."

"I don't mind if he comes," Liam grins, "good publicity for my wedding, I suppose."

Louis tries not to groan as he's looking up, seeing a familiar face a couple of tables away... Harry.

Louis nearly drops his cigarette, wondering why the hell Harry would be in this sort of place... but his eyes soon fall on the person sitting across from Harry... a man who appears to be at least 30 or so... and obviously rich.

He watches them talking, even laughing, and he suddenly is ready to leave.

Harry and the man are soon getting up after they've finished, and Louis' eyes are still on him as they're getting closer to his and Liam's table.

Harry is smiling at the man beside him before he notices Louis.

"Hey," Harry speaks up, doing his best to smile, "nice to see you again, Louis."

"You as well," Louis nods, keeping his eyes on Harry.

"Hey, Harry. I'm Liam," Liam decides to introduce himself.

"Nice to meet you," Harry grins a little, "uh, this is Ben Winston... Ben, this is Louis Tomlinson."

"Oh, the district attorney's son," Ben smiles at Louis and shakes his head, "nice to meet you."

"Yeah, same," Louis nods, but doesn't smile at the man.

"Well, I've gotta get to work," Ben smiles and turns to Harry before he's whispering, "I'll talk to you later, yeah?"

"Yeah, I'll walk you out," Harry nods before he's turning to Louis, "nice to see you, Lou."

Louis bites his lip, watching Harry and Ben walk out slowly together and stand on the sidewalk exchanging a few words before Ben is leaning in to whisper something to Harry.

Louis puts out the cigarette and looks back at Liam, "uh, I've gotta go... told my dad I'd meet up with him in just a bit."

"Ok," Liam nods but looks at Louis confused as Louis is hurrying to get up.

"Here," Louis extends money to Liam to cover his part of the meal, "I'll talk to you soon."

He hurries out of the restaurant while Ben is walking off now and Harry is lighting a cigarette.

"Hey," Louis speaks up, causing Harry to turn to him.

"Hey," Harry smiles, "didn't we just say hey?"

Louis licks his lips, glancing at the older man walking off. Harry follows Louis' eyes before he's turning back to Louis.

"He's a friend of mine," Harry explains for Louis.

"A friend," Louis nods.

"Yeah," Harry replies and hits his cigarette before he's smirking at Louis, "what... did you leave your friend in there to come talk to me?"

"I did actually," Louis answers, his tone sharp, "don't like having to see him to begin with."

"I can tell," Harry nods, "you looked very uninterested through lunch."

"You... you were watching me?" Louis asks more quietly.

Harry only grins and hits the cigarette again before he's looking up and down the busy streets.

"Didn't expect to see you in a place like this," Louis begins after a few moments of silence.

"It's not my type of place," Harry shrugs, "but he invited me, so..."

"Right," Louis says quietly before he's walking to his car.

"Lou," Harry calls, and Louis is instantly turning back to him, "do you have plans?"

Louis stares at him for a long pause, wondering if he wants to lie to Harry and say yes... but he can't bring himself to.

"I... I don't," Louis responds finally.

Harry strides over to him, the cigarette between his fingers as he's grinning, "neither do I... let's go some place."

"Some place like where?" Louis asks, raising an eyebrow.

"I don't care," Harry throws his hands up and smiles beautifully, "how about you just drive and we see where we end up?"

Louis thinks about it for a moment, staring at that dimpled smile in front of him. "Ok... sure. Let's go."

Harry pats him on the shoulder, still grinning from ear to ear as he's climbing into Louis' car once more.

Louis gets in slowly and starts the engine before he's pulling out and taking off up the road, Harry leaned back in the seat next to him with the window down and the cigarette between his lips.

"So, your friend...," Louis decides to begin the conversation as casual as possible, "who is he exactly?"

"He's a writer," Harry replies and hits the cigarette.

"Really?" Louis asks as he's reaching for his own cigarettes in the front pocket of his pants.

Harry smirks and digs them out for him, along with the lighter itself, his eyes never leaving Louis' face. He takes one from the pack and places it between Louis' lips before he's lighting it for him.

And somehow, Louis knows this small gesture from Harry shouldn't affect him the way it is, but he can't deny how aroused he's just become from the simple act itself.

"Thank you," Louis manages to say.

"No problem," Harry states and places them back in the pocket of his pants.

"So, what exactly has he written?" Louis asks, trying to relieve the tension he's now feeling in his pants.

"Uh, well, he's written a lot," Harry replies, "mostly novels about different places, different people..."

"Romance novels?"

"Some of them," Harry nods, "he's very well known here in New York."

"I can honestly say I haven't read any of his work," Louis chuckles a little.

Harry grins, "I can honestly say that I have and I've told him how repulsive they were."

Louis grins from ear to ear, "you hate his work?"

"Eh," Harry shrugs, "not all of them... just most."

"And... how did you become friends?" Louis decides to question further.

"Curious today, aren't we, Mr. Tomlinson?" Harry teases as he's playing with pieces of Louis' hair.

"Just asking," Louis tries to play it off, "where we going anyways?"

"Greenwich village," Harry replies and smiles, "my place... that is, if you're comfortable with that."

Louis swallows hard, knowing he's more than comfortable with it... he just wonders what exactly it is Harry has in store for him.

Chapter Text

"It's really not much," Harry starts as he's opening his apartment door, "but it's mine."

Louis walks in first, glancing around the small, yet comfortable apartment; the kitchen is directly to the left with the living area in the front. Louis sees the bathroom on the right and then, on the left of the living room is what he guesses to be Harry's room.

The walls are covered in all different sorts of art pieces that show vibrant, bright color schemes, giving the whole entire apartment itself the feeling of being alive.

"Thanks for keeping this safe, by the way," Harry smirks at Louis and holds up the suitcase before he's heading into the bedroom.

"No problem," Louis replies while he's glancing out the living room window, "I figured you forgot it."

"I did," Harry calls back, "had a bit of a hangover this morning."

"Really?" Louis laughs and makes his way to the doorway of Harry's room, glancing around at the mess, "Jesus, do you clean?"

Harry is sitting the suitcase down in his closet before he's glancing back at Louis, "does the rest of the place look like this?"

"Well, no..."

"Then, yes, I do clean," Harry smiles, "just... not my room a lot of the time."

Louis nods, his eyes falling on the unmade bed, seeing a bottle of champagne on one bedside table and 2 glasses on the other. He licks his lips, wondering what the hell Harry does in his free time.

"Nice bottle of champagne there," Louis decides to point out.

Harry looks over at it before he's picking up the glasses and smiling, "yeah... uh, I had company."

"What kind of company?" Louis smirks and watches Harry going to the kitchen to place the glasses in the sink.

"Just... company," Harry replies and winks at Louis.

"What... what exactly do you do with this company of yours?" Louis bravely asks.

Harry's grinning down as he begins washing the glasses slowly, "I like to call it entertaining."

"Was last night the definition of entertaining?" Louis speaks up, his eyes not leaving Harry's face.

Harry doesn't look back at him, "yeah... suppose so... although, last night was more than entertaining."

Louis bites his lip when Harry finally decides to look back at him.

"Just like you enjoy my company, I enjoy yours," Harry nearly whispers out.

"Do you... do you just sleep with different guys or something?" Louis finds himself asking, the question burning to release... he's wondered it since he saw Harry in the restaurant.

"Why?" Harry asks slowly, "would you be offended by that or something? Would you think I was terrible?"

"I didn't say that," Louis starts, "I just wanted to know, that's all... I mean, you didn't hesitate with me..."

Harry stares at him for a long pause before he decides to answer, "and you didn't hesitate to let me either, Lou."

Louis licks his lips and looks away while Harry rinses the glasses and places them next to the sink to dry.

Then, Harry's walking to his room, Louis' eyes following him. Harry quickly pulls open his bedside table and takes out a small cigar case.

Louis stands in the doorway watching him taking out a joint and then opening the bedroom window.

Harry turns back to Louis and grins, "you don't have to stand there... you're allowed to come in."

Louis nods a little and walks in the room slowly, his eyes falling on the photographs sitting on Harry's dresser that are surrounded by what looks like tubes of lipstick and different shades of nail polish.

Harry's watching Louis look at all the different shades with a smirk on his face, "like those colors?"

Louis immediately looks at Harry sitting on the window pane, "uh, yeah, I suppose..."

He picks up one slowly and almost laughs.

"My fiancée wears this red shade of lipstick."

Harry's mouth closes and he looks back out at the busy streets below, pretending like he didn't just hear Louis say that... as if he has the right to really care.

A smile slowly crosses Harry's face before he's climbing back in the window, a bright idea coming to his mind.

"Does she now?" Harry asks and holds the joint out for Louis.

Louis takes it between his fingers and watches Harry picking up the lipstick. He tries not to smile as he's asking, "what are you doing?"

Harry takes the cap off the lipstick, a small grin across his lips before he's staring in the mirror and lining his lips very slowly in the deep red shade.

Louis' face grows serious as Harry fixes it a little and looks back at him; he knows exactly why Harry's done this now.

"How does it look on her?" Harry asks in a deep, soft voice, "and how does it look on me?"

Louis feels the tension inside his pants again at Harry's words... and his beautiful painted lips. How can one man look so stunningly beautiful in red lipstick?

Louis can't even find words to say; he just stares at Harry's lips.

Harry smirks a little and steps over to Louis, kissing his cheek slowly... and Louis closes his eyes when he does, getting lost in the scent that he's come to know as Harry; he doesn't know exactly how to explain the scent... all he knows is that it's mesmerizing and he's only ever smelled it when Harry's next to him.

Harry pulls away, grinning at the red lipstick on Louis' face, "you adulterer, you."

Louis nearly snorts and looks in the mirror at his cheek, "oh my god, Harry."

Harry just chuckles and takes the joint from Louis and hits it slowly.

"Jesus, Louis snickers as Harry grabs him by his shoulders from behind, "what are you..."

Harry kisses the other cheek and grins at Louis in the mirror, "there... now both sides can match."

Louis laughs more and shakes his head, his eyes falling back down on the photographs. He sees one of Harry and a young woman who looks like him, then another of the 2 of them with a woman Louis can positively identify as Harry's mum... he favors her so much.

"Is this your sister?" Louis asks and picks up the photo.

"It is," Harry replies, exhaling another hit as he offers it to Louis. Louis takes it without question and places it between his lips. "Her name is Gemma... she's 2 years older than me."

"You look so much alike," Louis says softly, "and your mum... you look exactly like her."

"Thankfully," Harry chuckles before he's going back to the window pane again.

"What's her name?" Louis asks.

"Anne," Harry replies, "they still live in England... I haven't seen them in a few months now."

"Why didn't they just move here with you?" Louis looks back at Harry before he's hitting the joint again.

Harry licks his lips before he's answering, "they... they will eventually. I just need to save up enough money for them to."

"What do you mean?" Louis places the photo back, another catching his eye; it's a photo of Ben, the man Harry was with today, and it was taken on his wedding day, so it seems to Louis... Harry's standing next to him while Ben's bride is on the other side.

"I told my mum and Gemma that I'd save up enough for them to rent a place for a while," Harry starts, "and that I'd help her find a job here. I've saved up a good bit... won't be long until they can move."

Louis picks up the photograph, staring at Harry next to Ben, "were you the best man or something?"

Harry looks back at the photograph Louis is holding, "yeah, I was... he asked me to be."

Louis nods slowly and sits it down. "Is he..."

"He's married, yeah," Harry interrupts, though he knows that's not what Louis was going to ask. "Bring that over here and quit keeping it for yourself."

Louis glances back at the joint in his hand before he's walking to Harry's side. Harry smiles up at him and takes it from Louis' hand slowly.

"You have a pretty nice view," Louis softly says as he's glancing out at the busy streets, the buildings, and the cloudy skies overhead.

"Come here," Harry motions as he's stepping out onto the fire escape.

Louis grins a little and crawls out the window to stand next to Harry; he looks up at the floor above Harry's, then back down at all the other floors.

"This is brilliant," Louis smiles.

"This is where I write most of the time," Harry states, pushing his hair back, "even on cold days like today... I'll bundle up and sit out here and just write."

"You're an amazing writer," Louis tells him as he's staring at him, "really... I was blown away by the play."

Harry smiles, his dimples deepening, "thank you. Didn't expect me to be that good or something?"

"What? No," Louis laughs, "I figured you were pretty talented... but the way you incorporate things... a forbidden lifestyle, for example..."

"It's only forbidden by those who won't allow themselves to open up to the idea," Harry is quick to correct in a serious tone. "It's natural, Lou... just like kissing a girl comes naturally to some, so does kissing a guy."

Louis closes his mouth, knowing he agrees with Harry 100%; he wishes the world thought like Harry did... like he himself did.

"It's easy for someone who's set in their ways to see it as an abomination, I suppose," Harry shrugs, "but... to those of us who have always felt like it was natural... it truly is."

"I understand," Louis nods and says quietly.

"Do you?" Harry asks, no sarcasm in his voice.

Louis stares back at him, "I wouldn't expect you to understand this... but... I've always thought that there was more to life than what I've been given. Not that I'm ungrateful for what my father has given me..."

"What has he given you?" Harry asks seriously, "you've got the world, but at what price?"

Louis stands silent again. He slowly sits down on the steps of the fire escape while Harry's giving the joint to him.

"What did you have to give up for what he has given you?" Harry asks in a more soft tone.

"Everything," Louis replies, barely getting the words out, "everything I've ever wanted for myself."

"So," Harry starts, running his tongue across his bottom lip before he's stating, "you've always felt different."

"I... I'm not completely sure," Louis begins, "but, yeah... I just... I've questioned it. But who I am... who he expects me to be..."

"Why do you strive to please someone who won't allow you to be your own man?" Harry interrupts again as he's staring at Louis, "why do you try to please him when all he wants for you is to be just like him? Not having your own thoughts and ways, but his... how can you even want to please someone like that?"

"Because he's all I've ever had," Louis responds and glances back at Harry. "And... after my mum died, I just... I tried to be who we wanted me to be... I didn't want to let him down."

"How can you ever be happy when you're trying so hard to be someone you're not," Harry whispers out, knowing these words cut deep into Louis... but also knowing that Louis needs to hear them; if no one else will tell him, Harry will.

"Maybe it's not about me being happy," Louis mumbles out and stares off at the passing cars, "we all can't be as free as you, Harold."

"Freedom can be anyone's," Harry speaks softly, leaning closer to Louis, "no one should force someone to be something they're not... especially when that individual is 24 years old."

"Really?" Louis looks up at Harry, "in this city? You said it yourself... everyone knows the name Tomlinson now... everyone expects this and that of me..."

"To hell with what they expect," Harry almost exclaims, "is that what this is about? Society? You're afraid of being shunned by this fucked up world?"

"I didn't say that...," Louis snaps.

"You might as well have," Harry shrugs and leans back again. He shakes his head and pushes his hair back before he's crawling inside the window.

Louis lets out a deep breath and follows Harry inside, seeing him sitting on his bed lighting a cigarette slowly.

"I'd love to be like this," Louis starts in a sharp tone, causing Harry's eyes to look back at him, "I'd love nothing more than to have the freedom you have... do whatever the fuck I want, when I want..."

"Who's stopping you?" Harry asks, his eyes narrowing, "who? You don't want society to know, then don't let them know... hell, I choose to keep it a secret as well because I don't want to cause trouble for people..."

"People like who? Married men?" Louis abruptly asks, seeing Harry's face change completely.

"Yeah... married men and people just like you," Harry is quick to respond, his tone harsh. "People who want so desperately to be a part of the world I openly embrace... yet, they're too fucking concerned with what others expect of them... what the world thinks of them."

Louis stares at him for a long pause before he's leaving the bedroom, picking up his coat from the sofa.

Harry stands up and follows him to the door of the apartment, knowing how angry Louis is now.

"I... I don't know what to say to you," Louis finally speaks up as he faces Harry, "and what's fucking mad about this is the fact that... I shouldn't have to sit here and explain shit to you. It's not like we have anything in common... and it's not like you give a fuck about me... how could you? You barely know me, Harold. Besides... you got what you wanted last night, anyways, right?"

"What?" Harry asks confused, "what the fuck are you talking about?"

"You fucking know what I'm talking about," Louis raises his voice, "you got me... wasn't that your goal? Isn't that your goal? To break someone loose and introduce them to your intriguing world, just to show them what they're missing out on?"

Harry's eyes don't break from Louis' now. He remains calm as he crosses his arms.

"You think I used you?" Harry manages to whisper out, "really? You think that... that I did that for my own satisfaction?"

"Didn't you?" Louis asks, his voice softer.

"You can't stand here and look me in the eye and tell me you didn't want me just as badly as I wanted you," Harry speaks, his voice deep as he's staring at Louis, "you knew what you were doing... you can't say I used you when you decided on your own to make a move on me, too. I didn't ask for you to... and I sure as hell didn't expect it of you."

Louis wants so badly to place his hand on the doorknob and open the door... but he can't. He's frozen as he stares in Harry's eyes and knows Harry is right again.

"If you want to act like I used you... like I pressured you into it," Harry starts but quickly stops, shaking his head, "I... I'm not doing this."

Harry turns his back to Louis, running his hand through his hair and sighing out loud.


"Look," Harry turns back to him, his tone harsh once more, "I may embrace this lifestyle, but I have never... NEVER pressured someone into it... in fact, I have men who beg me to have sex with them... why would I need to pressure them into it?"

Louis bites his lip and looks away, "I'm... I'm sorry. I never should've said that."

Harry tries to nod before he's pushing his hair back, "why don't you just go... it's obvious you don't wanna be here..."

"I do want to be here," Louis speaks up, before his voice breaks, "more than I even should..."

Harry looks back at him, and he sees nothing but honesty in Louis' eyes now.

"I'm sorry," Louis says again, "I have a bad temper, I know... that's something else my father tried to break me out of..."

"Your temper?" Harry asks, "or you placing the blame on others instead of yourself?"

Louis closes his mouth, realizing how much he sounds like his father... always blaming someone else but never himself.

"Jesus," Louis mumbles out, "I am turning into him."

"You're not," Harry says softly.

"No, God dammit," Louis speaks up as he's staring at Harry, "I am... I'm sitting here blaming you for what happened last night when I was fully aware of the fact that it might happen... and that I really wanted it to happen..."

Harry slowly reaches for Louis' coat, taking it and placing it on the table next to the door before he's looking back at Louis.

"See... you're not turning into him," Harry whispers, "you still have the ability to think for yourself."

Louis swallows hard and glances back at Harry.

"Lou, I'm not... I'm not asking you to change," Harry begins slowly, "I have no right asking that of you. I don't know everything about you... I'd like to, of course... but..."

Harry places his hands on Louis' shoulders as he's staring in his blue eyes.

"I fully get that you want to make your dad proud of you," he whispers, "I don't see why you want to, but... that's just me. And... if you wanna walk away now and pretend like this didn't happen, it's fine..."

Louis licks his lips and stares back at the beautiful face in front of him.

"... If you want to keep pretending for society, it's fine," Harry manages to get out, "but... if you know deep down that you want this... that you want me... it's fine, too. I don't mind playing the part..."

"You seem to be very good at it," Louis points out in a quiet tone.

"I am," Harry nods before he's biting his lip, "just... don't walk out of here unsure of what you want... because... I don't mind being a secret... something only you and I know. I don't."

Louis slowly places his hand on Harry's waist, guiding it around to his back before he's pulling Harry close to him and staring from his eyes to his lips.

"I'd rather have you as a secret than not have you at all," Louis manages to whisper out against Harry's lips before he's slowly leaning up and kissing him, using both hands to pull Harry closer.

Harry only responds by placing his hands on Louis' face, cupping his cheeks as their kiss deepens and Louis is falling back against the door.

Their tongues meet again and Louis is instantly moaning at the sensation; he's never kissed anyone quite like this... and neither has Harry.

Harry uses his hands to pull Louis in by his hips, both of them feeling the friction between them. And Harry wants so desperately to show Louis so many things... so many pleasurable things.

Harry is pulling at Louis' collared shirt, unbuttoning it as fast as possible as they're kissing; Louis is running his hands up under Harry's long sleeved top and feeling the muscles in his back for the first time.

"Come to my room," Harry demands, taking Louis' hand in his.

Louis nods in agreement before they're both walking into the bedroom... and Harry is wasting no time again; he's undoing Louis' pants quickly before he's pulling off his own shirt.

"You sure this is what you what?" Harry decides to ask him again, "I don't ever want to pressure you into something you don't..."

"Shut up, Harry," Louis interrupts and crushes his lips against Harry's once more, his fingers running down Harry's bare chest.

Harry gently kisses Louis' jawline and down his neck as Louis is almost moaning while he's feeling of Harry's muscular chest and stomach, "God, your skin..."

Harry smiles a little before he's kissing and sucking on the side of Louis' neck, his hands pulling at Louis' pants.

Louis pulls them off quickly while Harry's taking off his own.

"Do you trust me?" Harry whispers, staring at Louis.

"Yeah... yes," Louis stutters out when he sees the look on Harry's face; he has no clue what he's about to get himself into... but from the look on Harry's face, he's sure it's something spectacular.

"Are you sure?" Harry asks one more time.

"I trust you, Harry," Louis nods and slowly touches Harry's face gently.

Harry licks his lips before he's commanding quietly, "lay down."

Louis glances at the messy bed behind them; he's nervous as hell, but he's also intrigued and eager to do whatever it is that Harry wants.

He watches Harry pulling petroleum jelly from the drawer by the bed and Louis' eyes widen some.

Harry makes his way onto the bed, straddling Louis and kissing him again, Louis pulling Harry down closer by gripping his hair.

Harry bites Louis' bottom lip before he's crashing their lips together again, their legs entangling with one another's and their hands all over each other's body.

When Harry stops, he's sitting up some, taking the lid off the jelly before he's glaring back at Louis.

"I don't want to hurt you," Harry whispers out, "so, if I do, please tell me."

Louis' breathing is heavy as he nods a little and watches Harry getting between his legs... and realization hits Louis all at once... Harry's going to fuck him.

He stares at Harry dipping 2 fingers into the jar and covering them completely. Then, he's bracing himself for what Harry's about to do.

Harry is so gentle with him though, and it makes Louis relax as Harry's fingers are running over his opening slowly.


 (Creep - Radiohead)


Harry stares up at Louis, beginning to enter his 2 fingers into him; he feels Louis flinch immediately and he's telling him, "don't tense up... relax. It's easier if you relax."

Louis tries to nod, his head back in Harry's pillow as he's staring up at the ceiling.

Harry goes in a bit further, still keeping his eyes on Louis' face for any sign that tells him Louis is in pain, or not enjoying this.

But, surprisingly, Harry buries his 2 fingers in Louis' ass as far as they can go and Louis is completely relaxed around his fingers now.

"That's better, isn't it?" Harry asks in a tone that makes Louis want to come.

"Yeah... yeah, it is," Louis breathes out slowly, feeling Harry's fingers moving slowly around inside of him.

And once again, Louis has fallen into Harry's world, a world of nothing but pure bliss and ecstasy... he doesn't feel pain... he's numb to anything that doesn't consist of Harry and his touch.

Louis spreads his legs further apart and nearly whimpers as Harry is beginning to fuck him slowly with his fingers.

Harry leans up, meeting Louis' lips again and Louis is instantly moaning into his mouth as his body is overtaken with how incredible it feels to have Harry doing this to him.

"It's not so bad, see," Harry whispers out before he's running his lips down Louis' collarbone and then his chest.

Harry speeds up some and Louis lets a few small whimpers come out this time, only encouraging Harry more.

Harry leans back up to his ear, "can I fuck you?"

Louis' breathing picks up once more as he moans out, "yes."

Harry kisses the side of his neck gently before he's removing his fingers slowly and sitting up some.

"Does... does it hurt?" Louis hesitates to ask while he's watching Harry put the jelly on the tip of his cock.

Harry glances back at him, "it will... for a short period of time... it gets better, I swear on my life."

Louis bites his lip and nods before he's leaning his head back again into the pillow, preparing himself for all 9 inches of Harry.

Harry picks up Louis' hips, then uses his hand to begin slipping his cock into Louis slowly, watching Louis' face closely.

He's only a couple inches in when he feels Louis tighten around him again.

"Relax," Harry whispers to him, "just... relax."

Louis nods, panting out loud.

Harry goes in further, Louis biting his lip and closing his eyes.

It's an overwhelming sensation; it feels like fire at first for Louis... but once Harry has made it completely in him, the feeling of fire disappears and he suddenly wants to scream... not out of pain, but pure pleasure.

Harry keeps his eyes on Louis' face, making sure he isn't hurting as he begins to thrust gently into him.

"You ok?" Harry asks in a soft voice.

"I'm perfect," Louis moans out, "Jesus Christ."

"Want me to go harder?" Harry asks, his voice deep.

Louis nods quickly as Harry is picking up Louis' hips and pulling him into him, causing Louis to whimper so loudly.

"God, you feel amazing," Harry's moaning out and closing his eyes as he's fucking Louis a little faster.

"Shit," Louis whimpers above him.

Harry leans down, wrapping Louis' legs around his waist before he's biting the side of Louis' neck and continuing his hard thrusts into him.

Louis' fingernails dig into Harry's back with each thrust, his moans and whimpers growing louder.

"You feel so good," Harry is saying, his voice deep and raspy against Louis' neck, "have you ever felt anything like this before?"

"No... no," Louis stutters out before he's whimpering louder as Harry's fucking him so hard the bed is moving back and forth with every motion. "Jesus, Harry... fuck..."

"Do you like it?" Harry whispers in Louis' ear, "tell me you do..."

"I do," Louis moans out, throwing his head back into the pillow.

"Tell me how much you like it," Harry demands, his teeth biting into Louis' neck as he's fucking him. Harry's fingernails dig into Louis' hips as he's saying once more, "tell me, Lou."

"I like it... fuck... I love it," Louis gets out through loud whimpers, "holy shit..."

Harry's gripping Louis' thighs, then running his hands down the sides of them rather roughly.

"Tell me something," Louis gets out, his breathing heavy.

Harry doesn't say anything; he continues fucking Louis into the mattress as his lips are guiding over his neck.

"Did you fuck someone in this bed before I got here?" Louis boldly asks before he's whimpering out loud again.

Harry leans up to Louis' ear before replying seductively, "no... they fucked me."

And with those words, Harry's driving into Louis' even harder, making Louis scream and throw his head back again... and that's exactly what Harry wanted.

"So nice and tight," Harry nearly moans against Louis' neck.

Louis squeezes his eyes shut, his whole body feeling as if it's on fire and ready to burst into flames. He wants to come so badly.

Harry knows this; he looks up at Louis and tells him, "don't worry... I'll take care of you, too... you wanna come, don't you?"

Louis can't help but nod quickly, his whimpers feeling the entire room.

"I'll make you come," Harry slowly says against Louis' ear, making the hairs stand on Louis' neck, "I'll make you come so hard that every time you come after this, you'll think of me."

Louis can't even reply to Harry... he only digs his fingernails into Harry's back deeper and throws his head back again, wanting to scream loudly.

Harry grips Louis' thighs even tighter before he's moaning into Louis' neck and then biting down, feeling himself on the verge of coming.

And as he does, he fucks Louis as hard and as fast as he can, hearing the echoes of Louis' helpless whimpers echo off his bedroom walls.

"Fuck," Harry breathes out, his thrusts finally slowing as his forehead rests on Louis' collarbone.

Louis is panting so fast under him, wondering what the hell just happened... but how incredible it felt. He's never felt something so amazingly euphoric.

Harry gets up slowly, picking up a shirt and cleaning himself off as he stares at Louis, "your turn now."

Louis is still breathing quickly, his whole body covered in sweat while Harry's grabbing the jar again.

"What... what are you doing?" Louis hesitantly asks, watching Harry cover the top of his cock in the jelly.

"You said you were a virgin," Harry replies, his eyes glaring up at Louis, then down at Louis' cock, "I'm about to change that."

Louis licks his lips slowly, wanting to come just from Harry's fingers gently touching the head of his cock.

"You mean..."

"You just lay still," Harry interrupts before he's grinning cunningly at Louis. "I'll do the work... you just... enjoy the ride."

Louis feels his cock flinch and Harry's getting on his knees in no time, straddling Louis.

He gently grasps Louis, guiding his cock to his ass, slowly sitting down on every inch of him.

"Holy shit," Louis is nearly screaming out, completely losing it at the feel of being inside of Harry. How can this feel so good, he wonders.

Harry sits still for a moment, closing his eyes and leaning his head back as he's sighing out loud; and Louis can't help but watch him from the pillow.

He watches Harry begin to move on his cock, several loud moans escaping Harry's lips.

"Shit," Louis exclaims, his hands going to Harry's thighs and gripping them as Harry's moving up and down on him, "you feel absolutely amazing."

"Do I?" Harry questions and looks back at Louis before he's moving his hips in almost a circular pattern on Louis' cock. He moans out again, leaning his head back, "yes... fuck, yes."

"Faster," Louis finds himself saying as he's watching Harry closely.

"If you wish," Harry replies before he's going even faster on Louis.

"Oh, God," Louis moans and continues to stare at Harry riding him, "fuck... you're so damn good at this."

"I know," Harry almost whispers, speeding up on Louis as he's glancing back at him, "come for me..."

Louis knows he's almost there... that's all he wants right now. The feel of being inside of Harry is already enough... he just doesn't want it to be over yet.

But Harry insists as he's glaring at Louis and saying it again, "come for me... come on. You know you want to. You know you want to come all inside of me..."

Louis feels his release coming, Harry's words only making it that much easier for him.

Harry rides him harder, moaning loudly before he's saying, "come in me, Lou... fuck..."

And Louis is bucking his hips up within seconds, screams escaping his throat as he feels himself releasing into Harry as Harry's moving so quickly on top of him.

"Yes, yes," Harry throws his head back and nearly shouts.

Louis' fingernails dig into Harry's thighs, his moans filling the entire apartment now, and quite possibly the streets below.

Harry enjoys every last second of riding Louis, his eyes closed and his mouth open as he's breathing heavily and slowing down.

Louis slowly loosens his grip on Harry's thighs and sighs, leaning his head back into the pillow. He licks his lips and lays there completely still, relishing in what just took place.

"Congratulations," Harry speaks up through small pants. Louis opens his eyes and looks up at Harry as Harry is grinning, "you're no longer a virgin."

Louis can't help but laugh while Harry's smiling and climbing off of him slowly.

They lay in Harry's bed a few minutes later after changing his sheets; Louis has on his boxers as he's lying on his back and smoking a cigarette... while Harry is still completely naked beside him, lighting his own.

Louis watches Harry lighting the cigarette and throwing the lighter back on the end table before he's leaning against the headboard and blowing out the smoke slowly.

Louis is, once again, at a loss for words; he isn't sure how to talk about what just happened between them... he isn't even sure what he's feeling. He knows how much he enjoyed it... and how much he wants to do it all again. That he is positive of.

"So," Harry speaks up, breaking Louis' thoughts, "why haven't you ever, you know..."

"Uh," Louis almost snorts and hits his cigarette, "I... I grew up in a family where... it was wrong to do something until marriage."

Harry raises an eyebrow and looks back at Louis, "are you serious?"

"Believe it or not, Mr. Styles, most people live that way," Louis smirks, "the fucked up society you refer to so often... that's how they believe. They don't believe in being promiscuous."

"Promiscuous," Harry chuckles, running his tongue over his top teeth, "interesting word there."

"What would you call it?" Louis smiles.

"I'd call it sex," Harry shrugs, "because that's all that it is... and even sex itself is an art. It shouldn't be seen as something wrong to do until marriage... it's just 2 people fucking. Why does the world make it a big deal?"

Louis laughs some and hits his cigarette again, glancing out the open window. He's slowly pulling the covers of Harry's bed over himself while he blows out the smoke and sighs.

"How did you get such an outlook on life?" Louis thinks out loud.

Harry grins, "I don't know... maybe because I had a mum who accepted me like I was.... maybe because I am different than everyone else..."

"You are," Louis interjects and looks up at Harry above him, "you're like 1 in a million... really."

Harry's dimples show as he's smiling down at Louis, "I'll take that as a compliment, Mr. Tomlinson."

Louis grins and hits his cigarette again before he's speaking up, his voice cracking, "when... when did you first... you know..."

"I was 16," Harry replies and almost smirks, "why do you think my dad had me locked up?"

Louis bites his lip and stares off. "He found out, I assume."

"You assume correctly," Harry nods before he's lying down on his side and pulling the cover over himself. He props his head with his hand and stares at Louis, "didn't you ever want to do it with a girl?"

"Not... not really," Louis laughs a bit, "I never really dated... until my father set Alice and I up."

"Your father picked out your future wife?" Harry asks surprised, "shouldn't it be the other way around? Shouldn't her parents be picking for her? Isn't that what normal people do?"

"Yeah," Louis laughs again and gets quiet, "they did pick for her... they picked me. I mean, Alice and I met and I liked her as a friend... my dad just asked me why not just date her, see where it goes..."

"And you've been with her how long?" Harry asks quietly.

"Close to a year," Louis replies but wishes they'd talk about anything else other than her.

"And in all that time you never had sex with her?" Harry giggles, "wow."

"I was taught gentlemen don't do that," Louis mumbles out and rolls his eyes, "besides... she's very reserved. I mean, we've hardly kissed."

"And yet you're engaged to be married," Harry nods, "what if after marrying her you find out she's fucking horrible in bed? Then what?"

Louis almost bursts out laughing; he leans over and puts his cigarette out in Harry's ashtray before settling down again. "I... I've never really thought that much into it."

"Well, that would be terrible," Harry states, "Jesus... no wonder so many 'gentlemen' cheat..."

Louis turns back to him, hesitant to ask what's on his mind.

"How... how many do you know?"

Harry shrugs some, "well, I work with a few girls who have seen married men..."

"How many do YOU know?" Louis asks again, his eyes on Harry's.

Harry doesn't look away from him, "I only know one... like really know him... he's not the only married guy I've been with... probably won't be the last..."

"That doesn't bother you?" Louis finds himself asking, "the fact that they're married?"

Harry licks his lips and does his best to smile a little, "their marriages are none of my business... I'm just the guy who allows them to experience a whole other world, be it a few minutes or a few hours... I don't question them about their marital problems."

"What if they have a good marriage?" Louis asks, "that wouldn't bother you... that the wife of that man has no clue?"

"Are you trying to make me feel bad?" Harry questions, his tone serious again before he's sitting up and putting out the cigarette.

"No," Louis quickly replies, "I wasn't... at all. It was just a question... I'm sorry."

"Lou, most of the married guys I've seen, I've only seen once," Harry slowly begins, "they go to that bar we were at the other night..."

"And Ben?" Louis decides to speak up.

"He's different," Harry is quick to point out, "we've been best friends for years."

"How does he feel about you?" Louis decides to go even further.

"The same way I feel about him," Harry chuckles, "we meet, we fuck, we move on in life."

"I hardly call a bottle of champagne meeting and fucking," Louis points to the empty bottle.

Harry sits quiet for a moment before he turns to Louis and asks, "how do you know it was him?"

"I can put 2 and 2 together," Louis shrugs, "you were at the restaurant with him..."

"Doesn't mean it was him," Harry states quietly, "I could've had anyone here..."

"But the fact that you're acting as if it wasn't," Louis starts, "that's kind of revealing."

Harry closes his mouth and sits quiet again.

"Sorry... I shouldn't pry into your life," Louis speaks softly before he's sitting up and looking in the floor for his clothes.

Harry watches him before he's asking, "are you leaving?"

"Well, I don't... don't wanna waste your whole day, you know," Louis replies.

"You're not," Harry whispers out, Louis' eyes meeting his, "I don't mind if you stay here longer... I don't have any plans."

"You sure?" Louis smirks, "no one's gonna pop in unannounced?"

"No one does that except Nick," Harry replies and lays on his back, his hands resting above his head.

"Nick... the guy from the theatre," Louis says slowly.

Harry nods, "he comes here a lot... we share ideas for the play and all..."

"I'm sure that's not the only thing you share," Louis jokes and lays back down.

Harry grins a little, "yeah, well..."

Louis lays quiet beside him, his eyes closed; and Harry can't help but watch him out of the corner of his eye... he wonders what Louis thinks about everything that's happened between them... he wonders how he feels, even though Harry has never wondered that with anyone before.

"Did you enjoy yourself?" Harry finally speaks up after clearing his throat.

Louis' eyes open and he's turning his head to face Harry, "I... I did, yeah. It was... incredible... I don't know how else to explain it."

Harry smiles a little, "good. I'm glad it was to your liking."

"I'd have to be crazy to say it wasn't," Louis sighs out.

"Or straight," Harry quietly teases with a grin on his lips.

Louis chuckles a little, staring back at Harry, "yeah... I guess not being normal isn't such a bad thing after all... it seems to definitely have its perks."

"It does," Harry whispers, gliding his fingers gently and slowly through Louis' hair, causing Louis to close his eyes and sigh out in contentment.

Harry continues running his fingers through it, watching Louis lie still and his whole body relax at Harry's touch. Harry smiles to himself as Louis is turning on his side, his eyes still closed... he only wanted to get closer to Harry.

Harry scoots closer to him, taking his other hand and hesitantly putting it on Louis' waist while his fingers are still gliding through his messy hair.

Harry swears he could stay like this for ages... just watching Louis next to him, feeling his soft skin and hair.

And Harry isn't too surprised when he hears Louis snoring lightly. He only scoots closer to him, kissing his forehead gently before settling down right next to him, wondering what it is about Louis Tomlinson that is making him feel certain things and question certain things about himself. How is it possible, Harry wonders, to develop real feelings for this man, when he's never developed feelings for any man in his life.

Why is Louis so different to him?

Chapter Text

Louis opens his eyes slowly, focusing again on Harry's room, though it's dark now. He sits up some, seeing the bed empty next to him and he wonders what time it is.

He glances at Harry's clock, seeing the hands pointing to 7:35, then he's looking back at the doorway, noticing Harry's kitchen light on.

The window is open, but surprisingly the room isn't freezing; if it had been open since he had fallen asleep, he would expect the room to be much colder.

The curtains are blowing with the breeze and he finally notices Harry sitting out on the fire escape, a cigarette between his lips and pen and paper in his hand.

Louis gets up slowly and stretches before he's walking to the window.

"Are you not cold?" He asks Harry quietly.

Harry glances up at him and smiles immediately, "hey, glad you woke up finally. And no... my coat is quite warm actually. Wanna join me?"

"Let me use the bathroom and find my clothes," Louis chuckles a little.

Harry nods with a smile as Louis disappears in the window; Harry turns back to his paper, trying to write down his thoughts.

He sighs a little and hits the cigarette between his fingers before he's glancing up at the moon and stars that are only a bit visible because of the city lights.

He holds his cigarette between his fingers and starts writing again, his mind having a hard time focusing, though he isn't sure why.

He sits the pen on the paper atop his knees before he's pushing his hair back again and placing the cigarette to his lips.

He watches several people in the apartments around him returning home from work; he notices Mr. Smith returning from his long day at one of the factories on the outskirts; he sees Mrs. Johnson returning home from the hospital to her 2 children... and he smiles a little, wishing with all his heart that his mum was here in the city with him.

He misses her and his sister more and more every day; his mum had always been the one to push him to believe in himself when he was younger, even if that meant going against what the majority thought was right.

He even recalls his mum telling him she accepted him as he was, but that she wished he could be himself without having to feel as if he had to hide it from the world around him... or be criticized for it.

"You ok?" He hears Louis saying as he's climbing out the window fully clothed with one of Harry's coats on.

Harry grins as he looks Louis over in it, "seems a bit too big for you, tiny."

"Tiny?" Louis smirks, "give me a break... I'm big."

"Yeah, keep telling yourself that," Harry laughs some and hits his cigarette one last time. "How'd you sleep?"

"I slept great," Louis smiles and looks around at the skies, "surprised I slept that long actually... but then again, I didn't get much sleep last night."

"Yeah, me neither," Harry says with a small grin before he's sighing and looking back at the paper.

"What exactly are you doing?" Louis asks softly.

"Writing," Harry responds, "I seem to be suffering from writer's block, however."

Louis grins and picks up Harry's cigarettes, lighting one slowly. "You could've woken me and told me to get out, you know."

"I wouldn't do that," Harry laughs and glances up at him, "I didn't mind. I fell asleep for a little bit as well. I needed it."

"I bet... you seem like quite a busy lad," Louis teases.

"Oh, shut it," Harry smirks, "besides, that's the good thing about being young, isn't it?"

"I suppose so, yeah," Louis laughs and stands next to the steps, his eyes off on the city lights in the distance. "I don't have any experience in that area, though, remember?"

"Yeah, you're quite the sheltered 24 year old," Harry grins at him, "I've never met anyone so... innocent."

"Innocent," Louis nods and smiles a little, "odd word to use."

"Well, it's true," Harry shrugs, "you are innocent... or you were... then, I came along and painted a big red A on your bright white clothes, staining you so you could never become an angel again."

Louis licks his lips and does his best not to snicker, "have you been smoking that shit?"

"I have," Harry nods, "can you tell?"

Louis smirks and Harry only smiles and glances back down at his paper.

"I suppose I should get going," Louis sighs, "I need food... and I have to go see my father tomorrow... as a matter of fact, he invited you to dinner with us and Mr. Jones."

"Did he?" Harry raises an eyebrow, "uh, that was... nice of him."

"Would you want to?" Louis asks quietly, "I don't want to go but... I told him I would and I told him I'd ask you and see if you had plans."

"Sure, I'll go," Harry shrugs.

"You sure?"

"Yeah, why not," Harry replies, "I promise, I can behave."

Louis laughs, "I'm sure you can... or else you wouldn't be on Broadway and all the other surrounding theatres."

"Yeah, Mr. Jones hasn't a clue about me," Harry smiles, "none of them do, unless they know me, like the people in my plays."

"Do you always use the same people?" Louis asks.

"I do, yeah," Harry nods, "there's only a handful of them that I'd trust with the job."

"Makes sense,"'Louis nods and says softly, "well, I'm starving... I suppose I'll go."

"Would you like to go get something to eat?" Harry asks and looks at Louis next to him, "I know a great diner down the road... it's not fancy in the least bit... but they have amazing food and cheap cokes."

Louis smiles, "are you sure? I don't want to get in the way of any plans you might have..."

"Lou, I don't have plans tonight," Harry tells him with a small grin, "so, if you wanna go, let's go. Perhaps we can even buy a bottle of liquor from the store and go to Central Park."

Louis chuckles, "that'd be a first for me... I've been to Central Park dozens of times, but never drank there."

"A lot of people do it," Harry shrugs, "especially at night."

"Alright, Mr. Styles...," Louis begins as he licks his lips before smiling, "let's go then... but I'm buying tonight."

"You don't have to," Harry smiles before he's standing slowly.

"My treat," Louis grins, "it's the least I can do."

"What do you mean?" Harry asks with a laugh before he's crawling back inside and sitting his paper and pen down on the nightstand.

"Well, for earlier," Louis shrugs after he's climbed in the window, "my way of saying thanks, I guess."

Harry's face grows serious as he's biting his lip and slipping on his shoes. "You owe me nothing for that. I enjoyed it just as much as you."

"I know," Louis nods, "just seems polite to take you out to dinner now, though... to show my gratitude."

Harry picks up his cigarettes and places them in his pocket as he's looking back at Louis, "you don't have to pay for my meal to show your gratitude, Lou."

Louis notices Harry's tone, his sudden change in behavior, and he's soon saying out quietly, "I'm... I'm sorry. I was only joking really... you bought my drinks the other night... I just thought I'd return the favor. I was kidding about the other part."

"It's fine," Harry smiles a little and closes his window slowly, "sorry... I... I take things wrong sometimes."

"Well, to be honest," Louis starts, though he isn't sure he wants to say it, "someone like you could make a killing doing what you did with me earlier... and I don't mean that disrespectful at all, I swear..."

Harry turns back to him, his face still serious. "What would you think of someone like that? Someone who sleeps with others for money? Really... what would you think of them?"

Louis closes his mouth for a moment, wondering if he should take this as a confession from Harry that he does, in fact, make money off of having sex with men.

"I... I wouldn't think badly of them," Louis states quietly, "sex itself is an art form... didn't you say that?"

"I did," Harry nods, "and it is... it's a whole other world... there's endless possibilities when it comes to sex."

"I suppose so," Louis says before asking, "do you ever sleep with girls?"

"I told you," Harry starts with a smile, "I'm the definition of the world's interpretation of abomination, Lou... meaning I've never been attracted to a woman, nor have I ever slept with one. I have no desire to. Never will."

"I'm not so sure I will, either," Louis admits before biting his lip; he knows that's a huge confession to make, but he feels comfortable making this confession to Harry for some reason.

Harry nods before he's saying quietly, "I kinda already guessed that."

Louis smiles while Harry's busy picking up his wallet. His phone rings suddenly and he's hurrying over to answer it.

Louis places his hands in the pocket of Harry's coat, grinning a little at how big it is on him.

"Hey," he hears Harry saying, his face serious again, "uh, I have company..."

Louis slowly walks out of the room, giving Harry his privacy; he doesn't go too far, however. He pretends to look at art pieces on the living room walls while still listening to Harry's conversation.

"Ben, I can't tonight," he hears Harry saying lowly as if he doesn't want Louis to hear... and Louis is sure that he doesn't.

"You spent all this morning with me," he hears Harry laughing a little before he's quiet for several moments. "Yeah, I get that... but you don't want her waking in the middle of the night to you not there... she trusts me right now, so don't jeopardize that for a few hours with me... besides, I'm going out..."

Louis pulls out his cigarettes again and slowly lights one, questioning every aspect of Harry and Ben's 'friendship' now.

"I'm not telling you where I'm going," Harry chuckles again, "I'm with someone, alright? We're going to have dinner and spend some time just riding around..."

Louis hits his cigarette slowly, leaning against the wall next to Harry's room and sighing.

"No, he's a friend of mine," Harry replies, "he's a really good friend. Look, we can get together tomorrow sometime, maybe in the morning... just make up some excuse to get out of the house, you're good at that..."

Louis bites his lip and walks off to the window, glancing down the half empty streets below.

"Ok, talk to you tomorrow," he hears Harry saying again, "yeah, just come when you feel like it... alright... bye."

Louis pretends to be looking out of the curtains when Harry is walking out of his room.

"Ready?" Louis forces a smile.

"Yep," Harry grins and turns off his lights, leaving only the small lamp on in the living room. "I'm pretty hungry myself... damn joint."

"Hope you brought more," Louis teases as they're walking to Harry's door.

"Of course," Harry pats his coat pocket and gives Louis a wink, "we can smoke it on the way to the diner... that way you're really good and hungry."

"Alright, sounds like a plan," Louis laughs and follows Harry out, pushing his thoughts away now... he won't let them ruin this night.

They walk down the sidewalk slowly, passing the joint back and forth while looking out for any cops in the vicinity.

"Tell me something," Louis begins, his mind gone again from the joint in his hand.

"Ok," Harry replies as he's glancing off in the distance.

"How'd you meet... Ben?" Louis dares to ask... he knows if he wasn't high as a kite right now he would never ask Harry this.

Harry takes the joint from Louis' fingers, taking a long hit from it before he's breathing it out slowly. "We met a couple years ago... uh, I was introduced to him by a friend of mine who creates art pieces for a living... Ben had come to one of the shows at the Imperial Theatre... needless to say, we've been friends since."

"You make friends so easily it seems," Louis smirks at him.

"I do, I guess," Harry laughs and shrugs, "I'm... I'm usually an open book... it just takes the right person to read me... and open me. Otherwise, the book stays closed."

"I guess I was fortunate enough to open you," Louis smiles and stares down at the concrete under his feet as they walk.

"Yeah," Harry glances back, "you were,"

"Was he engaged when you met?"

"Uh, no... he had been seeing her a while though," Harry answers, "she's amazing. As soon as Ben and I hit it off, she started treating me like her little brother, although she's 29 herself."

Louis chuckles before asking, "and Ben? How old is he?"

"He's 37 this year,” Harry replies quietly.

"So, he was what, 34 when you met? And you were 20?" Louis asks while Harry's passing the joint back.

Harry leans his head up and blows out the smoke before he's replying simply, "yep."

"That's quite the age gap there," Louis snorts.

"Yeah, well... age is only a number, I suppose," Harry mumbles out, "especially when sex is involved... there's no age, no gender... just 2 souls, 2 bodies getting lost in an entirely different world."

"That's a clever way of putting it, I suppose," Louis agrees before he's taking a hit again and glancing around the quiet streets, only several cars on the roads now.

"Think of it like this: when you begin any kind of sexual act, think about how the world around you ceases to exist," Harry begins to explain, his voice deep as he's burying his hands in his pockets, "you're not thinking about society, or how it's supposed to be wrong... your mind, in that moment, is only focused on the other individual... you're only focused on the pleasure, the incredible sense of being in a whole different world. Nothing else matters. Thoughts of anyone else in your life cease during those moments..."

Louis bites his lip, keeping his eyes on the ground and thinking how true Harry's statement is, even for himself. He wasn't thinking of his father, or Alice when having sex with Harry... his mind was only focused on Harry.

"That's why it's such an art form," Harry continues, "you have the power in your hands to make the world around you cease to exist, for a few minutes or for a few hours. Nothing else around you matters... what other people think, what other people expect of you... none of it matters when you're in the middle of having sex. That's the beauty of it; it's almost as if it's an escape from reality itself."

"It is," Louis speaks up, "it is an escape from the reality around you... it's an incredible escape."

"It is that," Harry smiles a little before they're coming to the end of the street. Harry leads the way, rounding the corner and pointing to the diner not too far away from them. "This is where I go a lot of times... especially when I'm trying to write at night and can't."

"Do you ever cook?" Louis asks with a small grin.

"Yeah," Harry chuckles, "of course. I don't spend all my money going out to diners and restaurants."

"I'm guessing you don't pay for yourself in restaurants a lot of times," Louis decides to say, though he's hoping he won't offend Harry by saying it.

Harry glances back at him, "depends on who I'm with."

Louis almost breathes a sigh of relief when he sees a small grin come across Harry's face; maybe Harry isn't scared of being truthful with him, Louis isn't quite sure yet.

They walk in the diner and take a seat in a booth towards the back before the waitress is getting their order.

They sit quiet while they wait on their food; Harry's smoking a cigarette and glancing out the window, but Louis is staring at him, wondering the secrets that lie behind those beautiful emerald eyes.


 (Moonlight Serenade - Glenn Miller & his Orchestra)


"I have a question," Louis begins, causing Harry to look back at him, "uh, Liam, my friend you met this morning... he's getting married and... I was hoping that you might accompany me to their wedding."

Harry's lips curl into a grin, "me? You want me to go with you to a wedding?"

"Well, yeah, if you can," Louis mumbles out and stirs his coca-cola with the straw, "you don't have to... just thought it'd be nice to have you there... it wouldn't seem as dull and boring."

Harry smiles even more, "that's flattering, Mr. Tomlinson."

Louis grins as he's staring down at his drink.

"Uh, what day?" Harry asks before he's taking a drink of his own coke.

"Next weekend," Louis replies and glances up at Harry, "if you already have plans, it's fine... just thought I'd ask you."

"I shouldn't have plans," Harry replies, "pretty sure I'm not doing a show next weekend... I am next Friday night, but not Saturday..."

"It's on Saturday," Louis nods, "starts at 2, I believe."

"And your father will be there, I assume?" Harry asks and sits back in the booth.

"Yeah," Louis mumbles again, "unfortunately. He's good friends with Liam's parents... I mean, I'm sure you could tell when you met Liam that he's well off."

"I could tell, yeah," Harry nods and takes a hit of his cigarette, "well, suppose I should be on my best behavior for your sake."

Louis can't help but laugh a little as he stares back at Harry. "You're great at pretending, right?"

"If there was a college course for impersonating, I'd have an A," Harry replies with a wink and a beautiful smile.

"I'm sure you would," Louis laughs again before the waitress is sitting down their plates.

"Thank you," Harry smiles at her and sits up some. He takes a bite of his hamburger before glancing back at Louis, "so, dinner tomorrow night... how should I dress?"

"I'd imagine quite formal," Louis smiles.

Harry nods, "any idea where we're going?"

"I didn't ask... but I can tomorrow and let you know," Louis replies and picks up several fries.

"That'd be brilliant, yeah," Harry nods, "that way I can have a sense of how I should look and what to wear. I have several suits in my closet."

"I figured that," Louis says through a mouthful of fries.

"Did you?" Harry asks with a grin, "you haven't really seen me dressed up yet... what would make you assume I'd own something so extravagant?"

Louis shrugs, "you play the part... meaning, you'd own several nice suits if you were playing the part for someone..."

Harry chews slowly, his face turning serious as he's glancing down at his plate.

"Plus, you're an actor on Broadway," Louis goes on without noticing Harry's change of behavior, "I mean, you do go to dinner parties and such, I would assume?"

"I do, yeah," Harry nods, "Mr. Jones hosted one at his home not too long ago... that place is fucking huge. Got lost in it the first time I was there."

Louis snickers and picks up his coke.

"I did," Harry smiles at him, "it's like... it's one of the biggest houses I've ever been in. One would think you'd need a fucking map to get around the place."

Louis clears his throat some before saying, "he lives near my father."

Harry almost drops the fries in his hand as he looks back at Louis, "are you kidding?"

"No," Louis replies, "I wish I was."

"That... that huge mansion that's down the road from his house... that's your dad's?" Harry asks quietly.

"The one with the steel gates around it?" Louis asks and Harry immediately nods. "Yeah... that would be my dad's."

Harry drinks some of his coke before sitting it down and glancing at Louis, "holy shit... that place is massive."

Louis shrugs and continues to eat slowly, wishing he wouldn't have mentioned it now.

"Did you ever live there?" Harry decides to ask.

"Uh, when we first moved here, yeah," Louis nods, "I stayed for about 2 weeks... I looked at apartments a good bit while I attended university..."

"You're in college?" Harry asks in surprise.

"I... I sorta am, yeah," Louis replies and stares down at his plate, "I took a semester off, though my dad didn't want me to. And he's hounded me about it ever since."

Harry nods slowly as he's chewing.

"I don't... I don't really care for the school," Louis shrugs, "I don't care about going to college for business and all that shit. I want no part of it... but my scholarship is paid in full..."

"Shit," Harry whispers out, "that must be nice."

"Not really," Louis looks back at him, "I suppose if you're someone like Liam you would think so... but..."

"You're different," Harry finishes for him.

"Yeah," Louis nods slowly, "I don't want no part of it, honestly."

"Can't say I blame you," Harry whispers out, "I wouldn't like the thought of my father planning out my life, either. It's sad to say that you're not alone in that as well... there's so many in this city who are just like you... who have their parents' plan out their career choice and all that... and most of them are content with it because they don't know anything else but that... conforming."

"Yeah, and I suppose the ones who aren't content with it, end up like me?" Louis asks softly.

"No," Harry replies, "I mean, they all share one thing in common with you: they feel trapped in a life they never asked for... but not all of them are homosexuals, Lou."

Louis glances around the diner, hoping no one has heard Harry use that word, and thankfully, no one seems to have.

Harry smirks, "does it bother you if I use that term in public?"

"It doesn't bother me," Louis mumbles, "I just... don't want someone recognizing me and hearing what we're discussing... do you know how much trouble I'd be in?"

Harry licks his lips, then picks at the remaining fries on his plate. He smiles a little, "why don't we get out of here... go someplace where no one will recognize you and we can talk about anything we want?"

Louis finishes off his hamburger before nodding, "I'd like that very much."

When they finish at the diner, Harry allowing Louis to pay, they stop at the convenience store that's across the street before hailing a cab to Central Park.

When they finally arrive, Louis pays the driver and steps out with Harry, glancing around at how empty the place seems.

"There will probably be some people here," Harry tells him as he holds the brown bag of liquor, "but it's more likely that it'll be couples making out on the benches."

Louis chuckles some and follows Harry down the sidewalk.

They walk for several minutes, passing the bottle back and forth; Harry throws it down quickly while Louis drinks it much slower than him.

"So, what happens to the ones who conform, yet aren't truly straight?" Louis decides to ask as they walk out into the grass now.

"They end up married, in a life they never really wanted," Harry replies in almost a whisper as he's glancing up at the skies. "Then, they look for an escape from that life... and they usually find it in another man."

Louis bites his lip, watching Harry chug down the liquor before Harry's handing it to him.

Harry lights a cigarette slowly with Louis' lighter and sighs out the hit while Louis drinks down the liquor slowly.

"Is...," Louis starts, but isn't sure he wants to ask, "is that what happened to..."

"Ben?" Harry finishes for him, turning back and meeting the blue eyes that are staring at him, "yeah. It is... though he... he's always liked both women and men, I think. I'm not exactly sure."

"But he wasn't married until when?"

"Uh, he got married a year and a half ago," Harry replies, "he's an author, and a very well known author at that... so, in his eyes, he felt as if he had to conform as well... to be accepted by this society... or else, he wouldn't be the author he is today."

"How long has he been writing?" Louis decides to ask.

"Since he was in his 20s," Harry responds and walks out further into the grass, "he's from England as well... but he moved here years and years ago."

Louis bites his lip and drinks down more of the liquor.

"It's sad to see so many men who conform when they know themselves that they are different," Harry manages to whisper out as he's glancing off, "to feel like they have to conform because of society... it's fucked up to me... because I never have, I guess. And I get that acceptance of one's sexual orientation can be a hard struggle for some... but they're basically throwing away their lives just to make society around them happy."

Louis doesn't know what to say because Harry has just described him perfectly... how can he respond to that? He knows himself that he's different, that he has always felt different... yet, he is also trying to conform to a lifestyle that isn't for him.

Harry smiles a little and sighs, "anyways, enough doom and gloom talk..."

He begins walking again, Louis staying close by his side. They come to a tree and Harry's taking a seat up against it, leaning his head back as Louis is slowly sitting down next to him.

"I expected it to be much colder than this," Louis smirks.

"It's the liquor," Harry points to the bottle and smiles, "it'll keep you pretty warm out here... it's the only way to see Central Park at night in the winter time."

Louis grins and glances back up at the skies, seeing how cloudy it's becoming. "I guess it's going to snow again soon, too."

"That's what I've heard," Harry sighs out, "I like the snow... makes me think of home."

"Yeah, me too," Louis agrees and takes a drink of the liquor.

"Every time it snows here I always think back on the times when I was little, playing outside in it with my sister," Harry smiles, "not a care in the world then."

"Same for me," Louis grins as Harry takes the liquor. He buries his hands in Harry's coat pockets again, "I remember being about 9, catching snowflakes on my tongue... I remember all of Doncaster being covered in white. It was a marvelous sight."

"I bet it was," Harry looks back at him, "must've been nice growing up there... I grew up on the outskirts of London, but close to the city itself."

"So, you were a city boy?" Louis asks with a small grin.

"I was," Harry nods and glances back up at the skies, "guess I always have been."

"We lived on the outskirts of Doncaster," Louis speaks quietly, "we had a huge home right outside of town..."

"Sorta like what your dad has now?" Harry interrupts.

"Yeah," Louis replies lowly.

"What was your mum like?" Harry asks softly as he studies Louis next to him.

"She... she was amazing," Louis replies with a grin as he pulls out his cigarettes, "she was my best friend for a long time..."

Harry nods and lights Louis' cigarette for him.

"She was always there for me," Louis whispers out, "she believed in me, encouraged me to be who I wanted..."

"Did she know?" Harry asks, "that you weren't straight? Did she ever suspect it?"

Louis bites his lip before he's hitting the cigarette between his fingers, "I... I think she questioned it... she never asked me. I never wanted to date girls from school. I think she sort of picked up on it eventually and... yeah, I think that's why she told me to be who I wanted to be."

"So, you'll admit to me that you're different," Harry whispers and stares at Louis.

And Louis can't look away from those eyes... he wants to lean over and kiss those soft lips.

"Yeah," Louis replies and nods, "I'll admit it to you now... don't suppose I should keep saying I'm normal... not after today."

Harry grins a little, still glaring at Louis, watching Louis' eyes glance down his face. "Do you want to kiss me?"

Louis licks his lips slowly before replying, "I'd love to, yeah."

"Then, kiss me," Harry whispers, "do whatever you want... I won't stop you."

"I... I didn't know if it was appropriate," Louis starts, but stops himself and almost snorts, "Jesus Christ..."

"Yeah," Harry begins to laugh, "don't talk that way around me. Appropriate isn't in my vocabulary. If you want to kiss me..."

Harry leans closer to Louis, his lips only inches away.

"Then, kiss me," Harry whispers again as he stares in Louis' eyes, "don't be afraid to make a move on me."

Louis tries to nod, looking down at Harry's lips again. He leans forward some and slowly presses his lips against Harry's, sighing out in contentment immediately.

Their kiss is slow and gentle, and Louis is almost sure that Harry's allowing him to call the shots at the moment. So, he softly places his hand on the back of Harry's neck and pulls him in closer before running his fingers through his hair.

Harry only responds by scooting closer to Louis and placing his hand around his waist as their tongues intertwine once more.

There's so many things going through Louis' mind: how much he wants to be in bed with Harry again, how much he wants to touch every single inch of his gorgeous body.

Louis pulls away and stares at him before he's quietly asking, "do you wanna go back to my place?"

Harry's lips curl into a small grin as he plays with Louis' hair again, "sure, yeah, if that's what you really want."

"It is," Louis whispers, guiding his hand down to Harry's crotch before he's squeezing him through his pants, "and I'm guessing you want the same."

Harry smiles, "you're picking up on this nicely, Mr. Tomlinson. I'm impressed."

Louis smirks before he pulls Harry back in and crushes their lips together.

They get a taxi a few minutes later and head for Louis' apartment since it's closer than Harry's. They both sit in the backseat quietly, wishing they could just make out right here and now... but they both know they can't.

Upon arrival to his apartment building, Louis waves to the night guard once more before he and Harry are stepping onto the elevator, Mr. Wilson greeting them immediately and smiling at Harry.

And Louis can only wonder how this looks... Harry has been here 3 nights in a row. He only hopes Mr. Wilson, or the night guard, doesn't suspect something.

When Louis opens the door, Harry goes in first, making his way to Louis' room right away while Louis is closing the door and locking it.

He walks to his bedroom doorway, seeing Harry stripping out of his clothes by the bed, the only light in the room coming from the city lights outside.

"So, what do you have in mind, Lou?" Harry asks as he glances back at him, "anything in particular you might want?"

Louis bites his lip before he's walking over to Harry, looking up and down his entire body. He slowly places his hands on Harry's chest, guiding them down and feeling of his skin.

"Can I... just touch you?" Louis softly asks as he looks up at Harry.

Harry nods a little and speaks quietly, "sure... but take your clothes off first."

Louis starts undressing almost too eagerly while Harry's lying down in the bed after pulling the covers back. He lays still and waits for Louis to climb in with him.

Louis tosses his clothes away and sits down on the bed next to Harry before he's using his fingers again to gently glide down Harry's chest, his stomach, and pelvis... he just wants to feel all of him.

Harry places his hand on Louis' waist and watches Louis' fingers gliding along his pelvic bone before he's hesitating over Harry's cock.

"Go ahead," Harry whispers out, causing Louis to look at him, "touch it."

Louis licks his lips and slowly starts running his fingers down Harry's already erect cock, and Harry's sighing out in an instant.

Louis continues exploring, going down to Harry's balls next and gently grasping them, loving the way they feel in his hand.

Harry leans his head back into the pillow and almost moans out at Louis' touch. He bends his legs up and spreads them apart more, giving Louis a magnificent view of all of him.

Louis decides to take it a step further and wander down to Harry's ass, his fingers slowly going over the opening before he's pausing.

He glances back at Harry, "do you... shave?"

Harry smirks a little, "I do, yeah... it's a pretty common thing to do, actually."

"I... I didn't know that," Louis stutters out.

"There's a lot you don't know," Harry whispers out, his fingers softly guiding up and down Louis' lower back, "but... I'm willing to teach you all of it, if you want."

Louis feels himself flinch at Harry's words, knowing that's all he really wants... to be shown everything by Harry... to know how to do everything.

"Ok," Louis manages to say, "I'd love for you to."

Harry grins and places his hand over Louis', guiding his fingers up and down his opening, and Louis is getting more aroused by the second.

"Place your fingers inside me," Harry commands softly.

"I... I don't have that stuff..."

"You don't need it," Harry interrupts in a quiet voice, "I'll show you, ok?"

Louis nods and stares at Harry as he's spitting on 2 fingers and then slowly inserting them into himself.

And Louis swears he could come by watching Harry do this to himself... his own fingers going in and out of his ass while his eyes are closed and small moans are escaping his lips.

"It's that simple," Harry sighs out and looks back at Louis, "you can do it."

Louis nods and does exactly as Harry did... he spits on his 2 fingers before he's slowly going back to Harry's ass and beginning to insert them slowly into him.

"See," Harry sighs out, "it's not so hard, Lou."

Louis bites his lip, burying his fingers completely in Harry before he's beginning to move them in and out, amazed at how good it feels to be doing this to Harry.

"Yes," Harry moans, his fingernails gently digging into Louis' back, "go a little faster."

Louis does as Harry says and begins fucking him a little quicker, watching Harry's face closely and seeing how much Harry really enjoys this.

Harry places his hand around his cock and begins stroking it slowly, quiet moans still coming out of his mouth.

And Louis finds himself leaning down, kissing over Harry's chest slowly, then his nipples; he takes one into his mouth and gently nibbles on it as Harry's grasping his hair.

"You're doing well," Harry stutters out through moans.

Louis smiles a little and starts kissing over Harry's chest again, his fingers still moving quickly in and out of Harry.

"Do you want to fuck me?" Harry asks, his fingers gliding through Louis' hair.

Louis looks up at him to see Harry's eyes already on him, "I'd... I'd like to, yeah, but..."

"You do the same thing you did with your fingers," Harry tells him, "you're not going to hurt me, I promise."

Louis tries to nod as he's pulling his fingers out slowly.

"I'll show you the easiest way to do this, alright?" Harry whispers, not breaking eye contact with Louis.

"Ok," Louis replies.

Harry gets up and turns over on his hands and knees, spreading his legs apart before he's looking at Louis, "go ahead.... if you're completely comfortable with doing it..."

"I am," Louis quickly interrupts, "I'm just... a little..."

"Nervous?" Harry asks.

"Yeah," Louis manages to reply.

"It's easy, Lou," Harry assures him, "besides... technically, you've already fucked me... I just did the work."

Louis grins a little, feeling his nerves calm down some. He lets out a sigh before he's getting up and moving directly behind Harry.

"Just spit on your hand," Harry explains, "then, place it on your dick... it's that simple."

Louis stares at Harry's ass in front of him, noticing how cleanly shaved it is; he had already noticed that Harry shaved the front side the night he got the courage to give him a blow job... but he didn't expect that Harry shaved in every single place.


 (Take Off - Blue Lunar Monkey)


He slowly spits on his hand before he's placing it on his cock, wetting it some. Then, he's guiding it to Harry's opening, slowly pushing himself in.

Harry grips the sheets on the bed beneath him and moans out loud.

"Am I hurting you?" Louis asks.

"You're not hurting me," Harry reassures him, "you won't hurt me... just fuck me."

Louis bites his lip before he's pushing into Harry further, hearing Harry cry out.

When Louis has completely buried himself in Harry, he sits still for a few moments, his eyes closed as he gets lost in the feel of it. He can't describe this... even though he's never been with a woman, he's positive that even if he had, it wouldn't feel as good as Harry.

Louis places his hands on Harry's hips and begins fucking him slowly, wanting to moan so loudly at the sensation.

"Yes," Harry moans out beneath him, "fuck, yes..."

Louis goes a little faster, knowing he won't last long like this; Harry feels too damn good around his cock. He doesn't want to come yet, though. He wants to enjoy every single second of fucking Harry and pleasing Harry.

"Oh, fuck," Harry breathes out, his fingers gripping the sheets tighter, "faster, Lou... please."

Louis pulls Harry's hips into him and speeds up, fucking Harry with even more confidence now. Harry's enjoying it, and that's all that Louis needs to know.

"Yes, yes," Harry cries out, "oh, fuck me... fuck me hard."

Louis wants to come even more as he listens to Harry beg for it; this is a different side of Harry that he hasn't seen until now... and he absolutely loves it.

Harry's whimpers are growing louder as Louis perks up the courage to ask Harry, "want me to come in you?"

"Yes... God, yes," Harry replies before whimpering again, "come in me... please, Lou..."

Louis moans out loud finally, closing his eyes as he speeds up again and gets lost in Harry's cries and whimpers... he has Harry begging for it, and Louis wants to come at the realization of that.

"Fuck... come in me," Harry says again, his breathing heavy.

Louis' fingernails dig into Harry's hips as he feels his release; he places his hands on the front of Harry's thighs as he pounds into him as fast as he can, spilling every single drop into Harry's ass.

"Fuck... fuck," Louis moans out, squeezing his eyes closed and riding out the high of the moment as Harry continues to whimper under him.

He slows down, letting out a deep sigh as he opens his eyes again, feeling the rush wash over him.

Harry's breathing heavily under him, releasing the sheets from his grasp before he's saying, "that was amazing... well done, Mr. Tomlinson."

Louis smirks before he leans down and kisses Harry's back gently, "was my pleasure."

He pulls out of Harry, looking in the floor for his shirt.

Harry finds his own and uses it before he's staring at Louis, "is it my turn now?"

Louis throws the soiled shirt in the floor and glances back at Harry, "what do you have in mind?"

Harry gets on his knees on the bed, staring directly in Louis' eyes, "I want to fuck you again."

Louis nods a little, "ok."

"Are you ok with that?" Harry asks softly, pushing Louis' hair away from his face.

"I'm... I'm more than ok with it," Louis replies quietly.

"Good," Harry whispers before he leans in and kisses Louis, wrapping his arms around his waist and pulling him close. When he stops, he whispers, "get on the bed like I just was."

Louis nods slowly, climbing back onto his bed and getting down on his hands and knees. He glances back at Harry situating himself behind him, and he's hoping this doesn't hurt.

Harry looks up at him, knowing right away that Louis is anxious, "what is it?"

"I... I just... I was hoping that it wouldn't hurt this way," Louis manages to admit.

Harry spits on his fingers before he's slowly inserting them into Louis' ass gently, "does this hurt?"

Louis closes his eyes and sighs, "no... but that's not 9 inches..."

Harry leans up to Louis' ear before whispering, "don't worry... I'll go easy on you until you tell me otherwise."

The hairs on Louis' neck stand instantly, goosebumps running over his entire body, "ok..."

Harry smiles at him and gets back on his knees behind him, spitting on his hand and wetting his cock completely.

Louis grasps the sheets and gets ready for him, trying to remember to stay relaxed when Harry enters him.

Harry slowly presses into Louis' ass, going as slow as possible. He looks up at Louis, making sure he's ok before inching more into him. He doesn't feel Louis tense up at all.

Harry's all the way in when he's asking, "you ok?"

"I'm... I'm fine," Louis manages to stutter out.

"Need me to stay still for a minute?" Harry asks.

"No," Louis sighs out, "no... I'm good."

Harry begins moving his cock slowly in and out of Louis as he's wrapping his arms around him and leaning up to kiss over Louis' shoulders.

And Louis is instantly grasping Harry's hair behind him, small cries coming out.

"Does it feel ok?" Harry whispers.

"Feels amazing," Louis moans.

"Good," Harry says lowly before he's fucking Louis a little faster, causing Louis to whimper loudly.

Harry pushes him down on his stomach, using his hands to spread Louis' legs further apart while Louis is moaning into the pillow his face is now buried in.

Harry's lying completely on top of him now, fucking him rather fast as his hands are running up and down Louis' thigh.

"You feel so fucking amazing," Harry's whispering into Louis' ear, "you're so tight..."

Louis whimpers louder at Harry's words and Harry begins thrusting into him even harder, not even bothering to be gentle now.

But Louis doesn't mind one bit; he's enjoying every second of this... Harry on top of him, fucking him into the bed while his hands roam over his body... Louis could never get enough of this.

Harry bites down on his neck, gently sucking it and making Louis cry out.

"Tell me how good it feels," Harry's demanding in a deep voice before he's biting Louis' neck again.

"It feels so fucking good," Louis moans out.

"Tell me how much you love it, Lou," Harry demands again, his lips guiding over Louis' ear, "tell me..."

"I love it, Harry... I fucking love it," Louis whimpers.

Harry kisses down his neck again, his thrusts speeding up as he gently takes Louis' hands and pins them to the mattress.

"Do you want me to come in you?" Harry asks in a seductive tone, "do you want me to fill you with my cum?"

"Yes...," Louis stutters out loudly, "fuck, yes..."

"Then, say it," Harry demands, gripping Louis' fingers. "Say it to me, Lou."

"Come in me," Louis whimpers, "come in me, Harry."

Harry's grasp tightens around Louis' hands and he's fucking him even faster, his teeth biting down on Louis' shoulder and causing Louis to nearly scream.

Harry feels himself explode in Louis and he moans loudly before he's sinking his teeth into Louis' neck, riding out the remainder of his climax.

"Fuck," Harry sighs out as he slows down, resting his head against the back of Louis' neck and breathing heavily.

Louis breathes out a heavy sigh as Harry's getting up slowly, finding his shirt again.

Louis excuses himself to the bathroom to clean up while Harry's digging his cigarettes out of the pocket of his coat, lighting one with Louis' lighter again.

He lays against the headboard of Louis' bed, placing Louis' lighter on the nightstand beside him. His eyes wander around Louis' room again; he knows Louis will tell him he can stay the night again... and Harry knows he'll accept the offer. But he also knows he'll be gone again before Louis wakes.

He puts the cigarette between his lips before he's rummaging through Louis' nightstand drawer, finding some paper in it and a pen.

For some reason, he doesn't want to just leave in the morning without telling Louis something. So, he finds himself writing out a small note to him.

He places the pen and paper back in the drawer and folds up the note, then gets up and puts it in the pocket of his coat until the next morning.

He sits back down on the bed as Louis is entering the room. He gets in bed with Harry and sighs.

"You alright?" Harry smirks over at him.

"I'm fantastic, love," Louis replies as if it's natural to call Harry that now, "mind passing me the lighter there?"

Harry picks it up and hands it to Louis as he watches him.

"Did I hurt you?" Harry finds himself asking quietly.

"No," Louis replies with a smile after he's lit his cigarette, "you didn't."

"Good," Harry says softly and takes a hit of his cigarette again.

"Are you staying?" Louis asks, looking at Harry against the headboard.

"If you want me to," Harry replies, pointing to the ashtray on Louis' table.

Louis picks it up and places it on the bed between them, "I don't mind if you do... I know you have plans in the morning, so if you need to go..."

"I'll stay," Harry whispers and smiles at Louis before flicking his ashes, "I don't care to. Your bed is much comfier than my own."

Louis laughs a little and turns on his side, hitting his cigarette.

Harry sits quiet beside him, his eyes roaming around the room.

"I can call you tomorrow and let you know where we're going for dinner," Louis tells him, "if you really don't mind going."

"I don't," Harry says and glances at Louis, "your dad invited me... besides, he wanted us to be friends, right?"

Louis smirks and nods, "yeah... yeah, he did. Although, I'm not sure this is his definition of friendship."

Harry shrugs and smiles, "it's my definition of friendship."

Louis bites his lip as he stares at Harry, "have you ever... ever dated a guy?"

Harry doesn't look at him; he takes a long hit of his cigarette and blows it out before replying lowly, "no. I haven't."

"Why is that?" Louis decides to ask.

"Uh," Harry starts with a sigh, "I don't know really... I've never... never really thought much about 'dating'... it's just something I don't do."

Louis nods slowly, studying Harry's face closely, "have you not ever had feelings for anyone?"

"Feelings aren't the best thing to rely on," Harry answers, "I mean, they're just feelings."

"That's like saying, 'sex is just sex'," Louis speaks up.

"Sex is just sex," Harry chuckles and looks at Louis, "isn't it? Is there supposed to be more to it?"

"I suppose not... unless you love the person," Louis replies quietly.

"I'm not sure love even exists," Harry says lowly and glances at the cigarette between his fingers.

"Maybe it doesn't," Louis whispers, "I wouldn't know if it did, either to be honest."

Harry nods a little and puts the cigarette out in the ashtray before he's laying down in the bed, pulling the covers up around him and closing his eyes.

Louis takes another hit of his as he stares at Harry lying a few inches away, "what if I asked you on a date?"

Harry's eyes open and he glances back at Louis, "what?"

"What if I asked you to go out on a date with me?" Louis says again before he's biting his lip.

Harry tries to smile, "I'd be flattered, Lou... but... I don't think that's a good idea... and I don't mean that bad at all..."

Louis nods and glances down at the ashtray.

"You're... you're who you are... and I'm who I am," Harry whispers, "we are from 2 completely different worlds. Don't take me wrong, please... I'd be honored to go out with you... I just don't think it's the best thing to do, for either of us."

"Ok," Louis says softly and forces a smile, "forget I asked, alright?"

Harry stares at him before asking quietly, "why would you want to take out someone like me?"

"Because," Louis starts, his eyes falling back on Harry, "you're amazing, and interesting... and I'd be honored as well to take you out."

Harry nods a little and settles down into the pillow, "thanks... I appreciate that."

"It's like you wrote in your script," Louis starts, "everyone has secrets... and sometimes you choose the person who refuses to give up their secrets."

Harry stares back at him, at a loss for words now.

Louis places his cigarette in the ashtray and moves it back to the nightstand before he's covering up.

Harry scoots closer to him, Louis glancing at him as he does.

"Goodnight," Harry whispers softly, his fingers playing with Louis' hair again.

"Goodnight, Harold," Louis replies, closing his eyes and sighing out at Harry's touch once more.

Harry continues to stare at him; he slowly moves his hand down to Louis' side, resting it there before he's closing his eyes, his head inches from Louis'.

And within seconds, Harry is snoring lightly while Louis is opening his eyes and studying his face closely. He reaches over and places his hand on Harry's waist as well, scooting his head closer to Harry's until their foreheads are almost touching.

Louis closes his eyes, drifting off to sleep this way... Harry right next to him, their hands on each other... Louis couldn't be more content.

Chapter Text

(Contains Harry/Ben. Just a warning.)


Harry stirs the next morning, opening his eyes slowly to see Louis asleep next to him, his arm thrown over Harry's stomach. Harry smiles a little before he's gently moving Louis' arm off of himself, hoping to not wake Louis.

Louis only moves a little, but soon is sound asleep again on the pillow and Harry's quietly climbing out of the bed, gathering his clothes from the floor.

He takes the note from his coat and places it on the pillow next to Louis before he studies Louis' face again.

He recalls the night before, when Louis mentioned asking him out; Harry can't get it out of his head for some reason. He knows he can't start a relationship with Louis... Louis has too much at stake to throw it away on him.

Yet, Harry can't stop himself from wondering what it would be like to be in a relationship with Louis... what it would be like to actually date him, spend nights here with him, cuddling with him every single night... even though Harry has never desired any of these things before.

Harry sighs and pushes the thoughts away quickly as he dresses. He picks up his and Louis' soiled shirts and goes across the hall to place them in Louis' hamper in the bathroom.

Then, he's stopping in Louis' doorway as he's buttoning up his coat completely; he stares at the blonde headed man in the bed and whispers out, "bye, Louis," before he's slowly walking down the hall for the door.

He makes it back to his apartment by 8:35 am and he's hurrying to his bathroom to take a quick shower before Ben's arrival. He doesn't know exactly what time he's coming, but he knows Ben... he'll find any way to get to Harry's as soon as possible most of the time.

When Harry finishes in the bathroom, he goes to his kitchen, pouring a glass of milk before going back into the bedroom.

He sits down on his bed, his cigarettes and matches lying beside him along with his cigar box full of joints.

He drinks down the milk and then picks up his notepad again, jotting down quotes, the first one being, 'it is what you read when you don't have to that determines who you will be when you can't help it'. He studies it for a moment, then writes down another, 'society exists only as a mental concept; in the real world, there are only individuals'.

He places the pen between his teeth, staring at the quotes on his paper. Another comes to mind and he's quickly jotting it down under the others.

'One's real life is so often the life that one does not lead'.

Harry recalls another and writes it down...

'Men marry because they are tired; women, because they are curious; but both are disappointed'.

Harry smiles a little at this particular quote, knowing how true it actually is for some people... but he soon stops smiling and bites his lip when he realizes all of these quotes he's written down pertain to Louis himself, and how he has subconsciously thought of each and every single one and wrote them down.

He hears his door open and looks up, waiting for Ben to appear in his bedroom doorway. He takes out a joint and lights it with a match before he's glancing down at the quotes again.

"Hey," Ben greets from his doorway.

"Hey," Harry says without looking at him, "didn't think you'd be here this early."

"Yeah, well," Ben starts before he's walking to the bed and sitting down, "told her I had a few meetings today with publishers for the next book."

"Do you?" Harry finally looks at him and smirks.

"I do, yeah," Ben nods, "I have to meet with 2 of them in a bit."

Harry smiles and grabs the ashtray by his bed. He flicks the ashes of the joint into it and takes another long hit.

"9 in the morning and you're already getting high," Ben laughs and shakes his head.

"Well," Harry shrugs, "time is just time... it's never too early to get high, right?"

Ben just chuckles and pulls out his own cigarettes, glancing at Harry's paper, "what are you writing?"

"Oh, uh, just some quotes," Harry replies and puts up the pad of paper quickly, "from Oscar Wilde."

"Right... why am I not surprised by that," Ben smiles at Harry before he's lighting his cigarette.

"You know how much I love Oscar Wilde's work," Harry says and sits back against the headboard, the joint between his fingers.

"He was a good poet," Ben nods, "too bad I can't be as good as him... maybe then you wouldn't hate everything I publish."

Harry laughs, "maybe if you didn't write shit I'd actually like it."

"Yeah, yeah," Ben grins and hits his cigarette, "so, who'd you go out with last night, if it wasn't a hook up?"

Harry runs his tongue over his teeth, wondering if he should even tell Ben the truth. He decides against it quickly. "Just a friend of mine."

"Which friend?" Ben asks and points to the joint in Harry's hand.

Harry gives it to him, "he's just a friend... no one you'd know, trust me."

"Ok," Ben starts as he breathes out the hit of the joint, "what's his name?"

"Is that any of your business?" Harry smirks and turns back to him.

"Well, no, I don't guess," Ben replies with a shrug, "just curious, that's all."

"More like nosy," Harry jokes as Ben passes the joint back. Harry takes another long hit and sighs it out slowly. "If you've gotta be somewhere, we should really get this show on the road, don't you think?"

"I suppose you're right," Ben nods, taking the joint from Harry. He takes a hit before putting it out in the ashtray and scooting closer to Harry. "Lay down."

Harry lays down in the bed and watches Ben unbuttoning his shirt slowly. Then, Ben is undoing his belt and his pants, slipping them off and tossing them to the end of the bed.

Harry stares up at him as he's straddling him, Ben pushing Harry's legs apart before his hand is roaming down and grasping his balls.

Harry sighs out into the pillow while Ben is kissing over his neck slowly and making his way down to Harry's ass with his fingers.

And for some reason, when Ben begins fucking him, Harry can't picture anyone but Louis; he sees his face, his eyes... he hears his voice.

Harry's quickly trying to push him out of his mind and focus on Ben, wondering why he's thinking of someone else during this... it's always been about the other individual for Harry during sex... yet, for the first time in his life, he's thinking of another man instead of the man who's fucking him in his bed.

Harry closes his eyes, allowing the thoughts of Louis to overtake him as Ben is fucking him roughly and kissing along his neck... Harry can't stop himself from thinking of Louis... and he doesn't want to stop.

But Harry plays the part well for Ben; he gives Ben all the cues he needs to let him know that he's enjoying it. And Harry knows he truly is enjoying it, like he always does... except this time, he isn't thinking of Ben doing it to him.

After a few minutes of rough fucking, Ben is moaning out against Harry's neck, coming in him as he's thrusting in him hard enough to shake the bed.

Harry screams out, like usual, and enjoys every last second of it.

Ben kisses his lips softly before he's getting off of Harry slowly, catching his breath.

"Are you getting too old for this?" Harry teases him.

"Fuck you, Styles," Ben laughs and gets up to head to Harry's bathroom.

Harry lays there, his hands beside his head and his thoughts wandering away from this apartment to an apartment across the city. He sighs a little and sits up slowly, grabbing a shirt to clean off with.

When Ben returns, he's getting back on the bed with Harry and stroking his cock slowly.

"Jesus," Harry sighs out, closing his eyes once more.

"What... did you think I wasn't going to take care of you?" Ben asks seriously as he glances up at Harry.

"Suck me off," Harry demands quietly, his eyes on Ben.

Ben grins and nods, "sure thing."

Harry watches him getting between his legs again, his mouth taking all of Harry in within a matter of seconds.

Harry throws his head back into the pillow and moans out quietly, his fingers running through Ben's short, black hair. He grips it tightly, pushing Ben down on him more while his mind is filled with images of Louis doing this to him.

Harry doesn't know why they keep occurring, but he doesn't stop them; in fact, he closes his eyes once more and pretends that it's Louis who's sucking him off in this moment... and that arouses Harry even more.

"Oh, fuck," Harry cries out, tightening his grip on Ben's hair and forcing him down on his cock again, "yes..."

Ben's fingers wander down to Harry's ass and he's slowly inserting them, fucking Harry quickly with them.

It only makes Harry want to scream even more as Ben does it. Harry looks down and watches Ben moving up and down on him quickly, his fingers still grasping his hair.

"Yes... make me come," Harry sighs out before he's almost whimpering and pushing Ben's face down on him more.

And soon, Harry is bucking his hips up, coming in Ben's mouth as he moans out loud, his eyes squeezed shut again as he's throwing his head back into the pillow, his mind filled with only Louis Tomlinson.

Ben swallows every bit of him as he finishes Harry off. Then, he's gently removing his fingers and sitting up.

Harry sighs out loud and places his arm over his face, trying to steady his breathing.

"Was that good enough for you?" Ben asks with a smirk, "or should I do it again?"

Harry chuckles, "that was great... unless you just want to go for another round."

"I have time," Ben replies as Harry looks back at him. He gives Harry a wink and Harry laughs a little.

"You can't be late for your meeting with the publishers," Harry tells him as Ben is getting up and sitting down next to Harry.

"I've got plenty of time, no worries," Ben grins down at him.

"Ok," Harry smiles up at him, "you going for round 2 as well?"

Ben shrugs, "I'd like to... given I'm already aroused again."

"Jesus, what's wrong with you," Harry chuckles and sits up, "you're worse than I am."

"I don't get much at home... you know that," Ben replies.

Harry bites his lip and looks back at him, "how long has she been like this?"

"Couple of weeks," Ben says quietly, "she... she suspects I'm having an affair with another woman."

Harry raises an eyebrow, "and you're only telling me this now, why?"

"Because," Ben starts out slowly, "I didn't want you to start avoiding me."

"Who said I would?" Harry asks.

"I just figured if you knew what she suspected, you'd change your mind about seeing me," Ben replies softly, gently running his finger through Harry's messy hair. "And I didn't want you to stop seeing me."

"When are you going to tell her it's not a girl you've been seeing?" Harry asks in a joking tone.

Ben laughs a little, "I don't think I could ever tell her that, Harry. You know I can't."

"She'll find out, one way or another," Harry whispers out, "and when she does, you know it's not going to be pleasant. She could have you and I both arrested, you know."

"I... I don't think it'll come to that," Ben tries to smile, "I don't think she'll ever figure out it's a man, much less you."

"Yeah, but," Harry starts, "she knows how much time you spend with me... she could easily begin to question that..."

"Don't worry about it," Ben is quick to interject before he's kissing Harry's neck again, "I'm not worried about it... you shouldn't either."

Harry sighs as Ben is planting kisses down his neck and across his collarbones.

"I need to go make some coffee if that's alright," Harry manages to get out.

"Coffee?" Ben asks and sits back, "thought we were going for round 2 here?"

"Give me a break for a minute," Harry chuckles and gets up, heading out of the room for the kitchen.

Ben follows him and watches as Harry is prepping to make coffee.

"So, are you going to tell me who this mystery guy is yet?" Ben decides to ask again with a grin.

"No," Harry replies abruptly, "why do you keep asking?"

"Why are you scared of telling me?" Ben laughs.

"I'm not," Harry chuckles and shakes his head before he's turning to Ben, "it's just better if... if people don't find out who he is."

"People... since when am I just people?" Ben asks, "I'm your best friend, remember?"

"Come on, you'd blab to someone," Harry mumbles out and crosses his arms, waiting for the coffee to finish.

"Have I ever told anyone about us?" Ben asks quietly as he stares at Harry. Harry looks away and Ben nods, "that's what I thought."

"This is different," Harry looks back at him, "alright? He's different."

Ben licks his lips slowly before he's saying seriously, "you like him."

"What?" Harry asks with a laugh.

"You like him," Ben repeats, staring at Harry.

"I don't like him," Harry rolls his eyes and goes to pull out a cup for his coffee.

"I don't believe you," Ben states, "I think you do like him... why else would you act this way?"

"Have I ever liked anyone I've had an affair with?" Harry glances back at Ben and asks.

"Since I've known you, no," Ben replies quietly, "but... you've had to have known the day would come when you would..."

"No, I've never thought that way," Harry is quick to reply, "I don't hold feelings for anyone that I sleep with."

Ben nods a little, "I call bull shit on that."

Harry glances back at him and Ben walks off for the bedroom. Harry lets out a small sigh before he's pouring a cup of coffee, opting to drink it black this morning.

He hears his phone ringing and glances at the time: it's 9:45... he figures it's Nick calling as he's walking back to the bedroom sipping his coffee slowly.

"Hello," Harry hears Ben saying as he stops in the doorway.

"Ben, really?" Harry asks throwing his hand up, "why the fuck are you answering my phone?"

Ben smiles before he's hearing the person on the line asking for Harry, "uh, yeah... he's standing right here... just a second."

Harry quickly walks over and jerks the phone from Ben while Ben is only snickering and lying back down in the bed.

"Hello," Harry sighs.

"Hey," he hears Louis saying softly.

"Hey," Harry's eyes widen some, "uh, I... I didn't expect to hear from you so early..."

"Yeah, I'm sorry for interrupting..."

"No, no, you didn't," Harry quickly says to Louis, "you didn't interrupt anything..."

Ben raises his eyebrow as he's watching Harry.

"Uh, I was just calling to tell you the place we're going," Louis mumbles out, "it's the Stork Club."

"Wow," Harry says quietly before he's chuckling into the phone, "I should've seen that coming from your dad and Mr. Jones."

"Yeah, that's what I said when my father called me this morning," Louis laughs a little, "he was furious with me."

"Why?" Harry finds himself asking as he sits down on the bed.

Ben immediately places his hand on Harry's back, rubbing over it gently as his lips are kissing his neck again.

"I wasn't here yesterday when he tried to call," Louis sighs, "apparently I'm supposed to be home all the fucking time."

"I'm so sorry," Harry says, completely ignoring Ben's advances at him, "it's my fault..."

"No, it's not," Louis says, "I told him I was with you and his tone changed... so yeah, I think you've won over my father already."

"He doesn't know me," Harry laughs, "Jesus."

"Yeah, well, he was happy to hear I was out with you again," Louis replies quietly, "odd, isn't it? How he's so fucking blind."

Harry snickers a little, "ignorance is bliss, Lou. He has no idea what he's gotten you into... and let's keep it that way."

Harry can hear Louis laughing a little into the phone, "I'd love to keep it that way."

"Me, too," Harry whispers, ignoring Ben's hands going around his waist.

"Uh, so, would you like for me to pick you up for dinner? I don't mind," Louis says softly.

"That would be lovely, yeah," Harry replies, "what time will you be picking me up?"

"I'll try to be there by 6:15," Louis answers, "the reservations are for 7... my father and Mr. Jones should be there by the time we are."

"Ok," Harry says, "sounds brilliant... feel free to come before then, if you'd like to... I'm just offering..."

"I appreciate the offer," Harry can tell Louis is smiling when he says it to him, and it causes Harry to smile. "I might show up early... maybe so I can see you in your elegant suit and perhaps take care of some business before we leave... that way I don't have to look at you in it all night and wish I could..."

Louis pauses and Harry smirks as he finishes Louis' sentence for him, "fuck me?"

Ben pauses and looks at Harry, but Harry's too busy smiling at Louis' words.

"Yeah," Louis replies softly, "if that's alright with you..."

"Hey, I'd rather you get some beforehand," Harry teases, "that way you aren't walking around frustrated all fucking night."

Louis laughs again before he's saying, "uh, I'll let you get back to your company... I'll see you this afternoon."

"I look very forward to it," Harry says seriously, "thanks for calling, Lou."

"Thanks for saying you'll go, Harold," Louis almost whispers into the phone, "bye, love."

"Bye," Harry tells him quietly with a grin on his face before hanging the phone back up.

"That took long enough," Ben mumbles and pulls Harry by his waist into him, kissing over his neck again. "Was that your mystery guy?"

"Why the fuck does it matter?" Harry snaps before he even means to. He sighs a little and apologizes, "I'm sorry, Ben..."

"Hey, it's fine," Ben says quietly as he's staring at Harry, "do you want me to leave? I can if you want me to."

"No," Harry sighs, "you don't have to leave."

He sits the coffee down on the nightstand before he's climbing back into bed with Ben.

"Tell me you don't like him one more time," Ben states seriously.

"I don't like him," Harry mumbles out and keeps his eyes on the ceiling.

"Yeah, like hell you don't," Ben smirks, "where's another joint? You look like you could use another one."

Harry grabs the cigar case from the nightstand and opens it, pulling out a rolled joint. Ben strikes a match and lights it for Harry.

"Thanks," Harry says quietly after taking a long hit of it.

"Look, if you're not in the mood for this, I'll go," Ben tells him, "or, we could go have breakfast somewhere before my meeting."

"No, but thanks," Harry smiles back at him, "I'd rather stay here and sleep after you leave."

"Ok," Ben nods and stares at Harry hitting the joint, "smoke all of that so you'll be ready to do this again."

Harry chuckles a little, "guess you know me well enough by now to know that pot makes me horny, huh?"

"I do," Ben nods and grins, running his fingers up and down Harry's side slowly before he's saying in a low tone, "God, you're so beautiful. No woman could ever compare to you."

Harry smirks, blowing out another hit, "I'm not so sure about that..."

"Well, I am," Ben replies seriously, still gliding his fingers along Harry's soft skin, "I've yet to see a woman that looks as amazing as you... in women's clothes or out of them."

Harry laughs and shakes his head, leaning up to flick his ashes in his ashtray. He takes another long hit and breathes it out slowly, closing his eyes and getting lost in the high that's beginning to overtake him.

Ben leans down and whispers in Harry's ear, "I could just fuck you all day and never get tired of it, you know."

"Yeah, you and a lot of other men," Harry smirks.

"Yeah, well," Ben starts as he's pushing Harry's messy pieces of hair away from his face, "they all have excellent taste... who can blame them?"

Harry takes another hit while Ben is lying down next to him, right up against his side, his fingers tracing down Harry's chest and wandering down to his cock again.

It only takes a few strokes to get Harry hard and Ben grins as he watches Harry sighing out and closing his eyes once more.

Harry takes one last hit of the joint before he's putting it out; when he leans over to do so, Ben is wrapping his arm around Harry's side and pulling him into him, his hand running down his leg before he's pulling it up.

Harry lays down on his side and closes his eyes, feeling Ben enter him quickly and begin fucking him sideways while his hand wraps around Harry's cock.

Ben is anything but gentle with Harry; Harry's used to it by now. He knows what to expect from him. They've been doing this for so long. And it doesn't bother Harry that Ben fucks him almost violently... Harry enjoys every single second of it.

Ben lets go of Harry's cock and grasps his thigh again as he's fucking Harry hard... and Harry only closes his eyes tight and whimpers out as he does.

"Fuck, I love the way you feel," Ben moans out before sucking on the side of Harry's neck roughly.

Harry screams out, knowing that Ben is going to leave a mark there... he only hopes that a little make up will cover it.

"Harder," Harry whimpers out, "please..."

"Beg me some more," Ben breathes out against his neck before his teeth are sinking into it again.

"Please... harder, please, Ben... fuck," Harry almost screams this time as Ben is pulling his leg up higher and fucking Harry even more roughly.

Harry squeezes his eyes shut, loud whimpers escaping his lips now, only encouraging Ben to fuck him as hard as possible.

Harry's positive he'll be sore from this one... though, he's usually sore from every session with Ben... but to Harry, the soreness is always worth the minutes of pleasure he gets to experience.

"Fuck... fuck," Harry whimpers out so loud, his hand grasping his cock and stroking it swiftly; his body is begging for release as he's being fucked so roughly.

Ben continues his poundings into Harry, biting down on his neck again as his fingers are grasping his thigh so tight that Harry's sure he'll leave a mark there as well.

Harry screams out even louder, feeling himself coming in seconds as Ben moans and releases all of himself into Harry once more.

He fucks him roughly for several more thrusts, before he's sighing out and stopping, leaning his face against the back of Harry's head.

Harry's breathing heavily, his hand and the sheets under him covered in his cum. He sighs a little before saying, "you should probably be going now."

Ben gets up slowly, nodding a little, "suppose you're right."

He heads to Harry's bathroom once more while Harry opts to use his shirt again to clean himself off before he's getting up and slipping on his boxers slowly, almost wincing.

"You ok?" Ben asks him from the doorway.

"I'm brilliant," Harry answers and starts pulling the cover off of his bed slowly.

"Sorry if you're sore again," Ben tries to smile innocently at him.

"No, you're not," Harry looks back and laughs.

"You're right," Ben nods with a grin, "can't really be sorry for fucking you right."

Harry smiles, shaking his head as he's stripping the sheets off of the bed. He pushes the long pieces of his hair back before he's throwing the sheets next to his doorway.

Ben dresses quickly, then disappears out of the room, soon returning with another set of Harry's sheets for him, opting to help him make the bed.

"Thanks," Harry says out quietly.

"No problem," Ben replies as he's fixing one side of the bed and Harry's doing the other.

Ben picks up the blanket and tosses it back on the bed, Harry pulling it up and fixing it just right.

"So,"'Ben starts and glances back at Harry, "I'll see you soon?"

Harry gives him a nod, "I'll walk you out."

Ben makes his way to Harry's apartment door, Harry close behind him.

"Have fun tonight with your mystery lad," Ben teases Harry again.

"Shut it," Harry groans but smiles, "good luck with the publishers... hope they don't think it's a load of shit like I do."

"No, Styles, no one else in this world thinks the way you do, thankfully," Ben grins and winks before he leans over and kisses Harry quickly. He pulls away and stares at him, "I'll try to come by tomorrow..."

"Don't get yourself in trouble trying to see me..."

"I won't," Ben quickly says, "besides... if I got in trouble with her over you, it'd be worth it."

Harry gives him a stern look, "you're not moving in with me if your wife kicks you out, Ben."

"I know, I know," Ben laughs, "I'll talk to you soon, alright, Harry?"

Harry nods as Ben is opening the door. "Drive safely."

"I left some money in your kitchen," Ben starts.

"You didn't have to do that," Harry sighs out, his face miserable again.

"Yeah, well, I know how much you want your mum and sister here," Ben says quietly, "and I've told you before: I don't mind helping you out some."

Harry tries to nod as his hand rests on the doorknob, "thanks. I'll talk to you later."

Ben waves as he's walking off down the hall slowly; Harry closes the door back and sighs before he's going back to his bedroom.

He picks up the black coffee and looks out the window at the cloudy skies, wondering if it's going to snow today. He drinks the coffee down quickly before he's walking to his closet, going through the clothes that are hanging up.

His suits are all the way on the right, and he's looking through each of them while biting his lip and trying to decide which would look best for this upscale club.

He spots his purple tuxedo with black designs and he's instantly placing it on the door of his room, staring at it. He feels this is definitely the right piece to wear tonight.

He lies on his bed moments later, staring at the suit hanging on his door and lost in thought over how this night with Louis and his father will go.

Harry knows how to act the part for Mr. Jones and Louis' father; he isn't too concerned with that. He is, however, concerned with how he'll act around Louis himself tonight.

Harry's afraid to admit to himself that Ben's right... he does like Louis, a lot more than he should. And he knows that when he's around Louis, things are just different; he feels he can be more himself when he's with Louis.

But Harry knows he will never admit it to Louis, no matter how much he wants to. Louis has too much at stake to throw it away on him, even if Harry wishes he would.

Harry falls asleep, his mind filled with Louis once more, but he wakes several hours later, realizing the time. He hurries out of bed to get ready for Louis' arrival.

He's not 100% sure when Louis will arrive, but he quickly showers and shaves anyways before he's slicking back his hair and fixing it just right for tonight. He knows he has to look and act the part; the last thing Louis needs is his father questioning Harry... that thought bothers Harry greatly.

If Louis' father was to ever find out what Harry actually is, he knows how much trouble it would cause Louis, and that's the last thing Harry wants... because he honestly can't picture himself staying away from Louis now.

Across town at Louis' apartment, he's nervously fixing his hair while he stares at his suit in the mirror, adjusting the coat. He doesn't really know why he's so anxious about this.

His mind is only filled with images of Harry in a suit; that's all he has thought of all day. He can't wait to see him dressed up for this. And Louis knows how boring this night will be with his father and Mr. Jones at the Stork Club, yet, somehow knowing Harry is going with him puts a smile on Louis' face. For Louis already knows that Harry can brighten even the most dullest moments.

He's putting his cigarettes in the pocket of his suit before grabbing his wallet and taking one last look at himself in the mirror. Then, he's heading out of his apartment, a smile on his face.

"You look cheerful tonight," Mr. Wilson is saying with a grin as he's taking Louis down to the lobby.

"Uh, I am," Louis nods, still smiling brightly, "my dad and I are going to the Stork Club tonight with a couple of people."

"Oh, sounds nice," Mr. Wilson nods, "would Mr. Styles happen to be going?"

Louis licks his lips slowly before he nods, "yeah, he is actually. My father invited him."

"He seems like a great kid," Mr. Wilson smiles at Louis, "he's a hell of an actor, as well."

"He is, yeah," Louis smiles again, wanting to snicker at how true that statement is, "it's, uh, nice to finally get along with someone my age in this city."

"I'm sure it is," Mr. Wilson nods, "glad to see that you're not staying cooped up upstairs anymore."

Louis smirks as he's stepping off the elevator, "have a good night, Tom."

He hurries outside to his car, starting the engine immediately before he's leaving in a hurry for Harry's apartment across town. It's only a little after 5 now, but Louis can't wait any longer to see Harry.

He lights a cigarette on the drive, his nerves on edge as he's thinking about how this night will go.

He knows Harry can play the part well for his father, and that his father already likes Harry a great bit... he only hopes he can play the part himself.

He soon arrives at Harry's apartment building and is hurrying up to the 3rd floor. When he comes to Harry's door, he fixes his suit, then his hair and lets out a deep sigh before he's knocking slowly.

"Coming!" He hears Harry calling from inside.

Louis rubs his palms together slowly, feeling the anxiety washing over him as he awaits Harry's presence.

The door opens slowly and Louis' eyes fall on Harry immediately; he knows his eyes have widened, but he doesn't care as he's staring at Harry in the purple tuxedo.

"Is it... too much?" Harry asks and looks down at the suit.

"No," Louis quickly replies, "no, it's not... not at all. It looks... amazing on you. I... I really like it."

Harry glances back at Louis and grins, "thanks. I was hoping this was the best choice for tonight. Come in."

Louis walks in the apartment slowly, closing the door behind him while Harry's walking back to his room.

Louis follows him and takes a seat on Harry's bed while he's watching Harry applying make up to the side of his neck. Louis raises an eyebrow and Harry notices his expression in the mirror.

"Uh, I... I didn't want to walk into this club with a hickey on the side of my neck," Harry manages to smile as he's still applying the make up slowly.

Louis nods a little, "I take it you had a lot of fun this morning."

Harry stays quiet while he's placing the make up back on the dresser and looking over the area closely.

"Glad you got here so early," Harry changes the subject with a grin on his face as he turns to Louis, "maybe we can smoke one before we leave."

Louis snickers, "and go to this club high as kites?"

Harry shrugs, "won't bother me... I'm used to it. Makes me feel... more relaxed in certain situations."

"I'd have to say the same," Louis nods slowly, "but... I'm also more likely to say whatever comes to my mind, so..."

Harry chuckles a little as he stares at Louis in his suit, "you look... really handsome, by the way."

"You've seen me in a suit before," Louis smiles, his cheeks turning red.

"I have, yeah," Harry says out quietly, "but... I don't know... you just seem... different. I mean, you looked great the first time I met you... but... I guess I just didn't know you yet."

Louis smiles down at his hands before he manages to reply, "well, thank you, Harold. I'll take that as a compliment."

"You should," Harry winks with a grin as he's walking to his nightstand. He pulls out a joint and looks back at Louis, "tell you what: if you'll smoke this with me, I'll keep you from saying something stupid tonight."

"How?" Louis laughs and watches Harry striking a match to light it.

Harry shrugs, "I'll figure out a way... I'm good at that. Besides, I highly doubt you'll be saying anything out of the way to me in front of your father."

Louis' face is miserable again, "you're right."

Harry smiles a little, "do you have plans for after dinner?"

"Uh," Louis chuckles a little, "I don't, no... unless my father does..."

"Tell him you have plans with me," Harry shrugs, "make up something... like we're going to the late show at the movies."

"Are we?" Louis asks, raising an eyebrow.

"It's up to you," Harry replies, blowing out his hit of the joint, "we can do whatever you'd like to do afterwards."

"What about right now?" Louis perks up the courage to ask while he's staring up at Harry next to the bed.

"What did you have in mind, Lou?" Harry grins and extends the joint to Louis.

Louis scoots over on the bed and takes a long hit of the joint, blowing it out slowly.

"Depends," Louis says back seriously, "are you willing to get undressed again?"

Harry smirks at him and takes a seat, "there's one thing you should know about me: I'm never bothered by undressing after just dressing."

Louis smiles and Harry only grins before he's leaning over and kissing Louis, his fingers running through the back of Louis' hair... and Harry wants to live forever in this moment, his lips against Louis'.

He pulls away and smiles at Louis, "let's just... try not to fuck up each other's hair... mine takes ages to fix again."

Louis laughs and nods, "ok, I... I can live with that."


 (Affection - Cigarettes After Sex)


Harry grins before he's kissing Louis again, his tongue making its way into Louis' mouth quickly. And Louis can only sigh at the feel of it.

Harry starts taking off the coat of his tuxedo slowly and unbuttoning the shirt as he breaks the kiss.

Louis hits the joint twice more before he's handing it back to Harry, watching Harry take a long hit before putting it out.

"How should we do this?" Harry asks softly as he's staring at Louis while unbuttoning his pants.

"I... I don't care honestly," Louis replies in almost a whisper, "I just want you."

Harry slowly nods and points to Louis' pants, "stand up and get those down."

Louis bites his lip, standing up slowly while Harry's getting up off the bed and reaching in his drawer again.

Louis unbuttons and unzips his suit pants before he's pulling them down slowly.

Harry is standing behind him, wrapping an arm around Louis' waist as he's whispering in his ear, "I'm gonna fuck you over my bed... is that ok?"

Louis wants to moan at Harry's words, but he manages to reply with a deep sigh, "yes."

"Good," Harry says back, "lean over for me."

Louis does exactly as Harry says and he waits for Harry behind him. He closes his eyes, readying himself for this once again.

Harry covers his cock in the jelly again before tossing it on the bed, then he's slowly pushing himself into Louis' ass again. He notices Louis doesn't flinch one time as Harry is burying himself into him.

"You're getting better at this," Harry speaks against Louis' neck before he's kissing it softly, his hands on each side of Louis' waist.

Louis moans a little as Harry begins moving in and out of him slowly; his fingers grip Harry's sheets on the bed as he's squeezing his eyes shut and getting lost in nothing but Harry.

"Faster, please," Louis begs.

Harry smirks before he's gently biting down on Louis' neck and fucking him harder.

"You've picked up so quickly," Harry whispers again, "I'm impressed, Tomlinson."

Louis whimpers out loud and leans down further on the bed, keeping his ass up in the air for Harry and enjoying every second of this.

Harry's thrusts become more quick and he's fucking Louis even harder, his fingernails digging into Louis' sides, causing Louis to whimper even louder.

"Fuck, I love this," Harry grunts out, holding Louis even closer to him as he's fucking him over the side of his bed. "You have a fucking gorgeous ass."

Louis grips the sheets even harder as he's crying out, "fuck me... fuck me like you mean it, Styles."

Harry lets a small grin cross his face, loving how confident Louis is becoming with him.

"You sure that's what you want?" Harry whispers out against Louis' ear.

"Yes... fuck, yes," Louis moans, "give it to me like you mean it."

Harry doesn't say another word; he only pulls Louis closer by his waist and starts driving into him even harder, fucking Louis as hard and as quickly as he can. He isn't worried about hurting Louis this time... and Louis doesn't seem too worried about it either.

"I love the way you feel," Harry moans out quietly, "you feel so different, Lou."

Louis closes his eyes, his hand wandering down to Harry's ass behind him as Harry's holding him as close as he can as he's fucking him.

"Come in me already," Louis whimpers, "fuck, Harry..."

"Is that what you want?" Harry whispers back seductively.

"Yes," Louis replies, moaning even louder, "just come already...."

Harry bites down on Louis' shoulder, his arms around Louis' waist as he thrusts into Louis as hard as possible, feeling his release only seconds away.

"Fuck, fuck," Harry moans out, exploding into Louis as he's fucking him hard up against the bed, "Jesus, you feel so fucking good..."

Louis continues to whimper under Harry as Harry's finally slowing down and resting his head against Louis' shoulder, his breathing heavy.

Louis slowly releases his grip on the sheets and sighs, feeling as if he's on cloud 9 in this moment.

Harry quickly pulls out of him and turns Louis around, making him sit down on the bed.

"Your sheets," Louis starts.

"I'll change them," Harry quickly replies and gets down on his knees in front of Louis before he's swallowing all of Louis' large cock.

"Oh, Jesus," Louis moans out immediately, his fingers guiding through Harry's hair slowly. He doesn't want to mess it up, but in this moment he can't really help it.

Harry pushes Louis down on his back and Louis picks up his legs, spreading them wide while Harry's continuing to dive down on his cock before coming back up. His fingers gently grasps Louis' balls as he's sucking Louis off, watching Louis' face closely.

"Oh, fuck," Louis is almost screaming as his back arches and his eyes squeeze closed.  He soon opens them again and stares down at Harry moving so gracefully up and down on him, his eyes catching Louis' every few seconds.

Harry moans as he's going back down on Louis, loving the way it feels to have Louis' thick cock in his mouth.

"Shit... I wanna come," Louis moans out, his fingers still gliding through Harry's hair.

"Then, come," Harry looks up at Louis, "come on... I want to taste all of you."

Louis whimpers out again as Harry goes down on him completely and begins sucking him off even faster while his fingers are still grasping Louis' balls.

Harry uses one hand to pull Louis' leg open further and his fingers guide roughly up and down Louis' upper thigh as he's moaning around his cock.

Louis begins to scream, feeling himself release into the wetness and warmness of Harry's mouth, causing Harry to moan so loudly around Louis' cock.

"Shit... shit," Louis is panting out as he feels Harry sucking him off roughly, making sure he gets every last drop of Louis in his mouth.

Harry finally pulls off and glances at Louis as he's swallowing him down, a small grin across his lips.

Louis sighs and throws his head back into the bed, feeling the remainder of the rush wash over him.

Harry stands slowly before straddling Louis and staring down at the blue eyes in front of him and whispering, "was that good enough for you, Mr. Tomlinson?"

Louis watches the emerald eyes in front of him, "yeah... it was more than good enough."

Harry nods and leans down, kissing Louis again... but this time, it isn't out of lust... it's full of passion and an overwhelming desire of want.

Louis places his hands around Harry's waist, kissing him back with the same amount of desire... and he swears he's falling for this green eyed young man... he's falling so hard for him.

Harry finally pulls away, smirking at Louis' hair, "we both may need to fix our hair after all."

Louis chuckles some and nods up at Harry above him, "yours looks pretty rough... I'm sorry."

"Don't worry about it," Harry grins and kisses Louis softly before he's getting up slowly.

Louis opts to clean up in Harry's bathroom while Harry cleans up in his room before he's fixing his suit again.

He slicks back his hair once more in the mirror as Louis is walking back in, fixing his own pants.

"Harry," Louis speaks softly, causing Harry to turn to him, "could we... could we possibly go out... on a date? I know I've already asked this... but..."

Harry stares at him for a long pause before he's turning back to the mirror; somehow, Harry knew Louis would ask him this again.

"I... I don't know," Harry manages to mumble out.

"Look, I get that... that you don't want to commit to one person," Louis whispers as he's walking to Harry, "and... I'm ok with that. I really am..."

"Are you?" Harry asks and glances at Louis, "you're alright with me fucking other guys while I'm dating you?"

Louis bites his lip and slowly looks away.

Harry turns back to the mirror and continues fixing his hair, "I wouldn't be ok with it, Lou."

Louis decides to drop the subject once more and he begins to fix his own hair again, silence falling between them... an uncomfortable silence.

Harry picks up his cigarettes from his nightstand and lights one while he watches Louis adjusting pieces of his hair, "Lou, I'd... I'd really like to be with you, I'm not going to lie..."

Louis licks his lips as he's glancing back at Harry in the mirror.

"But...," Harry continues in a quiet voice, "you have so much going for you. You shouldn't throw it away on someone like me."

"What if I wanted to throw it all away for someone like you?" Louis asks confidently as he turns to face Harry.

"You... you hardly know me," Harry whispers, not breaking eye contact.

"Yeah, I get that," Louis nods before he's saying quietly, "but I know enough about you to know that... I... I enjoy your presence, Harry. I know you enough to say that... no one has ever made me feel like you do."

Harry stays quiet as he's flicking the ashes of his cigarette in the ash tray. He's at a loss for words... because he's already told himself he wouldn't tell Louis how he really felt.

"I'm... I'm sorry," Louis breaks the silence between them, "I shouldn't have brought it up again. I apologize."

"Don't apologize for being honest," Harry whispers without looking at him. He glances at his clock before he's changing the subject once more, "maybe we should get going already."

"Yeah," Louis says softly as he's watching Harry, "I suppose we should."

"Let's see how much your father approves of me after tonight," Harry jokes again and gives Louis a wink.

Louis chuckles some, "you swore you'd be on your best behavior."

"And I will be," Harry smiles innocently at him, "don't worry. I swear to act like a proper gentleman... may even ask a few girls to dance, who knows."

Louis looks at him, his face serious... and Harry notices.

"I was joking," Harry says quickly with a snicker, "I play the part, yeah, but... I'm not going to push it that far. I'd rather not dance with any girl... unless she's a movie star I admire."

"There's loads of those at this club," Louis nods.

"Yeah, there's a few who started on Broadway, believe it or not," Harry grins and places his cigarettes in his pocket, "I've heard they frequent this club quite often. I'd love to run into them."

Louis smiles as Harry's switching off lights in his room.

Louis walks to Harry's living room, noticing the money that sits on Harry's kitchen counter not too far away.

Harry sees where Louis is looking and he's quickly going to get the money.

"Uh, I'll be right back," Harry tells Louis, almost stuttering.

Louis can tell Harry doesn't want to discuss the money... but he follows Harry to his room, watching him pick up a small box that's in his dresser drawer and placing the money inside.

Harry sees Louis standing in the doorway staring at him and he tries to smile, "uh, it's... it's money for my mum and sister's place. I almost have enough now for the 6 months of rent."

Louis nods a little, wondering if he wants to ask where the money came from.

Harry notices the look on Louis' face and sighs a little, "it's... it's from Ben. He helps me out every once in a while."

"Don't you make enough with what you do?" Louis decides to ask, his voice quiet.

Harry runs his teeth over his bottom lip before he's deciding to be truthful with Louis. "I... I do make a good bit, yeah... but I earn extra in other ways."

Louis nods, "I... I kinda already knew that."

"Good," Harry replies with a small smile, "I don't have to explain it to you, then, right?"

"Right," Louis responds before he's walking slowly back into the living room, then waiting at Harry's door.

Harry switches off the light of his room once more before he's joining Louis, staring at him closely.

"How do you feel about me now, Lou?" Harry asks seriously as he's studying Louis' face.

"I already knew," Louis whispers, "and... I don't feel any different towards you, Harold. I honestly don't."

Harry nods, licking his lips before he's opening the door and saying lowly, "we should get going."

Louis only nods and follows Harry out the door.

They walk quietly downstairs and out to Louis' car that's not parked too far away. Louis slips into the driver's seat while Harry's climbing into the other side.

"So," Harry starts in a more cheerful tone, "how much can I drink tonight around your father?"

Louis chuckles some, "uh, I suppose as much as you want."

"Good," Harry grins as Louis is pulling out, "and after dinner?"

Louis smiles a little, "I'm all yours after we get this shit over with."

"Sounds like a plan," Harry leans over and whispers in Louis' ear before he kisses his cheek gently.

And Louis can't help but smile even more; he's hoping this dinner goes quickly so that he and Harry can be alone again, once more.

Chapter Text

"Good evening, Mr. Tomlinson," a valet is saying as soon as Louis and Harry have arrived in front of the Stork Club.

"Evening," Louis forces a smile while the valet is taking his car. Louis walks around the car, adjusting his suit as Harry's standing on the sidewalk, staring up at the club.

"You ever been here?" Louis finds himself asking.

Harry's eyes stay on all of the people that are entering the club; he hears the music playing from inside and he smiles.

"Uh, actually," Harry grins back at Louis, "I've only been here once before."

"Oh," Louis nods and says more quietly.

"It was actually with Mr. Jones and a few other actors and actresses, Lou," Harry smiles back and points to the doors, "shall we? I'm sure your father is waiting."

"Yeah, let's," Louis replies with a grin before he's leading the way into the club, Harry close behind him.

Harry stops and looks around the busy club, noticing all the couples seated at the tables chatting and laughing while the jazz music plays; this is definitely not Harry's scene, but he's intrigued, to put it simply.

"So, I suppose I should act extra heterosexual?" Harry leans into Louis' ear and whispers.

Louis tries not to snicker as he turns back to Harry, "you do a fine job of that, it seems. Really."

Harry grins and nods a little before Louis is leading the way once more, finding the table his father and Mr. Jones are seated at.

And Louis almost stops in his steps when he sees his father sitting at a table not too far away, a brunette woman by his side.

Harry glances from Louis' father and the woman back to Louis, "friend of his?"

Louis' face grows even more miserable, "she's... she's someone my dad has been seeing for a few months."

"I know her," Harry whispers.

"What?" Louis asks, instantly looking at Harry beside him, "how?"

"She's an actress, Lou," Harry replies, "she's friends with the costume makers of our Broadway shows, too... I talk to her from time to time."

"Well, that's ironic," Louis mumbles under his breath.

Harry sees Mr. Jones looking in his direction and he forces a grin again, "we should, uh, go socialize, I suppose."

Louis nods, though his face doesn't change. He and Harry walk slowly to the table, Harry putting on the perfect act once more for them as he's greeting them.

"So glad you could make it, Harry," Louis' father smiles widely at him as he stands and shakes his hand, "I told Louis how much I wanted you to join us."

"I'm honored you invited me, sir," Harry nods and grins before he's taking a seat, Louis sitting down next to him.

"William and I were just discussing your upcoming show on Broadway," Mr. Jones tells Harry, "we've been discussing how promising your career is."

"Uh," Harry starts with a small smile, "thank you. That means a lot."

"Well, you could be heading places," Mr. Jones nods at Harry before he's hitting his cigar, "all of New York are becoming aware of you, Harry. You should be proud of yourself."

Louis smiles a little before he's ordering wine from the waitress for Harry and himself.

"I'm... I'm very proud of my accomplishments so far," Harry says slowly, "but... I'm choosing to stay humble... you never know when the lights could fade and it all could be over with."

"You have a good head on your shoulders," Louis' father gives Harry a nod of approval. "It's nice to see that in young men in this city."

Harry shrugs a little and smiles innocently. He turns to the woman beside Louis' father and he politely says, "it's nice to see you again, Meredith. How have you been?"

Louis glares at Harry out of the corner of his eye, wishing Harry wouldn't even acknowledge her existence; but he also knows Harry must play the part just right.

"I've been wonderful, Harry," she responds with a beautiful smile. "I'm guessing you have as well? It's only been a few weeks since I've seen you."

"Yeah, I've been good," Harry nods, "how's your upcoming movie coming along?"

"Rather nicely," she replies and grins, "I came to your show this past week. You did an amazing job, like always."

"Thank you," Harry smiles and takes the wine from the waitress. He takes a small sip before he's sitting it down, "do you ever miss Broadway?"

"I do, very much," Meredith grins, "I've had offers to come back... just haven't been able to yet."

Louis stays quiet, gulping down his wine faster than Harry is at the moment; he wishes he were anywhere but here... stuck in the realms of society he, and Harry, want no part of.

"You should come to the next show, if you can," Harry suggest to Meredith, "maybe with Louis and Mr. Tomlinson?"

Louis turns to Harry, giving him a stern look while Harry only smiles back at him.

"Well, William and I were planning on attending the next one," Meredith nods, "and, Louis, I'd love it if you'd accompany us."

Louis licks his lips slowly but forces a small smile, "of course... why not?"

"Well, you and Harry have become good friends," Louis' father speaks up as he's looking at Louis, "you've spent a lot of time with him recently... does he share his acting secrets with you?"

Harry almost snickers, but stops himself immediately and instead picks up the wine and drinks it down quickly before he's looking back at Louis.

"Uh, yeah," Louis stutters out, knowing damn well he can't act this part the way Harry can, "he... uh..."

"I've given him a few pointers on acting, yeah," Harry speaks up for him, keeping a straight face, "like, how not to get too nervous before a new, uh... show. We've talked about acting quite a bit."

"That's wonderful to hear," Louis' father smiles proudly at Harry, "that's just what Louis needs."

Louis almost groans before he's picking up the wine again.

They sit and chat over dinner, the music playing softly behind them. Thankfully, Louis' mood has lifted as he and Harry talk amongst themselves while Louis' father and Mr. Jones are chatting away.

Meredith, however, sits watching Harry and Louis, a smile on her face... though neither Louis or Harry are aware of her staring at them. But she continues her glances and seeing the way they're whispering to each other and laughing quietly.

"Hey," Harry says in Louis' ear, "what do you say after this you and I go to a real club?"

Louis stares back at him, intrigued by the offer, "what's your definition of a real club exactly, Mr. Styles?"

"You'll see," Harry grins, "if you agree to go, that is."

Louis licks his lips before a small smile creeps over his face, "alright... sure. I'll go with you to this 'real' club."

"K, good," Harry nods with a devious grin.

Soon, Louis' father is asking Meredith to dance to the slow song that is now being played by the small band and a young female singer.

Mr. Jones excuses himself to another table to chat while Louis and Harry are sitting completely still in their seats.

Harry watches the woman singing the song, 'He's My Guy' before he's leaning over to Louis again, "I wish I could ask you to dance..."

Louis' cheeks turn red as he's flicking the ashes of his cigarette into the ashtray on the table, "you'd ask me to dance if you could?"

"Of course I would," Harry whispers back as he stares at Louis, "I'd love to dance with you."

"I doubt there's even a club that finds that appropriate, Harry," Louis smirks and looks back at the green eyes that are already on him.

"Not in this type of place... but there are some places where it's accepted," Harry sighs out and looks around, "wanna know what's ironic though, about this place?"

"What's that?"

Harry's eyes search the room while he speaks lowly, "there's guys in here who are just like us."

Louis looks confused before he's glancing around at all the tables, the men laughing with the women that are by their side. "How do you know that?"

Harry lights a cigarette and shrugs some, "I recognize their faces... I've seen them before. For example..."

Harry points to a table that's not too far away, a young man chatting with the woman next to him and Louis watches them closely.

"... His name is David," Harry continues, "he's been to my shows at the Angle Theatre, he frequents the bar I took you to..."

"Do you know him?" Louis asks and turns back to Harry.

"What do you mean by 'know'?" Harry's lips curl into a grin.

"You know what I mean," Louis replies harshly.

"No, I don't," Harry says with a smirk and picks up the wine, "but I have seen him with other guys."

Louis watches the man, talking with the woman, knowing he'd never think twice about him if Harry hadn't of pointed it out.

"Yeah," Harry starts again lowly as he finishes his wine, "there's quite a few people here who are 'playing the part' so to speak."

"Are they married?" Louis questions in a whisper.

Harry shakes his head, "no... at least the ones here that I recognize. And I know they recognize me..."

"But they won't actually talk to you here," Louis nods.

Harry looks back at him, "no, they won't. They're hiding something, just like I am. But... I'm sure they're curious as to why I'm sitting at this table with just you."

Louis licks his lips slowly, "do... do a lot of them know who I am?"

Harry smiles a little, "uh, well, if they did, I doubt they'd tell anyone, let's just leave it at that. I mean, what right would they have to tell anyone about you, Lou? When they themselves are hiding behind the same mask."

Louis takes a long hit of the cigarette between his fingers before he's putting it out and drinking his wine slowly, his eyes darting around the place; he wonders now just how many of these men are putting on an act like Harry is... like he himself is.

Harry's eyes divert to the front of the club, seeing a very familiar face walking in.

"Shit," he mumbles out.

"What?" Louis turns to him, "what's wrong?"

"Nothing," Harry replies quietly, covering his face with his hand as he turns towards Louis, "how much longer do we have to stay here?"

"I don't know," Louis shrugs before he sees why Harry is covering his face. "That's Ben..."

Harry doesn't say anything; he keeps his face covered and turned away. "Are they sitting near us?"

"No," Louis replies and watches Ben and the woman with him walking to a table across the room, "is... is that his wife?"

"Yeah," Harry says quietly, "her name is Sarah."

"Well, wouldn't he talk to you here? You said his wife liked you," Louis says as he looks back at Harry.

"He probably would, but I'd rather he not," Harry replies flatly.

Louis nods a little, watching them sit down while they're chatting and smiling. "You really can't tell any of these lads are different at all..."

"What... did you expect homosexuals to look or act different?" Harry decides to ask.

"I... I really didn't know," Louis stutters out, "besides what I've heard growing up... from people like my dad and his family... and Alice's family."

"Oh," Harry chuckles, "I can only imagine the things you've heard from people like them, other than the usual 'we're a threat to human kind and we must be destroyed'."

Louis laughs a little and stares back at Harry, "to be honest, I think... society has it completely backwards."

"You're saying that society is the threat?" Harry asks softly.

"Yeah," Louis shrugs, "I am. Because... I don't possibly see how you could be a threat to anyone, Harry."

Harry keeps his eyes on Louis for a long pause, his face staying serious. He finally grins a little, "I'll take that as a compliment, Mr. Tomlinson."

"You should," Louis nods and says quietly while he's staring from Harry's eyes to his lips. He finds himself blurting out the words, "god, I wanna kiss you," before he can even stop them.

Harry smiles, his dimples showing while he whispers back, "I'd really like for you to, if I'm honest."

Louis does his best to nod, getting lost in Harry's beautiful smile. "Look... I'll just tell my dad we're leaving... that you have to be somewhere early in the morning."

"Wouldn't he expect you to stay?" Harry asks.

"No," Louis whispers out, gently placing his hand on Harry's leg under the table, "not as long as I'm with you."

Harry glances down at Louis' hand resting on his thigh before he's meeting the blue eyes staring back at him. "Alright... yeah, let's go. But you've gotta come with me to the other club first."

"Can I kiss you at the other club?" Louis questions, his face staying serious.

"Actually, yeah," Harry answers as he stares at Louis, "we can as much as you want."

"Then, let's go," Louis grins and picks up his cigarettes, "I'll tell my father I've gotta take you home or something..."

"Yeah, but I could just call a cab," Harry smirks, "just tell him you're going with me to a movie or something... or a play."

"Alright," Louis nods before he's standing slowly, Harry following him.

Louis walks over to his father and Meredith dancing with Harry by his side.

"Dad," Louis starts, tapping his shoulder, "don't mean to interrupt, but Harry and I are going to go..."

"There's a play at the Imperial Theatre," Harry speaks up with a grin, "I hope you don't mind, but I thought Louis could go with me."

"No," Louis' father is quick to respond as he's smiling at Harry, "not at all, Harry. You 2 go and have fun. Thanks for having dinner with us."

"Thanks for inviting me," Harry responds, "we must do it again sometime."

"That'd be lovely," Meredith speaks up as she grins at Harry and then Louis, "hope you 2 enjoy the play."

"Thank you," Harry smiles, "was good to see you, Meredith. I'm sure I'll see you again soon."

"I'm sure you will," she nods at Harry.

Louis waves to them before he's walking off, Harry close behind... but Harry's eyes soon catch Ben's not too far away.

"Harry," Ben exclaims with a wide grin.

Louis stops when he hears him and so does Harry. Harry has his back to Ben now as he sighs and closes his eyes.

"Just pretend like you didn't hear him," Louis whispers.

"He knows I heard him," Harry mumbles out before he's turning around and putting on a fake smile once more.

Louis follows behind Harry to Ben's table as Ben is saying, "good to see you."

"You as well," Harry says and smiles at Ben's wife, "hey, Sarah, how are you?"

"I'm doing well," Sarah grins at him immediately before she's standing, "come give me a hug, silly."

Harry smirks and walks over to hug her gently.

"You're Louis, correct?" Ben asks as he's staring at Louis in front of the table.

"Yeah," Louis replies, "we met the other morning actually."

"Yeah, I remember," Ben nods and smirks a little as he realizes just who Harry's mystery guy is now, "you must be here with your father, the district attorney."

"I am, yeah," Louis says quietly and glances at Harry.

"His dad and Mr. Jones had dinner here tonight and Mr. Jones invited me," Harry explains simply with a forced smile again; he already knows Ben has figured this out.

"Oh, Mr. Jones, the one who puts on the plays at Broadway," Sarah speaks up and looks at Harry, "Ben's told me how much Mr. Jones admires your work, Harry."

"Yeah, he, uh... he really does," Harry nods and says softly, "it's an honor, too."

Ben lights a cigarette and glances up at Harry, then Louis, "you lads want to have a drink with us?"

"Uh..." Louis starts.

"We're actually leaving," Harry is quick to interrupt Louis, "we have plans, but thanks. It was good to see you, Sarah."

"You, too, Harry," she smiles as she's picking up her glass of champagne. "You boys have fun."

Harry sees Ben smirking before he's glancing at him. Harry doesn't say another word; he takes Louis' arm and is quickly pulling him away.

They walk out of the club together and wait for Louis' car to be brought back.

"That was a bit... uh, odd," Louis speaks up, keeping his eyes on the busy street. "Why did he look at me so funny?"

Harry sighs while lighting a cigarette, "because... I didn't tell him who I was seeing tonight. I didn't want him to know."

Louis glances at Harry with a surprised expression, "why... why didn't you want him to know?"

Harry shrugs and hits the cigarette, glancing up at the cloudy skies overhead. "I just told him it was none of his business."

Louis' eyes don't break from Harry's face, "doesn't he know you... you see other people?"

"He knows, yeah. We're not serious, Lou... not in the least bit," Harry mumbles lowly, "and  yeah, I've always told him who I was seeing.... I just didn't this time."

Louis stands still with a confused look on his face while he does his best to nod. His car is being brought back and he's quick to climb in while Harry's getting in the passenger's side.

Once they pull off, Harry's busy taking off the purple jacket of the suit and throwing it in Louis' back seat. He then loosens the bow tie, unbuttons the top 2 buttons of his white collared shirt, and sits back in Louis' seat, hitting his cigarette slowly.

"You're not comfortable in suits, are you?" Louis smirks while he drives.

"Fuck, no," Harry responds flatly, "I'd rather not wear them. I don't mind them... but I stray from them as much as I can."

"I understand," Louis says softly, "gets old dressing that way."

Harry glances at him, "suppose it would, if I were you."

Louis sighs a little before asking, "so... where's this place at?"

"Uh, just a few streets away," Harry replies and looks out the window.

Louis bites his lip, the hunger to kiss Harry growing even more. When he stops at the red light, he thinks hard about leaning over and just kissing those beautiful pink, plump lips.

Harry turns back to him, seeing him lost in thought and he smiles a little as he's asking, "what's on your mind, Lou?"

Louis is quick to look back at Harry, "uh... I'm... I'm not sure I want to admit it."

Harry laughs a little, "why? Don't ever be scared to admit something to me."

Louis glances beside them, not seeing a car next to them before he's whispering out, "I was just... just thinking about how much... I'd like to kiss you."

Harry smirks and leans over, "still thinking about that, are you?"

"Can you blame me?" Louis asks seriously as he gently caresses down Harry's cheek.

Harry's smile fades at the touch of Louis' fingers on his skin; somehow, his touch feels different now and he can't describe the feeling because he's never felt it... but it's a feeling Harry likes... all too much.

"So, kiss me," Harry whispers, his hand going to Louis' thigh.

Louis licks his lips slowly before he's leaning over and meeting Harry's lips again, getting completely lost in him.

Harry grips his thigh while his other hand pulls Louis closer by his neck, their tongues meeting each other's once again.

They hear a car horn behind them and they're quickly pulling away from each other. Louis sees the light is green and starts driving again, wiping his lips while Harry puts his cigarette out in the ashtray.

He smiles to himself as he stares at Louis, then he's looking out the window again, wanting nothing more than to kiss Louis for hours on end.

Louis finally parks at the club Harry has given him directions to; Louis stares at the building, thinking how normal it seems.

"So, this... this is actually a place for..."

"Homosexuals?" Harry finishes, "yeah, it is... it's been open for a while... thanks to certain people in this city."

Louis steps out of the car as does Harry. "Who would allow this place to stay open?"

Harry walks around the car and starts unbuttoning Louis' jacket of his suit as he's staring in Louis' eyes, "people who have a lot of power in this city, believe it or not."

"And that would be?" Louis whispers while Harry's tossing Louis' jacket inside the car and then taking off his bow tie.

Harry grins at Louis, "a certain group of people. They pay off the police to keep it open... they own casinos and clubs like this one."

"They've bought off the police?" Louis asks.

Harry nods and unbuttons 3 of Louis' buttons before he's smirking, "much better."

Louis looks down at himself and then back at Harry, "are you trying to have someone hit on me?"

Harry chuckles, "no... you're with me. No one's hitting on you on my watch.... trust me. I'll stay close to you all night. I promise."

Louis finds himself smiling instantly at Harry's words. Harry takes his hand gently and leads the way to the front doors.

They're let in quickly by a host who IDs them both; the host's eyes look at Louis immediately when he sees his name.

"Uh, Mr. Tomlinson, I'm afraid we can't let you in unless..."

"I've got it," Harry interrupts the host and pulls out his wallet. He takes out a few twenty dollar bills and hands it to the host, "that should do it, right?"

The host nods after counting the money and says, "enjoy your night."

"We will," Harry smiles and motions for Louis to follow him down some stairs.

"What the hell was that about?" Louis asks confused.

"Anyone who comes in here with a name has to pay to keep their identity a secret," Harry responds.

"You... you didn't have to pay for me," Louis says quietly as he hears music playing the further they go down the stairs.

"Well, usually $50 or so shuts them up and they won't expose you," Harry shrugs before they're coming to the bottom of the stairs, a jazz band playing on a small stage and several men sitting at tables and on small sofas.

Louis stares around this strange, yet intriguing environment; he's already certain he loves it.

"This is... amazing," he manages to say while he's looking at the men chatting and laughing. There's a bar to their left that's serving drinks and Harry's hurrying over to it, Louis following him.

"Hey, Harry," the bartender smiles, "good to see you. And who's your friend?"

"Uh, this is Lou," Harry replies, "it's his first time here."

"Oh," the bartender nods and grins at Louis, "nice to meet you. I'm Mark. What can I start you off with to drink?"

"Uh, anything is fine, really," Louis replies.

"How about giving us some vodka?" Harry asks with a wink, "just... the whole bottle. I'll pay."

"No, let me," Louis speaks up, "I'll pay for it, love."

Harry grins at him and nods, "alright, sounds good."

"I don't usually sell the whole bottles, Harry," the bartender laughs, "you know that..."

"Yeah, but you also know me... so, you can make an exception for me, right?" Harry asks with an innocent smile.

"Yeah, yeah," the bartender chuckles, "of course. Why not?"

He sits 2 glasses down on the bar before he's grabbing a bottle of vodka and sitting it down for Harry and Louis.

"Thank you, Mark," Harry smiles, "you're too kind."

Louis pays for the bottle while Harry's pouring them both a glass. He then extends the glass to Louis and picks up the bottle with his own glass.

"Where do you wanna sit?" Harry asks as he's glancing around the club.

"Next to you," Louis answers with a serious look on his face.

Harry turns back to him, a small grin creeping over his face, "don't worry... you'll be next to me all night."

Louis smiles and Harry leads the way to a small table that's close to the jazz band.

Harry drinks down about 3 glasses of vodka before he's dancing in his seat to the music, his eyes closed as he gets lost in it.

And Louis can't help but snicker while he sits watching him with the cigarette in his mouth.

"You do know one of us has to drive?" Louis speaks up.

"I'll drive," Harry shrugs, "I'm not too far gone."

"Not yet," Louis laughs.

"I'll take the rest of the bottle home with me, no worries," Harry winks and leans over to kiss Louis softly.

And Louis honestly doesn't want to stop; he's an environment that allows him to kiss the man he wants to kiss... the only man that matters to him.

When Harry pulls away, Louis almost pouts, causing Harry to snicker some, "what... do you wanna just sit here and make out?"

Louis glances around at the other men, some talking while some are kissing. He turns back to Harry and says softly, "is that such a bad thing for me to want?"

"No," Harry whispers, "I guess this being your first time at this club you want to take in all the perks... all the freedom you feel when you're here. Am I right?"

Louis bites his lip before he replies, "yeah, you're right."

Harry smiles that beautiful smile at him again before the jazz band is playing a slow song. Harry's standing slowly and offering his hand to Louis.

"Would you care to dance, Mr. Tomlinson?"

Louis grins up at Harry, putting his cigarette out before replying, "yeah, I'd really love to, Harold."

Louis takes his hand and stands, allowing Harry to guide him to the small dance floor. Harry instantly places his hand on Louis' waist and takes his other hand in his as they dance slowly.

"I'm not very good at dancing," Harry smiles, "but slow songs aren't so bad."

"I'm an absolutely terrible dancer," Louis smirks, his hand resting gently on Harry's shoulder, "it's not one of my strong points."

"What is one of your strong points?" Harry asks as he stares at Louis.

"Uh," Louis begins as he bites his lip. He glances around the club for a moment before his eyes fall back on Harry in front of him, "I... I honestly don't know."

"You don't know?" Harry asks with a surprised expression, "surely you must know at least one, Lou."

"I... I don't think I do," Louis gets out, "I mean, I don't have any real talents..."

"They don't have to be talents," Harry smiles at him, sliding his hand around Louis' waist more, "what would you consider a strong point? What trait do you possess that could be a strong point?"

Louis stares back at Harry, questioning whether or not he should answer it honestly. "I can admit anything to you, right?"

Harry nods slowly, his face serious.

"I... I think my biggest trait that I possess is the ability to love," Louis confesses, not taking his eyes off of Harry's. "I'm... I'm very passionate about love, I always have been."

"But... have you ever been in love?" Harry whispers out.

Louis stares at him, feeling completely vulnerable in Harry's arms now, "I... I have."

Harry gives him a curious look, refraining from asking the question that's going through his mind. Instead, he says softly, "I've never really believed in that... that sort of thing. Sure, love can be felt for someone you're close to, like your mother or even your sister... but... I don't know, I've just never thought much about falling in love, you know?"

"Yeah," Louis manages to get out as he nods, "yeah, I understand you. But, can I ask you a question?"

Harry closes his mouth and nods, afraid of what the question might be.

"Have you not ever felt something for someone that... that didn't feel like it was just pleasure? That you weren't just having sex with them... that you maybe had feelings for them?" Louis asks, his nerves on edge.

Harry looks away for a moment... and for the first time, Louis sees a small peak of vulnerability bursting through Harry. He can see it written all over his face.

"You can admit anything to me, too, you know," Louis whispers and gently places his hand on Harry's cheek, turning his face to him.

Harry wants to look away, but he can't. He feels Louis' fingers touching his skin so softly, their hands intertwined while they dance... and Harry wants so badly to admit what Louis wants to hear... but how can he?

"The person you were in love with... who was it?" Harry decides to ask.

Louis gently glides his hand around the back of Harry's neck, keeping his eyes on him before he's leaning up some and meeting Harry's lips.

And Harry's wrapping both arms around him in an instant, pulling him as close as possible while they kiss and get lost in each other once more.

Louis places both hands on Harry's face while he's kissing him so slow and gentle... he feels no need to rush it because he needs Harry to feel what's in the kiss, and to realize exactly what it is.

Louis finally pulls away slowly, his eyes opening as he stares in the emerald eyes of the man in front of him, "I've already answered that question."

Harry is speechless as he stares at Louis; his first instinct is to walk away... but he doesn't really want to walk away and he knows it.

However, he gives in to the thought and is slowly walking off of the dance floor, Louis calling after him.

Harry doesn't answer him while he's picking up the vodka.

"What... what did you want me to say?" Louis asks, "you said I could admit anything to you..."

"I did, yeah," Harry mumbles out, "uh, look, I think we should call it a night..."

"Why?" Louis questions, feeling himself getting upset with Harry's words, "I thought we... we were going to spend some time together..."

"Lou," Harry starts as he finally looks back at him, "this has been an incredible night... but I think it's best if we just call it a night, alright?"

Louis bites his lip before he's blurting out sternly, "you've never believed in falling in love because you've always ran away from it."

Harry glances back at him, feeling a bit of rage growing inside of him as he stares at Louis. He steps over to him until his face is inches away and says lowly, "you don't know me, Lou. And I hardly know you. How can you fall in love with someone you just met and you know nothing about? It's not fucking possible. And besides... the last person you want to fall in love with is someone like me."

Louis opens his mouth to say something but Harry's too busy walking past him quickly, heading for the stairs.

Louis sighs and follows him quickly, calling his name though Harry continues to ignore him.

Harry opens the front door of the club and Louis walks out right behind him, watching Harry head down the sidewalk chugging the vodka.

"Harry," Louis calls once more and takes off after him, "would you just stop for a minute?"

Harry comes to an abrupt halt and turns around to face Louis, "why? So I can hear you lecture me on running away?"

"What would you call what you're doing right now?" Louis stutters out slowly.

Harry glances down at the sidewalk, freezing rain beginning to fall on him. He pushes his hair back and sighs out.

"Why... why are you running from me?" Louis whispers, "what did I do exactly to cause you to react like this... other than showing you exactly what I needed to show you."

Harry keeps his face down as he mumbles, "you can't be in love with someone you just met, Lou."

"Really?" Louis decides to question as he crosses his arms, "what... do you think I'm just some naive, sheltered lad who has fallen in love with the first guy he's fucked? Is that it? Do you think I'm just drawn to you because you have shown me the world I belonged in?"

Harry bites his lip and looks away again, glancing down the street at a few cars.

The rain starts pouring more as they're standing still on the sidewalk.

"I don't... I don't feel anything for you," Harry admits and looks back at Louis, knowing how much he'll hurt Louis with these words.

Louis' eyes, however, don't break from Harry's. He glares at him, showing no emotion whatsoever... and Harry can tell Louis doesn't believe him.

"I'll... I'll give you a ride home," Louis offers quietly, "come on... it's fucking freezing enough."

"I'll get a cab," Harry tells him.

"Just...," Louis starts as he steps closer to Harry, "ride with me... please."

"I... I really shouldn't," Harry stutters out, not meeting Louis' gaze.

"Look, I won't bring it up again... just let me give you a ride home," Louis says seriously.

Harry thinks about it for a long pause, then he's finally nodding slowly, "alright."

They start the walk back to Louis' car, both of them drenched by the cold rain; Louis takes the vodka from Harry and drinks down a good bit of it before he hands it back.

"Can you drive?" Harry asks him softly.

"I can," Louis nods, "I'm fine... I'm thinking pretty logical, to be honest."

"The logical thing to do would be to let me get a cab instead of offering me a ride," Harry explains as he stops on the passenger's side of the car. Louis looks back at him after he's opened the driver's door and Harry continues, "after me saying that to you, anyways."

"Saying what exactly?" Louis asks in a sarcastic tone, "the part about not having feelings for me? What... did you think I had forgotten what a good actor you are, Harry?"

Harry looks away finally before he's slowly climbing in the seat and chugging down more of the vodka.

Louis starts the car and leaves, lighting a cigarette while silence falls all around him; Harry doesn't want to talk about it, Louis knows that. But Louis wants him to talk about it.

"Are you going to drink that whole fucking bottle?" Louis chuckles a little and watches Harry swallowing.

"I'll save some for you, if you'd like," Harry shrugs and lights his own cigarette.

"Well, technically I did pay for it," Louis says with a small wink.

Harry finally smiles again, "smart ass."

"Did you think you were the only one with a sense of sarcasm, Harold?" Louis jokes and hits his cigarette.

Harry's dimples show when he turns back to Louis, "I knew it was in there somewhere... you'd have to have a sarcastic side living with your father."

Louis laughs and shakes his head while Harry snickers beside him, his eyes on Louis'.

"You told me about your attitude problem before, you know," Harry starts, "so, I'm guessing you've said a few out of the way things to your dad."

"I have... plenty of times," Louis chuckles and nods, "surprised he never kicked my ass for them."

Harry grins and stares back out the window, watching the rain run down the side of it.

Soon, they pull in front of Harry's apartment building. Louis parks and looks at Harry.

Harry steps out without saying a word and Louis almost feels his spirits fall... but soon, Harry's popping his head back in the car and smiling.

"Aren't you coming in?"

"We... well, I didn't know if you wanted me to," Louis manages to say.

"Well, you don't have to," Harry shrugs, "but... I'd like it if you did."

Louis doesn't hesitate to turn off the engine and step out right away with the bottle of vodka, the rain still coming down.

He hurries around to Harry and Harry only smiles while they're walking inside.

They climb the stairs to the 3rd floor once more and Harry pulls his key from his pocket, letting them in.

"So," Harry starts, turning to Louis after he's shut the door, "should we maybe finish off that bottle in my bed?"

Louis smirks before nodding, "yeah... yeah, I'd like that."

Harry grins and takes off for the bedroom, all the lights in his apartment off. Louis follows him into the dark, the only light in the room coming from Harry's window.

Harry throws his cigarettes and wallet on the bed before he's undressing, glancing at the pellets of freezing rain hitting the glass of the window.

"I bet we wake up to loads of snow," Harry whispers out.

"Maybe so," Louis answers while he's unbuttoning his shirt slowly.

Harry throws his pants away and climbs on the bed, grabbing the bottle of vodka Louis sat down. He turns it up and drinks some before he's glancing at Louis taking off his pants.

"I'm... I'm sorry," Harry confesses; he's drunk, but is still having trouble apologizing to Louis, "I'm sorry for ruining the club for you."

Louis turns back to him and their eyes meet. He slowly sits down on the bed till he's sitting in the middle of it, studying Harry closely.

"You... you didn't really ruin it, love," Louis whispers, "it's fine. Maybe I shouldn't have been so... forward..."

"No, I said you could admit anything to me," Harry says in a deep voice as he leans back on the bed and keeps his eyes fixated on Louis' face, "and... I'd never ask you to censor what you had to admit to me. I'm just not... not used to it."

"You're telling me that I'm the first lad who's ever admitted to having feelings for you?" Louis asks, "there's no fucking way."

"No, I've been told that before," Harry nods slowly, "but... I'm not used to..."

Harry stops himself and drinks down more vodka, not wanting the words to come out of his mouth; Louis has too much at stake for him to throw it away.

"What are you not used to?" Louis asks softly, leaning closer to Harry. He gently smooths Harry's hair back and then runs his fingers down his cheek again. "Tell me... please."

Harry looks back in the blue eyes in front of him, wondering what it is about this face and this person that has made him feel the way he does.

"I'm not used to someone telling me they have feelings for me when... when I feel the same as they do," Harry admits finally, his voice deep as he keeps his eyes on Louis'. "There. You got it out of me. Happy?"

Louis doesn't smile at him, though he wants to. Instead, he grabs the bottle of vodka and drinks down the last of it. He looks back at Harry, "so... when is our date then?"

Harry groans and rolls over in the bed and Louis snickers as he climbs up beside him.

"How about this...," Louis starts as he sighs, "how about just a night where the 2 of us go to that club?"

"I'm ok with that," Harry replies lowly.

"Then, maybe days where we drive out of town to maybe like a lake or river...," Louis goes on while Harry's busy snickering. "Or, you know, the beach... that's really not too far away..."

"Is this what the heterosexual couples do?" Harry teases Louis as he looks back at him.

"Well, yeah... but we're not heterosexuals, are we?" Louis looks back at Harry with a serious face, "what's wrong with doing all of those things with each other? What's wrong with being maybe the first men to do them?"

Harry's face falls serious again as he says out softly, "Lou, we can't be who we are in public... you know that, and I know that..."

"I meant," Louis chuckles a little and glances back at Harry, "we could still do these things together... and maybe in less populated areas so that we're not found."

"You... you have a whole future ahead of you," Harry whispers and sits up closer to Louis, "you can't throw it all away because of me, Lou..."

"What's wrong with... with continuing to act the part, Harry?" Louis asks before his fingers glide down Harry's bare chest, "what's wrong with us seeing each other and being a secret, like you suggested?"

"We already do that," Harry replies, "so, how's this any different?"

"Well, it... it's different because... we've admitted something to each other that neither of us has ever admitted before," Louis almost whispers, "unless you've had feelings for someone before..."

"I've never really had feelings," Harry whispers out while he's grabbing his cigarettes. He lights one slowly and leans his head back against the headboard, "since I was 16, it was more about just... exploring this world... and enjoying the pleasure of it all."

Louis manages to nod as he stares at Harry, "so, basically, you've just always been a whore for men?"

Harry glares at Louis and Louis starts laughing, covering his mouth. "Are you labeling me now, Mr. Tomlinson?"

"No," Louis continues to laugh softly, "I'm sorry... it slipped out."

"You've drunk too much," Harry points out as he hits his cigarette.

"Perhaps," Louis nods and looks around the dark room. He quickly climbs over Harry and off the bed, looking through Harry's nightstand.

"What are you doing?" Harry grins at him.

Louis pulls out the cigar case he knows Harry keeps the weed in; he takes out a joint that's already rolled and holds it up for Harry, a devious grin on his face, "want some, love?"

"Lou, you're already really drunk," Harry chuckles as he stares at Louis standing beside him, "that may just knock you out until tomorrow..."

"Doubtful," Louis says back quickly, "I've been drunk and still done it with you..."

Harry smiles at him and finally hands over the lighter, "light it up."

Louis climbs back over Harry and sits down, lighting the joint and taking a long hit of it; Harry watches him exhaling it, and Harry's never seen a more gorgeous view.

Louis offers it to Harry and Harry accepts immediately. He leans his head back and takes a really long hit, his eyes closed.

Louis takes it back and takes another long hit; he's set on getting high out of his mind and doing whatever comes to his or Harry's mind.

And within 10 minutes, the both of them are too far gone, laughing over stupid things as they lay flat in Harry's bed.

"...Yeah, she said she wanted to name our children Thomas and Margaret," Louis chuckles.

"Jesus," Harry groans with a smile as he stares at Louis, "Thomas isn't so bad, I guess, but Margaret, really?"

"Yeah, well," Louis shrugs, "I don't plan on ever marrying her and giving her children anyway... so, she can tell someone else about her baby names."

Harry stays quiet for a moment as he studies Louis, then he clears his throat and asks softly, "you're... you're not going to marry her?"

"No," Louis replies and glances back at Harry, his face serious, "I'm not. I'm going to play the part as long as I can. When that time comes, I don't know... I'll probably take my inheritance and my savings and leave."

"Where will you go?" Harry asks in almost a whisper.

Louis smiles and looks up at the ceiling, "probably France... maybe just England... but..."

Louis looks back at Harry lying beside him and Harry watches him scooting closer in the bed.

"...I want you to go with me," Louis whispers out, his fingers stroking over Harry's chest.

"Me?" Harry's eyes widen, "what? You want me to just... pick up and leave with you? What about my theatre and my career on Broadway?"

"You're right," Louis says out quietly, "I'm sorry... that was really selfish of me... I'm high and I just say what pops into my head."

"It's fine," Harry says back lowly, "how much money do you have?"

"Uh, a good bit," Louis smirks at Harry.

"Nice," Harry says while he's staring at Louis, "I guess you could just pick up and move if anyone ever discovered your secret."

Louis rests his head on Harry's chest and looks at him, "yeah... but I have enough for 2, you know... just in case anyone ever discovers your secret, too."

Harry doesn't blink while he's glancing down at Louis lying on him; suddenly, Harry's head is full of so many things... the 2 of them sharing a place together, sleeping together every single night...

"You don't want to go to jail, do you?" Louis asks quietly, breaking Harry's thoughts.

"No... fuck, no," Harry replies.

"Neither do I," Louis says softly as he stares at Harry.

He raises up slowly and leans down, his lips inches from Harry's again... and Harry slowly places his hand on the back of Louis' neck and gently guides him to his lips.

Harry moans into Louis' mouth as they kiss, feeling how different it is now... suddenly, this isn't about sex to him anymore... it's about Louis himself, and maybe it has been since Harry first met him.

Louis is quick to straddle Harry while their tongues are busy exploring each other's mouths. Harry's hands run down Louis' back before he's stopping at his ass and squeezing it, making Louis moan.

Harry begins kissing down Louis' jawline and then stopping at his neck, sucking on different spots while Louis is nearly grinding himself into Harry.

"God," Louis sighs out loud.

"Take your underwear off," Harry whispers in his ear.

Louis quickly does as he's told; he pulls them off and tosses them in the floor while Harry's scooting out of his.

This time, Louis isn't so hesitant to reach out and touch Harry; he sees how aroused Harry is and he's instantly taking Harry's cock into his hand and stroking it before he's straddling him again.

"You're getting so good at this," Harry sighs out quietly as he stares at Louis on top of him.

Louis reaches over to Harry's nightstand again, pulling out the jelly, and Harry just smirks at him.

"Is it alright if I do what I want to do?" Louis asks, his eyes not breaking from Harry's.

"It's more than alright," Harry says lowly, "go for it. Don't think I'll stop you."

Louis smiles a little before he's taking some of the jelly and placing it on Harry's cock, causing Harry to moan out loud and throw his head back into the pillow.

Then, Louis is getting up and positioning himself just right, and he's slowly sitting down on Harry's large cock. He squeezes his eyes shut and stays relaxed while he's still inching down. When Harry's completely inside of him, Louis wants to moan at the sensation... he hasn't done it this way yet.

Louis starts moving his hips slowly and he's already moaning out while Harry's lying still and watching him.

"Yes," Harry sighs out, "faster..."

Louis moves his hips faster on top of Harry, the feeling of Harry's cock going in and out of him making him want to scream.

Harry's hands go to Louis' waist, his fingernails digging into it as he's moaning out so loud. And Louis is becoming more and more confident with every move on top of Harry.

Soon, he's moving even faster, his only mission is to give Harry the best ride he's ever had... and when Louis looks at him, he's almost positive it may be.

Harry's almost screaming out at Louis' pace now; he wants to come so badly, but he also doesn't want it to be over yet.

But Louis isn't leaving him much choice; the quicker he moves on Harry, the more Harry wants to come in him.

Louis leans back some, his hands on Harry's legs as he keeps riding Harry with the same speed.

Harry takes in the sight in front of him, Louis' head leaned back and his eyes closed as he's moaning while he's moving up and down on Harry's cock so fucking good.

"Shit... fuck...," Harry moans out, gripping Louis' waist tighter as he feels his release coming.

He bucks his hips up and Louis nearly screams when he does. Louis watches Harry coming, he hears him moaning loudly and it only makes Louis want to come.

Louis finally slows down and sighs out loud.

Harry's still panting under him when he looks up at Louis, "you're fucking amazing."

"Am I?" Louis laughs.

"That was fucking incredible," Harry sighs out.

Louis leans down and kisses Harry again, biting Harry's lower lip before he kisses it again.

Harry feels Louis' cock fully erect still and he's looking back at Louis with a devious grin, "your turn?"

"Did you have something in mind?" Louis asks.

"Do you?" Harry asks seriously, "if you have something up your sleeve, then, by all means, do it."

Louis smirks a little and begins to climb off of Harry, grabbing his underwear in the floor. He throws Harry his while he walks out of the room to Harry's bathroom.

Harry lies still after cleaning off, his arm resting on his forehead as his mind is filled of thoughts... so many thoughts about the future and about Louis...

Louis finally returns and climbs on the bed instantly, his hands running down Harry's chest as he stares up at him.

"What do you want, Lou?" Harry almost whispers.

"I want to fuck you," Louis answers with confidence in his voice.

Harry grabs the jelly and hands it to him with a small smirk.

Louis is quick to cover himself in it, then he's telling Harry, "on your knees against the headboard."

"Yes, sir," Harry smirks and gets up, doing exactly what Louis wants.

Louis is soon up behind him, his lips going to Harry's neck as his hand wanders down to Harry's ass; he inserts 2 fingers into him while Harry moans loudly in front of him.

"Do you like being fucked?" Louis asks before he's kissing over Harry's neck again.

"What do you think?" Harry sighs out, "just get in me already, fuck."

"I like you begging," Louis smirks.

He's quickly inserting himself into Harry, not going slow at all... and he knows that with Harry he doesn't have to go slow... by now, Harry's more than used to this.

"Fuck," Harry nearly screams.

Louis makes sure he's right up against Harry while he's fucking him, the whole bed moving with him. He watches his cock running in and out of Harry's ass and he moans at the sight.

"Yes... fuck me Lou...," Harry's panting out between cries, "faster... please... come on, make it hurt."

"You want it to hurt?" Louis asks, "ok..."

And Louis quickens his pace, hitting Harry even harder with every thrust. And Harry only screams out louder, his head resting against the wall and his fingers grasping the headboard.

"Is that better for you?" Louis whispers in his ear.

"God, yes," Harry moans out, "fuck..."

Louis smiles a little before he's taking Harry's hips in his hands and holding them while he's fucking Harry almost brutally... but he knows this is exactly what Harry wanted.

"Can I come in you now?" Louis asks in a deep voice.

"Ye... yes," Harry whimpers out loudly, "please..."

Louis grips Harry's hips even tighter as he's driving into him, feeling his release seconds away.

And when it hits Louis, he's moaning out loud while he continues his hard thrusts. He hears Harry screaming and enjoying every last second of it.

"Fuck, fuck," Louis sighs as he slow downs, resting his head on Harry's back.

They're both panting and they're both sweaty, but neither of them mind.

"That was... brilliant," Harry gets out in a whisper.

"Thanks," Louis replies before he kisses Harry gently.

Harry cleans up in his bathroom and Louis sits in the bed with a cigarette in his hand as he waits for Harry to return.

Louis stares out the window, seeing snowflakes falling now and he can't help but smile.

"Want a drink?" Harry appears in the doorway with 2 beers.

"Uh, sure," Louis laughs while Harry's walking around the bed, "hey, it's snowing."

"Is it?" Harry asks, his eyes widening. He hurries over to the window to see all the flakes falling. He exclaims to Louis, "let's go up to the roof."

"What?" Louis laughs, "now?"

"Yeah, why not?" Harry replies while he hurries to find clothes for the 2 of them. He tosses Louis some pants and a sweater. "Those will probably be too big, but..."

"It's fine, love," Louis smiles and stands up.

Harry grins back at him before he's slipping on some clothes quickly. He grabs 2 of his coats, giving Louis his long black coat.

Then, Harry's picking up his cigarettes and sticking them in the pocket before opening the window slowly.

Louis smiles to himself as he's glancing down at Harry's clothes on his body; yeah, they're a bit big, but for some reason, Louis thinks they're the best thing he has ever worn.

"Come on," Harry tells him before he's climbing out of the window and onto the fire escape.

Louis puts his dress shoes back on, mumbling a 'fuck it' to himself and heading to the window.

Harry's waiting for him on the steps when Louis has climbed out.

"Come on," Harry motions with a smile as he starts up the stairs, Louis close behind.

There's snowflakes falling everywhere now, and Louis can see the ground down below is already covered.

When Harry reaches the top, he stares around the rooftop with a wide smile on his face.

"Look at all of this," he smiles back at Louis.

Louis snickers, "you look like a kid at Christmas, Harold."

"I love snow," Harry grins before he's closing his eyes and leaning his head up, the snowflakes falling on his face.

And Louis stands watching this man having the time of his life. He smiles as he joins Harry and does the exact same thing.

"I have a question for you," Harry says while he holds his hand out to catch the flakes.


"Would... would you ever consider living with someone... or letting someone live with you?" Harry asks and looks at Louis.

Louis stares at him, his face serious, "uh... yeah, just depends on the person."

Harry snickers, "you knew what I meant..."

"Uh, to be honest," Louis starts, "I want nothing more than having you with me, day and night."

"Yeah, but, I'd have to move in with you," Harry says quietly, "I mean, your dad would probably wonder why the fuck you moved to Greenwich Village with me, right?"

"He would, yeah," Louis nods as he stares at Harry.

Harry bites his lip and looks at the snow falling once more. He pulls out his cigarettes and lights one slowly. "How about... we try it out, for a few weeks?"

"What?" Louis asks his eyes wide, "are... are you joking, Harold?"

"I'm not joking," Harry laughs, "ask me the question."

"What question?" Louis asks.

"The question on living together, you dumb ass," Harry smirks at him.

"Well, I didn't know," Louis says and Harry just snickers at him. "Harry, would you, uh, would you like to come live with me?"

Harry smiles at him, his dimples so deep, "sure. But one condition..."


"I don't have to sleep in the guest room," Harry replies with a grin, "I want the other side of that massive bed of yours."

Louis can't help but laugh as he nods, "deal. That side is yours, then. But... but what about the people you meet up with and stuff?"

Harry turns back to him, "I'm not selling my apartment or anything. It'll still be there."

Louis nods a little, "how hard is it for you to commit to one person, Harold?"

Harry licks his lips slowly as he's staring off at the snow falling over every building. "I... I don't know. I've never done it."

"You know, I can give you money for your mum and sister," Louis whispers, "you don't... you don't have to do what you do..."

Harry tries to smile, "I appreciate that, Lou. But, if I'm just taking it from you without earning it somehow, how's it any different?"

"You wanna earn it?" Louis asks with a devilish smile.

Harry laughs and shakes his head, "no. Fuck no. You will NEVER pay me for that."

"Alright, alright," Louis chuckles and rubs his hands together while he studies Harry beside him. His face turns serious again before he asks quietly, "you sure you want to move in with me?"

Harry grins a little, "no, I'm not sure... that's why I said we'll try it for a while... but... I think it could be a lot of fun."

"It would be brilliant," Louis says softly as he puts his arms around Harry, "we could cook breakfasts together, dinners..."

Harry chuckles a little, "you're so domestic... I like it."

"Do you?" Louis asks.

"Yeah... because you remind me of someone who once wanted all of that as well," Harry admits quietly.

"What changed your mind?" Louis finds himself asking.

"Being locked in an institution," Harry answers, his face serious, "that changed my mind."

Louis closes his mouth and tries to nod, not knowing what to say.

"I like the idea of cooking breakfast together," Harry starts with a more cheerful tone, "I'm a great cook."

"Guess I'll see about that," Louis smirks before he leans up to kiss Harry softly.

There's no eagerness, or rushing... just 2 lips, 2 souls connecting.

"Ok," Louis starts, "I'm going back in because I'm fucking freezing."

Harry smiles at him, "yeah, let's, uh, go to bed."

Louis nods, trying not to show how excited he is in this moment; he didn't expect Harry to ask him such a question.

But suddenly, Louis' mind is filled of mornings with Harry; waking up to that beautiful dimpled face every single day... cooking together, doing everything together, and nothing at all.

When they climb back in, Harry shuts the window again and strips off the clothes, tossing them on his dresser. He climbs into his bed and watches Louis still undressing.

Harry knows how much he feels for him, and how stronger those feelings are growing with every second he spends with Louis. And he's not exactly scared... he's more worried of something going wrong.

Louis slips into the bed next to Harry; he scoots closer to Harry, putting his toes under Harry's legs and making Harry laugh.

"You are cold, aren't you?"

"What do you think?" Louis says with his teeth chattering.

"Come here," Harry says in a deep voice. He gets on his side and wraps his arms around Louis after he's gotten the covers over both of them.

And Louis sighs out in contentment, Harry's bigger frame holding him tight to him and slowly warming him up.

"This better?" Harry whispers as he lies his head back on his pillow.

"Much," Louis sighs out, "thank you."

"Goodnight," Harry says quietly before he kisses the top of Louis' head gently.

"Night, Harold," Louis says as he watches Harry, "wait... I have a question..."

Harry opens his eyes and smiles a little, "what?"

"You won't change your mind tomorrow, will you?" Louis asks seriously.

Harry runs his fingers through Louis' hair gently before he's replying, "no. I won't. Alright? I asked the question, Lou... it's not like you asked me..."

"I just didn't want you to regret it," Louis admits.

"I won't," Harry whispers, "I couldn't. Get some sleep."

"Alright, love," Louis says softly. He settles his head against Harry's chest and sighs out.

And Harry just smiles from his pillow, his eyes still closed.

Chapter Text

"Do you know how suspicious this is going to look?" Louis is telling Harry while he's helping him box up clothes and other things from his room a few days later.

"Suspicious?" Harry looks back at him while he's carefully placing his shirts in a box, "you mean, your night guard at the apartment and everyone, right?"

"Yeah," Louis admits in a whisper and continues to box up different items. He walks to Harry's dresser and looks at the photos there again... his mum, sister... then, the one of Harry and Ben.

"Would they really say anything to your dad though? Honestly?" Harry speaks up. "I mean, you could just be helping a friend out."

Louis looks away from the photo and back at Harry, "I'm... I'm not really sure. My dad loves you, obviously..."

Harry snickers lightly, "yeah, well, for now. I hope that continues to be honest."

"So do I," Louis whispers out. "Maybe we just tell him you needed a place to stay for a while... maybe because your place is being redone or something?"

"Are you really this worried about it?" Harry asks, his tone more serious, "I mean, I know you want to do what your dad wants and all that..."

"I'm not really worried," Louis interjects and takes a seat on Harry's bed while he watches Harry closing a box. "It's just... he comes by whenever he feels like it. I... I don't know how that's going to work."

"Here's a suggestion," Harry starts and sits the box at the end of the bed with 4 others, "I put my stuff in the guest room, make it look like I'm staying in there. Come on, your dad won't know any differently. He adores me, Lou."

Louis chuckles a little, "yeah, he really does."

"So," Harry says softly and stands in front of Louis, placing his hands on his shoulders gently, "why do you worry so much? I mean, if you're really concerned about this, I can just stay..."

"No," Louis is quick to interrupt as he stares up at Harry, "I want you there. I really do."

Harry grins a little and runs his fingers through Louis' hair, "you have more of a "fuck it" attitude when you're drunk and high, you know."

Louis can't help but nearly snort as he laughs, causing Harry to grin wider. "Yeah... I really do."

Harry removes his hands and looks around the room, "I think this is all I'm taking for now. I don't think I need much else."

"What happens when your friends come over and you're not here?" Louis decides to ask.

"Don't worry... I'll call them and tell them I won't be home for a while," Harry replies and grabs his coat.

"Does that include Ben?" Louis quietly gets out.

Harry glances back at him, "yeah, it does."

Louis nods and ends the conversation there; he won't make Harry talk about it... and he knows himself he doesn't want to talk about it.

Harry follows Louis to his apartment downtown; both of them manage to carry in all the boxes in 2 trips, Louis only smiling at the guard on duty. He knows him well and he's sure now of what to say to him if he even asks Louis what is going on.

Harry places the last box in the guest room, then stands and places his hands on his hips, glancing around the room.

Louis stands in the doorway watching him closely, creeping doubts coming to his mind. Are they doing the right thing? Or are they just setting themselves up for trouble?

It's not like Louis cares, however; he only wants this: Harry here with him every single day. He wants to be able to touch him, kiss him, talk to him whenever he can. He knows he has fallen so fast and so hard for this carefree spirit in front of him, but he doesn't care. And it's never been like Louis to not care.

But Harry has changed that for him.

Louis spends the following evening at yet another one of Harry's magnificent plays; he watches intensely, laughs along with the dialogue, and stands at the very end with everyone else when they take their final bows.

And Harry sees Louis front row and smiles, giving him a small wink before they disappear backstage.

Once again, Louis is let back by Nick and he waits in the dressing room, watching all the other performers laughing and talking about the show.

"Hey, nice to see ya again, mate," Niall speaks up when he sees Louis standing not too far away, "did ya enjoy the show?"

"I did," Louis nods and grins, "was brilliant as always. Harry's an amazing writer."

"He is," Niall nods while he's changing, "he should be writing plays for Broadway."

"I know he could," Louis says softly.

Nick walks up to stand in front of Louis, "listen, I'm sorry about last time. I overreacted."

"No, it's fine, really," Louis tells him before he smirks, "I mean, I obviously wouldn't want the district attorney's son just showing up at a place like this either."

"We just don't want the wrong people discovering this," Nick speaks quieter, "we've worked too hard to keep this going. And Harry.... he explained it all to me. And I get it. I'm sorry if I came off as a bastard, ya know?"

Louis nods a little, still waiting for Harry to return from changing, "it's ok. Really."

"How'd Harry end up with the district attorney's son anyhow?" Niall asks when he walks over, a small grin on his face as he studies Louis.

"Uh," Louis chuckles lightly, feeling his cheeks flush, "we, uh, just went out after one of his broadway performances."

Niall nods and glances at Nick before he looks back at Louis, "and you 2 are... like... serious, or...?"

Louis notices how Niall looks at Nick before asking, so he tries to answer the question the best way he can. He clears his throat, "uh, yeah... yeah, we are. He, uh, just moved in with me actually."

"Oh," Niall's eyes widen and he chuckles some, "wow. We're talking about the same Harry here, right?"

Louis doesn't know what to say, and thankfully he doesn't have to say anything when he sees Harry coming out of the bathroom dressed in his normal clothes again, his face washed of all make up.

"Hey," Nick turns around and tries to smile, which Louis notices, "you did a great performance, Harry. Well done."

Harry smiles a little at him, "thanks, man."

Louis stands there staring at him, watching Harry running his fingers through his wet hair trying to fix it. He picks up a towel and runs it through it while he stares in one of the mirrors.

By this time, Nick has already walked off and started talking to someone else and Niall has done the same. So, Louis slowly makes his way over to Harry and stands, his arms crossed while he watches him.

"So," Harry speaks up and turns his eyes to Louis, "what should we do now, Mr. Tomlinson?"

"Uh," Louis laughs and shrugs, "I... I don't know. Whatever you would like, love."

"I could use a few drinks," Harry states and throws the towel down.

Louis finds himself fixing the pieces of Harry's hair without even realizing it; but Harry only grins at him as he does it.

"We can have drinks at my place, you know," Louis suggests quietly.

Harry nods, "if that's what you want. I don't know... I just feel like going out and maybe having some fun together."

"Where are you wanting to go?" Louis asks with a smirk.

"Maybe the place I ruined for you before?" Harry asks seriously.

Louis licks his lips and finally nods, "ok... yeah, sure. But... don't ruin it for me this time."

Harry chuckles and nods, "I won't. I swear."

"I'm buying," Louis tells him while Harry's picking up his suitcase.

"If you insist, babe," Harry grins and gently pinches Louis' cheek, "come on... let's get the fuck out of here."

Louis smiles and follows Harry to the back entrance; he can see Nick watching Harry leave but he pretends to not notice and follows him out the door.

Harry lights a cigarette as soon as they've walked out into the cold air, the ground still covered in snow; not as much snow as Harry would like, but he knows it won't be long before there's more in the city.

"Can I ask something?" Louis speaks up, his hands buried in his coat pockets.

"Of course," Harry grins and hits his cigarette.

"Nick," he starts and turns to Harry, "is he... he one of your friends?"

Harry nearly snorts and flicks his ashes, "he's, uh, no... he works with me and yeah, we've done stuff... but no, he's basically just a free spirit like I am. I mean, yeah, he comes to my place a lot to make sure I get my ass out of bed in time. He acts like my fucking mother or something..."

Louis smiles down at his feet while they walk to his car.

"... But, really, he's just a friend that helps with the theatre and all," Harry finishes, "he and I just... you know..."

"Friends with benefits sorta thing," Louis nods.

"Yeah," Harry replies softly.

"So, you told him you moved in with me?" Louis dares to ask when they finally make it to his car, "cause I told Niall in front of Nick and wasn't sure if he already knew."

"Yeah," Harry gets out while he's opening the door, "I already told him."

Louis climbs in the driver's seat and stares at Harry for a long pause, "what about..."

"He knows, too," Harry answers quickly, knowing exactly who Louis was about to mention. He finally smiles again, "don't worry... I didn't break his heart or anything."

Louis tries to grin, but his mind still wanders.


(Night and Day - Frank Sinatra)


They arrive again at the club Harry had taken Louis to before; Louis pays for himself to protect his identity again and soon they're sitting at a table, tossing back shot after shot as a small jazz band is playing not too far away.

"So," Louis begins and flicks his ashes in the ashtray, "what is it about him exactly?"

Harry gulps down another shot; he's already lost count by now on how many he's had... but he's taken off guard by Louis' sudden question, no matter how drunk he is.

"About who?" He questions as if he doesn't know.

Louis gives him a look and Harry just sort of smirks while he lights a cigarette slowly.

"There's nothing about him," Harry answers, placing his hands on the table, "he and his wife don't have a very good relationship... so, he's just one of those guys."

"The ones of society who aren't happy being married to a woman," Louis nods.

"Yeah," Harry answers, "Lou, I've told you already about him. He's just one of those guys who aren't satisfied with the mediocre life they live. And you know there's a lot of those in this city. I could point out a few in this place right now."

Louis glances around at the men in the club; the ones just talking, the ones making out... he wonders how many of these men are actually married.

"So, he wasn't upset at all when you told him you were staying with me?" Louis asks as he turns back to Harry.

"No," Harry snorts, "I mean, I told him I'd still meet him for lunch, you know."

Louis' mouth goes dry as he picks up his last shot and downs it. He takes a long hit of the cigarette and Harry can tell his demeanor has changed.

"What... am I... am I not allowed to still go on lunch dates?" Harry asks.

"I don't control your life, Harold," Louis tries and laughs it off.

"I didn't mean... I just meant lunch," Harry mumbles out.

Louis' eyes look back up at Harry and he searches those emerald eyes looking for any trace of a lie... but he can't see one. At all. He sees honesty. And he's afraid to say what he really wants to say.

Harry finally smiles again, "didn't see you as the jealous type."

"Jealous?" Louis asks with a small laugh, "fucking please."

Harry continues to grin at him while he hits his cigarette and Louis can't help but sigh.

"Alright... I don't know... maybe I am," Louis shrugs, "I've never.... I've never had anyone to be jealous over, Harry."

"You want me to quit seeing other people completely, don't you?" Harry blurts out, moving the cigarette in his fingers.

Louis plays with the empty shot glass in front of him before he shrugs, "it's your life. And I.... I don't expect you living with me to change what you do."

Harry sits back in his chair, studying Louis closely, knowing that Louis is lying; he can tell. He hasn't even known him that long and he can just tell.

Harry decides to avoid the conversation now and instead grins again and says, "let's get out of here already. After all, we do have a huge bed waiting for us."

Louis looks back at him, "who's gonna drive?"

"Me," Harry shrugs and stands slowly, "trust me.... I've drank tons and driven just fine, Lou. I'm sort of a pro at this."

"Yeah, but... if that car gets wrecked, my dad will..."

"Fuck your fucking dad," Harry says loudly, causing Louis to close his mouth. "Look: I know you wanna please him... but one day, Louis, you've gotta learn to live for yourself."

"I know that," Louis glares up at him, "why do you think I told you that I wasn't marrying her?"

Harry bites his lip and looks away again. He finally sighs, "I'm sorry. It just came out."

"I'm growing used to it," Louis tells him and stands.

Harry closes the space between them, gently wrapping his arms around Louis' lower waist and pulling him close. "I know your dad expects a lot of you... I do. But... the time will come where you have to choose, Lou. And you know that already."

Louis stares at him long and hard before he's placing his hand gently on Harry's cheek, "I wanna choose you. A million times over, I wanna choose you."

Harry nods a little, his hands gently massaging Louis' back, "come on... let's just go, alright? I'd rather be at your place than here."

Louis nods and leans up, kissing Harry gently at first, the taste of pure vodka on his lips; their kiss deepens and soon their hands are roaming all over each other.

Harry finally has to break the kiss, his breathing heavy, "let's go before I end up undressing you right here."

"Alright," Louis whispers back against Harry's lips, and Harry can feel goosebumps all over his body at Louis' simple word.

Harry drives slowly and cautiously back to Louis' apartment. It's only a little past 10 pm when they arrive and stumble into the elevator laughing.

"Good to see you again," Tom smiles at the 2 of them.

"You as well," Harry grins, his arm around Louis' neck. They're both too drunk to care in this moment.

They finally reach Louis' floor and both of them stumble out of the elevator laughing incredibly too loud, but not caring a bit.

Louis unlocks his door to find the lights already on... and his eyes quickly go to the sofa.

Harry stops abruptly behind him, stumbling against the wall and his eyes look in the direction of Louis'... it's Louis' father who is sitting on the sofa, a cigar in his mouth.

"Dad," Louis starts, his throat going dry, "I... I didn't know you were stopping by."

Harry shuts the door and tries to pull himself together; he makes his way to the kitchen to grab a glass of water while still watching Louis.

"Well, I tried calling," his father speaks up as Louis walks over, "seems you had other plans."

"Harry and I were out with a few of his actor friends," Louis does his best to lie, "we just had a few drinks."

Louis' dad nods, "I noticed the boxes in the guest room..."

Harry sips the water, making eye contact with Louis' father.

"Yeah, Harry's staying for a bit," Louis speaks up, feeling the nervousness coming over him.

Harry can tell and so he's soon making his way over to Louis, trying not to seem too drunk while he once again acts the part.

"He offered to let me stay until my apartment was finished," Harry cuts in and smiles that beautiful dimpled smile, "it's needed a lot of work, so they'll be working on it for a few weeks. He was nice enough to offer for me to stay here. And it's great... it's very close to the theaters for me."

Louis' father nods while he looks at Harry, "ah, well, I'm glad Louis will have someone to keep him company. He's needed that."

Louis wants to roll his eyes but he maintains his composure.

"I'm sure Harry would love to meet Alice as well," Louis' father smiles at Louis, "when she gets into town, we'll have dinner at the house with her and her family. And Harry..."

Harry looks back at Louis' father, his mind wandering because Louis hadn't mentioned Alice coming at all.

"... You must come over for dinner with us," William grins at him, "Meredith and I would love to have you."

"Uh, sure, yeah," Harry nods and forces a small smile, "I'd be honored to, sir. Louis has told me a lot about your home. I've seen it from the outside. I mean, Mr. Jones threw a dinner party one night at his place... I just had no idea you lived so close to him."

William nods and stands with a smile, "well, it'll make it easier for you to get there, then, won't it?"

Harry nods, still forcing the same smile while Louis is staring at him; it's not that Louis had intentionally forgotten to tell Harry about Alice coming to town... he just hadn't thought much of her since Harry's arrival into his life.

"Uh, if you'll excuse me, sir, I'm going to get some rest... have some things to do early," Harry speaks up and shakes William's hand.

"No worries," William grins, "I'm sure someone like you stays very busy, Mr. Styles."

Harry nods, glancing at Louis before he's walking off to the guest room, closing the door behind him.

He stands against the closed door, sighing out a deep breath and closing his eyes while Louis and his father are still talking.

The last thing Harry wants is to have dinner with Alice, her family, and Louis' father... mostly just Alice though. He feels something in him that he's never really felt before and he begins to question if it's jealousy... if he feels jealous, just like Louis.

He pushes it out of his mind and opens the window next to the small sofa. He frantically searches for the cigar box in one of his boxes, Louis' and William's voices still echoing down the hall; he can't really tell what they're saying but he knows his father is talking about him once more.

And as Harry sits down, lighting the joint between his fingers, he wonders how long he can keep this man fooled; he's the district attorney for fucks sake and he has uneasy feelings about his identity soon being discovered somehow.

He wonders if he is doing the right thing by even being here with Louis; he knows what trouble he'll get him into if or when his dad finds out... and as he hits the joint slowly and stares out the window, he can only picture one thing: Louis being institutionalized because of him.

The thought alone makes Harry shudder; he doesn't want to think about institutions at all... not after what he went through in one. He couldn't possibly imagine Louis having to go through the same things he did.

Harry wishes more than anything that he could talk to his mum right now. He misses her voice, her hugs, her smile... her advice.

He finds himself soon with paper in his hand and a pen going over the paper effortlessly, writing her a letter.


"Hey mum. It's Harry. I hope you're doing well at home and that things have quieted down a bit. How's Gemma? Is she enjoying her job?

I miss the both of you. I miss being able to talk to you about what's on my mind. And there's so many things on my mind right now, mum. I'm honestly not sure what to do about the situation I'm in.

See, there's this guy now and he's brilliant. But things are complicated because of who he is. He has a lot at stake to put it simply. And I don't want to ruin anything for him. But... he means a lot to me, mum. So, I'm stuck. I'm stuck between continuing to be his in the darkness and letting him be who he's meant to be in the light.

I don't know what to do. I wish you were here for me to talk to. I love you and Gem so much. I hope to see you both soon. I really do.
All the love
Your son, Harry xx"


Harry sighs and folds the paper before he's hitting the joint between his lips again and looking out the window. He watches snowflakes beginning to fall again, but somehow he can't smile about them this time.

"Harold," Louis calls from the hallway.

Harry instantly snaps out of his thoughts when he hears that accent. "You can come in, Lou."

Louis opens the door and sees Harry sitting on the sofa, "he's gone."

Harry nods and sits the letter down before he's standing with the joint in his hand.

"So, did he say anything? Act suspicious at all?" Harry forces a smile and asks.

"No," Louis grins, "he, uh, he said he was very pleased with me for inviting you here.... that I needed the company. And a real friend."

"A real friend," Harry almost snickers and shakes his head, "yeah, well, at least that's what he thinks."

"So," Louis starts quietly as he leans against the doorway, "what do we do now?"

"Well, I say," Harry starts and takes another joint from the cigar box, "we go lie in bed and smoke this... maybe drink a bit more and do whatever comes to our minds."

"Or whatever pops up?" Louis smirks at him.

"That was a terrible pun," Harry points and grins, "but yeah, sure. Sounds good."

They lay in Louis' bed an hour later in nothing but pajama bottoms; 2 joints have been smoked and loads of scotch has been drank between them... and Harry has already learned what a cheap drunk Louis is.

He's in laughing fits on the bed over something Harry has said, and Harry can't help but laugh at him while he lies on his side studying him.

"You know," Louis finally sighs with a giant smile still on his face when he rolls over on his back, "I don't think I could've ever imagined this."

"Imagined what?" Harry grins a little as he still studies Louis.

Louis stares up at the ceiling, the lights from his windows casting shadows, "this... you. I never would've imagined I'd be lying here spilling things about myself with someone like you."

Harry bites his lip while Louis turns to stare at him. Louis reaches over and runs his fingers through the longer pieces of Harry's hair.

"Can I ask you something?" Harry whispers out.

"Yes," Louis replies, "anything."

"Why does your dad always just randomly show up?" Harry gets out.

"He... he worries about me," Louis admits and looks away, "he doesn't like me living alone... he doesn't like that I took a break from school..."

"Why though?" Harry asks seriously.

Louis sighs and bites his lip; and Harry knows he's drunk enough to tell him anything.

"His and my relationship fucking sucks, you know that," Louis blurts out, "after my mum died, he noticed that I changed. Though he wouldn't help me himself, he sent me to a psychiatrist..."

"For what?"

"For depression," Louis looks back at Harry, "he thought I was depressed."

"Were you?" Harry questions quietly.

"I don't think so," Louis replies, "I think I just began to hold everything in. And of course that just screamed depression to him obviously."

"Because he didn't understand you," Harry nods.

"Yeah," Louis answers and looks back at Harry, "so, he just assumed my mum passing made me that way. I wasn't that way because of that. Yeah, my mum was the only person I trusted... but I don't know... I think I just held it in because I had no one else to talk to. I couldn't talk to my dad, and I started avoiding what little friends I did have."

"You didn't have friends?" Harry almost whispers out, "seems you'd have tons of them... rich as fuck friends anyway."

Louis snorts, "yeah, well, people like that aren't ones you really open up to, are they?"

"What about Liam?"

"Liam," Louis chuckles and shakes his head, "no... Payno is one of those stuck up dicks like the rest of them."

"I kind of figured that after meeting him," Harry nods a little. "What kind of friends did you have? I mean, in Doncaster."

"Uh, mainly just the football team," Louis replies, "I wasn't exactly social at all... I did talk to them, yeah. Went to a few parties with them my senior year... wasn't really comfortable."

"Why was that?" Harry asks and sits up to light a cigarette.

"Well," Louis starts and places his hands behind his head, "by then, I just... I didn't really care anymore. I knew my dad had plans on moving eventually. I didn't want to leave Doncaster, to be honest."

"I never wanted to leave London," Harry starts and blows out his hit, "but my mum pushed me to."

"I'm guessing you did a lot of acting in the school you attended?" Louis asks while he stares at Harry sitting next to him.

Harry nods, "I did. I... I took an interest in acting and music really early on in my life. I must've been about 6 or 7? But I loved it. I'd go around my home reenacting plays and my mum would just smile at me and tell me to keep it up."

"That must've been brilliant," Louis whispers, "to have that sort of support, I mean, through the years like you did."

"It... it took a lot for me to get that support," Harry stutters out and bites his lip before he hits the cigarette once more and looks out Louis' windows.

"Your mum always supported you, didn't she?" Louis speaks while he sits up slowly.

"She... she did, yeah," Harry replies softly, "even when I was little. But, I mean, you know, she didn't wish for me to be this way. She didn't wish my life to be hard... but she supported the fact that I was different, even if it meant a difficult life for me."

"So... how... how did she get you out of the institution?" Louis stutters out.

"They were... they were already getting a divorce," Harry admits, not looking at Louis, "and Gemma and I were being left in mum's custody."

"Why though? Seems it would've been the other way around... I mean, the way things are in this world," Louis scoots over to Harry and picks up the cigarettes.

"Because my dad was a drunk," Harry looks back at Louis, his face serious. And Louis is sure he's never seen Harry look so hurt. Harry sighs and glances away again, "he was a terrible drunk. He had issues..."

"What do you mean?" Louis decides to ask before he's caressing Harry's back softly, "if you don't mind me asking, that is."

"He took out his anger on...," Harry begins but stops and blankly stares off.

"On you?" Louis finishes, looking at Harry concerned.

Harry nods a little and hits the cigarette again. His demeanor suddenly changes and he quickly stands, "I feel like having a little more to drink."

"It's like midnight nearly," Louis barely smiles up at him.

"So? I don't have any early plans. Do you?" Harry asks.

"Well, no, not exactly," Louis mumbles out and watches Harry walking out of the room.

Louis' drunk and high, more than he's ever been... but he knows that maybe he's pushed Harry too far this time. Maybe Harry doesn't want to discuss his past with him... maybe Harry has never discussed his past with anyone.

Louis is putting out his cigarette when Harry comes back into the room holding the bottle of scotch in his hand with a cigarette hanging from his lip.

He takes a seat on the small window pane and opens one of Louis' windows, letting the cold air in and seeing the snowflakes falling lightly.

Louis slowly gets up, picking up the ashtray and making his way over and taking a seat next to him; he points to the scotch and Harry hands it over while his eyes stay on the lights outside, seeing the snow falling by the street lamps.

"I'm sorry," Louis clears his throats and says softy while he stares at Harry, "if I... I went too far with my questions."

Harry smirks a little and looks back, "don't apologize. You're drunk as fucking hell, Lou. I wouldn't expect anything less at the moment."

"Yeah, I'm sorry... I guess I am more open," Louis grins, and Harry thinks it's the most beautiful grin he has ever seen.

"Don't say you're sorry," Harry tells him quietly and touches his leg with a small smile, "I rather like you this way... you're more... yourself... and honest."

"And yet, you hardly know me," Louis says before he's taking a drink of the scotch.

"Well, I could say the same," Harry shrugs, "yet, here I am, in your apartment for some fucking reason."

Louis laughs and glances out the window.

"My dad started drinking when I was about 10," Harry begins to explain slowly, hitting the cigarette. Louis watches him closely, staying quiet and letting him speak whatever is on his mind. "He... he soon started staying that way. And... I don't know... I was a great student... I had brilliant scores... I was top in all my classes... yet...."

Harry looks away again while he takes the scotch from Louis and downs a good bit of it.

"It wasn't your fault," Louis manages to whisper.

Harry glances back at him as Louis' hand lays on Harry's arm. He nods a little and tries to answer, "I know. I know that now. When I was younger, though, I wondered what I did wrong, ya know?"

"And your mum never knew, or?"

"My mum didn't know," Harry shakes his head and drinks some of the scotch down. He sighs and looks back at Louis, "she only found out the day he wanted me institutionalized. When I was admitted to that place... I was..."

Louis watches Harry biting his lip and looking down. He gently grips his arm, "it's alright if you don't want to talk about it."

"No," Harry whispers, "I do actually. I mean, I might as well, right?"

Louis tries his best to nod while Harry looks down at the scotch in his hand.

"When I was admitted to the institution, Lou, I had a black eye and a busted lip," Harry admits without looking back at Louis.

Louis' mouth opens and he looks a little caught off guard by Harry's confession; he can't find the words to say or even ask.

"My dad.... when he found out about me, that's what happened," Harry explains and finally glances at Louis again. "And the institution didn't even think much of it. They supported the fact that he had done that to me."

"That's fucking pathetic," Louis barely gets out, feeling anger growing inside of him.

"Yeah, well, that's the world we live in, Lou," Harry looks back, "you've figured that out since meeting me, haven't you?"

"So, how long did you have to stay?"

"Something like 10 months," Harry mumbles and hits his cigarette one last time and puts it out. He sighs and glances back at the snow, "I had to wait until the divorce was finalized... and once it was, she came and got me the same day, her and Gemma."

"But how did they just let you out?" Louis asks confused.

Harry smiles a little while he's looking down at the streets below, "because, Lou... I'm a good actor."

Louis licks his lips and keeps his eyes on Harry. "You fooled them into thinking you're straight."

Harry looks back, "yeah... yeah, I did. I went through hell for a few months and then I realized the only way to get out was to start acting as if I was cured."

"You fooled the doctor and all?" Louis asks, raising an eyebrow.

"I did," Harry nods with a small grin, "when my mum showed up, they told her I had made huge progress and that they would allow her to take me home."

"Wow," Louis whispers out, "that's... that's real acting. You are an amazing actor."

Harry shrugs and reaches out the window, trying to catch a snowflake.

"So, after that, what happened?" Louis decides to ask, "did people know?"

Harry almost snorts, "uh, well, my dad didn't want it getting out that he had a fucked up son, so no. When I got out, my friends wondered where the hell I had been. I had to lie and say that I had to move schools. A lot of my friends already knew I was... that I liked guys. I didn't hide it around them. I didn't have to."

"Guess that's how you met the first guy," Louis smirks.

Harry grins and shrugs, "yeah, suppose. He was older than me, though."

"You told me," Louis nods. He glances at the clock on his wall and sighs, "it's really late and I feel like I'm going to crash at any moment."

"I'm not surprised," Harry chuckles a little and stares at him, "go to bed, if you want."

"You're not?"

"I... I don't know," Harry mumbles, "I think I'm too drunk."

Louis grins and stands slowly, his eyes on Harry's. Harry only stares back at him, wondering what's going through Louis' mind.

"Can we... at least," Louis starts nervously, "maybe..."

Harry smirks and gets up, sitting the scotch down on the table next to Louis' bed, "you mean, have sex?"

Louis fixes the long pieces of hair in his eyes and nods slowly while he stares at Harry. He takes a deep breath and says deeply, "yeah. I want... I want to be with you."

"Well, you're drunk and high," Harry grins and slowly runs his fingers down his bare stomach before he's stopping at the elastic of the pajama pants. He slowly guides his fingers around it while he's staring at Louis.

And Louis knows Harry can already tell he's turned on; as if it's not obviously showing through the thin pants he is wearing.

"What would you like to do, then?" Harry asks in a seductive tone, "this is your place after all."

Louis smiles a small smile, "you can call it yours as well. I won't be offended."

"I was only joking," Harry grins and goes ahead and starts pulling his pants off slowly.

Louis watches him standing there, his hands wandering down to his cock while he keeps his eyes on Louis'.

"Sure you're not too tired, Mr. Tomlinson?" Harry whispers with a small grin coming out of his lips.

"I could never be too tired for you," Louis says softly, his breathing becoming harder while he studies Harry touching himself.

"So, what do you want, then?"

"Just you," Louis quietly replies, closing the gap between them and immediately gliding his hands around Harry's lower waist and pulling him in; he leans up and kisses him aggressively, and Harry can't help but moan while he's busy trying to pull off Louis' pants.

They fall to the floor in no time and Harry nearly picks up Louis and throws him in the bed.

"Jesus Christ," Louis breathes out as Harry lays on top of him smirking.

"I want to do something to you, if you're willing," Harry whispers in a serous tone.

"I'm... I'm always willing for you," Louis stumbles out the the words, keeping his eyes on the emerald ones staring back at him.

"Good," Harry leans to his ear and whispers before he's kissing down his jawline and making Louis moan out softly while he closes his eyes.


 (Not Afraid Anymore - Halsey)


Harry guides his hand down Louis' stomach, the rings on his fingers tickling him. He teases Louis by tracing over his pelvic bone, then between his thighs while he continues kissing and sucking down his jawline and neck, leaving bite marks behind.

"Shit," Louis mumbles out at the sensation. His entire body is covered in chills with the touch of Harry's fingers.

Harry only grins a little before he's moving down Louis' body with his lips, biting over his chest, then his pelvis.

Louis throws his bead back before he's glancing at Harry kissing over Louis' thighs before he's biting them gently and sucking them.

"Shit... how... how am I going to explain all of these to my..."

"Don't," Harry looks back at him, fire in his eyes, "don't mention him or anyone. It's only you and I, Lou. That's what matters right now."

Louis' mouth closes and he does his best to nod while Harry's going back to business, moving his lips towards Louis' cock.

Louis wants to scream the moment Harry's tongue is going up the shaft and then back down it. He watches Harry move down to his balls, first licking them and then pulling them into his mouth and sucking them.

"Fuck," Louis cries out while Harry's opening his legs wider.

"You like that?" Harry looks up at him, "you're gonna love this, then."

Louis looks confused as he breathes heavy; but soon, Harry's licking his way down past Louis' balls and Louis immediately knows what Harry means.

He's raising Louis' hips up and his tongue is slowly running over the opening of Louis' ass in a matter of seconds. Louis almost whimpers out while he grabs Harry's hair.

It only encourages Harry even more; soon, his fingers are spreading Louis open and his tongue is darting in and out of him, then licking over it again before he's burying his face in his ass once more.

"Fuck, fuck," Louis moans out, raising his hips higher.

Harry reaches up to Louis' cock while his tongue is still eating his ass out; he runs his thumb over the head of his cock and can fill the pre cum already.

Harry begins giving Louis a hand job while his face is buried in his ass, giving Louis yet another incredible, first experience.

Louis finds himself gripping Harry's hair and pushing his face into him even more. And Harry willingly obliges, his tongue running in and out of his ass.

Louis finally pushes Harry's hand off of his cock, causing Harry to glance up at him.

"I wanna fuck you," Louis gets out quickly, his breathing heavy.

"Ok," Harry agrees, running his fingers up and down Louis' ass as he stares at him.

Louis is pulling Harry up on top of him in no time, kissing him aggressively, almost violently as they roll over in the bed, Harry landing on his back.

Louis pushes Harry's legs up, staring over every inch of him, including his ass.

Harry smirks, "you enjoyed that, didn't you?"

"I... I more than enjoyed it," Louis says in a tone that Harry has never heard.

Harry can see the fire, the lust in Louis' eyes while he's staring at him. He's soon spitting on his cock and entering Harry, not even bothering to go slow.

Harry screams out immediately and throws his head back into the silk sheets, his fingers gripping them. "Fuck, yes..."

Louis holds Harry's hips and fucks him harder than he ever has before while he watches Harry's face; he can tell in this moment that Harry... Harry loves to be fucked... more than he wants to fuck someone. Louis can read him.

And while he continues to drive into him, he can tell even more: Harry loves to be dominated by someone.

"Faster," Harry moans out, gripping his cock and stroking it fast. He looks Louis straight in the eye and tells him, "make it hurt."

Louis bites his lip and fucks Harry even harder, causing Harry's screams to echo off the entire room walls and possibly out the window.

Louis' fingers dig into Harry's hips, making sure to leave marks just for him. He scratches his way down his ass and then back up his thighs while he watches Harry's face; he's fully caught up in what Louis is doing to him and Louis can tell how much Harry enjoys this... being dominated.

Harry breathes out heavier with every thrust and soon, he feels his release coming. He strokes himself as fast as possible while he throws his head back and cries out, the hot liquid landing all over his stomach and chest.

And Louis thinks it's the most sinful, yet pure thing he has ever seen. He can't help but come seconds later, watching Harry lying there still crying out with every drive of Louis' cock into his ass.

"Shit... shit," Louis moans out while he's coming in Harry within seconds. He only closes his eyes for a brief moment; when he opens them he sees Harry staring at him, his hands going to Louis' while Louis rides out the remainder of the high.

Louis sighs and stops finally, his breathing as heavy as Harry's on the bed in front of him.

Harry only grins a little at him before he's reaching up and running his fingers through Louis' hair.

They both take a shower together, Louis holding Harry and planting kisses all over his shoulders and his neck. And before they even know it, they're fucking again, Harry leaned over the best he can while Louis is fucking him extremely hard again.

When they finally make it to bed, it's going on 3 am. They both lay in bed naked, smoking one last cigarette, Louis cuddled into Harry's side, his head against his chest.

"You discovered something about me," Harry whispers out, exhaling his hit and looking out the still open window.

Louis grins a little after yawning, "and that would be?"

"Don't act like you don't know," Harry says softly and runs his fingers through Louis' wet hair.

"What? That you like someone else in control in bed?" Louis looks back at Harry and gives him a smug grin.

"Yeah," Harry nods back, "how'd you discover that so easily?"

"How'd you know that I did?" Louis whispers back.

"I could see it," Harry tells him as he stares in the blue eyes that he wants to get lost in forever.

"You can read me," Louis nods, "sorta like I read you."

Harry shrugs a little and finally puts out the cigarette, "yeah, I guess so. I've... I've been able to read you since day one actually."

"Well, I can't say the same," Louis mumbles, "I haven't... I haven't as much experience as you."

"... And yet, you just read me clearly," Harry says quietly. "Funny how fast you've picked up on things."

"Well," Louis puts out his cigarette and moves the ashtray to the table before he's situating himself against Harry once more, "I'd say, you've taught me quite a bit, Mr. Styles."

Harry smirks and lays down, Louis immediately putting his head into Harry's neck. "You know, you're a lot more you when you're drunk and high.... and I love that, Lou. I wish you could always be this easy going."

"So do I," Louis manages to get out, remembering the real world for a moment. He pushes it out of his mind before he's kissing Harry's neck and sighing, "Harry..."

"Hmm," Harry mumbles, his eyes closed.

"I think every second I'm with you, I fall in love with you even more," Louis gets out, feeling no shame at all in saying it.

Harry bites his lip, his eyes opening; he doesn't know how to respond to him. He knows he feels the way Louis does, but how can he just admit he loves someone.

"You need sleep," Harry finally says with a smile, "the hangover tomorrow is gonna be hell."

Louis chuckles a little, "yeah."

And soon, Harry hears him snoring and he can't help but grin.

Harry's almost asleep when he hears Louis' phone ringing in the living area. He looks confused as he tries to remove himself from Louis. Louis doesn't even flinch and Harry knows he's too drunk to even wake.

He walks to the living area, questioning whether or not he should answer Louis' phone. He finally does quietly.


"Harry?" He hears a familiar voice.

"Ben, what the fuck are you doing calling me here?" Harry whispers, feeling anger growing in him. "How the fuck did you get his number?"

"It's not hard to find his number, you know," Ben whispers back.

"What do you want? I've already talked to you."

"I just... I wanted to see you, sometime. Please," Ben quietly says, but to Harry it sounds more like begging.

"I'm not... I'm not meeting you," Harry tells him, "how'd you even know I'd be awake?"

"Because I know you."

Harry sighs and glances out the window, "fine. Look, I'll have lunch with you tomorrow. That's it. Alright?"

"Same place as always?" Ben asks, his tone more upbeat now.

"Sure," Harry sighs, "uh, I'll meet you at noon, alright? But I'm not staying long."

"You don't have to," Ben says softly, "I'll see you tomorrow."

"Ok, but do me a favor and don't call me at this fucking number again, Ben," Harry tells him angrily and finally ends the call, taking a breath and wishing he never would've answered the call at all.

He's pissed; he's pissed that Ben got Louis' number and had the nerve to call him here. He tries to shove it to the back of his mind before he's heading back to the bedroom, running his hands through his still damp hair.

He sees the open window still and the room is beginning to get pretty chilly. He slowly walks over and before closing it, he sits there staring at the snow falling again, his mind wondering once more if he really is doing the right thing by being here with Louis.

But when he closes the window and climbs back into the bed with Louis, his heart takes over; he can't stop what he feels for this man, this man whose eyes he can never get out of his head. His accent that he can hear in his head even when Louis isn't around. Everything about Louis Harry knows he loves... but he still wonders... wonders how much time they have together before it runs out.

Chapter Text

Louis stirs a little in bed the next morning before he feels the pounding headache he has. He doesn't even want to open his eyes because of the light coming through his windows.

Still, he squints them open, rubbing them a little before he's sighing. He looks in the bed beside him to see Harry isn't there... and his heart drops for a moment. Surely he hasn't gone somewhere, he thinks.

He turns to his nightstand to see a note in Harry's handwriting along with a rolled joint. He grins a little and reads the note while rubbing his aching head.

"I knew you'd feel like shit this morning, so take this and smoke it. Should relieve most of your hangover. It's always helped mine. H xx"

Louis shakes his head while still grinning and picks up the joint and his lighter from the table. He immediately lights the joint and puts his head back against his pillow, his eyes closed.

He wonders where Harry is exactly; it doesn't take him long to figure it out, however, when he smells food coming from down the hall. Harry must be making breakfast for him, and it makes Louis grin even more.

He sits there and takes hit after hit, feeling the headache beginning to ease off, which he's thankful for. He may be high after this, but Louis knows he'd rather be high than be sick.

He smokes over half the joint before putting it out in the ashtray and breathing a sigh of relief; he can still feel the pain, but it's nowhere near as intense as it was.

He gets up slowly, finding his pajama bottoms in the floor on Harry's side of the bed before he's heading out of the room.

He stops in the doorway of the guest room first, seeing that Harry has unpacked a good bit of things; he has clothes sitting atop the dresser and on the bed as well as a photo of his mum on the nightstand by the bed.

Louis' eyes soon see the piece of paper lying on the sofa that he had seen in Harry's hand the night before.

He walks over, questioning whether or not he should read it. But he finds himself opening it and seeing Harry's beautiful penmanship in a letter to his mum.

He reads it slowly, his heart almost dropping with every word. Harry's struggling with whether or not he's doing the right thing, that's obvious to Louis from the letter.

He sighs and folds it back, wishing he would've minded his own business now. As soon as he sits the letter down, he hears his phone ringing in the living area.

He doesn't have to rush to answer it because he soon hears Harry's voice, "Louis Tomlinson's residence."

Louis walks slowly into the living area, seeing Harry in nothing but briefs and a green apron, his hair a mess with the long pieces falling around his eyes.

"Uh, just one moment," Harry starts before he's turning to see Louis standing there with a small grin on his face. Harry covers the phone and smiles, "morning, my gorgeous bean."

"Bean?" Louis laughs and walks over, "who's on the phone?"

"I don't know... someone for you," Harry shrugs and hands it over before he's walking back to the kitchen.

Louis answers and realizes it's the school calling, asking him to come by to confirm his classes that start the following month. He listens to the woman going on and on, but his eyes are on Harry's every move in the kitchen.

He watches Harry cooking, sticking out his tongue while he concentrates on the dishes he's trying to make. He's soon pouring coffee for he and Louis both while Louis finally finishes the phone call and hangs up.

Harry looks up at him from the kitchen while Louis is walking over. "Something important?"

"It was... my school," Louis explains, "they wanted me to come by today and verify the classes I'll be starting next month."

"That's good, isn't it?" Harry asks and turns back to the eggs on the stoves, sprinkling some chives over them.

"Yeah, suppose," Louis shrugs and places his hands on Harry's waist before he's kissing his shoulder gently.

Harry grins a little, "feel better?"

"Yeah, I do," Louis says softly and hugs Harry tight, "thanks for leaving me that note."

"Welcome," Harry turns to him and smiles, "it's always been an instant cure for me."

"What time is it anyway?" Louis yawns and goes to pick up his cup of coffee.

"Little past 9," Harry replies while he's finishing their plates. He offers Louis the first one and smiles a little, "wanna have breakfast in bed?"

"Uh, I'd love that, yeah," Louis nods.

Harry takes his plate and coffee and follows Louis to his room, both of them having a seat on the bed.

Harry glances out the window and smiles before he's leaving his plate on the bed and hurrying over to the window. "Wow. Jesus, we got a lot of snow last night."

"Did we?" Louis smiles at Harry's enthusiasm, "you really do love snow, don't you?"

"I do," Harry replies while he's making his way back to the bed, "I don't know... just makes me feel like I'm in London all over again. Sitting by the fire with my mum and sis, laughing over stupid things."

"Yeah, I understand," Louis nods and digs into the breakfast Harry has made. He chews for a moment and grins, "why, Mr. Styles, you weren't lying when you said you could cook."

Harry smirks and picks up his plate, "I'm very good at it. Told you so. Used to cook for my mum and Gemma all the time."

"I bet they loved having you around," Louis grins and continues eating.

"Yeah," Harry says quietly before he digs in.

"When are you wanting them to move here?" Louis asks and looks at Harry.

"I've... I've been trying for months," Harry mumbles, "and, I mean, I have enough for 6 months worth of rent in an apartment close to me. I don't know how hard it will be for mum or Gemma to find a job here."

"What does Gemma do?"

"She's a nurse," Harry answers while he chews.

"Hey, she would have no problem getting a job here," Louis tells him, "there's plenty of hospitals that need nurses."

"I know," Harry nods, "and... I hope within a month or so, they can be here. They're working on getting their immigration cards... but..."

"The war isn't helping," Louis finishes, his voice quiet.

Harry nods and continues to eat slowly.

"Hey," Louis whispers, grabbing Harry's arm and causing him to turn to him, "it'll work out. Alright? They'll get here."

"I know," Harry nods, "just wish they were already here. I... I miss my mum."

"I know you do," Louis answers softly, not bringing up the letter. "Uh, so, while I run to the school, what do you have planned?"

"Well," Harry chews slowly and stares off, "was actually going to have lunch with Ben. Shouldn't take long. What time will you leave?"

Louis' mind goes blank again for a moment before he clears his throat, "uh, probably close to 11. I need to get there before 12."

"Well, that should work out perfectly," Harry smiles a little, "we should both be back around the same time maybe."

"Yeah," Louis gets out and sips his coffee slowly.

"Oh, would you mind if some of my friends from the theatre stopped by so we could go over the next script?" Harry asks and looks at Louis, "I mean if you're not ok with it, we can just meet at my apartment or the theatre. Just thought you'd might like to hang out with them and get to know them. They're pretty good guys."

"No," Louis smiles, "I don't mind. It could be fun actually... sitting and watching you all go over your play. I'd love to be in the middle of it."

"Ok, well, are they allowed to bring their own alcohol?" Harry asks with a smirk.

"I don't mind," Louis laughs, "just... tell them to keep it in a suitcase or something. Don't need speculation."

"Got it," Harry smiles at him, "you're sure you're ok with this? It'll be the whole cast most likely."

"No, no, it's fine," Louis grins, "I actually look forward to it."

"Brilliant," Harry tells him and pats Louis' leg, "you'll love it."

Louis nods and smiles down at his plate, thinking how great it will be to see Harry in action, going over his own plays with his cast mates. He feels honored, to put it simply.

"Your dad won't show up, will he?" Harry asks.

"Uh, I doubt it," Louis sort of laughs, "he has plans with Meredith tonight. He probably won't be home till late. Doesn't mean he won't call, but that's alright."

Harry nods and smiles, finishing his breakfast quickly.

And when they're both done, the dirty dishes sit on the nightstand by Louis while they share a joint.

Harry takes a long hit and sighs it out slowly before he's handing it to Louis again.

"This is exactly what I need... going to the school high as fuck," Louis laughs a little.

"Look, you don't act high at all," Harry smirks at him, "besides your red eyes. You act perfectly at ease and normal, Lou. Really."

"Do I?" Louis asks seriously.

"Yeah, you really do," Harry replies softly, his fingers running over the stubble on Louis' cheek, "you should shave, darling."

Louis snickers and sighs, "I kind of prefer this look."

"So do I," Harry nods, "In all honesty, I like the way it feels on my skin."

Louis' breathing picks up as soon as Harry has said it and he's staring back at him, seeing Harry's eyes already studying him.

"What... what do you mean by your skin, Mr. Styles?" Louis says out seriously.

"The way it feels running down my neck," Harry leans over and whispers into Louis' ear, his voice deep, "the way it prickles my thighs... I love the way it feels when you run down my entire body..."

Louis breathes out a heavy sigh, closing his eyes at Harry's voice.

"I'd love to feel it all down my body right now," Harry tells him seductively, "between my thighs... my pelvis..."

"You trying to seduce me, Harold?" Louis gets out.

"Depends... can I really seduce the already willing?" Harry smirks and plants a kiss on his neck lightly.

"Fuck," Louis sighs, "is this going to become a thing? Are we going to fuck all the time?"

"Only if you allow it," Harry gives him a devious grin before he's throwing the sheets back and removing his briefs in a matter of seconds. He runs his fingers up and down his erect cock and stares at Louis.

"God... you're so fucking gorgeous," Louis whispers out before he's turning over and meeting Harry's lips quickly.

Harry grips his hair and pulls him in closer until Louis is straddling him, Harry's hands roaming down to Louis' ass immediately.

Louis moans in Harry's mouth and feels Harry's fingers running around his pelvis bone slowly.

When they break the kiss, Louis stares into Harry's eyes, "what do you want from me?"

"Your face running between my legs," Harry replies seriously.

Louis nods and begins to kiss down Harry's skin slowly, causing Harry to arch his back almost immediately at the sensation of Louis' small stubble on his sensitive skin.

"Yes...," Harry sighs out while Louis continues down his body, Harry's fingers running through his hair.

Louis stops at Harry's thighs, making direct eye contact with Harry before he's running his cheek over Harry's delicate skin, causing Harry to whimper as soon as he makes contact.

Louis kisses and sucks over Harry's right thigh before he's looking at it and seeing the red marks left behind from the small beard he has.

"Didn't realize what a delicate flower you were," Louis whispers.

"I like it when you talk like that," Harry sighs out.

"Like what?" Louis asks and starts running over Harry's left thigh.

"Like a poet," Harry replies and almost moans loudly.

Louis smirks and keeps tracing up Harry's thigh until his tongue is licking over Harry's balls slowly.

Harry only whimpers and grips Louis' hair more; Louis moves down slowly and finds the courage within himself to do what Harry had done to him the night before.

He pulls open Harry's ass cheeks and dives in, catching Harry totally off guard. He moans loudly and pulls Louis' hair even harder.

And Louis isn't sure he has ever felt more impure, yet more alive while his tongue is running over Harry, pleasing him with every lick.

"Jesus Christ," Harry cries out, pushing Louis' face into his ass even more, "yes.... god, eat me, Lou."

Louis' hairs stand at Harry's words; he's never been with anyone, and he's sure as hell never met anyone like Harry, he knows that... but the way Harry talks to him in bed... he can hardly contain himself. He wants to come just from hearing Harry's raspy voice talk vulgar to him.

Harry starts to move and Louis looks up at him; Harry only grins while he gets on all fours, his legs spread wide open.

"Now, have a go," Harry looks back at him, biting his lip.

Louis tries to nod while he gets up behind Harry, his fingers wandering down Harry's thighs, then back up to his ass cheeks.

"Fuck, this is...," Louis starts before pausing.

"It's what?" Harry whispers back while he glances over his shoulder and sees Louis studying over every inch of him. He grins smugly.

"It's just...," Louis licks his lips and squeezes Harry's ass cheeks, "fuck, I'm lucky."

Harry grins a little before it fades when Louis' lips are touching him again. Harry closes his eyes and sighs out while Louis dives in on him, gripping his cheeks hard, his nails digging into them.

He licks up and down Harry's opening before he dives in again, over and over, making Harry moan every single time.

Soon, Harry's struggling to get to Louis' nightstand to pull out the petroleum jelly. Louis watches Harry opening it and then offering it to Louis.

"Fuck me," is all Harry says in a deep, serious tone. Louis takes it in his hand and looks back at Harry as he whispers, "please, Lou."

"Do you think I'll say no?" Louis asks quietly.

Harry spreads his legs even further apart and keeps his head down, closing his eyes and waiting on Louis... waiting on the moment he's in him and fucking him.

Louis covers his cock in the jelly, then runs some over Harry's opening gaining a loud moan from Harry. He sits the jelly aside before he's guiding his cock into Harry slowly.

"Just put it in," Louis hears Harry saying, and to him it sounds more like begging. "Please... you won't hurt me, I swear."

"Alright. Alright," Louis replies softly, letting a small grin cross his lips.

He pushes himself into Harry rather quickly and hears Harry's loud sigh before he's fucking him quite slow at first, just wanting to get lost in the sensation; Louis can't help but want to get lost in this... he closes his eyes and holds Harry's ass cheeks so delicately at first, his fingers just smoothing over the curves.

He's lost in his own thoughts before he hears Harry saying out in a whimper, "faster... please."

Louis sighs out, beginning to move faster, in and out of Harry and watching it the entire time.

"God, you feel so fucking amazing," Louis breathes out before he's moaning, "oh, shit."

He pushes Harry down on the bed completely, pulling his legs apart before he's lying on his back, fucking him as fast as possible, making sure he is extra rough with him. His lips land on Harry's back and he bites down so hard that Harry can't help but nearly scream into the sheets under him.

Louis watches the way Harry's fingers grasp the sheets and he lets a soft moan escape his throat while he continues fucking Harry and making his whole entire bed rock with every movement.

And as usual, Louis finds it hard to contain himself again when he's doing this; he wants to come so badly at the pace he is going.

Harry reaches back, grasping Louis' hair while he's mumbling out, "yes, fuck... oh, god, Lou."

And when Louis hears those words, he can feel himself about to come; there's no stopping it this time. He can't. And he doesn't want to.

He moans out loudly and bites down on Harry's shoulder while he feels himself coming inside Harry.

Harry's whimpers turn into full, euphoric screams as he lets go of Louis' hair and grips the sheets again.

When Louis finally slows down and collapses on Harry, he breathes out a heavy sigh while Harry is still breathing heavy under him.

"You alright, love?" Louis smirks quietly and kisses Harry's cheek.

"I'm... I'm absolutely brilliant," Harry sighs and finally smiles at Louis, "that was... amazing."

"It's never short of amazing for me," Louis whispers out and pushes Harry's hair back some.

He slowly gets up, grabbing a t-shirt and climbing off the bed. He watches Harry sitting up and looking down at Louis' sheets.

"I should probably go, uh, clean up," Harry says with a small smile.

Louis watches him hurrying to the bathroom and he looks back at his satin sheets, almost snickering when he sees why exactly Harry needed to clean up.

When Harry walks back into the room, Louis is picking out his clothes. His eyes fall on Harry immediately and he grins slyly at him.

"Is it your mission to ruin my sheets?" He asks, holding back a snicker.

"I'm... I'm sorry," Harry mumbles out, "I'll change them, I swear. I'll wash them as well."

"It's fine," Louis grins, "really. I'm just... a little surprised, that's all."

"Surprised?" Harry asks and raises an eyebrow. He goes and starts pulling the sheets off of Louis' bed. "Didn't think it'd be that easy for me, Lou?"

"Well...," Louis shrugs and starts quietly, "I guess not. That must be nice to experience... I mean, I don't have much experience with this and all... that's all I meant."

"I know what you meant," Harry smirks while he's putting the sheets at the end of the bed, "coming untouched, right? I can try and show you."

"You can show me?" Louis asks, his mouth going dry again.

"If you're aroused enough, it's not all that hard," Harry tells him with a wink. "I'll show you, I promise. Maybe sometime tonight."

Louis stares at him for a long pause before he nods, "alright. Yeah, I like the sound of that."

Harry grins and picks up the sheets, walking out of the room with them, Louis watching him as he does.

It's 10:35 and Harry and Louis both have showered. Louis is dressed and ready to head to the college; Harry's fixing his hair in Louis' bedroom mirror while Louis watches him, his mind wandering in the wrong direction again.

Harry's fully dressed in nice attire, not his normal clothes. He has on black slacks with a cream colored cardigan, a white t-shirt underneath. And Louis knows... he must be going with Ben to the same type of restaurant again.

"You letting your hair grow?" Louis decides to try and make conversation as he leans against the dresser and smiles at Harry.

"I... I am, actually," Harry replies, "I figured I'd let it grow some, anyway. I hate it being so short on the sides... I mean, it's grown some. It used to be shorter, before I met you."

Louis nods while Harry continues to fix the longer pieces.

"So, are you coming straight back here, or?"

"Well, I'll probably stop by a friend of mine," Harry tells him when he finishes his hair. He goes to grab his black coat from Louis' small sofa before he's slipping it on.

"Who exactly?" Louis asks, "if... if you don't mind me asking."

"He's a friend of mine that moved here from England as well. You haven't met him yet," Harry explains to Louis, "he's an artist."

"The artist that introduced you and Ben," Louis nods slowly.

"Well, you have a good memory," Harry smirks and gives Louis a wink while he's pulling his gloves from the pocket of his coat. "Yeah, he's an amazing artist. He has a piece I've been trying to pick up for ages. He painted it for me. His name is Zayn. Maybe I can talk him into coming tonight."

"Does he have anything to do with the theatre?" Louis chuckles.

"No," Harry replies with a snort, "he's not very fond of them... but he loves my writing. I mean, he and I have been friends since we were pretty young."

"Did he go to school with you?" Louis asks while he's picking up his coat.

"Yeah. Graduated a year before me," Harry nods, "he moved here when I did. We've kept in touch. I don't see him as much as I'd like, but he spends a lot of time doing his art."

"Well, I'd love to meet him," Louis smiles and grabs his wallet. "If he'd like to come tonight, or another night, I'm up for it. It'd be nice to meet one of your friends from home."

Harry grins, "I'll tell him."

"So, I guess I'll see you in a bit?" Louis is asking while the both of them head to Louis' door.

"Yeah, but what happens if I get back..."

Louis smiles and extends a key to Harry, "this is my extra one. Just take it in case you're back before me... or for any other time you might need it."

Harry grins and nods, "thanks, Lou."

Harry leans over and kisses Louis; it's not rushed, but gentle and loving.

When their lips part, Louis stares in his eyes, waiting for Harry to say something.... anything.

"Be careful, alright?" Harry whispers and fixes Louis' coat, "hope it goes great."

"Thanks, love," Louis grins a little, "and I hope you enjoy lunch with Ben."

"Oh, no jealousy this time, eh?" Harry chuckles a little and opens the door.

Louis rolls his eyes but continues to smile while the 2 of them are going to the elevator.

When Harry finally makes it to the restaurant and parks, it's about 10 past 11. The snow is coming down again and there's already at least 3 inches on the ground. Harry hurries out of his car and straight into the busy restaurant once more.

He soon sees Ben sitting close to the back, but not before passing Liam again who looks to be at lunch with his fiancée.

"Took you long enough," Ben states as soon as Harry has a seat. He smiles at him while Harry's removing his coat slowly.

"Yeah, well, when you drive yourself, it can take a while," Harry sighs and rubs his hands together.

"Cold?" Ben asks with a small laugh.

"A little, yeah," Harry replies and looks around the restaurant. "I'm enjoying the snow, though. Cause soon, it'll be spring and it'll all melt away."

"Spring is still a fair ways off," Ben grins and picks up his wine while he studies Harry. "Uh, I ordered your favorite wine as well. Hope you don't mind."

"No," Harry shakes his head, "it's fine."

A waiter rushes over once he's seen Harry sitting at the table and the 2 of them quickly order, then go back to their small talk.

Though within minutes after getting their lunch, small talk has changed, thanks to Ben.

"So, the district attorney's son," Ben grins a little at him.

"Do we have to talk about this?" Harry rolls his eyes and crosses his arms on the table while shaking his head.

"Well, I mean, you sure know how to pick them," Ben chuckles and sips his wine slowly. Harry doesn't say anything so Ben continues, "he's rich. So, of course he can afford to pay you a great deal."

Harry looks up at him so fast with such a stern look that Ben is caught off guard by it.

"You think I'm with him for his money?" Harry asks harshly.

"Well, I thought... I guess I sort of thought he was just another one of those...."

"He's not," Harry quickly interrupts him, his anger growing.

Ben can tell and puts his hands up in defense, "ok, I'm sorry. Jesus, Harry."

"If he was, I wouldn't be living with him," Harry states seriously before he's picking up the wine and downing it quickly.

Ben nods a little, "So, you and him are what exactly?"

"Is that any of your business?" Harry asks and looks back at him.

"I guess not. Come on, Harry, we've been friends for years," Ben says and tries to smile. "Look: I get it if you've finally found someone. I always told you that you would."

Harry rolls his eyes while the waiter is refilling his glass of wine. Harry immediately picks it up and drinks over half of it before sitting it down.

"Does it mean you're going to stop talking to me?" Ben asks with a small smirk.

"No," Harry replies quietly and runs his finger around the wine glass, "just means I'm not going to be around as much, alright?"

"So... you're cutting off everyone," Ben states as if he's dumbfounded.

Harry's eyes shoot up at him, giving Ben a long glare. "What if I am?"

Ben starts laughing a little and sits back, shaking his head, "wow. You? The guy who used to talk me into doing it in the back of theaters? The guy who wanted to fuck in public restrooms?"

"For the record," Harry starts and picks up his wine, "yeah, I've always been adventurous and daring. But if I recall correctly, you were the one who suggested the theatre."

"Maybe the first time," Ben grins a little.

Harry stays quiet and drinks the wine down as fast as possible. He sighs and crosses his arms, "can we talk about something else?"

"Sure," Ben shrugs, "care if I come to your next play? Or am I not allowed now?"

"Would you stop?" Harry asks and glares at Ben, "Jesus. You know you can come. Hell, I don't care and you know it. I'm just not..."

Ben sits still, staring at Harry as he pauses, and he knows what he's going to say. So he finishes for him, "not having anything to do with me anymore?"

Harry looks back at him, "Ben, we can still be friends. You can still talk to me like you always have."

"But... I'm not sure I can be around you without... without wanting you," Ben confesses, his face serious.

"Then, I guess we can talk on the phone," Harry shrugs. He sighs and stares at his hands, "look: for the first time in my life, I... I want to try this... I want to try to be with one person."

"I get it," Ben whispers.

"I know it's crazy to hear me talk like this, isn't it?" Harry finds himself smiling suddenly when he pictures Louis' face, his blue eyes, his gorgeous smile.

"Yeah, uh... I never expected it from you," Ben grins a little, "you were the last person on earth I'd expect to hear that statement from. I mean, with your record and reputation... it's just... shocking."

"We're just... trying it out for a while," Harry manages to stutter out. "I don't know if it'll work or not... hell, his father could find out about me in a fucking heartbeat."

Ben lights a cigarette and sighs, "what does his father think of you, though, Harry?"

Harry grins a little at his empty wine glass while he plays with it, "he... he likes me. He really likes me a lot. He loves the fact that Lou has me around."

"Ok, then, maybe he won't grow suspicious of you," Ben says seriously. "Don't give him a reason to."

"I haven't. And I won't," Harry looks up at him while he's picking up Ben's cigarettes, "but I feel... I feel like no matter how great of an actor I am, I'm still playing with fire... and sooner or later, Louis and I will both get burned."

Ben nods, his face staying serious, "I can understand that. But play your cards well and maybe neither of you will have anything to worry about."

Harry nods a little and lights the cigarette before he decides to change the conversation, "so, how's Sarah doing?"

"Uh, she's... she's doing alright," Ben mumbles and finishes off his plate.

"That doesn't seem convincing in the slightest," Harry states. Ben shrugs and Harry continues, "she still thinks you're having an affair, doesn't she?"

"She hasn't said anything lately, but... yeah, I'm sure she still does," Ben replies in a quiet tone, "she barely speaks to me, refuses to do anything with me..."

Harry nods and listens to him; if there is one flaw that Harry has, it's having too much compassion for others, even if they don't deserve it.

"I mean, I'm up to the point where...," Ben starts with a small chuckle, "I don't really care anymore. If she wants to leave, I'd help pack her things. If she wanted a divorce, I'd sign the papers first."

"You really mean that?" Harry asks with a confused expression, "Ben, it wasn't too long ago that I was at your wedding and the 2 of you couldn't have looked happier. Why... why has that changed so drastically?"

Ben wipes his mouth with a napkin and stares back at Harry, "because... I would rather have the best man than the bride."

Harry's mouth closes and his eyes fall to the table. He doesn't know what to say now. He knows he should go, though, and is soon picking up his coat.

"Harry, don't... I'm sorry," Ben starts.

"No, don't be," Harry almost whispers, "you're just being truthful. I get it. I'm... I'm sorry things can't work out that way for you."

Harry pulls out his wallet and Ben stands with him, stopping him by placing his hand over Harry's. Harry looks back at him as Ben quietly tells him, "I've got the check. Don't worry about it."

Harry tries to nod while he's placing his wallet back in his pocket and looking around the busy restaurant.

"I've gotta go," he finally turns back to Ben, "I'll talk with you later, though, alright?"

Ben looks as if he wants to say something, but instead he only nods and replies, "sure. Yeah. Um, tell Louis I said hi, yeah?"

Harry manages to smile before he's waving and walking off, passing Liam's table again.

"Harry Styles, right?" He hears Liam call.

Harry sighs but turns around and puts on a smile, "uh, yeah, that's me. And... it's Liam, correct? Louis' friend?"

"Yeah," Liam grins and stands to shake Harry's hand, "nice to see you again, mate."

"You as well," Harry forces a smile.

"Oh, this is my fiancée Julia," Liam grins and points to the young woman with flowing brown hair and a radiant smile on her face.

"It's very nice to meet you, Harry," she tells him, "in person, anyways. We've been to a few of your performances and you're amazing."

"Thank you," Harry replies with a warm smile, "I appreciate that."

"I was thrilled when Liam told me that Louis would be bringing you to our wedding," Julia grins excitedly.

Harry's mind suddenly goes blank; he forgot about their wedding altogether after Louis' father mentioned Alice coming to the city.

"Uh, yeah... when is it again?" Harry asks, "he told me, but I seemed to have forgotten."

"It's this weekend," Julia replies with a grin, "Saturday at 2:00 at the Briarcliff Manor."

"Wow... that's... that's amazing. That place is gorgeous," Harry grins a little.

"Didn't Louis tell you it was there?" Liam asks.

"Yeah, he did... I've just been busy and must've forgotten completely. Forgive me," Harry tries to smile. "Uh, I look forward to seeing you both. I've gotta run, but I'll tell Louis you said hello."

"Ok, yeah, please do," Liam nods and grins, "tell him to give me a call."

"I will," Harry smiles a little and turns to Julia, "was nice meeting you, as well. See you both on Saturday."

They say their goodbyes and Harry's hurrying out of the restaurant, breathing out a heavy sigh.

First, Louis doesn't tell him about Alice coming, and now he remembers he's got to attend a wedding with Louis.

It's past 1 when Harry makes it back to Louis' apartment. He places the key into the door and hears Louis' voice immediately. He steps in and sees him staring out the oversized windows in the living area talking on the phone.

Harry closes the door quietly while he hears Louis' conversation.

"... Yeah, well, my dad is looking very forward to you and your family coming," he hears Louis' low tone... and Harry knows exactly who he's talking to now... Alice. "... Yeah, I know you can't wait to see New York again."

Harry bites his lip and decides to mind his own business. He carries the painting from Zayn to the guest room, not realizing that Louis has seen him.

Harry sits the painting down on the dresser, studying over it; it's the perfect portrait of his hometown, snow covering the streets. Harry smiles while he's looking at every small detail. He knows how much time Zayn put into this masterpiece... and he couldn't tell him enough how much he appreciated it.

"Did you pick up your painting?" Louis is asking from the doorway before Harry realizes it.

"Oh, uh," Harry looks back at him, "yeah."

Louis walks over, his eyes wandering over the portrait. "London. And snow."

"Yeah, it's actually, uh, my street I lived on," Harry explains, "it was beautiful in the winter."

"I'd say so," Louis crosses his arms and keeps staring at it, "he's pretty brilliant."

"He is," Harry says quietly. He soon looks away from the painting and back at Louis, "uh, can we talk?"

"Sure," Louis replies, "what about?"

"Uh, well," Harry starts and places his hands on his hips, "for starters, the reason why you didn't mention Alice coming here."

"I was going to," Louis stutters out, "I meant to say something before my dad..."

"Right," Harry mumbles and nods a little.

"Harry," Louis sighs and rubs his eyes, "I was going to tell you, believe me. I really was."

"And the wedding... are you completely sure you wanna take me?" Harry questions, "because I don't know if I am sure about it. I don't... I don't need more reasons for him to suspect something is going on between us, Lou."

"He doesn't," Louis speaks loudly as he stares at Harry standing in front of him. "I know my dad, alright?"

"Are you positive about that?" Harry states quietly, "because... I feel like... the more we do, the more he's going to suspect something. And not from you, but me."

"Why would he expect you?" Louis asks confused, "Harry, you play this part so fucking well."

"I do," Harry nods and looks at his feet, "but one day, playing this part is going to get me in a lot of fucking trouble, Lou. And he's the district attorney, for god's sake. He could find out anything he wants about me. Maybe he'll question who it is you're actually becoming friends with since he seems so determined to interrupt your fucking life."

"He won't," Louis stands and says in a frustrated tone. "God dammit, the guy fucking loves you."

"Yeah, well," Harry mumbles again, "let's see how long that lasts, I guess."

"No one is forcing you to go to the wedding," Louis says almost hatefully, "I only... I just wanted you there, that's all. I wanted someone.... normal."

"'Normal,'" Harry snorts sarcastically, "I'm as far from normal as you can get, Lou."

"They don't know that," Louis tells him in a softer tone, "to all of those rich people you ARE normal. You're a star on Broadway. I know all of them have been to at least one show with you in it.... and besides, you're my definition of normal... not the person everyone else thinks you are, but the man standing in front of me right now."

Harry takes a deep breath and looks around the guest room before he's slowly making his way past Louis and straight to Louis' room, finding his cigar box.

Louis watches from the doorway as Harry opens the window and sits down, lighting the joint slowly and exhaling a long hit.

"You don't have to go," Louis finally speaks and makes his way over to Harry.

"I didn't say I didn't want to go," Harry sighs out and looks back, "I told you I would, but it just makes me nervous, I guess. I mean, your dad inviting me to dinner with Alice, too? I'm not so sure I can do that, Lou."

"Why not?" Louis manages to whisper as he watches Harry staring out the window.

Harry stays silent for several moments, wondering if he should say what he's really thinking. He finally sighs and says quietly, "because I don't think I can act that part."

Louis bites his lip as Harry looks back up at him, his face serious.

"Ok, well, I can tell my dad you're busy, then," Louis shrugs, "that something came up."

"All of this... it's... it's just happening too fast," Harry quickly speaks up and stares back out of the window. "Maybe... maybe it's better if I act like I don't care so fucking much."

Louis stands still, at a loss for words. He crosses his arms and tries to process what Harry has told him; Louis wonders if maybe Harry finds this to be a mistake now... because he feels too much for him.

"Acting and feeling," Louis starts in almost a whisper, "are 2 separate things, Harold."

Harry closes his eyes for a long pause, then stares back out at the busy street below them. "Yeah, but what I'm doing, Louis, is trying to act a part out while feeling something. What would you call that?"

Louis sighs and leans back against the wall, Harry watching him.

"If this is too much for you, I get that," Louis finally gets out, "I do. I mean, a guy like you..."

"What do you mean by that?" Harry asks suddenly.

"I just meant that... it's easier for you to go about your life not caring about anyone," Louis replies, although it comes out much harsher than what he means.

"Right," Harry nods and stands slowly, "just go have a quick fuck with someone and move on..."

"That's... that's not what I meant," Louis looks back at him.

"No, I mean, you're right," Harry tells him, his tone harsh. "To think that someone like me could ever love someone... I guess that's to be expected, right?"

Louis stares at him, Harry refusing to break eye contact.

"I can live with the fact that... that I can only have you when I can have you," Louis whispers to him. "I can live with it if you decide that living here is too much, Harry. But... I'm not... I don't want to lose you. You know me... more than anyone else in my fucking life does."

"I'm not moving out," Harry tells him, "I like being here, Lou. I just think that... that maybe I should step back a little. Maybe I shouldn't let myself get so wrapped up in you. And I don't mean that in a bad way at all..."

"I know what you mean," Louis whispers, "maybe I shouldn't let myself do the same."

Harry nods a little and slowly pushes back Louis' hair, "I'm not saying I don't care about you, Lou. I do. That's a part of me that for once is real. I find everything about you extraordinary and... amazingly beautiful. Everything. I've told you I've never felt this way for anyone... I haven't. But... there's so much at stake for you... how can this possibly work out in our favor?"

Louis can feel his eyes sting, but he refuses to let any tears fall. He only shrugs some, "I... I don't know."

"Look, uh, I've gotta go see Nick about tonight," Harry finally turns away and runs his fingers through his hair, "if you don't want them here tonight, I understand."

"No... they can still come," Louis gets out. He follows Harry to the guest room where Harry pulls his coat back on, "what time do you think they'll come?"

"If 5 is ok with you," Harry looks back at Louis, seeing how red his eyes are, but refusing to acknowledge it.

"5 is fine," Louis interrupts. "I'm fine with that."

"Great," Harry smiles a little and picks up his gloves. "I won't be long."

Louis nods and walks down the hallway with Harry to the door. He stands a few feet away while Harry's waving to him and closing the door.

And even though Harry isn't in the room with him anymore, Louis can still feel so much tension. He finally wipes his eyes slowly and goes to fix himself a drink.

While Harry, on the other hand, is leaned up against the wall outside of Louis' apartment, his eyes closed as tears fall freely.

He sighs and tries to contain himself once more, wiping his eyes quickly and then heading to the elevator.

When he makes it downstairs, he hails a taxi instead of driving... and he gives them the address to his apartment.

Louis watches the cab leave from his window and he lets out a huge sigh; he finally decides to get his coat and head out himself. He knows he could use more than just a few drinks right now... anything that'll take his mind off of Harry Styles at the moment.

He walks to a bar not too far from his apartment building; he goes inside and takes off his gloves before having a seat at the bar and ordering as many shots as he can.

He's on his 4th one before he realizes who's sitting next to him: Ben. He wants to be angry, but Louis can't find it in him to be at the moment.

"How are you, Mr. Tomlinson?" Ben smiles as soon as Louis has noticed him.

"I'm... doing alright," Louis replies and tries to force a smile. "Yourself?"

"I'm pretty brilliant, thanks," Ben grins and thanks the bartender after he's sat down his drink. He looks back at Louis, "figured Harry would be with you."

Louis' fist tightens under the bar as soon as Ben has said his name... but he remains calm and collected. He downs another shot and looks back at Ben, "he had theatre stuff to do."

"Did he now?" Ben asks and tries to nod, "yeah, well, with his show in 2 days he's probably pretty nervous."

"Yeah," Louis says quietly and orders another 2 shots.

Ben notices how much he's drinking and finds himself asking, "you sure you're alright, man?"

Louis sighs and rubs his head, feeling the liquor beginning to run through his veins. "I'm... no, I'm not really alright."

Ben passes Louis his cigarettes and matches, "I'm probably the last person you want to talk to, but... if I may say this, I know a lot about Harry if you wanna talk."

Louis stares back at Ben, no hostility showing on his face this time. He picks up Ben's cigarettes and lights one, telling him thanks before he's sighing, "what do you know about him?"

Ben shrugs some and picks up his cigarettes, "I know enough. Why?"

Louis hits the cigarette and stares down at the bar.

"Why, Louis?" Ben asks again. "I know you wouldn't be in here drinking like this if something wasn't wrong."

"You don't even know me," Louis looks back and says quickly.

"No," Ben replies and nods, "you're correct, I don't. But... I do know Harry, and I know you being in here has to pertain to him."

"How do you know that honestly?"

"He lives with you," Ben replies quiet enough so no one else hears, "he told me."

Louis sighs and shakes his head.

"So, what's he done?" Ben asks, "let me guess: he's still going out and fucking around with others."

Louis looks back at Ben so fast, "no... he isn't actually. Why would you think that's what he's doing?"

"Because I know him," Ben replies and tries to sound sympathetic towards Louis, "I know him well enough by now that..."

Ben pauses and Louis just stares at him. "That what?"

"Harry has a reputation," Ben finally states in almost a whisper, "I'm sure you know that."

"I know that he's slept with a lot of men," Louis whispers back without looking at Ben.

"Yeah, he has... and it's something everyone knows about," Ben says back, Louis looking at him. "Not your kind of people... but his kind. Ask anyone that works with him. Hell, you could ask some of the men in the department with your father."

"What?" Louis asks, the anger returning.

"What? Did you think he only chose certain people?" Ben asks, his face remaining serious, "Harry's been with lawyers, doctors, even. He seems to prefer the richer type."

Louis just stares at Ben, not knowing what to say now. He hits the cigarette again and looks at the last shot on the bar.

The bartender is soon coming over to Ben and telling him he has a phone call.

"Excuse me," Ben says politely and walks to the phone.

Louis downs the last shot and hits the cigarette while he watches Ben on the phone. He pretends like he's not listening as Ben is talking.

"How did you know I'd be here? Right... well, I didn't realize you were.... alright, give me about 10 minutes and I'll be there," Ben is saying, even looking in Louis' direction, causing Louis to look down quickly and pretend like he's not eavesdropping.

"Ok, see you soon," Ben says with a smile. He hangs up the phone, pays the bartender and picks up his coat as he looks back at Louis, "it was nice talking to you, Louis, but I have some business to go tend to."

"Yeah," Louis mumbles under his breath, "see ya."

Ben waves with a bright smile on his face as he exits the bar... and Louis can't help but wonder what "business" he had to tend to all of a sudden.

Louis doesn't know anything about anyone that is associated with Harry; he doesn't know where Nick lives, nor where Ben lives, so he has no way of going to either place looking for him.

He pushes the thought out of his mind, thinking he's foolish for even wanting to go find Harry; he can't stop Harry from doing whatever it is he wants to do... though, Louis wishes he could.

It wasn't supposed to be like this, Louis thinks, as he walks the snow covered sidewalk back to his apartment; Harry told him he would stop seeing others when he moved in with Louis... yet, somehow Louis knows that's not true at all now.

Louis feels empty again all of a sudden; he feels the same way he felt before he ever met Harry and started hanging around with him.

But, Louis knows that Harry loves him; he sees it all over Harry every time they're together... yet, he can't help but think that Harry is scared to love him, to get too close to him... even if that's all Louis wants.

Louis arrives back to his quiet apartment and goes straight to his bedroom, seeing Harry's clothes strolled about the floor and bed. He wants to break down while he's picking up the pieces that are on his bed and smelling them... smelling the scent of the person he's grown to love so much in so little time.

He quickly undresses and lays down in the bed, pulling the pillow that Harry lays on close to him; he can smell the smell of Harry's shampoo on it while he's holding it.

He closes his eyes, tears dropping onto the pillow while he sighs and thinks of nothing but Harry Styles.

And that's how he falls asleep, tear stained eyes while holding Harry's pillow and shirt.

Chapter Text

When Louis wakes up, his eyes slowly adjust to the sunlight in his room... that's when he notices the window is open and chilly air is slipping in.

He sits up some and sees Harry sitting on the window pane again, glancing out at the sky, so it seems to Louis.

Louis moves in the bed, sitting up slowly and Harry's immediately looking his way.

"Hey," Harry says in a small whisper. He hits the joint between his fingers again and sighs out the hit, "nice nap?"

"I... I suppose so," Louis replies and places Harry's pillow back on the bed beside him. "What time is it?"

"Almost 4," Harry answers, "I didn't want to wake you... seemed like you needed the sleep."

"I guess I did," Louis says back quietly and searches the nightstand next to him for his cigarettes. "When did you..."

"I got back at 2 something," Harry answers for Louis. He looks at him, "kinda just sat around... watched you sleep."

"Really?" Louis asks slowly.

Harry nods and blows out another hit, "yeah, well, your books are fucking boring."

Louis finally smiles a little as he stares over at Harry. "You could've woken me... I wouldn't have mind."

"Thought about it, but," Harry starts and gets up from the window sill and takes a seat on the bed, "you looked rather peaceful curled up to my pillow and shirt there."

Louis looks down and sees Harry's shirt still lying beside him. Louis' cheeks go red and he smiles a little. "Yeah, well, it was sort of in the bed."

"Right," Harry nods, "and I'm a star on Broadway... oh wait..."

Louis chuckles a little and flicks his ashes, then looks back at Harry, wanting to ask where he was and wanting to talk to him about a million things... but Louis doesn't know how to now.

"I'm... I'm sorry... for earlier," Harry starts while he's playing with his rings.

Louis is shocked that he's even brought it up, but he smiles a little nonetheless. "It's... it's fine, Harold. I understand that you're struggling with this..."

"Thing is, I shouldn't be," Harry quickly replies and looks at Louis, his emotions overtaking him. "I mean, yeah, I guess I should be because of who you are and all... but... at the same time, when I'm with you, Lou, it's like... none of that matters to me. Nothing does. It doesn't matter to me what the world thinks, or what your father even thinks..."

Louis remains quiet, biting his lip as he stares back at Harry.

"... But then, reasoning sets in sometimes and I... I can't help but think how we're playing with fire here," Harry continues, his voice breaking. "You have so much in your life ahead of you, and yet, you want to throw it away on me."

"Harry," Louis sits up more, Harry's body only inches away now, "you already know how I feel about all of this... I would run away from here with you in a fucking heartbeat. I have enough money for us both to survive for a while..."

"What about my mum and sister?" Harry asks suddenly as he stares at Louis, "Louis, I have a life here, I've told you that... and I have every intention on bringing my family here. How could I just leave?"

Louis stares down at the bed again, at a loss for words; he knows he's more than willing to leave New York... but he also knows that he doesn't have as much to lose as Harry does.

Louis wouldn't care to disappear from his dad, or Alice... but Harry... Harry has a career here and a life built on that career. And he knows the last thing Harry wants to do is leave his mum and sister in the middle of the war.

"I think you could be famous anywhere," Louis finally says and looks back at Harry. "You know you have the talent to be."

Harry stares at Louis for a long pause, not even knowing how to reply to him. He sighs and looks at the clock on the wall, the time getting closer to 5.

"I think I'm gonna go have a few drinks," Harry looks back at Louis while he stands slowly, "want some? The guys will be here in a bit."

"Uh, sure, yeah," Louis replies and starts to get up slowly.

"If you haven't had enough drinks, that is," Harry smirks to himself and starts undressing in front of the mirror.

Louis looks up at him so fast, "how did you..."

"Come on, Lou," Harry smiles in the mirror as he glares at Louis, "I could smell it all over you."

"Could you?" Louis asks in a whisper. He fights back what he wants to say about Ben... instead he keeps it to himself and begins to find some clothes, Harry's eyes watching him the entire time.

Louis pays no mind; he just gets dressed as quickly as possible.

"Look, I'm sorry if I upset you earlier... and you felt the need to go get drunk because of me," Harry whispers while he's slipping on his pants slowly. He turns to look at Louis, seeing his eyes already on him.

"You...," Louis stops for a second, "how did you know I went somewhere and got drunk... and I didn't just stay here and drink?"

Harry's mouth closes suddenly, feeling his throat go dry. "I... I figured you had..."

"I get it," Louis interrupts suddenly, trying to maintain his composure, "I ran into Ben at the bar down the street. He had a phone call... I'm guessing it was you and he told you, didn't he?"

Harry looks away, pushing his hair back, feeling so ashamed of himself as Louis' eyes burn into him. Harry sighs and pushes his way past Louis into the living room.

He gets a wine glass from Louis' cabinet and then goes to pour it full of scotch, Louis watching him.

"You know... maybe I should just go out for the evening," Louis begins slowly. "I could just catch a play or a movie while you lads do what you need to do."

Harry looks back at him from where he's propped up against the bar, "if you want to. I get why you'd want to get away from me right now. I... I don't know what to say, Lou."

"Say you didn't let him fuck you," Louis blurts out.

Harry lights a cigarette slowly and doesn't look back at Louis.

"So, I guess you meant what you said," Louis whispers, "acting like you don't care so much about me. Is that the way you go about it, though? Lying about where you're going and letting another guy fuck you?"

"I didn't know what else to do," Harry finds himself nearly shouting at Louis. "I was... upset, Lou. I was beyond upset, alright? Yeah, guess I could've just went and got drunk like you, but that's not who I am..."

"No, you're right, it's not," Louis shouts back as he steps closer to Harry, feeling so much anger burning all over him. "Who you are is a guy who refuses to feel something... and the second he does, he's running off to some man so he can fuck it out of him!"

Harry doesn't even think before he's attacking Louis, pulling him to the floor, both of their fists flying at one another.

Though, moments into it, Harry suddenly stops, Louis holding his arms tightly. He stares up at Harry with anger still written on his face.

Harry jerks his arms away and stands up, trying to slow his breathing. He offers his hand to Louis and Louis stares at him confused.

"I'm sorry," Harry whispers through breaths, "I'm so sorry."

Louis takes his hand and stands, his eyes still on Harry. He watches him walking off to the window and pushing his hair back. He then covers his face as he's breathing heavily.

Louis doesn't know what to say to him; he slowly walks over and stares at Harry.

"I'm so sorry, Lou," Harry gets out before he's wiping his eyes slowly.

"It's... it's ok," Louis replies quietly. "I shouldn't have said that to you."

"No... I shouldn't have attacked you like that," Harry finally looks at him, his eyes full and his cheeks stained with tears. "Goddammit... I'm so fucking sorry."

"Look, it's fine," Louis tries to calm him down by grabbing Harry's arms and staring in his eyes. "Don't be so upset."

"You don't fucking get it," Harry sighs. He walks away from Louis and takes his glass, downing the scotch quickly while Louis just stares at him.

"What?" Louis asks quietly. "Look, I shouldn't have said that... and I was fighting back just like you were..."

"How am I any better than my father?" Harry finally blurts out in almost a shout. "How, Lou? I just tried to beat the shit out of you... someone I fucking love... how am I any better than him?!"

Louis swallows hard, finally understanding why Harry stopped fighting with him.

"So... you love me," Louis manages to say, trying to make Harry smile.

It works for a second, then Harry's face turns into a frown again.

"Harry," Louis walks over to him, placing his hands on his cheeks and making him look back, "you are nothing like that bastard. I don't know your father, but... from what you've told me about him, you are absolutely nothing like him. Don't think that for a fucking second."

Harry sniffs and gently wipes Louis' lip, "you're bleeding."

"Well, so are you," Louis smirks, staring at Harry's nose. "Guess we both got some good punches in."

"I'm sorry, Louis," Harry whispers again, studying the blue eyes in front of him, "I shouldn't have done that."

"It's alright," Louis says back and gently pushes Harry's hair away from his face. "We should go clean up."

Harry nods, looking at the clock above Louis' bar, "shit... they'll be here any minute."

"Come on," Louis takes Harry's hand and they walk to the bathroom together.

Harry doesn't say much while they're both cleaning up, but he can tell Louis' spirit has changed; he helps Harry with his nose, making jokes with him on how hard his punch is... and Harry isn't sure what he's done to deserve him.

They hear a knock while they're both changing shirts and Harry hurries to put his on.

"I'll let them in," Harry tells Louis as he tries to fix his hair the best way possible. "How does my nose look?"

"Ok for now," Louis replies and looks in the mirror, "can't say the same about my lip though."

"I'll get you some ice if you want," Harry tells him softly.

"Don't worry about it right now, love," Louis says and smiles a little, "just go let the lads in."

Harry nods and hurries to the living room, opening the door for his friends from the theatre.

"Hey," Harry smiles, "come in."

"Holy shit," Niall is the first to say as he looks around Louis' apartment. "This is fucking huge."

Harry just chuckles while they come in. He stops Nick and whispers in his ear, "did you bring it?"

"Of course, babe," Nick smiles at Harry and pats his cheek. "This wouldn't be fun without it, would it now?"

Harry smirks and shuts the door after they've all come in.

Nick and Niall open their suitcases straight away, bringing out pure vodka and beers, along with a bottle of whiskey.

"And Louis doesn't mind if we have these?" Niall asks Harry.

"Fuck, no," Harry grins, "why do you think I told you to put it in a suitcase? He just didn't want speculation."

Niall grins and nods, sitting the bottles on the bar.

"Ok, look," Harry starts while everyone takes a seat, "there's only 1 rule... ok, maybe 2..."

Everyone laughs and watches him.

"Rule number 1: we can't be too loud," Harry says with a small smirk, "I know we tend to get a little out of hand at my place and the theatre when we do this... however..."

Several of them are laughing and making jokes with Harry while Harry only closes his eyes and tries to contain himself.

"However, guys," he speaks again with a smile, "this is a really nice building... a lot of rich, uptight people live on this floor... so, please be on your best behavior and let's try to keep it to a minimum..."

Louis walks out of his room, hearing Harry talking to all of them; he comes to the end of the hallway, seeing about 12 people sitting in his living room and he turns to Harry, listening to him with a small smile.

"Alright, number 2," Harry starts again with a chuckle, "if you make a mess, you clean it up... that includes the loo because I don't want Lou upset about the loo... understood?"

They all laugh while Nick speaks up, "that was a horrible pun, Harry."

Harry shrugs and smiles, "ok, so, let's get wasted and work on this script, alright?"

Several of them agree loudly and Harry can't help but laugh and shake his head, wondering how the hell this night is going to go.

He soon looks up and sees Louis standing at the end of the hallway, smiling back at him.

"Oh, if it isn't our host," Harry grins, everyone turning to Louis as he's walking in the room. "You guys already know Louis..."

"Nice to see ya again, mate," Niall speaks up with a smile.

"Nice to see all of you as well," Louis replies with a smile. "Don't mind me. I'm just gonna get a drink and watch you lads be creative."

"Well, I suppose creative is one way of putting it," the young man named James speaks with up with a laugh. Louis remembers him clearly... he was the one who kissed Harry onstage.

"We are going to be serious because this show is in 2 days," Harry points at James. "So, get drunk and let's get into this already."

Louis just smirks and shakes his head before he's grabbing a glass of scotch with ice.

Harry walks over to Nick and motions for him to follow him to the bathroom while the others are reading over the script and drinking.

Louis looks at Harry and asks, "where are you going?"

Harry grins, "come along if you want."

Louis follows slowly, wondering what the hell Harry has up his sleeve.

He walks in the bathroom with them while Nick is pulling a small bag of something white from his pocket.

"Is that...," Louis starts and looks at Harry.

"Is it what?" Harry asks.

"You know what I'm talking about," Louis smirks.

"Cocaine? Yeah," Nick speaks up while he's pouring it out on the counter top carefully. "Want a line?"

Louis bites his lip, knowing he's never tried anything, except marijuana of course... but Harry had to introduce that to him as well.

"It's harmless," Harry almost whispers to Louis, "come on, you'll love it."

"He's never done it?" Nick questions and looks shocked. He laughs a little and stares at Louis, "you've really been missing out, mate."

"Knock it off," Harry slaps Nick and looks back at Louis. "You don't have to... but I'm positive you'd absolutely love it."

Louis thinks it over for a moment, wondering if he wants this to be another first for him. He finally looks back at Harry while Harry's watching Nick snort it first. "I'll do it. Why the hell not."

Harry grins at him, "ok, Lou. Wanna go next?"

"Not really," Louis laughs a little, "you first... because... I don't really know what I'm doing here."

Harry smirks and takes the small straw from Nick. "First, you're gonna clean off their germs..."

Nick shakes his head and rolls his eyes while Harry's running the straw under hot water and chuckling at Nick.

"He does these things on purpose," Nick speaks up, Louis turning to him, "thinks he's so funny and clever..."

"But I am funny and clever," Harry grins and bats his eyes at Nick, making him laugh. "Ok, anyways... Lou... you're gonna close off one nostril like this..."

Louis watches as Harry leans down and continues to talk Louis through what he's doing; Harry finally snorts it and raises up, holding his nose with his eyes closed.

"Then, it's gonna burn for several seconds," Harry sighs, but smiles, "and you'll basically feel it take over in no time. Gives you tons of energy."

"Alright," Louis starts, biting his lip while he's taking the straw from Harry. He doesn't bother rinsing it off... it's Harry after all... and Harry only smirks while he stands with his arms crossed next to Louis.

Louis leans down, looking at the fine line of powder on the counter. He finally begins to suck it all up while holding his other nostril. He does it as fast as possible, then he's raising his head up quickly and closing his eyes while he holds his nose.

"Fuck," Louis almost shouts, Harry and Nick giggling at him. "Stop laughing... it's not funny."

"It stops in a minute," Harry chuckles and rubs Louis' back softly. "Just give it a few seconds to let it sink in..."

Louis nods, wiping his nose and looking in the mirror; he can already tell it's kicked in for Harry and Nick because they're both hyped up now.

And Louis feels it rush through his veins all at once, suddenly caring a lot less.

"Jesus," Louis sighs out and smiles, "how much does this shit go for?"

"It's pretty cheap where I get it from," Nick replies and grins, "for you, hell, you could afford a ton of it. It's pocket change to you."

Louis chuckles some and sees Harry smiling at him beautifully.

They take several hours going over the script, Louis sitting and watching from beside Niall, a smile plastered on his face while he watches Harry.

Harry goes over every part with them, some of them laughing and making Harry laugh.

"Your rich man here isn't going to be upset when we kiss again, right?" James speaks up and laughs as he looks at Louis.

Louis just chuckles and shakes his head. "No... I think I'm ok with it now."

James only winks and drinks down his beer as Harry just smirks and continues talking about the play.

Soon, though, everyone is hammered and chatting amongst themselves; and Harry, Louis, and Nick have once again gotten high.

Harry sits on the floor in front of the bar, an acoustic guitar in his hands while he's strumming slowly. He sings softly, all eyes on him now.

His voice is beautiful and smooth, Louis thinks while he sits close to him watching him, a joint in his hands.

"You belong to my heart. Now and forever... And our love had its start not long ago. We were gathering stars while a million guitars played our love song. When I said 'I love you', every beat of my heart said it, too," Harry sings slowly, closing his eyes and getting lost in the song itself.

"Does he do this a lot?" Louis whispers to Nick next to him.

"He does, yeah," Nick smiles at Louis, "he's brilliant, isn't he? Has the voice of an angel."

"He... he really does," Louis whispers and turns back to watch Harry.

Harry continues to sing, watching his fingers move over the guitar strings gracefully.

He finishes finally and everyone claps and yells for him, Harry only smiling and shaking his head.

"Another!" Harry's friend Stephen is shouting from the sofa. "Come on..."

"Do Dearly Beloved," Niall shouts next with a grin, "you cover that so well."

"Ok, ok," Harry laughs and looks at Louis, "I dedicate this one to our host tonight..."

Louis' smiles grows wide as Harry starts strumming softly again, soon singing the words directly to Louis, his voice smooth and raspy.

And Louis is mesmerized by him; Louis knows the song well... but he now knows Harry's version is definitely his favorite... just his voice and a guitar. It's the most beautiful thing Louis has ever heard.

Harry watches his fingers again as he strums, changes notes, then begins singing again.

"God, he's fucking remarkable," Louis whispers out, "he should be singing on Broadway."

"He's been trying to get a part like that," Nick nods, "I mean, Mr. Jones knows how well he sings... it's just a matter of time."

Louis grins and stares back at Harry again, Harry's eyes already on him.

When he finishes the song, he is again applauded by everyone. He waves his hand and says, "oh, stop."

"Your voice is fucking amazing," Louis grins at him, "Jesus, Harry... I didn't realize you could sing as well."

"Yeah," Harry nods, "my dream when I was little was to either be an actor or a singer."

"Won't be long before you're doing both," Nick speaks up with a smile.

Harry shrugs and grins as he strums softly.

"I'm hungry," Niall speaks up with a sigh.

"Didn't you eat before you came?" Harry asks with a chuckle.

"Yeah, but it's getting fucking late," Niall whines.

"Why don't we go get some food?" Nick speaks up next with a smile, "all of us."

"Are you kidding? We'd get thrown out of a diner," Harry laughs and shakes his head.

"No, we promise to be good," another guy named Robert speaks up and laughs as he looks at Harry.

Harry just smirks and turns to Louis, "what do you want to do?"

"I'm fine with food," Louis shrugs, "we haven't eaten... and it sounds like fun."

Harry smiles a little and leans over to kiss Louis, pulling him in close.

"Woo," the whole room says before they're laughing.

"Shut up, fuckers," Harry snickers, "ok, fine... let's go get some food. We can go over the script some more if we have to."

"We have it down pretty well," Niall groans, "let's just get some fucking food before they close."

"Fine... let Louis and I get dressed," Harry sighs and sits his guitar down.

They change rather quickly and then, they're all off to the closest diner to Louis' apartment.

They pile into booths, ordering quickly before the diner closes. They laugh and talk louder than they mean to, but they're all drunk after all.

And Harry, Louis, and Nick are high as fucking kites as they sit in a booth with James beside Nick, all of them laughing and carrying on.

"I'm sure they'll be happy when we leave," Nick chuckles and looks at the waitress. "Wonder if they've caught on to us yet."

"Not everyone here is a homosexual though, right?" Louis asks quieter.

"No," Nick looks back at him with a small smirk, "but some of us just show it more than others."

"I can see that," Louis nods and snickers, "you don't care to show yours at all."

"I don't," Nick shrugs and places his hand under his cheek, "worst that'll happen is I'll go to jail."

"You can't let that happen," Harry speaks up, his arm on top of the booth behind Louis, "I need you for the theatre... you know that."

"I was kidding," Nick chuckles and shakes his head.

"Act a little more straight," Harry smiles.

"You're telling me to," Nick points to himself and laughs. "You have your arm around your boyfriend there..."

"It's on the booth," Harry chuckles, "it's not on him."

Louis only shakes his head and listens to the 2 of them arguing and laughing while he's munching on his fries.

When they finish, Harry, Louis, and Nick leave a huge tip for the waitress taking care of them all before they're walking out, Harry wishing them a good night.

"Maybe she'll smile now once she sees how much we left," Harry snickers while they're all walking back up the sidewalk to Louis' apartment building.

"Are we all going back to your place? I mean, maybe we should call it a night," Niall speaks up and looks back at Louis.

"I don't mind really," Louis shrugs while Harry's lighting a joint beside him. "I'm still wide awake."

Harry chuckles, "yeah, wonder why, Lou?'

"Hey, you 2 should spend some quality time together," Nick grins and comes up behind them, placing his arms around their shoulders.

"You just don't wanna go over the script again," Harry chuckles and hits the joint again before he hands it to Louis.

"You and your bloody script," Nick smirks, "don't you think we all know it by heart now?"

"Well, tomorrow if I ring any of you up and you don't recall this night, we're having another session at the theatre tomorrow evening," Harry tells Nick, everyone else hearing it and groaning.

Louis just snorts and looks at Harry, "you have all of them under your belt, don't you? It's almost like you produced it."

"I fucking write it, I fucking produce it, and I fucking own the theatre," Harry almost yells and throws his hands up with a chuckle. "Yeah, they bow to me."

"Hey, we like making money," Niall turns around and smiles.

"That they do," Harry grins, "haven't had anyone leave yet. I must be doing something right."

"You pay us well," Stephen turns around and laughs. "I mean, we almost get paid as much as stars on Broadway."

Louis looks dumbfounded for a moment as he looks at Harry. "How the hell do they make so much?"

Harry shrugs and grins, "my theatre does very well, Lou. I have enough to put on the shows, pay them a very reasonable amount, and keep the place going."

"How do you have enough money, though, for all of that?" Louis questions.

Harry hits the joint again and blows out the smoke, "I just do. I make a killing on Broadway, the other theatres..."

"And other places," Nick laughs out loud.

Harry gives him a stern look before shaking his head.

"What? It's fucking true. How much does that git lawyer pay you, Harry?" Nick laughs again as if he's forgotten Louis is even standing there.

"Yeah... how much does he pay you?" Louis chimes in, his eyes meeting Harry's. "Or even Ben for that matter. I'm sure he pays you a great deal."

"Uh, I think it's time for us to go home," Niall speaks up as they arrive in front of Louis' building. "Louis, don't pay attention to Nick when he's drunk and high like this... he says anything..."

"Yeah, even the truth," Louis nods, glancing from Niall back to Harry.

Harry only bites his lip and looks at the others, "uh, I'll call you guys tomorrow, alright? We might do a rehearsal tomorrow evening."

Everyone nods, looking between Harry and Louis.

"Hey, thanks for having us, man," James speaks up and shakes Louis' hand. "Your place is really outstanding."

"Thank you," Louis smiles again, "perhaps next time you lads have rehearsal, you could come to mine."

"You sure you want that?" Harry asks quietly.

"Yeah," Louis nods, "I've had a blast tonight... really. It's been brilliant getting to know your cast members. And I loved watching you all go over the script. You guys put a lot of work into this and I'm sure Harry really appreciates it."

Harry smiles again, gently squeezing Louis' shoulder.

"So, talk tomorrow, then?" Nick asks.

"Yeah," Harry nods before he's asking, "hey, did you drive?"

"No," Nick replies with a laugh. "I'm not fucking stupid, Harry. See you boys later."

Harry says goodbye to all of them before he and Louis are walking in the apartment building and straight to the elevator.

Louis remains quiet on the ride up and so does Harry. They hardly say 2 words to Tom.

When they've reached Louis' apartment, Harry's sighing and looking at the empty bottles everywhere.

He quickly begins cleaning up the mess while Louis just stands watching with a smirk on his face. "Guess they didn't obey rule number 2."

Harry snorts, "yeah, well, we left in a pretty big hurry. Besides, it's not that messy. At least they didn't spill their beers and drinks."

"Yeah, I appreciate that," Louis smiles while he still stands watching Harry putting all the bottles in a garbage bag. "I'm sorry... for my question earlier..."

Harry stops and looks back at Louis seriously.

"I guess I do just say whatever comes to my head as well when I'm drunk and high," Louis shrugs, "but you already knew that."

"Yeah, well, what you took tonight was a new experience for you," Harry chuckles and sits the bag down in the kitchen. He places his hands on his hips and looks at Louis, "did you enjoy it?"

"I did," Louis nods, "very much so. It's quite... quite interesting."

"A friend of ours has loads of shit," Harry states and pulls his cigarettes from his pants. He lights it slowly and sighs.

"Really?" Louis asks intrigued, "what exactly?"

"Basically anything you want," Harry shrugs, "some help you think quicker, some help you write faster, and the words come out brilliant."

"I'm guessing you've taken this before writing one of your plays," Louis teases and follows Harry to the bedroom.

"I have... once or twice," Harry shrugs, "it helps with writer's block."

"Guess that's good," Louis grins and starts undressing slowly.

Harry does the same until he's in nothing but his underwear. He pushes his hair back and sighs, feeling completely exhausted.

"Did... did you keep any of that from Nick?" Louis stutters to ask Harry as he watches him sitting down on the bed.

Harry takes a long hit of his cigarette, a smug grin crossing his lips, "why, Lou?"

"Just thought... that... it might," Louis tries to get out.

"Might what? Be fun to take before fucking?" Harry answers for him with a smile.

"Well, yeah," Louis shrugs, "I mean, you know I've never experienced these things... and I'm sure you have."

"I have," Harry nods and grabs Louis' hand, "and I'm more than willing to experience it with you."

"So, you still have it," Louis nods with a raised eyebrow.

"Of course," Harry grins and gets up, going to his coat on the dresser. He pulls the small bag out of his inside pocket and tosses it to Louis. "Do you happen to have a straw?"

"No," Louis smirks.

"No worries," Harry waves him off, then goes to his wallet, pulling out a dollar bill. "It's simple... you just roll this up."

"Really?" Louis asks surprised.

"Yeah," Harry looks back at him, "it's easy, really. Come on."

Louis follows Harry to the bathroom and watches him go first before he's snorting it and holding his nose again.

He's soon in laughing fits over nothing as the 2 of them lie in Louis' bed naked.

"Imagine if my dad showed up with me like this," Louis chuckles, turning over and burying his face into Harry's stomach. "He'd fucking lose it."

"He would," Harry laughs a little, watching Louis. "You're pretty hilarious on this shit... I mean, you find everything funny."

"I do... I don't know why," Louis smiles up at Harry.

"Some people act that way," Harry grins at him and plays with his hair, "it makes you feel good... energetic, giddy, and so high on life... it's amazing."

"It is," Louis nods and stares into the emerald eyes above him. "Now, how is sex on this?"

Harry grins, "it's marvelous... makes you last a lot longer."

"Does it now?" Louis grins slyly at Harry. "Well, what are we waiting for? I'd love to do you all over this room."

"Would you now?" Harry asks as Louis sits up. Harry guides his fingers down Louis' chest, his voice deep and raspy as he speaks again, "what about on the sofa? The kitchen counter?"

"I'll do it everywhere with you," Louis whispers, seeing Harry's cock twitch at his words; Louis looks pleased with himself as he stares back at Harry.

"I want you to do something for me," Harry whispers out, grabbing the small bag of white from the nightstand.

"What?" Louis asks with a small chuckle. "You want me to snort more?"

"I want you to take it from my stomach," Harry tells Louis seriously.

Louis stares back at Harry, feeling himself getting more turned on just by Harry's words.

"Alright," Louis whispers. "Give it to me."

Harry smiles and hands the bag to Louis, letting him make a line down his thin stomach.

Harry's breathing picks up as Louis starts to lean down and snort it off of Harry's stomach slowly.

And Harry's whole back arches as soon as Louis starts; he allows moans to escape his lips as he closes his eyes and loses himself in the sensation. It shouldn't be this sensual, but to Harry, it's nothing but sensual.

Louis looks up at Harry after sniffing and Harry's immediately pulling him down, their lips locking with one another's.

And Louis is sure that this night will be the most violent sex they've ever had.

They roll over in the bed, Harry landing on his back hard all while still entwining his tongue with Louis'. Harry bites Louis' bottom lip harder than he ever has before he's sucking it and kissing him again.

"Fuck," Louis whimpers into Harry's mouth. "I want to fuck you so bad."

"Then, what are you waiting on?" Harry asks, gripping Louis' ass cheeks, his fingernails digging deeper than ever.

"Jesus Christ," Louis moans and quickly grabs the jelly from his drawer.

Harry only chuckles a little at Louis' impatience; Harry knows how intense the craving for sex is when on cocaine... it's a feeling he himself has never gotten used to.

"Where should we do it first?" Harry asks Louis.

"I don't fucking care," Louis replies.

Harry gets up quickly and goes to the dresser, placing his hands on it and looking back at Louis. "What about here?"

Louis puts the jelly on his cock and stands behind Harry, running his fingers up and down Harry's ass first as he bites his neck harshly.

"Oh, fuck," Harry sighs out and reaches back to guide his fingers through Louis' hair. "Fuck me already, Lou..."

"Don't worry, princess," Louis whispers in a seductive tone, "I'm going to fuck the life out of you all night."

Louis swiftly enters Harry, no slowness at all; he fucks him mercilessly into the dresser; it rocks with every thirst and things begin falling off of it and to the floor.

"Shit," Harry moans. Louis pushes him down completely and Harry continues to whimper while Louis is gripping his hips tightly.

"Fuck... this feels amazing," Louis almost shouts.

He's soon pulling out of Harry and picking him up, placing him on the dresser while Harry's fingernails only dig into his shoulders.

"Fuck, Lou," Harry moans while Louis is pulling him forward and entering him again. Harry sighs and leans his head back against the mirror, keeping his hands around Louis' shoulders. "Yes... fuck, yes..."

Louis leans in and kisses Harry hard while he continues to fuck him atop the dresser.

Then, moments later, Harry and Louis are on the sofa, Louis still fucking Harry as hard as he can and as fast as he can.

Louis has never felt so much energy; he's sure he could go all night... while Harry on the other hand has already came twice.

"Fuck...," Harry shouts and throws his head back into the couch while Louis is pulling his legs up further and going deeper into him. "Fuck... yes... hurt me, Lou."

Louis only moans at Harry's words, his eyes closing while he fucks Harry into the sofa. He feels closer than he has all night, but he suddenly stops again, getting up quickly and grabbing Harry's hand.

They move to the guest bed this time, Harry falling on his back while Louis is crawling on him, their lips still locked together.

Louis enters Harry again and Harry's hands grip the headboard while Louis fucks him almost violently; Harry's sure he prefers Louis like this.

"Come on," Harry gets out through whimpers while he's staring up at Louis, "come in me, Lou..."

Louis sighs out, feeling the sensation overcoming him stronger than he has ever felt; he wants to scream, or shout... he's never felt the build up quite like this.

He grips Harry's hips tighter and Harry grips the headboard even more, his head thrown back into the pillow with his eyes closed.

"Yes... yes... come for me," Harry whimpers out, his hands landing on Louis' back and his fingernails scratching all the way down.

And when it hits Louis', there's no being quiet for him because the sensation is more overwhelming than anything he could've imagined. The orgasm itself is so intense that he can't help but scream out.

When he finally slows down after he's felt the longest orgasm he's ever had, he places his hands on each side of the bed beside Harry and stares down at him, his breathing heavy.

"How'd you like that?" Harry sighs, sweat all over him and Louis.

"That was... fucking amazing," Louis almost shouts as he smiles down at Harry. "Fuck... that was so intense."

Harry laughs and pushes Louis' sweaty hair away from his eyes as his face grows serious, "Lou..."

"Yeah, Harold," Louis whispers, grinning at Harry.

"I... I love you," Harry manages to stutter out as he keeps his eyes on Louis'.

Louis' face grows serious, "I know you do. And I love you, too."

"I know you do," Harry whispers, then smiles at him, "I just wish... you and I could live in a perfect world, you know? Where we can be who we are... love freely and openly."

Louis nods and begins getting up slowly, "that would be a perfect world, yeah. But it's not like that unfortunately."

Louis grabs one of Harry's shirts that's in the floor and cleans up before he's walking to his room and getting their cigarettes.

When he returns, he opens the window in the guest room just a bit before he's settling down in the bed by Harry.

Harry sighs while Louis is handing him a cigarette, "thank you."

"Welcome," Louis replies and lights his own. He looks around the dark room, then out the window. "Can I ask you something, Harry? And you not get mad?"

"I suppose," Harry answers and hits the cigarette again.

"How... how much do they really pay you?" Louis asks and looks down at Harry lying beside him. "And is that how you afford everything you do?"

"I use it to help pay things, yeah," Harry replies in almost a whisper.

"How much do they pay you?" Louis asks again.

"They pay me... enough," Harry answers, not looking back at Louis.

"How much is enough?" Louis questions, "come on, Harry. I'm just curious here."

"They pay me... anywhere from $25 to $35, alright?" Harry looks back at Louis finally.

Louis' eyes widen, "what? They pay you that much?"

Harry nods and blows out his hit. "I mean, I've had some only pay me $10-$15, but... most pay at least $25."

Louis doesn't know what to say; he closes his mouth and sits still.

"Hard to process, isn't it?" Harry speaks up and takes another long hit of his cigarette.

"That's... that's a lot of money, Harold," Louis looks back at him. "I had no idea you had that much... shit, you probably have almost as much as I do."

"Money is only money," Harry whispers.

"And sex is only sex, right?" Louis asks.

"It is... if it's not with the person you care about," Harry replies and looks back at Louis. "I can't... can't stop what I do, Lou. I know that I said I would... and I really would like to, but..."

"What if I helped you? Financially?" Louis interrupts.

"What?" Harry asks and looks at Louis while he's lying down beside him.

"What if I helped pay for all of it?" Louis says again as he stares at Harry.

"You couldn't... no," Harry shakes his head and puts his cigarette out. "Fuck, no, Louis. Your dad would wonder where that money is going..."

"Fuck him," Louis says quickly. He scoots closer to Harry, placing his arm over his stomach and gently gliding his fingers over him. "I can come up with a good lie. Besides, it was you that told me I needed to broaden my horizons and start spending my own savings."

"You're still high as fuck, Lou," Harry chuckles, leaning his head against Louis'. "You know that won't ever work... even if you and I wanted it to."

"I want it to be just us, Harry," Louis whispers. "I'm sorry. I am the jealous type and I can't help that... I've never cared about anyone the way I care about you."

"I know that," Harry says quietly, "and you know that I have never cared for anyone else the way I care about you, Lou."

Silence soon surrounds them; the only noise they can hear are the cars down on the street below.

Louis lies there staring at the ceiling, wondering why he can't just love who he loves. He understands now how fucked up their society is... it's all just like Harry told him.

Louis can even understand why Harry, or men like him, wouldn't ever want to find someone they care about... because, in the end, it might end badly for both.

"Why me?" Louis speaks up after several minutes of pure silence.

Harry opens his eyes and asks quietly, "what?"

"Why'd you pick me?" Louis whispers out. "I mean, you could've fallen in love with anyone... and you would've been able to keep them a secret probably... but with me, that's not even possible, Harry."

Harry bites his lip, wanting to break down at Louis' words because he knows they're true.

"I didn't pick you," Harry finally gets out, "my heart picked you, Louis... and even if I want to pretend like I don't care that much for you, I still do. Even if this doesn't last much longer... even if we only have days or weeks left..."

"Don't think like that," Louis sighs.

"The point is," Harry whispers and leans his face into Louis' hair, "in the end, I still lose you. But even when I do, you'll still have my heart... and I will never be able to give it to someone else because..."

Harry pauses while Louis is closing his eyes, feeling them sting with tears.

"... You'll still own my heart," Harry gets out, his voice breaking. "No matter who you're with, or where you go, you'll still carry that piece of me that I know I'll never get back."

Louis sniffs quietly and quickly wipes his eyes before he's burying his face into Harry's neck, smelling his scent and wanting to memorize it.

Harry sighs and holds him as tight as possible, a tear trickling down his cheek while he kisses Louis' head.

Both of them lay there just like that; wrapped up in each other's arms while tears are streaming down their faces, no words to be said.

Harry knows there's nothing he can say to make this moment better; he knows Louis is well aware that their time will run out... no matter what they want.

When morning comes, Louis' eyes are slowly opening and squinting at the light in the room now.

He looks down and sees Harry's head on his chest, his hair a mess while he's snoring lightly. And Louis only grins and plays with a few small pieces of it... until he's hearing something.

He hears someone knocking on his door and Louis knows there's only one person who would be here this early: his father.

"Fuck," Louis says and hurries out from underneath Harry, waking him up in the process.

"What?" Harry groans and pulls the pillow to him.

"My father is here," Louis tells him, his eyes wide.

"What?" Harry asks and jumps up. "Fuck... Lou, go to your room. Get your ass dressed."

"I'm going," Louis nods while Harry's getting up and closing the door behind him.

Louis rushes in his room, seeing Harry's clothes everywhere.

"Shit... shit," he mumbles while he's finding himself pajamas and slipping them on as fast as possible.

Then, he's tossing Harry's clothes into one of his bottom drawers. He looks back at his nightstand and sees the bag of cocaine still lying there with the dollar bill.

He's quickly running over to get it and then hiding it in the drawer with his underwear.

He hears his apartment door open and close and Louis swallows the huge lump in his throat.

He slowly walks to the bedroom doorway, seeing the guest door closed, and he sighs a sigh of relief before he's putting on an act for his father.

He walks out of his room and down the hallway, pretending to yawn as he's looking at his father standing in the living area. "Hey, dad... what's the matter?"

Louis' father stares at him for a long pause before he's asking, "you're still in the bed at this time?"

Louis looks at the clock on the wall seeing it's past 10 AM. He glances back at his dad while he's rubbing his eyes, "yeah, well, Harry had rehearsals last night and I went along."

His father nods and goes to look out the window... and Louis notices the garbage bag full of bottles still in plain sight.

He's hurrying quietly over to it and trying to pick it up without making a lot of sound.

"I dropped by to see if Harry wanted to join us for lunch today," his dad is saying while Louis is doing his best to hide the bag. His dad keeps talking and Louis is relieved that he is.

He finally gets the bag under one of the countertops and then is getting a glass out to pour himself some water, his father finally looking back at him.

"Were you listening?" He asks Louis.

"Yeah... I was," Louis nods slowly and takes a drink of the water before he's saying, "you wanted Harry to go to lunch with us."

"Yes, Meredith and I are inviting him," Louis' father nods, "she's been saying how much she'd like to see him again."

"I'm sure he won't mind at all," Louis smiles and walks back to the living area with his glass of water. "I don't think he's got plans until later this evening. He and Meredith go back a ways, don't they?"

"They do apparently," Louis' father finally smiles at him, "she's told me a lot about him."

Louis swallows hard and forces a smile and nod while he listens to his father going on about Harry.

"... And she said that since he's been living here, he's been in a lot of great productions and was an instant star on Broadway," his father says with a small smile. "She said it only took Thomas maybe a few seconds to cast him..."

"Mr. Jones," Louis nods.

"Yeah, he's very fond of him," his father replies and smiles. "Would you mind waking Harry and asking him if he'd like to come, say noon?"

"At the restaurant in downtown Manhattan?" Louis asks and glances at Harry's door; he's sure Harry's already listening to the conversation.

"Yes," his father nods. "Since it's already past 10, I figured I'd stop by here first before going to take care of a few things and picking up Meredith."

"Uh," Louis stutters for a moment. He forces a smile and nods, "yeah, no problem. I'll ask him before you have to go."

Louis knows it would look very improper to his dad if he just barged in Harry's room; he can't do that... normal men don't do those types of things. They knock.

So, Louis knocks and bites his lip, waiting for Harry to open the door, and hoping he's fully dressed.

"Harry, are you awake?" Louis calls.

Harry opens the door, fully clothed in a set of silk pajamas, his hair a mess. He yawns and smiles at Louis, "morning. What is it?"

"Uh, my dad is here and was wondering if you'd like to go to lunch with us today," Louis explains, trying not to smile at Harry.

"Oh," Harry says and sounds surprised. "Uh, yes, of course. Where is he?"

Louis just smirks and Harry winks at him before he's walking down the hall.

"Morning Mr. Tomlinson," Harry says with a beautiful smile as he steps over to Louis' father and shakes his hand.

"Ah, good morning, Harry," William is grinning at Harry immediately. "Meredith and I would like for you to attend lunch with us today... you and Louis."

"I would be honored to," Harry nods, "I'd love to catch up with Meredith a bit more."

"Perfect," William smiles and looks at Louis, then back at Harry, "so, I'll see you 2 at the restaurant in downtown Manhattan at noon, then?"

"Yeah, we'll be there," Harry nods and smiles over at Louis. "Thanks for inviting me, sir."

"You're more than welcome, lad," William grins warmly at Harry, "if you and Louis keep up this friendship, I'll soon start calling you my other son."

Harry pretends to laugh, making William laugh while he's walking back to the door. Harry looks at Louis and rolls his eyes, Louis trying not to snort.

William opens the door and looks back at his son, "see the both of you soon."

"Bye, dad," Louis tries to smile as he's walking over and holding the door for him.

He watches his dad walking down the hallway and then stepping into the elevator before he's shutting his apartment door and sighing. "God, that was fucking close."

Harry just chuckles and picks up a pack of cigarettes from Louis' bar, then makes himself a drink.

"Do you realize how close he was to seeing the 2 of us in bed together? Naked?" Louis asks Harry in a worried tone.

Harry shrugs while he's drinking the scotch down quickly, "he didn't, Lou. Point is, he didn't. Don't get yourself riled up about it now."

"If I wouldn't have woken up and hurried to my room..."

"Stop," Harry laughs some and slowly walks over to Louis, gently caressing his cheek, "just stop. You did wake up... thankfully. If you hadn't, I'd probably be on my way to jail right now."

"So would I," Louis whispers as he stares at Harry.

"I don't think your father would do that to you," Harry shakes his head and hits his cigarette before sitting his glass down on the bar.

"Really?" Louis asks flatly. "He wouldn't fucking care to do that to me."

"No," Harry starts and looks back at Louis, his face growing serious, "he'd still want you to marry your girl and live a normal life... he'd have you committed, Lou... and then release you when he felt like you had been shone the right path of life."

Louis closes his mouth and looks down at the floor, thinking that Harry is most likely right.

"I didn't mean to upset you by saying that," Harry whispers and leans back against the bar as he studies Louis. "He's the district attorney, Lou. He'd cover his ass. He wouldn't throw his own son in jail... he'd come up with something saying you went off to school or something... and he'd put me in jail with other accusations against me, none having to do with you."

"You're basically saying that the one who's gonna suffer from this secret is you," Louis manages to say quietly.

Harry nods and hits his cigarette, "that's exactly what I'm saying."

"And that's why you're so scared to be here... to feel something for me," Louis states.

"Yeah... I guess it is," Harry looks back at him. "Sometimes, I honestly wish I could go back to England... to my family. And just stay there for the rest of my life. But... the war is raging over there and... and every day that passes is another day I worry about something happening to mum and Gem."

"Then, let's get them here," Louis tells Harry, his face serious.

"How?" Harry smirks.

"In case you've forgotten, I am the district attorney's son," Louis smiles a little, "and for once, I can use my last name to do something right... I can have your family brought here."

"But, Lou..."

"No," Louis interjects, "let me do this for you. Let me use my name and my money for something good for once. All I have to do is make a phone call and I can have someone pick them up in London and bring them straight here."

Harry smiles a little, "you sure you really wanna do that? What if your dad finds out? Or questions you?"

"I don't care if he does," Louis shrugs, "he'll probably tell me I did the right thing by bringing your family here and away from the war."

Harry nods a little, "thank you. You don't know how much it would mean to me."

"I care about you," Louis says softly, "and I would do anything to protect the ones you love... besides, I'd love to meet your mum."

Harry smirks and finally walks over to Louis, hugging him tightly and closing his eyes before sighing, "you're amazing. Thank you."

"You're welcome," Louis smiles into Harry's shoulder. "Let's go get ready for lunch and then we'll figure out the details of getting them here."

"Ok," Harry whispers against Louis' neck. "Sounds like a plan."

Chapter Text

"It's something that Harry's really passionate about," Louis is telling his father that Friday as they are heading to Broadway with Meredith for Harry's play.

"All I can say is I'll see what we can do," William tells Louis, "I will do my best to help you get his family here. He needs them here."

Louis finds himself smiling at his father like he never has before. "Thank you so much. He really misses them... and I know he'd never forgive himself if something happened to them, dad."

William nods, Meredith only smiling at him. He finally sighs and looks back at Louis, "Monday morning I'll go in and see what they can do to get them here, alright? Maybe it won't be too difficult. Shouldn't be."

"Thank you," Louis' smile widens even more. "I can't wait to tell Harry."

Meredith grins at Louis as the car is coming to a stop in front of the theatre.

The driver opens the door for them once again and Louis steps out first, almost hurrying inside; he can't wait to see Harry in this play... he can't wait to see him at all.

They take their box seats again in the balcony and Louis lights a cigarette while his dad and Mr. Jones are talking.

"You and Harry have gotten pretty close," Meredith leans over to Louis and says with a smile.

Louis slowly nods, not making eye contact with her, "we have actually. He's absolutely brilliant."

"I always thought so myself," Meredith sighs with a grin as she's looking around at the crowded theatre. "He always had a way of doing things his own way."

Louis hits his cigarette and blows out the hit slowly before he's looking back at Meredith, wondering if she knows about Harry after all.

"What do you mean?" Louis asks and pretends to be dumbfounded.

"Well," Meredith shrugs, "he's just always had such a lively spirit that no one could ever bring down. His positive attitude on life, the way he believes..."

Louis stares at her until she finally glances back at him. She smiles and says softly, "he's an amazing person... and he's lucky to have you."

Louis isn't sure what to say to her; somehow, he just knows she knows now... but what can he say with his father directly beside her.

He nods and finally looks back at the stage as the play begins.

And once again, Louis watches Harry's every move onstage; he listens to the way he says his lines, laughs along with the dialogue, and even snorts without meaning to when Harry is kissing the actress onstage.

When the play ends, they receive a standing ovation once more, and Harry looks directly at Louis' box seat and blows a kiss before waving.

"Aww, he blew you a kiss, Meredith," William is quick to say with a smile.

Meredith only nods, smiling at Louis next to her. And Louis doesn't look back at her.

He gets up quickly and tells the both of them he's heading backstage. When he does, he sees Harry a few feet away talking to one of his cast members.

But when Harry turns and sees Louis waiting on him, his smile widens.

"Great performance," Louis grins as he's walking to Harry. "You did amazing."

"Thank you," Harry smiles and gently squeezes Louis' shoulder before whispering, "I really want to hug you right now."

"Hug me," Louis quietly says back.

Harry only smiles and takes Louis into his arms, holding him for a few seconds.

"Ah, Louis must've told you the news," William is saying once he's seen the 2 of them.

Harry lets go of Louis quickly and they both force a smile.

"Uh, yeah, I did," Louis starts and looks at Harry, "I told him that it would be Monday before we could see what we could do about getting his mum and sister here."

Harry's smile grows, though he tries not to act too excited. Instead, he looks back at Louis' father, "I... I can't thank you enough, sir."

"You don't have to thank me," William smiles at Harry. "Your family needs to be here... and you need your family."

"I appreciate it so much," Harry nods.

"You deserve it, sweetheart," Meredith says with a grin as she's hugging Harry. "And you're very fortunate to have someone care so much about you."

Harry smiles at Meredith as she lets him go, "thank you."

"So, I'm sure you lads have some plans made," William says and looks between Harry and Louis, "Meredith and I will talk to you both later."

"Bye, dad."

"Night," Harry smiles as they're walking off. He looks back at Louis, "is he really going to try to get my sister and mum to New York?"

"He is," Louis nods, "and hopefully we'll have an answer Monday."

"That's... god, I can't believe it," Harry almost exclaims, "I can't believe your dad is willing to help me."

"The guy loves you," Louis shrugs. "So, ready to get out of here?"

"I am," Harry smiles, "where are we going exactly?"

"Figured we could go down the street and... you know," Louis smirks while Harry's gathering his things.

"What? Make out in an alley way?" Harry laughs.

"No, you ass," Louis chuckles, "I meant the club."

"Oh," Harry smiles, "yeah, sure, why not? Can't stay out too late though. We have a wedding to go to."

Louis rolls his eyes and follows Harry out the back entrance once Harry has said goodbye to everyone.

"You'll never guess what my dad asked me on the way over," Louis snickers while they're walking up the alley way.

"What's that?" Harry asks and lights a cigarette, watching the crowds pile out of the theatre.

"He asked me if you had a girlfriend," Louis looks back at Harry smugly.

"He what?" Harry laughs out loud. "Are you joking?"

"I wish, love," Louis shakes his head and smiles, "I told him you were seeing someone but it had only been a couple weeks."

"Nice save, I suppose," Harry grins and places the cigarette between his lips. "What'd he say after that?"

"Just that he'd like to meet her sometime... like when Alice comes," Louis mumbles out.

Harry's face grows serious again. "He wants me to bring a date to the dinner."

"I suppose so," Louis shrugs and looks at Harry. He rubs his back gently, "doesn't mean you have to, love. And it doesn't mean you even have to come..."

"No," Harry interjects, "I'm going... but I'm going alone."

"So, you want to go now," Louis nods as they start walking up the sidewalk to Harry's car.

"I do," Harry replies, "cause I want to see what kind of woman your dad has picked out for you."

Louis chuckles some as Harry's opening the driver's door and throwing his suitcase in the back. "Don't think she's good enough for me, eh?"

"No... I know for a fact that she's not good enough for you," Harry says while Louis is sitting down in the passenger's seat. "I know you're too good for her."

"How do you know that?" Louis almost whispers as he studies Harry's face.

"Because...," Harry says quietly as he starts the engine. He turns back to Louis and says seriously, "I'm the only one good enough for you."

Louis bites his lip and sits back in the seat, knowing Harry's right once more.

They head across town to the small club again, Harry smoking and hanging his hand out the window while Louis is sitting completely still, lost in his own thoughts.

"What... what happens to us if... if I do end up marrying her?" Louis decides to speak up and ask.

Harry doesn't look too phased by the question, and to Louis, it's almost as if he expected the question to come up.

"That depends on you, I guess," Harry replies, his tone low. "If... if you decide to marry her, you know I'll still be here, Lou. I'm not going anywhere. I can't now."

"What if marrying her is the only way I can save you?" Louis asks, though it hurts to say.

"What do you mean?" Harry snorts.

"I mean, me continuing to act normal," Louis replies, "even if I'm not."

"I told you before: I don't expect you to change," Harry says back in almost a whisper. "And I've told you that our time will run out as well, Lou. It's just the way it is."

"Why don't we leave? When your mum and sis get here we take off to another city," Louis suggests.

Harry sighs as he parks, "Lou, we've been over this..."

"I know, but... you and I both must have enough money to live off of for a while," Louis says in almost a pleading tone.

"Look, Lou," Harry tries to smile, "let's just go in here and have fun, alright? Let's not worry about anything right now. Please."

Louis licks his lips and nods slowly before he's stepping out of the car.

And Harry's stepping out quickly and walking around to Louis, once more taking off his tie and undoing the top 2 buttons of his suit.

"You want me to freeze?" Louis asks with a chuckle.

Harry smiles and takes off his coat, placing it on Louis' shoulders. "There. Better?"

"Yeah," Louis replies softly, "thanks."

Harry only grins and slips his hand in Louis' slowly. "Come on."

The 2 of them walk down the stairs of the club once more after Louis pays his way in. They hear jazz music being played immediately and both of them smile as they look around.

"Wow, crowded night," Louis smirks.

"Wanna sit at the bar for a bit?" Harry asks.

"Sure. Why not?"

Harry smiles and leads Louis by the hand to the bar, ordering shots for them both.

The bartender Mark sits the whole bottle of vodka down for Harry, giving him a smile.

"Thank you," Harry grins at him, "I knew you'd come around eventually."

"Come on, Harry. You can have everyone wrapped around your finger with that smile of yours," Mark smirks and wipes the bar.

"He's got a point," Louis grins and throws back another shot.

They sit and talk, Harry pointing to different people in the club itself and telling Louis stories about them. Louis only laughs and watches Harry as he speaks.

And when they're both drunk, Harry's standing up and grabbing Louis' hand, "let's dance."

"Again?" Louis chuckles, "just promise you're not going to walk off the dance floor this time."

"I'd never," Harry smirks and takes off with Louis to dance.

They dance to slow songs and to more upbeat songs before they're drinking from their bottle of vodka again, both of them laughing and having the time of their lives.

"So, who's driving the car home?" Louis laughs while he and Harry are in the bathroom using Harry's stash of cocaine.

"I'm not exactly sure," Harry chuckles, causing Louis to laugh even more. "I guess I will. I'm sure we'll be fine if I drive really slow."

"Yeah, maybe," Louis snickers before they're walking out of the bathroom.

Harry sits down on one of the sofas and Louis climbs on top of him, cupping his cheeks in his hands as he smiles.

"You know you mean the world to me, right?" Louis asks.

"I know, Lou," Harry grins and pushes Louis' messy hair back, "you're rather sappy when you're like this."

"I don't give a fuck," Louis sighs, "I'm here in this place... with you. It's perfect, love. I wish... I wish our lives could be just like this: open."

Harry nods and places his hands around Louis' waist, "so do I."

"I can't wait for spring, you know?" Louis smiles widely at Harry. "We can go on picnics to isolated places... we can go to the beach where we won't be seen."

"I know a few of those," Harry grins, "it'll be nice, yeah. Maybe we can even camp out somewhere like that... maybe behind some rocks, or even in the grass... or your car.."

"That'd be brilliant, yeah," Louis laughs and runs his fingers through Harry's hair gently before he's resting his forehead against his. "Doesn't matter where we are... as long as we're together, Harold."

Harry nods, swallowing hard and hoping he gets to see spring with Louis.

Louis kisses Harry gently before he's smiling and looking around the club again; his eyes divert to the bar and to a familiar face, and soon the smile is gone.

"What is he doing here?" Louis asks lowly.

Harry looks confused before he's looking where Louis' eyes are... and he sees Ben sitting at the bar.

"Fucking Christ," Harry sighs, "get up."

"Let's just leave," Louis tells Harry.

"No," Harry replies before he's standing up and hurrying over to the bar, Louis trailing right behind.

Ben looks up at Harry and smiles, "hey, nice to see you..."

"What are you doing here?" Harry asks harshly.

"Uh, getting a drink?" Ben asks with a small laugh. He smiles at Louis, "hello again, Louis."

Louis doesn't say a word as Harry speaks up, "did you... did you follow me here?"

"Really, Harry?" Ben laughs and shakes his head. "Come on... you know I come here, too."

"Little strange that you're here when we are," Harry crosses his arms and stares at Ben.

"I felt like getting a drink," Ben shrugs and plays with the empty glass. "Sarah's went to stay with her sister, so... I just needed to get out of the house."

Harry's anger starts to fade. "I'm... I'm sorry. What happened?"

"Nothing really," Ben sighs and stares at the bar, "she was just convinced I was having an affair, which you knew. She said you knew about it, too."

Harry looks confused at first, then his anger shows again. He grabs Ben by the collar and grips it tight, "you son of a bitch. You fucking told her!"

"I didn't tell her!" Ben yells back at him, "Harry, I told you I'd never tell anyone. Why would I ruin my career and yours?"

"Maybe because you didn't get what you wanted?" Harry nearly shouts.

"I didn't fucking tell her," Ben replies loudly.

"Harry, calm down," Louis speaks up suddenly. "He's right... why would he risk such a thing?"

Harry glares at Ben before he's letting go of him and shoving him back in the chair. "Then, why does she think I know?"

"She thinks I told you," Ben replies more quietly. "She knows I spend a great deal of time with you and she had it set in her mind that I shared it with you."

Harry sighs and pushes his hair back slowly.

"I didn't know what else to do, so I came here," Ben states as he stares at Harry. "I needed to get away."

"I'm sorry," Harry says quietly, "I didn't mean to flip on you."

"It's fine," Ben whispers, "I would've done the same."

"You know, Harry has something that'll cheer you right up," Louis smirks.

Harry turns his head to Louis so fast, "what? No."

"Let me guess," Ben licks his lips and smirks, "some kind of drug, right?"

"It's coke," Harry replies, rolling his eyes. "If you want some, I suppose you can have some."

"You sure you don't mind?" Ben asks, looking from Harry to Louis.

Louis shrugs and just smiles; and Harry knows how drunk and high Louis is right now.

A few moments later after the 3 of them have returned from the bathroom, they sit at a table drinking and laughing. And Harry's quite surprised to see Louis carrying on with Ben.

"Maybe it's time for us to go," Harry sighs with a smile, "we've drank like 2 bottles of vodka and used that shit like 3 times, Lou."

"Yeah, it's pretty late," Ben laughs and looks between the 2 of them.

"1 favor before we leave," Louis grins slyly at Harry.

"What?" Harry laughs with a confused expression.

"I... I know this sounds weird," Louis laughs.

"You're drunk and high... of course it's gonna sound weird," Harry chuckles and shakes his head. "What?"

"I want Ben to kiss you... right here and now," Louis states as he stares at Harry.

Harry's face grows serious while he's looking at Louis. "You're fucking drunk. No."

"Come on," Louis chuckles, "do it for me."

"No. You'll regret it tomorrow," Harry sighs.

"If he even remembers it," Ben chuckles, making Louis laugh with him.

"Ok, I'm leaving," Harry puts his hands up and starts to get up.

"Sit down," Ben laughs, "just do what he wants... after all, he wants to experience this world and all."

Harry looks at Ben, giving him a stern look before he's sighing and turning to Louis. "Alright, 1 kiss and then we go, right?"

"Yeah," Louis smiles.

Harry shakes his head and smiles a little. "Alright, Ben, have a go."

"My pleasure," Ben grins and leans over, looking from Harry's eyes to his lips before he's gently kissing him and pulling him in.

Louis watches the 2 of them, feeling himself getting aroused by it, even though he knows he shouldn't be.

Their kiss is long and gentle, though Louis can see their tongues intertwine.

Harry finally breaks the kiss and stares at Ben for a second, then he's picking up his cigarettes and lighting one. "Now, can we go, Lou?"

"I suppose," Louis starts before saying, "why doesn't Ben stay at my place tonight?"

Harry looks at him through wide eyes. "What the fuck is wrong with you?"

Ben chuckles, "he wants to see this whole entire world, Harry. He wants to see what it's like for another man to be with you."

Louis bites his lip for a moment, not objecting the idea at all. He only stares at Harry.

"I... I don't know," Harry starts, "Lou, you'll regret this tomorrow, I promise you."

"You don't know that," Louis smirks at him. He turns to Ben next, "where are you parked? You can follow us to my place."

"I took a taxi," Ben grins and looks at Harry, Harry only staring back at him.

"Well, let's go, then," Louis smiles and stands immediately.

Harry and Ben walk behind Louis up the stairs, Harry whispering to Ben, "don't fucking do this. He's gonna regret this."

"How do you know?" Ben laughs.

"Because...," Harry starts with a sigh, "he's... he's jealous of the 2 of us. And not just us... anyone I'm with basically."

"Well, maybe he's trying to get over that," Ben winks at Harry before they're exiting the club.

Harry takes the driver's seat while Ben sits in the back talking to Louis the whole way. Harry even snorts more cocaine on the way back to Louis' place... he has no clue what he's in store for.

They stumble into the apartment, the 3 of them laughing and carrying on before Ben is stopping and looking around.

"This is really nice," Ben grins. "Damn, Louis, you have it made."

"Thanks, but it's not really my idea of a home," Louis smiles a little. "I'm gonna make us some scotch."

"Aren't we drunk enough?" Harry laughs. "Jesus, Lou."

"Hey, I'm just trying to enlighten the mood," Louis laughs.

"So, grandmaster of this plan," Harry starts with a smile, "what do you suggest?"

Louis bites his lip, looking between Harry and Ben. "I suggest my bedroom."

Ben looks at Louis and then Harry. "If you're not ok with this..."

"No," Harry interrupts, "let's... let's do this."

Ben smiles more than he should before he's looking at Louis, "lead the way."

A few moments later, Louis is standing by the dresser after Ben and Harry have completely undressed.

And Louis doesn't have to even tell them what to do; he knew he wouldn't. They're all too familiar with how this works.

He watches Ben make the first move on Harry, to which Harry fully obliges. And Louis only strokes the outside of his slacks while he's watching Ben throw Harry on the bed, pinning him there... as if no one else is in the room with them.

When Louis wakes the next morning, he feels the throbbing in his head and sighs, looking in the bed next to him to see Harry sound asleep.

He sets up quickly, looking for Ben. He climbs out of bed and walks to the living room to see if he crashed on his sofa, but Ben isn't there.

He sighs and walks back to his room, holding his head. When he reaches the doorway, he sees Harry's eyes already on him.

"He left," Harry tells him. "He left after we were finished, Lou."

"So, I didn't dream it," Louis nods and sits down on the bed.

"No, you didn't," Harry sits up, staring at Louis. "Although, I'm sure now you wish you would've, right?"

"No," Louis shrugs and looks back at Harry, "was kinda nice."

"Kinda nice?" Harry asks with a smirk. "You getting off to Ben fucking me was kinda nice."

Louis stays silent for a moment before speaking again, "I just... I wanted to see what it was like from the outside. That's all."

"You picked a great person for that," Harry smirks and shakes his head before he's getting up.

"Why do you say that?" Louis asks. "I figured he was the best person for that. He's your best friend after all."

"Yeah, he's my best friend alright," Harry mumbles out and gets up to find clothes.

"What?" Louis asks confused.

"He told me he'd rather be with me than his own fucking wife, Lou," Harry turns to Louis and says.

"What?" Louis asks surprised. "He told you that? Thought he didn't have feelings for you."

"Yeah, well, apparently he does," Harry sighs out and heads to the bathroom, turning on the water.

"Is that what you meant last night... when you said he didn't get what he wanted?" Louis dares to ask.

"Yeah," Harry replies quietly. "That's exactly what I meant... cause he knows he can't have me."

"Look, I'm sorry," Louis starts as he's watching Harry, "I was out of it and I thought it would be a nice experience..."

"I'm sure it was for you," Harry looks back at him. He gets the water temperature just right and steps in.

"Are you mad about this?" Louis asks softly.

Harry smiles to himself in the shower, "no, I'm not. Quite surprised actually. You've ventured into a whole new world. Guess I should be proud of you for that. Seems you really do belong in this world."

Louis smirks to himself, "well, I'd say I've always belonged in this world... starting the night you kissed me, love."

Harry grins, "so, what are we wearing to this elegant wedding?"

Harry and Louis go through suits together after their showers and Harry agrees to wear green while Louis wears blue.

Harry helps Louis fix his hair and Louis fixes Harry's hair in return, both of them smiling and talking about dumb, little things... but to the 2 of them, they're important things.

"How do you think we look?" Harry asks and straightens his suit. "God, I hate wearing these."

"You actually look very stunning in them," Louis smiles, "I mean, I know you don't prefer them, but you do look amazing. It really does suit you."

"Yours brings out your eyes," Harry grins and rubs over Louis' cheek softly.

"So does yours," Louis says softly. "Alright, we should get going. My dad is having a car pick us up and I'm sure it'll be here any moment."

"Why am I not surprised by that," Harry shakes his head and chuckles a little while he's following Louis into the living area.

"Oh, did you happen to..."

Harry pats his suit, "I've got plenty, trust me... although we may end up acting a tad bit inappropriate at this wedding."

"I really don't give a fuck anymore," Louis sighs and hands Harry his coat before he's grabbing his own. "I say we make the best of it together."

"I like the sound of that," Harry nods and follows Louis out of his apartment.

They sit through the wedding with nearly 90 other guests; and Louis wishes that he and Harry would've sit at the back instead of towards the front.

Harry will whisper something to him every few minutes causing Louis to almost snort before stopping himself. Several people stare in their direction, but neither of them really care. Harry only waves at them and smiles, making Louis want to laugh even more.

"This is really fucking boring," Harry whispers in Louis' ear, causing Louis to grin.

He leans into Harry's ear, "I can think of a ton of other things I'd love to be doing right now."

Harry looks smug as he whispers again, "number 1 would be me, right?"

Louis looks back at him and nods a little.

Harry places his arm on the back of Louis' chair and whispers in his ear again, "don't worry. We'll find an empty loo, Lou."

Louis starts to snicker again quietly until his father is turning around and looking at the both of them.

Harry diverts his eyes back to Liam and Julia with a smile on his face and Louis just remains cool and calm, even if he wants to laugh.

Harry looks around for a moment before he's gently reaching over and touching Louis' leg, running his fingers up and down the side of it between their seats.

And Louis can only swallow hard and try to act normal, even though Harry's grinning and knowing exactly what he's doing to him.

Louis can tell from the corner of his eye that someone behind them is watching and he's clearing his throat as quietly as possible while he looks at Harry.

Harry looks back at him after Louis' second attempt at catching his eye. He sees Louis' eyes pointing behind them and Harry's glancing over his shoulder, seeing a young and proper man and woman behind them.

"Oh, nice to see you again, Jacob," Harry whispers and smiles at the young man, to which he receives a stern look. Harry only grins beautifully at the woman beside him and turns back around.

"You know him?" Louis whispers really low without turning his head toward Harry.

"I've fucked him," Harry says back where no one can hear. Louis looks surprised while Harry only smirks and continues to pretend to be interested in the wedding.

"I now pronounce you Mr. And Mrs. Payne," the minister says, "you may now kiss your bride."

"Probably one of the few times they've kissed," Harry leans over and whispers to Louis again, Louis only covering his mouth and snickering quietly.

Everyone claps as the music begins to play and Liam and Julia are walking down the aisle, not looking love-stricken, but more proud than anything, Harry thinks.

"Yeah, that's true love alright," Harry rolls his eyes and claps slowly.

Louis chuckles and says a little louder while everyone claps, "I'm so glad I brought you, Harold."

At the reception, Harry and Louis share a table with Louis' father and Meredith along with 2 other couples. The men work for Louis' dad, Louis knows that... and after what Ben told him, he wonders if maybe 1 of them know Harry.

"It was beautifully decorated," Harry is saying as he's picking up his wine, "really. This place is absolutely stunning and they chose the right flowers and all. Was gorgeous."

"It really was," Meredith nods and smiles at Harry.

"And this reception is something else," Harry smiles and looks around at all the beautifully furnished tables, the chandeliers hanging down from the high ceiling, and the beautiful decor.

"It's a great place to get married. I've been telling Louis that," William speaks up and smiles at Louis.

Louis' stomach suddenly sinks while he's sipping his wine, Harry looking at him.

"Louis wants to pick the place, however," William continues, "he and Alice decided on that. And with the wedding being in July, they were going to be looking at places while she's here for a few days."

Harry nods and tries to smile before he's picking up his wine and downing it quickly, asking the passing waiter for a refill.

"You're going to come to his wedding, aren't you, Harry?" William smiles and asks.

Harry looks taken off guard by the question for a moment, forgetting to act the part altogether; and he can tell Meredith knows by the way she's staring at him sympathetically.

He regains his composure and forces a smile while Louis' eyes are on him. "Uh, yeah, if Louis invites me. Sure."

"Why wouldn't he? You 2 are like inseparable now," William laughs and looks at his son, "wouldn't be surprised if he makes you his best man."

"Oh, that would be lovely," one of the women at the table speaks up and smiles at Harry and Louis.

"Yeah, it would," Harry nods, glancing at Louis for a moment. He smiles a little and places his napkin on the table, "uh, will you please excuse me for a moment?"

"Of course," William grins as Harry stands up.

Harry glances at Louis before he's walking off, trying to find anywhere that's out of sight.

And Louis swallows that lump in his throat again as he finishes off his wine. Suddenly, he feels out of place all over again and wants to get up and leave like Harry.

"Dad, I'm going to go talk to Liam for a moment and find the loo," Louis smiles as he stands. "I'll be back in a few."

William nods and continues his conversation with one of the men at the table.

Harry stands outside, making sure he's out of sight by everyone while he's smoking a cigarette and feeling tears streaming down his face.

He wipes them slowly and stares off at the sun shining over the trees, the wind blowing through them so gracefully; and for once, Harry wishes he was anywhere but here.

Harry knows Louis will most likely marry. He knows he may even want him as his best man... but Harry's already sure he's not making that same mistake twice.

He hears footsteps and he's turning around against the side of the manor so no one can see his face.

"Harry," he hears that beautiful Doncaster accent and he sighs, closing his eyes. Of course Louis would come find him.

"Hey," Louis says quietly as he gets closer. He steps around to see Harry's face and his heart sinks in his chest. "I'm... I'm sorry about that."

Harry shakes his head while wiping his eyes and trying to laugh, "it's nothing, Lou. Really. I'm fine."

"You're not," Louis sighs and keeps staring at Harry. "You know, it's ok to show me the truth. You don't have to put on an act for me."

"I'm... I'm having a hard time putting on an act for anyone here," Harry finally sighs and pushes his hair back.

"It's alright. I get it," Louis nods.

"No, you really don't," Harry stares back at him, tears still standing in his eyes, "I won't... I can't be best man at your wedding, Lou. I just can't."

"No one said you had to," Louis whispers, feeling his eyes sting.

Harry shakes his head and wipes his eyes again. He tries to laugh, "god, why do I have to care so fucking much about you? Why can't I just go back to my normal, every day life and pretend like this never happened?"

Louis swallows hard, "you can, if that's what you really want."

"No, I can't now," Harry speaks up and stares back at the blue eyes he's come to love so much, "nothing will ever be normal for me again... not now when I've met you and..."

Louis bites his lip and waits for Harry to finish.

"...I've fallen in love with you," Harry gets out. "I mean, yeah, I could walk away now and save myself so much future pain, but... I can't. I just can't. As much as I'd love to save you and I from the pain we're going to go through, I can't walk away, Louis. You've... you've become this part of me that I know I'll never be able to get rid of."

Louis feels a few tears trickle down his cheeks as he listens to Harry being more honest and open with him than he ever has. He knows what Harry feels for him is real... and this side of Harry is a side Louis has been waiting and wanting to see; he doesn't want to see the act that Harry constantly puts on for others... he wants to see the real Harry Styles that lies behind the mask.

"I mean," Harry tries to laugh again, "when I first met you, I thought that I would just be having fun with you... teaching you all these incredible, wonderful experiences... and I never, ever meant to fall for you."

Louis wipes his eyes slowly and nods.

"But I did," Harry whispers out, "I fell incredibly hard for you. I wanted to... to just lie in bed with you, holding you and watching you sleep. I've never wanted those things, Lou. I wanted to run my fingers through your hair until you fell asleep... I wanted to be the one who was there to say they loved you each night you went to sleep... even though I know in this fucked up world that I will never get that. I will never get what I want. I will never be able to be the one who loves you."

"No, Harry," Louis speaks up finally, placing his hand on Harry's waist, "you will be the only one who loves me. I believe that because... I'll never love anyone else but you. I can't love her. I've never loved her. And I can't force myself to feel something that's not there. But with you... it's so easy. It's not forced in the slightest. Loving you is like breathing."

Harry nods, tears falling again, "until one day you feel like you're drowning and taking your last breath."

Louis stares at him, not knowing what to say now; he gently pulls Harry to him and hugs him tight, his face buried in his neck.

And Harry holds him like at any given moment Louis will be taken from him... forever.

"Jesus," Harry sighs and tries to smile as he lets Louis go finally, "I'm sorry. Fuck. We're supposed to be having fun here. I can't look like I've been crying."

Louis tries to smile as he's wiping his eyes and nodding.

"Let's go to the loo," Harry grins, trying to enlighten the mood. "I have something that'll make us both feel better."

Several minutes later, Louis and Harry are standing outside in the grass smoking a cigarette and laughing over the people in attendance.

"Did you see the one woman walking like she was God's gift to this world?" Harry laughs and nudges Louis' shoulder.

"Yeah," Louis chuckles and shakes his head. "Isn't that every woman though?"

"Not all of them... most of them," Harry replies before smirking, "just the rich, proper ones."

A young woman is soon approaching Harry and smiling. "Hello, Mr. Styles. I'm Leanna. Just wanted to say what a pleasure it is meeting you."

"You as well," Harry forces a smile and shakes her hand. "I'm guessing you've been to the plays."

She nods and smiles at the 2 of them, "I've been to several, yes. A few friends of mine go to nearly every performance you put on."

"Well, thank you," Harry grins, "I appreciate it."

"And Mr. Tomlinson, it's a pleasure meeting you as well," she grins and shakes Louis' hand, "I own a shop in downtown Manhattan. You must come by sometime. Your father seems to like our suits."

Louis wants to snort, but remains calm, "uh, yes, of course. He's told me all about it. I'll come check it out one day. I'm sure Mr. Styles here would love that as well."

Harry looks at Louis funny but grins, "yeah, uh, why not? Could always add some to my wardrobe."

"Perfect," she nods, "I look forward to seeing you, Harry."

She waves as she's walking off, flipping back her long brown hair as Harry's chuckling quietly.

"She was hitting on you," Louis whispers with a snicker.

Harry nods as if it isn't a big deal. "Yeah, she was."

"Does that happen often?" Louis asks with a smile.

Harry only looks back at him with a grin, "yeah, why?"

"Oh, I just figured it had to," Louis shrugs, "I mean, look at you... besides being the star you are on Broadway, you're incredibly handsome. Of course any girl in this city would love to have you."

"You'd be surprised how many people have asked me why I haven't found a girl yet," Harry sighs out his hit and looks around.

"Why you're not getting married yet?" Louis nods.

"Yeah," Harry mumbles under his breath. He smiles again and looks at Louis, "but, you know me, I have a great excuse for them every time."

"Which is what?" Louis smirks.

"Either I haven't found the right girl yet... or I'm not interested in looking," Harry shrugs, "I tell most people I just want to focus on my career."

"Sounds believable," Louis smiles at him.

Harry nods a little and starts to say something before he sees Louis' father not too far away; he can tell he's looking for them.

"We should go," Harry says and points to Louis' father.

"Right," Louis mumbles, "guess we should at least go and pretend to enjoy the reception. At least there's elegant food."

"Ah, yes, as if you and I haven't had enough of that," Harry jokes before they're both walking back in.

The small orchestra plays while many are dancing, including Louis' father and Meredith. Harry and Louis are at the table, however, joking with each other and laughing.

They spend the entire reception that way; finally, Louis tells his father that he and Harry are going to leave.

They take a taxi back to Louis' apartment and Harry's changing clothes immediately before he's grabbing his script.

He tells all of his cast mates to meet him at the theatre for rehearsal, so once again, Louis tags along with him to watch Harry in action.

Louis sits on the side of the stage smoking a joint and laughing at Harry and his cast mates while they're joking around; and Louis couldn't feel more at home in this environment now. The more time he spends with Harry and his friends, the more he feels as if they are his friends as well.

"Ok, so I think we have everything down pretty well for tomorrow," Harry is saying while he's looking over the script.

"We do," Niall speaks up with a groan, "can't we go now? I'm ready for a few drinks."

Harry smiles and shakes his head, "yeah, fine. You guys can go."

"Thank god," Nick sighs but smiles at Harry, "don't worry, babe... we've got this. Tomorrow is going to go well, like always."

Harry nods and looks over at Louis, a small grin crossing his face, "so, Mr. Tomlinson..."

Louis just smiles as he's standing up slowly.

"What do you say we get out of here?" Harry asks before he's walking over to Louis, slipping his hand around his waist.

"What do you have in mind?" Louis asks, his face serious.

"You'll just have to trust me," Harry smiles and kisses him gently before he's running his fingers through Louis' hair.

"I trust you," Louis nods and whispers.

Harry grins and takes his hand, leading him backstage. Harry asks Nick to lock up the theatre, then he and Louis are making their way out to Louis' car.

"You're driving?" Louis asks with a small smile as Harry's climbing in immediately.

"Of course... what sort of surprise would this be if you drove?" Harry asks with a sly grin.

Louis only chuckles as Harry starts the engine and leaves the theatre.

They drive for over 20 minutes, leaving the lights of town behind them... and Louis just smiles while he has his window down, the wind blowing his hair.

"Where are we exactly?" He looks back at Harry and laughs.

"What? You've never been on this side of New York?" Harry asks.

"Well," Louis starts, "I... I haven't really."

Harry looks back at him surprised. "You're fucking kidding, right?"

"No," Louis smiles sheepishly.

"Wow," Harry laughs and shakes his head, "and yet, you want to move off somewhere. This is only the best part of New York.”

Soon, Harry is parking close to the river.

"Wow," Louis whispers out while he watches the moon shining over the small waves.

Harry smiles and steps out, walking around to open Louis' door for him. He takes Louis' hand and they both walk slowly down the side of the hill.

"This is beautiful," Louis says softly while he's looking in every direction.

"It's a little bit chilly," Harry smiles at him and looks out at the river, "but it's one of the few spots I've found that... that allows complete isolation from the real world."

"You mean, you've been here before," Louis starts, "with someone..."

"Actually," Harry bites his lip and stares up at the moon, "no... I've never brought anyone here, Lou. I... I always told myself that I would save this place for someone... someone special. Someone who meant a lot to me, because it's too incredible of a place to just bring anyone to, you know?"

Louis' smile widens as he's staring at Harry, "so, you saved it for me."

"I did," Harry replies and looks back, "I... I couldn't imagine sharing this with anyone else but you."

Louis keeps smiling as he's walking to the water side, kneeling down and feeling of the cold water. "Fuck, that's freezing."

Harry chuckles a little and points to the lighthouse off in the distance, "you see that?"

Louis nods as he stares up at it, watching the light on it circling around.

"I came here before and sat in the summer time, watching that light... and... that's when it hit me. I knew then that the person I showed this place to had to be... the person. He had to be... like my lighthouse."

Louis stares at Harry, at a loss for words. "How... how am I like your lighthouse?"

"Think about it for a moment," Harry whispers, "how am I like yours, Lou?"

Louis bites his lip, thinking it over in his head; he knows exactly how to answer that question.

"You're like mine because... you've shown me... you've shown me who I really am," Louis manages to get out as he stares back at the emerald eyes on him. "And... to be honest, you're the only thing I care about in this world."

Harry swallows hard and tries to nod, though he wants to cry. "Too bad the world doesn't care who you care about though, right?"

"Why am I your lighthouse, Harry?" Louis asks seriously, refusing to look away from Harry.

Harry's eyes stay on the lighthouse out ahead, however as he tries to find the words to explain, "because... for once in my life, I've found someone who... who has made me want things I've never wanted. I mean, yeah, I did want them, but... I don't know, I had it stuck in my head that living the way I live was easier..."

"It is, isn't it?" Louis asks, though it hurts.

Harry sighs but nods while he's pushing his hair back, "yeah, it is easier... but at the same time, Lou..."

Louis watches him pausing, turning his entire body to him, their eyes staying on one another's.

"... I don't want to quit you," Harry manages to get out, "you're like... like a drug to me. And... I honestly don't know what I'll do when that day comes and you're no longer around..."

"I can always be around," Louis whispers out before he's reaching over and pushing Harry's hair away from his eyes, "even if I do end up marrying her... doesn't mean I ever want to stop seeing you."

"What kind of life is that?" Harry asks, his emotions threatening to release. "You'll be acting that part, too... just like..."

"Ben?" Louis finishes for him, no hostility in his voice. Harry bites his lip and looks away while Louis continues, "there's a big difference in the 2 of us... you love me, Harry. You don't love him."

Harry lets out a deep breath and pulls out his cigarettes before he's lighting one and taking a seat on the hillside.

Louis slowly sits down next to him, lighting his own as they sit in silence, the sound of the ocean surrounding them.


 (Allen and Lucien - Kill Your Darlings)


Louis watches Harry's eyes staying fixated on the lighthouse in the distance, the way its light inside is turning.

"A lighthouse is meant to guide boats, ships," Harry begins in almost a whisper, "while the heart is meant to guide love. You can't talk your heart out of it, even if you know it's going to end wrong... you just... can't. Your heart will still guide you to love that person, even if you wish it couldn't."

"Yeah," Louis says softly, "I get that. I really do."

Harry turns to him, and Louis can see no mask whatsoever left on Harry; Harry's revealing who he really is to him... and Louis has to catch his breath as he stares in his eyes, knowing that this person really does love him this much.

"You know," Harry starts again with a small smile as he stares off at the ocean waves, "when I was little, I used to... I used to dream of living this incredible life with a man I loved. Someone who I could tell anything to... my hopes, my dreams. Someone who would look at me like I was his entire world..."

"What do you see when I look at you, Harold?" Louis asks in a whisper.

Harry looks back at the piercing blue eyes, studying them so closely, "I see a man who does look at me like I'm his entire world."

"That's because you are now," Louis tells him, his voice breaking. "You came into my life in a matter of seconds... and you turned my entire world upside down. And... to be honest, I knew that... that I was falling for you the first time we ever did anything. You were this creative, carefree, beautiful spirit that I so longed for... that I wanted to be. You were everything I wanted for myself..."

Louis pauses and looks down for a moment while Harry's eyes don't break away from his face.

"... You were like the missing piece of my life," Louis manages to get out, "you were like my missing piece... the other part of me."

Harry keeps his eyes locked with Louis' for several seconds, just thinking those words over in his head. He finally hits his cigarette and looks back at the ocean, not sure what to even say now; he knows he's never opened up to anyone like he has Louis... and he knows he never will open up to anyone else again.

"I mean," Louis clears his throat and tries to laugh, "I know that's such a crazy thing to say given the circumstances..."

"It's not crazy," Harry cuts him off as he stares back at him, Louis' face falling serious again, "it's honesty. Yeah, you don't know me very well... I don't know you very well..."

"You don't have to know every detail about a person to know that you love them," Louis says and starts guiding his hand through Harry's hair slowly. "You only have to know who they truly are... and you've shown me that."

"I've never shown anyone that," Harry whispers, Louis hearing the vulnerability in his voice.

"I know," Louis smiles a little, "just like I've never opened up to anyone else in my life... but it came so easy with you."

Harry smiles some before he's lying back, "it's all your fault, Lou. It's all your fault."

Louis lies back and places his head against Harry's while they stay silent and stare at the stars.

The following Monday morning, Louis is waking up to his phone ringing.

He looks and sees Harry asleep next to him and he smiles some.

"Hello," he finally answers the call and hears his dad on the line, "yeah, uh, I was up reading."

Harry moves some before he's sighing and snoring lightly again.

Louis sits up, listening to what his dad is telling him; his mind is suddenly going blank.

Alice and her family will be in New York tonight. He doesn't want to believe it.

His dad keeps talking and Louis has stopped listening now... he's too busy staring at Harry beside him.

"Uh, yeah, dad, that'll be great," Louis finally tells his dad, "I'll invite Harry to dinner, yeah."

His dad starts talking again and Louis only closes his eyes, feeling them sting.

"Ok, I'm gonna go," Louis is quick to say, "I've gotta make some plans then."

His father tells him goodbye and Louis is slow to hang up the phone. He glances over at Harry wondering how to even break the news to him.

He doesn't want to; he knows Harry will only laugh about it and joke about the dinner... but he knows deep down that Harry is only going to put up a front so he doesn't have to show Louis how much it hurts him.

Louis sighs and grabs his cigarettes before he's getting up slowly, his whole entire reality changing all of a sudden.

Harry finally moves and looks at Louis by the window smoking.

"Hey," he whispers with a grin. Louis only glances at him for a second, then he's looking away again as he hits his cigarette.

"What's the matter?" Harry asks and sits up slowly.

"My dad just called," Louis mumbles, "and... Alice is coming. Tonight."

Harry doesn't know what to say as he's looking at Louis; he didn't think she would come till much later... now, he doesn't have a clue how to take this news.

He stares at his hands before finally getting up from the bed, causing Louis to look back at him.

"What are you doing?" He asks.

Harry shrugs, "I... I figured I'd probably go to the theatre, I don't know..."

"Why?" Louis is quick to ask.

"What time is she coming?" Harry asks and stares straight into Louis' eyes.

"My... my dad said around 7 pm," Louis whispers, "Harry, you don't... you don't have to leave."

Harry does his best to smile, "I'm... I'm not leaving for good, Lou."

"Then, why do you feel the sudden urge to just get up and leave?" Louis asks seriously.

Harry bites his lip while he's getting dressed slowly. He throws on his t-shirt before he's looking at Louis, "just need a few minutes, ok?"

"Why not just talk to me?" Louis asks softly. "Harry, you spent the other night pouring your fucking heart out to me..."

"Yeah, and yet, here we are," Harry starts loudly, "we're facing the shit I told you we would face. You know I'll still go to the dinner, and I'll still be here... but, Lou... the reality is, you know you will never belong to me."

Louis stares at him in disbelief. "Harry, you... you said that..."

"I'll still be here," Harry tells him again before he's sighing and running his hand through his hair, "I'll... I'll be back in a bit, ok?"

Louis sighs and follows Harry out of the room. He watches him picking up his coat before he's blurting the words out, "where exactly are you going? To Ben?"

Harry stops in his tracks, not looking at Louis.

"Just say it," Louis whispers, "It's fine, really. I mean, you're right. Maybe we should spare both of us the pain."

Harry licks his lips before he's turning the knob, keeping his head down, "I don't think that's even possible now, Lou. The pain is already there."

Louis opens his mouth to say something but Harry walks out and closes the door behind him.

Louis closes his eyes, yelling out a 'fuck' before he's sighing and wiping his eyes quickly.

He's known Alice was going to be here eventually, but he didn't think it would be this quick. He wonders if his dad had anything to do with them coming now.

It wasn't supposed to be this way, he thinks while he's walking back to his room; Harry's clothes in the floor are immediately reminding him that this is his reality... he's having to face it way before he's ready to.

And Harry has left him... no words of encouragement, or even pointers for him on acting a part... the biggest part Louis is going to have to play: straight.

He's quickly dressing and leaving the apartment. He feels no need to even be here right now. He needs to think. It's hard for him to without Harry.

Louis lights a cigarette while he's driving across town in no time, heading straight for Harry's theatre. He doesn't know why, he just knows his impulse is telling him to.

He parks on the side, seeing another car there already. He's sure it's Ben's from the way it looks.

He takes a deep breath and opens the stage door, looking around inside slowly. He can hear Harry talking and even Ben laughing a few seconds later.

Louis suddenly wonders why he's even here; what makes him think he can just go in and talk to Harry like he already owns him? He doesn't... he never will.

"Hey, Louis," Niall speaks up loudly behind Louis and causes him to jump almost.

"Hey, Horan," Louis sighs, "didn't know you'd be here."

"I just came to get my guitar... left it yesterday," Niall grins and starts walking in.

"Uh," Louis starts as he's following Niall, "Harry's here... with, uh, someone."

Niall glances around; he can hear their voices but he can't see them.

"Who is it?" Niall asks curiously.

"Ben," Louis replies quietly.

Niall bites his lip and tries to nod, "so... so, what happened between you 2?"

"Nothing," Louis shrugs, "I... I got the news that my fiancé will be here in New York tonight. I told Harry and he... he just left. He said he needed to think."

"I'm sure Ben is helping him do that," Niall rolls his eyes and starts looking through the dressing room for his guitar.

Louis, however, follows the sound of Harry's voice. He's going to the curtain and peeking out the side of the stage... and a few rows up in the balcony, he can see Harry and Ben clearly.

They're passing a joint back and forth while Ben seems to be doing his best to cheer Harry up; Louis can see the hurt written on his face.

He stands there just staring at Harry, watching the way he's behaving around Ben; he's not being his usual self at all.

"Why don't we just go get drunk?" Louis can hear Ben suggest... and Louis can only bite his lip and hope that Harry will say no.

But... he doesn't. Louis can hear him clearly.

"Yeah, sure. Why not. Wouldn't mind being drunk and high right now," Harry sighs before Ben is leaning over and kissing him, catching Harry off guard.

Louis closes his eyes and looks away... he doesn't want to see this. And when he looks back, he's wishing he didn't because Harry and Ben are right there in that row making out now, undressing even.

"Fuck this," Louis mumbles and starts to walk off.

"You alright, mate?" Niall asks as he's walking back to Louis.

"I'm fine," Louis gets out in a low tone, "just didn't really want to see Harry and his fucking fuck buddy."

Niall glances up to the balcony and he sees the pair of them as well; he swallows hard and turns back to Louis, "he... he may be struggling with the news, Louis."

"That's him struggling?" Louis almost yells.

"Shh," Niall whispers, "Louis, there's a lot you don't get about Harry. He doesn't... he hates showing feelings. He tries to rid them of his mind. He's not doing it to hurt you."

"Yeah, but the realization is that he is fucking hurting me," Louis says loudly again, "and I know he hates showing feelings. I know, Horan. I've spent enough time with him now to know that."

Louis begins storming off for the stage door, Niall right behind him.

"Louis," Niall calls to him while Louis is heading to his car. "He fucking loves you... a lot."

Louis stops and lets out a deep breath; he knows Niall is completely right... but how can he just pretend like Harry is doing at this very moment?

"Niall?" Louis hears Harry's voice from the door and he's turning around instantly, Harry's eyes falling on him next, "what... what are you doing here?"

"I don't really know," Louis shrugs and says sarcastically, "I... I followed my gut... look where that got me."

Louis starts getting in his car and Harry's immediately hurrying over and opening the passenger side, "Lou, why did you come here?"

Louis stops and bites his lip, not glancing back at Harry, "I wanted to talk, I guess. You... you apparently can't do that, though, so it's fine. Really."

Harry sighs before he's hearing Ben a few feet away. "Harry?"

Louis looks back at Harry, his eyes almost cold... and yet, Harry can't break his eyes away from him.

"Oh, hey, Louis," Ben speaks up and smiles, "didn't know you'd be here."

"I didn't know you would be either," Louis snaps before he knows it.

"Look, I'm... I'm gonna go with Lou, ok?" Harry turns and tells Ben. Ben almost looks crushed as Louis is observing him.

"Do you think I came to give you a ride?" Louis asks with such anger in his tone.

Harry stares back at him, searching his eyes before he's saying softly, "I think you would if I wanted to talk to you."

Louis finally sighs and nods slowly, "fine... get in."

Harry quickly gets in the car with Louis, waving goodbye to Ben before they're pulling out of the alley.

"So, this is what you do... you just run to whomever you can," Louis states in a whisper.

Harry lights a cigarette slowly and glances out at the passing streets, "sometimes it's easier not feeling, Lou. And... I'm... I'm really not sure how to feel."

"Yeah, surprising," Louis says sarcastically.

"You want me to come to this dinner, to act like I don't care for you," Harry speaks up immediately, "I've never had to act like I didn't love someone, Lou. I'm not sure I can do that."

Louis licks his lips and tries to nod some, "that's what this is about?"

Harry lets out a deep breath and looks out the window again. "I don't know what to do, Lou... or what to even say."

"Then, don't go to the dinner," Louis looks back at Harry and says softly, "I'll tell dad you couldn't make it... and I'll come back to the apartment to be with you as soon as I can."

"You want me to keep staying with you?" Harry asks surprised.

"Why not?" Louis shrugs, "who cares if she knows you live with me. My dad already does. Besides, she's going to fall head over heels for you."

Harry's face grows serious, but he raises an eyebrow, "why's that?"

"She loves your broadway work," Louis answers before he's closing his mouth and glancing at Harry, "she's heard about you in England, Harry."

"I guess she mentioned this to you," Harry nods and keeps looking at the passing streets.

"She did," Louis mumbles out.

"How often have you talked on the phone, Lou?" Harry dares to ask when he looks straight back at Louis.

Louis bites his lip, wondering if he wants to answer that; is Harry out to just rip his heart out?

"She's called me in New York every few days," Louis finally confesses, "most of the time it was early in the morning and you were sound asleep."

"I wasn't always asleep," Harry admits like it means absolutely nothing to him.

"So... you knew she was calling?"

"It wasn't my business," Harry mumbles some, "Lou... we both can't prevent what your future holds. You know that."

"So, you want me to just give you up now?" Louis asks almost harshly.

Harry closes his eyes and sighs, "I think you would be better off. We... we can be friends, like your dad thinks. I... I can play that part."

Louis swallows hard, wanting so badly to talk Harry out of this... but somehow, he knows he'll be wasting his breath. Harry is most likely set at just being his friend now.... to save them both from any future pain.

Chapter Text

The next day, Harry is getting ready in Louis' apartment; Louis has been out all day with Alice and Harry's meant to meet them for dinner... he'll finally see her face to face.

He's dreading the moment honestly. He puts on the jacket of his suit and looks himself over in the mirror slowly; he's elected to wear his beige slacks with a black, long sleeved shirt, his curls lying freely.

"Do I really look ok?" Harry turns and asks his friend Zayn who is at the apartment with him.

Zayn glances up from Louis' bed as he's hitting a joint, "if you're trying to look very presentable to his parents and also turn him on at the same time, you've nailed it darling," Zayn smirks and gives him a thumbs up.

"Stop smoking all my stash," Harry chuckles and sighs again while he's staring at his face in the mirror.

"I'll bring mine to replace it," Zayn tells him, "I'd love to meet this Louis, you know."

"You will soon enough," Harry turns and smiles at him, "I already told him I wanted you to meet him."

"Did you?" Zayn asks surprised, "wow, glad you mentioned me, I guess."

"You're like my best friend from home," Harry grins, "of course I'd mention you."

"I thought your best friend was Ben now?" Zayn asks and hits the joint again as he's staring at Harry.

"He's... he's not," Harry mumbles and turns back around, "he's far from it right now."

"Harry, you and him go a ways back," Zayn speaks up softly, "are you going to tell Louis? The actual truth?"

"What actual truth?" Harry tries to laugh as he's fixing his shirt. Zayn starts to talk, but Harry is quick to talk over him, "he doesn't need to know everything about me. This... it's just going to end badly for us, too, Zayn. He's going to get married and.... and I'll only be around when he can see me."

Zayn nods and wants to say who that reminds him of, but he keeps his mouth shut. Harry doesn't need to hear what he wants to say right now.

Zayn finally stands and walks over to Harry, "you'll be fine, tonight, alright?"

"Would... would you go?" Harry decides to ask suddenly.

"What?" Zayn chuckles, "do you really think his parents want me there? They wanted you to bring a date, not a man."

"I just meant... as a friend," Harry sighs, "I guess you're right. I'll ask them tonight about getting together."

"You need to get going," Zayn tells Harry and looks at the clock, "want me to drive you? I assume Louis is bringing you back."

"Uh, I'm... I'm not sure if he is," Harry purses his lips before he's sighing, "I told him I just wanted to act like friends... even though I'm still living here. It's fucking hard... I want to move out, but... a big part of me says no."

"You can't just be friends," Zayn grabs Harry's shoulders and whispers to him, staring straight into his emerald eyes, "you're not friends. You'll be in love till it kills you both."

Harry stays silent, knowing Zayn is probably right after all. He fixes his hair one last time and Zayn follows him to the door.

"I've rented a car," Harry's telling Zayn as he's locking the apartment. "Figured I'd use my name to some advantage for tonight."

"Smart move," Zayn gives him his approval while they're climbing in the elevator. "You might as well show up in style, Styles."

Harry smirks at him before he's greeting Tom once more and they're chatting amongst themselves.

Harry knows how much Tom has come to love him staying here; Harry makes every effort in the world to make him laugh nearly every elevator trip. Harry's constantly making him smile.

They get out and Harry's waving a goodbye to Tom and smiling at him before they're going out the doors, a fancy black car parked at the curb.

"Guess this is you," Zayn's grinning at Harry, "have fun, man. It'll go well. Remember that."

Harry nods and swallows hard, but he remains cool and calm as he's stepping into the car.

"See you in the next few days," Zayn calls to him. Harry waves a goodbye to him while Zayn stands there, hoping the best for his friend on this evening.

Harry sits back in the seat, feeling a million different things going through him; he can feel a hint of jealousy, but mostly he only feels hurt... hurt that hurts so much that his whole entire body can feel it.

He looks at his driver, knowing he works for some rich people, so he pulls out a joint and lights it... his driver doesn't even look at him twice.

Harry knows he won't say a word; he's paid too much money to carry Harry Styles around. Harry doesn't prefer this, but he's glad he has it for events like this.

He keeps taking hit after hit, the window down as he's leaning his head out and feeling the cold air hit his cheeks.

He's more calm now and his mind is buzzing; he can think clearer and feels that maybe he can act this part after all.

The driver is soon pulling up at the gate to the Tomlinson mansion. Harry is staring at all the lights outside his window while they're driving slowly to the circled drive.

Harry steps out of the car after the driver has opened the door. He sees the front door opening at once... and he sees Louis standing there in black slacks and a white sweater.

"Hi, there," Louis says to him, his smile radiating while he's studying Harry.

"Hey," Harry smiles some, "hope I look alright."

"You do," Louis nods as Harry is stepping closer. Louis leans in and whispers, "I fucking miss you."

Harry swallows hard and says so quietly, "I... I miss you. So much."

Louis leads them inside the home, Harry looking around while he's taking off his coat. The place is huge, but he isn't surprised in the slightest.

He soon sees Louis' father smiling at him. "Harry. Please, come have a seat."

"Hope I'm not late, sir," Harry does his best to smile as he's following William to their huge dining room.

"'No, of course not," William only laughs as Harry is staring at the entire table.

He sees Louis' parents on one side and Alice's on the other... but he sees Alice is sitting next to Louis, and so is he. He's not sure about this.

He allows his curiosity to get the best of him as he studies Alice for a moment; she doesn't seem extraordinary by any means. She seems rather simple to Harry.

The way her long brown hair is straight on her shoulders... how skinny she is; he can admit that she's at least a little cute... but she's not good enough for Louis. Harry knows that.

Harry takes a seat by Louis, feeling Louis' eyes on him every few seconds; he can even see Alice staring at him as well.

"So, when is the next play?" William is asking once they've finished dinner.

Harry finishes off his wine and says, "5 days from now. I've been having to do a lot of studying. It's been a pain."

"I can imagine," William nods and looks at Louis, "how are his rehearsals going?"

"Oh, they're grand," Louis manages to speak up, Harry and Alice looking at him. "He is playing an amazing part this time."

"Thank you," Harry smiles at Louis before he's refilling his glass.

"I would love to come to that show," Alice speaks up and smiles at Harry, "I'm sure Louis is going, isn't he?"

"Uh, he didn't tell me," Harry does his best to answer as he's looking at Louis, "but... you know Mr. Jones. He can get you tickets if you ask."

"Brilliant," Alice exclaims, "I've told Louis how much I'd love to see your shows."

Harry smiles at her before he's picking up his wine and drinking all of it at once.

William is soon going on with Alice's father and Meredith and Alice's mother are talking with Alice about something.... Louis sits there and only glances at Harry out of the corner of his eye.

"Oh, but wouldn't it be great to move the wedding up to May?" Alice is suddenly exclaiming and grabbing Louis' arm, "I would love that."

"You... you want to move it up now?" Louis asks slowly.

Harry only stares at the 2 of them, wishing he could be anywhere else right now.

"I thought of moving here soon," Alice admits and smiles before she's kissing Louis' cheek, "so we could spend even more time together."

Harry has finally had it... he stands and excuses himself to the bathroom, forcing a beautiful smile before he's heading out of their dining hall.

He goes up the stairs and looks for the first bathroom he can find; he opens the door quickly and shuts it, leaning against it and closing his eyes; he can feel his eyes sting and he wants to scream.

He promised himself he wouldn't fall for anyone... and yet, here he is... again.

He can't change his and Louis' fates. Louis is meant to go on to greatness with his last name while Harry is to go on acting his way through life, making it his life long career. There isn't a more perfect one for him right now.

He sighs and opens the window, lighting a joint slowly as he keeps the light off. He hangs his head out the window and hits it over and over again.

He doesn't want to be here... he doesn't want to watch his heart being ripped out of his chest.

There's a knock on the door soon and Harry tries to get himself together, "Uh, I'll be right out."

"It's me," he can hear Louis saying against the door.

Harry gets up and hurries to the door, opening it for Louis to walk in.

"Didn't your family wonder where...."

"Doesn't matter," Louis shrugs and stares at Harry, "I'm sorry. For all of this. I don't want to do this, Harry."

"I know you don't," Harry manages to get out before he's sniffing some, "it's just... weird, you know? In a few days or weeks, you and I will be just friends again. I'll probably even live at my place again."

"I don't want that," Louis whispers and rubs his hand down Harry's face, "I want you to stay with me. Every night."

"You want me to stay until the day you say 'I do' to her," Harry gets out and searches Louis' eyes.

Louis bites his lip and looks away; Harry only puts his hand to his eyes and stares out the window again, taking another huge hit of the joint.

Louis takes it next and hits it, watching Harry look down at his hands.

"Can't we still be together if I marry her?" Louis asks softly, though he doesn't want to.

"I already told you," Harry whispers without looking back, "I'll... I'll always be there. But... I won't belong to you, Louis... and you won't belong to me. Ever."

"I will only belong to you," Louis whispers.

Harry closes his mouth and sighs, his eyes stinging. He does his best to smile at Louis, "uh, we should get downstairs before they wonder where we are."

"Yeah," Louis quietly says before he's opening the door.

Harry leans in on instinct and kisses Louis quickly and passionately... and Louis only gives in on impulse; how can he resist those lips.

Harry finally stops and looks at Louis, "if acting is the only way I can still have you, then... it's worth it to me, Lou. Really."

"I don't want to act," Louis whispers, "but... I'm afraid I'll have no choice."

Harry nods and starts out of the bathroom, urging Louis to go ahead of him. Louis does and tries his best to start acting the part again.

"Louis was just showing me the upstairs and where he stayed before," Harry is telling William and Meredith, Louis only grinning some.

"It's beautiful here," Alice speaks up and grins at Harry, "the back garden is just amazing. You should see it."

Harry nods and looks at Louis, who's only picking up his wine and drinking it quickly.

They're soon walking to the back garden, Alice opening the door; Louis goes out and lets Alice in front of him and then Harry.

"Has so much space," she smiles and points around. "You can see New York's lights so well, but can still see the stars."

"Wouldn't mind having a place like this," Harry manages to say as he's staring up, and Louis is staring at him. "I love the stars."

"Guess you've read all the books on astrology?" Alice asks with a smile.

Harry stares back at her; he almost wants to be hateful, but he refrains. "Uh, yeah, I've studied astrology... have loads of books on it. I'm sort of a geek when it comes to things like nature... the skies, the plants."

"Nothing wrong with that," Alice grins at him and looks at Louis, "would you want to take me back to my hotel?"

Louis licks his lips and Harry stays quiet while he's pretending to stare at the heavens.

"I... I thought you would go back with your family," Louis mumbles out but tries to smile.

"I wanted to spend some alone time together," she's smirking and touching his shoulder in no time.

"Uh, I'm about to leave anyway," Harry speaks up, though he knows he doesn't have a ride. He can go in and call his driver back, he knows that.

"Well, Alice, I promised to give Harry a lift back to the apartment," Louis speaks up immediately.

"Oh," Alice whispers and looks at Harry. "Sorry, I didn't know."

"I'll call my driver... not a problem," Harry waves them off and heads inside slowly, knowing Louis is watching his every step.

He calls his driver and soon hangs up before he's lighting a cigarette and looking over paintings in the living area.

"I see you have paintings by some brilliant people," Harry tells William when he sees him walk into the room.

"I do," William nods and smile, "Meredith helped with the place. She's quite good at it."

William starts making himself a scotch while Harry's eyes are wandering over their bookshelf; he sees book after book by Ben Winston... his mouth suddenly goes dry.

"Oh, that's Meredith's," William laughs as Harry is looking back at him from the book shelf. "She adores the author. And, I have to say, his work is quite astonishing."

Harry doesn't say anything; he smiles a little, and he only wishes William knew why he was smiling.

He wishes William knew most of the inspiration for Ben's books came from Harry himself; he had written tons of romantic stories about a man being so infatuated with a girl, though Harry knew differently... Ben had told him differently. They were always about him.

"Yeah, he's pretty amazing," Harry finally says back.

"Do you know him?" William asks.

"I do," Harry nods and looks at Louis' father. "We've.... we've known each other since before we moved here."

Louis stops in his tracks when he hears Harry say those words; Harry had told him that he met Ben here in New York. Why didn't this feel right now, Louis couldn't help but think.

"Ah," William nods, "did he move before you?"

"We moved together," Harry replies with a smile. "He was, uh, already a writer in London and I was an actor. My family sent me with him. They... they sorta entrusted him to keep me safe."

Louis eyes widen and Harry finally sees him standing at the other end of the room; Harry doesn't frown however; he just looks back at William and carries on.

"He's been to every one of my shows," Harry chuckles some and William does, too.

"Of course he would," William grins and pats Harry's shoulder, "he's probably very proud of you. He's what... 37?"

"Yeah, this year," Harry nods and bites his lip, "one of the reasons my family trusted him to bring me here... I guess he was sorta like family."

Williams nods with a smile, "well, I'm glad you made it tonight, Harry. I hope rehearsal isn't too much for you tomorrow."

"Shouldn't be, sir, " Harry grins and picks up his coat.

Meredith comes in and sees Harry getting ready. "Are you leaving already, dear?"

"I have so much work to do tomorrow," Harry smiles at her before he's hugging her, "you know how that goes. I've gotta get some sleep at least."

"Yes, you do," Meredith grins, "be careful."

"Of course," Harry smiles and looks over at Louis and Alice. "Was very nice meeting you, Alice."

"You as well, Harry. I can't wait to see you perform," Alice smiles radiantly at him.

Harry nods and smiles before he's catching Louis' eye.

Harry's outside and walking up the driveway when he hears footsteps coming behind him. He smiles a little, knowing it's Louis.

"Wait...," that beautiful Doncaster accent is thick when mixed with the cold and fog, Harry thinks.

Harry only turns around and stares at him, not knowing exactly what to say.

"I'll see you at the apartment," Louis whispers.

"Ok," Harry nods and gently touches over Louis' chest, "see you in a bit, then."

Louis sighs as Harry begins to walk off again, his hands in his coat as he sees his driver pulling in.

He stares out the back glass at Louis in the driveway before he's sighing and turning around again, his emotions making him want to scream and cry at the same time.

He keeps his eyes closed all the way back to New York, his mind only focusing on he and Louis right now; all the times they've been alone, how they behave... how they're so incredibly right for each other.

When Harry pulls up at Louis' apartment building, he's quickly getting out and getting in the elevator. Tom isn't on duty so he doesn't have to try to make conversation.

He unlocks the door and slams it behind him, his breathing heavy. He picks up scotch and takes it to Louis' room, sitting down on the bed and just waiting.... waiting for Louis to come back to him. He needs him.

Harry smokes cigarette after cigarette and then, several joints before he even realizes that 3 1/2 hours have passed; it's almost midnight in New York.

Harry has a sinking feeling in his stomach because somehow he knows Louis is with her... at her hotel.

Harry quickly gets up and changes clothes, picking up Louis' phone and calling someone; he tells them to meet him at his house in 20 minutes.

He grabs his coke, then is putting on his coat while he's putting a joint in his pocket.

He hurries out of the elevator and takes a taxi back to his neighborhood.

On the way out of Manhattan, the taxi is going slow past a hotel... and Harry sees Louis and Alice walking in the rotating doors, their lips locked together.

It only makes Harry hurt more, but he doesn't want to feel this. He doesn't want to constantly hurt like this.

Why did Louis have to be different than everyone?

He turns on the lights in his apartment, rubbing his arms before he's turning on the heat. He looks around the place and sees that Nick has kept it really clean for him.

Even his room is finally organized; Harry smirks some before he's glancing at his bed, then the fire escape outside the window. His mind is in a million different places, but he's sure he could write his thoughts down just fine.

He's quickly grabbing his pad from the nightstand along with the pen, then he's climbing out the window; he moves the pen effortlessly over the paper, writing down everything he feels, even if tears are falling from his eyes as he does.

He soon sees someone standing in his bedroom and he's sighing a little before getting up and climbing through the window.

Ben leaves the light off; the lights outside the window are enough for them.

Harry is immediately giving in to Ben, not even saying a word; all he knows is that if Louis is doing this right now with Alice, then Harry's not going to sit down and just cry. He doesn't want to feel it.

But he can only picture Louis the entire time with Ben; and it only drives Harry crazier... he wants his hands on his skin, his lips against his, and his fringe all in his face. He wants Louis.

But he settles for Ben at the moment... he uses Ben so he can think of Louis fucking him.

When they finish, Harry sits out on the fire escape smoking a joint and trying to decide if he should go back to Louis' apartment.

"I'll drive you," Ben offers as he's staring at Harry, "but if you wanna stay here, I'll stay with you." 

"I really want to go back," Harry turns and tells Ben, "if you don't care to..."

"No, I'll take you," Ben smiles a little and grabs his coat, "let's go."

Harry locks up his place and follows Ben outside to get in his car. They start off the wet streets, some snow on the ground here and there.

Harry's smoked another whole joint and is out of his mind as he's telling Ben some things from the Tomlinson home.

"Meredith, who's a friend of mine, has a whole collection of your books," Harry chuckles and sighs outloud. "Suppose William is reading them as well."

"How odd," Ben laughs, "if they only knew where those story lines originated from."

Harry smirks a little and stares out the window, the freezing rain hitting the windshield.

"They asked how long I've known you," Harry even blurts out as he's hitting his cigarette.

Ben stays quiet while he's glancing at Harry beside him.

"Well," Ben finally breaks the silence, "what did you tell them?"

"That we had moved here together," Harry looks back at him, "that... that my parents had entrusted you to take care of me."

"Nice," Ben nods, "sort of like an uncle or something, yeah?"

Harry glances back at him sternly and then looks away.

"Your boyfriend doesn't know, does he?" Ben asks slowly, Harry not looking back at him.

"He thinks I met you in New York," Harry whispers and hits his cigarette again. "I didn't want to tell him."

Ben tries to nod a little as he's watching the road... and Harry stays quiet beside him, getting lost in his own thoughts.

They arrive in front of Louis' apartment building. Harry doesn't see Louis' car anywhere. He sighs and starts to get out.

"Want me to come up?" Ben asks him.

Harry glances back at him, "why don't you just go home for once, alright? Can you let me have one night alone?"

Ben stares at Harry for a long pause before he's slowly pulling and driving away. Harry rolls his eyes and heads inside.

He's unlocking Louis' door in no time. He goes to their room and opens the window, smoking another joint as he sits there.

It's nearly going on 1 AM now and Harry's still keeping himself wired by the window. He doesn't know what to even think... or even what to feel. If Louis did stay the night with her, Harry knows he probably didn't want to... but it hurts nonetheless.

Harry sighs and closes his eyes, finally going downstairs and asking Ben to come up; Harry already knows he didn't leave.

Ben comes up a few minutes later and he and Harry go to the guest bedroom, Harry locking the door before he's undressing and getting into bed.

"Want me to stay all night?" Ben asks seriously.

"Why not? Wouldn't you love to stay with your most precious obsession?" Harry asks almost slyly.

Ben nods almost too eagerly; and Harry knows already that he's going to regret this decision tomorrow when he wakes and Louis is here... but right now, all that is flashing through Harry's mind are images of Louis and Alice together alone... Harry has to push them out somehow.

He's high as a kite and doesn't want to even think about what his mind is thinking... so, he takes advantage of his high and channels it through he and Ben in bed. He tries to only focus on the 2 of them together alone.

Of course Ben never makes it hard for Harry to only focus on him; it's a flaw Harry wishes he didn't have.

They stay at it all night, passing joints and coke, before they're going again. Harry only knows that the clock showed 4:25 when he last looked.

Harry wakes the next morning with a pounding headache before he sees Ben lying beside him; he's instantly thinking of Louis.

He jumps out of bed and puts on his pants before he's heading to Louis' room, seeing him lying there awake.

"Hey," Louis looks back at him before looking away again, "fun night?"

Harry stares at Louis for a long pause.

"I... I looked in your room when I got back," Louis whispers and doesn't look at Harry.

Harry crosses his arms and bites his lip, "well, you were out all night."

"Don't explain to me," Louis says lowly before he's looking down, "I'm sorry, Harry. I... I got stuck at her hotel after all. It was... horrible."

"Already figured that," Harry nods and grabs his clothes from the floor.

"What are you doing?" Louis asks gently.

"I'm taking these to my room," Harry admits and finally looks in Louis' eyes, "I'm going to.... to go ahead and go home, I think."

"Harry, you know you don't have to," Louis is quick to speak up, "look, she's not going to move here for another month or 2."

"May is less than 2 months away," Harry interrupts him, his voice loud, "you really want me to stay here for 2 more months?"

"I do," Louis admits, "Harry, I already don't want to do this. You know that."

Harry nods some, "I know... but in your world, Louis Tomlinson, a name means a lot. And you have to carry on that name... I'm sure there's been a lot of great Tomlinsons before you, and will be after you."

Louis stares at Harry, his eyes red while he's closing his mouth and sniffing; he looks away as he's using his hand to wipe his eyes.

"Could you... god dammit, please just stay," Louis get outs through almost laughs and cries together. "I don't want you to leave."

Harry leans closer, kissing Louis' lips so soft and gentle; he places his hands on his face while both of their eyelashes are covered from tears.

Harry presses his forehead against Louis' and whispers, "I'll stay. Suppose having you a little longer is better than not having you at all."

"I'm still going to see you," Louis tells Harry quickly, "I'll see you at least once a day when I'm married."

Harry slowly nods, though he won't say that he's not looking forward to that.

"You told my dad last night that you and Ben came here together," Louis speaks up, Harry looking back at him. "Why didn't you tell me?"

Harry lights a cigarette and sighs, pushing his messy hair back, "uh, I wasn't... wasn't sure I wanted to tell you everything."

"Really?" Louis asks confused. "I figured you would want to."

"Maybe I'm supposed to, I don't know " Harry shrugs and says lowly. "I like to keep some things just a question, I guess."

"You can't be mysterious with me," Louis whispers with a small grin.

Harry shrugs and hits the cigarette again before he's walking to the window and sitting on the side of it. "Seems I'm pretty good at it with you."

"You've already shown me who you were, Harry," Louis says seriously, "the real you."

Harry nods and keeps his eyes on the streets, "except for a few things."

Louis places his hand on his hip, studying Harry close. "You mean Ben."

Harry looks back at Louis, "yeah, I do. I have known him for a while... I did move here with him."

Louis stays quiet as he's staring at Harry; he's not really surprised honestly. It makes sense to Louis.

"My mum wanted someone to bring me here," Harry manages to say quietly, "and I suggested my professor at home... he was about to publish his first hit novel. My mum loved him a lot."

"So, when... when you moved here," Louis starts in a low voice, "you and him..."

"We didn't live together," Harry quickly tells Louis, "Zayn lived with me first. Ben... he met someone a few months after moving here."

"So, you basically had a relationship with him," Louis nods and says quietly.

"I... I stayed around for him," Harry manages to get out, "until the day he said 'I do'."

Louis' mouth slowly goes dry; he gets what Harry is telling him... after all, he knows Harry has been standing here before now.

"So, I'm not... the first," Louis tries to get out.

"You are," Harry sighs and glances back at him, "Lou, I... I didn't love Ben. I've never loved him. He's been a great friend to me."

"But once upon a time, you did feel for him," Louis nods slowly.

Harry closes his mouth and looks away; he takes a long hit of the cigarette before whispering, "when I was younger, yes. He meant a lot to me then. But that was years ago."

"When?" Louis asks, "how old were you when you really moved here, Harry?"

Harry stares at him, his eyes not even moving.

"You've been a hit star on Broadway for years. Admit it," Louis says in a sassy tone. "Say it. You moved here underage with a man much older than you because you wanted this world."

Harry's eyes narrow before he's replying lowly, "I did lie about my age, yes. But... Ben knew I wanted to be an actor, Lou. I was so good in London. He... he pushed me to do it. He sort of became my agent... he would tell people about me."

Louis nods and looks away, scratching his jaw slowly. "So, you came over here... underage with a 30 something year old man?"

Harry puts out his cigarette and sighs, trying to storm past Louis now.

"What?" Louis quickly asks, "did I say something wrong?"

Harry stands at the door, his eyes burning into Louis'... then, he's slowly walking back over to him, his voice deep. "My mum wanted a better life for me, Lou. Is that something you can understand? Is it? Have you been in that situation? Where you've just turned 17 and your mum is asking your professor to take you to America.... so that you can grow up outside of the hell there."

"How old are you?" Louis whispers, his eyes not leaving Harry's.

"I'm... I just turned 20 in February," Harry replies seriously, "I lied about my age for my career, yeah. But I did it because I was going to make sure I brought my mum here."

Louis closes his mouth and finds himself speechless now; he looks away slowly before he's taking a seat on the bed.

"I'm... I'm just sort of tied to Ben," Harry admits in almost a whisper, "he's the one my mum calls to check on me if she hasn't heard from me. He... he'd probably tell her something awful if I refused to see him."

"Why is that?" Louis asks curiously and stares back at Harry. "You don't have a relationship. He got married so he could keep his straight image and gain success."

"Yeah, but," Harry begins slowly as he's glancing at Louis finally, "to Ben, his wife is his fantasy... to him, this life is real, Lou. Because... you can't really deny who you are. Don't you know that?"

Louis does know that... he knows this life with Harry feels right to him as well... to try and be something he's not doesn't appeal to him. And... for once, he can see why Ben still feels for Harry. He only married for his career; he had to push his affair with Harry to the side, only seeing him every so often.

Louis can't help but begin to think how he's starting down the same exact path; he knows if he marries that he'll be crawling back to Harry when he can as well.

He's not any different than Ben. And Harry has realized that, Louis finally thinks before he's looking at Harry.

"Uh, I'm gonna wake him and have him leave," Harry mumbles and turns to walk out of the room, Louis watching him closely.

He doesn't know what to think about the situation; does Harry really love him... not just felt something for him like he did Ben?

Louis waits in his room for a while, smoking a cigarette and then getting high. He hears Harry's door opening a few seconds later, Ben's voice down the hall.

He creeps to his door and opens it before he's looking down the hallway, watching Harry let Ben out of the apartment

"If you need me, you know where to find me," Ben says quietly to Harry before he's leaning and kissing Harry's cheek.

Harry doesn't say a word as he's closing the door and locking it. Louis stands still until Harry sees him.

"Oh, wanting to make sure he actually left?" Harry asks.

Louis bites his lip, "Harry, I... I don't know what to say."

"I think.... I think that I should go home," Harry whispers out, "while Alice is here, I'll stay at my place and let you do what you have to do."

"Harry," Louis starts quickly.

Harry raises his hand, keeping his eyes closed, "it's best, Louis. You know that. I'll... I'll come and chat with you both as much as possible still. Just... just call me."

Louis stays quiet as Harry's sighing and walking to the guest room slowly, shutting the door behind him.

Harry only moves a few boxes back to his place; while he's getting out clothes, he allows his tears to fall freely... the only image in his head being the look on Louis' face when he walked out the door.

Louis was in tears as he watched Harry leave; Harry can't help but sob because he knows Louis really loves him.

But what can he do about it? He can't stop Louis from marrying... he doesn't see Louis stopping the wedding.

"Funny to see you back here," Nick is saying to Harry softly while he's watching him hang up clothes.

"Yeah, well... he needs his privacy while she's here," Harry manages to mumble out.

"You know, you and him are the biggest scandal right now," Nick grins slyly at Harry.

"Scandal? Nick, it's murder... for both of us," Harry turns and says loudly. "No one can even speculate that."

"You and that author are a big scandal as well," Nick carries on, his face more serious, "seems some people saw you and him acting a little too friendly the other day."

Harry sighs and looks at the dresser. "Let them question. We keep to ourselves. We're good at that."

"Don't let Ben somehow blow all of this for you," Nick speaks up again.

Harry looks back at him quickly, "what do you mean?"

"I know he wouldn't jeopardize your career or his own... he wants you to have what you deserve," Nick whispers, "but... what about Louis? What does he have? He's the district attorney's son. Ben could have a field day with him... call him a homosexual and even say he came onto him..."

"Stop," Harry yells suddenly as he's breathing heavy and keeping his eyes on Nick as he's walking over. "Why the fuck do you think shit like that? Ben would never risk that. He tries to keep a low profile. Doing something like that would raise the stakes for either he or I being caught up in it."

Nick nods, "true. But... what are you going to do?"

Harry stays silent while he's opening his window, lighting a joint and leaning out.

"This shit really hurts, doesn't it," Nick whispers while he's watching Harry closely.

Harry only keeps his eyes fixated on the stars, "it does. In so many ways, Nick."

Harry steps off onto the fire escape, before he's looking back at Nick quickly; Nick only smiles because he knows Harry is wanting to go somewhere.

They arrive on the outskirts of the Hudson River, Harry high as a kite as he, Niall, Nick, Tommy and the rest of their crew just smile and talk as they're all walking the pathways.

"So much snow," Niall chuckles as he's lighting a cigarette.

"It's beautiful though," Harry smiles and closes his eyes, feeling the small snowflakes hit his face so gently; they don't feel cold to him. They feel warm for once.... he can picture Louis here standing next to him, kissing him softly while the snowflakes fall.

"So, your man is from Columbia," Nick smirks at Harry while they're walking.

Harry rolls his eyes as he stops at a tree, "Columbia is a brilliant school. Louis is doing great."

"Why'd you stop going to school?" Niall asks curiously, "Broadway?"

"Yeah," Harry replies softly, "had too much to lose."

"So, you went to school with Louis and didn't know," Niall smirks while he's throwing back some of his liquor.

"I never saw him at school," Harry sighs and leans against a tree, "I dropped out right before he did."

Niall only smiles while they're walking down the sidewalk.. Harry stays against the tree, his eyes staring off at a light he can see hanging in the distance.

He can see Louis and Alice and he's quickly jumping behind the tree; he stays quiet while Niall and Nick just continue to walk and talk.

Harry can't hear every word that Louis and Alice are saying, though he tries to read their lips.

To Harry, it almost seems as if they're arguing. He can't really tell. All he knows is that Louis is doing most of the talking... and he sounds upset.

Harry watches them walking away together before he's following a good ways behind them.

He stops at a tree when he sees Alice hailing a cab, leaving Louis standing there.

Harry just rests against the tree until the cab is pulling off.


 (Letter - Kill Your Darlings)


"Already bringing her to the Hudson, yeah?" Harry speaks up and glances at Louis.

Louis turns back to see Harry; he's surprised, but he can't help but smile at him a little.

He's quickly putting his hands in his coat and looking down, "uh, we had drinks down at one of the bars, you know."

Harry nods and stays completely still against the tree; he pulls out his cigarettes and looks out at the Hudson River, even though he knows Louis' eyes are on him.

"This part of town is beautiful, isn't it?" Harry asks with a small smile.

"I... I like this side," Louis quietly says. He sighs a little and looks back up at the streets.

"Did you make her mad?" Harry decides to ask Louis, holding the cigarette between his fingers while his eyes are staring into Louis'.

"I told her I wanted to keep the wedding date for July," Louis whispers some and stares at the ground. "I'm not ready yet."

Harry stares at him, his eyes staying serious, "you mean... you want to delay this as long as possible."

Louis finally glances at Harry, "I don't want to do this, Harry."

"I know," Harry whispers, "but... what can you do, Lou? Really... your name is meant for greatness. Yeah, life fucking sucks."

Louis licks his lips while he keeps his eyes on Harry's, "I don't want to let you go yet. I want to spend spring with you. I want to see all of the things we talked about."

"Yeah, well, this world doesn't care what we want," Harry states almost loudly, "we're a threat to this society, remember?"

"You're not a threat," Louis says and steps closer, "if you're a threat, then so am I."

"There's honor slayings for a reason, Lou," Harry hits his cigarette and looks out at the river.

"Honor slayings?" Louis asks curiously.

Harry glances back, almost amused that Louis doesn't know what the term means; of course he wouldn't. He hasn't been in this world since he was young... Harry has.

"An honor slaying gives a straight man the right to kill a known homosexual," Harry explains, Louis' eyes widening. "Yeah, you don't get a lot of rights. In fact, that's why it's called an honor slaying.... you're doing society a favor."

Louis swallows the lump in his throat. He sighs a little while Harry's eyeing him.

"Your dad knows all about that," Harry says, his tone deep, "you can ask him."

"I'd rather not," Louis looks back at Harry finally. "Harry, can... can we just go be alone tonight?"

Harry stares straight into Louis' eyes before he's saying, "I'm here with Nick, Niall, and all of them."

Louis nods some and looks off while he's pulling his cigarettes out, "sorry, I didn't know."

"You're more than welcome to join us," Harry speaks up and hits his cigarette. He gains a small grin from Louis.

"Sure, yeah, why not," Louis shrugs as Harry only smiles at him.

They start walking the pathway next to the river. They can see Nick, Niall, and the others way ahead of them laughing and running around trees.

"My monkeys, my circus," Harry shrugs and grins as they walk.

Louis can't help but laugh at his pun. He hits his cigarette again and looks at the water. "How've you been?"

Harry purses his lips, "uh, I'm good. Rehearsals keep me busy... I keep myself busy."

"It's only been 4 days since you moved out," Louis smirks a little.

Harry shrugs and grins, "true."

"She's leaving in 10 days," Louis whispers while they walk.

"Oh, she's staying 2 weeks," Harry nods and says it like it means absolutely nothing to him.

"I'm afraid so," Louis replies , "I don't want this anymore than you, Harry. Will you at least let me see you some during this time?"

Harry keeps his eyes on his feet the closer they get to Nick and the others, "I can some, Louis. If that's what you want."

"What do you want?" Louis dares to ask, his eyes staying on Harry.

Harry stops abruptly, not looking at Louis, "don't ask me that. Please."

Louis starts to question him, but Nick is soon greeting him.

"Oh, hey again, Louis," Niall is next to say with a smile, "where'd you come from?"

"His date," Harry blurts out and almost smirks as he's glancing back at Louis.

Louis raises his hands and sighs, "yeah... lucky me."

"Oh," Nick is quick to speak up and smile, "Alice, right?"

"Yeah," Louis nods and looks at Harry.

"Yeah, I told him," Harry admits.

"He didn't say anything bad," Nick chuckles as Louis grins a little, "Harry had a lot of good things to say."

Louis stares back at Harry for a moment: Harry's head is down however while he's hitting his cigarette and kicking at the little bit of snow on the grass.

"So, where to from here?" Niall asks and looks between Nick and Harry.

"I... I don't know... maybe we should just go to the theatre and get drunk out of our minds," Harry suggests with a chuckle.

"You'll put us to work," Niall points and laughs.

"Well, I'm fine with anywhere," Harry shrugs, "we can stay here for a bit longer if you guys would like. I'm not in a hurry."

"I need more liquor," Niall chuckles and asks James to walk with him to the closest store.

Nick takes a seat in the grass with some of Harry's other friends... but Harry and Louis walk further down before they're stopping and glancing up at the stars.

Harry lies down on the hillside and Louis only grins while he's climbing down beside him.

"So many stars in the sky," Harry starts lowly, "everyone of them should have a name."

Louis looks at one sparkling and he grins while pointing, "that can be Harry Styles."

Harry snickers and looks at Louis before his attention is again on the stars above them.

"So," Louis clears his throat, "you were into astrology."

"I was into a lot of things," Harry says with no emotion at all, "but... when you've gotta grow up, you grow up."

Louis looks at him funny, but Harry's eyes stay on the skies.

"What do you think about her?" Louis dares to ask quietly.

Harry bites his lips, but stays calm while he places his hands behind his head, "I was right. She's not good enough for you."

Louis can't take his eyes off Harry. "So, you disapprove."

Harry lets out a deep breathe, "no one will ever be good enough for you. You know that... you'll only act this part because it's the right thing to do by society. Because people like us aren't accepted... even people like me will run scared and do something they'll regret... because the secret of it all eats away at them."

Louis stays silent for a moment, Harry's friends laughing not too far from them. He licks his lips and sits up some, "I don't think you'd ever reach that point."

"I wouldn't," Harry looks back, "but I know some who would... some who have."

Louis' mouth is open as he's studying Harry, "that's such bullshit."

"That's our society," Harry quickly says back, "you know we're not accepted. I've told you this dozens of times."

Louis stays silent again, looking back at the stars. He can't help but wish there was some way he could just run away with Harry... convince him to run away. He knows Harry has so much at stake with his job... but the thought of marrying someone he doesn't love bothers him most.

Niall and James are coming back with the alcohol a few minutes later, Harry taking one bottle for him and Louis.

They all sit in the grass drinking and smoking weed, all while laughing entirely too loud.

Harry's for sure they're going to get caught one of these times. He doesn't really care, however. He'd only laugh while police ran them off.

It's almost midnight when everyone is beginning to disappear. Niall waves at Harry and Louis before he's going to catch a taxi.

Harry and Louis walk back up the streets slowly, Nick telling them goodbye as he's running off.

Snowflakes begin to fall once again and Harry's sighing, "I wish the weather would make up its fucking mind."

"Me too," Louis smirks before he's sighing, "so... you going back to your place?"

"I am," Harry nods as they're rounding a corner; he hails a taxi before looking at Louis, "wanna share or come with me?"

Louis' eyes crinkle while he's nodding, "I'd love to, yeah."

Harry gets in the cab first and Louis follows... and they're soon heading for Harry's apartment in Greenwich village.

The ride is mostly quiet, Harry only talking about rehearsals and Louis only talking about the things they have to do while Alice is in town.

It's not a topic that Harry wants to hear, but he barely listens; he gives Louis a nod every so often... but quite frankly, he stopped listening as soon as her name was mentioned.

They stop in front of Harry's apartment building and Harry's quickly paying the driver before scooting out.

Louis follows him in and up to the 3rd floor. Harry pulls out his keys and unlocks the door.

There's hardly any lights on, except for one living room lamp and the bathroom light by the bedroom.

Harry walks to the bedroom slowly, taking a seat on the bed while Louis remains in the doorway.

"Where's Ben?" Louis speaks up.

Harry doesn't look at him while he's pulling his coat off, "he doesn't stay here all the time, Louis."

"Ok, ok, " Louis purses his lips and says while shrugging.

Harry immediately finds more clothes and is walking past Louis to the bathroom in no time, closing the door behind him.

And Louis lets his curiosity get the best of him. He's soon searching through Harry's nightstand, seeing if he can find anything interesting.

Louis knows he's shouldn't be doing this, but Harry wants to remain a mystery to him... and Louis can't stand not knowing.

He finally finds a small envelope at the bottom of the nightstand; he opens it and finds photos of Harry and Ben... before they moved to New York and after; Louis can clearly see in one photo that they're in London.

He wants to ask Harry for the truth so badly... but he's not sure there's any more truth there than what Harry has told him.

Harry opens the bathroom door and Louis is quickly fixing things inside the nightstand before he's sitting down on the bed and trying to act casual.

"Do you and your fiancé not have plans tomorrow?" Harry asks quietly.

"We do," Louis nods, "but... uh... not until noon."

"You're coming to the show tomorrow night, yeah?" Harry asks him with a small smirk.

"Afraid so," Louis replies, "Meredith wants to see you and Alice does as well."

"Yeah, I knew that already," Harry rolls his eyes and sits down on the end of the bed, "seems she has a thing for actors."

"I'm not..."

Harry lights a cigarette and smirks at Louis before saying lowly, "you are an actor, Lou... just not in the same way I am."

Louis closes his mouth because he knows Harry is absolutely right... he's a different type of actor.

"So," Harry starts and turns to Louis, "what did you want to come to my apartment for?"

"Just wanted a little reality," Louis whispers seriously.

Harry keeps his eyes on Louis' before he's finally smirking, "come on, then."

Harry's jumping up and opening the window to the fire escape in no time, Louis only chuckling at him while he follows.

Harry climbs out and takes a seat, rubbing his arms some.

"Want me to get you a coat, love?" Louis asks with a grin.

"Please," Harry nods and laughs.

Louis is soon returning with one of Harry's coats and Harry puts it on before he's pulling out his cigarettes, grabbing a joint and lighting it.

"It's weird how... at night it seems like you can be whoever you want to be," Harry whispers and hits the joint.

"Yeah," Louis quietly agrees and stares off at some lights, "daytime comes and... it's all over."

Harry keeps his head down while his hands rest on his knees. "Lou, you know I'm only trying to stay out of the way for the time being. Your dad doesn't need to see you spending more time with me than her."

"Is that what this boils down to?" Louis asks almost harshly. "You're worried my dad might take notice of us? Harry, he fucking loves you."

"Yeah, but how long is that going to last?" Harry asks and quickly looks at Louis. "One slip up and we're both over... well, not you. They'd only institutionalize you. Me, they would throw in jail."

"I wouldn't let them," Louis says so quietly.

"How would you stop them?" Harry almost snorts.

Louis crosses his arms, the breeze blowing his hair, "I'd make a deal with my dad before I'd ever let them tear you down."

Hardy almost looks shocked, although he would expect no less of this Louis Tomlinson.

"What kind of deal?" Harry dares to venture, confusion on his face.

"I don't know," Louis sighs, "some kind. I'd tell him I'd go to an institution and marry her right away if he would just let you go... let you continue living your life."

Harry bites his lip and looks down slowly, "that would be nice of you. Not sure I deserve that."

Louis stays silent for a moment before he's quietly staying, "you're more than worth it. You're one of a kind, Styles. More people should be like you."

"I don't see how faking a lifestyle counts for being one of a kind," Harry raises an eyebrow and laughs some.

"You're confident in who you are," Louis states, "and... according to you, a lot of men in this city aren't. They would commit an honor slaying to keep their secret, just like you said."

Harry nods slowly and lights a cigarette before he's glancing down at the streets. "It's happened a lot."

"Anyone you've known?" Louis asks quietly and lights a cigarette.

Harry shakes his head, "not known... had met. They're back on the streets now like it's not a big deal."

"Crazy," Louis whispers and stares at the snowflakes falling.

"That's life," Harry mumbles, "you coming to our play after tomorrow?"

"I'd love to," Louis smiles a little, "but... yeah, I think I can manage to sneak away for a bit. Besides, my dad thinks I'll be talking to you about wedding plans."

"Wedding plans," Harry mocks and shakes his head, "you haven't told him I won't be the best man, I take it."

Louis licks his lips and hits his cigarette. Louis doesn't want to talk about this, but he knows it won't go away.

"I told you that you didn't have to be," Louis finally says softly.

Harry pushes his hair back and looks at his hands, "I don't see it ending well, Louis... and I... I can't really have you ask me to do it. You know that."

Louis nods some and hits his cigarette again. "Is it because of Ben?"

Harry sighs and shakes his head, blowing out his smoke, "no. Fuck no. I mean, yeah I have stayed around all this time... but I don't love him, Lou. And I can't help it he has feelings for me."

"I just figured you didn't want to be best man at mine because of how Ben's turned out," Louis almost whispers, his face serious.

"No, the reason I can't for you is because... well, you know why," Harry replies back and looks up at Louis. "I may be a damn good actor, Lou, but some parts aren't meant to be played."

"I get that," Louis softly says

"So, when do you go back to Columbia?" Harry changes the subject and smirks at Louis.

"Uh, really soon," Louis sighs, "not looking forward to it at all."

"Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do," Harry chuckles some before he's falling silent again.

"Harry," Louis speaks up again, causing Harry to look at him, "I can go back to my place if you want."

"You think I don't want you here?" Harry asks so bluntly.

"I wasn't sure," Louis replies sighing, "I figured you did."

"I always want you here... but I'm not that fortunate," Harry whispers while he's putting his cigarette out.

Louis follows him inside and watches Harry sit down on his bed. Louis' looking around at his apartment and seeing how well kept it seems now.

"Finally cleaned?" Louis jokes.

"'Nick," Harry's dimples deepen, "I hadn't been here in a while. He took care of it. Guess he finally got tired of seeing my room the way it was."

Louis snickers, looking at Harry's small closet, the dresser before he's glancing back at him.

"What should we do?" Louis asks softly, nervousness in his tone.

"You can sit on my bed," Harry laughs, I'm not going to bite... unless you want me to."

Louis smirks and walks over to sit down slowly. He leans his head back against the pillow while Harry's doing the same, lighting a joint once more.

They sit and talk for quite some time about really stupid things; but they laugh at every single word... Louis could never not laugh at Harry.

"Oh my god," Harry's chuckling after Louis has told him something about Alice.

"It's true," Louis slaps him, "she can't fucking kiss at all. It's like... a fish or something."

"Pshh," Harry snorts and throws his head back into the pillow, his hand over his eyes. "That's fucking disgusting."

"I know," Louis snickers softly. He glances at Harry beside him; he has his hands on his stomach now while his eyes are closed. Louis can't help but think how relaxed he looks.

"Have you gotten much sleep?" Louis asks, though he wishes he hadn't.

"No," Harry replies simply, "been busy... I've really stretched myself these past few days with rehearsals for both theatres."

"I can see you're tired," Louis quietly says. He watches Harry swallowing, his eyes remaining shut. "I'm here now... you can get a good night's sleep, Harold."

Harry wants to break at those words; he can't see how Louis could still want what's best for him. Of course he believes in true love... but Louis has surpassed all the levels.

He finally glances back at Louis, then settles down in the bed, Louis doing the same beside him.

Harry lies still for a moment before he's slowly scooting closer to Louis, wrapping his arm around him.

Louis only stares at him, Harry's eyes half open.

Louis studies the small curls on his head, his beautiful body... and he wonders why he can't just have this person? He can't understand why his society has to be so fucked up.

The sun is shining through Harry's window the next morning when Louis finally stirs; he reaches in the bed beside him but doesn't find Harry. Instead, he finds a note from him.

I had to go take care of a few things, but I left a key for you if you need to go. Thanks for last night. Let's do it again soon. H x "

He sighs and rubs his head, wondering how easy it is for Harry to go from so in love to now hardly being friends with him; it makes sense to Louis... Harry wants to distance himself from Louis so he can spare them both the overwhelming pain to come.

Louis isn't sure he can do it however; how can he pretend to not care for those dimples, those emerald eyes... that beautiful smile.

He gets up and gets dressed slowly, knowing he has to take Alice to lunch with Liam and his wife now. He dreads it like the plaque.

He would rather be burnt alive than to be stuck in a restaurant with the 3 of them.

He hears a door in the living room once he's dressed; he's hurrying down the hall saying Harry's name.

"Harry?" Ben asks when he sees Louis

Louis' face suddenly changes, "what are you doing here?"

"Waiting on Harry to get back," Ben replies softly. "He didn't tell me you were here."

"No, I was just leaving," Louis mumbles and goes back to the bedroom.

He's quickly getting dressed, anger building all over him... did Harry expect Louis to already be gone before Ben showed his face? He isn't sure at all.

He grabs his things and throws on his coat before he's walking back to the living area.

Ben is busy lighting a cigarette and having a seat on the side; Louis doesn't even look at him.

"Tell Harry he knows where to find me," Louis whispers before opening the door and going out.

He can feel rage all over him with every step he takes down the 3 floors.

Harry has a lot of friends, yeah, Louis thinks. But out of all those friends, he's always surrounded by Ben.

He can't figure it out; he goes out the doors and starts walking up the sidewalk, glancing around the snow covered sheets.

Louis finally gets a cab and heads back to his apartment, his thoughts still far away on Harry.

At 12:15, Louis is sitting at lunch with Liam, his wife, and of course Alice. They're making terrible conversation, Louis thinks.

He'd rather be hearing about Harry's next play... his next Broadway play. But he hasn't had the time to even talk to him... and it's tearing him apart.

He lights a cigarette and keeps his eyes on the table, pretending to listen.

Soon, someone is catching his eye a few tables over; he sees Harry, Ben, and some other fellow he doesn't recognize.

He wants so badly to go talk to him; he wishes Harry would just see him sitting here and come over, being so polite while he's asking to borrow Louis for a moment.

But Louis isn't sure he will.

Harry drinks another shot and grins at Ben and the other guy before his eyes are slowly diverting around the place... and he sees Louis sitting right there.

Harry's suddenly smirking and getting up, telling Ben he'll be right back.

He walks over to Louis' table, though Louis is pretending to not notice him.

"Hey again," Harry speaks up with a smile as he's looking at Liam and then Alice.

"Harry," Alice beams, "didn't know you'd be here."

"Yeah, here with a couple of my friends," Harry replies and points to their table, "one is my childhood friend Zayn... the other is the author you probably already know."

"I love his poems and stories," Anne is quick to say and look at Louis, "can we go meet them?"

Louis looks at Harry, Harry only staring him down, a small smirk coming out of the corner of his mouth.

"Sure... why not?" Louis finally answers and stands up.

Harry leads the way, Louis following behind him. He leans in and whispers, "you're fucking pathetic."

"Just trying to help her out," Harry says back where no one can hear.

They stop at the table and Ben as well as Zayn are looking up at them immediately.

"Alice, this is Zayn Malik and Ben Winston," Harry points to each of them.

"Nice to meet you," Alice smiles and shakes their hands, "I've heard great things about you, Mr. Winston."

"Thanks," Ben nods and smiles some.

"Zayn here goes to Columbia with Lou," Harry smiles and looks at Louis.

Louis only glares at him, wishing Harry would shut his mouth already.

"Oh, lovely," Alice nods, it's a brilliant school."

"It is," Harry nods, "I went there for a bit, but acting was taking up all my time."

"You didn't tell me that," Louis speaks up, staring straight at Harry.

Harry only smiles innocently, "I though I had once. Sorry."

"I guess that would be challenging," Alice says.

"It was," Harry shrugs, "but.. hey, I'm successful at what I do now, thank goodness."

Alice giggles and smiles at the other 2, "nice to meet you both."

Louis tells them goodbye and they're heading back to their table, Louis knowing Harry's eyes are on him.

And Louis finds Harry staring all throughout lunch actually. He glances up every once in a while at him and Harry's looking back at him every time, as if he knows Louis is looking.

Louis and Alice get up to leave right after Harry has. Louis can see him on the sidewalk outside.

He hears the 3 of them laughing, and Louis only wishes that was him beside Harry.

"Uh, Alice, want me to hail a cab for you to your hotel?" Louis decides to ask immediately.

"I can, sure," Alice shrugs and smiles, "why? Have wedding plans to discuss?"

"Something like that," Louis nods and smiles some. He hails a taxi and it stops to let Alice in.

Louis kisses her cheek and waves to her before he's looking back up the sidewalk at Harry.

He doesn't know why he's doing this... Harry may not even want to see him; Ben most likely doesn't.

But he can't help himself.

He runs to catch up with them and before he can say a word, Harry's turning around and exclaiming, "well, if it isn't Lou Tommo."

Louis glances back at him surprised before he's smiling.

"You actually talked her into going back alone?" Harry asks with a chuckle.

"Yeah... sort of lied," Louis whispers while Harry's falling back to stand with him.

"I'm sorry about that in there," Harry speaks up, clearing his throat, "just knew that she was a fan of my work and Ben's."

"No... no, it's ok," Louis mumbles, "I figured you were just trying to be nice."

Harry shrugs and keeps walking. "What does she think of me?"

Louis bites his lip, glancing up at Zayn and Ben in the distance.

"So, that's your creative friend Zayn," Louis changes the subject, "the one you knew back home?"

"It is," Harry nods, "he's always been my best friend really. Not a lot he wouldn't do for me."

"Nice," Louis states and looks at his shoes while he walks.

"You didn't answer my question," Harry says again, grinning at Louis.

Louis smirks a little before he's saying. "uh, she loves you... a lot. If I'm not mistaken, she'd happily get in bed with you."

Harry snorts so loud before he's laughing, Louis only watching him.

"She's not the first," Harry sighs, still snickering quietly. "Didn't take her as that kind."

"She's changed a lot since I last saw her," Louis whispers, "not sure how to handle it."

"Harry, you going back home?" Ben calls back to them.

Harry nods, "uh, for a bit. Then, I'll go to the theatre."

"Ok, well, see you at tonight's show," Ben smiles and waves before he's heading off.

Zayn says a goodbye to Harry and Louis and then hails a cab.

"What time do you have to be at Broadway?" Louis asks.

"5," Harry answers, "I usually get there quite early though. It's funny... if people see me arriving early, they'll come over and talk to me."

"Girls?" Louis jokes.

"Yeah," Harry grins, "guess being New York's top bachelor, your have that effect."

"I didn't know you were," Louis chuckles.

Harry shrugs, "it was actually in a newspaper... your dad had it sitting at his home."

Louis shakes his head and laughs while they continue walking.

They arrive at Harry's apartment once more, Harry quickly adjusting the heat and rubbing his hands together.

"It's always so fucking cold in here," Harry smiles some and walks to his bedroom; his bed is made perfectly and Louis is quite surprised.

"You cleaned?" Louis chuckles.

"The room was already clean," Harry smirks, "just made the bed."

"Looks nice," Louis nods and smells of the room, "what is that?"

Harry points to the thing he's lit and sitting down on his dresser, "incense. Smells amazing, right? I use it to unwind and relax."

Louis steps over to smell it and he's grinning instantly. He has smelled that smell in Harry's hair before.

Harry is slowly taking his shirt off, staring in Louis' direction.

"Want to make the most of the time we have?" Harry dares to ask, his tone deep and seductive.

Louis glances back at him, seeing him undressing; and Louis knows he wants this more than anything right now... but he wonders if he should do it? He doesn't want to continue to hurt Harry.

"We... we don't have to."

"I want to," Harry reassures him, honesty speaking from his eyes, "you know it's bound to happen if we're around each other."

"Suppose," Louis nods and starts slowly undressing.

Harry sits down on the bed, waiting for Louis to climb in; and once he has, Harry's pulling him beneath the covers, their mouths in sync with one another's.

And for a few mere moments, they both block out the harsh reality around them; they're too lost in each other's embrace.

Chapter Text

Harry lies still in bed beside Louis, running his finger up and down his bare side.

Louis only keeps his eyes on Harry's; he knows these moments are going to become more and more rare soon.

"Shouldn't you get ready for your show?" Louis asks softly.

Harry falls on his back and sighs, "yeah, forgot about that."

"I'll see you at least," Louis says while he watches Harry standing and putting his briefs on.

Harry's quickly lighting a joint and staring back at Louis, "do you and Alice have plans for after the play?"

Louis bites his lip, and that's enough for Harry to know. He blows out his smoke and looks away.

"Well, we can meet up later," Harry starts to say.

"Tonight?" Louis asks quickly.

Harry stares back at him, slowly nodding, "yeah... if you wanna come to my place for a bit."

"I'd love to, yeah," Louis nods and says softly, watching Harry dress quickly. "Harry... what is Ben to you really?"

Harry looks taken off guard by the question while he's putting his shirt on. He runs his fingers through his hair and says quietly, "he's the reason why I'm here, Lou. Do... do you think I could afford to just come to America and make it instantly on Broadway?"

"So, he basically gave you money," Louis nods a little, "I see."

"I couldn't ask for it from my mum, you know that," Harry says quieter. "He... he knew I could act because of school. He was my drama professor."

"Your drama professor?" Louis looks shocked for a moment, but quickly clears his throat, "so, your drama professor talked your mum into letting you fulfill your dream here."

Harry bites his lip and stares at his fingers. "Basically. I also went to Columbia... believe it or not I was smart enough to get in."

Louis smirks for a moment as he's studying Harry closely, "and yet, you quit classes."

Harry shrugs some, almost as if it's nothing to him; it really isn't honestly. He knows it's only school. The world will be his teacher, not something learned inside four walls.

"When I became a hit success, I didn't have time for classes really," Harry replies, "although I did graduate at home early and got accepted here early."

"So, Columbia knew your real age?" Louis asks softly.

"They did," Harry hits the joint and looks out the window, "but... your dad and the people on Broadway don't. I lied about it."

"So, basically, you moved here to go to school," Louis states.

"I did," Harry nods, "but... didn't last very long. I auditioned, they loved me. End of the story."

"Wow," Louis whispers, "so, your mum knew Ben enough to send you over here with him?"

Harry bites his lip and keeps his eyes fixated outside the window, "she didn't know we had a relationship, Louis. I... I never told her."

Louis isn't surprised by Harry's confession at all. After all, he can see why Harry wouldn't want to mention it.

"But your mum knew you were gay," Louis pushes a little more while he's lighting a cigarette.

Harry glances back at him, "she did.... but she didn't need to know my professor from school was sleeping with me. That would break her heart."

"But... my dad is trying to get her moved here," Louis says and stares at Harry.

"Acting is a brilliant thing, Lou," Harry sort of smiles some before he's looking back at the streets. "Ben's always acted the part around my mum. And I don't really feel like I'm lying to her because I'm of age now... and I run my own life."

"You definitely do that," Louis says and scratches his chin, "you're a star on Broadway, you own your own theatre... you make your own money."

Harry glances back at Louis, "some of us have to make a good living for ourselves."

"I didn't mean it bad," Louis states in a whisper, "I get it. You have a passion for your theatre and you feel as if it's a big, humungous dream come true."

Harry stares at him, his face serious, Louis reading him so well. "I pour everything into it because I hope that someday I can change things for people who can't speak."

"I know," Louis nods, "and I love that about you, Harold."

Harry bites his lip and looks at his hands, "it comes at a price, Lou. Steep price over here. But... I don't regret it. You... you learn a lot about people. You learn who are scared to death to feel anything for a man... you also learn who aren't. And they show it."

"I suppose Ben is definitely one of them," Louis gets out before he means to.

"Ben... he's still different, Lou," Harry looks back, his eyes searching Louis', "he... he feels closer to me."

"He feels threatened by me," Louis speaks up, his voice almost harsh.

"Threatened is a strong word, " Harry starts.

"Say it," Louis is quick to say, "he's been with you since you were god knows how old so the guy must feel like he's something to you. Easy to see why he has feelings."

"Is it?" Harry asks and closes his mouth. He just stares at Louis, both of them remaining quiet for a few minutes.

"You have feelings for me," Louis says and sort of shrugs.

"I don't love him," Harry giggles some and shakes his head. "I stop seeing him all the time."

"Until one day you give in again," Louis answers in a soft whisper.

Harry's mouth runs dry and he looks away quickly; he knows he can't lie to Louis.

"Don't you think you should just let him go?" Louis decides to venture.

Harry doesn't look phased, though he is. He opens his jaw slightly, pushing his hair back as his eyes stay on outside.

"I don't want to talk about it," Harry is fast to speak, his tone serious again. "Why does it matter... there's no us here, Louis."

"There is an us here," Louis speaks more determinedly, "I won't go through with it."

Harry licks his lips and glances back, knowing Louis means every word. "Let's hope your dad continues not knowing while she's here."

"I... I know," Louis sighs.

"And hope she doesn't suspect it," Harry points at him, "act the part. You'll see me when you can."

"I'll see you tonight," Louis says and stares in Harry's eyes. "I'll meet you."

"Good," Harry nods and gets up, "would be quite boring without you."

"You have plenty of people to see," Louis jokes.

Harry smirks and shakes his head, "kinda want a peaceful evening for once."

"Sounds nice," Louis nods.

Harry puts on his coat and sighs, "see you at the theatre, yeah?"

"Yeah," Louis whispers and watches Harry walking out. He gets up quickly and follows, wishing Harry would just say whatever he's feeling now. "Uh, I'll... I'll see you in about an hour."

"You will," Harry answers before he's kissing Louis gently, "god, I miss your fucking lips."

"I miss yours," Louis mumbles against Harry's upper lip.

Harry sighs and closes his eyes, "I've... I've gotta go. I... I'll be looking forward to later."

"Ok," Louis mutters as Harry's letting him go and opening the door quickly. He watches him leaving in a hurry and he can't help but sigh and rub his forehead, wishing he could just have Harry back for 5 minutes to fuck him.

But he doesn't. He sees him leaving. He shuts the door and sighs before he's going to take a shower and get ready for his date with Alice.

Harry's behind the stage going over some lines and a song while Ben is standing not too far away watching and grinning like an idiot.

"He's brilliant, isn't he?" He asks Mr. Jones.

"Yeah, so glad you introduced us," Thomas points before Louis' father is walking up, Louis not too far away. "He's such a fine actor. He really can do any part."

"He's versatile," Ben nods and notices Louis before he's forcing a smile and looking back at Harry.

"What is he doing tonight?" Louis speaks up and glances at Mr. Thomas and Ben.

"There's a piano onstage," Ben explains, "a white grand piano. He's going to play it and sing a song first. He has violins and all."

"Oh," Louis looks surprised and stares at Harry; he finally got to sing.

Harry looks at Louis and he grins wider.

"I got it," Harry almost yells excitedly.

"You did," Louis is going over and saying, Harry giving him a high five as he's smiling radiantly at him. "Congrats, Love."

"Thanks," Harry beams, "he let me sing. I'm thrilled. And this song is... amazing."

"It is," Louis nods, hearing his dad chauffeuring them to their seats. "I'll see you in bit."

Harry grins and winks before he's watching him hurrying off. Harry glances at Ben going to the box seat with them... and he tries to focus on his lines.


Harry's soon onstage, the light on him as he's starting the keys, his eyes closed while he sings.

And Louis can feel every word he's saying... he starts to sweat in his seat; Harry even looks up and makes direct eye contact with him, holding it for several seconds as he plays.

Louis gets lost in him... the piano, his white suit, his hair fixed perfectly, and his emerald eyes shining from the light onstage.

Louis couldn't see a more mesmerizing sight. Harry continues singing and staring at him, winking a time or two.

Louis licks his lips; he sees Alice is watching intently thankfully. Otherwise, his face would be so revealing right now.

Harry's out to kill him.

Ben even looks at Louis from a seat away, watching him stare at Harry the way he is.

"He's a natural at this, isn't he?" Ben speaks up.

Louis glances at him for a moment, "he is, yeah. He learned on his own?"

"He did," Ben replies and sounds proud. "He was 16 and carrying around a guitar... banging on a piano in the drama room."

Louis swallows and stares at Ben, wondering if Ben's comments are intentional now.

"He must've loved it," Louis replies finally.

"All he'd ever do during rehearsal breaks," Ben shakes his head, "he wasn't like the others."

"I'd say not," Louis almost snaps but remains calm. "He's creative."

"He is," Ben agrees, "too creative to be sitting in England not getting to live his dream."

Louis stays quiet again... for some reason, he feels like Ben knows Harry has already told him about himself. He pretends that he doesn't and looks back at Harry.

"Did you train him for Broadway?" Louis decides to ask, staring up at Ben.

Ben looks back, "I... I did, yeah. Used writing to help him visualize his process. When you write, your writing from a different angle, visual, reality. When you're writing a song, or even a play, you're doing the same process. He's just very good at it. He has had it down for ages."

Louis keeps his eyes on Ben, just studying him closely.

"He was born for it," Ben says again and keeps his eyes on Harry still performing.

Louis finally is looking back at him, seeing Harry's eyes already on him.

Harry finishes and everyone applauses, Louis smiling the entire time.

Harry only bows, his dimples showing; he walks backstage and they're quickly moving the stage around again.

"Breathtaking," Meredith smiles at Louis and then Ben, "he did beautiful."

"He's amazing," Ben adds.

Louis only sits back and waits for the play to begin, a small smile in the corner of his mouth still.

When the show is over, Louis is backstage again talking to Harry, Alice carrying on about his performance.

"I don't know if he likes me enough to give me a whole show," Harry tells her with a small laugh.

Louis snorts as Harry is looking away and rolling his eyes.

"Ready for dinner?" Mr. Tomlinson speaks up. "Harry, you should come. Ben as well."

Harry starts to say something before Ben is speaking for him, "uh, I'd love to. Need to catch up with Harold a little myself."

Harry gives him a stern look before he's slowly looking back at Louis, Louis only looking uncomfortable.

"Brilliant. Let's go, then," he is saying.

Harry already knows it's a dumb idea and he intentionally smacks the shit out of Ben's balls before he's walking on like nothing happened.

They sit at a small restaurant, Harry not talking as much; Louis isn't either. They're both sitting and staring back and forth over and over.

"Harold has been practicing for a part like that for so long," Ben speaks up and glances at Harry next to him.

Harry is startled when he hears his name; was Ben talking about him? He wasn't even sure now.

"What?" He asks confused.

"How long you've been playing," Ben repeats for him.

"Oh, yeah," Harry is nodding and saying fast, "uh, yeah, it just sorta come natural really when I was young. I could... I could sit at a piano and write a song and not know that I'd done it. It's crazy. The process of it is so... fulfilling."

Louis' father nods, Louis trying not to smirk because he knows how high Harry is right now.

"That's amazing," William nods, "you get caught up in your work, then."

"I... I do, yeah," Harry stutters and looks at Louis quickly, knowing he shouldn't. "It's easy to do."

Louis licks his lips and starts drinking his wine, cutting eyes with Ben.

The rest of the dinner is quiet, though Louis' father and Alice are full of questions for Harry. Ben answers most of the time, it seems to Louis. Harry, on the other hand, looks through with the banter, and rather bored really.

Louis wishes he could just talk to him somehow; to hold him. To kiss him. To just tell him he'll meet him so very soon.

"Well, Harry, you ready?" Ben is asking a few moments later.

Harry looks back at him surprised that Ben has said such a thing in front of Louis. Ben doesn't look phased.

Louis' knuckle flinches under the table; he only watches Harry.

"Uh, yes," Harry mumbles out and tries to smile, quickly letting his eyes fall on Louis', giving him an apologetic look.

Louis' face softens and he watches Harry standing with Ben.

"Harry has practice tonight. I'm accompanying him," Ben tells them, "he'll see you guys soon, I'm sure."

"He will," Louis speaks up immediately, lighting a cigarette and glaring up at Ben like he could kill him.

Harry forces a smile, "nice seeing you. Alice, enjoy New York. Lou, I'll talk to you later."

"Yeah," Louis nods slowly.

He sits at the table, the music growing quieter; everyone's voices are muffled out while his blue eyes stay on the young man in the black suit exiting the club with the 37 year old professor.

His mind is suddenly gone; he feels detached. He feels like he left the room with Harry.

He does his best to sit through the rest of the night; he walks Alice back to her hotel, telling he's sick and wanting to get some sleep.

Luckily, she agrees with him; he's leaving soon after and getting to Harry's as fast as possible.

He's climbing the stairs to the apartment building around 10 that evening. He stops in the door, going to knock.

He doesn't hear anything; he tries the door and the knob turns.

He walks in slowly, looking around for Harry in the dimly lit small place.

There's a small light coming from his room and he hears Harry's voice; he's laughing and it sounds like he's outside the window.

Louis walks to the doorway, his eyes glancing at the fire escape; he sees Harry sitting inside, Ben outside talking.

Harry's only dressed in his boxers. Louis swallows the lump in his throat.

He watches Ben kissing Harry before caressing his chin. Harry tells him bye and Ben is climbing down the escape slowly.

Harry sighs and hits his cigarette, still oblivious to Louis.

Louis' feet feel like lead when he walks in the room, making the floor squeak a little.

"That was over faster than I thought," Harry speaks up at once, grinning to himself.

"Uh, I... I told her I was sick," Louis replies, "but you... you seem fine."

Harry turns and looks at him, "acting is a huge thing, Lou... not too many people can fake life. I can. I've mastered it."

"Why?" Louis asks confused and walks closer.

"When you get used to it, it's quite easy," Harry shrugs and hits his cigarette. "I've been doing it for like 3 years... I'm just good at the whole process."

"Then who is really you?" Louis decides to ask, his tone serious as he's staring at Harry.

Harry bites his lip, smiling a real smile some. "I'm... really not sure. I'm someone who cares about a lot of people... more than I should. I'm someone who... who loves to win peoples' praises. Sounds odd."

"Not really," Louis mutters and sits down by Harry, "I actually get that."

"Do you?" Harry asks surprised, "how?"

"You're readable," Louis replies and leans his head on the window sill, "you're an actor, a performer... seems you'd have to be pretty well to think you deserve praises. You're brilliant. You don't need all of their approval, you know."

"What if I'm scared, too?" Harry admits and finally looks at Louis with honesty, "what if I'm also a little afraid what is going to happen to me, Lou? When time runs out and I... I finally have to confess to what I am?"

"No one will ever know," Louis is quick to say, "why... why would you think that way?"

"I don't know," Harry shrugs, "a lot of things influence it. Some, I'd rather not talk about it."

"Why?" Louis asks softly, "Harry, I'm right here. I'm the last soul to tell anyone in this world about you, about what you do, about who you love."

Harry stares at him, wondering if he should just admit everything to Louis.

"If... if I was to quit... to just stop acting here, I'm afraid that... that I wouldn't be able to move," Harry finally gets out, waiting for Louis to ask him why... why is he so scared of it?

Louis only stares at him and mumbles an "ok" and waits for Harry.

"Lou, Ben is a psychologist from home. He was my drama teacher and... well," Harry finally gets it out and stares back at the lights outside.

Louis looks dumbfounded for a moment, before he's licking his lips and the light bulb is going off in his head.

"He... he got you out?" Louis asks Harry, trying not to get angry.

Harry throws out his cigarette and stands up, walking to the bed and grabbing his drink.

"My dad admitted me," Harry whispers, "he was one of the doctor's there. I didn't fool them. I gave him what he wanted."

Louis' jaw almost drops to the floor as he's staring at Harry on the bed. "What... what the fuck?"

"He let me out," Harry continues, "and he came here with me... he told me he wanted to bring me... to experience this city with him. And... school was all fucked up from the time I was gone. He... caught me up."

Louis gets up slowly, his head staring down as he's walking to the edge of the bed. "He signed you out of the institution."

"Yes," Harry admits and doesn't meet his gaze. "I'm... I'm sorry. It wasn't supposed to even come up... this wasn't supposed to happen between us..."

"But it is," Louis quickly interjects loudly, "you like me... I fucking love you."

"How could we be together, Lou?" Harry asks while he's finally staring in Louis' eyes. "If... if I just stop everything and go, what if he finds me? Wouldn't be the first time."

"Why don't you just turn him in?" Louis asks softly.

"He has evidence," Harry replies, "he claims. He says that... that he has a piece of paper with his name on the sign out paper."

"Your dad tried to get you brainwashed... but a psychologist does it for you," Louis states, "that's twisted and fucked up, Harry. What the fuck..."

"I don't know," Harry exclaims and looks back, "I just turned 17. I... I craved it in there, Louis. And he... he gave into me every fucking time. He visited my fucking room after hours."

Louis looks away and rubs his palms. "Get rid of him somehow."

"I planned on it," Harry mumbles and rubs his eyes, "I just don't know how to get through to him. Can we stop talking about it?"

Louis finally nods and looks away, his eyes stinging some. "Harry, I don't want this... you don't want this. Why... why can't it just be us?"

"Your name goes a long ways," Harry answers seriously, "your dad is the district attorney, Lou. A very important, life changing guy. You... you can't just bypass him."

"You mean with Ben?" Louis nods, "because you're afraid if you told the truth, Ben would turn it on you... saying he has evidence from England... saying he would have you put back in? He wouldn't steal your dream from you, Harry."

"He wouldn't keep me in long," Harry whispers and sighs, "only until I gave in... until I told him I wanted to go back to my work... he'd allow me to."

"He has that right?" Louis is surprised once again.

"He came from home with me," Harry mumbles and rubs his head, "he's technically my psychologist."

"Fuck," Louis wants to scream. He looks away and let's out a deep breath. "Unbelievable. Unfuckingbelieveable."

"I'm sorry I didn't tell you," Harry manages to get out, "I should've, I suppose."

"Would've been helpful," Louis snaps.

Harry sighs and looks away again. "Sorry about dinner."

"Don't," Louis sighs, "it's... it's ok."

Harry nods and sits speechless.

"Where do we go from here?" Louis asks quietly. "What do you want?"

Harry glances back at him, "you."

"Thought so," Louis whispers before he's leaning over and kissing Harry quickly.

Harry only pulls him in more, releasing every ounce of passion he has built up for Louis to come flowing out.

They make it to the bed before Louis is fucking Harry into the mattress again, Harry's fingernails digging into Louis' while he's sighing and enjoying every second... there's nowhere else he'd rather be now than here.

Louis is soon collapsing, his sweaty hair on Harry's chest.

Harry sighs and runs his hair back, "god, I miss this."

Louis stares at him for a moment, "so do I."

Harry watches as he's getting up and leaving the room. Harry wants to break... he wants to stop acting for once and to actually feel what all is going on in his head and heart right at this second.

But how can he break in front of Louis? He only knows Louis would be more hurt by it as well... what is the point, he thinks?

He lights a cigarette and glances around the room, feeling his eyes sting.

Louis is coming back and grabbing the cigarettes from the bed before he's staring at Harry, "you ok?"

"Yeah," Harry tries to smile, "I'm great. Can... can you stay?"

"Yeah," Louis replies softly, "you know I can."

Harry nods and hits his cigarette. He doesn't know what to say to Louis now... and Louis notices the change in the room.

"What?" He asks quietly.

"Uh, would you, uh, grab that open bottle of my wine from my fridge?" Harry says back quickly and sits against the headboard.

Louis nods and goes to Harry's kitchen, seeing a set of flowers beside the kitchen sink; he lets his curiosity get the best of him and reads the card.

"To all the adventures and the new ones. Glad you've made it so far - Ben."

Louis wants to gag at the words while he opens the fridge. Harry doesn't have a lot of food, of course. Louis' sure by now that he spends more time out than at his home.

And Louis begins to start trying to put the pieces together... he wonders if Harry is lonely. He wonders if staying in his own place bothers him if he doesn't have company.

When Louis makes it back, Harry has a joint lit and all the lights are off. Louis takes a seat beside him and Harry's instantly grabbing the wine and drinking it down.

"Slow down," Louis chuckles some while he's doing his best to study Harry in what little light is coming from the window. "Wanna tell me what's up?"

Harry sighs out his hit and stares at his hands. "You won't, like, break a part on me, will you?"

Louis looks confused but he's saying, "no," quickly.

"I just... I sometimes wish I could sit down and allow myself to take in everything," Harry admits and looks at Louis, "feelings... not acting as if I don't have them."

"You don't always act. You're not right now," Louis encourages him in a sincere tone.

"It's easy with you," Harry sighs frustrated, "it's not so easy when it's everyone else.... besides my guys."

"Your lads are incredible," Louis smirks for a moment.

"They Love you," Harry stares back at him, "a lot."

"I like them as well," Louis nods, "I'm getting used to Nick, I think."

"Nick is just Nick," Harry shakes his head and smiles, "he's crazy."

"Who tops? Louis dares to ask in a joking tone.

Harry smirks and then laughs, "uh, odd conversation starter."

"I was only curious," Louis shrugs, "I mean, with me, you sort of took over, yeah... but you're not dominate, Harry. I know you're not."

Harry glances back at him, "I'm not, no. Only in some cases... like when I first met you."

Louis smiles and says it again, "so, who tops?"

"Nick," Harry replies as he's snickering still from the question, "he just likes to have fun though. His relationship with me is really just best friends..."

"... With benefits," Louis adds.

"Yeah," Harry nods and chuckles before he's sighing and lying his head back. He takes a hit of the joint while he's staring out the window.

"And... the other one," Louis says quieter, "he basically thinks he's, what, dad to you?"

"I wouldn't call him a dad," Harry snorts.

"Not in that aspect," Louis agrees.

"He talks to me about that shit," Harry mentions, "how we could become a family... move off somewhere."

Louis bites his lip, feeling his heart sink. He's worried that it'll happen if he does marry Alice.

"I've turned him down loads of times," Harry continues, "his latest being the other day... at the theatre. He wanted... he wanted to just pick up and write his novels somewhere else."

"You're overage," Louis points out, "he can't force you to do anything you don't want to now."

Harry nods while chewing on his lip. "Finally."

"What... what does that mean?"

Harry pushes his short messy curls back, "at one time, it was like, let's go here... you're coming along. You're 17... he's always found excuses to do stuff."

"Right," Louis nods and looks away, "do you... do you care about him?"

"No," Harry is quick to answer, "I mean, yeah, but no, not like he cares for me. It's different. It's always been different."

"Even when he brought you here?" Louis asks and lies down beside Harry.

"When he brought me here, yeah, I was fascinated by everything," Harry smiles to himself, "as time went on, it was too much effort... one of the reasons I dropped out. He... he said he would help me when I went back. I don't plan on going back."

"For what reason?"

"No real future in getting a degree from Columbia," Harry shrugs, "I like what I do."

"You're brilliant at it," Louis adds.

Harry lays down in the bed, scooting to Louis and resting his head where he can hear his heart beating; he wishes he could bottle up this sound... to keep forever.

Louis only brushes his fingers through Harry's hair, wishing with everything in him that he could somehow make this right.

"Do you get lonely?" Louis decides to ask.

Harry stays quiet for several moments... and Louis wonders if he shouldn't have asked.

"Lonely," Harry starts as if he's thinking it over, "I think... there's a lot of ways to be lonely. I'm not lonely when I'm onstage."

"You're not lonely with me," Louis mentions softly.

Harry nods some, "you're right."

"What about Ben... others?" Louis asks, "mainly him."

"I'm not lonely when I'm with anyone... but it feels different," Harry whispers, "it's not really a good different. I mean, you want them, of course. But... physical contact isn't always enough to make someone not feel lonely."

"Ben," Louis says again softer.

Harry softly starts, "I don't feel lonely with him, no. I'm... I'm too familiar with him. He's sometimes like seeing home."

Louis bites his lip and looks out the window.

"But... Lou," Harry stares up at him, "you've got to believe me. I don't care about him like I do you."

"I know," Louis nods, "I... I just wish there was only us... no world where we would be imprisoned for being in love... just being alone."

"I've always dreamed of a day like that," Harry admits and sighs some, "I'm afraid I'll never see it."

"Maybe," Louis whispers, watching Harry closing his eyes; he hears his snores seconds later and Louis whispers I love you to him before he's lying back, so much racing through his mind.

When he's waking the next morning, he sees snow falling again. Harry's coming into the room in his briefs again while he's lighting a joint.

"Sleep well?" He asks and smiles at Louis.

"I did," Louis yawns, "shit... Alice. Probably need to call her."

"She thinks you're sick," Harry smirks, "I'm sure you're safe. Use my phone."

Louis doesn't want to do it but he's scooting to Harry's side of the bed and dialing the hotel while Harry's walking out of the room.

Louis asks for Alice's room when he hears a familiar voice: Ben. Louis tries his best to ignore the tension beginning to rise in him and instead talks to Alice.

He tells her he's fine and he's going to rest, all while hearing Ben talking in Harry's kitchen.

Louis finally ends the call and grabs his pants, slipping them on before grabbing Harry's white tee shirt.

"Hey," Harry is saying to Louis as soon as he sees him standing in the doorway. "Ben was telling me about the next production. They're going to let me sing again."

"Brilliant," Louis nods and grabs a cup of water, sipping on it and watching the way Harry behaves when Ben is around him.

Louis can completely tell that Harry is definitely not the dominant one at ALL.

"Uh, I should be going," Ben tries to smile, "see you later, Harry. Louis, good to see you."

Louis nods and watches Ben walking out, Harry standing against the countertop with his arms folded.

"He had to come tell you first thing, eh," Louis says and wants to roll his eyes.

"Uh, yeah," Harry mumbles and goes back to making coffee.


"Nothing," Harry whispers, "it's not worth talking about."

Louis stares at Harry and then the door that Ben just walked out of. "Oh... I get it. His wife left, so he shows up at your place when he wants and basically gets what he wants."

"Lou," Harry turns around and almost exclaims, "there can't be an us here. You and I both know that by now. No matter how much we wish there were..."

“There can be an us,” Louis almost yells, “fuck... if he can have you when he wants, why the fuck can I not?! Tell me!”

Harry sighs and looks away, placing his hands on his waist, “if that’s the future you want.”

“You told me you didn’t expect me to change,” Louis says more quietly, “so... if it boils down to me marrying her for whatever reason, I still want to see you... a lot.”

Harry glances back at him, “if you want that... that’s fine. I’m not going anywhere... I’ve already told you how I feel. No one will replace you.”

Louis closes his mouth, feeling those words sting; he knows Harry means them.

He goes back to Harry’s room and gets dressed, Harry watching from the door. “What are you doing since you’re sick?”

Louis looks back, “uh, nothing, I don’t suppose. I’m afraid someone will come check on me, so... I’m going home.”

Harry nods and bites his lip.

“You have anything to do?”

Harry shakes his head and stays silent.

“Then, come with me,” Louis states seriously while he’s staring at Harry. “I’m sure we could find something to do... maybe get high and talk about those shitty novels again.”

Harry chuckles and feels his mood boosting. “Uh, yeah, sure. Let me find some clothes.”

Louis looks out the window after raising it and lighting a cigarette; there’s snow on the streets below and he knows how much Harry will love to see it.

Harry’s quickly dressing and throwing clothes back in his closet; then he finds a hat and coat before looking back at Louis.

“Ready,” Harry grins.

Louis only smirks and grabs his coat.

When they arrive at Louis’ building, they’re quickly catching the elevator and heading up.

Harry chews gum beside Louis while he’s just glancing around the inside of the shiny lift.

Louis opens his door and he and Harry both walk in, being thankful that no one’s here.

“Thank fuck,” Harry sighs and makes himself a drink quickly, then he’s pulling out a joint.

“It’s still early,” Louis chuckles. “In a hurry?”

“No,” Harry sighs, “would just really love a nap, that’s all.”

“Ah,” Louis smirks and takes off his coat; he takes Harry’s coat from him and throws them on his sofa before he’s glancing out the windows.

“We should go to the park one day... play in the snow.” Harry speaks up before drinking down his scotch.

Louis smiles and glances back, “you want to?”

“I’d love to,” Harry shrugs, “you know how much I love snow... the park would be beautiful.”

“When? At midnight with your friends again?” Louis asks in a joking tone.

“Maybe,” Harry smiles, “or maybe we go alone... the Hudson is beautiful when there’s snow beside it.”

“I’m sure it is,” Louis nods, “never seen it. Until the other night... but I haven’t seen it in this much snow.”

“It’s breathtaking,” Harry sighs while his eyes are glancing down at the streets.

“I’m assuming you lads are the ones who are in that park the most at night,” Louis chuckles some as he’s studying Harry.

“We like it,” Harry looks back, “it’s isolation... most of the time. And, those of us who have to pretend, we just don’t have to for a while. Feels nice.”

“So, what... none of you have ever been ran off from the park?” Louis snorts.

“I didn’t say that,” Harry smirks and shakes his head, “uh, we have... mainly Niall and Nick because they’re obviously the loudest.”

“Obviously,” Louis nods and smiles before he’s looking off again.

Harry yawns and stretches, “I’m gonna crash in your bed for a bit. That ok?”

“Why would it not be?” Louis turns back and asks, studying Harry’s face.

He still can’t explain how they’ve gone from what they were to this incredibly dark grey area; they’re still together, yet something has changed.

Harry makes himself right at home in Louis’ bed, even stripping down to his briefs before he’s pulling Louis’ covers over him and sighing.

Louis doesn’t bother him; he walks back into the living area before his phone is ringing.

“Yeah,” he says quietly. He hears his dad talking on the other end and suddenly Louis stops listening.

He listens to him ramble on for about 15 minutes before he’s telling his dad he’s sick and going back to bed.

He notices the empty bottles of scotch and he’s already putting his coat on again to go buy more; the store isn’t too far away and he knows Harry won’t wake.

He’s heading out of his apartment building a few minutes later, his hands buried in his pockets.

He walks in the busy store, seeing Ben not too far away; he rolls his eyes and walks the other way quickly.

“Louis,” Ben calls after him. Louis curses himself in his head for not being more discreet.

“Hey,” Louis turns and says.

“Didn’t think I’d see you here,” Ben smiles and walks over, 3 different bottles of wine in his arms; he notices Harry’s favorite and Louis wants to turn and leave.

“I ran out of drinks as well,” Louis nods and starts walking off, Ben following.

“How is he?” He decides to ask Louis.

“He’s fine. Why?” Louis turns around and looks at Ben confused.

“He hasn’t seemed fine,” Ben shrugs, “I don’t know... he has a lot on his mind.”

“I’m sure he does,” Louis nods and mumbles.

“Lou, you think you know Harry,” Ben states, not in a hostile tone but soft, “you don’t know him yet. You’ll figure that out soon.”

“When’s that?” Louis asks and picks up 2 bottles of scotch.

“When he’s still fucking around,” Ben blurts out before sighing, “I’m just saying... Harry, he has his ways of being... manipulative.”

“That’s odd coming from you,” Louis stares back, “really?”

“Why?” Ben asks.

“You got him out of the hospital, didn’t you?” Louis asks in a whisper.

Ben stares at Louis for a long pause before he’s saying back, “manipulating someone to benefit themselves... remember that. I didn’t do what you think I did. Harry wants you to believe that.”

“Why should I trust you over him?” Louis almost exclaims.

Ben bites his lip and looks away, “I almost lost my license because of him, Louis. It’s not something I’d ever joke about.”

Louis stays quiet and looks away; why would Harry lie about it? Is Ben right?

“Listen: you and I, let’s get together for a drink... Harry won’t mind,” Ben tells him.

“Harry will mind,” Louis says back quickly.

“Not if he’s rehearsing,” Ben says softly, “look, I’ll come to his theatre... you just need to talk to someone who has been here a while.”

Louis shakes his head and almost laughs, “right, ok. I’ll see you at the theatre later then.”

Louis walks past Ben and doesn’t give him a second glance. He pays and heads to his apartment building quickly, the snow finally letting up.

Louis doesn’t talk much to Harry that evening he’s getting dressed. If Harry has noticed, Louis doesn’t see it.

“So, Park after, yeah?” Harry smiles.

“Yeah,” Louis responds and locks up his apartment.

When they arrive at The Angle, Harry’s quickly getting out and unlocking the side door.

“Jesus, it’s fucking freezing,” Harry rubs his hands together after turning on the heat to the theatre. He looks back at Louis who is glancing around the stage area. “You ok?”

“Fine,” Louis replies quickly, “how long does it take to heat up this place?”

“It’s not too bad,” Harry shrugs and walks off to wardrobe.

Soon, Harry’s friends have shown up and they have the script in their hands.

Ben comes through the side exit, only Louis seeing him for now.

He decides to follow Ben upstairs to one of the box seats.

He hits his cigarette while he can hear Harry and his friends laughing.

“What is it?” Louis asks.

Ben lights a joint and looks around, “Harry told you that I let him out...”

“He did.”

“I didn’t,” Ben sighs and looks off, “well, I did, but... not in the way he described, I’m sure.”

“So, How?” Louis looks at him.

“I did give into him... I didn’t want to,” Ben reveals and shakes his head, “I mean, I had known him for years... but Harry... he was different. He was sarcastic, funny, normal. He didn’t deserve to be in there because of his dad.”

“Right,” Louis speaks softly, “so, he found the easiest person to influence, which was you because you knew him.”

Ben stays quiet and hits the joint again, Louis not staring back at him.

Harry walks out and looks at Ben and Louis confused, “you guys wanna join us?”

“Coming,” Ben speaks up as he stands. He takes one last look at Louis and heads downstairs.

Louis sighs and hits his cigarette before standing.

Harry meets him on the stairs, “what was that about?”

“Not sure I wanna talk about it right now,” Louis mumbles and heads past him, Harry looking completely dumbfounded.

When rehearsal has ended, all of them are headed for the Hudson River bank again. Louis still seems stand-offish, but after a bit of weed and cocaine from Nick, he can feel his spirits rise.

Harry stops and picks up a snowball, aiming it at Niall and hitting him in the back of the head.

“You arse,” Niall laughs and brushes his hood off.

Harry only snickers and stares back at Louis beside him, “cold enough for you?”

“It’s, uh, yeah,” Louis nods, “I’m used to it some.”

“I am too now,” Harry smirks and sighs, “god... it’s beautiful when it’s this white everywhere.”

“It is,” Louis mumbles and crosses his arms. He watches Harry stopping and lighting a cigarette before he’s staring at the Hudson.

“Harry,” Louis starts nervously, “can I... can I ask you something without you going off?”

“Ben, right?” Harry asks and doesn’t turn around.

“Yeah,” Louis responds and walks closer. “He said... he didn’t get you out...”

“He got me out,” Harry almost laughs, “just not in the way he says.”

“You said he wanted you,” Louis starts slowly.

“He did,” Harry looks back, “Lou, I’d known him since I was like 15-16. He didn’t want me in there any more than I wanted to be. He knew I was normal. Yeah, ok... maybe I did ask him first... why does it matter now?”

“Because you told me he got you out of there,” Louis says and raises his voice.

“He promised me he would,” Harry glances back, “do you believe everything Ben tells you, or me, Louis?”

Louis bites his lip and looks off.

“I get it... it’s easier to believe someone who’s known me 5 years,” Harry nods, “but... one part Ben failed to leave out was the fact that he already liked me... he already wanted me, Lou. Of course he wouldn’t mention that... he wants to make me look like the bastard here...”

“You’re not manipulative,” Louis speaks up, Harry looks back, “that’s what he called you.”

“Manipulative,” Harry shakes his head and laughs, “that’s new. Uh, no, I’m not. I don’t have to be. If that were the case, I’d be such an asshole.”

Louis smiles some and looks off again.

“That’s why Ben was talking to you?”

Louis nods and stays silent.

“Do you believe him over me? Lou?”

Louis shakes his head, “I... I can’t. I mean, he’s the one who got married and let his wife leave for you... you didn’t insist she leave.”

“Exactly,” Harry whispers, “if he wants to be with me, I can’t help that. If it’s because of past reasons between us, I can’t help that either. I didn’t want to have to be put there...”

“You didn’t deserve to be,” Louis whispers, “sorry I brought it up.”

“It’s ok,” Harry sighs, “just... do me a favor, next time Ben is around, make sure I’m in the room. I mean it.”

Louis nods and watches Harry’s friends playing in the snow and laughing. He can’t help but smile and Harry does also... Louis’ sure Harry’s right... this is a little piece of simplicity.

“No one bothers you lads?” Louis is asking while they’re walking now.

“No,” Harry shakes his head, “unless someone is too loud.”

“Sorry,” Niall giggles.

Harry smiles and places his hands in his pockets, “it’s a lot like the theatre for us; we can just be free.”

“But half of these guys are straight,” Louis points and turns back to Harry.

“Most of them,” Harry shrugs, “but... money goes a long ways.”

“I can see that,” Louis smirks while they keep walking through the crunching snow. “Besides the place you took me to, with the lighthouse, I’d have to say this is probably my next favorite.”

“Is it? Harry asks and grins, “good. I hope you get to see a lot of it with me.”

Louis nods and wishes the same; but tomorrow he has to go back to reality... he has to see Alice again. What will Harry do during that time? He knows, but he’s afraid to ask.

It’s past 1 am when they stumble back to Louis’ apartment; Harry’s high and drunk, while Louis is about the same.

He shuts his door while Harry’s taking off his coat and then his shirt. “Thank fuck You have gas.”

Louis snickers and walks to his room, seeing the messy bed; he undresses slowly before he sees Harry in the doorway behind him.

Louis doesn’t have to say anything; Harry walks in, cupping Louis’ cheeks before he kisses him gently.

“No one will ever mean as much to me,” Harry whispers to him. “You know that, right?”

“I do,” Louis says, “I’ve heard you say it when you’re not high.”

Harry smirks and kisses Louis again before he’s pulling him back towards the bed, Louis falling on him.

And Louis doesn’t mind a bit; their bodies are naked against each other’s. Harry’s is rather cold, but Louis can warm him up in no time.

And when Harry’s on his back, his head back into the pillow while Louis is fucking him hard, the sweat on both of them has already appeared.

Harry’s fingernails dig into Louis’ back, his moans filling Louis’ room; and Louis can only sigh and want to release that much quicker.

Soon, Harry’s begging him to, and Louis obliges, his and Harry’s moans echoing in unison.

Louis sighs and stops finally, feeling his body coming down from the high.

Harry only smiles and rubs his fingers through Louis’ fringe, “you should let this grow some, you know.”

Louis smirks and looks back, “maybe I will.”

Harry grins and kisses Louis softly before he’s saying sincerely, “I love you... I know those words can inflict pain and also mend it, but...”

“But it doesn’t matter,” Louis says back quickly, “it’s the purest way to tell someone you love them.”

Harry smiles and sighs, “shouldn’t have dropped out of Columbia, huh?”

“You would’ve done fascinating,” Louis says back seriously, “but... you’re also fascinating at writing plays, and I’m sure poetry.”

“Poetry,” Harry chuckles, “well, plays have to derive from something in our minds.”

“Suppose so,” Louis yawns and lays his head on Harry, knowing he’ll be asleep in no time.

“What are you doing once Alice is gone tomorrow?” Harry whispers.

“Meeting you for your play,” Louis replies, “you know I will.”

“Good,” Harry says back and kisses Louis’ head, wishing he could tell him everything that is going on in his head.

Maybe another day, Harry thinks while he’s doing his best to fall asleep.

He wakes about 3 am, however, and he can’t sleep; he sits up in the bed and lights a cigarette, Louis moving beside him.

“What’s up? Louis asks and rubs his eyes.

“I... I don’t know,” Harry shrugs and stares at his hands, “just wish life were different, Lou.”

Louis sits up, watching Harry light a joint and he sighs, “concealing feelings isn’t the way to do it.”

“You’ve seen me on this... you know by now I don’t conceal shit on this,” Harry looks back and smirks. “It just... opens my mind more.”

“Loads,” Louis snickers before getting quiet. He stares around the dark room, wondering what’s going through that beautiful mind beside him.

“You’ve acted how much of your life?” Harry asks Louis suddenly.

Louis looks a bit taken off guard but he scratches his chin, “uh, a fair bit of it... just didn’t realize I was.”

“Funny how that works,” Harry whispers, “and as long as I can remember, I’ve faked this... I had to... until I got caught.”

“So, you’re more afraid of being caught again,” Louis looks at him.

“By your dad, yeah,” Harry replies seriously, “not mine... yours. I’d lose everything.”

“Are you saying I’m not worth the risk of it all?” Louis asks, though he regrets it.

“I’m not saying that AT ALL,” Harry is quick to reply as he’s staring at Louis, “you are worth that risk... but what would happen to me? I’d end up institutionalized again... and guess who’d get me out.”

“At least he’d get you out,” Louis says softly.

“Not if I was to be with you,” Harry bites his lip, “I don’t think he would... I think he’d leave me...”

“Because he’s threatened by me,” Louis repeats himself again.

“I guess so,” Harry shrugs and hits the joint again before sighing, “I... I don’t know what’s wrong with me.”

“You need to find freedom,” Louis says so quietly that his voice cracks. Harry glances back at him, and Louis’ face doesn’t soften. Harry knows he means it.

Harry hits the joint again, wishing he couldn’t feel what he’s feeling at this very second. He yearns to feel, yet Louis tells him the truth and he can’t help but feel how bad it hurts him.

“What if when Alice leaves, you and I head up the coast,” Louis suggests out of nowhere.

Harry glances back, smiling, “uh, I’d have to put off my Broadway plays, but yeah, it’d be worth it.”

Louis grins, “where to?”

“Where haven’t you been?” Harry asks and winks.

“Pretty much nowhere,” Louis chuckles.

Harry thinks for a moment before grinning, “maybe Rhode Island. It’s not so far away.”

“It’s fucking freezing,” Louis smirks.

“Cold doesn’t bother me,” Harry shrugs, “you’re the wimp here... haven’t been in New York long enough.”

“Doncaster was pretty chilly,” Louis laughs and Harry only grins.

“So,” Harry starts, his voice more serious, “as soon as she leaves?”

“Yeah,” Louis nods, his eyes staying serious, “as soon as she is gone... I promise.”

Chapter Text

Harry's staring out his window that following Monday, knowing he has rehearsal, knowing that Louis is coming to the play... and knowing he will most likely be accompanying Louis to his father's home for dinner sometime this week.

Louis has already mentioned it to Harry once, but Harry hasn't thought twice about it until now. He obviously has known it would come up again, so he wasn't surprised when Louis mentioned it.

He doesn't do much during the day now; he sits and writes on the window sill, wondering what Louis is doing... where he is. He wonders what Alice is saying to him. He wonders if she's kissing him or touching him.

Every day she's in New York feels like a lifetime to Harry at the moment. He can't even sleep anymore... yet, he wonders if he should even mention how he feels to Louis.

He drops his paper and sighs, trying to free his thoughts. He's still got an hour before he's to be at rehearsal for the play that night. He looks around the empty room, feeling the quietness, and it overwhelms him.

He hates it; he hates that Louis isn't sitting on his bed chatting with him, taking the piss out of him, or even kissing him.

He makes the best of the situation though, and smokes a joint before turning on music and going to shower.

His mind doesn't drift from Louis, however; he can't stop thinking about him.

He's dressed and fixing his hair when his front door opens and Ben is coming in.

"Ready?" He asks.

"I am," Harry replies quietly and puts on his coat.

"Hey, you're going to do amazing," Ben tries to encourage him, rubbing his shoulders gently.

Harry nods and quickly walks away, gathering up his bag before walking to the door.

He locks it up and they head downstairs to Ben's car.

Harry stays quiet for most of the drive; Ben goes on about different things with him.

"... He knew you came here with me," Ben finally gets Harry's attention with that statement.

"What?" Harry looks back at Ben, wondering if it was his intent to get his attention.

"You told Louis you came here with me," Ben says again, "so, he knows how old you are."

"Yeah," Harry responds, "well, I didn't see why he shouldn't know."

"Why's that?" Ben asks, "cause you like him. And you didn't want to admit that to me."

"You kinda already knew," Harry is saying casually. "Didn't matter if I said yes."

"I was right," Ben nods, "I did know, yeah. I saw it."

Harry looks out the window and bites his lip, staying quiet now while he's hitting his cigarette.

"What about his fiancée?" Ben asks.

Harry wants to get angry, but he contains himself. "She's here for a little longer, then she's leaving."

"For how long, Harry?" Ben asks softly, "what? 2-3 months and she's back, living here, and then marrying him..."

"How did you know that?" Harry asks quickly.

"Come on... people talk," Ben sighs and shakes his head, "you think that a lot of people don't know his father?"

Harry sits back and stares at the road, "I don't know what happens."

"He still want to see you?" Ben decides to ask.

Harry sighs loudly, "why does it matter? You still see me."

"Yeah, well," Ben says quieter, "I doubt we'll be getting back together."

Harry hates hearing those words because Ben's wife had been one of his closest friends.

"She called you yet?" Ben asks.

"No," Harry replies, "she hasn't surprisingly."

"It's coming," Ben nods, "she'll ask what I talked to you about."

Harry sighs and stares out the window, guilt washing over him; he never had the right to break up their marriage, to break up his friendship.

He stays quiet again for the rest of the trip, and he's sure Ben can feel the tension that Harry's feeling against him now.

When Harry arrives, he's heading in the side door, leaving Ben to catch up.

He's putting his bag down on his changing table and Ben is coming in behind him quickly.

"What?" He asks seriously.

Harry's thankful that no one is around them right now; as if Ben being here all the time isn't enough for everyone to see.

"Nothing," Harry mumbles, "I have rehearsal that I need to get to. Why don't you go find a seat or something?"

"I'm sitting with Louis' father tonight," Ben says casually, making Harry look at him.


"He invited me to," Ben shrugs, though Harry's eyes are staring at him in a way he's never seen. "Harry, I'm serious. Ask him."

Harry shakes his head, "great. I'm not doing the dinner thing tonight. If he wants to talk about my career and all that shit, you go. I'm not."

"Figured you had plans," Ben whispers quietly.

Harry doesn't say a word before he's walking off, heading to the room beside the stage.

When dressing is done, Harry's backstage looking over lines when he sees Louis walking up.

"Hey," Harry smiles at him, "good to see you."

"You as well," Louis says softly.

Harry looks around for Alice and doesn't see her.

"She's in the balcony with Meredith," Louis tells Harry.

"Ah," Harry nods and tries to smile. "Guessing Ben is keeping you company?"

"Yeah," Louis sighs and rolls his eyes, "I don't know why my dad likes him so much."

"Maybe he feels like Ben is the closest to family that I have, so," Harry says and shrugs some, "you never know."

Louis looks at him confused, "did he say that?"

"No," Harry looks up, "but since he's trying to get my mum and sister here, I just kind of figured."

Louis licks his lips and looks around at everyone hurrying about.

"See you later?" Harry asks softly, "like tonight?"

"Yeah," Louis nods, his eyes staying on Harry's, "about 9."

Harry nods and smiles some, "I've gotta... you know..."

"Right, see you after the play," Louis grins and heads off for the stairs beside the stage.

Harry sighs and looks over the lines again, his mind suddenly so unclear.

But once he's onstage, Harry is Harry; he does every line flawlessly, and of course receives a standing ovation.

He's smiling when he's walking offstage with the cast; he wipes his forehead and sighs.

"Good job," Ben is smiling at him from his table.

Harry takes a deep breath, "Thanks. Jesus. It was hot tonight."

Ben grins and stands back, letting Harry find his clothes to change.

It isn't long before Louis is backstage as well while Harry's in the bathroom.

"He's changing," Ben speaks up.

Louis nods and stays quiet while he looks around.

"I heard your dad was trying to get his mum here," Ben says, "I think that's amazing."

Louis looks over at him, "uh, yeah, well, I think they deserve to be here with him. Was easy to talk him into it. He loves Harry."

Ben nods, "he does. He's hard not to love."

Louis tries to smile while he's wishing Harry would hurry his ass up.

Harry finally walks up with his bag. He smiles immediately at Louis. "Hey. You going to dinner?"

"No, taking Alice back," Louis replies seriously. Harry nods some, wishing Ben wasn't sitting next to them.

Harry grabs Louis' arm and walks a few feet away. "Is she ok with that?"

"Yeah," Louis smiles, "she wants to get up early tomorrow and see New York. So, I'm good."

"Great," Harry nods and grins even wider. "I'll give you some of my shit so you don't crash later."

Louis chuckles before he's regaining his composure, "uh, I'll see you at yours in about 40 minutes."

"Ok," Harry nods and smiles, "bye."

Louis waves and walks off slowly while Harry's going back and gathering his things.

"He's coming now," Ben says softly.

Harry shakes his head, "I've gotta go. Ben, I'll call you. You know I will. Just... let me go enjoy this one night."

"I didn't say anything," Ben almost laughs, "go. Have fun. I'll see you later."

Harry nods and takes off quickly, heading out the stage door and going to hail a cab back to his place.

His phone is ringing when he walks in and he's going to answer it as quick as possible.

"Gemma, oh my god," Harry is almost exclaiming when he hears his sister's voice on the line. "What the fuck..."

"Thought I'd call for a minute or 2," Gemma tells him, "seems that guy is moving fast... they said we would be in New York by next week."

Harry's eyes widen even more as his dimples deepen, "really? What... what did mum say?"

"She's so excited," Gemma sighs and giggles some, "it'll be great seeing you again, Harry."

"It'll be great to see you both," Harry says quieter, his eyes stinging.

"Can't wait to meet this guy," she giggles some.

"Oh, god," Harry sighs and falls on his back, knowing he has to introduce them to Louis... he just has to.

"Well, you haven't mentioned much about his background," Gemma states.

Harry bites his lip, "you'll see when you get here. It's not easy, Gem."

"I get that," she whispers before sighing, "ok, well, guess I'll try to sleep now before mum is yelling at me for being on this. I love you."

"I love you, too," Harry says softer, "tell mum I love her very much."

"You know I will," Gemma says with a smile in her voice.

Harry reluctantly hangs up the phone before he's sighing and staring at the ceiling. He can't believe they'll be here so soon... and he'll have to continue to act in more ways than one.

He gets up and lights a joint as he starts thinking about pushing Ben out of his life while his mum and sister settle in; the last thing they need to see is Ben visiting him all the time.

Harry knows his mum is not an idiot... he knows she will guess the truth, if she hasn't already.

Ben's not much of a secret to people that know Harry so well. He's always around, he's constantly begging to be alone with Harry... Harry gets how obvious it looks... and he doesn't want Louis wrapped up in the same lifestyle.

Yet, he can't tell Louis no. He wants to be with Louis as much as Louis wants to be with him.

He takes a seat on his bed, staring out his window, his mind lost in thought again.

On one hand, Harry wishes he could just have fun with Louis... not have to feel something for him. He knows it would make this entire situation easier.

Why him, Harry thinks. Why did Louis choose him? Why did he want Harry to show him everything? Why did he want Harry to be the first?

Harry bites his lip and hears a knock from the door. He gets up slowly, knowing Louis is already here.

"It's unlocked," he calls from his doorway.

He watches Louis walking in and closing the door back behind him, then his blue eyes are meeting Harry's.

Harry's standing there, cigarette in hand with nothing on but his flannel pants now.

"You got here pretty fast," he speaks up, breaking the sudden tension in the room.

"Yeah, uh, she took a cab," Louis nods and looks around Harry's kitchen.

"You can, you know, come to my room," Harry smirks at him.

Louis tries to smile as he follows Harry into the messy room. "Didn't take long to get this way again."

"Happens when I'm trying to find clothes," Harry shrugs and walks to the window.

"You need a bigger space," Louis grins and takes a seat on Harry's bed.

Harry smiles some, "I do, yeah. Maybe I should buy me a fancy uptown apartment."

"You'd hate it and you know it," Louis smirks.

"Ben's is nice," Harry shrugs, "it's not like yours. But it's bigger than this."

"He lives in the apartment building a few blocks down from me, yeah," Louis states.

Harry looks surprised for a moment. "How'd you know that?"

"My dad," Louis replies and stares at Harry, "I mean, he talks a lot apparently... Ben, I mean. And I ran into him at the store just down from my place and his."

Harry nods and hits his cigarette.

"He's not getting back with his wife, is he?" Louis decides to bring up.

Harry licks his lip before looking back at Louis, "did you really come to my apartment to talk about that, Lou? Is that why you're here?"

Louis stays quiet for a long pause; he buries his hands between his legs before saying softly, "I came here to be with you actually."

Harry looks to be reading Louis for a moment, but Louis knows what Harry will see... he'll see the truth he has just spoken.

Harry finally gets up, putting out his cigarette, then taking a seat next to Louis, no space between them.

Louis can't help but stare at Harry next to him, the way his eyes look in the dim light. His hair is messy again and ruffled up and it's almost too much for Louis.

"What'd you have in mind?" Harry asks quietly and places his hand on Louis' thigh.

Louis swallows hard and wants to sigh; he isn't sure why he still acts the way he does when Harry touches him. They've done it so many times now, and yet, Harry's touch is like a drug to him.

"Just you," Louis finally gets out before he's pulling Harry in and kissing him hard.

And Harry wastes no time taking the wheel; he starts undressing Louis as quickly as possible, then he's pulling his own pants off before he's climbing in the bed, Louis lying down on his back as he stares at Harry.

Harry leans in and kisses him, Louis sighing and moaning in his mouth.

Harry runs his fingernails roughly down Louis' side before he's gripping his thigh and pulling his leg up.

Louis leans his head back into the pillow as Harry's lips are moving down his neck and he's positioning himself between Louis' legs.

Harry enters Louis, watching his face closely to make sure he's ok before moving.

Then, he's slowly thrusting into him, his hand gripping Louis' thigh as he leans down and kisses over Louis' chest slowly.

"Fuck," Louis moans out. He's louder than he should be, but he really doesn't care; he's wanted this again for too long.

Harry speeds up, his eyes burning into Louis' the entire time. Neither of them have to say a word... they both can see it.

Soon, Harry has Louis on his stomach as he's fucking him into his mattress; Louis' fingers only grip the pillow as he's whimpering underneath Harry.

And Harry won't lie: he loves to hear Louis whimper.

He leans down and kisses over the back of his neck before biting it lightly.

He starts fucking Louis even harder, causing the entire bed to shake while Louis is moaning.

Harry feels himself hitting the edge and he leans down, biting Louis' neck as he's fucking him.

Louis whimpers even louder as Harry is finishing; and for a moment, Louis wishes time would stand still. This is too good... he wants this to last.

Harry finally sighs and kisses Louis' cheek gently before he's getting up slowly, Louis glancing back at him.

Harry only smiles and walks out of the room. Louis is still breathing hard as he tries to get up.

Harry lights a cigarette as he comes back into the room a few minutes later. Louis sits against the headboard staring at him.

"Think you'll be sore after that?" Harry asks with a smirk.

"Possibly," Louis replies, "most likely."

Harry grins and sits down slowly, sighing as he leans his head back.

"This isn't... this won't turn into just sex, will it?" Louis decides to ask all of a sudden.

Harry's eyes open and he glances back, "what?"

"I mean, that almost felt like," Louis starts but stops himself, "never mind."

"Like what?"

"Like we were just having fun again," Louis shrugs and doesn't look at Harry. "Like when I first met you, and neither of us really knew how the other felt."

Harry bites his lip and looks down at the covers. "I... I didn't mean for it to..."

"Are you going to try to bury what you feel for me?" Louis interrupts as he's quickly looking at Harry again.

"No," Harry whispers out, "Lou, I don't really know what to do honestly. I... I can bury a lot of feelings, but..."

Louis watches as Harry stops and keeps his eyes on the bed.

"Can I ask you something?" Louis says softly and lights a cigarette before he's leaning down in the bed.

"I suppose."

"Your dad beat the shit out of you before he had you committed," Louis starts, though he hates saying the words, "who... who was it that you were seeing? I had assumed it was Ben."

"Ben?" Harry asks and looks back at Louis, "uh, wow. You thought I was already having an affair with him that young?"

"I did," Louis nods, "you told me it was an older lad..."

"He was," Harry replies, "but it wasn't Ben. His name was Chris. We were... well, we were really good friends."

"I'd say so," Louis smirks. "Where is he now?"

"England, I guess," Harry shrugs, "I don't know. He wanted to explore the world. He could be anywhere. That was his dream."

"Did he want you to go with him?" Louis asks slowly.

Harry smiles a little, "uh, it came up once, yeah. We talked about leaving when I was 18 and sort of just making our way somewhere else."

"He was a lot older than you," Louis whispers and keeps his eyes on Harry. "How'd you know him?"

Harry licks his lips and stutters out, "he was our neighbor actually. He had just moved there when I first met him. We hit it off right away."

"Did your dad know it was him?"

"No," Harry shakes his head and sighs, "he didn't know it was Chris. He assumed it was someone I was friends with. That's what I told him. I wouldn't tell him it was Chris. He would've killed him."

"Really?" Louis asks seriously.

Harry glances at him, "he beat me, Lou... what do you think he would've done to him?"

Louis looks away before hitting his cigarette.

And Harry stays silent for several seconds, not knowing what to say.

"Did... did Ben know about him?" Louis finally speaks up again. "Did he know Chris and you..."

"He knew after I was put into the institution," Harry replies. "He met Chris twice, I think."

"You haven't heard from him since then?" Louis decides to ask.

"I talked to him before I left England," Harry looks at Louis, "uh, he didn't want me to come obviously... but, I was sold on the idea of being an actor and entertaining people. So, we said our goodbyes and I haven't heard from him since."

"Surprising," Louis says softer, "seems like anyone in their right mind would want to stay in touch with you."

Harry smirks a little and almost blushes before he's sighing, "eh, well, sometimes it's for the best, you know?"

Louis glances back at him and Harry grins some and touches Louis' cheek gently; he stops and looks away again, wishing he really could bury what he's feeling.

"So," Louis starts after clearing his throat, "why did... did Ben say he almost lost his license over you?"

Harry looks surprised at the question; he looks at Louis confused, then shakes his head. "He said that?"

"He did," Louis replies.

"He... he technically could've," Harry shrugs and grabs the cigarettes, "Lou, I didn't force him to do anything he hadn't wanted to do since I was younger."

"That's fucking creepy, Harry," Louis says with a stern voice, "I mean, it makes me want to vomit."

Harry looks at the covers again while he bites his lip, not really knowing what to say.

"Can I ask you something?" Harry looks at Louis again.

Louis nods some.

"What do you really think of me?" Harry asks, his voice sincere and his face almost showing hurt. "Honestly, louis."

"Do you think that I think badly of you?" Louis asks confused.

"Sort of," Harry mumbles out.

"I... I don't, Harry," Louis sighs and sits up. He runs his fingers through his fringe before he's starting again, "I... I think there's so much to you... so much that I will never even know."

Harry stays still, his eyes staying off on the window and the light coming through it.

"I think that...," Louis stutters, "you have this... this overwhelming desire to be loved by someone and taken care of... but, you don't have that, so you spend your time with other men because you don't want to be alone."

Harry almost smirks before biting his lip, his eyes never breaking from the snow that's falling.

"It doesn't make me think badly of you," Louis whispers, "I think if I were in your shoes, and I had come to America under the circumstances you did, I think that I would absolutely hate being alone as well."

"Why?" Harry looks back.

Louis shrugs, "you were young, Harry. You must've missed home and everyone you knew. I'd find it hard to live here and not know anyone."

"I knew Ben," Harry mumbles, "and I met Nick right away thankfully."

"Well, at least you can make friends easily," Louis smiles some, "I mean, I'm here."

Harry grins and pulls the covers up further.

"I also think that you have a good heart, Harry," Louis states seriously, "and I think you do try to bring everyone you know happiness. But sometimes, I think you forget about your own happiness."

"Why do you say that?" Harry asks quietly.

"Are you really happy?" Louis' blue eyes stay on Harry's.

"I'd have to say that I'm happier than I've been in a really long time," Harry confesses, "yeah. I think I'm happy."

"Would you still be just as happy if I did end up marrying her and I could only see you every so often?" Louis asks even if the words cut deep.

"Anytime with you is time I would cherish," Harry answers, his voice almost cracking.

Louis wants to cry at Harry's words, but he holds himself together.

"So, do you have rehearsals tomorrow?" Louis decides to bring up. He needs to enlighten the mood.

"Uh, yeah, we're meeting at the theatre," Harry sighs and starts climbing down in the bed. He props his head on his hand while he's staring at Louis.

"My dad wants you to have dinner with us again," Louis mentions softly.

"Yeah, been waiting for this conversation," Harry smirks and sighs. "At his house?"

"Yeah," Louis nods, "he... he wants Ben to come."

"Yeah, no," Harry quickly says, "sorry. I'll come, but no."

"That's fine," Louis whispers, "I'd rather him not come."

"Just don't mention it and he'll never know," Harry starts, "but if your dad asks him personally, I can't stop that."

"I really don't know why my dad likes him," Louis shakes his head.

"Meredith," Harry grins a little, "she loves his work. She always has."

"Guess you'd know since you know her," Louis looks at Harry and says, "does she... does she guess that you're not... straight?"

Harry almost looks amused as he lies back on his pillow, "uh, yeah, I think she does. She's never said so personally to me. Sometimes people don't have to say anything though, do they? You just see it."

"She sees it on me, then as well," Louis says in almost a whisper.

Harry glances at him. "She wouldn't say a word, Lou. She isn't like that."

"I know," Louis nods slowly, "she figured me out pretty quickly, I think."

Harry smiles, "so did I. Took me what? A few hours? Minutes?"

Louis almost blushes as he starts laying down. "Minutes probably."

Harry grins before he's sighing and closing his eyes. "Will I see you tomorrow?"

"Yeah, if you want to have dinner with us," Louis replies.

Harry nods, feeling how exhausted his body is now; he closes his eyes and can't say another word before falling asleep.

The next morning, he wakes up to Louis next to him still; it's going on 9, Harry thinks.

He rubs his eyes and gets up slowly, wondering if anyone would be expecting Louis to be at home at this particular time.

He doesn't want to wake him... he wants him to stay, even if it means his dad gets pissed because he couldn't get in touch with him.

Besides, Harry knows William loves him... he wouldn't have a problem with it if he knew Louis had been with Harry and they had just spent time going over plays.

Harry smirks some, knowing he has Louis' father around his finger right now... he isn't sure why he finds it funny. He knows there's so much at stake if his father does find out.

Yet, part of Harry has begun to not care anymore.

He puts on a record in his small living area before he's going to make coffee.

It's classical music, so Harry's not sure if it'll wake Louis or not; he doesn't want him to wake at all.

He makes his coffee and walks in the living area, glancing into his room where Louis is still sleeping sound.

He sighs, pushing his hair back and wishing he knew exactly what to do about this situation. He knows what his heart is telling him to do... he only wishes he could listen to it.

His front door opens and in walks Ben, Harry turning his back immediately and rolling his eyes.

"Sorry to just drop by..."

"What are you doing here?" Harry asks and crosses his arms. "Louis is here. What do you want?"

"I just wanted to see you... and bring you these tickets to one of the other theatre shows," Ben says and extends 2 tickets to Harry. "Thought you'd like to see it."

Harry looks at the tickets, then back at Ben, "if you're trying to do all of this on purpose, it's not going to work."

"What?" Ben asks.

"The flowers, now these tickets," Harry states irritably, "Ben, if this is because of him, it needs to stop now, alright? I'm not... I'm not leaving here with you. I'm not moving in with you. You can't move in with me."

Ben licks his lips and buries his hands in his coat pocket before smiling a little, "I get it. I do. It's fine. You just call me whenever you're ready."

Harry stares at him with a confused expression; he expected Ben to be more upset than what he's showing.

"I'll talk to you later today," Ben whispers while he's glaring in Harry's eyes... and Harry can feel the tension in the room all of a sudden, though he isn't sure why there is. There's never really been too much tension between he and Ben.

Harry watches Ben opening the front door and walking out slowly before he's sighing with relief.

He sits the tickets down on the countertop and stares back at the door again, wondering what exactly is going on with Ben now... and why he hadn't reacted differently to what he said to him.

He pushes his hair back and walks to the doorway of his room to see Louis awake and smoking a cigarette.

"You were quite the bitch to him," Louis speaks up, smiling at Harry immediately.

Harry only grins and his dimples deepen, "yeah, well, I'm sick of his shit. I'm sick of him showing up whenever he likes. And... he's only buying shit now because... well, you already know."

"Because he doesn't want you anywhere near me," Louis nods. "Tell me... would he... ever blow my cover?"

Harry stares at Louis for a long pause before saying softly, "he wouldn't do that to me or you, even... and he would have no right blowing your cover because his could be blown as well. You have more power than him... you have more say."

"So, you're saying that... if it came down to my word against his, they'd believe me over him?" Louis asks.

Harry shrugs some, "I would think so, given who your dad is. But... I don't know. Suppose it all depends on the situation."

Louis nods some and hits the cigarette while Harry's slowly taking a seat on the bed.

"Why didn't you wake me sooner?"

"I... I kinda didn't want you to leave," Harry replies and glances at Louis, "I mean, I know that was selfish of me, but I thought that if your dad knew you were with me, he wouldn't mind and all."

"He won't," Louis says quieter, "Alice won't either. She loves you as well."

Harry tries to smile, "they usually do. Not sure why."

"You're gorgeous," Louis chuckles, "it's easy to see why."

Harry shrugs and smiles, "never cared, so wouldn't know."

"You must think you look good to men," Louis whispers.

"I suppose I do," Harry says as if he's thinking out loud. "Yeah, I guess. I mean, why else would they want me?"

"It's the same for girls," Louis says, "they think you're pretty handsome."

Harry snorts and nods, "yeah, I get that. I've had several actresses ask me out. Crazy, right?"

"You never went out with any of them?" Louis smirks.

"No," Harry glances back and smiles a little, "some of them were a bit offended."

"Wow," Louis chuckles and shakes his head. He looks back at Harry while he's asking quietly, "what about actors?"

"There's been a few," Harry shrugs some, "not many."

"Knew that," Louis nods a little.

"Why?" Harry glances at him, "cause you just assume I do it with everyone?"

"No," Louis replies quickly, "I don't think that, Harry. Jesus. I do, however think you have used it a long time in an effort to cope with feelings you can't show."

Harry looks back at him. "Sometimes you can only show yourself in one way, Lou. That's what this life teaches you. Since we're not straight, we keep in a lot of feelings we should show. And some of us only ever get to bring those feelings out when doing something with someone."

"Funny... this life has been teaching me to appreciate all the time you get with the one you love," Louis almost whispers. "Maybe that's only wishful thinking."

"That's because you love me," Harry states softly, staring down at his hands, "you long for the moments you can be with me. Not everyone has someone else, Lou. In fact, I never have. Yeah, I've had 'friends'..."

"Just not someone real," Louis nods and states softly, "makes sense."

"Closest I had to real was Chris," Harry whispers, "now, well... you. I'm... I'm not sure Chris really counted."

Louis smirks a little and looks around Harry's room, "got any of his photos?"

Harry points to his dresser drawer, "top right. I was like 17 in the photo though."

Louis looks through them, smiling at the younger Harry. He stops when he sees Harry and an older guy with blonde hair.

"He was definitely... uh, a few years older," Louis stutters.

Harry smirks, "you can say he's ugly, Lou."

Louis laughs some and sticks the photos back in the drawer, the last one of Harry and Ben getting his attention.

He pushes it out of his mind and collapses back on Harry's bed, watching him, "so, when it does get warmer, what exactly do you lads go and do?"

"Uh, what you and I talked about," Harry glances at him, "we go to the park... we take the occasional ferry... we enjoy New York to the fullest extent."

"I want to experience that with you one day," Louis whispers while he's staring at Harry.

"You've promised me," Harry points at him and smiles a little.

Louis nods with a wide grin before he's frowning, "oh, shit."


"Alice," Louis sighs and stands up, "she wants to see New York today."

"She's probably called your place a dozen times," Harry snickers while Louis is walking to his phone. Harry covers his mouth, "sorry."

Louis smiles and sighs, listening to the ring. He tells the hotel clerk the room number while Harry's sitting on the bed, his eyes on Louis.

He wonders how Louis feels right now... having to call her while he's here with him.

"Alice, hey," Louis is saying quietly as Harry bites his lip and gets up, walking out of the room to give Louis privacy.

He drinks his coffee slowly while he's staring out his living room window, seeing snow falling again.

He bites his lip, wondering what spring will really bring for he and Louis both; will they move the wedding to May?

Harry's surprised when he hears Louis behind him only a few minutes later. "sorry. Had to explain."

Harry forces a smile and shrugs, "tell me she at least believed you."

"She did," Louis nods and grins, "I told her I crashed with you because you were going over a play."

Harry smiles, "good work, I suppose. Uh, guess you've gotta go?"

Louis crosses his arms and walks to the window, "I told her I'd meet her in a few hours... about noon. Told her I had forgotten I had made breakfast plans with you and some of your friends."

"Jesus," Harry chuckles as he's watching Louis, "you're getting incredibly good at this acting thing."

"You're a good teacher," Louis glances back and says, his face serious.

Harry's smile fades and he's looking away from Louis' gaze again, wishing he could just scream out everything he feels.

"Harry," Louis whispers, watching Harry twiddling his rings and staring out the window, "whatever does happen, I don't regret this."

Harry smirks some, wanting to break... but he won't. "Lou, I know that."

"I wanted to make sure," Louis sighs, "I'm not marrying her in May."

Harry glances at him, his face serious again, "so, you keep it for the summer... you only add 2 months, Lou."

"That's 2 more months I have to be here with you," Louis says in almost a begging tone. "And you can still stay with me."

"You don't think she'd want you and her to move in together?" Harry asks.

Louis glances back immediately, "no, I don't think she would. She's never been like that."

"Yeah, well, New York has a way of changing people," Harry whispers, "she could act like someone completely different here."

Louis stays quiet, knowing Harry's right.

"You went back to her hotel," Harry speaks up finally, "I mean, come on."

"I... we didn't," Louis starts and stops himself. He sighs and shakes his head, "I... I couldn't."

"You turned her down?" Harry asks, his eyes not breaking from Louis.

"I did," Louis replies and lets out a deep breath, "I just... I couldn't."

"What did she say?" Harry asks, his eyes studying Louis closely.

"Not much. I... I just told her I wanted to wait until we were married," Louis shrugs, "I must've sold it well because she said she understood."

"Did she though?" Harry asks quietly.

"I really don't know," Louis stares back at him, "I'm crazy, right? Probably the only guy that has turned down premarital sex... at least a lad who's supposed to be straight."

Harry nods some, "why do you think she tried? She's not stupid by any means. She's very outgoing, Lou."

"Yeah... funny thing is, she wasn't like this when I left," Louis states, "she was a lot... well, quieter. She read books constantly."

"Explains her love for astronomy," Harry smirks at him, "you've been here, she's been there. Do you think that maybe she changed? Maybe she's actually... more like the girls here in New York."

Louis stares at Harry before saying, "you mean, she's turned into...."

"Not what I meant at all," Harry is quick to laugh. He gets up and stretches some, "I didn't mean she had turned into a whore, Lou. No. I just meant... maybe she's not as conservative as she once was."

"That's not good news for me," Louis mumbles out and rolls his eyes. Harry can't help but laugh a little at him when he says it and Louis looks offended. "I can't possibly see what's funny about this situation."

"You're not straight at all," Harry blurts out and covers his mouth as he's laughing. "I'm sorry..."

Louis rolls his eyes again and shakes his head while Harry's trying to contain his snickers now.

"Which part made you think I wasn't straight? When I let you fuck me or when I turned her down?" Louis asks sarcastically.

"The fact that you're really not looking forward to her trying to kiss you and shit," Harry chuckles, "it's just... funny. I'm sorry. It would be my reaction as well."

"I think you could compose yourself better," Louis says with a smirk, "you've mastered acting, remember?"

"Yeah, well, I don't think I could act and have sex with a woman," Harry laughs some. "No thanks."

"Surprised you haven't done everything," Louis says quieter. "You've had to fake this shit well."

"Well, other than people asking me about dates, it's never really been an issue," Harry shrugs some, "I tell people what they want to hear."

"Which is what?" Louis asks with a smirk.

"Yeah, I've fucked around," Harry replies and looks back at Louis, "technically, I'm not lying."

"You're not," Louis nods and says softly. "So, that makes you New York's most eligible bachelor, yeah?"

"Uh," Harry laughs, "I don't really care what they say, Lou."

"I know you don't," Louis replies, "I just... find it funny that this city has no idea who you are."

Harry grins from ear to ear, "I like to call it: Heaven in Hiding. That's my title for it... and who knows... maybe I'll even write a play about it."

Louis bites his lip as his face falls serious, "you'd write a play about what exactly?"

"Just... being different," Harry responds and glances at Louis before looking away, "I've felt like the story has always been in me, but I've just been putting it off."

"I'm sure it would turn out stunning," Louis whispers and touches Harry's arm gently.

Harry stares back at him, the room falling silent.

"What made you choose me?" Harry asks quieter.

Louis almost smirks, "what?"

"What made you want me?" Harry asks, his face serious, "was it my personality? What?"

"Why are you asking?" Louis stares at him confused. "Does it really matter?"

"It kinda does to me," Harry answers with a nod. "I mean, I just..."

Louis watches Harry pausing and laughing softly.

"I don't understand what made you, the DA's son, want me," Harry admits and looks back at Louis, his eyes showing nothing but honesty.

"I may be the DA's son," Louis starts, rolling his eyes, "but... that doesn't dictate who I am as a person, Harry. You, of all people, should know that."

"And I do know that," Harry says back immediately before sighing, "I just meant... why did it have to be someone like him? I mean, this all would've been much easier if you were a normal student from Columbia."

Louis licks his lips and stares down at his feet, "normalcy. Yeah, it would be great to have."

Harry sighs and runs his fingers through his hair, "I didn't mean it in a bad way, Lou. You know that."

"No, I get it," Louis looks back, "this is too much pressure for you and you can't take it, can you?"

"I never said that," Harry's voice cracks, "and that's really not what I meant...."

"Are you afraid to feel for me?" Louis asks quickly, his eyes not breaking from Harry's.

Harry's breathing is heavy as he finally feels every feeling that he's numbed himself to over the years; he can feel his eyes sting while he finally breaks eye contact with Louis.

"I guess that's a yes," Louis manages to whisper, "Harry, it's... it's ok, really. I get why you'd feel that way."

"Do you?" Harry asks and looks back, "do you really understand how hard this is for me?"

Louis bites his lip and nods slowly, "I do. Because... this is really hard for me, too. I... I know that no matter what I ask you to do, I still won't have you."

Harry sniffs some and looks away again as he's lighting a cigarette.

"I'd go anywhere with you," Louis whispers to him, "Harry, I'd do anything for you."

"I know that," Harry gets out, "and I think that's what scares me the most."

Louis stays quiet as he's burying his hands in his pants. Harry walks by him and goes straight to his room, closing the door behind him.

After he's found his stash of cocaine, he's grabbing a joint and lighting it.

"Harry," Louis is sighing on the other side of the door. "Come on. Let me in."

Harry finally unlocks the door before he's going back to the window sill, Louis staring at him.

He walks in slowly, seeing the bag of cocaine on Harry's dresser. He licks his lips and makes his way over to the opposite side of the window.

Harry offers the joint to him and Louis is gladly taking it.

"Sorry," Harry mumbles out, "that was really childish of me."

"No, you only proved what I already thought," Louis chuckles softly. Harry looks at him confused and Louis only smiles, "you're more like a woman than I thought."

Harry can't help but laugh and Louis only smiles at him as he does. He wishes he could always make Harry laugh and smile this way.

"Yeah," Harry finally says as he's chuckling, "guess I can be a bit dramatic."

"A bit?" Louis smirks.

Harry only grins and looks out the window again, silence falling around them.

"It's so unfair," Louis finally says minutes later, and several hits later.

"What?" Harry asks softly.

"This fucking life," Louis replies and sighs, "honestly, why is there only one level of normalcy? There isn't."

"No, there's not," Harry whispers back, "a certain lifestyle will always be favored over any other. I mean, how else would others go on and live."

Louis looks back at Harry and says seriously, "I'd rather never have kids and spend all my years with you."

"It wouldn't bother you if there wasn't another Tomlinson to carry on the name?" Harry asks confused.

"It's only a name," Louis sighs, "and honestly, I'd rather it die with me."

"Your dad isn't that bad," Harry softly says, "he loves you, I'm sure."

"I really wouldn't know," Louis replies and rubs his hands together, "don't honestly care."

Harry nods and looks out the window. "I feel the same about mine, trust me. Although, I'm sure I hate mine more."

"You probably do," Louis says in almost a whisper, "do you even know if he's still alive?"

Harry nods some, "he's alive. He lives in London."

"Oh," Louis mumbles and looks around the room.

"I'm starved. You want breakfast? I could cook," Harry offers.

"Yes, please," Louis replies almost too eagerly.

Harry chuckles and puts out the joint before he's getting up and heading in the kitchen.

Louis lights a cigarette and watches him cook, talking with him, laughing with him.

And he suddenly stops and wishes his life could consist of this every single day. Why can't he just stay here? In this tiny little apartment with this beautiful, young man from Broadway.

Why can't life be more fair, he thinks.

He watches the way Harry talks while he's cooking; how he'll stick his tongue in between his teeth while he's so easily making eggs for them.

He makes it all look so flawless, Louis can't help but think.

They sit on Harry's bed, eating and laughing with one another... and this is all Louis wants.

This is all Harry wants.

That afternoon, Harry is once again dressed up and heading across town to the Tomlinson mansion.

He has so many thoughts going through his mind as they get closer; he knows Ben will be here, and Alice.

He hits his cigarette and leans his head against the window as he tries to contain his nerves.

The taxi comes to a stop in front of the house, and Harry gets out slowly, fixing his suit.

"Hey," Louis smiles at him from the steps.

"Hey," Harry grins and places his hands in his pockets. He looks around before he's walking up the steps.

"I'm sorry about Ben," Louis whispers.

"It's fine," Harry smiles at him, "really. I... I kinda figured your dad would ask him himself."

"Yeah, my dad is bad about that," Louis sighs and shakes his head. "He's rather annoying."

"Your dad or Ben?" Harry asks and smirks.

"I meant Ben, but it works for both," Louis chuckles, "uh, Ben just keeps going on about your career. He hasn't talked much about his own. It's rather odd."

"He's having a hard time with his next book," Harry finds himself saying before he knows it. He bites his lip and looks at Louis, "that's... that's just what he told me. He said he needed a break from writing for a few weeks."

"Right," Louis nods and looks amused for a moment.

"Harry, come in," Alice calls from the door with a huge smile on her face.

"Uh, was just about to," Harry smiles at her and looks at Louis who is walking in behind him.

Louis gently touches Harry's back before he's going to the dining room.

"Sorry if I'm late," Harry tries to smile at Louis' father, although he can see Ben grinning at him from beside him.

"No, you're not," William says, "we just sat down. Have a seat, Harry."

Alice motions for Harry to sit next to her, across from Ben. Harry doesn't want to, but he does; he can see Louis staring at him from the other side of Alice.

They talk mostly about upcoming plays, Harry sharing which ones he wants to see.

Louis watches Harry laughing with his father and he can't look away, even though he knows he should.

He even sees Ben staring at him from across the table, but Louis still keeps his eyes on Harry.

"I actually bought tickets for that play," Ben is speaking up just seconds later as he's chatting with Meredith.

Harry's eyes dart in his direction quickly and Louis notices.

"Oh, it's going to be amazing," Meredith smiles at Harry. "I suppose you're going?"

"I bought us tickets," Ben nods and glances at Harry.

Harry wants so badly to let his anger get the best of him, but he doesn't. He forces a smile and picks up his wine. He can even see Louis glancing at him.

"Uh, yeah, Ben can usually get really great seats," Harry manages to say after he's sat his empty glass down.

"Is your wife accompanying you? I'd love to see her again," Meredith brings up.

Louis almost snorts, and Harry smiles for a second before he's eating something quickly.

"Uh, no, she is staying with her sister right now," Ben smiles and picks up his wine, glaring up at Harry.

Harry only holds his gaze for a second before he's staring at his plate again.

They sit and chat after dinner, Harry on his 5th glass of wine.

He excuses himself to the bathroom and walks upstairs, looking around the hallways.

"It's on the left," Louis speaks up from behind him.

Harry looks at him surprised before he's opening the door on the left. He holds it open for Louis, and Louis doesn't think twice.

He closes the door behind him before Harry's grabbing him and kissing him hard, both of them stumbling back against the countertop.

"What are you doing?" Louis barely whispers.

"Sorry," Harry says quietly, staring in Louis' eyes, "I just... I miss you."

"I just saw you a few hours ago... and I'm coming tonight," Louis whispers.

"I... I know," Harry stutters, "Lou, don't let Ben get under your skin."

"He's not," Louis sighs and wraps his arms around Harry's waist. "I know he's being an asshole because he can."

"I just wanted to make sure," Harry gets out, "I know he does this shit on purpose..."

"It's not a big deal," Louis interrupts before he's gently caressing Harry's cheek, "really. He's not bothering me."

"Ok," Harry sighs and leans his head against Louis'. "This is fucking horrible. I hate this."

"So do I," Louis manages to say as he pulls Harry closer. He closes his eyes and sighs. "Heaven in hiding, right?"

Harry sniffs and nods into Louis' shoulder, "yeah... heaven in hiding can also hurt like hell."

Louis falls speechless at Harry's words. Instead he only holds him as tight as possible, his head against Harry's.

"I've gotta get downstairs," Louis whispers, even though he doesn't want to say the words.

Harry nods and lets him go. "Sorry. Didn't mean to keep you."

"It's ok," Louis says and kisses Harry gently, "don't apologise."

Louis walks out and Harry closes the door, leaning his head against it, closing his eyes and trying not to break.

Harry walks back downstairs and sees Louis, William and Ben in front of the fireplace smoking and drinking.

"Harry," Alice speaks up from the bottom of the steps. "How have you been?"

Harry looks at her and forces a smile, "I've been brilliant. How about you? Have you enjoyed New York?"

"I have so far," she smiles, "your shows have been brilliant."

"Better than London?" Harry asks with a small smirk.

"Much," she nods, "don't see your type of talent there."

"I'll take that as a compliment," Harry grins.

"Want me to grab you a drink?" Alice asks with a wide smile.

"Uh, sure. But I can get it..."

"No, I don't mind," she waves Harry off and walks to the kitchen, Harry following behind her.

"So, has Louis asked about you being best man yet?" She asks with a grin while she's pouring Harry's wine.

"No," Harry replies, "uh, we haven't had the chance to talk much about it. He's been assisting me in rehearsals."

Alice smiles and nods, "well, I hope you decide to do it. I know you mean a lot to Louis. Weren't you Ben's best man?"

Harry bites his lip but manages to reply, "yeah, I was."

"He seems very nice," she says and hands Harry the glass of wine.

"He is," Harry smiles, "he's a brilliant writer."

"Yeah, Meredith said the same," Alice grins.

Harry drinks some of the wine before saying, "I'm going to go join them."

Alice nods and Harry's trying to quickly walk off. He joins Louis and his father by the fireplace.

Harry takes a seat on the sofa, Ben on the other end going on about some play Harry had done months ago.

Harry glances at Louis who looks bored as he's hitting his cigarette and rolling his eyes.

An hour later, Harry's telling William and Meredith goodbye.

Louis walks him outside, whispering to him, "I'll see you in less than an hour."

"Ok," Harry whispers back, "can't wait."

Harry walks to the taxi and gets in, biting his lip and fighting every feeling that has resurfaced in him.

He hates it; he didn't want to allow himself to feel for Louis... he didn't want Louis to know how hard this was for him.

Now, Harry knows Louis does know... and Harry only wishes he could bury these feelings again.

Why did he ask to feel?

Harry sits on his bed, smoking a joint in the dark; the only sound that can be heard is his sniffs... and a few seconds later, footsteps.

He closes his eyes and lets his tears fall freely as Louis' arms are wrapping around him from behind and holding him tight.

He rests his head against the back of Harry's, and he breathes in his scent... his mesmerising smell.

His eyes sting while he's holding Harry like this... listening to him finally feeling every feeling he has numbed himself to.

Louis can feel his brokenness... somehow he can.

He kisses Harry's hair and continues holding him, saying nothing.

Harry's hands grip Louis' arms as he leans his head against Louis', tears still falling out of his eyes.

Louis wonders if maybe Harry has finally realised that acting will only get him so far in this life... and that at some point you have to be real and actually feel.

"I'm sorry," Harry finally gets out.

"Don't," Louis sighs and kisses his hair again. "You don't have to apologise for this."

"I just don't understand," Harry sighs and wipes his eyes while he sits up, Louis watching him. "If this is so wrong, then why does it feel so right?"

"I... I really don't know," Louis gets out, "and I wish I did."

Harry sighs and lights a cigarette.

"You love me," Louis says softly.

"You already knew that," Harry whispers.

"Yeah, but... you haven't really allowed yourself to feel," Louis states, "and you know that, Harry."

"It's hard to," Harry admits, glancing at Louis, "like I told you, it would've been easier if you were a normal student."

"Yeah, I get that," Louis nods and sighs, "but I'm not, Harold. And I can't help that. I've already told you, I'd take you anywhere."

"What about Paris?" Harry looks at Louis quickly. "Would you?"

"Paris?" Louis laughs, "uh, do you think that's such a good idea? There's a war."

"Maybe we could just drive upstate," Harry thinks out loud.

"You'd want to do that?" Louis asks in a serious tone.

"What about the falls?" Harry asks and smiles. "Have you ever seen them?"

"I haven't," Louis chuckles some, "why do you want to do this?"

"It would be nice to get away," Harry says and hits his cigarette.


"When I can take a break from the plays," Harry replies, "maybe a month?"

"Uh, ok, yeah. Let's do it," Louis nods, grinning from ear to ear. "Where will we stay?"

Harry thinks for a moment, then grins widely, "ever been camping, Lou?"

"I haven't," Louis replies and laughs. "Oh, Jesus."

"What? Can't be that hard," Harry shrugs.

"You've never been?" Louis smirks.

"Nope," Harry grins, "but I've always wanted to. It would be perfect really. Just the 2 of us."

Louis nods and licks his lips. "Yeah. No one around at all."

"I need to go shopping," Harry opens his nightstand and grabs his paper and pen and starts writing different items down.

"What is that?" Louis chuckles.

"I need to get a tent, some sleeping bags," Harry starts while Louis only laughs. "What? We can do this."

"We're going to do this," Louis says seriously as he gets up in bed by Harry. "I really want to."

"Where will you tell your dad you're going?" Harry asks with a laugh. "Come on. We'll be gone like 2 weeks."

"God, 2 weeks with you near those falls?" Louis asks with a grin, "sounds like heaven."

Harry chuckles, "answer the question."

"I'll tell my dad I'm accompanying you to some sort of theatre thing maybe," Louis shrugs. "Unless Ben wanted to blow our cover."

"He wouldn't," Harry whispers out. "He's not like that."

Louis nods and leans back against the headboard. "He's rather childish about this whole thing, you know."

"Yeah," Harry says, "I don't even understand why. He should really try and work on getting his wife back."

"Yeah, don't think that's happening," Louis says in a sarcastic tone.

"I wish he would. Sarah is beautiful," Harry says quietly, "I feel really bad for her."

"Were you really good friends with her?" Louis asks.

Harry nods, "yeah, I was. Makes this a bit harder, you know."

"I suppose so," Louis whispers as he watches Harry putting out the cigarette.

Harry lies down in the bed, Louis lying down next to him, his head against Harry's.

"I'm glad you're here," Harry mumbles and sighs. "I feel... so more at home."

"So do I," Louis breathes out. "Trust me."

Harry stays quiet for a few minutes until Louis is clearing his throat.

"Do you really want to go camping?" He asks.

Harry smiles instantly, "yeah, I do. I really plan on going camping. 2 weeks with you, yeah."

"It would be amazing," Louis sighs and runs his fingers across Harry's chest slowly, "waking up every morning to the sunrise and you next to me in a small little tent."

Harry snickers some while he's staring at the lights on his ceiling, "think you can manage fishing for yourself?"

"I don't know about that," Louis chuckles.

"We both can learn," Harry shrugs with a grin.

"I look forward to it," Louis manages to say in Harry's ear.

"So do I," Harry sighs out, "promise me we'll fuck every day in that tent."

Louis laughs some, "yeah, I promise."

"If I can go in 3 weeks, I'll let you know," Harry tells him. "I'll buy our shit."

"I'll help," Louis shrugs.

"No, I want to do this for you," Harry looks at Louis and says, "I... I want this to be sort of a gift from me, if that's ok."

"It's fine," Louis smiles beautifully at him, "I'll go anywhere with you Mr. Styles."

Harry grins and turns over, wrapping Louis in his arms tightly; Louis only sighs and lays his head against Harry's chest, wishing he could always feel this being next to him.

Chapter Text

Louis is waking up a few days later, being thankful Alice is leaving New York soon for at least a little while... he hopes for months, however.

He's crawling out of bed and glancing at his clock, knowing he's supposed to meet Alice in just under an hour. He hasn't meant to sleep so long... but after the long night with Harry the night before, Louis is surprised he's even awake at 9 am.

He mindlessly gets ready; he takes a quick shower, finds himself clothes, and is leaving his apartment in under 35 minutes.

Louis has only one thought on his mind: to get this over with.

He sits through brunch with Alice, listening to her going on about patterns and colors for a wedding... their wedding. Louis doesn't really say much. His eyes only glance down at his wine glass every so often.

Alice doesn't even seem to notice how uncomfortable Louis is... and Louis is honestly thankful for that. He doesn't see how Harry could act out this life... he struggles to act for only a couple of hours.

It's going on noon when Louis is leaving Alice with her parents; he tells her he's going to help Harry at rehearsal and that he'll be back in a few hours.

Thankfully, Louis sells it well enough for Alice and her parents to believe him. He breathes a sigh of relief before he's hailing a taxi.

He tells the driver Harry's address and then he sits back in the seat, staring at all of the passing buildings.

His mind wanders back to his and Harry's conversation about camping; he smiles to himself thinking about it.

He honestly can't wait to have Harry all to himself, where no one will find them. There's always doubt in the back of Louis' mind, but he chooses not to listen to it.

He knocks on Harry's door and waits, letting out a deep sigh. He glances back at the door as it comes open... Harry smiles at him beautifully and holds the door for Louis.

"Already back?" He smirks.

Louis shrugs and smiles while Harry is closing the door. "I... I'd rather be here than with her. I'm sorry..."

"Stop," Harry points at Louis, "don't apologize."

"You said you didn't have plans," Louis states.

"I don't," Harry replies while he's walking to the kitchen. He grabs a glass and fills it with water before glancing back at Louis. "Does she act any different around you at all?"

"What do you mean?" Louis asks confused.

"Like she knows something," Harry replies.

"Uh, no," Louis says, "why?"

"I figured if she knew something wasn't right about you that she would know by now," Harry shrugs and drinks the water.

"You mean, you thought she would figure out I'm not straight?" Louis asks.

"Yeah, that," Harry nods.

"What?" Louis laughs, "come on, Harry. I can act the part quite well, thanks."

"I didn't say you couldn't," Harry looks back at him, "I just meant that... sometimes women pick up on things, if you know what I mean."

"I get it," Louis nods and bites his lip, "sort of like Meredith."

"Meredith has been a friend of mine for a while," Harry sighs, "she's... she's been around Ben. She sees it... now anyways."

"She sees what exactly?" Louis crosses his arms. "Does she really think that Ben loves you?"

"She does," Harry looks at Louis, "but not in the way you think."

"What, then?" Louis asks, "because it seems pretty obvious."

Harry smiles for a moment and looks away. "Sometimes when you see something, you only see the surface of it. Do you dig below the surface and figure out what exactly is going on?"

Louis stays quiet as he walks over to Harry slowly.

"Meredith sees Ben as a father figure to me," Harry admits, "she always has... and I don't blame her for that because... she didn't know what was going on between us..."

"So, what exactly?" Louis asks confused.

"She told me that she talked to Ben the other night," Harry looks at Louis, "and that he told her a lot of shit about me."

"What?" Louis' eyes widen. "Are you serious?"

Harry nods and looks away, "I... I didn't mention you when I talked to her..."

"It's ok if you did," Louis sighs and places his arms around Harry, resting his head on his shoulder. "Why didn't you tell me?"

"I talked to her this morning," Harry replies.

"What exactly did he say?"

"He told her that we came here together and... well, he told her the truth about all of it," Harry sighs. "He didn't mention you."

"Why would he risk telling her about you and him?" Louis asks. "It doesn't make sense."

"I honestly don't know," Harry whispers, "maybe he just needed someone to talk to. He did ask her to talk to me... I guess he's desperate."

"You think?" Louis says sarcastically.

Harry sighs and runs his fingers through his hair while he's walking to his room.

Louis slowly follows and finds Harry lighting a joint before sitting down on the window sill.

"So, she thinks that he loves you," Louis says.

"I wouldn't call it love," Harry replies, "she always thought he was a father figure to me... until she saw Ben treating me differently. And I couldn't lie to her. Am I really going to sit back and act as if I'm innocent here? I'm not. Far from it. I asked for it."

"Are you saying you blame yourself?" Louis looks at him confused, "really? Harry, my god, you're young. You're going to make mistakes. He's fucking old and married..."

"He's not old," Harry smirks before sighing. "I get what you mean, Lou. I do. But... I'm old enough to know better. I mean, you're supposed to learn from your mistakes, not repeat them."

"You can't just exactly drop the lad," Louis whispers, causing Harry to look at him. "How long has it been just you and him, Harry? How long has he been around you? For the majority of how many years? By now, he feels like you're family, I'm sure."

"I'm not," Harry states, "his wife is his family. That's who he should've focused on, not me."

"You don't have to get upset," Louis sighs.

"I'm not upset," Harry states and blows out his smoke, "it's fucked up."

"Everything is fucked up," Louis states and sits down on Harry's bed. "The only thing that feels right about all of this is you."

Harry stares back at him, his dimples showing as he smiles, "yeah. Have to say that I agree."

Louis grins while Harry takes a seat by him and offers Louis the joint between his fingers.

"What did Meredith have to say?" Louis asks.

"She already knew," Harry replies, "she's known a while."

"She figured Ben out before he told her?" Louis asks.

"She figured both of us out," Harry looks at Louis. "Which means..."

"She must know about me," Louis sighs.

Harry nods some and looks away, "I'm sorry. I... I didn't mean to cause this..."

"Stop," Louis interrupts, "Harry, it's fine. It's Meredith. You know she won't tell my dad. Maybe that's why Ben told her... he knew that she wouldn't say a word."

"Maybe," Harry sighs, "still though..."

"I knew she'd figure it out sooner or later," Louis admits. "How could she not, right?"

"I don't care that she knows," Harry whispers, his hand touching Louis' leg. "I've known her for a while. I trust her."

Louis nods and looks back at Harry, "have you even had breakfast?"

Harry smirks and looks at his pajama pants, "uh, not yet. Her phone call woke me. Haven't been awake very long."

"Should've known," Louis nods and laughs, "uh, you want to maybe go have lunch?"

Harry grins, "uh, yeah, I'd love that. Let me find some clothes."

Louis smiles and watches Harry going to his closet.

"What were Alice's plans?" Harry asks while he's taking off his pants.

"Uh, sightseeing with her parents," Louis whispers and watches Harry almost too intently.

Harry glances back at him, smirking, "I think someone is a bit too high."

"Me? What? No," Louis grins back at him, "can't help it. You're easy to look at."

"Am I?" Harry asks with a laugh. "Uh, ok."

"You know what I meant," Louis sighs.

"You're very easy to look at," Harry grins at him before he's throwing his clothes on the bed. "Alice doesn't know what she's missing."

Louis grins some as he stares up at Harry.

Harry takes another hit of the joint before putting it out. He glances back at Louis and slowly leans down to kiss him, knocking Louis back on the bed.

Louis doesn't hesitate whatsoever; his hands are roaming over every inch of Harry's body while his tongue is exploring his mouth.

Harry moans a little while he's trying to get Louis' clothes off.

They're throwing all the clothes in the floor within seconds. Then, Harry's lips are meeting Louis' again as his hand is roaming down Louis' body.

Harry pulls his legs apart, Louis only moaning in his mouth at the feel of Harry's touch.

Harry doesn't waste a single second; he covers himself in his lube and buries himself in Louis, making him cry out immediately.

Harry moves slowly at first, then his speed picks up as his lips move down Louis' neck.

Louis tilts his head back and sighs out loud, his fingers running down Harry's back as he's fucking him.

Louis can't understand this... how something could feel so right and yet, be wrong in the face of society. How could it even be possible?

Louis knows without a doubt that he's capable of loving another man... he does. He cares about this person so much that it hurts him on a daily basis.

He doesn't understand what's so wrong about this.

"Fuck, fuck," Harry whispers out before he's coming.

Louis' fingernails dig deep into his back as he moans out, closing his eyes.

Harry finally slows down and sighs, placing his forehead against Louis' shoulder.

"Damn, Styles, you'd think after last night that you'd have more stamina," Louis jokes and messes with his curls.

Harry glances up at him with a smile, "fuck you."

"I love you, too," Louis whispers and grins.

Harry's dimples show while he's getting up slowly.

Harry dresses in his room while Louis is in the bathroom. He slowly starts buttoning up his shirt, his eyes staring off at the streets below.

His mind wanders, and doubt fills it again... he can't help but wonder if their time is going to run out soon. He's felt this way from the moment he decided to be with Louis.

This happiness... this life that he now loves so much, is bound to end, he thinks. He can't always be this happy.

Harry lights another joint and stares outside, biting his lip as he watches all the cars going by.

"What do you think it is about people like us that scares them?" Louis speaks up from the doorway, Harry looking at him immediately.

"People like us?" Harry asks.

"Yeah," Louis nods as he walks over, taking the joint from Harry and leaning against the wall.

"Uh," Harry starts, his eyes staying off, "I don't think we scare them... I think we just sorta gross them out."

Louis chuckles and Harry smiles at him. "They think it's inhuman."

"They do," Harry nods, "but honestly, how can loving someone be inhuman?"

Louis shrugs, "I don't know, love."

Harry shakes his head, "I don't get it. Never have. Something that has always felt so natural to me, you know."

"Yeah," Louis whispers, "you're a wonderful person, Harry. You are. You’re one of the kindest souls I’ve ever met.”

"I've made mistakes just like anyone else," Harry mumbles and stares off again.

"Yeah, well," Louis starts quietly, "not all of us can come to this country easily, can we?"

Harry glances back at him, "I could've found another way."

"It doesn't matter now," Louis states, "it's done and over. Stop focusing on what you could've done. You didn't lead the lad on, Harry. You didn't. It's his fault if he thinks that."

"Is it?" Harry asks, "he spent more time with me than his own wife."

"Yeah, I get that," Louis sighs, "but you're allowed to change your mind about something... you don't love him."

"I haven't spoken to him in days," Harry whispers and hits the joint again. "It's rather odd."

"Maybe he's trying to talk to his wife," Louis says and shrugs. "Who knows."

"That'd be even weirder," Harry laughs.

Louis smiles and nods, "yeah, suppose so."

"You want to go to the Hudson after we eat?" Harry looks at Louis and asks.

"Sure," Louis smiles, "I'll go anywhere with you, Mr. Styles."

Harry grins and gives Louis the joint, then he's finding his coat.

"I think your curls have gotten longer," Louis tells him with a smile.

Harry smirks and looks at them in the mirror, "saying I need a haircut, Lou?"

"No," Louis replies, "quite the opposite. You look amazing."

"Oh, you like it looking incredibly messy," Harry nods and smiles.

"I do because... it's you," Louis admits, "it's the real you. Those curls are you."

Harry licks his lip and smiles some, "you're too sweet."

"I'm honest," Louis shrugs. "I like this side of you because it's who you really are."

"Did you think that I was an asshole?" Harry asks with a smirk.

"Uh, well," Louis chuckles, "maybe a little bit..."

"Nice," Harry laughs and shakes his head.

"You did act like one," Louis says, "you still do sometimes."

"Problem is, you're quite the asshole yourself," Harry leans over and whispers to Louis before he grins again.

"Suppose I am," Louis replies. "I mean, I'm sure we can both be an asshole... we're both stubborn..."

"Our personalities sort of clash," Harry shrugs and agrees.

"Yeah, I suppose so," Louis nods, "and yet, you and I are so much alike as well, Harold."

Harry glances back at him. "How's that? Because we love each other?"

"Because technically, you and I are an abolishment to nature," Louis shrugs and almost snorts, "but... in all seriousness, you and I both represent something... something that maybe one day will change."

Harry nods a little, "I suppose we do. Wonder if we'll be alive to see it change."

Louis stays quiet while he hits the joint; Harry's eyes wander back to the streets below again as he lets out a deep sigh.

"You know, there was a time in that institution that I... I wanted to just be normal," Harry manages to say, his eyes looking down, "I kept asking myself why I couldn't just be like everyone else... it was torture. I could fake it all day... but it wasn't me."

"I think everyone has a moment like that," Louis whispers, "and you feel like you're battling yourself."

Harry nods some, "yeah. I eventually said fuck it and stopped caring. Although, I still have my doubts."

"Did you have those doubts before you met me?" Louis dares to ask.

Harry glances at him and then back out the window... and that's enough confirmation for Louis.

"I'm sorry I've made your life hell, I suppose," Louis sighs.

"You haven't," Harry glares back, "stop. I was just... never exposed this much before, you know? Yeah, I went to dinner parties and plays... but I see your dad so much... it's rather hard to remember I have to act all the time. I don't mind doing it, though. You know that."

"I know it's hard," Louis says, "I just want Alice to leave so that maybe all of this will be easier for both of us."

Harry nods some, "yeah, until she comes back."


"Lou, face it. The more time we spend together, the more it's going to hurt when this is all said and done."

"It's going to hurt regardless," Louis almost exclaims, "god... don't you fucking get that, Harry? This is going to hurt like fucking hell either way!"

Harry bites his lip and looks away again, closing his eyes.

"I carry the pain already," Louis manages to say, "I do. It's already there because I know that the day is coming when I won't see you so much. I know it is... but I love you so fucking much that I can't just walk away from this... I can't. You mean the entire fucking world to me now."

"What will you do if you lose your world?" Harry asks and looks at Louis.

"I... I don't know," Louis whispers. "I don't. I can't imagine a world without you now."

Harry bites his lip, "I feel the same way about you."

"Good," Louis smiles at him, "see? It's not so bad showing your feelings."

Harry smirks and shakes his head. "I'm starving. Let's go."

They walk to the diner close to Harry's apartment and have lunch together, both of them talking about Harry's play on Broadway.

They catch a cab after and head for the Hudson River together, both of them talking nonstop the entire way.

A few minutes later, they're walking on the sidewalk next to the river, Harry's eyes glancing off at the cloudy skies.

"Do you ever wonder what happened to your dad?" Louis speaks up.

Harry seems surprised by the question. He smiles a little and shrugs, "not really. I used to. I didn't see much point in wondering where he was though. I cared too much... more than he deserved."

"Yeah, I could see that," Louis whispers and looks out at the river. "How many people were like you in that place?"

"A few," Harry replies, "a lot of them were still there when I made it out."

"That's fucking horrible," Louis sighs, "they don't deserve to be there."

"Tell that to the doctors," Harry says sarcastically before he lights a cigarette. "We were a threat to them. I guess because we weren't normal."

"Anything unordinary is a threat to them," Louis mumbles out before taking the cigarettes from Harry.

Harry smiles some, "so glad I could rub off on you."

Louis grins a little, "yeah, well, you do tend to grow on people."

"Suppose I do," Harry shrugs and hits his cigarette.

"Most people like you from the moment they meet you," Louis jokes and looks around.

"I treat everyone the same," Harry looks back at Louis, "I'm overly nice sometimes, yeah, but..."

Louis chuckles and glances back at Harry.

"I suppose being too nice isn't such a bad thing," Harry shrugs and grins.

"It's not," Louis smiles at him, "you have an incredible heart. You really do."

"The nice people are the ones that get ran over, though," Harry states. "Maybe because we're just too nice and people take advantage of that."

"No one runs over you," Louis looks back at him.

"No, you're right," Harry says, "but I refuse to let anyone run over me. There's a difference."

"I'm a nice person and people run over me," Louis mumbles and shrugs.

"You let your dad run over you," Harry glances back, "even though you're a grown man, Lou. At some point in your life, you do have to decide who you are... him or yourself."

Louis bites his lip and buries his hands in his coat pockets.

Harry can tell he's upset when he looks at him. "I'm... I'm sorry. I shouldn't have."

"You're right," Louis sighs. "You are. But... I'm the DA's son. I can't just drop off the face of the earth, even if I wanted."

"Maybe you should fake your death," Harry smirks and looks at the river, "I could tell them you committed suicide or something."

"My dad wouldn't stop looking for a body," Louis laughs, "really?"

Harry shrugs and grins, "was just a suggestion. I don't know... maybe you should start wearing drag..."

"What? Fuck no," Louis says immediately. "That's you, not me."

"Come on, you would be beautiful," Harry teases. "I could really bring out your eyes."

"Oh, Jesus," Louis groans as Harry only laughs.

"You could at least let me do makeovers on your face," Harry smiles at him.

"No," Louis replies, "fuck, no. Not happening."

"No one would have to know," Harry grins, "Come on. Do it for me. Please."

"You've gotta be joking," Louis sighs, "fine... I guess..."

"Yes," Harry grins, "no one's at my theatre during the day, so we could go there sometime..."

"Let's just do it at my place," Louis says. "You have a suitcase full."

"Uh, ok. If you want," Harry smiles, "and if your dad shows up?"

"You can tell him I had to run some errands while I hide in my room," Louis smirks and glances at Harry.

Harry nods, "deal."

Harry takes a seat on the hillside, his eyes staring out at the waves in the river.

"Ready for spring yet?" Louis jokes and takes a seat.

"I am," Harry nods and hits his cigarette. "I'm ready for warmer evenings and nights... makes writing outside much more enjoyable."

"You don't freeze your ass off," Louis chuckles while he's looking around.

"I thought that was you," they hear Niall saying seconds later.

Harry glances up to see Niall and Nick walking over to them. "What are you guys doing here?"

"We were bored," Nick shrugs. "Nice to see you, Louis."

"You as well," Louis smiles at them.

"How long is the show tonight?" Niall's asking Harry while he lights a cigarette.

"Maybe a couple of hours," Harry shrugs and glances at Louis, "kinda had plans tonight after."

"Why wasn't I aware of these plans?" Louis asks as he's grinning at Harry.

"You are... you just don't know it yet," Harry replies and gives Louis a wink before snickering.

"You 2 should just stay in your room... don't even bother coming out," Nick sighs and sits down.

"We aren't that bad," Louis smirks and hits his cigarette.

"Oh, ran into that friend of yours," Nick speaks up, causing the smile on Harry's face to fade away quickly.

"Ben," Harry gets out, "what did he want?"

Louis glances at Nick as he replies, "nothing much... just asked how you were. Said he hasn't talked to you in a bit."

"Nice of you," Harry nods and says quietly.

"Look, you know I don't like the asshole," Nick replies as he stares at Harry, "I've asked you more than once to stop seeing..."

"Hey," Niall speaks over Nick, causing both of them to look at him. "Stop, alright?"

Louis bites his lip before hitting his cigarette, watching Harry from the corner of his eye.

"When's the last time you saw him?" Nick decides to ask.

"Uh, about a week ago," Harry replies, his eyes not meeting Louis'. "I... I didn't talk to him long..."

"So, why is he asking everyone to talk to you?" Louis interrupts, Harry finally glancing back.

"I don't know... I guess because I won't answer the phone," Harry sighs.

"Has he not shown up at your place?" Nick asks, "I mean, seems like he would..."

"Fuck you," Harry quickly tells him before sighing, "no. If he thinks I need space, he won't come to my place. He never has."

"Seems like he's always been fond of just dropping by," Louis speaks up finally. Harry looks back at him. "What? Just something I've noticed."

"He hasn't come to my place at all," Harry states, "I'm not even sure that he came to the last play. He didn't come backstage."

"I'm sure he did," Louis rolls his eyes and mumbles.

"You guys wanna meet later for drinks?" Harry changes the subject.

"Sure. After the show?" Niall asks.

"Fine by me," Harry nods and looks at Louis. "Just a couple hours, if you're ok with that."

"We have all night," Louis smiles, "sounds fun to me."

"Which place? Up the street from the theatre?" Nick asks and looks back at Harry.

"The one here is fine," Harry shrugs, "unless we can talk Niall and some of the others into going to our pub..."

"No," Niall speaks up, making Louis and Harry laugh. "Thanks, but no. I don't really need lads hitting on me all night."

"They probably would," Harry smiles and reaches over to pinch Niall's cheek, "you're so adorable and all."

"Stop," Niall laughs and shakes his head.

"We'll just go to the one here," Harry points behind him.

"Shit," Niall says under his breath, "I told my mum I would meet her for an early dinner today."

"Your mum lives here?" Louis asks.

"They live not far from you," Harry glances back at Louis, "they own a really nice flat."

"I had no clue," Louis states and looks at Niall, "do you have any brothers or sisters?"

"I have an older brother," Niall nods, "but he's still in Ireland. I've been wanting to go home for months."

"Same here," Harry mumbles and glances at Louis, "but soon, I guess I won't have to. My mum and sister are supposed to be here the end of this week."

Louis smiles a little and puts out his cigarette. "So, Styles, what shall we do until showtime?"

"The possibilities are endless," Harry smirks.

"Fuck... I do have to meet Alice," Louis sighs. "I forgot."

"You always do when you're high," Harry jokes.

"I do when I'm with you," Louis looks back at him, "how could I not forget shit like that?"

Harry stands up and offers Louis his hand, "I wouldn't be looking forward to it either."

Niall and Nick only laugh and tell them goodbye, Harry hurrying to hail a cab.

When they arrive at Louis' apartment, he unlocks the door and they both head inside laughing.

"Ah, there you are," Louis' father is speaking up, startling Louis and Harry.

"Dad," Louis says, "Jesus. Didn't know you'd be here."

"Well, couldn't get in touch with you," William replies and glances at Harry. "Can I have a word with him?"

Harry nods quickly and looks at Louis, "I can just go..."

"No, you can wait," Louis tells him, and Harry slowly nods before smiling at William and  walking off down the hall.

"Alice's parents are wanting us to meet in an hour before the show," William says.

Louis only nods, though his eyes keep glancing down the hall.

"Also," William sighs, "as much as I admire Harry, I think you should be focusing more on the upcoming school year than going to rehearsals..."


"Louis," William says and looks back, "you need to be thinking about the future. Alice is only here for a few more days. Perhaps you and her should finalise your wedding plans."

"Dad, you wanted me to make friends," Louis tries to laugh.

"And you have," William nods, "but, if you're going to forget about what's important in your life right now, then you don't need to spend so much time with them... or him."

Louis licks his lips and slowly nods.

"Harry needs to focus more on rehearsals as well," William tells him.

Louis looks at him confused, "Harry does great at every show..."

"He does," William interrupts. "But, Mr. Winston told me that Harry had been struggling recently to stay focused. I think both of you need to start taking things a little more seriously."

Louis stays quiet, even if he wants to scream at the mention of Ben's name.

"I'll talk more about it later," William tells him before he's heading to the door. "See you in an hour."

Louis nods and waves, watching his dad leaving. He sighs in relief as soon as the door has closed.

Louis slowly walks to his room, seeing Harry by the window smoking a joint.

"What?" Harry asks, noticing the look on Louis' face.

"I don't know where to begin," Louis shrugs and sighs.

"Just fucking tell me," Harry states.

"My dad thinks I shouldn't spend so much time with you," Louis explains, his eyes falling on Harry's, "and... apparently Ben has told him that you're struggling to stay focused with the plays."

"What?!" Harry asks, almost shouting.


"That's not fucking true and he fucking knows it," Harry almost yells, "Jesus."

Louis buries his hands in his front pockets as he says quietly, "perhaps Ben thinks I'm spending too much time with you as well."

Harry glances back, "fuck him. I don't care what he thinks."

"I've gotta get ready," Louis sighs, "I have to meet Alice and her parents in an hour."

Harry nods and sits down on the window ledge, watching Louis undress. "So, are you going to listen to your dad?"

"Why would I?" Louis whispers while he's looking in his closet.

"Louis, I don't want to cause problems for you," Harry sighs. "I mean, we could maybe keep it to a minimum... like from your dad..."

"You know I don't want to do that," Louis looks back at him and says softly.

Harry nods and smiles a little, "it's ok. Really. I mean, anytime is enough, right?"

Louis nods some and bites his lip. "I'm still seeing you tonight, Harry."

Harry grins a little, "good. Just... don't get your ass in trouble because of me."

"It'd be worth it," Louis shrugs and stares back at him.

"You think that now," Harry says quietly. He pushes his hair back and puts the joint out in Louis' ashtray. "I'm gonna go..."

"You don't have to yet..."

"It's ok," Harry tells him, "really. Maybe I should go focus on rehearsals."

"God dammit, Harry," Louis sighs and follows Harry out of his room. "Don't leave like this."

"I'm not upset," Harry turns around and says, forcing a smile, "I'll see you in a little bit, alright? We can talk about everything tonight."

"Are you going to have a word with Ben now?" Louis decides to ask, crossing his arms. He watches Harry's hand stop on the doorknob. "I mean, isn't that what he wanted by telling my father what he did? He wanted to separate us. He wanted you to react, Harry. Don't you see that?"

"Am I not suppose to react?" Harry turns and asks. "Lou, I'm... I'm fucking pissed."

"You could just be the better lad and make sure that you ace rehearsals and the show," Louis shrugs and says. "I mean, no one could really believe you're slacking anyways."

Harry lets out a deep breath and looks away, knowing Louis is right.

"Don't give him the satisfaction of knowing that he got to you," Louis tells him quieter. "Please. That's what he wants."

Harry stays quiet, wiping his eyes quickly; Louis sighs and walks over to him, slowly placing his arms around him.

"Hey, it's ok..."

"It's not," Harry whispers back. "It's never going to be ok, Lou. This will never be what we want it to be."

Louis closes his eyes and remains quiet, holding Harry close. He knows that there are no words; Harry's right.

"I'm sorry," Harry sighs and pulls away.

"Don't be," Louis whispers, watching Harry wipe his eyes, "stay. At least until I have to leave. Please."

Harry slowly nods and forces a smile, "ok."

Louis grins a little and takes Harry's hand, taking him back to his bedroom.

Harry sits on the end of the bed, watching Louis buttoning up his shirt; he listens to him going on about his father, but Harry's mind is elsewhere; he can't help but wonder how much time they'll get to spend together now. He knows that Louis' father means what he says.

A few hours later, Harry's busy with wardrobe before the Broadway play. Nick is backstage with him while Harry waits patiently to see Louis.

"His father said what?" Nick asks quietly. "That's bull shit."

Harry shrugs and fixes his blouse, "I should've known he would say something... I mean, Lou has spent every waking moment with me..."

"Yeah, but," Nick starts, then pauses and waits for someone to walk past them. When they do, he turns back to Harry and whispers, "his father can't dictate his entire life."

"No, but he'll try," Harry replies and sighs, his eyes falling on a familiar sight: Louis.

He's walking in, a small smile on his face as he's making his way over to Harry and Nick.

"Hey," he grins at Harry right away, "uh, my dad and Alice's parents are sitting with..."

Harry watches Louis pausing and Nick speaks up for him, "Ben."

Harry looks at Nick, then back to Louis. "Again?"

"You know my dad," Louis shrugs, "he sort of treats Ben like your father."

Harry snorts, "yeah. If he only knew."

"Uh, I'll see you after the show, alright?" Louis tells Harry quietly and looks at Nick, "wanna sit with me?"

"Yeah," Nick's face lights up and Harry only grins.

"I'll see you guys after," Harry tells them before he's sighing and going over lines again.

Louis watches the entire play almost too intently; he and Nick exchange a few words and laughs during the show, and Louis is quite thankful to have him here... someone who makes Louis feel like himself.

When the show is over, Louis glances over at Ben who is already staring at him; Louis doesn't break the gaze, however. He only glares back at Ben with the same intensity.

"Louis," Nick speaks up, causing Louis to snap out of his thoughts, "wanna ride with me to the pub?"

"Uh, yeah," Louis nods and says as they walk past his father and Ben. Louis stops to talk to Alice while Nick heads backstage. "So, do you want me to pick you up around 8 in the morning?"

Alice smiles, "yeah, that sounds great. Tell Harry that I'd love to have dinner again tomorrow, if possible."

"I will," Louis nods and kisses her cheek before smiling some, "I'll call you in just a bit."

Louis hurries off for backstage, even if his father disapproves; right now, that's not on his mind.

"You did amazing," Louis tells Harry as soon as he sees him.

"Thanks," Harry replies while he's buttoning his top, "could use some alcohol."

"Couldn't we all," Nick smirks.

Harry's smiles fades when he sees Ben standing a few feet away. Louis looks over at him, his expression changing completely.

"Can I... get a minute?" He speaks up, his eyes not breaking from Harry's.

Harry finally nods some and excuses himself, Louis only watching him walk away.

"Did you happen to see rehearsal? I'd hate to think that I did badly," Harry says sarcastically as they're walking outside.

"I didn't tell his father that you were doing poorly," Ben snaps, Harry closing his mouth, "I only said that sometimes you don't stay focused..."

"So, that's why his dad thinks we spend too much time together?" Harry asks and shakes his head. "Why? Why the fuck would you..."

"Look, his dad already thought that," Ben interrupts, "I didn't have to convince him to believe that. Anyone with eyes could see that you 2 are attached at the hip constantly."

Harry bites his lip and looks away, "why did you talk to Meredith, then?”

"She asked me for the truth," Ben whispers, his eyes not breaking away from Harry's face. "I told her the truth. I didn’t bring it up. She's not an idiot, Harry. She figured you out long ago."

"Where's your wife?" Harry asks and glances back at him, "have you talked to her?"

"Some," Ben nods while he's looking around the empty alley way, "we're going to work things out..."

"You are?" Harry asks surprised, "wow, that's... that's great."

Ben nods some before he's lighting a cigarette, "uh, can we talk more, maybe tonight or tomorrow?"

"I guess," Harry replies.

Louis and Nick are soon coming out the exit door, and Louis' eyes fall on Ben immediately.

"I'll call you," Ben leans over and says to Harry quietly. He then, grins a little at Louis and Nick and heads back inside.

"What was that?" Louis asks instantly.

"Nothing," Harry sighs and looks around, "where's your car?"

"Oh, down there," Nick says and points to the end of the alley.

The 3 of them head to the bar across from the Hudson, meeting up with Niall and a few others.

"Sorry I wasn't there, mate," he tells Harry once they've sat down, "I had to go to my parent's house after dinner."

"I figured," Harry nods and looks at Louis sitting beside him, "how'd I do?"

"You did wonderful," Louis grins at him, "you were brilliant, as always."

"You need to finish your other play already," Nick speaks up. "You haven't been writing it at all."

Harry smirks and shrugs while he lights a cigarette, "yeah, well, haven't been in the mood, really."

"Are you suffering from writer's block?" Niall asks with a smile.

"No," Harry shrugs, "just... haven't really been thinking too much about future shows... not right now..."

Louis glances at Harry and Nick exchanges looks with both of them.

"Why?" Louis asks quietly.

Harry smiles back at him, "thought we were going camping?"

Louis finds himself grinning from ear to ear. "Soon?"

"Couple weeks," Harry replies and looks around the bar, "why's it always so fucking crowded in here?"

"It's the closest one to the college," Niall shrugs and finishes his ale before looking at Louis, "I met Alice."

"What?" Louis looks surprised. "When?"

"Apparently she knows my parents," Niall mumbles, looking at Harry next. He only looks away, drinking down his beer. "She came to their flat with her parents right before the play.”

"You're fucking kidding me," Louis sighs, "wow. So, she talked to you?"

Niall nods, "she's... she's different. I guess I've been around New York women too long."

Harry smirks and looks at Louis. Louis only grins some and looks at his hands.

"She can be a bit annoying," Niall chuckles.

"Yeah," Louis nods, "she can."

"She's sweet, though. She is," Harry speaks up, "she's actually a really nice girl."

"You despise her," Nick jokes.

"I don't," Harry looks back at him, "I think she's wonderful... she's just not right for Louis."

Louis licks his lips and stays quiet. Niall laughs some and says, "no one is good enough for Louis, besides you, right?"

Harry only hits his cigarette and remains silent, Louis watching him from the corner of his eye.

"She deserves someone who is with her because they love her," Louis finally speaks up, Harry glancing back at him. "And... I think I'm going to give her that opportunity."

"What do you mean?" Harry asks confused.

Louis looks back at him, "I'm gonna call it off."

Everyone goes silent, the only sound being Niall clearing his throat.

"You can't do that," Harry whispers.

"I can," Louis replies, "I'm not my father. Alice and myself deserve better. She deserves to find someone who actually loves her... and I deserve to be happy."

"Lou," Harry starts again, "if you break it off with her, your father is going to see through you. If you break up with her and spend all of your time with me, how does that look?"

Louis wants to argue, but he doesn't; he closes his mouth and looks away.

Harry sighs and looks back at him, "I wish it were that simple, I do. You know it's not."

"I think that she deserves someone else," Louis replies, "I mean, she is a great girl. If I marry her, I'm only hurting her. Why... why don't I just do what you do?"

"Which is what?" Harry asks confused.

"I... I go on public dates with girls," Louis shrugs, "I mean, it's all about image to my dad anyhow."

"So, you're saying that your dad would be ok with you looking like a playboy?" Harry asks with a small snort. "Because that's what people think I am."

"I'd look straight at least," Louis glances back at Harry and says it so simply... as if he hasn't been engaged to this woman for a year.

"You could just walk away from the relationship?" Harry asks more quietly while Nick and Niall are talking amongst themselves.

"I don't think that... I have ever really loved her," Louis replies and licks his lips, his eyes glancing around the crowded bar. "I mean, when you're focusing on a future, feelings and emotions can be confusing. I think that I wanted to be in love... I thought that I would eventually love her. My perception of love has always been a bit fucked up, however..."

Harry chuckles some, "I'd say so."

Louis glances back at Harry, "I'm still quite young. I mean, why do I have to settle down now?"

"Lou, you asked her to marry you," Harry finally says, his eyes meeting Louis', "can you really just call it off? What are you going to tell her? That you didn't mean any of it?"

"I think she'd understand me," Louis says seriously, "I mean, I don't have to tell her everything... but, I could at least tell her that I feel as if I should wait a bit... I don't know..."

"Her parents came here because they believe you're their future son in law," Harry almost smirks, "and you want to just call it off like it's absolutely nothing. It's something to them."

"So, I upset them," Louis shrugs, "they're all better off."

"Doubt they'd see it your way," Harry grins a little before finishing his drink. "Think about it some more, alright? Don't make a huge decision without spending some time thinking."

"I have been," Louis almost whispers, "I have the entire time she's been here."

"Maybe I should take her out," Niall speaks up, causing Louis and Harry to look at him. "What?"

"Take her out? She's with Louis," Harry chuckles.

"Doesn't necessarily mean she'd say no to me," Niall shrugs some and glances back at Louis.

"You think she'd say yes?" Louis asks.

"Are you seriously talking about taking out his fiancée?" Harry laughs and shakes his head, "oh my god."

"It's not actually a bad idea," Louis looks at Harry, "think about it... if she fell for Niall, then maybe..."

"Lou, really?" Harry interrupts, "are you seriously contemplating doing this?"

Louis licks his lip and sits back again, Niall only watching him.

"I've gotta run to the loo, Lou," Harry says a few seconds later.

Louis smiles some and watches Harry getting up from his chair, then walking off.

"Why does he think it's a stupid idea?" Niall decides to ask just moments after Harry's departure.

Louis shrugs and looks up at Niall, "I don't really know. Maybe it's because I'm trying to get rid of her? I'm going about it wrong..."

"Well, I meant that... well, she's cute," Niall stutters, Louis watching him before he's grinning.

"You like her."

"I do... a little," Niall nods and glances at Louis, "sorry. She just... she listened to me talk about Ireland. Not a lot of girls do that. She loved hearing it..."

"You really do like her," Louis almost whispers, his eyes studying Niall's face.

Niall grins and laughs almost nervously. "I kinda do, yeah. I'm sorry..."

"Don't be," Louis interrupts immediately. "Really. Don't apologize for actually... for liking her."

"I... I don't want to offend you," Niall says softly, glancing at Nick beside him who is only grinning at him. "Oh, stop it."

"Hell, no," Nick chuckles, "no, this... this is amazing. Don't you see, lads?"

Louis and Niall exchange looks before they're both looking at Nick with no clue whatsoever.

"Horan here," Nick starts as he's gripping Niall's shoulder, "really likes your girl. You want to call off a wedding. What if Niall perhaps got to know her? What if... she liked him back?"

"You mean, you want to basically have her cheat on Louis," Niall nods and rolls his eyes.

"Well, actually, I was thinking that maybe she just fell for you instead of him. But that works as well," Nick nods and hits his cigarette.

"It's not a bad idea," Louis finally says, Nick grinning at him instantly. "But... I don't want to try to set her up..."

"No, no," Nick waves his hand, "not set her up. Maybe... maybe Niall can just make her realize that she doesn't truly love you. And... she may even fall for him, who knows."

"I don't want to hurt her or anything," Niall starts.

"You like her," Louis says, Niall's eyes falling on him again, "so, maybe... maybe try talking to her more. I... really don't mind."

"Don't mind what?" Harry asks while he's sitting down again.

"Are you positive?" Niall asks Louis, his face serious.

"Yep," Louis nods some, then smiles, "I think that... you could really make her happy."

Niall grins and glances at Harry who only looks clueless.

"Niall is in love with your man's fiancée," Nick speaks up and smirks at Harry.

"Wait.. what?" Harry's asking Niall. "You like her?"

"I do," Niall shrugs before he looks at Louis, "and... I'm gonna talk to her."

Harry's eyes fall on Louis quickly, and Louis tries to look innocent as he's grinning at Harry.

"Nick made a valid point..."

"What point, Lou? Let's use Niall to maybe try and get Alice to cheat?" Harry asks at once.

"No," Louis sighs.

"I didn't say that," Nick starts.

"What makes you think fucking with someone's relationship is a good idea?" Harry interrupts Nick.

"Niall really likes her," Louis speaks up again, his face serious when Harry's staring back at him. "And I think that... he should do something about it if he does. If she chooses him, Harry, it's not such a bad thing. Don't you get that?"

Harry bites his lip and glances at Niall; he only looks back at Harry with almost a frown.

"I don't want you getting hurt," Harry says directly to Niall. "I mean, what if..."

"Hey, I can at least try," Niall shrugs and says.

Harry smirks at him and sighs, "well, good luck. Maybe it'll work out."

Louis smiles at Harry before he's turning back to see Niall standing up. "What are you doing?"

"I have a phone call to make," Niall replies, "uh, Louis, which, uh, room..."

"716," Louis answers for him, Harry trying not to laugh beside him.

"Thank you," Niall grins, "I'm going to go call the hotel."

Harry only waves and giggles some before he's picking up his beer and finishing it. He sees Ben walking in a few seconds later and he's quickly looking away, hoping that maybe he doesn't see them.

"Hey, lads," Harry hears him saying moments later and he's quickly sighing.

"Hey," Nick smiles at him.

"Hey, where've you been?" James is asking Ben while he takes a seat. "Haven't seen you around."

"Uh, been busy," Ben replies, his eyes diverting to Harry.

"Did you publish your book?" Nick asks curiously.

"Next week," Ben replies and smiles, "that's why I've been so busy this week."

"Where's Sarah?" Harry speaks up, his eyes staying on Ben.

"She comes home tomorrow," Ben answers in a soft tone.

Harry nods some, neither of them breaking eye contact.

"Well, are you coming to rehearsals this week?" James is asking Ben while Louis is watching Harry.

"You wanna go?" Louis whispers.

"Yeah," Harry nods and glances back at him, "yeah, uh, we have our own things to talk about, right?"

"Right," Louis replies and stands up. "Nick, see you tomorrow, I'm sure."

"I'm sure you will," Nick smiles at the 2 of them, "be careful."

"Always," Harry rolls his eyes and smiles.

Louis puts on his coat while Harry's putting on his hat again; Louis can see Ben staring at them, but he brushes it off and ignores him completely.

And Harry does the same as he's smiling at Louis and heading straight for the door without saying another word to anyone.

"Fucking git," Louis mumbles under his breath as soon as the 2 of them are alone.

Harry smiles to himself and buries his hands in his coat pockets as they walk. "What do you think will happen with Niall?"

"I don't really know," Louis sighs before he's chuckling, "perhaps he'll get some."

Harry snorts before he's laughing and shaking his head.

"Your place or mine?"

"Mine," Harry replies and grins at Louis, "I have make up."

"No," Louis says at once, Harry only chucking.

When they make it back to Harry's, he's quickly going to his kitchen to make tea.

"You really don't have to," Louis is telling him as he watches Harry putting on the kettle.

"You said you wanted tea," Harry looks back at him, "English tea. I'm making you some."

"We could've just drank liquor," Louis laughs and shakes his head. "How many beers did you have?"

"Too many," Harry replies before he sees Louis unbuttoning his coat. "Woah, leave it on."

"Why?" Louis asks, "are we going somewhere?"

"Yeah," Harry looks back at him, "the rooftop."

"What?" Louis chuckles, "Jesus, Harry, it's fucking freezing."

"So, leave on your coat," Harry smirks.

"Oh, shut it," Louis retorts quickly with a small grin.

Louis slowly walks to Harry's room, seeing the bed unmade, Harry's clothes thrown everywhere; he can't help but grin and think how it was all just clean.

He's quickly grabbing one of Harry's joints and opening his window. He lights it and glances around outside.

The New York weather is slowly improving, he thinks; the air is still quite cold, but he knows spring isn’t too far away.

He slowly climbs out of Harry’s window and onto the fire escape, a small grin on his lips.

He listens to the sounds of the city, his eyes slowly moving over the streets; he can’t help but wish once again that he had somehow met Harry before this... he wishes that he had realized so many things before this.

“I hope you wanted milk,” Louis hears Harry at the window a few seconds later.

He snaps out of his thoughts and smiles at him immediately. “That’s perfect. Thank you.”

Harry only grins as Louis is taking the tea from him. Harry then climbs out of the window and makes his way up the steps of the fire escape.

“Don’t spill your tea,” Harry smirks when he turns to see Louis following slowly behind.

“Oh, shut it, Styles,” Louis mumbles, but grins.

When Harry makes it to the top, he walks over to the edge, his eyes staying on the skies above them.

“Wow,” Louis quietly says as he’s standing beside Harry. “It’s beautiful up here.”

“It is,” Harry whispers, his eyes staring off. “I come up here a lot to think. It’s... it’s peaceful.”

Louis stares at him, unable to break his eyes away from Harry’s beautiful face; he takes in every small detail... the way Harry licks his lips, the way his curls look when the wind pushes them away from his forehead. Louis is positive that he’s never seen anything so gorgeous, so pure.

Harry turns back to him, his dimples showing, “what?”

“Nothing,” Louis answers and shrugs, “sorry, you’re just.... beautiful.”

Harry almost blushes as his smile widens, “thank you. I love it when you say that.”

“I’m not the only one that tells you that,” Louis chuckles some.

“No, but,” Harry starts, “you’re the only one that matters.”

Louis can’t help but grin when Harry’s eyes meet his. “My opinion is all that matters? Really?”

“In a lot of ways, yes,” Harry nods, “of course, when it comes to my acting, maybe not so much...”

“Yeah,” Louis laughs, “I get it.”

Harry smiles and winks at him before he’s leaning against the ledge and sighing. “I’m ready to be away from this city.”

“As am I,” Louis mumbles and sips his tea slowly.

His gaze stays on Harry; he watches him cross his arms and stare off again, and Louis can’t help but wonder what he’s thinking.

“Did... did you talk to...,” Louis starts, but stops. He knows he doesn’t even have to say his name.

“I did, a little,” Harry replies and stares at the ground, “he... he wants to talk to me tomorrow.”

“Oh,” Louis says softly, feeling that sinking feeling in his stomach again. He knows without a doubt that Harry loves him... but he knows that he can’t stop Harry from seeing other people if he wishes to.

“He and Sarah are working things out,” Harry looks at Louis and says, “which I think is great... I just worry that it won’t last.”

“I don’t understand why he even married her,” Louis lowly says and rolls his eyes. “He could’ve done what you do... fake the image.”

“If he hadn’t gotten married, we’d probably be together,” Harry admits, Louis’ eyes meeting his. “Is that really what you would have wanted? Aren’t you thankful that he’s married?”

“Why would you be with him?” Louis asks, “you don’t even love him...”

“No, but,” Harry shrugs, “if he wasn’t married, I’m sure we’d live together at least, you know? Sorta how you and I did...”

Louis licks his lips and tries to nod. “Because you’re used to Ben taking care of you. I get it.”

“I’m old enough to take care of myself, thanks,” Harry snaps, “I don’t fucking expect anyone to take care of me.”

“You’re afraid of being alone,” Louis states, his eyes not looking away from Harry. “You would be with someone you don’t even love just so you wouldn’t be alone. Hell, you already do that, Harry, all the fucking time.”

“I’m not afraid of being alone,” Harry quickly retorts, raising his voice, “why the fuck would you say that?”

“How often do you stay here alone? How often are you even home alone?”

Harry lights a cigarette, his eyes not meeting Louis’.

“Before I came along, how many nights a week did you spend at someone else’s place? How many nights did someone stay here with you?” Louis asks in a soft tone.

“I like having company,” Harry finally speaks up.

“Why are you afraid of being alone?” Louis asks him, Harry looking at him for a brief moment.

“I’m not afraid,” Harry sighs and pushes his hair back, “I... I don’t like the way loneliness feels, Lou. It’s a scary feeling.”

Louis nods, “it is, yeah. I think being with the wrong person would make me feel like I was still alone, though.”

Harry glances back at him, “sometimes, another person can make a world of difference... even if they are the wrong person.”

“Do you really sleep with men just so you don’t feel alone?” Louis asks confused. “Really? You look to sex to fill some sorta void? Because that’s what I’m getting from this...”

“I didn’t mean it like that...,” Harry shakes his head and looks away.

“No, but... I’m not an idiot, Harry,” Louis replies, Harry’s eyes meeting his. “Some things you can just see. And... with you, I can see that you base your happiness on other people too fucking much.”

“I don’t,” Harry starts.

“You do,” Louis interrupts, seeing the hurt in Harry’s eyes. “You... you spend so much time and energy in trying to be so many things for so many people. And I can even get why you enjoy having sex so much... it makes you feel like the real you...”

Harry hits his cigarette and keeps his eyes on Louis’.

“But... you look for happiness in people,” Louis whispers, “people like Ben; you don’t give a damn about him, yet you use him because you can. You don’t want to be alone because you’ve never had to be...”

“Stop,” Harry speaks up.

“He’s always been around, hasn’t he?” Louis asks, “and before him, it was someone else...”

“Stop,” Harry almost yells this time.

Louis closes his mouth and lets out a deep breath as he looks away; he’s angry at himself for saying it, but also thankful that he has said it. After all, he knows Harry needs to hear the truth.

“Why are you standing here pointing out flaws?” Harry asks, staring at Louis in disbelief. “You’re such a fucking hypocrite...”

“How?” Louis asks quickly, “how the fuck am I a hypocrite, Harold? By telling you the truth? By calling bullshit when I see it?”

“You hardly even know me,” Harry states loudly.

“Really? I hardly know you?” Louis snaps, “if I’m the only person who will be truthful with you, then I’d say that I know you more than you fucking think.”

Harry shakes his head and looks away again.

“It’s easy to see, Harry,” Louis says softly, “you can’t tell me that Nick doesn’t see it. He knows you very well. I even know how he feels about Ben...”

“What about you? If we’re being truthful, let’s be truthful about how you allow your dad to control your life,” Harry replies in a harsh tone. “You’re an adult and you still allow the asshole to dictate every fucking decision you make....”

“What other choice do I have?” Louis almost shouts. He sighs and whispers, “you’re still allowing your father to dictate your life as well... but, the sad part is you don’t even realize it.”

Harry glances back at Louis immediately, “How? He’s not in my fucking life, Lou...”

“Ben,” Louis interrupts, his eyes staying on Harry’s. “Ben is that person to you, Harry. He is the father figure in your life... you have replaced your father with Ben. He’s a fucking crutch to you...”

“What?” Harry almost laughs, “you’re kidding, right?”

“You use Ben in the same way Ben uses you,” Louis states, his face remaining serious. “You hate him and yet, love him at the same time...”

“I don’t love him...”

“Maybe not in the way you love me,” Louis shrugs, “but... he has been there for you when your own father failed you. That sets him apart because... you want to please him just like you would want to please your own father.”

“I didn’t realize you were a psychologist,” Harry speaks up, “I don’t think of Ben as a father figure in my life, Lou. I’m not trying to fill some sorta void that was left my dad...”

“Really?” Louis asks, “because it looks pretty obvious to me, and to others...”


“Nick,” Louis replies, “Why would he ask you to stop seeing Ben? I know you have to get it...”

“I don’t,” Harry snaps, “I don’t plan my whole life around him. He isn’t my fucking father.”

Louis nods, “you’re right. He’s not. He’s worse than your father... because he uses you and knows fucking well that he’s using you. He doesn’t care; just like you don’t care to use him...”

“I don’t use him,” Harry almost exclaims. He shakes his head and stares off again. “Maybe you should go home.”

“Why?” Louis almost snaps, “because the minute someone tells you the truth you don’t like it?”

“Fuck you,” Harry looks back at Louis and says in a low tone. “Don’t fucking stand here and act as if you know everything about me... and Ben, for that matter. You don’t.”

“You’re going to defend him to me, of all people?” Louis asks with a look of disbelief. “Why would you fucking defend him?”

“Stop,” Harry snaps, “just... fucking stop. This isn’t worth it, Lou. I... I don’t want to argue...”

“I’m not trying to argue,” Louis sighs, “I’m... I’m blunt, Harry. All my life, my father told me that I was too blunt... that I needed to watch what I say...”

Harry glances back at him, his face softening.

“... When I get to know someone, I am blunt because... well, quite frankly, I don’t care to hurt someone’s feelings,” Louis explains, his eyes meeting Harry’s, “I don’t care to hurt yours. Sometimes the truth is going to hurt...”

“So, you think the reason that I keep Ben around is because I think of him as my father,” Harry says with one eyebrow raised. “That’s a weird way for me to look at it because I sleep with Ben...”

Louis can feel that all too familiar sharp pain in the pit of his stomach when he hears Harry’s words.

“How’s he like a father figure if he fucks me?” Harry blurts out. “I’m sorry, I don’t see it that way. I can’t, Lou.”

“Believe it or not, Ben controls what you do more than you think,” Louis mumbles out and lights a cigarette before he’s walking away from Harry.

“No, he really doesn’t,” Harry replies, “I’m confused as to why you think he does.”

“Because, no matter what I do,” Louis starts and looks back at Harry, “no matter what I say, you will always find a reason to go back to him. Hell, it’s what you’re fucking used to...”

“I don’t find a reason to...,” Harry begins and then stops himself, “where is all this coming from, Louis? Why are you saying all of this to me? I never bring him up... you do.”

Louis lets out a deep breath and shakes his head.

“What?” Harry asks louder. “Are you jealous?”

Louis turns back to him instantly, “what? Of Ben?”

Harry nods some, his face staying serious.

“No,” Louis answers flatly.

“Tell the truth,” Harry says, “I mean, you’re not holding back on me, so...”

“I’m not jealous of Ben,” Louis whispers and glances at Harry. “Maybe... maybe I’m jealous of the fact that... no matter how much time we spend together, in the end, he will still have you and I won’t.”

Harry closes his mouth and slowly looks away; he doesn’t know how to respond to Louis.

“I should probably go,” Louis finally speaks up again. “I have to start spending my time in other ways.”

“Don’t go,” Harry whispers, “I... I want you stay. Please.”

Louis looks back at him, “after everything I just said to you?”

Harry shrugs some, “maybe... maybe you’re right. Maybe I am scared of being alone.”

Louis sighs, “I’m sorry. I should just go.”

Harry nods and reluctantly agrees; he heads down the fire escape without another word, Louis following behind.

When he climbs back through the window, he hears his phone ringing. He sighs and hurries to the living room to answer it.

“Yeah,” he says quietly, hearing Ben’s voice on the line instantly. He stays quiet and listens, even though his eyes are on Louis.

He watches Louis sitting his cup down in the kitchen and then stopping by his front door, his eyes falling on Harry again.

“I’ll call you back,” Harry says softly, “yeah, give me a bit.”

He hangs up the phone as Louis says, “he’s already calling, I take it.”

Harry crosses his arms and walks over to Louis. “You... you don’t have to leave.”

Louis tries to smile as he whispers, “I’ll call you in the morning, ok?”


“Harry,” Louis interrupts, his hand touching Harry’s waist gently, “it’s alright. Really.”

“No, it isn’t,” Harry sighs, “please...”

“Call Ben,” Louis replies as he opens the door, “I’m sure he’s more than willing to come straight over.”

Harry starts to say something, but Louis doesn’t give him the chance; he closes the door, leaving Harry standing there... alone.

Harry doesn’t even bother calling Ben; he retreats to his room, taking a seat by his window as he smokes a joint and listens to the silence that’s surrounding him.

Louis is right, Harry knows it. He is afraid of being alone.

He steps out onto the fire escape a few seconds later, his eyes beginning to sting; he rarely ever lets his emotions overtake him, but tonight he can’t help but allow them.

As much as it hurts him, Harry knows that every word Louis said is true. Maybe he hadn’t realized how much he uses Ben, or how much Ben uses him; maybe he never cared before now.

He sees a cab stopping in front of his apartment building and for a moment, his heart begins to race; he hopes that maybe Louis changed his mind.

Instead, he sees Ben... and the hope he had fades. He sighs and hits the joint again, knowing that he would rather be high out of his mind right now than have to show emotion in front of Ben.

Harry has always refused to show much emotion in front of him... he isn’t sure why; they have always kept talking to a minimum. And as Harry sits there thinking about their relationship, he realizes one disturbing fact: he and Ben do have more of a father/son relationship when it comes to everything outside of the bedroom.

He never tells Ben much of anything; and Ben never really tells him much, unless he’s talking about Sarah.

He closes his eyes and shakes his head, wondering why it has taken him this long to realize what Louis has known since he first met him. He wonders how Louis could figure him out so easily; is he and Ben really that easy to read?

Does everyone see Ben as his father? Harry can’t get the thought out of his head now. The more he smokes, the more he begins to evaluate everything.

“Harry?” He hears Ben a few minutes later at his window.

He quickly snaps his head up, “hey.”

“I was calling for you. I guess you didn’t hear me...”

“I... I was thinking,” Harry replies and watches Ben climbing out of the window. “Sorry.”

“You ok?” Ben asks, studying Harry’s face closely.

Harry nods a little, keeping his eyes on his hands, “I always think too much when I’m high.”

“We all tend to,” Ben smirks and glances around, “that’s the reason I can write so well.”

Harry smiles a little and looks back at the street.

“I thought Louis might be here... I was afraid I’d interrupt,” Ben states in a soft voice as he stares at Harry. “Is something wrong?”

Harry bites his lip and keeps his eyes on the passing cars, “just thinking.”

Ben nods and leans against the railing in front of Harry, “has to do with Louis, correct?”

“Why are you here?” Harry changes the subject. He looks up at Ben in front of him. “I haven’t seen you in a week and tonight you just show up...”

“I wanted to talk...”

“We could’ve talked tomorrow... at a decent hour,” Harry exclaims. He sighs and hits the joint before he’s looking away again.

“I’ll go,” Ben whispers, keeping his eyes locked on Harry, “I don’t want to... to impose. I’m sorry.”

Harry pushes his hair back and continues to ignore Ben, though he knows he won’t let him leave. Harry’s sure even Ben knows that... he knows what Ben thinks.

“How is it so easy for you?” Harry speaks up, looking at Ben again with a stern eye. “How is it so fucking easy for you to be so manipulative?”

“Manipulative?” Ben asks and almost laughs. “Me?”

“Yeah,” Harry nods and says in a harsh tone. “Do you even fucking realize what people think? Do you?”

“Why do I care what people think,” Ben smirks, “and since when did you?”

“They think you’re my fucking dad,” Harry almost shouts, “they see you as like my step dad or something.”

Ben snorts and shakes his head, “wow. That’s what’s bothering you? That’s not a bad thing, Harry...”

Harry sighs and hits the joint again. “Forget it. Go home.”

“We both know you don’t want me to leave,” Ben states softly. “Don’t act like this.”

“Louis is right,” Harry admits as he shakes his head. “I’m scared of being alone. And... because I’m afraid, I will always, ALWAYS keep you around...”

Ben closes his mouth when Harry’s eyes meet his.

“I have to learn how to breathe on my own,” Harry manages to say, his eyes not breaking from Ben’s. “I think it’s time that I stopped using you.”

Ben looks confused, then chuckles some, “you’re trying to call it off? Again?”

“You’re not responsible for me,” Harry states, “I get it that... that you want to keep me safe and all that. I appreciate it all, Ben, but....”

“But what? You just want to pretend that there is nothing between us?” Ben asks at once.

“There isn’t anything between us,” Harry replies calmly. “Just a fucking kid who looked for approval in the wrong place... in a manipulative git like you.”

“Are you drunk, too?” Ben asks with a smirk. “Come on, Harry, this isn’t you.”

“You have no fucking clue who I am,” Harry shouts as he stands up. His face is inches from
Ben’s as he says lowly, “you’ve never taken the chance to fucking know who I am. You have a perception of who you think I am...”

“I know who you are,” Ben states seriously. “You’re a fucking child who craves the attention of every fucking man in this city.”

Harry pushes Ben back against the window before he knows it. He tries to pull Harry’s hands off the collar of his shirt.

“You’re a fucking piece of shit,” Harry exclaims as he slams Ben back one more time before letting him go. “Leave. Get the fuck out of my place.”

“It’s fucking true,” Ben says back at once, “it’s not enough that you have me, or even Louis... is it, Harry? No, it’s not. You fucking crave that attention...”

Harry shakes his head and climbs back inside, Ben close behind.

“You don’t think that eventually you’ll get caught?” Ben asks him as he’s watching Harry search through his dresser drawer.

“By who?” Harry asks loudly.

“Eventually, people are going to figure you out,” Ben states seriously. “And, whatever you have with Louis Tomlinson will come crashing down. Because people like you, Harry, and me... we don’t get to be happy. We don’t get a happy ever after...”

“You are nothing like me,” Harry yells as he looks back at Ben, “we are nothing alike.”

Ben walks over to him slowly, “that’s what drives you insane, isn’t it? The fact that you and I are so much alike?”

“I didn’t marry someone I didn’t love,” Harry snaps as he finds his stash of cocaine. “I choose to keep an image without hurting someone.”

“You’re hurting yourself,” Ben whispers before he’s sighing and watching Harry walk out of the room.

Harry closes the bathroom door and quickly puts the powder on the counter; he snorts it within seconds, then closes his eyes and leans back against the door.

He wishes that he could somehow fix everything... if he could only be different. If he could only regain everything he’s lost by giving into Ben and every other man he has ever been with.

“Harry,” he hears Ben say his name on the other side of the door a few seconds later. “Look, why don’t you just head to bed? I... I can come by tomorrow.”

Harry bites his lip and opens the door slowly, seeing Ben standing next to it.

“Grab a joint,” Harry mumbles to Ben before he’s walking to his room again, turning off lights as he does.

He lays down on his bed, Ben sitting on the other side as he lights a joint; he gives it to Harry and glances outside at the street lights.

“I shouldn’t have said that,” he admits to Harry.

Harry exhales his hit and hands the joint to Ben as he sighs, “truth hurts sometimes.”

“You’re not a bad person,” Ben whispers while he watches Harry staring at the ceiling. “You’re an incredible person, Harry. You’re... you’re the kindest person I have ever met. But, you don’t have to look for approval in everyone.”

“I don’t,” Harry mumbles. “There’s only a few people that I look for approval from.”

Ben stays quiet again while he hits the joint between his fingers; he knows who Harry is talking about.

Harry turns on his side, his eyes looking out the open window again; his mind fills with Louis again. He can see his smile, his blue eyes looking back at him... Harry’s heart aches the more he thinks about him.

“Why is this so hard?” Harry speaks up again.

“What?” Ben asks and hands him the joint.

“Why can’t I just let him go?” He asks quietly. “Things would be easier... for everyone.”

Ben sighs and lays down next to Harry, placing his hand on his side gently. “Because... you can’t keep yourself from loving him. No matter how much you don’t want to, you still do.”

Harry closes his eyes and whispers, “is that how you feel?”

Ben glances back at Harry to see his emerald eyes already on him.

“Is that how you feel about me?”

“Yeah,” Ben replies and nods some, “it is.”

Harry looks away again, refusing to hold eye contact for too long. He closes his eyes and stays quiet.

Ben’s fingers move gently and slowly up and down Harry’s arm, causing Harry to break out in cold chills.

He continues to ignore Ben, hoping that maybe he’ll leave him alone. When he feels Ben’s hand moving towards his pants, his eyes open again.

“Don’t,” Harry tells him at once.

“What? It would help you relax more,” Ben smirks and says in a whisper.

“I don’t want to,” Harry tells him, “alright?”

“Because of Louis?”

“No,” Harry almost shouts again, “because... I just don’t want to...”

“Come on,” Ben tries to laugh, “let me take care of you... it’ll only take a few minutes...”


“Relax,” Ben interrupts him as he starts undoing Harry’s pants slowly.

Harry sighs and closes his eyes, knowing that he doesn’t want to do this at all; every fiber of his being is telling him not to... yet, the moment Ben’s hand is inside of his pants, all reason leaves his mind.

He stays quiet and allows Ben to stroke him; he keeps his eyes closed and loses himself in the feeling.

He’s even silent when Ben fucks him, though his mind is only thinking of Louis. He goes through every motion with Ben, but somehow, he doesn’t even feel as if it’s his reality.

He’s changed clothes and is sitting next to the window when Ben comes back from the bathroom. He slowly walks over to Harry, a small smile on his face.

“I’m sure you’ll sleep wonderful now,” Ben softly says and lights a cigarette.

Harry stays quiet again, his eyes staring at the clouds.

“Look, it wasn’t my intention to,” Ben begins.

“Save it,” Harry quickly interrupts him. “Just fucking save it. You knew what would happen before you even came...”

“So did you,” Ben says back quickly, “you knew just as much as I did...”

“And you say you’re not manipulative,” Harry replies and looks back at Ben, “go home.”

“Fine. If you really want me to go,” Ben says and picks up his coat from Harry’s bed.

“You got what you came for,” Harry speaks up, his tone harsh. “That’s all you fucking wanted, wasn’t it? To come here, fuck me, and fuck up everything for me.”

“What have I fucked up?” Ben asks, “please, do tell, Harold.”

“My entire fucking life,” Harry shouts, his eyes staying on him, “everything in it. I’m done, Ben. I’m fucking done. Alright?”

Ben sighs and shakes his head. “You’ll never be done with me. You and I are the same, Harry...”

“We are not the same,” Harry exclaims, “we aren’t family, we aren’t friends... what the fuck are we? I gave in to you because, at the time, it seemed like a good idea. I fucking hate myself for it because now, I’m standing here.... I’m standing at this point in my life where... I can’t fucking fix this. I can’t because... I have always relied on you. I can’t fucking do that anymore...”

“Harry, you don’t mean this,” Ben sighs and tries to grab his shoulders.

Harry tries to pull away quickly, but Ben doesn’t let him go. Finally, the anger in Harry gets the best of him and he punches Ben in the face with his fist.

Ben only looks shocked as he’s holding his chin.

Harry lets go of Ben and pushes him away before sighing and pushing his hair back.

“Get the fuck out of my flat,” he finally says.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?” Ben asks, “what’s gotten into you? My god, you’ve known me since you were like 12, Harry.”

Harry lets out a deep breath and sits down on his bed. “Just fucking go.”

“I’m not leaving you like this,” Ben says softly, “talk to me... please.”

“I’m done talking,” Harry replies, “the problem is you. Please, just fucking leave me alone... from now on.”

“Tell you what,” Ben starts, “I’ll... I’ll stay on the sofa...”

“I don’t want you staying at all,” Harry almost yells again. “Go.”

Ben closes his mouth and walks out of the room slowly; Harry only sighs and places his face in his hands.

He doesn’t hear the door open, and he knows that Ben doesn’t intend to leave. Harry knows exactly how Ben thinks; he knows because he and Ben are more alike than he even wants to admit.

To Harry, Ben is that older person that he has always went to about things; he’s almost like his older brother.

Harry pulls his t-shirt off and lays down again, pulling the cover up around him. He stares out the open window again, his mind seeing nothing but a pair of blue eyes. He wishes that he could forget about Louis for just a moment... but now, it’s impossible for him.

Harry hates being alone, but he hates being away from Louis even more. He wonders how it’s possible to love someone as much as he does.

All he wants is to spend every hour of every day by Louis’ side. The two of them could lie in bed all day and do nothing and Harry would still feel like it’s the best of his life... because Louis is the best thing in his life. He believes that now.

How is it possible for him to be with someone that’s high profile? He knows that it’s impossible and that it’ll never happen... yet, he still wishes for a future where he and Louis live together, and are happy.

Maybe Ben is right, he thinks; there are no happily ever afters for them. There’s only daydreams of better days.

Chapter Text

Harry sees the sunlight coming in his window the very next morning and he's immediately feeling all the pressure in his head; he's wishing he hadn't drank so much.

He groans a little before he's glancing beside him and seeing Ben sound asleep.

"Bastard," he mumbles to himself and falls over on his back. He somehow guessed that Ben would find the way to his bed.

He sighs and sits up slowly; he finds a joint in his nightstand and lights it quickly, hoping that it cures his hangover.

He exhales his hit when his phone begins ringing. He's answering it as fast as possible so that Ben doesn't wake.

"Hello," he says softly.

"Hey, love,” he hears that familiar Doncaster accent on the other end and his heart is swelling immediately. "I, uh, I wanted to call and apologize..."

"You don't have to apologize, Lou," Harry's quick to tell him in a gentle tone, "we... we both said a lot of shit."

"Yeah, but, I shouldn't have left like that last night," Louis replies lowly, "it was very immature of me. You didn't deserve it."

Harry bites his lip and looks over his shoulder at Ben still sleeping. "Yeah, well, the truth hurts... but, you were right... about everything."

"Uh, I'm having breakfast with Alice soon," Louis speaks up again, "I thought that maybe you'd like to join us."

"Uh, yeah, sure," Harry manages to say, "what time?"

"9:30 at the restaurant near Central Park. She loves the place," Louis almost groans before he's snickering quietly, "I can't wait to ask about Niall."

"You're going to ask her about him?" Harry asks with a chuckle. "Oh my god."

"Why not?" Louis giggles into the phone. "Hey, you can put in a good word for him."

"Yeah," Harry laughs and shakes his head.

"What's the time?" Ben speaks up, Harry looking at him.

"If... if you're busy, you don't have to come," Louis tells him in a low voice.

"I'm not," Harry sighs and shakes his head, "the asshole is leaving, trust me."

"Uh, I'll see you at 9:30?" Louis asks quietly.

"Yeah," Harry replies, his voice cracking. "See you then."

He hangs up the phone and closes his eyes, wishing with everything in him that he could just wake up to Louis' face every morning.

"I'll leave," Ben says while he's getting up slowly. "You obviously have plans."

"I told you to fucking leave last night," Harry says flatly and glares at Ben. "Why didn't you?"

"Because... I knew you didn't wanna be alone," Ben replies quietly. "I get that you were pissed..."

"No," Harry shakes his head and stands up, "I'm not pissed. I'm really not. I just can't get through to you. You don't fucking listen to me..."

"I do listen," Ben nods, "but last night... you didn't sound like yourself. At all."

"Why's that? Because I wasn't being the naive little kid you fell for?" Harry smarts off as he places his hands on his hips. "Forgive me for growing up and seeing through your bullshit."

"Really?" Ben chuckles some, "you grew up that much in a week's time? Please. Spare me, Harry."

"No, I've finally had enough," Harry states seriously. "I don't want you even coming to the plays..."

"It's a fucking play," Ben smirks, "you can't exactly keep me out of a public place."

"You're right. I can't. But you can stay away from me," Harry replies lowly. "That's all I ask. Let me do my thing and you do yours. I'm capable of taking care of myself."

"Are you?" Ben asks with a small nod. "If you say so, Harry. Tell you what, I'll allow you to handle yourself when accusations start being made about you... about Louis..."

"What is that supposed to mean?" Harry asks, "are you threatening me?"

"No," Ben shakes his head, "I'm not. Not at all. I only know that one day, someone is going to discover your secret... and you're going to need people on your side to defend you."

"I don't have a problem with going to prison," Harry shrugs and looks away, "I really don't. I honestly think sometimes that I'd be better off there... or in the institution."

"You wish you were still there? Really?" Ben asks confused. "After all you have now?"

"What do I have?" Harry almost snaps again. "A good name? Money? Fame? Faking a lifestyle? I enjoy acting, but... this life is overrated, Ben. This life means nothing if I'm not happy."

"Why are you not happy?" Ben asks quietly, "why? I thought this was your dream? You're getting to live your dream because I helped get you out of that fucking place..."

"Don't," Harry exclaims over Ben, "don't fucking start about how you helped me. I fucking chose you, alright?!"

Ben closes his mouth, his eyes staying on Harry.

"I knew that you liked me," Harry tells him, "Come on, don't act surprised. You've known all along that I used you. I made it work to my advantage."

Ben nods and swallows hard. "Yeah, I guess I have always known that. Maybe... maybe I just didn't want to hear you say it."

"I used you," Harry states, his tone cold, "because I knew how much you cared about me... because I knew that you'd help me out of there. Do you still think I'm the person you know? Do you really know me at all?"

Ben's face stays serious while he's glaring at Harry. "So, all of this, between us... it's all been an act..."

"There's nothing between us," Harry says in almost a whisper. His eyes meet Ben's again while his face softens some. "I'm sorry.... but nothing exists between us. I... I used you over and over just to get my way... and I apologize for that. I was stupid to do it..."

"You can't tell me that you feel nothing for me," Ben interrupts, stepping closer to Harry, "I know you care about me, Harry."

"It's called acting," Harry states, his tone harsh again, "and... well, I guess I just happen to be so fucking good at it that everyone believes me... even you..."

"No," Ben shakes his head and looks away, "you're not always acting, Harry, and you fucking know that. I've seen it on your face. I saw it before we ever came to America. Don't lie to me..."

"Don't act as if you didn't use me as well," Harry speaks up again, "you have... from the moment you touched me in that institution..."

"I didn't use you," Ben snaps and glares at Harry. "I wanted the fucking best for you. I knew what you were capable of. I fucking knew that you could someday be a star on Broadway... and look where you are now..."

"And I'm thankful for where I am," Harry says louder, his eyes falling on Ben, "I'm very grateful for this life. But it doesn't change the fact that I used you to get where I am..."

"Do you feel guilty for using me?" Ben decides to ask.

Harry glances back at him, then sighs and stares outside the window. "I shouldn't... but yeah... I suppose I do."

Ben nods slowly, "I... I never meant to use you, if that's what you wanna call it. Honestly, Harry. I have always wanted the best for you..."

"Why?" Harry asks at once. He looks at Ben confused, "why have you always wanted the best for me? Do you feel like you're responsible for me? Cause you're not. You're not my dad..."

"I fucking know that," Ben sighs and watches Harry lighting a cigarette. "I have never tried to be your father. How could I possibly be, Harry? I fucking love you, but not in that way..."

Harry pushes his curls back and sighs, "you feel responsible for me, don't fucking lie."

"In a way, yeah, I suppose I do," Ben answers in a whisper, "because I want to be there for you. I care about you too much, so I look out for you. I don't really know why I do..."

Harry glances back, "I can take care of myself, alright? Whatever I decide to do with my life doesn't affect you unless you allow it to..."

"It affects me because I love you," Ben states, "why don't you fucking get that?"

"Because I can't possibly see how you can," Harry replies loudly, "I'm young enough to be your fucking son. How can you possibly love me?"

"You don't exactly act like a child," Ben says sarcastically, "you've always been mature for your age."

"I fucking used you to benefit myself," Harry tells him, "how can you love me?"

"You didn't use me," Ben sighs and steps closer to him, "not if I allowed you to. Maybe... maybe I have known all along that you didn't feel the same way I did; maybe I chose not to see it..."

Harry feels Ben's fingers against his cheek and he closes his eyes, wishing that he could somehow change all of this.

"But there's a part of me that knows you love me," Ben says quietly, "and maybe you don't want to admit it to yourself, but... deep down, you know there's a part of you that cares about me..."

"You don't know that," Harry replies quickly. "You don't even fucking know me. You've spent all these years with me and you don't even know who I am."

"No," Ben sighs, "I know who you are, Harry Styles. And it's not this person in front of me. I think what scares you is the fact that I know you better than you know yourself."

"That's bullshit," Harry retorts and hits his cigarette before glancing at the time. "Get out. Please."

Ben licks his lip and tries to nod; he gently squeezes Harry's shoulder before he's walking out of the room slowly.

Harry goes to his closet, trying to focus on finding something to wear to breakfast... but his mind is anywhere but here.

"I'll call you later to check on you," Harry hears Ben say from the bedroom doorway a few seconds later.

He turns to see him propped up against the doorframe. "You don't have to. I'll be fine..."

"Yeah, well, I don't know why you're behaving this way," Ben states, "but I hope that you figure out your shit soon."

Harry gives him a confused look. "I don't have anything to figure out, Ben. You're my problem. Don't you fucking get that?"

Ben starts to say something, but Harry doesn't give him the chance.

"I don't have to sort things out," Harry continues, the anger burning all over him, "if you were to drop off the face of the earth, then maybe my problems would be fixed, yeah... but you're still breathing."

Ben looks at Harry in disbelief, "what the fuck is going on with you? This isn't like you at all... I don't understand why you're behaving like this..."

"You don't understand a lot of things," Harry snaps, "get out."

Ben's eyes stay on Harry as he's pushing his hair back and walking away slowly.

"Why are you trying to distance yourself from me?" Ben decides to ask, "I mean, are you going to stop seeing everyone else you see as well?"

"That's not your fucking business..."

"No, it is," Ben replies loudly, "if you want me out of your life, what about all the fucking people you use when you don't want to be alone? Huh?"

"That has nothing to do with you," Harry almost exclaims, "what I do with my life is not your concern."

"So, what... you get rid of me, but continue to sleep with everyone else?" Ben asks in a hateful way. "Right. I see how it is."

"Get the fuck out of my flat," Harry gets out as he tries to control his anger.

"What bothers you, Harry?" Ben asks him, "the fact that I'm the most real thing you have ever known? Is that what this is about?"

"What you feel for me isn't real," Harry nearly shouts, "it's a fucked up perception of what you believe love is. It's not real; it can't be. I'm too young for you, Ben. And you fucking know that. This isn't right..."

"So, it's about what's right?" Ben asks and nods, "ok... how is fucking other men right, Harry? Because that's what you do. You don't even have to know them... you sleep with them anyhow..."

Harry cuts Ben's words short when he grabs him and pushes him back against the doorframe. Ben doesn't stay there long, however. He has Harry thrown on the floor in seconds.

Harry isn't even sure what his fists are hitting; all he knows is that Ben has him pinned on the floor and he's fighting back.

"What's going on?" Harry hears Nick's voice a few moments later. He looks up from the floor to see him standing with the front door open.

Ben doesn't say anything; he doesn't even look at Harry before he's leaving quickly.

Nick watches Ben leaving before he's staring at Harry in the floor against the sofa. "What the fuck?"

"It's nothing," Harry mumbles as he's sitting up. He pushes his hair back and sighs before he's rubbing his forehead.

"Nothing?" Nick asks with wide eyes, "you 2 were going at it. I could hear your voices down the fucking hallway..."

Harry shakes his head and rests his hands on his knees.

"Shit," Nick whispers when he sees the blood coming from Harry's bottom lip. "You're bleeding."

Harry mindlessly wipes his face, seeing the blood on his hand; he isn't too alarmed by it, however. He only shrugs and looks away again.

Nick stays completely still, his eyes studying Harry. "What happened? Do you want me to go after him?"

"And do what, Nick?" Harry almost laughs, "I can't see you beating his ass. I'm sorry."

Nick sighs and walks off for the bathroom, Harry not even looking at him. He brings back a damp cloth and hands it to Harry as he's squatting down in front of him.

"What the fuck happened?"

Harry shrugs and wipes his mouth, "I got too angry. He said some things that pissed me off."

"So, that's how you responded," Nick nods and sighs, "your eye's gonna swell."

"It's fine," Harry mumbles and starts getting up, "I have to meet Louis for breakfast."

"What?" Nick's asking as he watches Harry going to his room. "I think you should stay home and put ice on that..."

"I can't," Harry says while he's picking up a blouse, "I wanna see him."

"Uh, maybe he should just come by when he's done," Nick states quietly, "you really should put ice on your eye. If you don't, it's going to..."

"I know," Harry interrupts him, his voice loud, "I don't fucking care. Now, either help me or shut the fuck up."

Nick closes his mouth and tries to nod as he's going to Harry's dresser slowly. He finds Harry's make up in the drawer and he's sitting it down as he glances back at Harry.

"We can cover it up pretty well," he shrugs and says.

Harry finally grins some and nods, "brilliant idea."

Nick shrugs and smiles, "I am brilliant."

Harry dresses quickly and then has Nick applying make up around his eye. He tries not to wince every time he touches it.

"Do you feel better?" Nick speaks up, "I mean, I'm sure you got a few good punches in."

Harry's dimples show, "yeah, I do feel a little better."

"I've always told everyone that you are the worst when it comes to having a temper," Nick laughs and shakes his head while he's applying a little more make up around Harry's left eye. "I mean, the quiet ones are always the scariest when they're pissed off."

Harry chuckles some and nods, "yeah... yeah, I suppose we are."

"That's why you don't piss off the quiet ones," Nick smirks and studies his eye. "Better."

Harry looks in the mirror and breathes a sigh of relief. "Thanks, Nick. It looks great."

"No problem," Nick smiles and watches Harry putting on his coat. "You ok?"

Harry looks back at him a little surprised by the question. "Uh, yeah. Yeah, I'm good. I could use a few drinks to kill this headache. What made you come by?"

"Oh, nothing really," Nick shrugs, "was only coming to check on you. Felt like making you breakfast..."

"Oh, shit," Harry sighs, "I'm sorry..."

"No," Nick laughs, "Harry, it's fine. You should see Louis."

Harry's licking his lip before he's smiling again, "come with me."

"What?" Nick asks with a laugh. "To breakfast with... them?"

"It'd be so much better with you there," Harry almost pleads, "oh, come on..."

"Jesus, Harry," Nick chuckles, "you want to make me sit at a table with her? She's annoying."

"Please," Harry begs, "Lou would love it if you were there."

"Is that so?" Nick asks with a smirk.

"You know he would," Harry nods, "he's grown very fond of you."

"I'll go," Nick almost groans. "Only for Louis."

Harry chuckles some, "watch it. He's mine."

"Obviously," Nick smirks, "I bet he's a lot of fun in bed."

Harry almost snorts before he's laughing and shaking his head.

"What? He looks as if he would be," Nick shrugs, "give me a break, Harry. You know, we're not all as fortunate as you when it comes to landing an extremely attractive man. Not to mention he's fucking wealthy..."

"Really?" Harry looks back at him. "Money isn't everything."

"You're right," Nick nods, "I suppose inheriting 5 million when you turn 25 isn't a big deal. It's only money..."

"What?" Harry's eyes widen as his head snaps in Nick's direction. "Are you talking about..."

"Louis? Yes," Nick replies, "what? You didn't know that?"

Harry's eyes are still wide as he tries to answer, "no... I had no clue."

Nick nods and sighs, "when he turns 25, that's what he has access to. Although, if he calls off the wedding, his father may change his mind."

"How do you know all of this?" Harry asks confused. "I mean, I didn't even know..."

"People talk," Nick shrugs, "I was sure you knew that he was inheriting money. I figured that Louis mentioned it."

"No," Harry shakes his head, "he doesn't talk about money. That's not something he would ever talk about around me; I don't care about shit like that."

"Well, I just know that he was inheriting it and that he was to put so much back for his future son," Nick states.

"What the fuck," Harry asks with almost a chuckle, "how do you know all of this?"

"I've heard people talking about it," Nick grins, "sorry. Jesus, how did you not know? He's going to be New York's most eligible bachelor if he breaks up with Alice."

Harry closes his mouth and grabs his wallet before he's walking out of the room slowly. His mind begins to wander again and he can't make it stop.

Harry and Nick are the first ones at the restaurant near Central Park; Louis and Alice show up only a few minutes later.

Harry watches Louis sit down across from him, and his heart sinks a little; he wants to touch him... talk to him... tell him how much he cares for him.

"Harry, are you alright?" Alice speaks up, causing Harry to glance at her. "Your lip..."

"Oh," Harry tries to smile, "uh, yeah... I'm fine."

Nick only looks at Louis, then Harry again, over and over.

"Not something worth talking about," Harry shrugs, his eyes falling on Louis next.

Louis holds his gaze for several seconds before he's looking away; Harry, however keeps his eyes on Louis... he can't help but watch him.

After they've ordered, Harry's sipping his coffee, feeling so much tension.

"Uh, I can't stay too long because I have a meeting to be in," Harry explains, his eyes meeting Louis' again.

"It's fine," Alice smiles, "I enjoy seeing you at least a little."

"What meeting?" Louis speaks up, Harry glancing at him.

"Uh, I'm taking a small break," Harry replies, "so, I have to attend a meeting with some of the people I work for."

"You're taking a break from Broadway?" Alice asks him.

"No, not really," Harry smiles, "I'm... I'm just taking a bit of time off, going out of town for a bit, so..."

"Oh?" Alice asks, "with family?"

Harry glances at Louis as he's replying, "uh, you could say that."

Louis grins a little and quickly drinks his tea, Nick smirking from across the table.

"It's... it's actually a few friends and I," Harry explains and smiles at Alice. "And a very special friend of mine."

"Oh, is it a girl? It isn't that actress, is it?" Alice asks and grins at Harry.

"Who?" Harry asks with a small smile.

"Whichever one you're seeing," Alice giggles some, "I saw something in a magazine about you and her..."

"Oh, Jesus," Harry chuckles and shakes his head, "yeah, uh, she was just a friend. Her name is Julia."

"Yes, her," Alice nods and smiles, "well, I'm sure she's very nice."

"She is," Harry replies, his eye catching Louis' for a moment.

"Oh, Louis, you should come with us to see Niall," Nick speaks up, causing Harry to look at him at once. "He invited us over."

"Oh, sure, yeah," Louis nods and glances at Harry who is trying not to laugh. "How is Niall?"

"He's good," Harry tries to say with a straight face. "He mentioned that he met you, Alice. Isn't he nice? I'm quite fond of his accent."

"Yeah, he does have a lovely accent," Alice agrees as she's grinning.

Harry sees Ben and his wife Sarah walking in a few seconds later, and he doesn't bother trying to look away. Ben sees him while they're walking to their table... and his eyes lock with Harry's.

Nick has already noticed Ben as well and he's leaning over to whisper to Harry, "we can go ahead and leave..."

"It's fine," Harry mumbles lowly, "it's public."

Nick nods and sits back again, his eyes wandering around the restaurant.

Harry isn't sure where Ben and Sarah are seated; he has a feeling he knows when he looks at Louis and sees him staring behind Nick.

"I'm going to powder my nose," Alice smiles at Louis and stands up. She walks off to the bathroom and Louis is quickly looking at Harry.

"What happened?"

"It's nothing," Harry replies with a small sigh, "I let my anger get the best of me and I sort of lost it..."

"On Ben," Louis whispers.

"Yeah," Harry mumbles, "he didn't start it. I did."

"What exactly happened?" Louis asks, and Harry can see that he isn't happy.

"I'll explain later," Harry tells him, "it's not a big deal. I'm actually glad I did it."

Nick smirks and drinks his coffee as he's looking at Louis.

"Why are you glad?" Louis whispers.

"The fucking git deserved it, alright?" Harry states almost too loudly.

Nick nudges him with his elbow, trying to remind Harry they're in public; Harry only sighs and gets up from the table at once, not saying a word before walking off.

Louis looks around the restaurant before his eyes fall on Ben and Sarah; he feels so much rage building in him... he wants Ben to pay for what he's done.

"They've gotten in arguments like this before. Plenty of times," Nick quietly tells Louis. "Seems Ben is very good at pushing his buttons."

"They argue like this a lot?" Louis asks confused. "Really?"

Nick bites his lip and nods a little, "they don't... they don't really see eye to eye on anything. It's quite strange."

"Harry's not a violent person," Louis starts.

"No," Nick speaks up with a small laugh, "no, he's not. But... if you ever piss him off, he's not exactly forgiving."

"I'm sure Ben knows that by now," Louis nods and mumbles, "so, why would he even want to piss him off?"

"His temper is as bad as Harry's," Nick replies, his tone serious as he stares at Louis. "He's not a horrible lad either... unless he's pissed. Both of them are... well, they're extremely stubborn and they clash..."

"Sounds like they're more alike than Harry realises," Louis whispers and sips his tea.

"Yeah, but," Nick begins, his tone low, "I think Harry's a lot like Ben because of the influence he's had on his life."

"Really? You're saying that Ben has changed him?" Louis asks before he sees Harry out of the corner of his eye, and Alice not too far behind him.

"I'm saying that Ben has influenced Harry's personality more than Harry will ever admit," Nick states quietly before he's forcing a smile at Harry a few feet away.

Louis does his best to smile as Alice sits down next to him; he knows that Harry's eyes are on him... he's known the entire time.

Harry barely touches his food; he only wishes to finish the coffee. He doesn't have an appetite anymore as his mind wanders again. He sits and listens to Alice talking to Louis... and he wonders if she really does love him.

"Lets go," Harry finally whispers to Nick beside him.

"Alright," Nick nods and smiles at Louis and Alice, "we've gotta get going. Nice seeing you again. And thank you, Louis, for the invite."

"It was lovely to see you," Alice grins at Nick and Harry. "I hope to see you again before I leave... if you don't have any more plays lined up."

"Just the one tomorrow night," Harry replies and tries to smile. He glances at Louis next, "uh, let me know if you can make it to Niall's in a little bit."

"Yeah," Louis nods some, "I... I will."

Harry grins a little and walks off quickly, letting out a deep sigh as he does; he sees Ben and Sarah staring at him right before he walks out... but he doesn't pay them any mind.

Nick catches up to Harry on the sidewalk, "what's your hurry? It's not like you have a real meeting."

"I don't want to be in there," Harry replies lowly as Nick walks beside him now.

"You're afraid that he's not going to come around as much now," Nick says, "because of his dad..."

"Well, what would you do?" Harry quickly asks him, "would you try to please your father so that you could inherit that much money?"

"I doubt Louis sees it that way," Nick sighs and buries his hands in his pockets.

"Really?" Harry almost smirks. "That's what this fucking world is based on... money."

"He really loves you," Nick states, his tone serious, "it's obvious."

"You can tell?" Harry asks softly.

"I can," Nick nods and grins a little, "the way he watches you is just horrendous..."

"What?" Harry chuckles.

"Well, it's a bit creepy, the way he looks at you," Nick shrugs and smiles, "of course, you look at him the same way."

Harry smiles to himself while he's looking off down the crowded sidewalks. "Didn't realise it was that obvious."

"Oh, it is," Nick almost laughs, "I'm honestly surprised that Alice hasn't noticed."

"You think it's that noticeable?"

"I do," Nick nods and glances around, "just like you and Ben are that obvious."

"Oh, fucking please," Harry groans and lights a cigarette.

"You know it's true," Nick smirks, "don't lie to yourself, Harry. Everyone that knows you 2 thinks he's like your father or something..."

"Yeah, I can see that," Harry nods before he's sighing. "I should've realised that sooner."

"Why? Is it going to change anything?" Nick almost laughs, "come on. He's been around since you were 16. He might as well be your family now."

"I should've listened," Harry whispers, Nick glancing back at him, "all those times you asked me to stop seeing him..."

"Yeah, well, I just found it odd that... that he was always around," Nick mumbles, Harry glancing away. "I mean, out of all the men you see, he... he's always there. He's a constant."

"It isn't such a bad thing sometimes," Harry shrugs and doesn't look at Nick. "He has been there for me through a lot..."

"Because you used him," Nick nods and sighs, "Harry, I just don't understand it. I'm sorry. I mean, Ben may be manipulative, yeah, but... so are you. You acted a part to benefit yourself..."

"I'm a horrible person, yeah," Harry manages to say, "what's your point, Nick?"

"Well, is it really his fault that he's still around?" Nick asks softly, "I mean, it's almost like you keep him around. And maybe he thought that you really did love him..."

"Even if he did, when I told him the truth that should've been enough," Harry mumbles out.

"You told him that you used him?" Nick smirks, "are you fucking serious?"

Harry nods slowly, "I did, yeah. I... I told him the truth. I should've told him sooner, I guess."

Nick nods, though he's studying Harry's face still. "Something tells me that... that Ben felt like you actually loved him."

Harry bites his lip and looks away again.

"Look, maybe you are a brilliant actor, Harry," Nick speaks up, "I mean, you could've fooled me..."

Harry glances back at him, "you think that I love him?"

"Yeah," Nick nods immediately, "I do think that. God, he's always around you. Doesn't matter what you do... and you allow it. All the time."

Harry shakes his head and looks away again. "I don't love him, Nick."

"Maybe... maybe your mum and sister being here will help," Nick manages to say.

"What does that mean?" Harry asks him quickly.

"It means that... that maybe the reason Ben is still around is because he's the only thing close to family you've got here," Nick explains flatly.

"You're wrong..."

"You haven't proven me wrong yet, Harold," Nick states, "don't pretend you have. I love you to death, but... some people in your life you've gotta let go. He's one of them..."

"Why exactly?"

"Why?" Nick almost laughs, "come on, Harry, don't kid yourself. He took advantage of you. And the sad part is, you let him. He's old enough to be your fucking dad and yet, he manipulates you..."

"He doesn't manipulate me," Harry sighs loudly, "it's my fault, not his. I took advantage of him just as much."

"Yeah, but the difference is that you were young when he took advantage of you in that institution, Harry... and he fucking knew that he could influence your young mind," Nick says seriously, "now, you're 20... he's going on 40 and nothing has changed. It's still the same."

Harry closes his mouth and stays quiet now while Nick is calling a cab for the two of them.

Harry sits at home a few moments later, ice over his eye. Nick is sitting on his bed, hitting a joint and watching him.

"Do you want me to go?" He asks softly.

"No," Harry replies and sighs, "I don't mind if you stay."

Harry lays down beside Nick and Nick plays with his curls mindlessly. "How long are you planning on staying gone?"

"I don't know," Harry mumbles out, his eyes growing heavy at Nick's touch. "I'd like to stay gone about 2-3 weeks."

"Are you really going to be able to keep him that long?" Nick smirks some. "Seems his dad would have something to say."

"He doesn't know," Harry whispers, "and he's not going to know. Louis will tell him something."

"So, the point is for him not to know he's with you," Nick says and nods, "that's great and all, but do you really expect his father not to know? Come on. Hell, I know Alice would figure it out if she were going to be here."

"I don't know how we're going to get away with it," Harry replies, "all I know is that I'm leaving. I have to get away for a bit."

"Does Ben know you're leaving?" Nick decides to ask. "Are you telling him?"

Harry opens his eyes and stares up at the ceiling, "it's not any of his business."

"So, when he asks me..."

"Just tell him I'm away," Harry glances at Nick. "It won't be hard. You don't have to tell him where I'm going."

Nick nods a little and hits the joint again as someone is knocking on Harry's door.

"Fuck," Harry groans almost.

"I've got it," Nick tells him and gets up at once. "If it's Ben, I fucking swear..."

"Just go answer it," Harry states and sighs while he closes his eyes.

Nick opens the door and finds Louis staring back at him, a small grin on his lip.


"Hey," Nick finally says with a smile, "come in."

Louis walks in Harry's apartment slowly, his eyes looking for Harry.

"He's, uh, in the bedroom," Nick points and says softly.

Louis nods and walks in Harry's room, his eyes falling on his messy curls immediately.

"How's the lip?" Louis asks, causing Harry to glance at him immediately.

"What are you doing here?" Harry asks while he's sitting up slowly.

"I wanted to see you," Louis says quietly, his eyes studying Harry's. "Jesus."

"Yeah," Harry smirks, placing the ice over his eye again. "Good thing I only have one play left."

"You sure the makeup will cover it up completely?"

"It will, yeah," Harry replies and sighs.

"So, I'm guessing that I should never piss you off," Louis manages to say with a small smirk.

Harry snorts and laughs, "uh, I doubt that I'd ever respond to you that way."

"I don't know," Louis chuckles, before he's saying softly, "Nick told me that you and Ben argue like this a good bit."

Harry smiles and shakes his head, "we argue all the time. We don't usually let our anger get the best of us like this morning..."

"When's the last time it happened then?" Louis asks, Harry looking back at him.

"Uh, couple weeks ago," Harry shrugs.

"Really?" Louis asks in disbelief. "So, the last time you 2 got into an actual fight before today was 2 weeks ago. How the fuck is he still around then? That's bull shit..."

"He didn't start it," Harry almost laughs, "Lou, it's my fault. I... I get so fucking angry that I can't think straight. I will literally attack him without thinking about it."

"Why is that?" Louis asks quietly, "I mean, I know you don't want to hurt anyone..."

"I really don't know," Harry shrugs and glances at Louis, "we just... it's like we can't talk to each other without it ending badly."

"I figured that you 2 talked plenty," Louis shakes his head and sighs.

"You'd be surprised," Harry whispers, "we've never talked that much, believe it or not. He doesn't bother talking too much to me; he knows I won't agree with him on much..."

"And yet, the 2 of you are so much alike," Louis almost smirks, "I don't think you realise that at all."

Harry bites his lip and wants to look away from Louis, but he can't. "What makes you think that?"

"Oh, come on," Louis chuckles lowly, "anyone with eyes could see how alike you both are. Why do you think everyone thinks he's related to you?"

"He doesn't look anything like me," Harry laughs and shakes his head.

"If he was your stepfather, then it wouldn't matter," Nick speaks up from the doorway.

"Stop eavesdropping," Harry snaps at him.

Nick only grins and goes back to the kitchen while Harry's sighing and shaking his head.

"I really need out of here," Harry states, Louis only chuckling at him.

"Not too much longer," Louis tells him softly.

"Why didn't you tell me about the money?" Harry decides to ask him, Louis glancing back immediately.

"Uh, it's only money," Louis shrugs and smiles.

"It's a lot of fucking money," Harry smirks.

"I didn't think you'd want to hear about it," Louis shrugs and looks at him, "I mean, it really doesn't mean anything to me. I could care less."

"Yeah, but that's really amazing of your father," Harry states quietly. "I can see why he wants you to get married."


"To have a son," Harry shrugs and says, "I mean, that way, you're also handing down money to the next in line... it keeps everything going for your family."

Louis licks his lips and manages to nod some, "yeah, I suppose that's one way of looking at it."

"It's a brilliant idea," Harry nods, "maybe I should do that with my last name."

"Yeah, but who would you hand everything down to?" Louis chuckles lightly.

"Maybe you," Harry states, his tone serious.

Louis glances back at him, knowing Harry means that.

"Uh, how long can you stay?" Harry finds himself asking.

"I have a few hours," Louis replies, "possibly all day. Not sure yet."

"How are you not sure?" Harry smirks and looks confused as he's standing up slowly.

"Well, Niall is supposed to be calling her," Louis answers and tries to act innocent.

"Oh, shit," Harry grins at him, "Jesus Christ. You're already setting her up."

"No," Louis shakes his head, "I'm trying to help Horan. There's a difference."

Harry nods some, "sure there is."

Louis sighs and places his hands together, his eyes watching Harry across the room. "What do you have planned?"

"My theatre is hosting a show tonight," Harry looks back at Louis and grins, "it's not mine... it's someone else's..."

"That's brilliant," Louis smiles, "so, I'm guessing you're going to the show?"

"I am," Harry nods and starts putting on different pants. "It's my theatre, so it's kinda required that I'm there. Can you come?"

"Uh, I'd like to," Louis starts and sighs, "but... well, I don't know how the evening with Alice..."

"Lou, it's ok," Harry states quickly. "I get it."

"No, you don't," Louis mumbles, "you have no idea how badly I'd rather be with you..."

"Then, be with me," Harry tells him, his voice deep, "just be with me. Let Niall worry about Alice."

Louis bites his lip, considering Harry's offer; it all sounds so good to him... and he knows he can't tell Harry no.

"Alright," Louis speaks up again, Harry's dimples showing. "I'll go with you."

"Knew you'd come around," Harry smirks and pats his shoulder lightly. "What about your dad, though?"

"He doesn't have to know," Louis shrugs and says slowly, "I mean, if Niall talks to Alice, I highly doubt that my father will find out where I am."

"And if he drops by your place and realises you aren't there?" Harry asks with a smirk.

Louis shrugs, "I suppose that he'll just have to get over it."

"When are you going to the school?" Harry asks while he's pulling off his shirt and looking through his closet.

"Uh, sometime soon," Louis sighs, "I don't know when exactly."

Harry nods without looking at him; he puts on a shirt and starts buttoning it up slowly, Louis watching him.

"Did... did he stay here last night?" Louis manages to ask finally.

Harry licks his lip and says quietly, "why do you ask if you don't want to know?"

Louis closes his mouth and looks away immediately. He already had guessed the answer.

"I... I shouldn't have left like that," Louis manages to get out, Harry glancing at him.

"What?" He asks slowly.

"I never should've left you like that," Louis responds and glances at Harry, "but... you know, deep down I knew that he would be here... that you would ask him to come over..."

"I didn't ask him," Harry quickly responds, "I didn't. He showed up here. I asked him more than once to fucking leave..."

"So, you didn't let him fuck you?” Louis asks loudly.

Nick stops in the doorway when he hears Louis; he looks at Harry immediately.

"He stayed here?" He speaks up.

"He did, yeah," Harry sighs and pushes his curls back. "Lou, I don't know what to..."

"It's... it's fine," Louis mumbles, "I shouldn't have asked."

"He stayed with you last night? Why the fuck were you 2 at each other's throats, then?" Nick asks with a confused expression.

"Because he always takes things too far," Harry almost snaps. "He enjoys fucking up my life. He truly does."

"He wouldn't fuck up your life if you didn't allow him to," Louis states, Harry looking at him instantly. "Honestly, Harry... you keep him around..."

"So, this is my fault," Harry nods.

"Stop," Nick nearly shouts at them. "Fucking Christ. He's really not worth this."

Harry sighs and nods, "you're right. I'm sorry."

"I'm sorry," Louis whispers, "I... I shouldn't have brought it up."

Harry manages to smile some before he's leaving the bedroom. Nick watches him go in the bathroom before he turns back to Louis.

"Do me a favour..."

"Ok," Louis slowly nods.

"Don't... don't let him go because of Ben," Nick whispers, "I mean, I know that this shit bothers you..."

"Does it not bother you?" Louis asks, "really? Come on, he fucking influenced Harry when he was still a teenager. The lad doesn't deserve to be around him. He should be in prison..."

"You're right," Nick states in a whisper, "you see it just like I do... you see him as a father figure, and that's what he's always been... he isn't going to just go away."

"I get that," Louis nods, "but... if Harry is ever going to be truly happy, he's going to have to walk away. There is no future for him if he wants to continue being Ben's reality behind closed doors. Where's the future in always being there for him? Someone who is close to 20 years older than him? Where's the fucking logic?"

Nick closes his mouth, his eyes staying on Louis'; he knows he feels the exact same way as he does.

"It's not about logic to him," Nick replies with a sigh. "It never has been."

Harry's coming back from the bathroom when he hears Nick talking; he stops by the door and stays quiet listening to him.

"It's about safety," Nick explains to Louis, "Harry hasn't had to worry about a fucking thing since he came here with Ben. He's had it much easier having him around..."

"I hardly think he's actually wanted him around," Louis states, causing Harry to smirk some. "And I hardly believe he's had it easy. Come on, Nick...."

"I just... I want him to be happy," Nick whispers, "and... I know how much he cares about you, so..."

"I'm not going to break his heart," Louis smirks quietly.

"No, I don't think that you will," Nick whispers, "but... I'm afraid that Ben will."

Harry clears his throat and walks back in, trying to fix his shirt as he does. He glances at Louis next. "Are you going in that?"

"Uh, is there something wrong with it?" Louis looks down at his grey suit.

Nick only smirks and shakes his head, "it's Harry. He'll find something wrong with it."

"You can go home, if you'd like," Harry looks at Nick and states.

"I'm going to make tea. Shush," Nick grins and walks out swiftly.

"Why don't you wear one of my suits?" Harry smiles at Louis.

"Are you serious?" Louis laughs. "They couldn't possibly fit. You're so tall... and fucking tiny."

"Hey," Harry smirks, "well, you could at least try."

Louis shakes his head and grins, walking over to Harry's closet. "Fuck, you have too many clothes. Honestly, Harold."

Harry shrugs and grins innocently while he's sitting down on his dresser and lighting a joint. "I like choices. I like clothes."

"I can tell," Louis nods, "and boots. Wow, loads of those."

"Yeah, well," Harry smiles, "it's an obsession, I'm afraid."

Louis smirks and pulls out several blouses. "Oh, Jesus. That's pink."

Harry chuckles, "yeah, it is. I have a pink suit as well."

"How the fuck do you have that? Do you make them?" Louis asks with a laugh.

"I have someone make them," Harry shrugs, "what? I like to be special."

"Yeah, I realise that," Louis jokes and winks. "You definitely pull them off, love."

"I make dresses look smashing, what are you talking about?" Harry grins and says jokingly.

"Ok, that is true," Louis laughs and nods. He pulls out a light blue button up and Harry's dimples show instantly.

"Wear it. It'd go amazing with your eyes."

"Sure," Louis shrugs and grins, "why not?"

He starts changing and Harry turns around to see Nick standing in the doorway again. “Really?”

"What?" Nick asks and tries to act innocent. "Tea's ready."

"He thinks you're hot," Harry tells Louis with a wide grin.

Louis' eyes widen as his head snaps in Nick's direction.

"Sorry," Nick shrugs and smiles a little, "Harry's a very fortunate lad."

"Thanks," Louis smirks, "I think."

Harry grins at Nick, "we’re coming."

"What time do you have to be at the theatre?" Louis asks Harry while they're heading to his kitchen.

"Uh, well, I'm supposed to be there by 5," Harry states while Nick is giving him his mug. "But, me being me, I'm getting there about 3 probably."

"That early?" Louis asks.

"Yeah, well, I don't have any plans, so," Harry shrugs.

"Shocking," Louis smirks while he's stirring his tea.

"We could stay here... hang out for a while," Harry mentions, though he's nervous to.

"I have to go home and shower before I go," Nick speaks up, trying to help Harry out. "So, yeah, feel free to stay here a bit. Don't get in a hurry."

"Yeah, yeah," Harry smirks at Nick, "you know we won't get in a hurry."

Louis grins and winks at Harry before he's sipping his tea again.

"I've gotta call Niall, so yeah, I'm heading home," Nick says before he's heading to the door with his coat.

"He isn't suppose to come to the play tonight, is he?" Louis asks and glances at Harry. "He told me he was calling Alice."

"Not that I know of," Harry shrugs, "Nick?"

"No," Nick shakes his head, "he said he wasn't coming, if he can manage to make other arrangements."

Louis snorts while Harry only shakes his head, "you're laughing at the fact that you're trying to get her to cheat on you."

"No," Louis states, "that's not it at all. I'm not hoping that she cheats on me. I want Niall to have a chance if he really likes her. He's doing me a favour... and he's doing Alice a favour."

"What happens if she really loves you?" Harry asks, his face serious when Louis is glancing back at him. "What then? Only Niall gets hurt then, right?"

"Don't stress over it," Nick speaks up, "you 2 find something else to talk about. Don't argue during the few hours you have together."

Louis bites his lip and looks back at Harry while Nick only waves as he's leaving.

"He's a really good friend," Louis mentions softly.

"He is, yeah," Harry nods and tries to smile some. "He's brutally honest... sorta like you."

Louis shrugs and grins before he's sitting his cup down and walking back to Harry's room.

Harry stands in the doorway and watches Louis trying to fix his collar in the mirror. "That blue looks really amazing on you."

"Thanks," Louis smiles, "I'm sure it looks better on you."

"Doubtful," Harry whispers as he's slowly walking over to Louis, "I don't have those beautiful eyes of yours."

"No, but, yours are just as gorgeous," Louis softly answers, "it's like... unwrapping a present when I look in your eyes."

"What?" Harry asks with a small smirk.

"Your eyes are very revealing," Louis says, "or maybe I can just read you very well."

"Maybe you can," Harry whispers, his eyes searching Louis', "what do you think they're saying right now?"

Louis stares at him for a long pause before licking his lips and replying, "that's easy... you have that familiar look in your eye... one I saw the first time you ever touched me."

"Lust?" Harry smirks.

"You could call it that," Louis replies in a whisper.

Harry places his arm around Louis' waist and pulls him closer; he starts undoing the buttons of his shirt slowly, his emerald eyes never breaking from the pair of blue eyes.

"Do you know what I want?" He whispers before his lips are slowly moving over the side of Louis' neck. "I want to kiss every single inch of your skin."

Louis sighs out loud and closes his eyes, his fingers immediately grabbing Harry's curls.

Harry pushes him back against the dresser, both of their waists against each other's now... and Louis could moan at the friction between them.

Harry manages to get his hand inside of Louis' pants while he's biting and sucking on the side of Louis' neck.

"Fuck, Styles," Louis sighs out and throws his head back while Harry's slowly stroking him.

"Can I taste you?" Harry whispers in his ear.

Louis is nodding immediately, making Harry grin. He's pulling Louis' pants down in a matter of seconds and dropping to his knees.

Louis collapses back against the dresser the moment he feels Harry's lips meet the tip of his cock.

He grips Harry's curls while he keeps his eyes on Harry in front of him. The sight is almost too much for Louis to handle.

Harry only moans while he continues to suck Louis off. He runs his tongue up and down his shaft, memorising the way it feels before he's swallowing Louis completely again without any trouble whatsoever.

Louis' fingers grip Harry's hair even more as he feels his body creeping closer and closer to the edge.

Harry stares up at Louis and loses himself in the way he looks when he's moaning. Harry could come from the sight.

"Let me taste you, Lou," Harry whispers before his lips are on Louis' again.

"Fuck, fuck," Louis almost exclaims as he feels that all too familiar feeling rush through him; he comes in Harry's mouth while his fingers are pulling his curls almost too harshly.

Harry doesn't mind, however; he's used to it. He only moans louder and swallows every last drop of Louis as his hands are gripping his hips.

"You alright?" Harry asks finally.

Louis sighs and nods, "I'm brilliant, love."

"Good," Harry says and stands up. He starts taking off his pants as he grins slyly. "My turn, now?"

Louis starts to say something as Harry's lips are crushing into his again; he loses all train of thought completely.

Harry's fingers run over Louis' ass as he's pulling away and whispering, "turn around."

Louis slowly turns around and leans against the dresser. Then, Harry's hands are roaming over his waist again.

"I could touch you forever," Harry mumbles before his lips are kissing over Louis' shoulder.

Louis only sighs and reaches back, pulling Harry closer to him. Harry only grins some at Louis' impatience.

He enters Louis slowly, his fingers gently rubbing Louis' sides.

"You ok?"

"I'm brilliant," Louis replies, "fuck me already."

Harry only smiles and grips Louis' waist as he begins moving in and out of him.

"Fuck... you feel so good," Harry sighs out against Louis' shoulder.

"Fuck me like you mean it, Styles," Louis demands softly.

Harry pushes him against the dresser even more, and Louis can't help but moan out loud when he starts fucking him even harder.

"Yes, yes," Louis sighs, "faster..."

Harry wraps his arm around Louis' waist and pulls him in, going even deeper than he was; he squeezes his eyes shut and gets lost in the feeling of Louis'... in the feeling of something that seems so familiar.

Harry reaches the point of no return and he moans out softly before his lips are biting down on the side of Louis' neck.

"Fuck, fuck," Louis almost shouts while things are falling off of the dresser from Harry's thrusts.

Harry finally slows down, letting out a deep breath as he kisses Louis' shoulder gently.

He leaves the room in complete silence. He stares at himself in the mirror of the bathroom a few seconds later, hardly recognising himself anymore. He touches his eye gently, seeing the bruise clearly. He sighs and pushes his curls back and turns on the water as Louis stops in the doorway.

"Are you ok?" Louis manages to speak up, though his voice cracks.

Harry nods some and rinses his face off. He grabs a towel and shuts off the water, "yeah. I'm fine."

Louis nods, though he doesn't believe a word. "How's the eye?"

"It's fine," Harry smirks, "doesn't hurt."

"Wanna talk or something? Maybe just fuck?"

"Maybe both," Harry grins, "how about some wine? Might as well enjoy ourselves."

"You're going to the play drunk," Louis chuckles and follows Harry to the kitchen.

"First of all, It's my theatre," Harry smirks, "and second, by the time it begins, I'll have a smashing headache and wish I hadn't drank at all."

Louis laughs and nods as he's watching Harry take out a bottle of wine from the fridge. "Ben bought that, didn't he?"

Harry glances back at him as he's drinking it from the bottle.

"I... I saw him with it at the store close to where I live," Louis explains. "I recognised it because I knew it was your favourite."

"It's also his favourite," Harry mumbles and offers the wine to Louis. "But yeah, he did give me this. Hey, at least I don't have to buy my own."

"I know you can't possibly enjoy using him," Louis sighs and takes a huge drink.

"I was only joking," Harry replies, "I don't enjoy it, no. I mean, yeah, he does offer to help me out from time to time, but I don't have to rely on him anymore."

"Maybe not financially," Louis says quietly. "Sorry. I won't talk about it."

Harry drinks down some of the wine as he's heading back to the bedroom, Louis following behind.

He takes a seat on his unmade bed, his eyes on Louis a few feet away. "Have you talked to Meredith?"

"Uh," Louis lets out a deep breath, "no. She's coming to your show tomorrow night, though. So, I suppose I'll have to talk to her. Can't really avoid her."

"Do you think your dad will ask her to marry him?" Harry asks with a small grin.

"Oh, Jesus, I hope not," Louis almost groans as he's chuckling.

"Why not? She's an amazing woman," Harry looks at him confused.

"She is," Louis nods and smiles, "but I'd feel sorry for her if she married my dad. She deserves someone much better."

"Your father isn't that bad...."

"No, he's not. He's just... too obsessed with an image," Louis sighs and sits down on the bed next to Harry.

"That's everyone," Harry mumbles and reaches for his cigarettes.

"Yeah, but," Louis begins as he's staring down at his hands, "Meredith isn't like my dad..."

"No, she isn't. But, she could have a positive influence on your father. You never know," Harry mentions as he's glancing back at Louis.

"She won't change him," Louis states, "trust me. His mind is made up about shit."

Harry nods slowly, silence surrounding the 2 of them again.

"I'm gonna invite her to dinner," Harry finally speaks up, Louis glancing back at once.

"What do you mean?" Louis smirks.

"Dinner, with you and I," Harry replies, his dimples showing when he looks at Louis.

"What? Are you insane?" Louis chuckles.

"She already knows about me," Harry shrugs, "no point in acting like it's a secret. Besides, she loves you..."

"Yeah, but she's also dating my father, the DA," Louis shakes his head and laughs, "come on, Harold..."

"She wouldn't say anything," Harry interjects, "She would understand..."

"You don't know that," Louis quickly says, "I'm sorry... I don't want to risk it..."

"Ok... how about I just invite her to dinner with the 2 of us and we don't bring it up?" Harry asks softly. "Just a normal dinner."

"You don't think she'd ask? Really?" Louis almost laughs as he's shaking his head.

"She might ask me later on, but not in front of you," Harry tells him. "Look, there's not a lot of people that I trust with my secret, Lou... but she's one of the few."

"She found out by Ben," Louis replies, "she didn't even find out by you."

"She already knew," Harry shrugs, "she asked him for the truth, and he gave it to her. I'm sure she's known about me for a while."

"Why do you want to do this so badly?" Louis asks with a small grin.

Harry shrugs and plays with his rings, "I enjoy spending time with her... and I enjoy showing you off."

"What?" Louis asks and almost snorts.

"She's one of the few people that I can show you off to," Harry looks back at Louis and says in a serious tone. "Maybe.., maybe it would be nice to go out to dinner with a friend of mine and properly introduce her to my boyfriend."

"Boyfriend?" Louis asks, raising a eyebrow, "is that what I am now?"

"Would you rather me call you my best friend with benefits?" Harry smirks and winks.

"No, you have enough of those friends," Louis replies jokingly. He bites his lip and says softly, "alright, fine. I'll go."

Harry smiles at him, "I won't say a word if you don't want me to. I promise."

"If you trust her, I trust her," Louis whispers, his eyes searching Harry's.

"She won't say a word to your father," Harry tells him, "I swear on my life."

Louis nods and grins a little, "who knows... maybe she could help us lie when I go away with you."

Harry chuckles some, "yeah, maybe. I'm sure she wouldn't mind."

Harry's phone rings and he sighs as he's reaching over to answer it, Louis watching him closely.

Harry smiles after he hears Sarah's voice, "hey, Sarah, how are you?"

Louis takes the cigarette from Harry and takes a hit while he's listening.

"No, I don't mind meeting you," Harry says quieter, "is everything ok?"

Louis stares at Harry and watches him looking off before he's closing his eyes and shaking his head.

"Uh, yeah, sure. Tomorrow morning is perfect," Harry replies, his tone gentle. "Alright, see you then."

Harry hangs up the phone and lets out a deep breath while Louis is waiting for him to say something.

"She's pregnant," Harry admits, "apparently Ben is going to be a father."

Chapter Text

"So, you're saying that Ben knew she was pregnant?" Nick is asking Harry that evening backstage at his theatre. "And he still left?"

Harry drinks some of his scotch and nods a little, "that's what she said. He never even bothered to tell me. He kept that big of a secret from me."

"How far along is she?" Nick asks quietly.

"I'll ask her tomorrow," Harry replies and looks around at the crowd gathered. 

"You're going to have to end it," Nick states seriously. "For good this time."

"She's having his baby," Harry starts and shakes his head some, "and she doesn't even realise who he is. She has no fucking clue."

"That isn't your fault..."

"It isn't? Really?" Harry asks, looking at Nick, "he spent more time with me than her... it is my fault. She's... she's so certain that he's cheated on her with someone... but she doesn't realise that it's me. She would probably never believe that."

"You can't tell her either," Nick states, "I mean it, Harry. I get it that you feel guilty, but you cannot tell her."

"I... I wasn't going to," Harry mumbles and sighs, "as much as I'd like to..."

"Bloody hell," Louis is saying as he's walking over to them. "That's a huge crowd out there."

Harry smiles at him, "they put on a brilliant show, I swear."

"They've played here before?" Louis asks.

Nick nods, "yeah, we've been friends with them a while. The lad that writes the plays has always fancied Harry."

"Oh, shut it," Harry rolls his eyes but grins over at Nick. "We should probably go sit down."

"Way to change the subject," Louis teases as he's following behind Nick and Harry to their seats up front. 

Harry sits down and adjusts his button up a little, Louis watching him. Harry smirks when he sees him. "What?"

"You love distracting people, don't you?" Louis asks and points to Harry's buttons that are undone. "You always keep your shirts like that if we aren't around people like my dad."

Harry looks down and smiles a little, "oh, well I kinda like it."

"You like showing your chest?" Louis is chuckling quietly. 

"Do you find me attractive with my shirt like this?" Harry asks seriously.

"Of course I fucking do," Louis replies flatly. "I'd have to be straight not to."

Harry smirks and squeezes Louis' thigh with his hand before he's glancing around the crowded theatre. 

“This atmosphere, it's... it's amazing," Louis sighs with a grin as he's looking around at all the people chatting. "I mean, they're all normal..."

"Yeah," Harry laughs a little, "they are, Lou."

"Well, it's refreshing to me," Louis sighs and leans his head back on the seat. "I'm used to being stuck around people with their noses too far in the air."

"I know," Harry smiles at him, "this part of the city is wonderful. It truly is. It's nice being around people who don't judge as much."

Louis nods some as the lights are going down; Harry smiles at him in excitement before he's glancing back at the stage. 

And Louis watches the play, though he can't help but stare at Harry from the corner of his eye. 

Harry's dimples are showing while he's watching the characters onstage, and Louis has honestly never seen anyone so beautiful. Harry doesn't even have to try; his smile is captivating enough. 

When the show ends, everyone stands and claps, Harry only grinning at Louis beside him.

"They are amazing," Louis leans over and says. "You were right."

"John, who writes the plays, he used to be really good friends with Meredith," Harry states before he's looking around. 

"Really?" Louis asks surprised, "is... is he..."

"A homosexual?" Harry's lip curls into a small grin, "uh, he's both, really. Meredith knows about him as well."

"Wow," Louis mumbles as he sees Nick hurrying over to them. 

"Should we go have a drink?" He asks.

"I've gotta lock up the theatre," Harry sighs, "maybe after."

"Make someone else do it," Nick almost pleads, "come on, you have plenty of help."

Harry nods, then shrugs, "fine. I'll ask James to."

Nick smiles and puts his arm around Louis' neck as they're walking backstage again. Harry, however, is still looking through the crowd.

"What is it?" Louis asks as he stops beside the curtain. 

"Nothing," Harry mumbles and finally follows Louis backstage. He smiles instantly when he sees a familiar face by the exit door. "Zayn. I didn't know you were coming."

"Yeah, well," Zayn shrugs and smiles, "thought I'd see their show. Hello again, Tomlinson."

"Hi," Louis waves and grins a little, "nice to see you again, Malik."

"Would you wanna get drinks with us?" Harry speaks up. 

"Sure, yeah," Zayn nods, "can't stay out too late. Have a lot to work on in the morning."

"What are you working on?" Harry asks while he's grabbing his coat. 

"Little of this, little of that," Zayn replies, his eyes staying on Louis. "I'm guessing your dad doesn't know you're here."

Louis glances at Harry, then back at Zayn, "uh, no. He doesn't know. He wouldn't exactly approve of this place, you know."

"Right. Men parading around in dresses and makeup," Zayn smirks as he looks at Harry, "it's a good thing he doesn't know this place exists."

"Yeah, not sure that'll last forever, but," Harry shrugs but smiles, "let's go."

The 4 of them head up the alleyway a few seconds later to a bar not too far away. 

"Oi, wait for me," Harry and Nick's friend Jason is soon yelling behind them.

Harry smirks and looks over his shoulder, "come on then. Stop fucking off."

"What was he doing here?" Zayn speaks up, Harry looking back at him. 


"You know who," Zayn replies flatly as he's staring at Harry. "Did you invite him?"

"Who do you mean?" Louis asks while he's walking beside Harry. 

"Winston," Zayn mumbles and shakes his head. "Honestly, that git is everywhere..."

"What?" Louis asks at once, his eyes locking with Harry's. "He was there?"

"I didn't invite him," Harry replies loudly, "I was wondering why he was there, just like you."

"You never invited him? Maybe, say, before all the shit hit the fan?" Louis states. 

Zayn looks from Harry to Louis before he's saying quietly, "I'm sorry I said anything. Jesus Christ."

"Don't be sorry," Harry mumbles and hits his cigarette, knowing Jason and Nick are both watching now. Harry blows out his smoke and looks at Louis again. "I never invited him to that, Lou. I didn't. I mentioned the show they were doing, but I didn't invite him. He knows that I don't want him there..."

"And yet, he shows up anyway," Louis shakes his head and mumbles. 

"It's a fucking play," Harry almost snaps before he's sighing, "I'm... I'm sorry. He shows up because he knows that it pisses me off. He knows and yet, he does shit to intentionally piss me off."

"That's because if he can't have you, he thinks no one should," Nick speaks up finally, causing Harry to look back at him. "Come on, Harry. It's fucking obvious. He does the shit to piss you off, to piss Louis off. He knows what Louis thinks of him... he's using it to his advantage."

"That's not true..."

"Really? You 2 argue over him the most," Nick replies flatly, "it's the fucking truth. He knows that you 2 fight over him. He isn't fucking stupid..."

"Maybe you 2 should go somewhere and talk," Jason says quietly as he's glancing around the sidewalk. 

Nick buries his hands in his pockets and sighs, "sorry."

Harry doesn't say another word as they walk into the bar and take a table. 

Louis lights a cigarette while he's finishing another beer, listening to Harry and Zayn talking about Zayn's work. 

"I plan on traveling overseas soon and doing some photography as well as a few paintings," Zayn explains.

"Where exactly?" Louis asks.

"France hopefully," Zayn smiles.

"You've been saying that for years," Harry jokes and drinks the rest of his vodka.

"Yeah, well, I am," Zayn says, "I have already planned it out for this coming fall."

"You have?" Harry asks quieter. "You sure you wanna do that?"

"I've thought it over and yeah," Zayn replies as he looks at Harry. "I'll be fine. People go there all the time..."

"Not during a time like this," Harry mumbles.

"I'll be ok," Zayn sighs. "Come on. I do have a job, Harry. And... I enjoy what I do."

"You don't have to go over there for your job," Harry says quickly. 

"No, but... I do know a lot of people that will pay a ton for my paintings of Paris," Zayn shrugs and drinks his beer while Harry's still staring at him. "Don't worry about me."

"Rather hard not to," Harry tells him before he finally looks away. 

"He's not joining the navy," Louis chuckles, "he'll be fine."

"Thank you," Zayn nods and smiles, "knew I liked you for a reason."

A few minutes later, Harry's walking outside and lighting a joint, Louis behind him. 

"Aren't you drunk enough without that?" Louis chuckles and buries his hands in his pockets.

"Never," Harry smirks and gives him a wink as he's walking slowly. He looks at the rainy streets and smiles, "I think the snow has finally stopped, Louis."

"Maybe," Louis says while he's looking around. "Can I ask you something?"

"You're drunk, so yeah," Harry laughs and gives him the joint. 

"Do you plan on seeing him still? Even though his wife is pregnant?" Louis gets out, Harry's eyes falling on him instantly. 

"He didn't tell me, Lou. I didn't know," Harry starts.

"I know that," Louis quickly states. "But now that you do, what are you going to do?"

"Do you really think that I'm that bad of a person?" Harry asks with a sigh. "Wow."

"I don't think you're a bad person at all. I think that you've gotten in over your head with him..."

"I'm not in over my head," Harry quickly says. "I'm not going to see him, Lou. I'm not. I can't. I feel guilty... even if you think I don't..."

"I didn't say that," Louis almost snaps. "But... you have been seeing him this entire time and she has no fucking clue..."

"Are you saying that I tell her?" Harry asks, "I mean, I could. Trust me. I could easily go there right now and tell her that it was me. I'm the one that fucked up the marriage she thought she had. I want to tell her.. but telling her will most likely have its consequences..."

"You don't think that she would listen? You know her so well," Louis says softer. 

"You want me to risk everything I have by telling her," Harry says as he stares at Louis. "She does know me... but I don't think she knows me that well. She could have both of us put away, Lou. And I would lose everything that I have."

"All actions have consequences," Louis whispers, not breaking eye contact with him. "And... I know who you are, Harry. You have an incredible heart. And I know that this is tearing you up inside."

"What makes you think that?" Harry asks, his voice breaking, "I mean, you think I'm an asshole, remember?"

"You're not," Louis sighs, "you may act like one... but... you've already showed me who you are."

Harry takes a deep breath as he's looking away. "Why do you think I should tell her? It's not going to make this situation any better, Lou. She's pregnant."

"I know that," Louis nods, "but... it's not something that you should carry anymore. If you want to let it all go, and I truly believe that you do..."

Harry sighs and crosses his arms as he's staring off.

"Then, I think you should tell her... and you should walk away," Louis says softly. "Don't look back."

"It's not that simple," Harry tells him, "it's not, Lou. Sometimes, doing the right thing only makes the situation worse. I can walk away without saying a word. I... I have no right blowing his cover like that..."

"You do have that right," Louis says louder. "Fuck, Harry, he has been using you since you were young... for a lifestyle he wants to desperately hide..."

"I have to hide that lifestyle, too," Harry's saying, "I can't be who I am around people like your dad. Come on. Everyone in New York is fucking paranoid of people like me."

"You're the same person," Louis says in almost a whisper, "you are most of the time. Besides, Sarah's married to Ben... so, wouldn't that mean she's...."

"That what? She's open minded?" Harry almost laughs, "Lou, he faked everything about himself. She is convinced he's another person altogether. She doesn't have a clue who he is..."

"Then, perhaps you should save her the heartache of finding out," Louis says quickly. "What if one day, he moves on from you and starts preying on some other lad your age? Then, what?"

"He wouldn't do that," Harry almost snaps, "Jesus, Lou. He isn't like that..."

"Really? How old were you, Harry?" Louis rolls his eyes, "he admitted to having a thing for you when you were 15 years old. That's fucking sick."

"I'm not... I'm not doing this with you," Harry sighs and shakes his head. "He's not like that, Lou. He isn't. And... I'm old enough to know what I'm doing..."

"Is that really what you think?" Louis asks and looks at Harry. "You were old enough to know better at 16? 17? Really? No, Harry. That's a victim's mentality."

Harry closes his mouth and looks away again, Louis hitting the joint and sighing. 

"I'm... I'm sorry," Louis finally says, "but... it is the truth. You were young and impressionable. You were easy prey."

Harry licks his lips and buries his hands in his pockets. "I love how honest you are, Lou. It's a quality that is highly lack in society these days. No one tells anyone the truth anymore... everything is lies. And a lie becomes another lie to cover that one..."

"Being different isn't easy," Louis says quietly, "and it's really unfair to be different in this society. Yeah, I do believe that we should be honest with each other. Because, believe it or not, I'm in love with you."

Harry looks back at him, closing his mouth.

"I am," Louis states. "And I know that I will never have you to myself. I know that what we have will always be seen as forbidden... and we will never get to be who we want to be... who we should be..."

Harry nods slowly and hits the joint again. 

"I love you, despite everything you keep putting yourself through," Louis states, "because I know who you are. You may want to be an asshole to people, to me even... but I already know how you feel."

Harry sighs and looks back at him, "I love you, Louis. I really do. I'm just shit at showing it."

"Maybe it's time that you learned," Louis whispers before he's smiling. "Uh, do you wanna maybe..."

"Go?" Harry's dimples show again, "yeah, I'd love to. Perhaps my place and some more drinks."

"More drinks," Louis chuckles and shakes his head, "uh, I think you've had quite enough."

"I probably have," Harry agrees before he's calling a taxi. "But I suppose that I'm ok... as long as I'm not passing out."

"You will, I'm sure," Louis smirks. 

When they arrive back, Harry's hurrying to his room as he's unbuttoning his shirt, Louis behind him. 

"Do you want to stay?" Harry asks him while he's throwing his shirt on the dresser.

"Uh, I don't know... I mean, I need to call Alice," Louis sighs and takes a seat on the bed. "If she didn't talk to Niall, then I'm sure she's wondering where I am."

"Want me to call Niall?" Harry smirks. He's grabbing nail polish from the dresser and collapsing on the bed as he says, "I mean, he won't mind. He probably expects me to."

"Are you...," Louis stops himself as Harry opens the red nail polish. 

"Yeah, I'm painting them," Harry smirks, "why? You've seen me with them before..."

"It was for a play," Louis sighs. "I mean, you obviously can't go out in public with that."

"No, I can't," Harry mumbles but grins. "I enjoy doing it for the hell of it sometimes. I think they look beautiful."

"You don't have a date or something?" Louis jokes and shakes his head. 

Harry glances back at Louis, his face serious. "I like to paint them. I know that sounds odd, Lou. But yeah, I do enjoy it."

"You can tell me the truth," Louis whispers, his eyes searching Harry's. 

"I don't have a date," Harry sighs, "alright? I'm telling you the truth. I go to a lot of my so called dates as a man... not dressed as a woman."

"Do you wear that?" Louis points and asks, his tone curious and not harsh. "I'm... I'm just asking."

"I don't always, but sometimes," Harry nods and licks his lips. "I don't dress up; I go as me. Raw, immoral me. I wear it, yeah... I guess because I love the way it makes me feel."

Louis nods before he's looking away. He lights a cigarette while Harry's finishing one hand. "Harry..."

Harry looks back at him as he rests his hand on his knee.

"If... if I inherit that money... I wanna give some to you," Louis states softly. "I... I want you and your mum, your sister to be set for life. You deserve that..."

"Lou, I can't just take your money," Harry chuckles. 

"You wouldn't have to do it anymore," Louis replies quickly, Harry glancing back, "you wouldn't have to look to others to help finance your future..."

"I don't look to anyone for that..."

"Yeah, you do," Louis looks back immediately, "if you didn't, you wouldn't still sleep with them for money. I mean, why else would you..."

"You don't get it," Harry states loudly. He sighs and looks away. "Not everything is about money, Lou."

"What do you mean?" Louis asks quietly, his eyes studying Harry closely. 

"I mean, sometimes when you're being blackmailed it's about more than money," Harry replies and starts painting his right hand. 

"Blackmailed?" Louis asks confused. "What are you saying, Harry?"

"There's a price to keeping a big secret sometimes," Harry explains, his eyes looking up at Louis. "And it's a price that isn't paid with money alone."

"What do you mean?"

"You wouldn't get it," Harry mumbles. 

"I'd like to try," Louis snaps, "come on... I'm not surprised that there's still things I don't know..."

"You don't realize how corrupt your own government is," Harry shakes his head and almost laughs. 

"What do you mean?" Louis whispers.

"There's men who work with your dad that know exactly what I am, Louis," Harry states, "they know what I do for a living... and they are the same ones that tell you how immoral I am..."

"You've slept with them?"

"Let's just say that... well, what they preach and what they do are 2 separate things," Harry replies. "It's not always about money..."

"Are you saying that... they know about the theatre, all of it? And they blackmail you into staying quiet...," Louis says before he's stopping himself. He doesn't want to say the words he's thinking.

"It's not always money that people want," Harry looks back at Louis, "yeah, that is what I'm saying. I told you that this life came at a steep price..."

"I didn't know that the men who work with my father blackmailed you," Louis states loudly, "my god, Harry. You could've told me that. I assumed they were just like the others... living one life behind another."

"No," Harry almost laughs, "no, honestly, I wouldn't even say they're into men all that much. I mean, to them, it's more of a belittling technique..."

"What fucking assholes," Louis sighs, "so, in order to keep the theatre and your reputation, you've had to see them? And why exactly would you want to stay in New York City?"

"Because everything I have ever worked for is here," Harry replies softly. "I've put so much time and energy into writing shows for my own theatre. I have so much invested in that place. I mean, I have a few of the Mafia's family members working with me to keep the theatre running..."

"Don't they have money invested in every place on that side?" Louis asks with a small smirk. "The pubs, the underground places..."

"They do, yeah," Harry nods, "they pay the cops a lot of money to keep their mouths shut. Honestly, New York is run by a bunch of crooks... and hypocrites."

"The lads that work with my dad... do they know him personally?" Louis manages to ask. 

"Doubtful," Harry replies, "don't worry... they wouldn't say anything if they did. There's this thing called pride, and well, they have a lot of it."

"I... I didn't fully realize how difficult this life must be," Louis says in almost a whisper, causing Harry to glance back. "I... I mean, I knew that you didn't have it easy, but..."

"I can think of a lot of things that are worse than what I've had to go through," Harry shrugs, "I could already be dead, you know. A lot of people aren't given a second chance."

"Were you?" Louis asks softly. 

"I wasn't really given a second chance...," Harry mumbles, "I happened upon the wrong people one night leaving my theatre... that's all."

Louis licks his lip and tries to nod. "How did they know, though? About you?"

Harry bites his lip and tries to smile, "they noticed my nails... and yeah, it sorta escalated from there. Needless to say, I had to take off 3 weeks of work for my face to even heal. Wasn't pretty by any means, but... I'm still alive."

Louis looks at the red nail polish and swallows hard before he's glancing out the open window. 

"If I get my inheritance," Louis starts quietly, "why don't we just take it and go away?"

Harry looks at Louis, his face serious again. "Lou, you can't do that... you and I both know that..."

"Who's to say he would find us?" Louis asks quickly. "We could drive to another state, start over..."

"And you don't think that your father would find us?" Harry almost laughs. "Please. Someone would... and someone would turn us in..."

"Turn us in? My father wouldn't have us arrested..."

"Are you fucking kidding?" Harry chuckles, "Lou, the second you leave here with me, of all people, he will issue a warrant for my arrest and yours..."

"How do you know that for sure?" Louis tries to argue. "My dad doesn't know about you. What would make him do that?"

"You inherit that much money and you suddenly disappear with someone like me?" Harry points to himself, "please... anyone could figure that out. Anyone could learn who I really am in a fucking heartbeat."

"I don't think my dad would. He likes you too much...."

Harry smirks and shakes his head a little before he's getting up and placing the nail polish on his dresser. "You have a lot to learn then, Lou. Doesn't matter if he likes me... what matters is what he believes. And... the cards aren't stacked in my favour."

"Surely no one would be that quick to sell you out," Louis states quietly. 

"You'd be surprised," Harry almost grins, "come on, it's you. If you ran off with me, I assure you that someone would blow my cover... and yours."

"Who exactly? Ben?" Louis asks in a harsh tone as he shakes his head. "He's the only person that I can think of..."

"Actually, I was thinking that the men who work with your dad would blab first," Harry shrugs and looks back at Louis, "I doubt Ben would honestly... he might try to find me himself... but to tell them about me? Doubtful."

"Would he tell them about me?" Louis asks, "I mean, if they knew about me, then they'd know about you..."

"No, I really believe that he wouldn't tell them," Harry replies softly as he's staring at Louis. "Do you want to sleep here?"

"Uh, I probably should call..."

"Don't worry about her tonight," Harry whispers as he's walking over to Louis. "Trust me, she'll understand... just tell her in the morning that you were with me."

"Yeah, and she'll wonder why I didn't invite her," Louis smirks as Harry's crawling in the bed next to him. Louis lays down, staring at Harry's face as he's closing his eyes and sighing. "Will you wake me? If you wake up first?"

Harry glances back at Louis, a small grin on his face. "Yeah... you know I will."

Louis pulls the covers over himself and lays down, Harry cuddling up to him in seconds. Louis only smiles and runs his fingers through Harry's curls. 

And he hears Harry's light snores seconds later, making him grin a little. He knew Harry wouldn't last much longer. 

Louis closes his eyes, humming to himself as he's slowly moving his fingers through Harry's hair until he's finally asleep as well.

Harry wakes the next morning to the sunlight coming into his room; he sighs and rubs his head as he's looking at the time.

He sees Louis sound asleep still, so he gets up slowly and heads to his bathroom to shower, knowing that he has to meet Sarah in just a bit.

He isn't exactly sure what he's going to say to her; he knows the truth would be best, but how can he tell her that the reality she loves so much is nothing more than an image to Ben? 

How can he be the one to tell her that Ben isn't at all who he says he is?

Harry sighs as he's stepping out of the shower; he dries off his face, then his hair as he stares off, lost in thought.

"Thought you were waking me?" Harry hears Louis speak up a second later. He glances and sees Louis standing in the bathroom doorway with a small grin on his lips. "Morning."

"Good morning," Harry says softly, "how'd you sleep?"

"I slept grand," Louis yawns, "I was in bed with you."

Harry smiles a little before he's trying to fix his short curls in the mirror. "I was going to wake you when I was done. Sorry. Figured that I'd let you sleep a little longer."

"It's fine, love," Louis tells him while he's watching Harry closely. "Do you have to go so soon?"

"Yeah... I kinda do," Harry mumbles, "I told Sarah that I'd meet her."

"Right," Louis nods a little, "well, I suppose that I could meet up with you this afternoon... before your show?"

"Uh, yeah, that'll be great... as long as you're not busy," Harry states before he's putting on his pants slowly. 

"Well, of course Alice will come to the play with me," Louis rolls his eyes, "unless Niall has already changed that..."

"Doubtful," Harry smirks, "her parents are still here."

"True," Louis whispers and continues gazing at Harry while he's dressing. "Hey, I really hope that things go well... with Sarah."

"So do I," Harry manages to say, "I... I just hope that she hasn't somehow..."

Louis watches Harry pausing and he finishes his sentence, "found out about you? And Ben?"

Harry nods and licks his lips. "I'm honestly not sure that would be a good thing. I mean, I do want to tell her, but..."

"Don't tell her if you really don't want to," Louis sighs and rubs his forehead, "I... I was drunk when I said all of that, Harry. I said whatever came to my head."

"I know that," Harry nods and smiles a little, "being brutally honest isn't a bad thing, Louis. It really isn't. I'm not quite used to it, but... it's beginning to grow on me."

"I... I don't mean to... I just sort of say whatever comes to my mind," Louis states and sighs.

"Honestly, if you weren't so truthful with me, I never would've taken a step back from everything and realised what an idiot I had been."

"What do you mean?" 

"You fucking know what I mean," Harry almost smirks before he's shaking his head. He brushes his fingers through his still damp curls while he's going to his room and grabbing his shoes. 

Louis stands in the doorway, his arms crossed. "There's still something I don't understand... and I don't wanna keep bringing it up..."

"What?" Harry rolls his eyes but grins a little as he's looking at Louis from the side of his bed. 

"You're... you're an incredible person, Harry," Louis starts, his tone serious, "so, I honestly can't see you using him. I'm sorry..."

Harry raises an eyebrow, "really? And why is that?"

"Come on," Louis states, "you're one of the most genuinely amazing human beings I have ever met. You're someone who wouldn't wish harm on anyone... and yet, you used this man who is nearly 40 so that you could better your life? That doesn't sound like the same person..."

"What are you saying?" Harry interrupts. 

"I don't think you used him," Louis whispers before he bites his lip. He looks down at his hands before clearing his throat, "don't get pissed with me, please... but... I think you wanted Ben to believe you used him because you thought you could get through to him that way..."

"Ok," Harry nods a little, "I see. You think someone like me, someone with a huge heart is incapable of fucking up, or making mistakes..."

"Not what I meant," Louis sighs loudly, "I'm saying that it's obvious, Harry. You say that you've opened your eyes and can see things clearer but... I'm not sure that you do."

"I don't follow," Harry whispers as he keeps his eyes on Louis.

"You didn't use him," Louis says again, "you care about him... and you might as well admit that to yourself."

Harry bites his lip before he's shaking his head and trying to smirk, "are you this talented at reading everyone? Or am I just that unfortunate?""Whether you want to believe this or not, I do know you better than anyone does now," Louis replies, his voice cracking. "And yeah, you have made mistakes, Harry... and maybe you did use Ben to a certain degree... but... that's not the reason he's still around..."

Harry closes his mouth and looks off again, wishing Louis didn't see through him the way that he does; to Harry, it's almost unbearable. 

"I'm... I'm sorry," Louis sighs, "Jesus. I can't stop myself. I think it's because I've spent years  trying to bite my tongue and now... well..."

"It's all coming out?" Harry smirks as he looks back at Louis. He stands up and sighs while he's grabbing his coat and putting it on. "Uh, do you wanna catch a cab with me?"

"I can," Louis nods before he's looking around the room for his pants and shirt. 

"Borrow mine," Harry points to the closet and leans back against his dresser. He watches Louis going through his pants as he says softly, "I don't... I don't love him, Louis."

Louis glances back at Harry immediately, surprised he has even said anything. Louis finally nods some, "I know that."

"Do you?" Harry asks quietly as he's searching Louis' eyes. "It seems like you believe that I do."

"I don't," Louis sighs, "I... I think that you feel for him, I mean, it's understandable why you do. He's been in your life since you were young. He's been a constant influence in your life."

Harry crosses his arms, not breaking eye contact with Louis. "Doesn't matter... after I talk to Sarah, I won't be talking to either of them."

"Do you think that'll work?" Louis asks, "I mean, I would assume that Ben would still come over... try to squeeze back into your life..."

"He probably will," Harry sighs and goes to his closet, pulling out a dark blue sweater. He smiles at Louis immediately, "try this."

Louis smirks and puts it on before he's looking at himself in the mirror. "Not bad."

"It looks amazing on you," Harry whispers as he places his hands on Louis' shoulders. 

Louis gently places his hand over Harry's, Harry only squeezing his shoulder a little. 

Harry sighs and nudges his nose into the side of Louis' hair, Louis only closing his eyes and listening to Harry breathe. 

"I've gotta go," Harry finally speaks up after a few moments. "I don't wanna keep her waiting."

"Where's Ben going to be?" Louis decides to ask as he's putting on his coat. 

"I don't really know," Harry shrugs, "I'm meeting her in Central Park."

"Ah," Louis whispers.

"You can ride with me and then take the cab back to your place," Harry suggests as the 2 of them are walking to the front door. 

"Yeah, I will," Louis manages to say as Harry's opening the door. "Can... can I stay tonight as well?"

Harry's looking back at once, "uh, are you sure about that? I mean, if your dad knew..."

"He won't," Louis quickly interjects, "after the show, I'll tell him that I'm taking Alice for a walk and then going home."

"Are you really taking her for a walk?" Harry smirks as he's closing the door. 

"Well," Louis shrugs and follows Harry down the stairs, "I could... make it more believable. Who knows... maybe Niall has had some luck..."

"It's not a game," Harry looks at Louis and says, "she's a person with feelings, just like anyone else..."

"That's an odd thing to say coming from someone who can't stand her," Louis jokes.

"I never said I didn't like her," Harry turns and states, his voice serious. "I do like her; she's just not right for you."

"Then, why do you care so much if Niall is trying to talk to her?" Louis sighs and continues behind Harry slowly.

"Because... if she really loves you, Niall's heart is going to be broken," Harry replies. "And I don't want that."

"You don't know that," Louis says before he's smirking, "he could just get lucky and be content with that."

"Jesus Christ," Harry sighs out loud causing Louis to chuckle some.

A few minutes later, the cab is pulling up at Central Park, and Harry's looking around anxiously.

"It'll go well," Louis tries to reassure him. Harry nods a little before Louis is touching his leg gently. "Call me and let me know."

"I will," Harry says quietly before he's opening the door and stepping out. He looks back at Louis and forces a smile, "go call that fiancée of yours and make sure she hasn't fallen for the Irishman."

"If only I was that fortunate," Louis laughs before he's closing the door.

Harry waves and watches the cab leaving, then he's sighing and burying his hands in his coat pockets.

He walks to the bridge where Sarah asked him to meet... and Harry can feel the overwhelming nervousness as he's waiting; with every passing second, Harry's wishing he would've spent more time getting high before this.

He lights a cigarette and watches the small ripples in the water below. He's happy to finally see several days in a row without snow. 

"Harry," he hears Sarah saying his name moments later and he's looking up immediately. "Sorry, I've been running late all morning..."

"It's ok," Harry tells her and forces a smile, "I haven't been here long. We could've met somewhere else, if you're cold, I mean..."

"No, the weather isn't all that bad today," Sarah grins and sighs as she walks up beside Harry, placing her hands on the ledge. "Thanks for coming."

"No problem," Harry manages to get the words out before he's hitting his cigarette. "How... how far along?"

"I'm almost 6 months," she sighs and touches her stomach. 

Harry's eyes widen. "What? No fucking way... you're so small..."

"Well, it's my first, so," Sarah giggles before she's staring off again, "I... I wanna ask you something..."

Harry licks his lips, but nods. "Ok... yeah, sure."

"Please be honest with me," she almost whispers as she's looking back at Harry.

And Harry's already breaking by seeing the look in her eye. 

"Did he ever mention anyone?" Sarah finally asks, Harry swallowing the lump in his throat. "I'm trying desperately to believe him..."

"He didn't mention anyone," Harry replies quickly before he's looking off again. "He didn't even mention to me that you were pregnant..."

"Yeah, I could tell that it came as a shock to you as well," Sarah says as she's studying Harry. "I'm sorry... I had to ask. I just... I feel like Ben and I are on different wavelengths."

Harry coughs a little before he's hitting his cigarette and looking away. "Have you tried to talk to him? I mean, I... I can't really offer much advice..."

"We've talked," Sarah nods and sighs, "but he keeps telling me that he hasn't seen anyone... I know that's not true...”

Harry bites his lip before he's whispering, "Sarah, he... he stays wrapped up in his writing. He tends to overlook shit. Maybe that's all..."

"Don't lie for him, Harry," Sarah is saying, causing Harry to look back, "he does it so well for himself."

"I'm not... I wasn't trying to lie for him," Harry gets out. "I... I don't know every detail of his life. I'm sorry... I... I wish I could help somehow."

Sarah's eyes stay on Harry for a long pause before she's finally nodding a little and turning away. 

"So, do you have any names picked out?" Harry decides to ask.

"Uh, I have a few that I like," Sarah replies, "I... I haven't really thought much into it. I don't know what to do."

"About... the baby?" Harry asks confused. 

"I don't know if I should stay or if I should just leave," Sarah replies softly. "I would love for this baby to grow up in a household with a mother and father, but..."

Harry stays quiet again, wishing that he could just act his way through this talk. 

"I don't know if Ben even wants that," Sarah sighs and shakes her head.

"He said that you 2 were working things out," Harry states. "Maybe... maybe separating for a bit helped."

Harry doesn't believe a word that he's saying, but he knows that Sarah doesn't know any differently either. 

"I think that you shouldn't worry so much," Harry smiles a little, Sarah glancing back at him. "You're getting to experience a miracle...

Don't spend every minute worrying. Just take care of yourself and your baby."

"You would tell me if you knew, right?" Sarah asks. She reaches over and touches Harry's arm gently, "I know that you've known him much longer than I have..."

"Doesn't mean I know him well," Harry tries to lie, "you must know him better than I do..."

"No," Sarah shakes her head, "he has never been a talkative person with me. He just isn't. He has always talked to you more. It's just who he is, I suppose."

"I probably need to get going," Harry's quickly changing the subject. "I have a fitting in a few. We could share a cab, if you'd like."

"I'd appreciate that, yeah," Sarah smiles and nods some. Harry offers her his arm and she giggles some and takes it.

"Tell you what... why don't you go home, get gussied up and come to the show tonight?" Harry says. "Show Ben the beautiful woman that he married."

"I wish it were that simple," Sarah laughs a little, "uh, I suppose I could come. Ben will be out all afternoon, so yeah, why not."

"Good," Harry smiles at her, "and don't worry so much, please. Whatever is going on with Ben... well, maybe it'll end soon. He would have to be a fucking idiot to throw away what he has with you..."

"You really think that?" Sarah asks quietly.

"I do," Harry nods some, "you're going to be an incredible mum. You're already an incredible wife. He's fortunate to have you..."

Sarah cuts Harry's words short when she's catching him off guard by kissing him. He's immediately pulling away and wiping his lips.

"I'm... oh my god. I'm so sorry," Sarah sighs and covers her mouth. "I... I don't know what got into me..."

"It's ok," Harry tells her, his tone soft. "It's not a big deal."

"God, I shouldn't have," She sighs, "you're still a kid..."

"You're not old," Harry jokes with her and finally gains a small smile. "It really isn't a big deal."

"I'm sorry... it's just that," Sarah says in almost a whisper, "you're incredible, Harry. And any woman would be fortunate to have you. Maybe I wish that I did sometimes. You're so much more understanding, you listen..."

"I'm flattered," Harry's quickly speaking up, "but... I'm sort of already seeing someone. I just... haven't told anyone."

"Oh," Sarah says, her tone dropping. "That's great. Who is she?"

"No one you would know," Harry replies before he's finally hailing a cab. "Look, go home, get as dressed up as you can, and I'll see you at the show tonight. I'll have a word with Ben, alright?"

"Ok," Sarah nods and smiles a little. "He said he was going to have a few drinks once he left the publisher's office."

Harry opens the taxi door for her before saying, "I'll catch the next one."

"Thanks for meeting me. I'd like to talk more again later, if that's ok," she tells him.

Harry nods and manages to smile a little, "look forward to it. Take care of yourself."

He waves as the taxi is pulling away, then he's quickly heading up the sidewalk, only one thing on his mind now.

He takes a taxi across town again, knowing exactly which place Ben will be getting a drink. 

When he arrives at the club, he's heading downstairs and looking around for him instantly; he doesn't see him anywhere. 

He finally walks to the bathroom and sees Ben by the counter snorting cocaine. 

"Having fun?" Harry speaks, Ben glancing back instantly. 

"Harry. Well, shit, what are you doing here?" Ben almost smirks. "Did you come find me on purpose?"

"What the fuck are you doing?" Harry asks, his tone harsh. "Why are you here getting high at this time of morning?"

"Hey, you were the one who told me that it's never too early to get high and time was just time," Ben mocks before he's lighting a cigarette. 

"What are you doing, Ben?" Harry asks, his tone softer. 

"Looking for a new boy toy," Ben jokes again, "seems I've lost mine... his balls got too big for him..."

Harry shoves Ben back against the counter in a split second, and Ben only chuckles. "I'm not going to fight you again. Fuck."

"What the fuck is wrong with you?" Harry almost shouts before he's taking a few steps back. "Jesus. You have a fucking wife who is pregnant with your child... do you even get that?"

"I do get it," Ben nods before he's looking away, "that's why I'm fucking here, alright?"

"You didn't bother to tell me," Harry says before he raises his voice again, "she's 6 months along and you didn't even tell me. Why the fuck would you keep..."

"Because I knew what telling you meant," Ben interrupts Harry, "I knew that if I told you she was pregnant that we would be done. I knew that you wouldn't see me anymore..."

"I already told you that I was done," Harry snaps, "I... I honestly shouldn't be surprised that that's why you didn't tell me. I mean, you're pretty fucking selfish..."

"Me selfish?" Ben almost laughs. "Who used who, Harry?"

"You used me just as much," Harry states, his tone cold and harsh.

"Why are you even here?" Ben asks louder, "don't you have your own shit to worry about?"

"This is my shit," Harry finds himself shouting before he's sighing, "you've involved me. You have unfortunately made sure of that..."

"No, that's a choice you made," Ben is saying sharply, "you used me, remember?"

"She's pregnant, Ben," Harry states again, "with your child. She didn't ask for that..."

"Neither did I," Ben shouts, "I... I'm not ready for a family."

"You don't have much of a choice," Harry replies, "you can't fucking bail on her..."

"Did she talk to you?" Ben asks, his eyes meeting Harry's.

"She did," Harry nods some before he looks away, "and... I'm pretty sure that she's sold on the idea that I know something... just seems that she does."

Ben nods. "I suspected that she did."

Harry runs his hand through his hair before glancing back, "she's coming to the show tonight. I invited her. Could... could you please just... try and work it out? That baby deserves both of you..."

"I want you," Ben is saying quickly as he's stepping closer to Harry. "You know I don't want this... and I would give anything to change this so that she wouldn't have to go through it..."

"You should be proud that you're having a child," Harry whispers, "not... not standing here telling a 20 year old kid that you'd rather be with him..."

"Is it really my fault that I fell for you?" Ben asks flatly. "Is it, Harry? You made it so easy for me..."

"It's not my fucking fault," Harry raises his voice, "I didn't ask you to fall for me. And I'm done ruining your marriage, alright? She doesn't deserve this."

"If you want me to leave you alone, why are you even here?" Ben asks, "to shout at me? Tell me how fucking horrible I am for not wanting a baby?"

"I'm here to ask you to take responsibility for something in your life," Harry replies seriously, "be a fucking man, Ben. She deserves that..."

Ben closes his mouth and crosses his arms as he's looking away.

"You know, one of the things that I have always admired about you is how protective you are," Harry says quietly, Ben's eyes finally meeting his again. "I've never had to worry about something bad happening to me because I've always known that you'd protect me."

Ben tries to nod as he's staring at Harry.

"Do the same for her," Harry whispers, "because she deserves that."


"Please," Harry says with a sigh. "Just... think about a year from now, Ben. You will have a little girl or boy of your own..."

"That's not the life that I want," Ben interrupts, "I want a life with you in it..."

"There is no life with me in it," Harry almost yells, "ok? There's just not. I don't want you in my life. At all. And you're better off without me in your life...”

"I'm not," Ben replies before he's pushing Harry back against the bathroom wall. "I have spent the last 8 years of my fucking life being around you... I can't just walk away..."

"Let me go," Harry says, his tone low. 

Ben loosens his grip on Harry's shoulders before he's slowly letting go; Harry only continues glaring at him. 

"You expect," Ben tries to laugh, "you expect me to just walk away from this, to pretend like I never knew you? After everything..."

"Habits are hard to break," Harry says softly, "but, you can still break them."

Ben shakes his head, "you're not a fucking habit. You're someone that I love."

"You don't know what real love is, Ben," Harry mumbles before he's heading for the door. "Do me a favour though... try to act like her husband tonight... and not some fucked up drama professor who'd rather be fucking his 20 year old student."