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Guilty Was The Book

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Louis hates assignments. She’s trying to become an interpreter here, assignments are not what she signed up for. Assignments about the agreements between the contemporary English and Spanish languages in particular aren’t what she signed up for, even though those are the languages she’s studying. A warning would have been nice if she’s being quite honest.

And yet here she is, laying on her bed with her laptop open in front of her, getting increasingly frustrated. Surely there must be some books that contain a shitload of material on the subject. Or like, one or two articles. Just something, Louis’ really isn’t asking for much.

She’s been going through JSTOR for what feels like hours now, trying every combination of keywords she can think of. Sometime, around twenty minutes ago, Louis’ back had started to give her grief so she’d decided to take drastic measures and she’d moved from her desk to her bed. That was also kind of, maybe, possibly, the moment she’d had enough of it and the combinations of keywords she put in got increasingly absurd.

I’m giving this five more minutes, Louis thinks, if I don’t find the book to end all books by then, this whole assignment can go fuck itself.

Of course, that’s when it happens.

Louis clicks on a rather promising title and scans the abstract that pops up quickly. Then scans it again, significantly slower. Her eyes go wide. She quickly scrambles upright until she’s sitting, rather than lying down, and she crosses her legs as she leans forward. She reads through the abstract a third time and thinks, yes.

There’s a few pages of the book included and Louis scans over them, her eyes going left to right at a lightning-fast pace. She doesn’t have to read more to know, however. This is the book she needs. This is the one in which she’ll find the majority of the things she’s looking for. As she goes through the few pages that are provided, it starts to look more and more promising. Mentally composing a prayer to the gods she doesn’t believe in, she goes to the library’s website.

The prayer is getting to some rather impressive lengths while she types in the title of the book in the search bar. She finds it quickly and clicks on the title and that’s when the prayer stops abruptly mid-sentence. Motherfucker.

Of course, of course, the fucking book isn’t fucking available right now. There’s literally thousands of books - how come people always happen to need the one book she needs, Louis wonders rather viciously.

In her mind she starts fabricating the image of this evil mastermind that makes a hobby of searching out exactly those books students appear to need most and keeping them all to themselves. The evil… creature is looking a whole lot like the devil to be honest. It’s sitting on a pile of books and there’s a fire burning in the background. The devil seems to be rather engrossed in one book. When Louis, in her mind, zooms in on the front cover of the book, she notices it’s the one she needs. That’s my book, you asshole.

It’s only when the devil starts laughing his evil laugh, that Louis shakes herself out of it and wonders what in heaven’s name is wrong with her mind. That’s nothing new, it happens at least four times a day, can go up to nine on particularly bad days. She’s come to the conclusion she was dropped on her head as a baby and her mum just refuses to tell her about it. Thinking she’s protecting her or something. Louis’ sticking to that explanation until she comes up with a better, more satisfying one.

She’s just resigned herself to simply waiting until the current lending period is over, when she takes a look at the date the book is due back. Nine days ago. The book was supposed to be back nine days ago. The one book Louis needs isn’t available, but it should be, if only the pretentious fuck who has it now, would be a decent enough person to return it on time. The evil laughter in her head starts getting louder again. Shut up, Louis thinks distractedly.

Okay. Okay. Thing is, she really does need that book. It seems to be her only option if she wants to have a shot at handing in a decent assignment. I can fix this. I’m gonna fix this.

Louis sighs and closes the lid of her laptop. It’s late already. She’s spent the majority of her evening looking for articles and books before finally bumping into the right one. She decides to call it a night and go down to the library tomorrow to ask about it. I don’t care if it’s not available, Louis thinks, I need that book and I’m going to get it.

The book is mine. The devil drops the book he was reading and cowers in fear.

---

When her first and only class ends at half past three the next day, Louis texts Niall she’s just going to make a quick detour to the library before coming over. Her annoyance has died down a bit since the night before, but fact is that she still needs the book, so she might as well get it over with and find out what’s happening with it.

When she gets to the front desk, both librarians are busy with other students, so Louis hangs back for a bit while she waits for it to be her turn. She lets her eyes wander around the room, that’s outfitted with around twenty computers. She could just count them but honestly, what kind of effort. Besides, why would she care how many computers there are in the room, when her eyes have abruptly stopped wandering as they catch on the computer in the far back.

Okay, okay maybe they didn’t catch on the computer – it’s a nice computer though, black, shiny, looks very solid to Louis. She gives the computer an imaginary pat on the back for having done such a good job at existing.

What has made Louis stop in her tracks – or made her eyes stop… semantics – is the girl sitting behind the computer, engrossed in whatever it is she’s reading on the screen. She’s pulled her long dark brown curls up into a messy half bun and is absentmindedly picking at her bottom lip with her thumb and forefinger. Her brows are pulled together in a little frown as she leans to her left to quietly whisper something to the girl sitting next to her. Hello, Louis thinks, and she smiles a little as she tries not to stare too openly.

She hears someone subtly clearing their throat to her left and when she looks over, she notices one of the students has left and the librarian is looking at her expectantly.

Louis smiles politely and goes over to the desk where she starts explaining her case. The guy grimaces when she’s done talking.

“There’s always some of them,” he says, “bringing books back up to three weeks after they’re due. They should be grateful we don’t do fines around here, because if we did, I can promise you we’d have made a fortune by now.”

That makes Louis crack a little smile as she looks down and shakes her head a little. She probably would’ve had quite the hand in the build-up of that fortune, if she’s being honest.

“I could reserve the book for you if you want? That way when it gets back, you’ll immediately receive an email informing you that it’s here waiting for you.” The guy grimaces again. “Though I can’t tell you when that’ll be. It’s already been nine days, but some people go up to three weeks before bringing it back, completely ignoring the multiple reminder emails they get sent. So, you might have to wait a bit.”

Louis frowns. Two more weeks? Her assignment is due in three weeks, and she won’t read the entire book and write the essay in such a short amount of time. It’s an important one alright, and she’d actually like to do a proper good job on it.

“Actually, could you maybe tell me who has the book right now?” Louis asks. “It’s just that if you’re right and they do keep it with them for two more weeks, I’m proper fucked, pardon the language, because I have to hand in my assignment in three weeks. Like, maybe, just give me their name? I’ll just get in touch with them myself then, ask them if they could maybe, pretty please with a cherry on top, return the book so I can have it. If you could still reserve it for me though, that would be awesome.”

The guy behind the desk is eying her warily, like he isn’t sure he should actually be doing this. So Louis just smiles hopefully at him and repeats in her mind don’t be an arsehole, don’t be an arsehole, please don’t be an arsehole.

“Okay fine, just their name though. The rest is up to you,” the guy ends up saying after a few seconds of silence.

Yes, not an arsehole. “Thank you! Thank you, thank you, that would be such a great help already.”

“Don’t worry about it. Maybe this will teach them that bringing back their books on time would get rid of a lot of inconveniences, both for them and for other people. Okay, let’s see.” The guy looks back at his computer screen and clicks the mouse a few times in quick succession. “There we are. The book is currently in possession of one Harry Styles. And that’s all you get from me. Good luck.”

Louis smiles at the librarian as she thanks him again and turns around. Niall will be wondering where she is by now. Then again, it’s not exactly uncommon for Louis to be later than she said she would be. Not exactly uncommon as in very fucking common, yes, okay, shut up. All of her friends are so used to it by now that they don’t even bother anymore with being on time themselves when they’re meeting Louis. I’m never late, though, Louis thinks, I’m just… delayed. Yes.

She chuckles and rolls her eyes at herself. At least she’s one step closer to her desired book now. She’ll start out with just sending a polite email and if that doesn’t work, severe steps will have to be taken.

Harry Styles, I’m coming for you.

---

“How’s it going, Nialler?” Louis calls out when she barges into Niall’s room some fifteen minutes later. She hears a clang and a muffled curse from just around the corner where Niall's tiny kitchenette is located. Niall’s blonde head appears, wearing what’s probably supposed to be a very angry look on her face. If the result is closer to a disgruntled kitten than anything else, Louis won’t be the one to shatter the illusion.

“Knocking is a thing, Lou, how many more times am I gonna have to tell you?” The angry kitten face becomes even more adorable and Louis has to restrain herself not to aw out loud as she drops her bag and starts untying her shoelaces.

Instead she scoffs and argues, “You’ve literally never once told me to knock before coming in. Also, when have you ever knocked before coming into my place? You didn’t even start doing it after you walked in on me going down on that girl that one time last year, remember? You and I don’t knock, Niall, honestly.”

Niall’s appeared from around the corner by now and is sitting spread-legged on one of her three chairs, arms crossed on the backrest in front of her, brows still stubbornly pulled together in a frown. “Okay, okay, I get, we don’t knock, alright. Beats me how we haven’t ended up in more compromising situations, to be honest.”

Louis laughs from where she’s deposited herself in Niall’s desk chair, bare feet up on the desk, hands tangled on top of her head, the picture of being comfortable. “So, seeing as knocking isn’t actually a thing with us, I am rather curious as to why you were suddenly so adamant on making it one.”

Her face is smug and she closes her eyes as she patiently waits for Niall to come up with an answer she deems will be enough to satisfy Louis for now.

When it’s been quiet for too long, she slowly opens them again and she turns her head to where Niall has gone suspiciously silent. Much to Louis’ delight, Niall’s face has gone quite the interesting shade of red and she’s looking very intently at one of the pictures on her wall that Louis knows for a fact has been up there for over a year. Louis herself knows every detail of that picture and she doesn’t even live here, although it sure feels like that sometimes. Point is, that picture is not interesting enough for Niall to be as engrossed in it as she’s currently pretending to be.

“Fine. Fine,” Louis relents. “You keep your dirty little secrets for now.” She laughs again when Niall huffs at the implication that her secrets might be dirty in any way. Please. Louis’ known her long enough by now to know that some of her secrets are plenty dirty, thank you very much. “Just know that I’ll get them out of you eventually. There’s no place to hide. Honestly Ni, surely you must know better by now.” Louis shakes her head in mock disappointment.

When she notices that Niall’s moved her attention to the picture next to the previous one and doesn’t give any notion that she’s even heard her, Louis rolls her eyes. That picture’s been up there even longer than the first one, for crying out loud.

“Let me know when you return from your trip down memory lane, babe. In the meantime, could I maybe borrow your laptop for a minute? I need to send this email and since you’re not even acknowledging the gift that is my very existence right now, I figured I’d just do it now, you know.”

The fact that Louis feels weird for even having to ask to use Niall’s computer is a testament to how accustomed they are to each other. Louis would’ve just grabbed the laptop and sent the email, but after having given the entire room a quick once-over, she’d realised the computer was nowhere in sight. Getting up to go look for it had seemed too taxing all together, so she’d resigned herself to just ask for it.

At her question, Niall’s eyes go comically wide, and when just seconds before her face had still been bright red, it now pales at an alarming speed. Her eyes flit to the kitchen counter, which she can see from where she’s positioned on her chair.

Oh, Louis thinks, bingo. She pretends to close her eyes again and recline in the chair, only to jump upright not even two seconds later and speed toward the kitchen. Niall had seen it coming though, and she’s on her feet at the exact same moment Louis is. There’s a little shuffling around, in which they’re pushing at each other in their attempts to get their hands on the laptop first. Louis ends up the winner, after a well-aimed shove to Niall’s side, and she lifts the laptop in victory.

“Niall, Niall, Niall,” Louis says, smirk evident in her voice. “If you were watching porn again, we’re gonna need to have a stern talking, you and I. I’ve told you straight porn is the worst thing in existence and a personal offence to me and any self-respecting person and we don’t watch it.” She’s just trying to rile Niall up now, she knows Niall is just as against straight porn as she is. They’ve gone on quite the rants about it actually, both with and without the help of alcohol.

Niall has apparently gone back to refusing to acknowledge Louis’ existence, because she grabs one of her books out of her bag and opens it to the desired page rather forcefully.

“Turn to page 394,” Louis says in her best Snape impression and while Niall does crack a grin at that, she doesn’t respond otherwise.

Temporarily giving up on getting some kind of response out of Niall, Louis turns her attention to the computer now open on her lap. She types in Niall’s password without giving it a second thought and is mentally bracing herself for whatever images she might be faced with. She even goes as far as closing her eyes and pulling a face because Louis is nothing if not dramatic.

Food.

Niall was looking at food. Looking up some kind of recipe by the looks of it and honestly. Was this really worth all the hassle? Something else must be up because never in the history of time has Niall made it a secret how much she loves any and all kinds of food. She also can’t be arsed to use actual recipes when cooking for herself though, so why she’s all of a sudden looking up things like ‘wild mushroom risotto’, Louis hasn’t got a clue.

“Ni…” Louis starts to ask, “any particular reason you’re suddenly interested in immersing yourself into the art of proper fancy cooking?”

When Niall finally responds to her, it’s with, “I can actually proper fancy cook, alright, I’ve just never graced you with any of my concoctions. You’ve yet to earn it.”

Louis’ interest perks. “Which only begs the question, who has earned to ‘be graced with your concoctions’, as you so eloquently put it?”

Niall, who seems to have realised her mistake, turns a page in her book and start furiously scribbling on her notepad.

Louis chuckles but decides that okay, that’s enough of that, she’s good at getting people to spill their secrets, her time will come. Now though, she needs to just send the bloody email already, if she wants any chance at getting her hands on the book that’s rightfully hers -it is- anytime in the near future.

She opens a new tab and goes to her uni mailbox. She ignores the emails about some uni events happening the next few weeks and multiple ones about the elections for the student council, urging her to please vote, changes will happen, yadda yadda, whatever, Louis honestly couldn’t care less. What she does care about is getting her hands on the book - she’s come to call it ‘her precious’ in her head, abort - so she opens a new email and gets typing.

Seeing as it’s only her first email to this Harry Styles, Louis’ being very polite about it, kindly reminding them that gee, look at that, apparently your book is overdue, if only you would be so kind to return it so other people can have their way with it. Okay, so it might not be worded exactly like that, but that’s the gist of it anyway.

When Louis has added her best regards and deems the email ready, she types in the address – thank the lord for uni email addresses and the fact that they’re all composed the same way, students and professors alike. Louis might not know this Harry person, but she sure as hell can send them emails. She quickly presses send and closes the tab. This only confronts her again with the infamous wild mushroom risotto and okay, this secret has lasted long enough now.

She closes the lid of the laptop slowly and looks over to Niall who seems to have decided after approximately ten minutes of reading that that was enough of that and had closed her eyes to take a nap. She’s using her book as a pillow, even though there’s a perfectly good pillow literally right next to her. Louis carefully puts Niall’s laptop on her desk and takes the two steps it takes to get to Niall’s bed. She then drops herself on top of Niall with the grace of a newborn giraffe and drapes over Niall, who’d startled awake seemingly ready to defend herself against a horde of wild buffaloes or something equally dangerous.

Louis simply rearranges herself so she’s a bit more comfortable on Niall’s back and asks with a smirk, “So about that risotto?”

---

It’s two days later, when Louis is checking her email for what feels like the ten millionth time in two days and she’s just about ready to send a third email, this one plainly demanding to just hand over the book already, that she notices that she finally, finally, has a response.

A very apologetic one at that, seeing as at first glance the word ‘sorry’ seems to make an appearance in every single sentence. Sometimes twice. There’s even one where it appears three times which, wow, pace yourselves. How this Harry even succeeded in including it so many times, Louis doesn’t know, but she sure is impressed.

As Louis understands it, Harry had needed the book for an assignment of their own, but after having finished it, they just put the book somewhere in their room, to be completely forgotten about. Louis does not recognise herself in this. She does not.

Anyway, so apparently Harry isn’t one to stay on top of their uni email (Louis doesn’t recognise herself in this either), which is why they’d completely missed the multiple emails the library had sent them saying that the book was long overdue. It’s also why it’s taken them this long to get back to Louis, for which they apologise profusely. Like, even more profusely than in the rest of the email. Yes, that’s possible.

Harry goes on to tell her that they’ll return the book as soon as they’re able to, which should be today after their lecture ends at four.

Louis checks the time, half past four, and sure enough, when she goes back to her inbox, she’s greeted with an email from the library. Upon opening it, she sees that it’s to inform her that the book that had been reserved for her, is now waiting to be picked up.

Reading the words, Louis feels something in her chest loosen, the anxious feeling that had come with not being able to get her hands on the book she needed, now finally disappearing. It would soon be replaced with stress over actually having to make the assignment and have it be good, but at least she can get started on it now.

Louis brings up Harry’s email again, wanting to reply, because after such an email, the least she could do is be a decent enough person to thank them for the trouble. And Louis might not be loads of things, but she is a decent person.

Harry had ended their email by wishing Louis good luck with her assignment and adding three kisses. At that Louis chuckles, because honestly. Who in their right minds answers a polite email followed by a not-so-polite email from someone they’ve never even met with kisses? This person sure must have a lot of love to give, Louis thinks with a smile.

She quickly types up a response to Harry, thanking them for both the book and the good luck, and decides that she’ll pass by the library on her way home from class. It’s a late one today, from four till seven, and Louis is grateful once again that the library doesn’t close until eight.

When she gets there at quarter past seven and quickly climbs up the stairs, she passes the same curly-haired girl she saw there just a few days earlier. Hi again, Louis thinks as a smile blooms on her face.

Because apparently the universe hates her – or loves her, Louis has yet to decide – the girl decides to look up from her phone at that very moment and catches Louis staring. Louis quickly averts her eyes as she continues going up the stairs, albeit at a considerably lower pace, but in the end she can’t help herself, and just before going in she throws a last look over her shoulder.

The girl is still watching her, now with a soft smile of her own brightening her face, phone forgotten in her hand.

Louis casts her eyes down and goes into the library, only barely avoiding walking into the door. Because yes, way to impress pretty girls and all that, Louis thinks sarcastically as she mentally knocks herself over the head. A smile quickly overtakes her face again though, because no joke, the girl was like, really pretty. Louis might be considering coming to the library on a more frequent basis if it means she gets to share smiles with cute curly-haired girls, if she’s being honest.

When she’s making her way home ten minutes later with the book safely tucked inside her bag, intent on changing so she can get to Niall’s, she’s still thinking about curly locks and pink lips forming into a soft smile.

---

Louis’ lying sideways on Niall’s bed the following Thursday evening, legs up against the wall and head hanging off the other side. She’s steadily making her way through her beloved – not so beloved anymore by now – book when Niall announces they’re going out tonight. Louis promptly drops her book from where she’d been reading and cries out, “Thank fuck, Ni, I thought you’d never ask. This book is giving me a fucking headache. Why did I go through so much trouble to get my hands on it again?”

“Oh stop whining, will you. You’re someone who likes to do good on assignments and you know it,” Niall says. “Besides, you’ve been going on for two whole days now about how grateful you are that this made you go to the library those two times, because otherwise you’d never have laid eyes upon the latest incarnation of Aphrodite. Or, however else you phrased it. Now that I think about it, I think you’ve also called her a cherub. You then said she’s sex on legs two seconds later. Would that be correct?”

Niall is looking at her from the other side of the room with the smuggest face and Louis is so not gracing her with an answer.

“Where are we going then?” she asks, effectively shutting off any and all talk about her latest infatuation. Because looking at Niall’s face tells her the shutting off wasn’t exactly all that successful, she continues,

“Please tell me we’re not going out with your classmates again, I still haven’t recovered from last time, Niall, I’m not kidding,” Louis warns. “I’m all for a good ol’ drinking game, I’m even down for the occasional game of strip poker, but usually people don’t actually take their underwear off.”

Louis shudders at the memory of one of Niall’s classmates, who’d been in a quite advanced state of intoxication, taking off his pants and dancing around on his chair. She still has nightmares. If people could keep their penises away from her, that would be awesome.

“Well…” Niall starts and she laughs at Louis’ expression, which is one of fear and fury combined. “We are going out with one of my classmates, but she isn’t crazy like those other ones. If anything, she’s crazy in completely different ways. Good ways,” she clarifies when she notices fear had taken the upper hand on Louis’ face.

“She’s cool, Lou, you’ll like her. She’s bringing one of her friends with as well. I’ve met her once before, and she’s brilliant, so should be good. We’re just gonna go down to the bar, if that’s fine by you. Just have some pints, or cocktails, whatever,” she concedes at having seen Louis’ look. Louis likes her sugary cocktails every once in a while, okay.

“Fine, fine, you’ve convinced me,” Louis says, as if there had really been any convincing to be done. She could use some alcohol, and anything that makes that happen is fine by her. “When are we leaving?”

“In like, half an hour?” Niall half says, half asks. Louis hums approvingly. “Do you want us to stop by yours before going to the bar?”

Louis thinks about it for a moment, deciding against it in the end. “No, should be fine. Just gonna grab something out of your closet, I think, I don’t feel like making any detours.” Niall’s collection of clothes is diverse enough that there’s a few things in there that Louis feels would suit her. As to hair and make-up, well, they’re only going for drinks, not proper going out dancing, so her current appearance will have to do. She really can’t be bothered to do fancy make-up right now. Thanks, but no, thanks.

“Okay, suit yourself,” Niall answers, rummaging through her closet in search of something to wear, Louis presumes. She puts her book away and busies herself on her phone until Niall reappears with a top and some jeans.

Louis dives into the piles of clothes herself then to find something to wear and a good half an hour later they’re on their way.

“So tell me about these people we’re meeting in,” Louis makes a quick estimate, “Ten minutes, give or take.”

“Well, my classmate’s called Liam, she’s a legend, apparently once thought it’d be a good idea to shave her head in exchange for a bottle of vodka,” Niall tells her. “Only does crazy shit when drunk. She’s the picture of responsibility otherwise, seriously, I don’t know how she does it.”

“Alright, alright, I could work with that,” Louis answers. “So how about that friend of hers?”

“Her name’s Harry. She’s a year younger than me and Liam, so two years younger than you, she’s tall and takes great pride in telling the world’s worst knock knock jokes.”

“Oh, that reminds me, d’you know that book I needed but wasn’t in the library because someone forgot to bring it back?” Niall rolls her eyes at this. Very exaggeratedly. Okay, Louis has to admit, she’d gone on about it for days, so Niall might have some clue about the book. Anyway. “Well, the person who forgot to bring it back? They were called Harry as well. That’s a coincidence.”

Niall huffs out a laugh. “Yeah, what a coincidence, huh? Oh, looks like we’re here, lemme just quickly shoot Liam a text.”

Louis hums to indicate she heard her and throws a glance through the window of the bar. It’s still quite empty thanks to the early hour, only two barstools occupied by some girls and a few other people scattered around the booths. Louis is looking a bit more intently at the girls by the bar – the one in particular –, because surely it couldn’t be, when Niall pipes up and tells her Liam and Harry are already here.

Louis only half hears her, eyes glued to the girl with the curly hair sitting at the bar, throwing her head back in laughter, but she sees Niall moving from the corner of her eye so she follows her inside.

Niall is waving at one of the girls by the bar and the girl is waving back and okay, apparently it very well could be. Niall calls out “Payno!” and the girl rolls her eyes at that, but Louis sees her grin widen. The other girl, who’d been looking at her phone until now, quickly typing something out, looks up as well then, smile evident on her face. Louis sees her eyes widen when they go past Niall and catch on her. Louis shoves Niall in the side and lowly hisses “Niall,” but Niall is pretending she doesn’t notice. Louis has always known she’s a dickhead at heart.

They’ve reached them by now and Niall gives Liam and who appears to be Harry a kiss on the cheek and a quick hug. She comes back to stand next to Louis who’d been hanging back a bit.

“Liam, Harry, this is Louis, my best-friend-since-secondary who’s also a twat, don’t be fooled by the cute face,” Niall introduces her. Louis splutters, because excuse you, but Niall goes on without sparing her a glance. “Louis, meet Liam and Harry. There, introductions over, time to get some alcohol into our systems.”

Louis gives a little wave and shares a smile with Liam. She then decides to bite the bullet and looks over at Harry, who hasn’t taken her eyes off Louis since the first time they landed on her. She’s confronted with green eyes and puffy pink lips and oh. Oh. Her curls aren’t up in a half bun this time, but are loosely falling down her shoulders.

After glancing over at Niall and Liam, who are busy ordering and having a chat with the bartender, Louis looks back at Harry and she gives a little smile. Christ, she’s being embarrassing. Luckily, Harry doesn’t seem to think so, because she’s leaning back against the bar with a wide smile on her face.

Dimples.

There’s dimples.

Death might as well just take Louis now, because there’s honestly no going back from here.

Louis blinks and shakes herself out of it and mentally scolds herself. She hasn’t said a word since she came in, Harry probably thinks she’s crazy by now. Way to go, Tommo, you’re doing real good.

“Hi, I’m Louis,” she ends up saying. Then she drops her eyes to the floor and groans. “Which, you already knew by now, sorry.” She hears a giggle in front of her and looks up into eyes that are shining with mirth.

“Hello Louis, I’m Harry. Which you already knew as well, but, you know, just in case,” Harry winks. She fucking winks. Louis is going to need to up her game here.

Niall inserts herself into the conversation then, which, probably a good thing. “You guys almost done flirting here?” Okay. Maybe not such a good thing. “Let’s find a booth, will be a lot more comfortable than sitting at the bar with the four of us.”

Louis takes the drink Niall’s holding out for her and follows her and Liam to an empty booth. A glance over her shoulder confirms Harry’s following as well. Another thing it confirms is that yes, she apparently is tall, Niall sure wasn’t lying. She’s more than half a head taller than Louis and as Louis turns to look in front of her again, she thinks, Death, where are you?

She slides into the booth next to Niall, which leaves Harry to sit down in front of her. Great. Apparently the universe still hates her.

Louis takes a few gulps of her beer, God knows she needs it, and when she hears Niall and Liam talking about puppy videos, she thinks, thank God. Talking nonsense, this is what she’s good at. “Hey, Niall, remember that one video we saw last week, of the puppy having its first ever bath?”

Harry pipes up with, “Oh! I’ve seen one of those, what did the puppy in yours look like?” and after Louis temporarily forgets how to form words because of the adorably eager face Harry’s making, she resigns herself to the fact that this is going to be a long night.

---

Two and a half hours later and Louis finds Harry’s hand in hers as they make their way over to the bar, no longer all that steady on their feet after multiple rounds of drinks. Even though tonight was supposed to be just a few drinks, they’d crossed the line of ‘a few’ a good thirty minutes ago when Niall came back from the bar carrying a tray with not only four pints, but also four shots on it.

They make it to the bar and Louis giggles when Harry stumbles a bit and falls into her side. After the first awkwardness of not knowing what to do with herself because this is the pretty girl from the library and she’s so pretty, look at the dimple and God she’s so cute, the two of them had hit it off like a house on fire.

They teamed together against Niall when she claimed she met the Queen of England when she was ten, ignoring Liam’s protest that “She might’ve, you never know with Niall,” and after one too many of Harry’s knock knock jokes, Louis realised that they were indeed the world’s worst, but she also realised that every time Harry told one, she was already eagerly looking forward to the next one she was undoubtedly going to tell.

On top of that, she realised she had a hard time keeping her eyes of Harry, but after finding Harry seemed to be suffering from the same problem, she kind of stopped worrying about it. Cue unabashed staring at Harry’s lips when she was enthusiastically telling a story. Also cue ignoring Niall who had been wearing a smirk on her face since about ten minutes after they came into the bar. Fucking Niall.

Louis puts her hand on the small of Harry’s back now, steadying her, and she turns slightly to be able to talk into her ear. The bar’s crowded, okay, and it’s loud, okay. Judging by Harry’s smile and the way she leans into the touch, she sure doesn’t seem to mind.

“How about some more shots?” Louis asks, “Tequila this time? We’ll do them the proper way though, salt, lemon, the lot.” At Harry’s nod, she turns back to be able to get the attention of the bartender. Her hand is still resting comfortably on Harry’s back.

Louis orders four shots of tequila and one more round of beers and after paying, they make their way back to the booth, Harry clearing the way for Louis who’s carefully carrying the tray. After all, they do not want all their drinks ending up on the already sticky floor, hell no.

Niall and Liam cheer when they see them coming, raising their glasses in the air. There might not be any beer left in them, but they sure still serve the purpose of being raised to cheer someone on, yes, absolutely. Louis places the tray on the little table, a little too roughly, seeing as some of the beer sloshes over the rim of the glasses. Nobody gives that any mind though, because Louis then starts passing the shots around while Harry grabs Liam’s hand and then Niall’s to sprinkle some salt onto them.

When Louis has distributed the slices of lemon as well, Harry goes to grab her hand to sprinkle salt onto it. It might be her alcohol-hazy mind playing tricks on her, but Louis could swear she feels little bursts of electricity where her fingertips are touching Harry’s palm. Harry sprinkles and keeps sprinkling and Louis is happy about that because it means she gets to touch Harry’s hand a little while longer, but it also means she ends up with a fuckload of salt on her hand. When Harry lets go of her hand and goes to put some salt onto her own, Louis subtly tilts her hand so some of the salt falls off.

Harry puts the salt in the middle of the table and they’re all ready to go with their shot in one hand and their slice of lemon in the other, salt-covered one. Louis catches Harry’s eyes and starts counting back from three to one. They lick the salt of their hands and slam back the shot and bite down on the slice of lemon, pulling faces both because of the burn in their throats and the sourness of the lemon.

As if seeing Harry lick her own hand hadn’t been hard already, the way a few drops of lemon juice make their way down her chin and neck, is pure torture.

Louis realises she’s staring. She feels Harry staring right back but she’s powerless to do anything except for staring and imagining how Harry’s pulse would feel under her lips and her tongue if she were to lean over, licking away the stray drops, all the way up to her lips, where she would chase the taste into her mouth.

She’s shaken out of it when Niall throws her arm around her neck and yells something in her ear. She tears away her eyes from Harry’s lips, which still have the slice of lemon between them. Louis can still feel Harry’s eyes on her though and she feels hot all over. She needs to get a fucking grip. Like right now.

She searches her mind for something to get the conversation going again, something that isn’t the colour of Harry’s eyes in the darkness of the bar or the glistening of Harry’s lips after she takes a sip of beer. “The book! Have I told you guys about the book already? Fascinating story that. Gather round, lemme tell you about the book.”

Niall cackles besides her, gleefully muttering, “Here we go,” as Louis throws her a dirty look.

She brings her attention back to the other two then and leans forward a bit when she starts talking.

“So. I’ve got this assignment, right? About the agreements between the contemporary English and Spanish languages, which. Doesn’t really matter. Anyway. So I found this book that was literally made for this assignment, only to find out it wasn’t at the library. But it should’ve been, only there was this twat who forgot to bring it back, right? So I sent them some emails and okay, apparently the person wasn’t really a twat because I’ve never seen anyone apologise so profusely in my life. So basically my email reminded them that they’d forgotten to return the book in time and they returned it and then I went and got it. Moral of the story, return your books on time, kids. Actually, the person who forgot to bring the book back was called Harry as well, Harry. I love myself a good coincidence.”

When Louis stops rambling, she realises Niall is shaking with laughter next to her, clutching her stomach, tears rolling down her cheeks, and Liam is giggling into her pint as well, seemingly unable to stop, and Harry. Harry’s eyes have gone wide and even in the darkness of the bar, Louis can see that her cheeks have flushed a nice shade of red.

Louis gets a bit dizzy as she looks from Harry to Niall to Liam and back again so she focuses on Niall, who seems to have calmed down some and is wiping under her eyes as she exchanges a highly amused look with Liam. “Honestly, Ni, you’ve heard me going on about it for days now, surely you can’t find it that funny anymore.”

At that Niall bursts into laughter again and it takes her a good ten seconds to regain some control over herself. “Louis. My dear Louis. My lovely, cute, naïve Louis. How many Harry’s do you know exactly?”

Well. Now that Louis thinks about it, there really aren’t all that many. As she looks back at the Harry in front of her, whose eyes have gone back to normal but who’s now very intently looking down into her beer, Louis realises that she’s actually the only Harry she knows, besides the mysterious Harry from the book. Well, there’s also the Harry who used to go to the same primary school as Louis, but he was a right little shit, so he doesn’t count. So. Only two. Odd. Very odd.

Her foggy mind doesn’t get any further than that observation, so she looks back at Niall and asks, “What are you getting at, Niall?”

Niall only gives her a look and then shifts her attention to where Harry is now swishing around the beer in her glass. “So, Harry, how’s your assignment going? About something Spanish-related as well, was it? Or was it English? Did you manage to return your book on time?”

If the flush on Harry’s cheeks had gone down a bit during the exchange, it’s now back in full force as she throws Niall a dirty look – Niall’s been getting loads of those tonight, it’s almost like she’s collecting them or something – and tells her, “The assignment went very well actually. And no, as a matter of fact I didn’t return my book on time.” She quickly glances at Louis. “But someone was kind enough to send me an email to remind me that it was indeed overdue and it was about time I returned it. Multiple emails, actually.”

“Hm, very curious,” Niall hums.

And that’s when it clicks.

There’s a reason why the only two Harry’s Louis knows, have only made an appearance in her life over the course of the past week. That reason being that they’re one and the same. Jesus Christ, how thick could Louis be to have only realised it now?

“Are you kidding me?” she exclaims. She looks over at Harry. “You’re the Harry from the book? The one that was nine days overdue with it and made me almost pull my own hair out because they wouldn’t answer my emails?”

In her mind, Louis brings back the image of the devilish creature she’d cooked up when she’d first found the book. She then tries to swap its face with Harry’s and the result is. Well. Disturbing, to say the least.

The real Harry is now looking at her with a shy, but growing, grin on her face. “I’m sorry?” she says and she brings her hands up beside her, palms up, as she shrugs her shoulders.

That’s when Louis breaks. She’s had one too many drinks (maybe make that three too many) and Harry’s been in her face all night with her hair and eyes and lips and collarbones and stupid jokes and rambling stories and now this whole situation is so absurd that Louis bursts into uncontrollable giggles. And keeps giggling. It’s so infectious that it doesn’t take the rest of them more than five seconds to join her and soon they’re clutching at their stomachs and wiping the tears from their faces.

“Harry Styles,” Louis says on a giggle once they’ve calmed down enough to be able to talk normally again. Sort of. “Harry fucking Styles. Just so you know, if it wasn’t clear already, the next round is on you.”

Niall and Liam cheer and stamp their feet and Harry pretends to groan but Louis sees the grin on her face widening ever further.

---

Harry’s round had ended up being the last one of the night, which Louis now thinks is a good thing, considering the way the walls seem to be dancing along to the beat of the music and she’s currently seeing two Niall’s and two Liam’s in front of her.

The four of them are making their way out of the bar, Niall and Liam leading the way, with Harry and Louis following behind. Louis’ arm is securely tucked around Harry’s waist, Harry’s arm around her shoulders. The purpose being, keeping themselves safe on their feet, of course. Yes. No ulterior motives.

Louis is absolutely not thinking about the way they seem to fit quite perfectly or the way she could just slip her fingers underneath the hem of Harry’s top and caress the soft skin of her hips. She also isn’t thinking about how she’s pretty sure Harry leaned down just a few seconds ago to press her nose into Louis’ hair and take a sniff.

She isn’t thinking about any of that.

Because this arrangement is solely for the purpose of keeping themselves upright, she squeezes Harry a little closer into her side. She feels Harry’s arm tighten around her shoulders and has to suppress the feeling of the butterflies taking flight in her stomach.

Harry and Liam live near each other, but their places are apparently the complete opposite way of where Niall and Louis need to go. Louis knows this because Niall’s just turned around and informed her of it.

Louis feels a pout coming up because she’s comfy, tucked into Harry’s side, and she’s warm and she doesn’t want to let go, if she’s being really honest. Harry seems to notice because she flicks Louis’ bottom lip with her finger and when Louis looks at her, Harry throws her a wink. Louis’ pout instantly changes into a shy smile and she glances down at the ground. She feels Harry’s free arm coming up to drape around her shoulders as well, and next thing Louis knows, both her arms are around the small of Harry’s back and they’re squeezing each other tightly.

Louis’ always been a touchy drunk, she knows that. After only two or three drinks, she’ll start touching people’s shoulders or arms or chest when talking to them, and she’ll hug every other person and demand for someone to hold her hand when they’re walking. She just really likes the contact and is used to that.

This thing with Harry, though, this is something else entirely. Louis wants to touch, but she’s already starting to realise, even in the state she’s in, that it’s not just because of the fact that she’s drunk. Louis already knows that when she next sees Harry, she’ll want to reach out and trace her cheek with the tips of her fingers and draw her in to press her nose into the spot beneath her ear. She’ll want to grab her hand and lace their fingers and maybe tuck her hair behind her ear when she’s looking down.

She doesn’t know how she knows this, but she does.

Even if they’ve only officially met a little less than four hours ago, Louis knows that she’ll want to touch.

She hears someone not so subtly clear their throat too close to her ear. Louis swiftly flips Niall off, but she knows that she and Harry have probably been holding each other a bit too long already. Louis squeezes a last time and feels Harry squeezing back and then lets go of her.

Niall immediately links her arm through Louis’, as if to prevent her from taking the one step back to Harry and sinking back into her embrace. Louis won’t admit it, but that’s probably a good idea. Liam had seemed to have to same idea, if her arm around Harry’s waist says anything.

Louis gives them a little wave and then turns around with Niall to walk the short way back to Niall’s.

“Oh, wait! I didn’t even say goodbye to Liam,” Louis realises. “Niall, that was so rude of me, we need to return and say bye to Liam. She won’t want to go out with us again if she thinks I’m rude, Niall, we need to turn around.”

“We will do no such thing, Lou, don’t even think about it. We’ve just spent the entire night together, she doesn’t think you’re rude, babe. Well, not in that way, anyway,” Niall chuckles.

Louis huffs because she isn’t rude in any way, thanks. “But I didn’t say goodbye.” Her voice is getting dangerously close to a whine and Niall cuts her off with a look.

“We’re not turning around, Louis. If we do that, you’ll just attach yourself to Harry again for another five minutes. Don’t think I didn’t see the way you couldn’t keep your eyes or your hands off her tonight, Louis. Because, boy, did I see,” Niall whistles quietly through her teeth.

“But Niall, Niall, you don’t understand. Harry’s the girl from the library! She’s the one with the half bun and cute smile I told you about. She’s the one who almost made me walk into the door!”

Niall is just looking back at her with an amused smile and please, that is such an inadequate response to the revelation Louis just made.

“What,” Louis asks flatly. “Why are you looking at me like that? Did you not just hear me say that Harry is the girl from the library.”

“Oh, I heard you,” Niall answers, “I heard you loud and clear. Even though your words do tend to get a bit muddled when you’re drunk, Louis, maybe try to work on that.”

Louis fixes her with a look.

“Okay, so yes, I heard you,” Niall continues, “I already knew that, though.”

Louis frowns. “What do you mean you already knew that? I just told you about a cute girl with curly hair and a nice smile, Niall, how could you possibly have known I was talking about Harry?”

“Well. See. Remember last week? When I went out with my classmates and you were mad at me because I’d promised you we’d order pizza and watch bad movies?” Niall starts, “Well, Liam was there too, and she’d brought Harry along. Then Harry starts talking about how she’d received a few emails about this book that she’d completely forgotten was still lying somewhere in her room. A few drinks later, she gets this dreamy look in her eyes and begins telling us about this girl she’d seen at the library. Tiny with blue eyes, she said, almost walked into the door. And really, after that it wasn’t too hard to put two and two together, Lou.”

Louis huffs, “Who are you calling tiny, you’re only half an inch taller than me, it’s not that much, Niall.” But her heart isn’t really in it. It’s currently more occupied with Harry getting a dreamy look on her face as she was talking about her when they hadn’t even properly met. Louis doesn’t know what to do with that information. Then again, maybe she does.

“Niall. I’m gonna have to marry her. I don’t have a choice.” She nods decisively.

“If I’m your witness, I’m all for it,” Niall says. Then she quickly grabs Louis’ phone out of her hands.

Louis had just unlocked it and she’d seen a message from Harry, which simply consisted of countless x’s, so she’d thought it would be a good idea to reply with ‘and I’d marry you, harry xxxx’. Niall doesn’t seem to agree.

“Maybe wait with any marriage proposals until you’re not drunk? And you’ve known her for more than five hours?” Niall suggests.

Louis gives this some thought. Even though she does see Niall’s point, that doesn’t necessarily mean she agrees with it. Marriage seems like a rather brilliant idea right now. Marriage, sex, kissing, everything.

“Well, at least let me reply to her.” At Niall’s look, she continues with, “I promise no marriage proposals. Well… not tonight at least.”

Niall seems placated by this and she hands Louis her phone back. Louis quickly goes to her chat with Harry, which currently consists of one message. That won’t do. Louis goes to the emojis and adds some hearts and throws in some cherries and a bee for good measure, then presses send.

Her and Harry had exchanged numbers somewhere around the first round of shots, when the four of them had been talking about meeting up again, because they worked and it was fun, and Louis had suggested that they exchange numbers. For groupchat purposes. Nothing more. That was it. Which is obviously why she’s now texting Harry when the groupchat hasn’t even been created yet.

Niall is watching the screen of Louis’ phone like a hawk, making sure she really doesn’t propose to anyone. After Louis presses send, she shows her phone to Niall with a smug face, and says, “Look, I can be a good girl.”

Niall unhooks her arm from Louis’ at that, and goes to grab for her keys because they’ve arrived at her place, and says, “If you want to talk about good girl stuff, please, please, do it with Harry. I do not need to hear about this.” She shudders dramatically.

Louis on the other hand is suddenly assaulted by images of being spread out on Harry’s bed, with Harry hanging over her, whispering in her ear to be a good girl for her, and now is so not the time for this.

She has to physically shake herself out of it and pushes Niall aside as soon as she’s managed to unlock the door.

Sleep. Sleep will be the only solution now. Well, that and getting a few fingers inside herself, but seeing as she’s crashing at Niall’s, that isn’t really an option right now, is it. God, Louis wishes it was.

When Niall finally enters her room, Louis’ already stripped down to her t-shirt and panties and has bundled herself in the duvet, willing sleep to come.

Niall looks down at her with an amused look and when Louis feels the duvet being lifted a few minutes later, she scoots over to make some space for Niall. When Louis hears her whisper, “Night Loulou,” she hums in response and lets herself be taken over by sleep.

---

When Louis wakes up the next day, it’s to a message that contains a frog, a smiling sun, a peach, a beer, and two blue hearts. It makes Louis feel a lot like the heart-eyes emoji herself. She turns around and scoots a little closer to Niall who… Seems to be drooling on her pillow. Ew.

Then again, she’s seen Niall in far worse conditions so she closes her eyes again, without giving it any more thought. They’ve both got the luxury of an afternoon class on Friday, so there’s no need for either of them to get up already.

Next time Louis wakes up, it’s two hours later. She doesn’t have to look far for the reason why she’s awake, since Niall seems to be doing her very best at making as much noise as possible in her kitchenette.

“Niall Horan, if you aren’t preparing me the most delicious breakfast ever known to mankind in there, could you shut up,” Louis moans.

“Ah, good, you’re awake,” she hears Niall answer, way too brightly for this time of the day. “You,” Niall says, as she points at Louis with a wooden spoon, “clothes on and out of my house.”

Louis, who had closed her eyes again and decided to snooze for a little while longer, frowns, “What do you mean ‘out of my house.’”

“I mean exactly what I said, but if that didn’t persuade you enough, there’s also the fact your lecture begins in,” Niall looks at the clock on her wall, “nineteen minutes.”

Louis’ eyes open comically wide. “How long did we sleep?” she almost yells. “It’s past noon already!”

“Yes, well, if you want to make it to your class on time, you better get a move on,” Niall says as she disappears again behind the corner.

Louis groans. The time to grab a shower is long gone, which means this will be a smelly class, indeed. Add to that the fact that she’ll have to grab breakfast on the way, and this day has started just wonderfully.

“Niall. I hate you.”

“Good, I hate you too,” she hears. “Now get out of my bed.”

“What are you doing banging around in your kitchen at this time of the day, anyway?” Louis asks as she gets up and grabs her shirt from the chair by Niall’s desk.

“I,” Niall says in an important voice, “happen to be making risotto tonight. And I need to prepare. Mise-en-place is a very important part of the cooking process.”

Louis hadn’t actually succeeded in getting the risotto-story out of Niall until now, so she’s intrigued to say the least. God damn Niall for not waking her up sooner so she’d at least have a few more minutes to wheedle it out of her. As it is, Louis’ pulling on her jeans and searching the floor for her shoes and she needs to get a fucking move on.

“Curse you, Niall,” she grumbles as she finally locates her second shoe and pushes her foot into it. She throws a quick look in the mirror and decides that yup, it’s hopeless. She combs her hands through her hair a few times anyway, trying to make it look somewhat decent.

Niall’s now leaning against the wall, wooden spoon still clutched in her hand, looking at Louis with an entirely too amused look in her eyes.

Louis says, “I hope your risotto burns,” but goes to give her a quick kiss on the cheek anyway and with that, she’s out the door.

---

Halfway through her lecture, when Louis is using her pencil to doodle on the seat in front of her – decidedly not paying attention to anything the lecturer is saying – she’s startled by her phone buzzing with a message. Upon clicking on the home button, she sees it’s from Harry, whose contact name is followed by a cherry emoji.

The message reads my lecturer’s wearing a polka dotted cardigan. I really want a polka dotted cardigan now.

A smile spreads on Louis’ face. She types out maybe ask them if you could borrow it sometime and presses send.

After the lecture. Will let you know if succeeded

And that might’ve been the end of that, but it’s not. Simple as that. They text throughout the lecture, Louis having already decided that taking notes wasn’t going to happen today anyway, and Harry’d apparently come to the same conclusion.

When Harry’s lecture ends, she texts he didn’t want to lend it out :( I’ll just have to buy my own now.

Louis may or may not already be considering buying her a polka dotted cardigan for Christmas, even if it’s still more than seven months away. Nobody needs to know.

They text when Louis’ doing some quick groceries, Harry helping her pick what she’ll be having for dinner tonight, and when Louis’ lying on her bed, watching a show Harry’s apparently already watched and live-texting her about it.

When Niall sends her a picture of the risotto she made, captioned ‘Didn’t burn it, HA,' she sends it to Harry, and together they speculate on why Niall could possibly be cooking something as fancy as risotto. That makes Harry argue that risotto really isn’t all that fancy and it’s actually quite easy to make and ‘well if it’s so easy, why not make it for me sometime’.

Harry agrees to that, because of course she does, and then Louis starts coming up with increasingly difficult recipes, daring Harry to cook them for her. Harry agrees to every single one of them. Louis doesn’t believe for a second Harry’s actually able to cook all these things – they’re hard –, but it sure would be nice to have her try.

They continue like that for the next few days, texting back and forth, and over the course of those few days, Louis grows accustomed to waking up to a good morning text from Harry. Or to sending her one, when for some unfathomable reason, she happens to be awake before Harry is.

She grows used to sending Harry pictures of her cooking, and of her books when she’s studying, and of things that catch her attention when she’s going about her day. She grows used to receiving the same ones from Harry, even though her cooking looks more professional, and her books are colour coded, and her photos are more aesthetically pleasing.

Louis teases her about it, but that only makes Harry turn it up a few notches, until the photos Louis receives are quite literally worthy of being posted on one of those aesthetic-y Instagram accounts.

It’s Wednesday afternoon the next week now, and Louis is whining to Harry about her godforsaken assignment.

what kind of book even is this? It literally makes no sense and I should already by writing by now but I’m NOT because this stupid book DOESN’T MAKE ANY SENSE

She might be a bit frustrated. She’s speaking the truth, though. She really is having a hard time extracting the necessary information out of the book, since, you know… It makes no sense whatsoever. She might’ve stated that once or twice by now. Even though Louis’ been going through it for over a week now, she doesn’t feel any closer to getting a good grip on it.

I know… it’s why I kept the book so long in the first place, it took me so long to figure out how to organise all the information ugh

exactly!! if this continues, I’ll end up only having three days or so to whip up a decent essay

It takes Harry a bit longer to answer her this time, but when she does, the text makes Louis’ heart do a few somersaults inside her chest.

I could maybe help you if you want? I’ve still got all the documents on my computer, so we could just go through them together? Only if you think that’d help of course, I wouldn’t want to disturb you when you’re working

At the last sentence Louis snorts, because yeah, sure, it’s not like they’ve been disturbing each other when they’re working for the better part of a week now. And really, if there’s one person she’d allow to disturb her, it would be Harry, alright.

actually… I think that would be a really big help. it’s clearly not working on my own, so I guess it’s time to bring out the big guns. or, you know, you

She grins when she sends the text. She outright cackles when the next text she receives consists of a picture of Harry flexing her biceps like a proper bodybuilder. At least that’s probably what she was going for. Harry looks like she’s only seconds away from bursting into laughter herself, which kind of decreases the level of intimidating-ness.

The picture is captioned: My guns are ready.

Louis doesn’t know what to do with herself for a minute. She’s grinning down at her phone like a lunatic and she maybe also wants to bite Harry’s bicep for a bit. After she’s kissed the grin of her face, that is.

Get yourself together, she scolds herself. She’s still smiling when she types out her answer.

why don’t you bring them over then?

Yeah? Be there in thirty?

great, see you in a bit! xxxx

Then she realises Harry doesn’t actually know where she lives, so she follows it up with a text containing her address.

Harry just responds with a kissy face.

Louis receives a text some twenty-five minutes later, saying, It’s not polite to keep a girl waiting on your doorstep, and she thinks, eager much?, but she sprints down the stairs to get to the door, so chances are she’s just as eager. She tries not to think about it.

She throws open the door and there she is. Louis hasn’t actually seen her, other than in pictures, since Thursday, and it’s like she’d forgotten just how pretty Harry was in that little amount of time.

Her hair is up in a half bun again, like the very first time Louis saw her, a few loose strands framing her face, the rest of her hair hanging down her shoulders and back. She’s got on black skinnies and a plain white t-shirt, but her lips are a soft rose colour and her big, green, beautiful eyes are framed by long lashes and there’s a blush high on her cheeks that looks entirely natural.

As far as Louis (and probably the entire world) is concerned, she’s a goddamn vision.

Harry’s smile, which was shy at first, turns amused now, and Louis realises she’s probably been staring for a bit too long. Her mouth is also hanging open. Brilliant.

She suddenly grows aware of the fact that, as opposed to Harry, she’s just wearing an old pair of sweats and a t-shirt with a cherry stain on the front. Maybe she should’ve thought this whole thing through a bit better.

If the way Harry’s looking back at her tells her anything, though, it’s that she doesn’t seem to mind one bit.

“Hi,” Louis breathes at last, only a good five seconds after she’s first opened the door. It might as well have been five minutes, what with the way Louis feels breathless and a bit like she needs to sit down.

“Hi,” Harry answers, looking at Louis with fond eyes and a fond smile. “Can I come in?”

“Oh! Oh, yeah, of course, sorry,” Louis stammers. She steps aside and lets Harry make her way inside. “Let’s just go up to my room, you take off your shoes there,” she says, when she sees Harry’s already unzipping her boots.

“Already done!” Harry pipes up. She takes both her boots in one hand and looks at Louis expectantly.

“Right. Room. Follow me.” Louis turns around and walks to the stairs. When she’s making her way up and glances over her shoulder to check if Harry’s following, she notices Harry’s eyes are fixed on her bum before they snap up to Louis’ eyes.

The blush is back on her cheeks.

Louis turns to look forward again and is helpless to stop the smile from taking over her face.

When they get to her room, Louis opens the door and turns around to face Harry and announce, “Welcome to Casa Louis. I hope you enjoy your stay.”

Harry chuckles and as Louis walks into her room, she swears she can hear Harry mutter, “Now that won’t be a problem.”

Harry puts her shoes down next to the door and her bag next to Louis’ bedside table and she takes a seat on Louis’ unmade bed. She crosses her legs. Louis only now notices she’s wearing colourful socks designed to look like they’re dotted with ice cream sprinkles.

Louis is seriously reconsidering this whole idea of asking Harry to come over. She’s pretty sure if this goes on, she might die from endearment.

She’s only been in Harry’s company for less than five minutes and she’s already halfway there. Surely that can’t be a good sign.

Harry’s looking at her from her spot on Louis’ bed. Louis quite likes her there. She might want her to spend some more time there, actually. A lot more time. Preferably less clothed. With her long arms wrapped around Louis. Or situated between her legs, Louis isn’t picky.

Harry’s still looking at her and okay, maybe Louis should do something. Something other than imagining a naked Harry all wrapped up in her duvet, sleepily blinking up at Louis.

“Do you maybe want something to drink?” Louis asks. Good job, she praises herself.

“I’m good,” Harry answers. Louis goes to fill a glass of water for herself anyway, to give herself something to do. When she turns back around from the sink, she sees that Harry’s taken her laptop out of her bag and is typing something on her keyboard.

“D’you want to get started then?” she asks Louis.

Louis is momentarily confused until she remembers that, oh, yes, Harry’s here to help with her assignment. Right. Get with the programme, Tomlinson.

She grabs her book and her notes from her desk and goes to take a seat besides Harry on the bed, their backs against the wall. There’s a few inches between their shoulders and their thighs and Louis is so not aware of them. So not aware.

“Okay, let’s do this.”

I can do this.

---

Louis’ heart has just melted in her chest. It’s a puddle of goo now, the time of having a healthy, beating heart officially behind her.

It might be because of the way the fluffy puppy on Harry’s computer screen is rolling around on the carpet, barking in its cute puppy voice, but it’s probably because of the way Harry was so excited to show it to her and has been cooing at the screen for two minutes now. They’re currently watching the video for the third time. Louis knows that in six seconds the puppy will fall over because its wiggle is a bit too strong and Harry will look over at Louis with shining eyes. It’s happened twice already.

The puppy falls over. Harry indeed looks at Louis with shining eyes. Louis’ entire body is now a puddle of goo on the floor. Yes, puppies are cute, but have you ever witnessed Harry Styles watching puppies being cute? Because that redefines the entire concept of ‘cute’. Louis might be considering getting into contact with the dictionary-people and have them change it. If she plays her cards right, she might even get them to include a picture of Harry watching puppies. She can be very persuasive if she wants to.

Louis might be a bit giddy on Harry’s company. She really can’t be blamed.

Harry angles her body a bit more towards her now, eyes still shining, and Louis realises the video has ended. “So I was not expecting it to fall over, I nearly had a heart attack, Jesus, Harry, warn a girl.” Despite possible Harry-induced giddy-ness, Louis is still very much capable of teasing Harry, thanks.

Harry’s cheeks redden slightly but says, “But Louuu, did you see how cute it was? It just, whoop, fell over.”

Louis boops Harry’s nose with her forefinger. “Whoop.” Harry gives her a shove and an elbow in the side and turns back to her computer screen, looking at it intently. Louis still sees how her blush has now spread to her ears. She feels a tingle behind her navel. A few tingles. Okay, her stomach has been tingling all afternoon, shut up.

It might have something to do with the way they’re pressed together, shoulders to elbows to thighs, or with the way their fingers have been brushing together all afternoon, over notes or books or keyboards, or with the way Louis can feel Harry’s eyes lingering on her when Louis’ pretending to read something on the screen.

‘Pretending’ being the operative word.

They’d started out fairly well, Louis thinks. Actually making an effort to discuss Louis’ notes and getting Harry’s involved and looking things up in order to be productive and help Louis make something of her assignment. Only then Harry had rearranged her legs in order to fit the laptop more comfortably on top of them and her left thigh had ended up being pressed to Louis’ right one.

That’s when the pretending began.

Louis pretended not to notice the heat seeping through the two layers of clothing and the heat it caused in her stomach, and Louis pretended to look busy, shuffling through her notes in search of an answer to one of Harry’s questions, and Louis pretended to be cold so she could shuffle that much closer to Harry.

Louis isn’t very good at pretending.

So she’d clapped her hands together and claimed she’d had enough of it and “Oh my god, Harry, have you already seen that one puppy video?” That had lead to a proper puppy video marathon, but after about fifteen minutes Louis’d seen enough puppies wiggling their tails, so she’d started watching Harry more than the screen, not even bothering to pretend anymore. Harry was downright adorable and Louis was tired of fighting the urge to stare at Harry any longer.

Harry was very dedicated to the marathon though, so she’d persisted, even though Louis was of absolutely no help anymore, having taken one of Harry’s curls and wrapping it around her pointer finger, only to let it unravel and then do it again. That had gone on for another ten minutes, when Harry’d remembered her favourite puppy video of all time, the one with the wiggle and the falling over.

So here they are now, Harry looking at Louis with shining eyes and Louis’ heart beating a mile a minute inside her chest (despite it having turned into a puddle of goo just seconds ago, which, how? Maybe after calling the dictionary people, Louis should get in touch with the biology people and ask for an explanation), and when Harry’s eyes drop to Louis’ lips, Louis can’t do anything but drop hers as well.

She’s spent the entire afternoon up in Harry’s space, and she’s leaning into it even more now, Harry’s lips glistening because she licked them just seconds ago, and it makes Louis lick her lips unconsciously as well. At that, Harry gives up and closes the last few inches between them, sighing softly when their lips finally touch.

It’s a soft little thing, the kiss, and Louis brings her hand up to run her fingers over Harry’s cheekbone, feeling the heat of her blush under her fingertips. She breaks apart, only to reconnect their lips not a second later, Louis now sucking on Harry’s bottom lip and running her tongue along it softly.

The touch of tongue seems to shake Harry out of it and Louis feels her lips pressing firmer, feels her body turning into her even more, feels both her hands make their way into Louis’ hair, one of them then sliding down to cup her jaw, the other one going to play with the soft hairs at the nape of her neck. Louis sighs happily and opens her lips a bit more when Harry’s tongue runs along the seam, allowing it to slip into her mouth and seek out Louis’.

They curl around each other and Louis’ heart leaps because she’s wanted a taste ever since seeing Harry at the bar last Thursday, or maybe since almost walking into the door of the library and finding Harry to be gazing at her softly, or maybe even since noticing her for the very first time, wanting to pry Harry’s bottom lip from between her thumb and forefinger and soothe the sore spot with a kiss.

Louis sucks on Harry’s tongue and she’s got her taste and she’s not entirely sure how she’s ever supposed to live without it now.

The tingling in Louis’ stomach has spread throughout her entire body and seems to reach a peak when Harry’s teeth bite down on Louis’ bottom lip, quickly soothing the spot with a touch of her tongue and pressing a tiny kiss to it for good measure. Louis smiles with her eyes still closed and then puckers her lips for a simple peck and then pecks Harry again and then again and she lingers but the smile is making its way onto her face again and soon enough she feels Harry smiling as well and they’re just pressing their stupid smiles into each other.

“This you bringing out the big guns?” Louis asks, still a bit breathless and dizzy. Pressed this close to Harry, she’s overwhelmed by her smell, which is sweet and fruity and also something else and Louis thinks it’s so wonderful she’d quite like to be encompassed by it forever. She’ll have to run it by Harry first, but she’s sure they’ll be able to figure something out.

“You bet,” Harry answers, her smile turning cheeky, and Louis sees her flexing her bicep out of the corner of her eye.

So she huffs out a laugh and pulls back a little, but stays in Harry’s space, dropping her hand to her thigh and rubbing little circles into it with her thumb. “You should bring them out more often.”

Harry’s staring at her, and her lips are even darker than usual but she’s also looking so incredibly comfy that Louis can’t stop herself from leaning down and resting her head on Harry’s shoulder. If it brings her nose very close to the spot behind her ear, where her smell is particularly strong, that’s entirely a coincidence.

“I’ve kind of been wanting to bring out the big guns for days now,” Harry admits, whispering into Louis’ hair.

Louis smiles into Harry’s neck, “I wanted you to.” She merely has to pucker up to press a kiss to the soft skin. It’s like, extremely soft. Louis nuzzles it. She feels Harry’s arms tighten around her.

“So I probably should’ve said something sooner,” Harry starts again hesitantly, “but I’m kind of meeting up with someone tonight. I’d like, cancel it in a second, but it’s my sister and she’s only in town until tomorrow afternoon and I promised we’d go out for drinks and I’m really sorry I have to –”

Babe,” Louis interrupts her, “babe, it’s okay. Yes, you’re rude to give me a taste and then bugger off,” she smiles to let Harry know she’s joking, “but I wouldn’t want you to miss out on quality time with your sister. I know how important that time is.”

“Yeah?” Harry asks.

“Absolutely,” Louis says, still smiling reassuringly. “Hey, why don’t we meet again tomorrow? With the girls? We could go to the same bar, or a different one, or we could go dancing, it doesn’t really matter. I just had such a good time last week and I’d really love to go again.”

Harry’s smiling at her again in that way that makes the tingly feeling in Louis’ stomach kick up a notch and says, “I’d love that. We should ask them now and see if they’re up for it.”

Louis goes to grab her phone and then immediately returns to reclaim her spot under Harry’s arm. Harry’s fingers go to play with the hem of Louis’ sleeve. They brush Louis’ skin occasionally. Louis pretends she doesn’t notice. (That’s a lie, she moves her arm a bit so Harry’s fingers bump into it and then Harry gets the message and just starts petting Louis’ skin.)

She makes quick work of composing a text asking Niall and Liam to go out and then throws away her phone, not really caring where it lands. The only thing she cares about right now is cuddling into Harry’s side and kissing her a bit more.

“So like, when are you meeting with your sister?” she asks a few minutes later. The tingly feeling has spread to her lips now.

“Uhm, seven minutes ago?” Harry says, turning it into a question.

“Harry Styles, you idiot, what are you still doing in my bed, you should be having sister quality time!” Louis exclaims. Harry is leaning in again, smile indicating she heard Louis, but clearly not caring regardless. Louis must be superhuman or something, because instead of meeting Harry in the middle, she leans back. However, that only makes Harry lose her balance and fall into Louis’ chest and, having missed her goal, she’s now pressing her lips right under the dip between Louis’ collarbones. She’s starting to suck a little. Abort.

Louis has to scrape together every bit of willpower still left in her – which really isn’t all that much – to clasp Harry’s head between both her hands and gently pull it away from her chest. Also her boobs, which Harry is eying hungrily.

“Don’t start things you won’t be able to finish,” Louis scolds. She’s a bit flustered and Harry’s lips are pink and wet and swollen and her ‘scolding’ is really a lot closer to whining, hoping Harry will stop before things turn actually heated and Louis’ resolve will crumble completely and she won’t allow Harry to leave her bed ever again.

Harry blinks, and blinks again, and finally brings her eyes up from Louis’ boobs as she rights herself. So now she’s boring her eyes into Louis’ and… shit. Her pupils are blown. So Louis kicks her. Hard.

That seems to finally snap her out of it. “Ow, what d’you that for, you idiot,” she exclaims, rubbing her thigh where Louis’ foot made contact with it.

“You,” Louis says, pointing a finger in Harry’s direction and waving it around a bit, “should’ve left fifteen minutes ago. Your sister’s probably waiting for you,” and Harry looking at her phone and wincing confirms this, “So pack your stuff and go, babe, I don’t want you missing out on time with her.”

Louis knows Harry doesn’t get to see her sister nearly as often as she’d like, so she really doesn’t want to be the reason Harry misses out on some well-deserved time together now that they finally have the chance.

Harry gets up to gather her notes (Louis might’ve thrown them away some time ago in a bout of frustration. Nobody can prove a thing), throwing mock-angry glances Louis’ way. Louis just sits cross-legged in the middle of her bed and smiles sweetly at her. Harry quickly gives up on the mock-angry part of the glances, and soon she’s just looking over at Louis every three seconds, which kind of slows down the whole process of note-gathering. Louis doesn’t get up to help.

When Harry returns to the bed with a pile of haphazardly gathered papers, Louis grabs Harry’s bag from beside the nightstand and stuffs her computer inside. She takes the notes from Harry and stuffs those inside as well. Harry’s eying her warily, because, okay, yes, so those notes were probably tidy once. Louis just zips up the bag and hands it to Harry. “There you go.”

“Thanks. I guess,” Harry says, pretending to sulk. Louis decides this attitude of Harry’s has lasted long enough, although the way Harry’s looking at Louis clearly shows she couldn’t care less about the state her notes are in.

“Damn right,” Louis says. She jumps off of the bed and taps Harry’s bum, “Off you go.” She takes Harry’s boots for her and together they make their way down the stairs.

Once they’re in the hallway, Harry puts on her boots and a jumper she’d apparently been hiding in her bag. Louis’ leaning against the wall, gazing at Harry, snickering when she almost falls over when stuffing her foot into a boot, breath hitching when Harry yawns and stretches her arms above her head, causing her shirt and jumper to ride up enough to show off her love handles. Louis wants to bite.

She settles for caressing now, stroking her fingers over the soft skin, trailing them to the small of her back where she rests her hand right above the swell of Harry’s bum. She crowds into her space and Harry is all too happy to comply when she leans up for a last kiss. Or a last few kisses. Who’s counting anyway.

Five minutes later, Louis finally manages to extract herself from Harry’s long limbs and push her towards the door. “If you don’t leave now, I won’t answer any of your texts for the rest of the day.” It’s a lame threat and Louis knows it, but it appears to be working anyway because Harry’s eyes widen and she hitches her bag a little higher up her shoulder and opens the door.

Louis blows her a final kiss. Harry blows one back and winks and then she’s out the door.

---

When Louis falls asleep late that night, after a long shower that had been relaxing in more ways than one, it’s with a smile still curving her lips. Harry had apparently enjoyed her night out with her sister, judging by the few texts she’d sent to Louis when she got back.

i had the besttttt time today

with yuo i mean, w gems as well ovbs but mostly w you

your lips r very soft

cant wait to see you tommorrow xxxxxxxxx

---

Louis hadn’t responded to Harry last night, so when she wakes up and goes to check her phone first thing, all she sees are the same texts that had made her all giddy the night before. It’s very Harry to come home after a night out and still remember to text Louis before she passes out. Louis’d always found it very endearing that Harry insisted on texting Louis right before she went to sleep, but yesterday, everything Louis felt had been kind of magnified, so even though they were just four simple texts, Louis hadn’t really known what to do with herself.

Upon seeing Harry’s drunken texts now, a sleepy smile makes its way back onto her face. Harry’s probably still asleep, but Louis goes to text her anyway. She likes the thought of Harry waking up to one of her good morning texts, okay? So sue her.

She tries not to think about how much she likes the thought of Harry waking up to Louis pressing soft kisses to her face, or her tummy, or her clit, whispering ‘good morning’ right into her skin when she feels Harry stir.

It’s not exactly working, and more images keep popping up, unasked for, but not unwelcome. Images of Harry’s thighs coming up around Louis’ head when she wakes up and immediately feels Louis softly licking at her folds, taking her time, because it’s early and everything should be slow in the morning. Harry’s hands making their way into Louis’ hair, her long fingers twisting in it and pulling softly to get a moan out of Louis, make her grab her hips firmer. Harry looking down at Louis, seeking out her eyes, and throwing her head back in ecstasy when their eyes lock and Louis very deliberately flicks her clit with the tip of her tongue.

Louis sneaks her hand between her legs and has to press down with her mind conjuring up the images.

She hasn’t even sent the text yet.

good morning sunshine (: i’m guessing you had fun last night? xx

With that out of way, Louis presses her fingers a bit firmer against herself. Even though she got herself off in the shower last night, imagining the fingers twisting inside her were Harry’s, Louis can already feel herself getting wet, her brain now coming up with the noises Harry would be making when Louis thrusts her tongue particularly deep.

Louis rolls over until she’s on her stomach and grabs one of her pillows to stuff it between her legs. She draws up her knees and moans into the pillow by her head when she feels the pressure on her clit. She’s still got her panties on, but she’s not particularly inclined to remove them now, liking the way they’re already wet with her slick.

She rolls her hips once, and it’s like a spark of heat explodes inside her. She sits up a bit more then, allowing herself more room to build up a rhythm. She starts out slow enough, actually paying attention to rolling her hips properly and not simply going for the most pressure on her clit, a sure fire way to a quick orgasm.

She starts out slow enough, but soon Harry starts playing with her own nipples in Louis’ head, moaning shamelessly while she moves her hips to meet Louis’ tongue fucking in and out of her.

Soon Louis’ rhythm isn’t all that slow anymore, her hands now grabbing her headboard and her hips moving frantically, pressing her pussy against the pillow. It doesn’t feel like enough, so she removes one of her hands from the headboard, moving it underneath the pillow so Louis feels her fingers press against where she needs it most, with a layer of pillow in between.

Her mouth drops open in a silent moan at the added pressure, her hips now moving on their own accord, her fingers pressing just that tiny bit harder. Harry’s coming now, in her head, clenching around Louis’ tongue, and Louis feels the heat deep inside building and building, until she feels like she’s close to exploding.

She moves the angle of her fingers a little and that’s what pushes her over the edge, that and the image of Harry sucking on Louis’ tongue, which still tastes like her own slick. She lets out a broken whine and rides out her orgasm, feeling her legs spasm a few times because of all the work they had to do.

Louis slumps forward and buries her head in her pillow, hugging her arms around it. She feels the blissed out smile on her face, powerless to stop it, and opts to doze a bit longer. Her class starts in a bit more than an hour, so she’s still got some time to take a quick nap to recover and get to class on time.

She removes the pillow from between her legs and rearranges herself until she’s comfortable again. Before closing her eyes, she checks her phone one more time, but Harry hasn’t responded yet. She locks it and puts it back on the bedside table. Feeling sated, she closes her eyes and lets her thoughts wander back to Harry.

As if they ever left.

---

After class that day, Louis quickly goes home to grab a change of clothes that’s a bit more suited for going out dancing (also impressing Harry, but shush), and her make-up bag. When she’s gathered her things, she makes her way over to Niall’s so they can eat together and get ready.

They’ll be meeting Liam and Harry on the way to the bar they’re going to, because for some reason Harry can’t get her arse over to Niall’s any earlier. Liam had said she’d get ready with Harry then and that had been that. Louis’ a bit bummed she won’t be seeing Harry for another three hours, but she’s a big girl. She can handle it. She definitely didn’t send Harry a text saying she misses her five minutes ago.

Louis had demanded Niall make risotto for them that night, because Niall was a professional risotto-maker now anyway, but when she gets there and opens the door without knocking, she isn’t greeted with the delicious smell of wild mushrooms or parmesan. Niall isn’t standing in front of the hob either, stirring the contents of some pot. Instead she’s spread out on her bed with her earphones in, laptop on her stomach, munching on a chocolate bar. Her only reaction to Louis entering is taking one earphone out and patting the bed beside her, her eyes not straying from the computer screen for a second.

Louis obviously won’t have this, so she drops her stuff by the door, kicks off her shoes and stamps over to the kitchenette. She grabs a pot and a wooden spoon and bangs the bottom of the pot four times in quick succession until Niall finally deems her worthy enough of her attention.

She’s looking very unimpressed. As if she has any reason to be the unimpressed one here. Louis was promised risotto.

“I was promised risotto, you twat.”

“You weren’t promised anything,” Niall says. “You demanding you get risotto doesn’t equal me promising you, Lou. There’s pizza in the freezer.”

Louis just stands there with her pot and wooden spoon and gapes at Niall, who’s already turned her attention back to her screen. The disrespect, honestly.

“Fine.” Louis ostensibly puts the cooking utensils in the centre of the table and goes to turn on the oven. She also texts Harry to tell her about the grave injustice Niall’s just put her through.

“Stop texting your girlfriend and get over here, you sulk, somebody just shot Charlotte, you have to see this,” Niall tells her, beckoning her over.

“Not my girlfriend,” Louis mutters, ignoring the way her stomach flutters at Niall using the word so casually. “And are you watching Home and Away again? Really?”

“Yes, really, and I know you’re actually dying to know what happened to Charlotte, so will you get your arse over here?”

Louis actually is dying to know what happened, because even though she doesn’t watch the soap as religiously as Niall does, she’s seen enough to know that Charlotte is an actual snake and something was bound to happen. Unsurprisingly, she finally gives in and settles in next to Niall, waiting for the oven to heat up.

Twenty minutes later, they’re sitting at Niall’s table, cutting up the pizza, and they still don’t know who killed Charlotte. Apparently this is one of these things that’ll be dragged out over a few weeks, because of course it is. Niall is completely engrossed in it, comparing the likelihood of it being Zac or Irene that fired the shot. Given that she’s basically in love with Hunter, she immediately let him off the hook, obviously.

Louis isn’t really paying that much attention anymore, busy texting Harry about the pros and cons of having friends who are able to cook, but refuse to cook for you. They’ve exclusively come up with cons, if you happened to be interested, Niall.

They finish their pizza before long and after another episode that doesn’t bring them any closer to finding out who the killer is, they decide it’s time to get ready. Well, Louis decides, Niall will probably get up about ten minutes before they have to leave to throw something on and make herself presentable.

Louis goes to grab her bag with her change of clothes and takes them out. She’ll be leaving her bag at Niall’s and come to pick it up tomorrow probably, or the day after – it doesn’t really matter.

She smiles to herself as she sees the outfit she’s picked out. She gets changed quickly and examines herself in Niall’s full length mirror, turning to check out her backside. She’s opted for a black bodysuit that, apart from hugging her curves in all the right ways, seems quite normal at first glance.

The real eye-catcher of the bodysuit is the back, though. The straps of the bodysuit are crossed diagonally, three strands of fabric on either side crossing in the middle of her backside. The black contrasts beautifully with her tanned skin, if she’s allowed to say so herself.

Louis is already imagining Harry’s hands on her back, probably carefully trailing fingers at the beginning of the night, hopefully possessively placing hands a bit further along.

She’s paired the bodysuit with high-waisted faded denim shorts to show off her bum. For shoes, she’ll just be wearing her Adidas trainers, to give the rather sexy outfit Louis’ customary casual touch.

Niall’s apparently temporarily looked away from her show to inspect Louis’ outfit, since Louis suddenly hears her whistle through her teeth.

“Trying to impress someone, are we?” Niall asks, smirk evident in her voice.

“Obviously, Niall, I’ve been wanting to get with Liam for an entire week now, do you reckon she’ll think I look cute?” Louis asks, fluttering her eyelashes exaggeratedly.

“You’re so full of shit, Lou, honestly,” Niall cackles.

Louis smiles smugly as she rifles through her make-up bag in search for her mascara.

“Seriously though, Harry won’t know what hits her,” Niall says.

“Good,” Louis says. “Perfect.”

She continues with touching up her make-up, making it a bit darker. When she collapses on one of the chairs, considering herself done, Niall finally gets up, starting to get ready.

As Louis’d predicted, they’re out the door not fifteen minutes later.

She shoots Harry a text when they’ve reached their destination to let her know. Harry answers that her and Liam are just a few minutes away, so Louis asks Niall if it’s okay to wait for them before going in. Niall seems completely absorbed in her phone herself, only acknowledging Louis’ words with a hum.

That’s until, a few minutes later, Niall looks over Louis’ shoulder and whistles lowly under her breath. She looks back at Louis, “So, uhm, remember how I said earlier that Harry won’t know what hit her?”

Louis nods, getting a feeling where this might be going.

Niall continues, “You should turn around.”

Louis does so, slowly and apprehensive. There’s excitement coiling in the pit of her stomach at the thought of what she’ll undoubtedly be confronted with once she’s turned around. Niall is practically buzzing beside her, seemingly seconds away from gleefully rubbing her hands together, like she can’t wait for what will surely be Louis’ downfall.

Louis’ completely turned around. Her gaze falls on Harry as she’s walking towards them, Liam by her side. Pardon the language and the sentiment, but Louis couldn’t give less of shit about Liam right now.

Harry’s dressed in a long white dress that’s made of satin, as far as Louis can tell. The dress is flowy at the bottom, so it seems to dance around Harry’s feet when she walks. She’s paired it with a red blazer that hits just below her bum. It prevents Louis from seeing what the side or the back of the dress looks like, but now that Louis thinks about it, that’s probably a good thing. If Harry’s cleavage is anything to go by, Louis won’t make it out of here alive as it is.

When Harry and Liam finally reach the two of them, Louis is three seconds away from going down on her knees right there.

Where Harry had been confidently striding towards them just seconds ago, she’s now looking down at the ground, shyly glancing up at Louis from beneath her eyelashes, long and black and accentuating the green of her eyes. She seems to be checking Louis out as well, and Louis’d almost forgotten she looked quite good herself. Judging by the way Harry’s eying her hungrily now, she feels Harry would argue that to be a grave understatement.

Whatever. Harry’s cleavage almost goes down to her navel, for fuck’s sake.

When their eyes finally lock, Louis has to resist the urge to pull Harry in and bury her hand in those curls, while kissing the living daylight out of her. She clenches her hands into fists where they’re stuffed into the pockets of her denim jacket.

The spell seems to be broken when beside them, Niall clears her throat obnoxiously loud. Harry’s eyes flit away from Louis’ to settle on Niall. Her face breaks out into broad grin, obviously happy to see Niall again.

“Hi there, Haz. You look… banging hot, if I’m being honest. Wouldn’t you agree, Louis?” Niall asks, looking over at Louis, smirk plastered onto her face.

Louis, who still finds herself in a bit of a Harry-induced daze, can only nod dumbly and murmur her agreement. She can’t seem to avert her eyes from the spot between Harry’s boobs, where a horizontal white strand of fabric is visible, probably part of the flimsy excuse of a bra Harry’s wearing. Louis would quite like to get her mouth on Harry’s skin, right over the strand of fabric, sucking and tugging on it slightly with her teeth, curious to find out if Harry’s breath would hitch at the sensation.

Liam claps her hands together, startling her again. When Louis looks up once more, everyone seems to be looking at her with matching knowing smirks on their faces, even Harry, although hers still has a shy edge to it. Louis wants lick her way into her mouth until any smirk is long forgotten and the only thing her lips seem to able of doing, would be sucking on Louis’ own lips or dropping open while moans fall from her mouth.

“Shall we get inside then?” Liam asks.

“Yes, excellent idea,” Niall says, turning to lead the way into the club, Liam hot on her heels.

Louis and Harry follow as well, albeit at a significantly slower pace. Louis touches her fingertips to Harry’s elbow, lightly sliding them down her arm, until she gets to her palm and squeezes her fingers for a moment.

“Hey you,” she says, having to tilt her head back a bit to be able to look into Harry’s eyes. She can feel the heat of Harry’s body, even though their hands are still the only point of contact between them. Louis wants to get closer.

“Hi yourself,” Harry says on a smile. She’s just about to say something else, when they hear Niall yell at them to get a move on and the moment is gone.

Louis keeps their hands linked together as they finally make their way over to the entrance of the club. When they get inside, she releases Harry’s hand, but only to put her own hand on the small of Harry’s back, applying gentle pressure. She guides her over to where Niall’s already been able to flag down a bartender, chatting with her easily as she waits for the others to make their way over so they can place their orders.

Harry leans into the contact when Louis comes up close behind Harry, and Louis has the urge to lean up a little and press a kiss to the side of Harry’s neck. She realises nothing’s stopping her, so she does just that. Louis swears she can feel Harry tilt her head a little, so Louis’d have better access.

Louis kisses the spot again.

Harry doesn’t seem inclined to move out of Louis’ space once they reach the bar, and Louis can work with that. She so absolutely can. She keeps her hand on Harry’s back but moves it a bit lower, so that it’s now resting just above the curve of Harry’s bum.

She leans up to be able to speak into Harry’s ear, her lips just barely touching the shell of her ear.

“Why don’t you go look for a booth with Liam?” she asks, “Niall and I will bring the drinks over in a minute.”

She feels Harry turning her head so she draws back a little. Their lips are separated by barely two inches and Louis is transfixed by the way Harry’s move when she answers, completely missing the words spilling from Harry’s lips.

She looks up into Harry’s eyes, “Sorry, what?”

Harry’s eyes flicker with amusement as she repeats herself. “I said okay, we’ll do that.”

“Okay. Good. Yes,” Louis sighs, because she honestly feels like she could use the breather. She brushes her nose against Harry’s, “See you in a minute.”

Harry kisses the corner of her mouth and then turns around to grab Liam’s hand and pull her along. Louis watches her go for a few seconds and turns to Niall. She drapes her arms around her neck and buries her head into her shoulder.

“Niall,” she starts, but there’s no answer whatsoever. That just won’t do.

“Niiiiiaallll,” she whines again dramatically, now drawing the name out, until she feels Niall’s arm come up around her waist and squeeze sympathetically. “If I die tonight, tell my mum and my sisters and Ernie I loved them.”

She hears Niall chuckle.

“Niall Horan, I swear to god, this isn’t a chuckling matter. There’s a very real possibility I will die here tonight, and if I do, you’re responsible for taking care of everything. Stop laughing,” she says as her head is jostled by Niall’s shoulders, shaking with laughter.

“Babe, I love you, but your dramatic streak really reaches unknown heights every now and then.”

Louis frowns at her.

“You’re not gonna die,” Niall assures her. “You’ll feel like you’re in heaven at one point, yes, probably, but you’ll be very happy about it and you won’t be dead. Now let’s go, your girlfriend’s waiting.”

Louis feels that flutter in her stomach again, the one that happens when Niall refers to Harry as her girlfriend. She presses her face into Niall’s shoulder for a few seconds longer, if only to hide the blush on her cheeks.

Niall tightens her arm again around Louis’ waist.

“Okay. Okay. I’m ready for this. I can do this. I’m not going to die.”

“There we go,” Niall beams at her.

She takes the tray with their drinks on it and looks expectantly at Louis, until Louis turns around and clears the way for Niall to where Harry and Liam have managed to secure a booth. They’re only a few yards away from them, when Louis stops dead in her tracks and makes Niall almost spill their drinks all over her. Niall is cursing behind her but the words don’t seem to reach Louis.

“I’m gonna die. I… am going to die.”

Harry’s apparently taken her blazer off, because when she spots Louis and turns her body towards her to wave them over, Louis’ confronted with the same cleavage that had taken her breath away earlier, only now she gets to see the full dress in all its glory. As hard as the loose dress is trying to conceal the white lace bralette underneath, it’s just not doing a very good job of it. On top of that, the dress only reaches up to halfway Harry’s back, and there’s so much skin and Louis is going to die.

She hears Niall murmur into her ear, “One foot in front of the other, Lou, there we go.”

Louis does as she’s told, and she continues her way to the booth, keeping her eyes on Harry’s, not letting them stray downwards. She’d quite like to continue this night, and dying on the spot doesn’t seem all that beneficial.

It’s only when Niall sets the tray down and starts handing around the drinks, chatting to Liam, that Louis realises she’s still got her own jacket on herself. Harry’s watching her, clearly waiting for Louis to come claim her spot next to her, but instead of sitting down, Louis goes to take her jacket off.

She makes sure Harry’s eyes are on her, as she lets the denim slide down her arms, revealing the bodysuit and the way it clings to her hips, her tummy, her boobs, in all the right ways. Harry’s eyes widen. That’s when Louis turns to drop her jacket on the pile next to their booth, stretching her body in order to reach it, making sure Harry has a perfect view of her arched back and her bum in the process. When she turns back to Harry, her eyes are bulging out and her mouth is hanging open slightly.

Two can play a game, Louis thinks, satisfied with Harry’s reaction. Still, she feels hot all over as she observes Harry’s eyes roaming over her body. Louis has not had enough alcohol to be able to deal with this.

She finally sits down, scooting over close to Harry, and yells, “Alcohol!”, effectively getting back both Liam’s and Niall’s attention.

Judging by the look Niall gives her, Louis can tell she was giving her and Harry a few seconds for themselves. Niall winks at her. Louis rolls her eyes. And blushes. She gives Niall a look, hoping it conveys what she’s trying to say: At least I didn’t die. Niall just winks again.

Since Niall had been the one to order their drinks for them, there’s four shots waiting for them on the table, along with the drinks they’d asked for. There are times where Louis is very grateful for Niall’s drinking habits and now is definitely one of them. She grabs a shot and raises it in the air, waiting for the other three to copy her movement.

They clink their glasses, exaggeratedly staring into each other’s eyes because “Seven years of bad sex otherwise, pals!” and then they down their shots, slamming their glasses back on the table and grimaces on all of their faces. Except Niall’s, who’s just cheering again, “Alcohol!” She grabs her beer and downs half of it in one go.

Liam does the same, and Louis winces when she remembers what Niall’d said the week before, about Liam only doing crazy stuff when she’s proper pissed. She can’t bring herself to really be concerned, because Harry’s scooted close enough to her that their bare arms are brushing, and there is that electric feeling again. Seeing as she’s just had a shot, Louis thinks she could just blame it on the alcohol again, but she’s increasingly convinced that’s not the cause for the sensation. She presses her arm a bit closer to Harry’s.

Two hours and multiple rounds of both shots and regular drinks later, the world seems to be swimming in front of Louis’ eyes. Liam disappeared some time ago, pulled out of their booth by a girl that had seemed just as inebriated as she was. They’d danced off into the dense crowd that had formed on the dancefloor and they haven’t seen her since.

Niall is absorbed in her phone in front of them and Louis is very aware of Harry’s arm behind her back, her hand leaning on Louis’ seat. Louis’ leaning into her side, hand comfortably spread out on Harry’s thigh. Louis’d started dragging her nails over the inside of her thigh a few minutes ago, the fabric of Harry’s dress serving as a barrier between their skin, and Louis’d felt Harry’s muscles tensing up at the sensation.

So she’d kept going, dragging her fingertips up and down, sometimes drawing little circles, but always moving, never stopping.

Harry’s apparently had enough of being the only being affected like this – as if Louis isn’t just as affected… please – and she moves the hand that had been resting next to Louis’ bum. Louis has to suppress a full body shiver when she feels Harry’s fingertips trail ever so softly down the side of her back. When she reaches the hem of Louis’ bodysuit, she traces it for a moment and then moves her fingers back up. Louis’ hand clenches on Harry’s thigh.

She turns her head. What she sees in Harry’s eyes is undoubtedly mirrored in her own. Harry’s pupils are blown, both from alcohol and lust. Her lips are redder than they had been when they’d arrived, and Louis wonders if it’s from the cocktail she’s been drinking or from the way she’s probably been biting her lip because of the sensation of Louis’ fingers on her thigh.

“We should,” Louis starts, motioning vaguely towards the bar, “Get another…” She swallows drily.

“Drink,” Harry finishes for her.

“Yes,” Louis says, “we should get another drink.” She gets up from her seat, sadly having to give up on the contact with Harry’s thigh.

Harry’s on her in a second, grabbing her hips from behind and guiding her forward, whispering in her ear, “Let’s do shots. And then dance. I want to dance with you. Want to feel your body against me. I bet you look so gorgeous when you dance, Lou, all sensual hips and seducing eyes.”

Her teeth catch on Louis’ earlobe.

Louis’ powerless to suppress the shiver now, and she clutches Harry’s hands on her hips. “Yes, yes, we should – should definitely do that.” She feels weirdly out of breath, Harry now tonguing at the spot behind her ear.

They reach the bar and Louis quickly flags down a bartender to order two tequila shots. This time, when Harry bites down on the slice of lemon, and Louis feels the urge to lean over, she doesn’t stop herself. She starts at the bottom of Harry’s neck, and licks her way up. Harry’s hands tighten on her hips when Louis reaches her pulse point and lingers there for a minute, sucking long after she’s cleared away the juice.

When she’s satisfied with the bruise, she continues the path the juice had made down her neck, up to her chin, and finally, her tongue brushes against Harry’s lips. Conveniently, they’re already open and Louis doesn’t waste a second pushing her tongue inside, chasing the taste of the lemon inside Harry’s mouth, sucking it directly from her tongue.

Her hands make their way into Harry’s hair and they’re tugging a little, making Harry moan and break away on a gasp. They’re still by the bar, for fuck’s sake.

Harry squeezes Louis’ hips and then lets go, but only to grab hold of her hand and drag her to the dance floor. There’s a mass of people, moving together to the bass of the music, but Harry doesn’t lead her to the centre of it, instead going around it and moving all the way to the back, where they find themselves a less crowded spot.

Harry’s arms snake around the small of Louis’s back within seconds, Louis’ own arms draping around Harry’s neck. She feels the palms of Harry’s hands on the naked skin of her back, pressing her closer, just like she’d imagined. She pulls back a little to be able to look into Harry’s eyes. What she sees there makes her whimper and she goes to bury her head in Harry’s neck again, when Harry’s low voice stops her.

“You look so gorgeous tonight, Lou, I couldn’t believe my luck when I saw you earlier. I can’t believe my luck now, you look bloody edible, Christ,” she cuts herself off and crashes her mouth against Louis, biting down on her bottom lip and making Louis gasp.

If Louis’d ever felt any inhibitions around Harry, she sure can’t remember any of them now and when Harry breaks the kiss, she says, “I was three seconds away from going down on my knees when I first saw you tonight.”

Harry’s eyes are burning into hers, and they seem alight with a fierce desire. She groans low in her throat and buries her head in Louis’ neck.

Their bodies have started moving against each other, finding a rhythm together, the music pulsing through their veins. Louis gasps when she feels Harry move her thigh between both of hers and their hips start moving together even more. Louis arms tighten around Harry’s neck, and she’s sucking now, sucking right beneath her ear, feeling Harry do the same, only in the dip of her collarbone.

Louis feels drunk on the alcohol and the music and Harry and Harry’s hands have found their way to her bum now, pressing her firmer into her thigh. If this goes on a lot longer, Louis can’t be held accountable for the things she’ll do. Namely, rubbing off against Harry’s thigh. Which is absolutely where this is heading.

She releases Harry’s neck with a soft plop and kisses her way up to her lips, which seem to be waiting for her, waiting for Louis to lick her way in, curl her tongue around Harry’s in a way that already feels familiar.

Louis loses herself in it, in the feeling of Harry’s tongue and her hands and her thigh and her boobs which are rubbing against Louis’ because of the way they’re pressed together as close as they possibly can. Louis’d opted out of wearing a bra tonight, because of bodysuit reasons, and the way the cotton is moving over her bare nipples, moving because of Harry’s tits, is driving her absolutely mad.

She’s feeling herself getting close, her hips rocking ever faster into Harry’s thigh, going in little circles that are growing less coordinated by the second. She hears Harry gasping in her ear, hot breath making the hairs on the back of her neck stand up, and she feels someone poking her in the shoulder. Louis doesn’t pay attention to it at first, figuring it’s just a person dancing a bit too close to her, still lost in the movement of her hips and the feeling of Harry’s body against hers.

The poking doesn’t stop and the person’s now grabbing her shoulder. Harry’s stopped moving, retracting her leg from between Louis’, righting herself, but still keeping one arm around Louis’ frame, hand possessively spread on the small of her back.

Niall’s standing in front of them, a concerned expression clouding her face, and that’s so uncommon that Louis instantly gets an uneasy feeling in her stomach.

“What’s wrong, Ni?” she asks, after a few seconds of collecting herself, forcing her body, that’s longing to just get back to the position it was in not ten seconds ago, to get with the program. Harry squeezes her hip gently and Louis feels herself relax some.

“It’s Liam,” Niall says, with an uneasy expression on her face. “She’d already been going quite hard when we were still at our booth, but apparently she’s only gone harder after she left it. She’s absolutely wasted, guys, we need to get her home.” At this, her eyes flit to Harry, and Louis feels rather than hears Harry nod in response to Niall’s words.

“Yeah, of course, I’ll make sure she gets home safely, where is she?” Harry’s body is already moving, like she wants to get to Liam, even though she’s got no idea where she is.

Niall turns around and gestures for them to follow. She leads them to a corner, where Liam’s sitting on the floor, a bulky guy crouching down beside her, a gentle hand on her shoulder. Louis feels Harry move forward, like she wants to get to Liam in a second, and make sure the guy leaves Liam the fuck alone.

Niall notices as well and she stops Harry with a hand on her shoulder, “It’s okay, he’s with me, he’s just making sure she doesn’t throw up all over herself.”

Louis feels Harry relax as she slumps back into Louis’ side, and they continue their way over to the corner at a normal speed.

Niall touches the guy’s shoulder and he draws his concerned eyes away from Liam, glancing up at the touch. His face brightens immediately when he sees it’s Niall and he gets up to his feet, bringing an arm around Niall’s back.

“She’s fine,” he says to her, “just needs to get home, drink about a litre of water, and sleep it all off.”

“That’s what I got this one for,” Niall answers, gesturing her thumb in Harry’s direction, who’s already made her way over to Liam, brushing her hair of her forehead.

The guy nods and finally averts his eyes from Niall to look at Harry, then at Louis. That’s when Niall seems to realise Louis, as well as Harry for that matter, hasn’t got a clue who he is, so she’s quick to introduce them, “Louis, this is Bressie. Bressie, meet Louis. And that one there is Harry,” she says, gesturing to Harry again.

Louis gives him a little wave, momentarily distracted by the way Bressie’s hand is still resting on Niall’s hip. Niall doesn’t normally allow people to touch her like that, but she doesn’t seem bothered in the slightest this time, so Louis reckons she doesn’t have anything to worry about. The way Niall’s body is slightly turned into his, even when she’s not paying attention, only strengthens Louis in that belief.

She goes to help Harry then, who’s trying to get Liam up on her feet. She’s got one arm secure around Liam’s waist, the other one holding on to the hand Liam slung around her neck. Louis attaches herself to Liam’s other side, grabbing her other arm and drawing it around her neck, folding her fingers around her wrist.

She gestures for Niall to lead the way, so her and Bressie turn around, clearing a path so Louis and Harry, with Liam between them, can make their way to the exit safely.

Once they’re outside, Louis realises they’ve lost Niall, but she appears not a minute later, carrying all their jackets in her arms. Louis shoots her a grateful look, shivering slightly now that they’ve left he humid heat of the club. She carefully releases Liam to be able to shrug on her jacket, and then takes her over from Harry again, so she can do the same.

That’s when a taxi arrives and a relieved look appears on Niall’s face, because, apparently, she’s a genius, and she’d called one before coming to get Louis and Harry. Louis really should give her more credit sometimes.

Niall and Bressie take Liam, giving Harry and Louis a few seconds to themselves.

Harry’s gazing at her with a sad look in her eyes, “I’m so sorry, Lou. I’m really sorry this is how our night turned out.”

She glances down, dragging her eyes over Louis’ body, regret clear on her face. Her expression turns momentarily dark as she says, “Starting tomorrow, I’m not talking to Liam for a week. God, this would’ve been –”

Her eyes are burning into Louis’ again, the hunger having returned to them. Louis’ staring right back, her hands making their way to Harry’s neck.

“I know, babe, I know. And you’ve got nothing to apologise for, and frankly, I think the idea of not talking to Liam for a week is fucking brilliant.”

Harry huffs out a laugh and angles herself closer to Louis. The cool night air has helped clear Louis’ head, but the alcohol hasn’t left it entirely, or at all, if she’s being honest. She feels herself getting dizzy again as she cups Harry’s jaw with both her hands and presses their lips together. Harry’s hands are on Louis’ back, underneath her jacket, fingers just barely dipping under the hem of the bodysuit, and Louis shivers again, very much not from the cold this time.

She lightly flicks Harry’s tongue, but she knows the taxi’s waiting, so she reluctantly retracts herself from her, not being able to resist and going back up to peck her again. Harry smiles against her lips and whispers, “I’ll text you.”

Louis purses her lips again, “I’ll text you back.”

And with that Harry releases her grip on her and goes to slide into the cab next to Liam. She leans forward to tell the address to the driver and then leans back in her seat to be able to watch Louis. Louis waves at her and blows a kiss and when the cab turns the corner, her shoulders sag pitifully.

Niall comes over then to gather her into her arms and coo softly, “It’s okay, babe, you’ll get your chance. She’s ridiculously gone for you, it’s just a matter of time.”

Louis turns into the embrace and sighs into Niall’s shoulder. “But I’m horny, Niall,” she whines, “Fucking Liam.”

Niall cackles into her ear, pushing Louis away from her, muttering something about keeping this kind of talk for Harry’s ears.

“Let’s get you home, yeah?” she says then, tucked under Bressie’s arm and holding her hand out for Louis.

Louis doesn’t take it and instead starts walking, turning her head to see if Niall and Bressie are following her, and she says, “So, Bressie. Bressie, Bressie. And who might you be exactly?”

She glances at Niall, who rolls her eyes at Louis, but looks up at Bressie as well, curious about what he’s going to say.

“I’m the guy that makes sure Niall doesn’t go through life without a nice dessert every now and then,” he says, looking down at Niall fondly.

Louis splutters at that, Niall having the same reaction before breaking out in laughter, and Bressie confusedly blinks a few times at them before realising what he just said and quickly backtracking, “No, no, not that kind of dessert, I’m talking actual dessert. Cake, tiramisu, trifle, that sort of thing. Jesus, you lot and your dirty minds,” he says, shaking his head and laughing a bit at himself.

Niall comes to his rescue then.

“This,” she says, pointing at Bressie, “is the one I cooked risotto for.” She challenges Louis with her eyes not to embarrass her completely in front of him. Louis barely refrains, but only because she’s still a bit sad because Harry had to leave, and she sees how cosy Niall is, tucked into Bressie’s side like that, and her still slightly drunk mind just wants everyone to be happy right now. She winks at Niall.

“So you’re the one that was graced with Niall’s cooking,” she says in a teasing voice. “Now I am rather curious to know what you did to earn such blessings.”

She waggles her eyebrows at them suggestively. Okay, maybe she’s still a bit more than ‘slightly’ drunk.

“Piss off, Louis,” Niall says, but there’s no heat behind it. Louis sees the fond look in her eyes as she’s looking up at Bressie and she decides to let her off the hook for a bit.

“So dessert, eh?” she asks, “Tell me more.”

“Well, uhm, I’m a chef in training, and as it turns out, I’ve got quite the knack for desserts. So this one,” he says, glancing down at Niall, “managed to rope me into making her dessert once. And then again. And again. I was actually making dessert for us to eat after her risotto, but I was proper shitting myself because I was so nervous, since it was our first date, you see, so I completely mocked it up. What a disaster, that was…” He smilingly shakes his head, apparently still not over the disaster that was his dessert.

Niall’s laughing, “And he’s the chef. Psh.” She gets a poke at her ribs for that, but she grins like she couldn’t be happier about it. Louis smiles. As much as she doesn’t like the straights, she has to admit these two are kind of cute.

She says as much, “You’re kinda cute, to be honest.” Then, “You’re making me miss Harry, you fuckers.”

Niall coos again at that, “Aw, Lou,” and hugs her, sympathy obvious in her eyes when she pulls back. Louis gives her a smile, letting her know she’s okay. She notices they’re walking to her place, having already passed the turn that leads to Niall’s.

“You walking me home then?” she asks.

“’Course, you idiot,” Niall answers, “as if I’d let you go home alone. Please,” she sneers, and okay, she does have a point. Louis can’t remember a point either of them have let the other make their way home all by themselves. They’re protective like that.

By the time they make it to her street, she is holding Niall’s hand, because she can actually use the physical contact now, even if it’s a far cry from the physical contact she’d have gotten, had she gone home with Harry.

She hugs Niall and kisses Bressie’s cheek once they get to her door, turning to unlock it. She bids them goodnight, closing the door softly, trying not to think about Harry and the way they’d been pressed up together in the club, not even an hour ago, and where it had so obviously been heading.

When she’s tucked herself into bed, clutching a pillow to her chest, because she doesn’t have a Harry there, she texts Harry to make sure she got home safe. However, she drifts off within minutes, breathing already having evened out when her phone buzzes on her nightstand.

---

Louis texts Harry again the next day, during her afternoon lecture. She’d almost been late again, because she’d woken, alone, and she’d had to wallow in self-pity for a good half an hour before she could even make an attempt at getting up. She’d succeeded eventually, but had to rush to make it to class on time.

So here she is, again not paying attention to her lecturer, again not making any notes, again texting Harry. She’s asking her if she maybe wants to come over tonight. She’s being very subtle about it. Or at least that’s what she’s telling herself. In the end it doesn’t matter just how subtle she thinks she’s been though, because Harry can’t make it.

She’s going out with some of her classmates tonight, and can’t call it off. Louis sighs, pouting a little, only smiling when Harry apologises and keeps apologising, unintentionally reminding Louis of the first mail Harry’d ever sent her.

She starts smiling for real when Harry suggests they just meet up tomorrow and immediately make a day of it.

like a date? Louis asks.

like an actual proper date, Harry answers, and suddenly Louis’ pouty mood is long forgotten.

throw some curry in there and you’ve got yourself a deal, she texts. She loves her curry, alright.

done xxxx

Louis can’t wipe the smile off her face for the rest of the day.

---

Louis’ been going stir crazy ever since she woke up this morning, earlier than normal, not being able to sleep in even though it’s a Saturday, because she’s got a date with Harry today. Not even just dinner and a movie, no, they are going to spend the whole afternoon – and night, if Louis has any say in it – together.

Ok, so maybe Louis has been going stir crazy ever since Harry’d asked her the day before. It’s just that she’s excited, alright, she’s excited to be around Harry for an entire day, bask in her presence and her attention. Then, there’s also the fact that she can’t wait to get her hands back on Harry, still bemoaning Thursday night, when the Liam debacle had cut off any and all chances of going home together.

She knows that Harry shares the sentiment, if only because of her text late last night, when Louis’d been tossing and turning, trying to get comfortable enough to fall asleep.

wish you were here xxx

it had read, and it was incredibly cheesy, but Louis’d felt her heart swell, imagining being wrapped up around Harry, the both of them feeling sated, with matching smiles on their faces. She’d felt herself relax and not five minutes later, she’d been fast asleep.

Louis tries to keep herself busy, trying to keep the butterflies in her stomach in check as the clock approaches three o’clock. It’s five to when Harry sends her a text she’s on her way and fifteen minutes later, she receives the same text as a few days earlier.

It’s not polite to keep a girl waiting on your doorstep.

It’s immediately followed by another one though, and the butterflies are going crazy in Louis’ tummy.

I’m kidding, get down here I need to see your face

Now that, Louis can do, and she clambers down the stairs, like the adult she is, and before she knows it she’s at the front door. She doesn’t immediately swing it open though, having to take a few seconds to take a deep breath and collect herself.

When she feels collected enough – or as collected as she’ll ever be – she turns the knob and opens the door for Harry.

Her cheeks are pink and it could be because she came by bike, but when Louis looks up to her eyes, she sees her pupils are wider than normal and surely that’s not because of riding a bicycle. Now if she’d just ridden something else…

Louis holds out her hand for Harry to take just as Harry’s saying hi, and she doesn’t waste a second before grabbing it, letting herself be dragged inside. Harry kicks the door shut behind her, immediately settling her hands on Louis’ hips and crowding very close, as Louis’ arms slide around Harry’s neck seemingly on their own accord.

Harry brushes her nose against Louis’. “Hi,” she says again, voice lower than normal.

Louis feels a shiver make its way up her spine and the air seems to be crackling with electricity. This wasn’t meant to happen. Louis’d had it all planned out, they would go into town and wander around and maybe go to the museum she knows Harry has been wanting to visit and then when night time came around, they’d go home and Louis’d let Harry spread her out on her bed and they’d take their time and it would be soft and perfect.

Standing here now, faces close enough to be sharing each other’s breath, Louis wonders how she could ever have thought they’d be able to wait that long after they’d already been waiting for two entire days.

She feels Harry’s hand creep lower, sneaking the tips of her fingers under the waistband of Louis’ jeans and Louis’ breath hitches. Harry’s fingers sneak a bit lower, grazing Louis’ panties.

“Room,” Louis says shakily. Harry stays where she is, staring intently at Louis’ lips. Louis doesn’t think she even heard what she’s just said. She tugs on Harry’s hair, which does seem to get her attention.

“Room,” she says again, voice coming out stronger now.

Harry kisses her hard, seemingly not being able to hold off any longer, but before Louis is able to respond properly, Harry has already broken away and turned around to make her way up the stairs, fingers securely intertwined with Louis’. Louis stares openly at Harry’s bum in her skinnies, not bothering to pretend she was looking anywhere else, when she feels Harry glancing over her shoulder. Louis taps it lightly with her free hand.

“Come on,” she urges Harry.

When they finally make it to Louis’ room, Harry pulls her inside. Louis kicks the door shut, backing up against it, using her grip on Harry’s hand to pull her body into her. Harry’s on her in seconds, prying open Louis’ lips with her tongue, moaning when she feels Louis’ tongue meet hers. Her fingers clench on Louis’ hips and she brings one hand up to twist in Louis’ hair as she deepens the kiss.

They break away after a few minutes, both of them needing to catch their breath. The air gets slightly less frantic, both staring into the other’s eyes, bodies still pressed against each other.

“Bed?” Louis asks, even though the answer to that question is right there in Harry’s lust-blown eyes and flushed cheeks.

Harry crashes her mouth into Louis’ again at that, and nods fervently.

“Bed,” she says, breathing heavily.

“Let’s get those clothes off then,” Louis says lightly, amusedly looking down at where Harry’s still got her boots on, which is very uncharacteristic for her, seeing as she always gets her shoes off first thing when she enters somewhere.

Harry chuckles at that, and she starts toeing off her boots, but refuses to release Louis, who’s still trapped inside the cage of her arms, very happily so. Louis lowers her face to suck at the dip between Harry’s collarbones, which surely doesn’t enhance Harry’s already doubtful coordination, and Harry stumbles to the side, dragging Louis with her towards the bed. It seems like Harry’s planning on slowly lowering herself onto the bed, but she loses her footing again, causing her to drop to the mattress unceremoniously, Louis collapsing on top of her.

Even though it didn’t happen all the way like she’d planned, Harry seems quite happy with how it’s turned out, judging by the smug smile on her face. Louis settles herself more comfortably between Harry’s thighs and hovers over Harry’s body, leaning her weight on her elbows.

“Hi there,” she says, because Harry’s looking at her fondly and the sex is going to happen (oh god, it’s going to happen) and quite frankly, she needs a minute.

“Hi again,” Harry answers, smile growing even softer and Louis is powerless to resist the urge to lean down and catch Harry’s lips in a kiss. It’s slower, this one, and Louis takes her time licking into Harry’s mouth, making sure her lips are properly tingling before slipping her tongue inside, immediately feeling the wet slide of Harry’s against hers.

It isn’t slow for much longer after that and when Harry snakes her hands down Louis’ back and to her bum, giving her cheeks a good squeeze, Louis moans into Harry’s mouth, sucking on her tongue just a tad harder.

She starts tugging on the hem of Harry’s shirt then, wanting to get it off, and it takes Harry a few minutes to get with the program, busy groping Louis’ arse, but when she realises what Louis is trying to do, she drops her hands so Louis can lift off of her a bit and take Harry’s shirt off. She throws it away carelessly, mind suddenly able to focus on one thing and one thing only.

Boobs.

Harry’s are right there, pale skin standing off against the black lace of her bra, and Louis doesn’t waste a second moving her mouth from Harry’s mouth to her neck to the gentle curve off her left breast. She kisses over it and doesn’t stop when she feels skin make way for lace underneath her lips. She only stops when she gets to Harry’s nipple, which is stiff and visible through the lace. Louis smooths her tongue over the fabric, right over the nipple, and she hears as well as feels Harry’s breath hitch. So she laps her tongue over it again and sucks and Harry outright moans at this, arching into Louis.

Her hands have made their way into Louis’ hair and they’re tugging slightly, only making Louis suck harder, while her other hand snakes its way up Harry’s side to massage her other boob. She feels out the nipple there as well and flicks it while sucking particularly harshly on the other one. Harry shudders beneath her.

She releases Harry’s left nipple from her mouth, only to kiss her way over to the other one, this time pulling the lace away with her fingers and attaching her mouth directly to it, skin on skin. She laps at it and scrapes her teeth against it, gently at first, but then catching it between her teeth and tugging at the nub. The moans are falling steadily from Harry’s lips by now. Her hips have started moving against Louis’, searching out friction, but not being able to find much, what with the both of them still being in their jeans.

Louis releases Harry’s nipple from her mouth and kisses her way back up to her mouth, only stopping shortly at her pulse point, feeling the sudden urge to suck on the fading mark from two days ago and darken it again. Her thumbs and forefingers roll both of Harry’s nipples between them and when Louis reaches Harry’s mouth, she feels her hot breath against her wet lips.

She hovers over them for a minute, close enough for the tips of their noses to touch gently, going cross-eyed because of the way she’s trying to look into Harry’s eyes. Her fingers have started moving slower, distracted by the way Harry’s hands have found their way underneath her jeans, now massaging her cheeks through the cotton of her panties.

Harry groans softly then, frustrated because of Louis being right there, but not feeling her lips on hers. Louis takes pity on her and lowers her face, letting Harry snake her tongue inside and tangle it with hers.

She feels Harry remove her hands from the back of her pants, bemoaning the loss of her big hands fitting on her arse quite perfectly. But then she feels those hands curve over the roundness of her hips, slowly making their way up, to the dip of her waist and higher still, fitting her hands over her ribcage, all the while taking Louis’ shirt with her. When Harry gets her hands as high as her bra, Louis lifts herself off for a minute, only breaking their kiss long enough for Harry to be able to take her shirt all the way off.

When she’s tossed the shirt away, she places her hands on the small of Louis’ back, one above the other, both applying gentle pressure, as if she can get Louis’ body even closer to hers than it already is. Her hands slip a little on the thin layer of sweat that’s collected in the small of Louis’ back.

Louis rolls her hips, supplying Harry with some much needed pressure. A low moan breaks out of her mouth at the feeling, but it’s apparently not what she wants at that moment, seeing as she brings her hands from the small of Louis’ back to her hips, using her grip on her to flip them around. Now, Louis is the one on her back, Harry settling herself between her legs.

She doesn’t let go of her grip on Louis’ hips, using it to steady herself as she leans down to be able to reach Louis’ lips. She nibbles on Louis’ bottom lip for a minute, Louis’ hands threading into her hair at the slight sting, that’s immediately soothed by Harry’s tongue lapping over the spot. Harry’s hips have started rocking down into Louis’, Louis’ legs around her hips, using them to press Harry down just that tad harder.

“Harry,” Louis tries to say, but it doesn’t come out properly, Harry using that moment to sneak her hand into Louis’ bra and tweak her nipple. The name dissolves into a moan on her tongue, another one being forced out when Harry start sucking on her neck in time to her thumb and forefinger rolling the nub.

“Harry,” she tries again, voice coming out a little stronger this time, “Harry, please.”

“Yeah?” Harry breathes, Louis’ skin cooling where Harry releases it from her mouth. “Want me to make you feel good, Lou? I’m gonna make you feel so good,” Harry says, reattaching her mouth to Louis’ neck, sucking harder this time.

As much as Louis enjoying their hips rocking together, and Harry’s hands on her boobs, and Harry’s mouth on her neck (she’s enjoying it alright, the wetness in her panties bearing witness to this), she needs more, needs Harry’s mouth on her, needs Harry’s long fingers inside her. Needs to come so badly.

She sneaks her hands into Harry’s hair again, scratching at her scalp, and Harry seems to get the message, because her mouth pops of Louis’ skin, leaving what’s probably a massive love bite in its wake, but only to kiss her way lower and lower still on Louis’ body.

She starts at the dip between Louis’ collarbones and makes her way downward from there, only pausing for a moment when she gets to Louis’ boobs, snaking her hands underneath Louis’ back to undo her bra, lowering the straps from her shoulders and taking it off all the way.

Harry seems transfixed for a minute. She tears her eyes away from Louis’ tits to stare into her eyes. Her pupils are blown, the flush on her cheeks and neck obvious because of the daylight that’s filtering through Louis’ window.

“Fuck, Louis,” she says, seemingly amazed by the sight underneath her. She brings up her hands again, cupping Louis’ boobs, and gives both of her nipples a few licks and kisses before continuing her path down Louis’ body. She pauses again at Louis’ navel, swirling her tongue around it before dipping it inside. Louis’ body has been tingling since Harry started working her magic on it (psh, who is she kidding, it hasn’t stopped tingling since Harry first touched her in the hallway downstairs), but it reaches a peak at the feeling of Harry’s tongue now, at the realisation of how close it is to where she desperately wants it.

She wiggles her hips, wanting to urge Harry to get a move on, but Harry only grabs her hips tighter at that, pressing them into the mattress, effectively holding Louis still. She bites down on the swell of Louis’ stomach at the same time, right below her navel, and Louis can’t help the needy whimper that escapes from her lips.

“Come on, Harry, come on, I need you, I need you to –” she says, knowing she’s rambling, but not being able to get the words inside her head into an order that makes sense.

“You need me to what?” Harry asks, in a gravelly voice, revealing the fact that she’s every bit as affected as Louis is. She’s started to mouth along the waistband of Louis’ jeans, sucking lightly and dipping her tongue underneath every few kisses.

“I need your mouth, Harry, please, just –”

“It’s okay, baby, don’t worry, I’ll give you everything you need, just be good for me,” Harry says, fingers making their way to finally unbutton Louis’ jeans. She makes quick work of getting Louis’ jeans off then, removing her own while she’s at it, but she’s back between Louis’ legs in a matter of seconds. At least that’s what it feels like to Louis, who’s just lying on the bed, skin too hot, waiting for Harry to make her next move.

That apparently consists of getting her hands under Louis’ bum, underneath her panties so she can get a good grip, and lowering her head so she’s breathing hotly right onto Louis’ pussy. Louis’ properly soaked at this point, and it seems to only get worse as Harry lowers her head further still, nosing along the wet fabric, taking a few sniffs. She moans at the smell, pressing her nose further into it. Louis jerks at the sudden pressure, sparks zipping through her body from her clit, Harry’s nose having bumped into it.

Her head’s thrown back onto the pillow, hands on the sheets on both sides, and her fingers twist into them, desperate for something to hold onto. She feels the flat of Harry’s tongue lick over the fabric, starting where she’s wettest and moving over her folds, stopping right before she reaches her clit. Louis whines in frustration, but Harry just presses her hips into the mattress again and repeats the movement of her tongue a few times.

“Harry, I swear to god, if you don’t –” Louis chokes on her words, Harry having chosen that moment to finally attach her mouth Louis’ clit, still with the layer of fabric in between, and suck. Hard.

Louis’ hips buck up and Harry finally seems to take pity on her, as she hooks her fingers under the waistband of Louis’ panties and starts dragging them down her thighs. Louis’ so wet a strand of slick connects her panties with her pussy and she feels it settling on her thigh as Harry drags them lower and takes them all the way off.

Harry has apparently noticed as well, because instead of going back to where Louis fucking needs her, she starts kissing from her knee up, until she reaches the strand of slick glistening against Louis’ thigh. When Louis realises what she’s doing, she whimpers, utterly out of it, body going slack under Harry’s ministrations.

Harry seems perfectly content though, licking and sucking her way up Louis’ thigh, if not for the hand she’s just sneaked between her own legs, and the low moan she’d let out at the first taste of Louis.

Louis starts squirming again the closer Harry gets to her pussy, her hands finally making their way into Harry’s hair, wondering what in heaven’s name has taken her so long, when she feels the silk curls between her fingers. If anything, it seems to spur Harry on, because she murmurs, “Yeah, Lou, yeah, fuck I need to taste you.”

And then, suddenly, she doesn’t waste another second before finally, finally, getting her mouth on Louis, licking at her wetness with the flat of her tongue. Harry moans, but Louis has to actually stop herself from screaming out Harry’s name when her tongue delves inside, just the tip at first, but soon she’s pushing it in properly, fucking in and out.

She keeps that up for a few minutes, getting her lips and her chin and her nose wet with Louis, before she retracts her tongue. She keeps it pointed, licking her way up between Louis’ folds until she reaches her clit, this time not stopping before she reaches it, but actually flicking it. Louis shudders, whimpering steadily now, and pushes her hips up to meet Harry’s mouth. Harry doesn’t protest this time, completely gone for it herself, fingers circling her own clit.

She retracts that hand though, other still grabbing Louis’ hip, making sure she’ll have bruises to remember her by tomorrow, and brings it up, pushing a finger into Louis’ slick heat. It slides in so easily, and Louis is so fucking eager for it, that she joins it with a second finger on the second thrust, scissoring both for a bit. Harry’s steadily sucking on Louis’ clit now, alternating her sucks with gentle kisses and laps of her tongue.

Harry curls her fingers, sucking harshly on Louis’ clit, and Louis feels herself losing it, has been losing it for ten minutes now, feels like she’s been close for ages, and when she starts babbling, “Harry, Harry, I’m – I’m gonna…” Harry just hums and thrusts her fingers deeper and that’s what finally does it for Louis, as she falls over the edge.

She hears herself moaning Harry’s name loudly, so loudly, and she whites out for a second there, Harry still sucking and thrusting. Her eyes look up at Louis and when Louis finds the strength to open her eyes and look down, she whimpers pitifully at the sight she’s confronted with.

Harry’s curls are all over the place from Louis twisting her fingers in them, and she’s flushed red, her lips even redder, standing out against her skin where they’re still wrapped around the nub of Louis’ clit.

Louis jerks, a little oversensitive, and at that, Harry removes her fingers from her pussy, wiping them on the sheets, and releases her clit, bending down to press a little parting kiss to it. She brings her eyes up again, locking them with Louis, and they’re positively shining.

Louis makes grabby hands for her and Harry smirks, although it has a very fond edge to it, and crawls up until she’s pressed up to Louis, holding her weight off her by her elbows leaning on both sides of Louis’ head.

Harry kisses her, delving her tongue inside, sharing Louis’ own taste with her. They both moan into the kiss and breathe in deeply through their noses.

Harry pulls back after a few minutes and then they’re just gazing into each other’s eyes. Louis is the first one to break the silence.

 “That was…” she trails off and sighs, completely boneless and content. “That was perfect, so fucking perfect. And god, did I need it.”

Harry chuckles at that, lowering her head to Louis’ for a minute, blush darkening on her cheeks.

“You’re perfect,” she says, shyly, though she’s back to steadily gazing into Louis’ eyes.

Louis feels something swell inside her chest, and it feels too big, so she brings her hands to Harry’s cheeks and cups her jaw, kissing her deeply. Harry whimpers when she drags her nails up her back, having recovered enough from her orgasm to realise that Harry hasn’t come yet. She notices Harry’s settled herself in a way that one of Louis’ thigh is between her own, and she’s rocking down in little aborted motions, seemingly wanting to give Louis a few moments, but being too far gone herself to put a stop to the motions of her hips.

Louis keeps kissing Harry, trying to distract her, only to push her thigh up into Harry a moment later, catching her off guard and making her moan deeply.

“Louis,” she says lowly, “Louis, can I – can you… Please.”

Louis smiles at Harry’s rambled words, still sated, while also feeling a new spark of arousal in her tummy already, and she says, “Move over, babe, it’s your turn now. I can’t wait to finally get to taste you, baby, I’ve been wanting a taste ever since I first saw you, at the library…”

Harry’s rolled them over now and she’s like putty in Louis’ hands, eyes fluttering shut at Louis’ voice.

“Yeah?” she asks, a little breathless, “What were you thinking?”

“You were picking at your lips,” Louis says, taking Harry’s bra off, “and all I wanted was just to pry your lip from your fingers, and lick over the spot, and kiss your pretty lips. Fuck, they’re so pretty.” She demonstrates by gently pulling Harry’s bottom lip away with her thumb where she’d been biting down on it, and tracing her tongue over it before licking inside. Harry shudders beneath her.

“And you looked so beautiful, hair a bit messy in your half bun, and so adorable, completely focussed on whatever you were reading on your computer screen, that I just wanted – god, I wanted to taste you.”

She licks at the sweat that’s gathered in the dips of Harry’s collarbones, and Harry’s whimpering beneath her now, pushing her hips up, trying to urge Louis to get a move on.

Louis thinks she’s probably teased enough now, as she thinks about how desperate she’d been herself just minutes earlier, and she takes pity on Harry, sliding down her body and taking her panties with her.

Finally she’s got a naked Harry beneath her, spread out and so ready for her, and Louis is not kidding when she says she’s wanted this since the first moment she’d laid eyes on Harry. Harry’s gazing down at her, eyes so dark, flush reaching all the way down her heaving chest, and it’s like she’s willing Louis with her eyes to get her mouth on her.

Louis complies, lowering her head to where Harry’s smell is the headiest. She feels the little hairs tickling her lips and nose, so she nuzzles against her for a minute, revelling in the feeling. When she attaches her mouth to the wetness of Harry’s pussy, sucking a little, getting a taste, Harry jerks beneath her. It causes Louis’ teeth to scrape her folds for a second, Louis unable to avoid it, but Harry’s whimper-y moan indicates that she sure isn’t complaining.

The way that she’s squirming beneath her, tells Louis Harry must be close already, eating out Louis having had quite the effect on her. So Louis doesn’t tease any longer, just brings up a finger to slide inside her alongside her tongue, the thumb of her other hand rubbing at her clit.

Harry’s rocking her hips down onto Louis’ finger, and Louis moves her mouth from her hole to her clit and adds a finger next to the first one. It takes Harry no time at all to clench around Louis’ fingers and scream out her name, shuddering beneath her.

Louis retracts her fingers, and brings them to Harry’s open mouth, feeding Harry her own come. She’s eager for it, sucking Louis’ fingers into her mouth and lapping at the slick covering them. Louis can’t contain the moan that comes out at the wet feeling of Harry’s tongue circling her fingers and dipping between them. She pulls them out, only to replace them with her tongue, the both of them sharing Harry’s taste.

They wrap their bodies around each other, skin still slick with sweat, kissing until the taste of come is long gone and they can’t feel their lips anymore. Louis settles her head on Harry’s chest at one point, Harry’s chin tucked over it and arms wrapped around her, and before Louis can actually decide she wants to, she feels herself drift off to sleep.

She wakes up a few hours later, her room having gone dusky, as opposed to the sunlight that had still been filtering in when they’d drifted off. She’s lying on her side now, head still pillowed on Harry’s chest. Her thigh is wedged between Harry’s, hand resting lightly on her ribs. She can’t help but smile as she wakes up further, feeling Harry all around her.

She moves her head so she can press her face into Harry’s neck, breathing in deeply. She feels Harry stir at that, arms tightening around her. Louis lifts her head, looking down at Harry’s face and smile growing dazzling when she watches Harry blink her eyes open.

Harry frowns a little, as if she doesn’t realise where she is and is trying to figure it out, but then her eyes seem to focus and she takes in Louis’ shining face above her. A smile of her own blooms on her face, wider than Louis has ever seen it.

Louis wants to say something, but there’s something of utmost importance she needs to do first, so she leans down, capturing Harry’s lips in a soft kiss, lingering, both of their mouths curving into a smile again. It’s like they physically can’t stop themselves from smiling around each other, always, always smiling.

With that out of the way, she says, “I think… we’ve just slept away our entire date-day.” She mock-winces, but Harry’s eyes are still shining into hers, so she can’t keep it up for long.

“And I think,” Harry says, “that we’ve made optimal use of our date-day.” She lowers one of her hands to Louis’ arse to give it a cheeky squeeze and emphasise her statement. Her smile grows into a smirk when she feels Louis arch into it.

“Besides,” she continues, “there’s still plenty of this day left, so I say we make good use of it.”

Louis sucks on Harry’s nipple and hears her laugh through a moan.

“Yes, ah, yes, like that, but also – also as in going to grab some food and walk around town. I want to hold your hand,” Harry says softly.

And that’s something so simple, but it takes Louis so off guard that she feels the swelling in her chest again. She can’t do anything but lean down and kiss Harry deeply.

“I want to hold your hand as well,” she says, “I want to hold your hand and kiss you with smelly curry breaths and take you home and have sex and –” she cuts herself off, staring down at Harry nodding at every word coming out of her mouth, and her heart is actually too big for her chest by now.

“I want to kiss you with smelly curry breaths,” Harry giggles, and Louis is endeared to the point of no return and, oh god there’s no return. It’s just a tad overwhelming, just a tiny tad, so she leans in to kiss Harry again.

Because that’s quickly becoming the answer to everything. Kiss Harry and everything will be fine. Amazing. Perfect. Kiss Harry and everything will be perfect.

They manage to get out of bed eventually, stumbling to the shower together, not wanting to let go for a second. Their hands stray once they’re in the shower, but they don’t take it too far, just getting each other a little hot and bothered, but not actually getting the other off.

It’s cramped in there, but that only means they have to crowd as close possible, so Louis can’t really say she minds. Harry’s eyeing her wet tits and licking her lips, so Louis is quite sure she shares the sentiment.

They don’t take too long in the shower, both of them getting increasingly hungry (yes, for each other, but also food. Apparently that’s still a thing, even though Louis’d been quite certain she’d just be able to live off Harry for the rest of forever). Regrettably, Louis does not have anything to properly feed them.

Harry crowds Louis into the bathroom counter once they’ve gotten out of the shower and dried off, and it has been an entire two minutes since she’d last felt Harry’s lips on hers, so Louis just hops onto the counter, wrapping her legs around Harry’s hips and snogging her for a bit.

They do get dressed eventually, which Louis considers quite a feat, what with the way they keep sneaking little touches and little kisses. They can’t keep their eyes off each other and Louis is positively giddy, Harry right there with her, the both of them stumbling down the stairs.

They hold hands, their fingers intertwined, and get food, and take it with them to sit beside the water where they eat it and kiss with smelly curry breaths.

They’re sitting facing each other, Louis’ legs wrapped loosely around Harry’s hips, and Harry’s legs resting on the ground, bent so that her feet touch behind Louis’ bum. Louis’ feeding Harry a few stray bits of meat left in the container, Harry occasionally biting down on Louis’ fingers, or sucking them into her mouth a bit too eagerly, making Louis squawk.

When both of their containers are empty and Harry’s made sure Louis’ fingers are clean as can be, they just sit, softly gazing into each other’s eyes. “So,” Louis says, “how has this first date treated you, Harry? Care to go on another one?”

Harry pretends to ponder that for a minute, bringing her thumb and forefinger up to pick at her bottom lip. Louis is already so weak for that move, and Harry seems to know it too, because when Louis pries Harry’s fingers away from her lip and soothes the spot with a kiss, she feels Harry smirk against her.

She cries out indignantly, “You shit, taking advantages of my weaknesses like that! I’ll have you know, I won’t have it. You are to treat me with the respect I deserve.”

Harry’s eyes get a wicked gleam to them, “Like this then?” she asks, lowering her face to Louis’ neck, mouthing at it, and bringing her hands to her bum, squeezing it.

Louis shudders for a moment and lets out a low moan, before she remembers herself and their surroundings and pulls Harry’s head away from where she’d proceeded to suck on her neck. “Harry Styles, control yourself, for fuck’s sake, we’re in public.”

“I thought you wanted to be treated the way you deserve?” Harry asks, blinking at Louis faux-innocently. Louis is not buying it. But Harry’s eyes grow soft, and as she leans in, she whispers, “This is what I think you deserve,” before pressing her mouth to Louis’, kissing her and kissing her, and Louis can’t do anything but sink into it.

---

Louis’ lying sideways on her bed, the way she always does when she’s been at a book or an article for a while and she’s sick of it, legs up against the wall, head hanging off the other side of the bed. She brings up the hand that’s holding a pencil, using it to turn a page. She catches something important and underlines it, making a note in the margin.

She lowers her hand again, burying it in the head of curls resting on her stomach, gently scratching and massaging comforting circles. Harry hums and pushes into the contact, her own book clutched in her hands on top of her stomach.

“We should get ready to go to Niall’s soon,” Louis says softly, unwilling to disturb the comfortable quietness. “Her and Bressie are cooking up a proper feast, we do not want to be late for that.” She feels Harry’s head moving on her tummy, laughing softly at Louis’ words.

“Uh-uh,” Harry agrees, “I’m planning to eat my weight and roll myself out of there.”

Louis chuckles, “That’s my girl. Just make sure you still fit into my bed, yeah?”

They’ve been together for a little over five months now, and Harry sleeps in Louis’ bed more often than not. They’d grown used to it very quickly, both of them incapable of getting quite as comfortable when they’re alone in bed, without having the other there to curl into. There’s also the fact that there’s nothing Louis enjoys quite as much as waking Harry up by licking her out, feeling the jerk of her hips when she finally wakes up, which isn’t really feasible if she isn’t there with her.

Harry hums, and Louis focuses on her again. “Please, I’ll always fit into your bed. It’s where I belong,” she says smugly, and who is Louis to contradict her. It’s the truth after all.

“How’s the reading going?” Harry asks then. “Did you find the information you need?”

“Eh, slowly,” Louis says, “But I’m getting there.” She waits a moment before tacking on, “At least this time round my book was nicely available at the library. Didn’t even have to send any mails to ask people to return it, imagine that!”

Harry blushes and swats her leg, but Louis sees her smile growing bigger. She touches the dimple that’s made an appearance and moves her hand to touch Harry’s other cheek when she turns her head to look at her.

“No!” Harry exclaims, but still keeping her voice soft, “Not even one mail? Gosh, imagine having that kind of luxury…” she trails off, lips stretched in a smirk and eyes twinkling up at Louis.

Louis shakes her head fondly, “I love you,” she says, because she feels like it and it always makes Harry’s eyes twinkle just that little more.

Harry rolls onto her stomach and leans in before kissing Louis, just a light press of lips against lips.

“I love you too,” she whispers, before kissing her again, deeper this time. “Now let’s get ready and go attempt to out-eat Niall.”

Louis cackles, Harry chuckling above her. Then Harry follows her statement up with, “Okay, so maybe that’s not entirely possible… But I’ll definitely eat-out you,” glint obvious in her eyes.

Louis groans at Harry’s joke, if you can even call it that, but then Harry’s tickling her, poking at her ribs and blowing raspberries on her tummy and Louis finds that, after five months, every time Harry makes an awful joke, she’s still just as eagerly looking forward to the next one that’ll inevitably come.