It's not often that Niall has people over, especially when a good chunk of the time there are toys strewn among the floor and baskets of laundry; both dirty and clean, everywhere.
In this instance however, Niall's best mate Zayn has a new boyfriend and to Niall's knowledge, his boyfriend is bringing his best mate's Louis and Harry along too. He's heard boat-loads about all of them, Harry specifically though ("Harry's into music too, he even loves The Eagles; your favourite. Harry was in pre-med just like you were.") Niall wonders if it's another attempt to get Niall 'back out there' or if they just want everybody to know everybody. But he thinks he knows Zayn well enough to know exactly what's happening.
Imogen is still napping when Niall finishes tidying. He thinks he should let her nap a bit longer because he doesn't really love the idea of a grumpy three year old; especially when he's expecting company.
"Mate?" Zayn's voice rings through the flat and Niall's not even phased because Zayn never did learn to knock.
"Hey Z, how are the roads?" Niall inquires, only because snow had been falling all day long, and christ, it's only the middle of November.
"Not great lad-"
"even worse with Harry's constant whines of hunger." The shortest one pipes up, Niall assumes that this is Louis because he's seen pictures of Liam before and this was definitely not Liam.
"I'm sorry to hear." Niall chuckles.
Two boys walk in following Zayn and Louis, one Niall recognizes as Liam and the other Niall knows by now is Harry, and oh boy... oh boy. Niall tried to keep his composure but Harry's piercing green eyes and dimpled smile made it hard for him to keep his focus on the previous commentator.
"You must be Niall, I've heard lots about you. I'm Liam and these are my mates, Louis and Harry."
Niall smiles "It's nice to meet you all, come in, make yourselves at home." Niall says, offering to take everyone's coats.
Niall's opens his mouth to offer everyone drinks when he hears a soft call of "daddy?"
"Hey monkey." Niall smiles, politely smiling at his guests before going over to where Imogen is standing. "Did you sleep good Immy?" He asks, crouching down to pick her up.
"Yeah, except who are they?" Imogen asks, pointing to the lads.
"That's uncle Zayn's boyfriend and some new friends." Niall tells her.
"Uncle Zayn!" She squeals, squirming in Niall's arms. He puts her down and immediately she runs over to Zayn.
"'Sup princess?" Zayn smiles, wrapping his arms around Imogen.
"I just took a nap is all." She says and Zayn laughs.
"I wish I could take a nap. Kids have it way better than adults." Zayn says and she nods her head.
Niall goes to get water for everyone. He's about to pour the water when Harry appears in the kitchen looking sheepish. "Hi." Niall says.
"Hey, I was just wondering if you could tell me where the loo is?"
Niall lets out a genuine laugh, "Of course, straight down the hall there, it's the last door."
"Thanks," Harry stops and then smiles over at Niall "Your daughter is adorable." He tells Niall "She looks just like you."
"Thanks, she is quite the handful though. Worth it though, y'know because she's one thing that I can be proud of, always." Niall replies happily.
"Of course, it's a beautiful thing, being a parent. Well, so I've heard. Haven't quite got my chance yet, but someday."
"Someday." Niall repeats, affirmative and it feels like the conversation is over so Harry nods in acknowledgment and heads towards the loo.
Niall has only been gone for fifteen minutes to get started on dinner but when he gets back Harry's sitting on the floor with Imogen, wearing a crown and what looked like the hula necklace from the birthday party she'd gone to the other week.
"How'd she rope him into that?" Niall chuckles at the three boys on the couch who were all laughing at some Facebook post.
"Have you seen the kid? She's got bloody cartoon eyes, and Harry's a total sucker for kids. It didn't take much convincing." Liam laughs and kisses Zayn's cheek cuz'. Louis hums and nods in agreement.
Niall goes to sit next to her on the floor, she notices him immediately and goes over to him.
"Hey Immy, did you make a new friend?" Niall smiles at his daughter and then at Harry.
"Yep, this is Ha-wee he's super nice. He should become your boyfriend." She says casually, pouring Harry a spot of fake tea.
Niall freezes and his cheeks brighten and Harry smiles because, the innocence of a child. "I'll tell you something Imogen," he says, but Niall knows Harry's words were meant for him and not Imogen, "I'm sure I could do a lot worse than your daddy."
"My daddy is the best." Imogen says absentmindedly and Niall breaks the tension in the room to coo at his daughter.
"So Niall, we were thinking of going camping in about two weeks, it'd only be for two nights and the snows supposed to have melted by then. You and Imogen are welcome to come along." Louis offers.
Niall doesn't want to say no, mostly because Harry's going to be there and because camping is his favourite thing to do. He's just extremely unprepared to go camping, he's got no supplies and not to mention, he'd have to Imogen to worry about. He says yes anyways; "Sounds like good fun, as long as the circumstances prevail, I don't see why not. I haven't got a tent though, didn't expect to be camping in the middle of November so I got rid of it at the end of summer, course' I had intentions on getting a new one when the sales started after Christmas." Niall laughs, hoping Imogen is too busy with Harry to hear about the trip; she'd be talking Niall's ear off about it until it happened if he let her know too early.
"You can share with me," Harry pipes up from were he's sitting on Imogen's princess picnic blanket "I've got a good sized tent." Harry says, a genuine smile on his face and Niall's about to thank him when-
"I'll bet you do, Haz." Louis smirks from the couch.
"You're such a twat sometimes, Louis." Liam chuckles, trying to help the situation because Niall and Harry are both redder than a tomato.
It would seem Niall's luck is running out today, if it wasn't the burnt toast, then it was Imogen waking up twice in the night; And now his car won't start.
"Niall!" Louis Hollers from the window of Liam's car, "What's the hold up mate?"
Harry rolls down the window of his own car, wondering why they hadn't all left Niall's driveway yet.
Liam and Harry get out of their cars, coming over to be met with a distressed looking Niall.
"My car won't start, lads." Niall tells them.
"Daddy, I'm hungry!" Imogen whines from the back.
"Immy-" Niall looks frustrated so Harry opens the back door of Niall's car and smiles.
"We'll get you some food in a bit sweetheart." then he turns to Niall "I've got room for you guys in my car."
"Are you sure? I'll pay for gas if you would really-"
Niall really felt like he was putting Harry out and he didn't want to be any sort of burden, but Harry smiles and shakes his head. "Niall, it's fine. Seems we've got a hungry princess to feed though, so let's get your stuff loaded into my car." Harry says and smiles reassuringly at Niall.
"I love this song." Harry whispers, trying to keep his voice down because Imogen is sleeping in the back. 'My Man' by The Eagles is playing and Niall glances knowingly at Harry.
"It's not my favourite Eagles song, I'm not going to lie, but it's in the top five; I used to sing it to Imogen when she was a baby."
"What's your favourite?" Harry questions.
"Try and Love Again, for sure. I used to listen to it everyday as a teenager, mostly after I broke up with my first ever girlfriend." Niall laughs because he didn't even really love her, he was just full of angst and hormones really, "It's just so honest about the fears, the ones that are there when you're falling in love with someone after you've already had your heart broken."
"I've never been in love before, it sounds painful." Harry admits, keeping his eyes on the road.
"I don't think I've actually ever been 'in love', I've loved people for who they are as a person, it's just- when I'm in love I think I'll know, and I thought I was when she broke up with me because it was my first heartbreak."
"You're full of wisdom, my friend." Harry teases, and Harry swears he didn't touch his iPod, but Niall's not really convinced because 'Try and Love again' is playing.
They arrive before the other three and when they text to find out where they are, they find out the others are still half an hour away.
"Might as well get set up then." Harry says.
Niall doesn't want to do that, though. He wants to look around and see what the great outdoors has to offer;
"No, I wanna explore." he argues.
Harry takes one look at Niall's well-rehearsed puppy dog eyes and gives in. "Hey Imogen, let's go on an adventure!" Harry yells and it's music to Niall's ears when he hears his little girl squeal in utter excitement.
When they arrive back at the camp grounds the others are there, already set up.
"Hey! Where'd you all get off to?" Liam asks from his spot around the fire; next to Zayn of course.
"We went on a adventure." Imogen tells him from her spot on Harrys shoulders.
"An adventure? Without us?" Zayn fakes hurt.
"I know you're not actually sad." Imogen tells Zayn in her English/Irish accent (something Niall feels a bit guilty for because it can be hard to understand her sometimes). She grabs onto Harry's hair and pulls it gently, enough so that he doesn't mind.
"Why don't we get some hot dogs going!" Zayn enthuses, pulling out two packs of hot dogs, one halal and one tofu kind (Louis picked them out because he's a fussy eater and thinks that eating weird vegetarian foods makes up for his bad habits of getting drunk and smoking too much.)
"Daddy I want s'mores first!" Imogen whines.
"Sorry Immy, you gotta eat supper first." He shakes his head. He's always found it easy to
He hopes she'll accept that and move on, but she doesn't. Tears well up in her eyes and Niall takes a deep breath and reminds himself, patience.
"You'll get your s'mores as soon as you eat a hot dog, monkey."
"No! I don't like hog dogs!" She yells.
"Imogen." Harry says from beside her, and it's the tone of voice he uses
that makes Niall think Harry's gonna be of help here; he's soft spoken yet hesitant, hoping to keep her tantrum at bay. "It took a lot of years for me to get big and strong, but do you know how I did it?"
She shakes her head, a pout still present on her lips.
"I always eat my dinner before my desert. Especially if it's something as yummy as hot dogs are." Harry tells her.
She looks at him quizzically before turning to Niall, "I'd like one hot dog please daddy."
Niall can hardly believe his ears and when he looks over to Harry he's smiling at Niall. Niall's let's his heart skip a few beats before he realizes he should get going on Imogens 'order'.
'Thank you.' He mouths to Harry, who only shakes his head a little.
"No Immy, you've said goodnight to them three times. You've got to go to sleep." Niall groans. He needs her to go to sleep before he can join the lads for a drink.
"Just one more time daddy, Ha-wee promised he'd read me a story." She says.
Niall raises a skeptical brow at her because why didn't she mention this twenty minutes ago when he first tried to put her to bed.
"Harry!" Niall hollers.
He hears footsteps and then the tent getting unzipped before Harry appears, his long hair in a bun and wearing an old tattered t shirt. "What's up?"
"Imogen says you've promised a bed time story." Niall tells him.
"Are you fibbing to your daddy?" Harry turns to her and she ducks her head a little, revealing the truth to Niall. "I'll tell you what, I'll read you a five minute story if you promise that you'll go to bed as soon as it's over." Harry offers.
"Okay." Imogen nods and climbs into Harry's lap with her blanket wrapped around her.
Niall hands Harry a book from her camping bag and he takes it, smiling at the old classic.
"Goodnight Moon," he reads "In the great green room There was a telephone And a red balloonAnd a picture of-
The cow jumping over the moonAnd there were three little bears sitting on chairs And two little kittens."
Imogen's eyes are closing and when he finishes off the story she's almost asleep. "Goodnight sweetheart." Niall whispers as Harry sets her gently on the blow up mattress.
"She really likes you." Niall says and he doesn't mean to but he bites his lip when Harry glances away from Imogen to look at him.
"Good, that's good. She's a sweet kid." Harry looks like he might want to say more but he stops there, being the first one to exit the tent, not that Niall's far behind.
"What took you so long, couldn't get her to sleep?" Liam asks.
"She wanted Harry to read her a story, she's real stubborn sometimes." Niall tells him, ignoring Liam's skeptical eyebrows at the mention of Imogen wanting Harry to read to her instead of Niall or Zayn.
"We noticed." Louis laughs, swigging back the last of his beer.
"I'll take a beer." Niall says, he makes a mental note to limit himself to two beers though because his daughter is sleeping five feet away.
Niall couldn't help but but get a little to excited when half way through his second beer, Harry brought out Niall's guitar from the trunk of his car.
"You know what to do." Harry says.
"And so do you." Niall quirks his lips into a smile and looks at Harry, picking out the chords to what he learned was Harry's favourite Eagles song, 'The Sad Cafe'.
"Out in the shiny night
The rain was softly falling," Harry sang out, he continued the song until it got to the chorus and then Niall joined, and then they were all singing and it sounded wonderful.
Niall swore under his breath, but he just had to remind himself that this was only one of the many joys of parenthood.
"Hey Immy, were we too loud?" Niall asks her.
"No, I had a bad dream." She tells him and then he notices the quiver of her lip and the crocodile tears forming in her eyes and he rushes over to puck her up and take her to the fire. She buries her head in his shoulder, only peeking out to look at Harry.
"What did you dream about?" Harry asks her softly.
"Ghosts and witches trying to eat me."
Because she's crying, none of them laugh but it's too cute.
"I know dreams can seem scary, but they aren't real." Niall whispers to her.
"It was too scary daddy." She cries, clinging into Niall's shirt.
"Well lads," Niall sighs "I think I'm gonna call it a night. Seems I've got some ghosts and witches to take care of."
"Yeah, me too. I'm pretty knackered myself." Harry says.
The others decide they're gonna go to bed right away as well and they all say goodnight.
Niall woke up to an empty tent and the sound of Imogen chattering away outside the tent.
He gets up promptly and peeks out the screen window of the tent. The sight he's met with warms his heart, Imogen's got a breakfast pastry in her hands and she's sitting in Harry's lap telling him about her life, telling Harry how much her daddy watches golf and how it's annoying because sometimes she just wants to watch Cinderella.
"Golf is okay, I much prefer Cinderella though, or a footie match. Your daddy ever watch footie?" Harry asks her.
She nods her head and Harry smiles at that "Maybe I'll take you and daddy to a footie game. That is, if you like footie." Harry offers.
"I like footie more than golf." And at least she's honest.
Niall decides to stop spying on the two and leaves the tent, making his presence known by walking over to where Harry and Imogen are sat.
"Daddy!" Imogen cheers, not moving from her spot on Harry's lap.
"Ha-wee said golf is boring too. He said Cinderella is better." She says, reaching for one of Harry's curls to play with.
Harry chuckles a little and adjusts her so that her knees aren't digging into his thighs. "I didn't say golf was boring." Harry defends, keeping his tone playful so that she know he's joking and he's not actually mad.
"Yeah but you said footie and Cinderella are better." She challenges, sitting up to she's looking his in the eyes.
"That's it." Harry says and then he tickles her and she screeches, throwing her head back with a smile.
Niall can't help but let out a laugh when Louis comes out of his tent, his eyes red and a blanket wrapped around his shoulders. "Jesus I thought the kid was dying." Louis says to Niall who's still watching Imogen and Harry with a smile.
"No, he challenged her integrity and vice versa and now-" Niall gestures to the two as Harry mercilessly tickled Imogen.
"I see. I'm gonna drag those two arses out of bed to drive to the 'Morning Shack' about five minutes down and get some coffee. You want anything, a cuppa?"
"Yeah, I'll take a cuppa. And if they have a hot chocolate for Immy."
"Got it." Louis smiles before climbing into Liam and Zayn's tent.
"How long have you guys been awake?" Niall asked Harry.
"Just over an hour now we played ninjas and then had some breakfast."
Niall's whole being turns into jelly and his eyes hold a look of absolute endearment "You played ninjas with her?"
Harry shrugs sheepishly, "Course' why wouldn't I? It's a really fun game."
"Yeah daddy, super fun." Imogen nods.
"I'm glad you two had fun. The other lads are going out to the little breakfast stop down the road, do you want anything Harry?"
"Yeah I'll take a cuppa; black."
"Okay I'll let them know."
Once everyone has their morning drinks they decide to get the fire going again. It's chilly this weekend, and they want to warm up before going on the afternoon hike they'd planned.
"Uncle Zayn, gross!" Imogen yells when Liam kisses Zayn.
"Sorry princess, that's what boyfriends do."
Imogen nods her head, not fully understanding and then she turns to Harry. "Kiss daddy."
It's hysterical, Harry's reaction; he begins spluttering, not really forming any comprehensible words and Niall wants to help him but he's also slightly amused.
"Harry and daddy aren't boyfriends." Niall tells her, trying his hardest not to laugh at how red Harry is.
"Oh." She says and then moves on to start a conversation with Louis.
"Calm down Harry, you look like you've seen a ghost, mate." Niall pats Harry's thigh.
"Its alright, kids don't always realize what they're saying, it's humorous most times but it can also be embarrassing, been there multiple times." Niall laughs, mostly at the countless memories of times Imogen embarrassed him.
"Let's go for a walk." Harry suggested.
"Yeah, I think we were gonna go hiking la-"
"No, just you and I, now." Harry interrupted.
"Oh well, yes. Okay, yeah. Wait, no I have Imogen I can't-"
"Hey guys, can you entertain the princess for a bit?"
"Yeah, course'. Where are you two off to?"
"Niall and I," Harry says matter of factly, "are going for a walk."
"Have fun and use protection!" Zayn shouts.
"You'd think Louis' rubbing off on ya instead of Liam." Harry says in response.
"Immy, come here a sec, babe." Niall calls her.
"Daddy's going to to for a
walk with Harry, you're going to stay and hangout with uncle Zayn, okay?"
"Okay. Love you daddy."
"Love you too monkey, be good."
"I will!" She shouts unnecessarily loud.
"Bye." Harry waves, surprising Niall when he reaches for his hand to drag him away from the campsite.
"C'mon Harry, we've got all day. No need to rush."
Niall laughs, squeezing Harry's hand.
"I just wanted to be away from everyone. The lads, I mean, not your daughter, she's a sweetheart."
He tries to ignore the lilt in his heart when he realizes he and Harry are alone. But he can't ignore it so he stares at Harry's beautiful dimples like a bloody fool.
"Where are we going?" Niall asks after a solid five minutes of comfortable silence.
"I was looking for a river but it seems we're a bit lost." Harry shrugs.
"Harry!" Niall all but shrieks.
"If you're lost, you turn around."
"It's not like we're lost forever. We can retrace our steps." Harry shrugs.
"If I promise to trust you, you have to promise you know what you're doing."
"I promise." Harry replies huskily, lips pressed against Niall's ear.
Niall's still completely flustered when Harry let's go of his hand and runs a few feet ahead, yelling for Niall to follow him.
They reach a river about fifteen minutes into their walk and Harry grins at Niall. "Told you I know what I'm doing."
"This was by luck I'm sure." Niall shakes his head.
"Maybe it was," Harry starts, pulling out a blanket from his backpack, "maybe it wasn't."
They take a seat on the blanket and Niall's curious so he asks Harry "Why'd you want to get away from everyone but me?"
"You're not as enthusiastic as the others, and I mean that in the nicest possible way. They're just very crude and it can get to much for an intellectual like me to handle." The end of Harry's rant is laced with sarcasm but Niall knows he meant what he said.
"I get that." Niall nods.
"Liam told me you were in pre-med. I'm just bringing it up because I was too."
"Yeah, it wasn't long lived, I had to stop for multiple reasons. The biggest one was the whole being a father thing, and the other big one I'd say, is that I wasn't passionate about it."
"I left before first semester was even over. I just knew it wasn't where I was meant to be, there's a whole world of opportunities and I picked the one that would make me the most money; ironic now though, because I'm still in debt from student loans and I work a minimum wage job at a bakery." Harry laughs.
"Life has a funny way of showing it cares."
"Yeah but it's funny because I'm happier than I've ever been." Harry tells Niall.
"That's good." Niall smiles and leans into Harry a little.
It's quiet for a minute and Niall decides to tell Harry, "Imogen loves you, she wouldn't stop talking about when you'd come over next after she first met you."
Harry smiles lightly, "Can I ask you something personal?"
Niall thinks he might know where this is going so, he nods.
"Where's her mum?" He asks.
"She left when Imogen was only three months old. At first it was okay and we were working together to parent her; we weren't together though, she and I had been friends and we had a one night stand, you know." Niall thinks he might cry because it's hard.
"So why'd she leave?"
"She had feelings for me and I told her that I'm gay." Niall starts crying because talking about it brings back all the memories of the hurtful words she'd said that night.
"I'm sorry Niall." Harry says, setting a hand on Niall's back in comfort.
"It's okay, I'm over it. Imogen is the best thing that's ever happened to me and I only want what's best for her. S'why it hurts to think that her mum left her." Niall smiles sadly before turning to Harry.
"You're a really good dad." Harry tells Niall. "Imogen really looks up to you, I can tell by the way she looks at you. Her eyes lit up this morning when she was talking about you."
Niall thinks he might cry again. That's one of the most meaningful thing anyone can say to him because she's his biggest accomplishment. "Thank you, Harry. That means a lot, really."
"Course', only telling the truth." Harry smiles at Niall, a genuine smile, and suddenly Niall knows that Harry's going to impact him, somehow.
They leave early the next morning; earlier than planned. Snow had fallen during the night and they all woke up freezing, and in terrible moods.
"Drive safe, lads!" Liam yells as he, Zayn and Louis drive off the campsite.
Harry's just getting the car started and Niall's just finished buckling Imogen into her seat, throwing two blankets on her so she'll stay warm.
"Have we got everything?" Harry asks, buckling up and locking the doors.
"Yeah I did a triple check, we're good to go." Niall replies, heaving a sigh. He was probably the worst of everyone in terms of his mood. He hated early mornings and he hated being cold and to top it off, Imogen threw a tantrum ten minutes after he had just woken up.
"I'm sorry this morning was particularly suck-ish." Harry says, rubbing his hand on Niall's back in comfort.
"It's not anyone's fault. I'm sorry I've been acting grumpy all morning, I just am." Niall shrugs, jutting his lip out in a pout.
"Cute." Harry chuckles, putting the car into drive.
They had been driving for nearly twenty minutes when Niall's stomach started to rumble and it was then that he realized, he hadn't eaten.
"Do you want to stop off in the next town for some brunch? It's on me." Harry offers, smiling at Niall.
"Yeah, that sounds good. But I'm not letting you pay." Niall says, sending a little glare in Harry's direction.
When they get there Niall wakes Imogen, thankful that she'd slept as long as she did.
"Daddy I'm hungry." She says as Niall lifts her from her car seat.
"We're here to get food, darling."
"Okay." She nods, resting her head into the crook of Niall neck. Little things like this still flood Niall stomach with butterflies because it makes him realize how much he loves her all over again.
When they're seated Imogen asks their server promptly for some purple crayons because they only gave her four colours, non of which were purple. Which was in her opinion, unacceptable.
"Can I colour too?" Harry inquires, smiling hopefully at Imogen.
"Yeah, you can have red and blue. I like green and yellow so I'll keep those."
"Lets see, what are we colouring?" Harry asks, pulling her onto his lap so they can both see the paper properly.
"It's a cat family, silly." Imogen giggles, pointing at the paper. Harry can obviously see that but, he likes humouring her so he plays along.
"Oh! Silly me." He shakes his head, reaching over to pick up a blue crayon.
Niall can't help but feel mushy inside at the sight. He tries not to think to much into it, but it's hard when he's only known Harry for two weeks but it also feels like he's known Harry for years and everything's confusing. Does he like Harry? Would Harry like him? Does Harry even date guys?
Niall decides he wants to remember this though so he opens the camera on his phone and snaps a picture of Harry and Imogen, both extremely focused on keeping inside the lines. Harry notices, but doesn't say anything, because, well, the smirk on his face says enough.
"Immy, what do you want to eat?"
"Some grilled cheese, please." She said. Of course, everywhere they went she always wanted a grilled cheese or pizza, depending on her mood.
"You got it, monkey." Niall says and then looks to Harry. "Have you looked over the menu?"
"No." Harry admits, shyly reaching to open the untouched menu.
The next time the waitress, Jessica, comes to the table they're all ready to order.
"I'll have the spinach and bacon scramble - substitute turkey bacon- and a half waffle on the side. Oh, and a peppermint tea to drink please."
"Okay, and you?" Jessica asks, turning to Niall.
"I'll have the English breakfast please, and I'll also have a mint tea to drink. Oh, and a grilled cheese for her, she'll have an orange juice to drink."
"No I won't." Imogen says, shaking her head, "I want a tea, like daddy and Ha-wee have."
The waitress giggles, "Okay, sweetheart."
Niall has to let out a soft chuckle because Imogen doesn't really like tea, unless its sugared down (even then, it's a battle to get her to finish it). She probably didn't want to feel left out.
"So, I've noticed you're Irish." Harry states.
"Have you?" Niall lets out a chuckle.
"Well, yeah, I was just curious when you decided to move to London?"
"I moved here in year nine, that's when I met Zayn. He was very reserved, opposite of me, I'm the most outgoing person you'll meet. Anyways, he was very nice to me when I moved here, he was my only friend for the first couple weeks I lived here." Niall explains.
"That's cool, I'm from Cheshire, moved here when I was seven with my mum, my parents had split the year before."
"You must've been a cute kid." Niall says, and it just slips out, he swears on it.
Harry smirks and lets out a chuckle, "You could say that. I was a total ham though, always trying to show off." Harry remembers fondly.
"So is this one." Niall chuckles, nodding in Imogen's direction. Not that she notices, she's gotten too far into her colouring by this time.
"Daddy, I don't want this." Imogen says, pushing the grilled cheese away, thankfully after the waitress left.
"Imogen, you asked for a grilled cheese and it costed daddy five dollars so, eat up buttercup." Niall replies.
"I want a waffle." She tells Niall, not so subtly eyeing up Harry's half-waffle.
"Imogen." Niall warns sternly.
"It's okay." Harry says "If you eat half of your grilled cheese you can eat my waffle and I'll eat the other half of your sandwich, okay?" Harry offers.
"Okay." She agrees, picking up her sandwich and eating it like nothing.
Niall's starting to wonder if Harry had ever worked with kids, because he's surprisingly patient with Imogen and doesn't just give her what she wants at the sight of tears, which most people would do (that drives Niall crazy).
"Thanks Harry, you're really good with her. Most people would have just gave her what she wants without compromise." Niall tells him.
"My mum used to watch a little boy after school, when I was a teenager. He was around Imogen's age so I learned a few things about kids." Harry answers Niall's question without Niall even having to ask.
"Daddy, I want to go home!"
The waitress comes twenty minutes later when Niall's more than ready to leave. Imogen's eaten at least half of her food and Niall's content with that.
"Anything else you'd like?" She asks sweetly.
"No just the bill please." Niall requests.
"All right. Oh and I must say, you guys are an adorable family."
Niall knows she meant no harm but his cheeks heat up and he sits there like a stuttering idiot and before he or Harry can even make words she's gone to get the bill.
"Thanks for giving us a ride and a place to sleep." Niall smiles warmly, hoping Harry understands his gratitude.
"It's nothing, I had fun with you guys this weekend."
There's a pause, both of them knowing what they want to say but neither brace enough to say it.
"We should hang out again, Imogen and I really could use some company more often. Now that Z's busy with Liam I doubt he'll be over as often." Niall says, hoping he's not being too forward.
"Yeah, yes, that would be great. I don't get a lot of company these days either, other than Louis but he doesn't count for anything more than a nuisance." Harry says but Niall notices his fond eyes when he mentions his best friend, there's love behind all their teasing.
"Yeah, he's a bit extravagant at times, but he's a good lad. Anyways, I'll give you my number and we can keep and touch. Don't hesitate to text me Styles, I'll tell you Imogen is going to drive me crazy with how much she'll talk about you. You've left an impression."
"I'll give you my number in return, you don't hesitate to text either." Harry says. He writes his number down and heads out, much to Niall's dismay.
Niall's just finishing folding the laundry when his phone rings.
He looks at the screen and realizes excitedly that it's Harry.
"Hey Niall, its Harry."
"Yeah, I know that ya' eejit." Niall laughs. They'd been texting back and forth for the past week, mostly venting and cheering the other up.
"Are you busy? Is Imogen awake?"
"No and yes, however she's in a bloody rotten mood. why?" Niall asks skeptically.
"Because I've just finished at the grocery store and I'd like to hang out with you guys. Would you fancy a homemade dinner?" Harry sounds hopeful and Niall doesn't have the heart to say no.
"Yeah, we'd love that, come on over. You've been warned about her mood though, she's currently in her second time-out of the day."
"Of course I don't mind, I've had a bad day too, so I understand, we can't always be in good moods, y'know?" Harry says, matter of factly.
Niall's taken aback by Harry's answer, he made it sound so simple, which really, it is "Y-yeah, see you soon."
"Ha-wee!" Imogen yells, running over to him.
"Immy!" Harry enthuses, picking her up off the floor.
"I heard you were having a bad day." Harry tells her "Me too, don't worry."
"Yeah, daddy kept getting mad at me." She says.
"Well, I'm sure there was a reason. I know when I'm in a bad mood, I can be mean to people I care about, even if I don't mean to, were you mean to daddy?"
"I didn't listen to him." She admits, blowing her honey brown hair out of her face.
"Yeah, he probably didn't like that. But, I think you learned your lesson, so, I was thinking we could eat some supper and if you're good and daddy says we can, we could bake some chocolate chip cookies."
Niall watches fondly as Imogen's demeanour changes and she hugs Harry. "Yay! Can we daddy? Please? I promise I'll listen!" She questions excitedly.
"If you listen, I don't see why not."
"Yay! Thank you Daddy, thank you Ha-wee."
Harry's an amazing cook, as it turns out. He makes chicken parmesan with a creamy tomato sauce.
"Harry, this is absolutely delicious." Niall swoons after taking the first bite.
"I like Ha-wee's food." Imogen says in agreement.
"I'm glad to hear that." Harry smiles proudly, his heart skipping a beat when his eyes land on Niall's.
"So, Liam called me today." Harry says, "Said he was thinking we could do an American style thanksgiving next Sunday, he said Louis' willing to host because he has the largest space. You interested?"
"Definitely, i'd never say no to a home cooked meal, that's why we're sitting here innit'?" Niall jokes.
Harry humours Niall and huffs out a laugh. "I'll let Zayn and Liam know you guys are coming. Louis' going to be over the moon."
"Ha-wee, can we make cookies now? I eated all my food." Imogen asks hopefully.
"Let me and daddy finish eating and then we'll clean up, and then we can make cookies." Harry reasons.
"Okay. I'm going to play now."
"Okay monkey, have fun." Niall smiles, ruffling her hair.
"You made her day, I hope you know." Niall says and then hesitates before saying "Mine too."
"I'm happy to hear that. I hope you don't mind the cookies." Harry says, looking a tad guilty.
"Not at all, thank you. She's so excited."
"Then what are we doing sitting around? Let's get this kitchen clean."
"Okay, pour this into the bowl with the milk in it, okay love?"
"Okay." Imogen says happily, dumping a cup of flour into the bowl that Harry had directed her to.
Niall watches as Harry lets Imogen help mix in all the ingredients, directing her as if he knows the recipe by heart.
(Which he probably does, what with working at a bakery)
"Have you got a cookie tray?" Harry turns to Niall, hopefully.
"Yeah, should be in the cupboard next to the stove, parchment papers in the drawer 'bove it."
It takes them a total of ten minutes to get the cookies into the oven, Niall helped, finally caving and joining in on the fun.
"When they're ready you can have one cookie and then it's bed time for you monkey." Niall laughs, ruffling Imogen's hair.
"Okay daddy, but I can have more in the morning?" She inquires curiously.
"We'll see if you're being good and if you eat your breakfast." Niall tells her.
The three of them decide to play 'I spy' until the cookies are ready, and just as it's about to be Niall's turn for the first time the timer goes off.
"Dang it, I had a good one." Niall pouts, to humour Imogen really; however, he did have a good one.
"Next time, love." Niall looks at Harry and then looks away a second later because his heart starts beating at a million miles a minute when Harry called him 'love'.
Harry gets the cookies out of the oven and after five minutes of waiting a timer finally goes off to tell them that the cookies are cooled down.
"I can't wait to try one of these." Niall says, rubbing his hands together.
"Calm down Niall, ladies first." Harry teases, putting a cookie on a plate and handing it to Imogen.
"Yay! Thank you Haw-ee!"
"You're welcome, munchkin." Harry smiles.
Niall raises an eyebrow at Harry, as if to ask 'can I have one now.'
"Go for it, s'my recipe, by the way so, even if they're awful, tell me they're great."
"I'm sure they're amazing. At least I'd hope, you work in a bakery, do you not?" Niall says, piping a bite into his mouth. "Oh my goodness these are so-"
"Yummy in my tummy!" Imogen says, loudly interrupting Niall.
They all laugh and Niall nods. "Agreed."
"Any last requests?" Niall asks softly, sitting at the edge of Imogen's bed.
"No. Goodnight daddy, and goodnight haw-eee!" Imogen yells for Harry (who's in the living room) to hear.
"Love you darling, sleep well." Niall says and presses a kiss to her forehead.
"You too daddy." She mumbles softly into her pillow.
Niall escapes the room five minutes later when she's fully asleep, the indication of soft snores giving him the 'okay' to leave.
"She asleep?" Harry inquires.
"Out like a light." Niall acknowledges, sitting on the couch next to Harry.
"I know you're about to thank me again for coming, but don't. I enjoy spending time with you guys, really." Harry admits.
Niall doesn't miss the way Harry's eyes betray him when they move to Niall's lips, however that doesn't always mean something and Niall's still getting used to the butterflies in his tummy whenever Harry's around.
"Imogen loves you. Won't shut up about when 'Haw-ee' is coming over." Niall tells Harry.
"I love kids." Harry sighs, "she probably likes me because I'm pretty much willing to play any game." Harry shrugs.
"Modest, I see." Niall jokes.
"Hey, I'm just telling the truth. Seriously I'm the best Prince Charming you'll ever meet, when it comes to playing princesses, that is." Harry says, pushing his short, fringed locks out of his face.
"In that case, how would you like to spend Wednesday night playing pretty much every pretend game know to child." Niall offers, he wouldn't ask if he didn't think Harry would (willingly) say yes, plus he'd pay him of course.
There's a glint of disappointment in Harry's eyes when he asks "Why, got a date?"
"First of all, that's none of your business and second of all, no I don't. I have a meeting and I was going to ask Zayn if he could but I was informed yesterday that he and Liam have plans for Wednesday. Please will you watch her? I'll even pay you." Niall pleads.
"No, I won't accept your money. I'm happy to keep her company for a few hours."
"I'm paying you." Niall says decisively, getting up so he can grab some beer from the fridge.
"Whatever you say, Nialler."
Wednesday is a hectic day for Niall, he's late dropping Imogen off at daycare and late picking her up. He's not in the best mood either because he has yet another meeting later in the evening that he'd rather just skip.
"Daddy, your phones ringing!" Imogen yells, carrying his phone into the living room.
"Thanks Monkey." Niall smiles, pressing the 'accept' button on the phone without even looking at anything else.
"Hey, Niall. I'm on my way, do you guys like Chinese takeout? I was thinking of grabbing some so you could eat before you leave." Harry says, Niall can hear the low hum of his engine in the background of the call.
"Yeah, sure. Just grab whatever you like, we aren't picky over here. I'm paying at least half, though." Niall agrees, too tired to be bothered with cooking.
"Deal. I'll see you in a bit."
"Chinese delivery!" Harry calls, entering without knocking. It's seemingly less annoying when Harry does it, compared to Zayn though. Probably because Niall's allowed to be annoyed with Zayn at this stage of their friendship.
"Thank you so much. How much was it?"
"You owe me ten pounds."
"Harry, with that much food I must owe you at least twenty." Niall argues, grabbing one of three bags from Harry.
Harry flashed Niall a guilty smirk before shrugging his shoulders in defeat. "It may be a little over ten."
"Haw-ee!" Imogen comes running into the room, which, in turn makes Niall mutter, loud enough for Harry to hear, 'saved by the bell' under his breath.
"Hey, munchkin." Harry smiles, patting her bag when she hugs his legs.
"How was everyone's day?" Harry asks as he and Niall set the table.
"Why?" Harry pouts at Niall.
"Work. Last week somebody in editing didn't do their job correctly and we had a major misprint happen, it's going to cost us about five thousand dollars to fix it. That's why I have a meeting tonight, we've been trying to decide what to do about it."
"You never told me you worked in publishing." Harry says, his eyes filled with Interest.
Niall furrows his eyebrows because he could've swore it came up at some point, however he's plenty forgetful. "Oh, guess it didn't come up?"
"Yeah, no. It's cool though, do you like it?" Harry asks.
"Usually I love it but today and tonight I'm not really feeling the love." Niall admits, dishing Imogen a plate while she distracts herself looking for fortune cookies.
"Right here, love. You can have it after you eat." Harry says to Imogen, knowing exactly what she was looking for.
"Okay." She sighs in defeat.
"I'm sorry you're having a bad day." Harry tells Niall, placing a comforting hand on his shoulder.
"It's okay, I'm just grateful that you're here."
Niall doesn't miss the shock in Harry's eyes when he says that and then immediately regret fills up in his stomach. "To babysit, I mean. Can't really bring a three year old to the office."
"Yeah, yeah of course." Harry nods awkwardly, dropping his shoulders.
"Haw-ee we can play animals or we can play wace cars after daddy leaves. Which one?"
"I pick animals first, but we definitely have time to play two games before bed." Harry smiles at her, scrunching his nose when he does so which makes niall's heart do a little twirl in his chest.
"Thank you." Niall hummed, after taking a bite of his food. He was beginning to get a bit restless due to hunger so he feels more relaxed with food now in front of him.
"Of course Nialler, what are friends for?"
"Before you even ask, the meeting was terrible and stressful." Niall sighs heading straight for the fridge to grab a beer. His meeting lasted roughly five hours, landing him home at nearly eleven.
"Sorry, Niall. Did you guys figure out the print thingy?"
Niall laughs at Harry's choice of words, "Yes, we figured out the 'print thingy'. Set us about a week back in paperwork but it was the least damage possible without costing the company all that money." He says and then pauses, "How was she?"
"Good. Up until bed time that is, we had a bit of a falling out then. She even went as far as to call me a 'meanie'." Harry pouts, making grabby hands at Niall's beer.
"You twat, get your own." Niall rolls his eyes as Harry takes a swig of his beer.
"Sorry she was like that for you." Niall apologizes, shaking his head. "What can you do though, she's only three."
"I know Niall, I'm sure she'll love me again the next time she sees me. She just didn't want to go to bed because we were having too much fun playing animal hospital." Harry explains.
"I think the correct term for that is 'vet'." Niall teases, smirking at Harry playfully.
"Shut up." Harry shakes his head, playfully shoving Niall.
There's a comfortable silence that falls over the two until, "Daddy?"
"Immy, love. What's up?" Niall gives his beer to Harry and crouches down to Imogen's level.
"I just woke up and I feel sick now." Imogen whines.
Niall's not sure if it's a stall tactic so she doesn't have to go back to bed or if she's actually sick. He picks her up and carries her to his bed.
"Daddy will be right back with some water for you." Niall tells her, heading to the kitchen.
"Hey Har, you can head home if you'd like. I felt her forehead, I have a feeling it's going to be a rough night around here." Niall frowns, feeling bad for Imogen.
"Oh, and here." Niall hands Harry thirty quid.
"No, Niall. Seriously you don't have-"
"Please, I want to. You've been nothing but helpful over the past few weeks, I'm begging you to take it." Niall pleads.
"I- okay." Harry sighs, shoving the money into his disorganized wallet.
"I have a sick toddler to attend to." Niall reminds himself, heading to grab a sippy cup from the cupboard.
"I'll see you on Sunday Niall." Harry bids, about to leave when Niall stops him.
"Sunday?" Niall asks in confusion.
"Dinner? At Louis?"
"Oh yeah, right. Sunday, see you then." Niall laughs, how could he have forgotten?
Niall feels a smile creeping up on his face when he hears Harry's voice. "Har." Niall says, turning around to pull Harry in for a hug.
"Oh, I want some." Harry says in reference to the champagne Niall's holding, instead of getting his own though, he grabs Niall's and takes a sip.
"Get your own drink, Harry." Niall rolls his eyes, grabbing his drink back from Harry.
"Harry!" Louis calls, unnecessarily loud.
"Hey, Lou. Nice to see you actually know how to use a vacuum." Harry smirks, patting Louis on the shoulder.
"Ha-wee, look at uncle Z!" Imogen giggles, pointing at Zayn who was making silly faces, purely for her enjoyment.
"He's pretty silly, isn't he?" Harry asks, humouring her enjoyment.
"That kid really loves you, Harry." Louis observes.
Niall laughs. "She called Harry a meanie the other night and called him to tell him she was sorry the next morning."
Neither of them miss Louis' suspicious gaze at the mention of 'the other night', but neither of them acknowledge it either.
"Turkey time!" Liam calls, and of course it halts all conversations because, well.
Everyone feels light and fuzzy, the turkey and wine having taken a toll on everyone, even Imogen was curled up under Niall's arm, nearly asleep.
Zayn and Liam are in the middle of a FIFA match, neither of them are super into it, however Louis' nearly on the edge of his seat, rooting for Zayn.
"I'm bored." Harry whines, his lips brushing against Niall's neck sends shivers coursing through his body.
"And what exactly would you like me to do about that?" Niall turns his head lazily to look at Harry.
"Come to the store with me, I was in charge of desert and I totally forgot about it." Harry requests.
"Fine, just let me put Imogen somewhere, she's asleep and I want her to keep napping."
Niall gets Louis' assistance in finding a room and then he and Harry are leaving. Telling everyone they're going to get desert didn't receive much protest.
"Where's the closest grocery store? We've both been drinking so we've got to walk or call a cab." Niall notes.
"It's only a ten minute walk that way. Gone there before with Liam and Louis on movie night." Harry explains.
"I'm going to trust you on this one, but you did get us lost when we were camping."
"No! We made it back didn't we?" Harry exclaims.
"Yes, after two hours of walking in circles." Niall snorts, following Harry's lead to the store.
"Shut up Niall, I still got us there." Harry points out.
"Which is why I trust you to get us to the grocery store and back. I just don't think you have the best sense of direction." Niall argues.
Harry just sighs and slings his arm around Niall's shoulders. "Look, there it is. Told you ten minutes and it only took five."
"More walking less bragging." Niall says, running ahead of Harry so they could make the cross-walk.
"Pumpkin pie is way better than coconut cream." Niall argues, crossing his arms over his chest.
"Niall, have you ever even tasted coconut cream pie?"
"No." Niall admits, but bites back "Have you ever had pumpkin pie?"
"Of course I have, and coconuts way better." Harry decides.
"Solution; we get both." Niall says, grabbing both pies and placing them in the basket.
"This is why I like you, Niall." Harry smiles, grabbing the basket and heading for checkout.
Niall tries not to show it on his face but his whole body almost turns to jelly when Harry says that.
"You know what, we don't need both, you're right, I should expand my palette."
That's when Niall realizes his integrity (pie related) along with his heart has been stolen by some clumsy baker with a heart of gold.
It's stupid. It's stupid because Niall hasn't seen Harry since dinner at Louis' and that was almost two weeks ago. It's stupid because he misses Harry.
"Zayn, you shared the shite outta me, you really need to learn how to knock, or text at least mate." Niall shakes his head.
"You know you love me." Zayn shrugs, coming to sit next to Niall in the couch.
"Where's princess Im?" Zayn asks, looking around.
"She's with my mum, they're having a sleepover." Niall enthuses. He's mostly happy to have a night to himself, though.
"Good cause the lads invited us out tonight. Just for a few drinks at the new gay bar, the one downtown." Zayn says, looking hopefully at Niall.
"I don't know, Z. Game of Thrones is on tonight, I was gonna watch it and-"
"Nope, none of that. Plus if you don't come, Harry won't come and then it'll just be me and Li with poor Louis who'll probably end up feeling like a third wheel." Zayn reasons.
"What? Why won't Harry come?"
"He wanted to watch game of thrones. Swear on it, lad." Zayn smirks. Niall smiles to himself and then looks up at Zayn who's smiling back at him with a knowing glint in his eyes.
"So you coming?" Zayn asks excitedly.
Niall sighs, any excuse to see Harry, "Yeah, I'll text Harry. Maybe we'll split a cab."
"Baby! I like your style!" Niall yell-sings, staring directly at Harry.
It's nearly one in the morning and everyone is pissed drunk, especially Niall, who'd insisted on 'one more drink' nearly three times now. Harry's the opposite, only having had two drinks.
"We should do a karaoke!" Harry insists over the loud music, staring, eyes wide at Niall.
Niall bites his lip, he's had trouble recently saying no to Harry, "Okay, fine."
"Yes!" Harry cheers, dragging Niall away from his drink, probably for the best.
They've been looking at the song card for five minutes, "No, that's too cheesy, Niall."
"'Barbie Girl' is way better than 'Girls Just Wanna Have Fun." Niall argues in return, flashing his puppy eyes at Harry.
"Fine, fine. We'll do your song." Harry gives in, writing their names on the list.
It's ten minutes later when they're on the stage, swaying back and forth as they sing 'Barbie Girl' at a totally different pace to the song.
"Yeah! C'mon blondie, show us your moves!" A drunk guy slurs at Niall, which throws him off, suddenly becoming shy under everyone's gaze. Luckily the awkward pause Niall takes is short lived because the song ends and Harry drags Niall off stage almost immediately.
"Sorry Ni, that guys obviously some drunk old perv." Harry says, putting his hand on Niall's lower back in comfort.
"It's okay Har, I'm feeling pretty poorly after all those drinks, though. Think I should head on home." Niall decides, trying not to focus on the pout Harry's sporting.
"I'll come with you, we can be hungover together in the morning, it'll be fun." Harry offers, and tries not to laugh at the look of disgust Niall makes when Harry uses 'hungover' and 'fun' in the same sentence.
"Fine, but I hope you know being hungover isn't going to be fun." Niall says, grabbing his jacket off the back of Louis' chair.
"We're off lads, was a great night. I expect to see Niall and I drunkenly singing on Louis' snapchat." Harry teases, but Niall's pretty sure that he's also one hundred percent serious.
"Course'!" Louis smiles , "See you Niall."
"Bye lads." Niall says, heading out behind Harry so they can hail a cab.
Niall groans, placing his head in his arms.
"I've made breakfast." Harry says, dishing Niall a plate.
"How are you awake?" Niall asks, his voice groggy and eyes heavy.
"I've been awake for an hour, took an aspirin the second I woke up, I've also had about three cuppa's." Harry explains, setting Niall's plate in front of him along with an aspirin and some water.
"Thanks Har, didn't have to do this."
"I know, but I wanted to." Harry smiles.
"What time is it?" Niall asks, downing the aspirin.
"It's nearly eleven."
"Good, Imogen won't be home till two. Gives me time to relax and get over this hangover." Niall groans, again.
"Here, check this out. It's us singing last night." Harry brings his brightness down and then shows Niall the video from Zayn's Instagram.
Niaz_Kalim: who's Barbie and who's Ken? It's a trick question.. had a great night out with the lads!! @HarryStyles @NiallJH @Its_payno @Louis1991
"Oh my god, how embarrassing." Niall shakes his head, taking a small bite of his breakfast.
"Oh, babe, you don't know embarrassing until you hang around Louis enough, he always has his fucking snapchat out." Harry reasons, and Niall believes him, because well, he's only know Louis for a month and he's all too menacing; in the best way of course.
"I'm glad I went out last night, definitely had more fun than if I had stayed in to watch telly." Niall tells Harry.
"Me too, I'm glad I got to spend my night with you, if it had to be anyone." Harry says, honestly. He looks at Niall, smiling with a genuine admiration.
The doorbell rings, then.
"Fuck, me mams probably early with Imogen. She's the worst with time." Niall curses, trying his best to look like he hasn't just woke up, hungover.
"Niall, dear?" Maura, Niall's mum calls.
"Mum, you said you weren't coming till two." Niall reminds her, running his fingers through his hair. Imogen's runs right past him into the kitchen.
"What?" Maura asks in confusion, following Imogen's excited squeal, making Niall feel slightly uneasy.
Niall's more than a little nervous waiting for his mums reaction, because based on the sight informs of them she could definitely make assumptions, assumptions that may scare Harry away.
"Hey, munchkin. How are you?" Niall hears Harry ask and it warms his heart a little.
"Oh." Harry looks up from his spot on the chair, Imogen's already got herself seated comfortably in Harry's lap. "Hello." Harry coughs awkwardly.
"Oh jeez, erm- mum, this is my friend Harry, Harry this is my mum, Maura."
"Pleasure to meet you, sorry about my attire, I just woke up." Harry blushes.
"You too dear, I didn't know niall had a new 'friend'." Maura smiles suggestively.
"Okay, mum. Can I talk to you, in the other room please?" Niall asks her hesitantly.
Niall makes sure to close the door behind them and then he sighs.
"He's not my boyfriend and no, we didn't sleep together. Please just, be normal. We were out late last night and Harry wanted to crash at my place, okay? That's all." Niall tells Maura, short and simple.
"Oh. I see, so then, you don't like him?" Maura teases, but she's glaring at Niall all accusatory and he knows he has to answer.
"Maybe, kind of- yes. But please Ma, be cool." Niall reasons with her.
"Okay, okay. I'll stay out of it, sorry I assumed."
They walk back into the kitchen and there's Harry and Imogen, laughing about something together and Niall can't help the butterflies that erupt in his tummy.
"I think I should be going." Maura says, but not without sending an encouraging look at Niall, because that's what mothers do, they get involved.
It's a few hours later when Niall wakes up in a panic. He's never fallen asleep whilst Imogen was with him, which worries him because who knows what she could've gotten up to in however long he fell asleep in.
Niall rushes out of his room, and stops dead in his tracks, sighing out a breath of relief when he sees Imogen, asleep on the couch and Harry - bless him - watching a sitcom with the volume turned low.
"Fuck Har, why didn't you wake me?" Niall curses, going to sit next to him.
"Because you were so tired, I wanted you to sleep. She was no trouble, really. We did, however make some muffins; she really likes baking." Harry says.
Niall doesn't even know what to say. He's never been able to sleep when he's tired because no ones cared so much to put themselves first. Not that he's ever minded because he loves Imogen, but it's the thought that makes butterflies swarm in his belly.
"Thank you." Niall whispers emotionally, and he feels really stupid doing it but he kisses Harry's cheek.
"Of course, Niall." Harry says, slinging his arm around Niall and bringing him against his chest so he's cuddles into Harry; they watch the rest of the show like this whilst Imogen sleeps next to them.
It's a few days before Christmas , Niall and Imogen are outside building a snowman, his name was supposed to be Olly originally, but Niall thinks it's something like Sparkles now.
"Daddy, we need a carrot." Imogen declares, shoving a stick into the snowman's side as his left arm.
"Okay, stay right there, love." Niall says, sprinting inside so he doesn't have to leave her outside alone for more than ten seconds.
When he reaches the front door, the sight in front of him knocks the air from his chest.
Harry's there, holding Imogen in the air as she giggles relentlessly, "Daddy, look, I'm floating!"
Niall feels like he's floating too and a rush of adrenaline courses through his veins as he makes his way over to Harry.
"Here's your carrot, monkey." He says, smiling when Imogen walks away with excitement, going to put the finishing details on her snowman.
"Hey, Niall sorry I didn't call, it's just that-"
"Would you just-" Niall says, surging forward to kiss Harry, wrapping his arms around his neck. Harry fumbles in surprise, but Niall takes it as a good sign when Harry kisses back, steadying himself and Niall as he places his hands on Niall's waist.
"Daddy! Only boyfriends kiss!" Imogen laughs.
Niall pulls away with a smile, resting his body against Harry to catch his breath, "What if daddy and I were boyfriends. Would you like that?" Harry asks her, catching Niall off guard.
"Yeah! Then you could take me anywhere and buy me ice cream and toys, and read me bedtime stories. Right Ha-wee?"
"Let's not forget that she doesn't make the rules here." Niall teases.
Harry laughs "I'm not making any promises, munchkin. But I'll try." Harry says and then moves his gaze to look at Niall. "So, erm, would you like that? If we were boyfriends, I mean." He asks nervously.
"Harry, I wouldn't kiss you if that wasn't what I wanted." Niall says, hitting his shoulder lightly, "Of course I'll be your boyfriend, you idiot." And then he kisses Harry again, it's quick this time because he's more aware of the three year old watching them, but Harry grins at Niall anyways, pulling him into his chest as they watch Imogen finish off her snowman, announcing finally that his name is Prince Sparkles.
One year later...
"Imogen, what did I say about jumping on the furniture?" Harry asks, giving her a stern glare.
"Sorry dada." She apologizes, sitting down on the sofa properly.
"Harry?" Niall calls, coming into the living room to find his fiancé (as of recently).
"The lads are almost here, Louis' got Freddie today." Niall grins. He's got a bit of baby fever, and he wonders if Harry can tell, but he hasn't mentioned it to Niall at all.
"That's good, love." Harry smiles fondly at Niall and then Imogen.
That's when the group can be heard walking in, without knocking, for the billionth time.
"Hey, guys." Louis says, setting down the baby carrier that carried his one month old son. He's definitely mellowed since having a child, and honestly, everyone's grateful.
"Niall!" Zayn cheers, pulling Niall into a hug, "I'm so happy for you, mate. Lets see the ring, then."
Niall blushes and shows Zayn his hand, his ring finger adorned by a silver band; I'ts simple, but Niall's favourite part is that Harry had his initials, Niall's and Imogen's engraved into the ring.
"That's beautiful, Harry, good job."
"Uncle Zayn, I helped. Dada said if I could be secret that I could come with him to get daddy's ring and I did." She announces, obviously very proud of herself.
"That's great, love." Zayn says, leaning against Liam's chest happily.
Everything really is great though, and that's all that matters Niall thinks as he looks at his little family and his best friend and the bigger family they've created because it always feels like family with these guys; and the gentle kiss harry places on the side of his head only solidifies these thoughts of content for Niall. "I love you, Har."
"And I love you, and our daughter, and everything we've created together." Harry says, and there's this glint in his eyes before he asks "D'you reckon we should have another one of those?"
Niall looks towards Freddie where Harry's pointing and he doesn't think he's ever smiled bigger. "I reckon so." He says and kisses Harry.
"Did I just hear baby talk?" Liam waggles his eyebrows at the two.
Suddenly everyone's teasing them and excited and Imogen's telling Harry that it needs to be a boy because she wants to always be his favourite girl.
"Guess we're doing this then?" Harry laughs, but he's got tears in his eyes.
"Guess so." Niall sighs, and he's truly content and excited for what's to come.