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If I don't have you (there'll be nothing left)

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Niall owed Louis something fierce, Louis thought as he finished the solo cup tower he had just spent fifteen minutes building. Niall had begged him to come over and help prepare for the first party of the semester and Louis was too much of a bleeding heart to say no.

Okay it was that and Niall’s roommate Ed grew some of the best omega-weed in the whole uni and that shit was hard to come by. Louis was one hundred percent in this for the free omega-weed. He could only deny it for so long. Since he wasn’t allowed to live off campus it was nearly impossible to smoke whenever he had the craving. So he was regulated to bumming off of his friends.

Niall and Ed’s flat was in a beta complex which meant there was never any supervision. Cops always drove around known alpha residences waiting for trouble to pop up, and the omega dorms were on campus, but betas were left alone. Which made them perfect for any and all campus parties. Louis never truly got it, because you’d think people would have wised up to this by now, but old habits die hard and stereotype was betas kept to themselves.

God bless stereotypes.

Louis took a step back to admire his tower. He’d been smart and filled each cup with the quid cans of beer Niall had bought before building the tower so it wasn’t like he had to ruin it by pouring beer into it.

“Ooo, a champagne tower!” Someone with a low, slow cadence said. Before Louis could react a frankly huge hand came from behind him to grab one of the cups from the tower.

“Oi!” Louis squawked right before the hand tried to pull a cup out from the tower like it was a game of Jenga. It was most certainly not and if truckersaurus hands ruined his hard work Louis was not liable for the damage he caused. As it was he slapped the offending hand out of the way and whipped around to scold the person.

The first thing that hit him was the strong scent of alpha. It was like musky cinnamon and it knocked Louis dizzy for a couple of moments. He’d never been affected by the scent of an alpha like that before. Even his ex-boyfriend, who Louis had contemplating potentially mating for a week, hadn’t smelled this good. Louis blinked, trying to orientate himself. When he refocused it was on smooth bare skin, the neck of the alpha. Louis looked down first to drink in the sight of a broad chest hidden underneath a black, soft cotton t-shirt before his eyes darted up to the face.

Wow. He was hot.

He took in the short brown hair that was just starting to curl at the end. The strong jaw which led into a handsome, masculine face. And then Louis settled on the alpha’s eyes. They were a deep green, and they were staring back at Louis with intelligence and amusement.

Louis swallowed and took a step back to regain his composure. He couldn’t think this close to the alpha. “If you want one, ask, and I’ll give you it. I don’t need your clumsiness fucking up my hard work.”

The alpha raised an eyebrow and Louis realized there was a chance this guy could be a total asshole. But before his mind could race too much in that direction the alpha held out a hand. “May I please have a cup of champagne from your tower?”

Louis blinked, surprised by how quickly the alpha had followed his request. It wasn’t he thought alphas were all insensitive assholes who didn’t listen to omegas - one of his best friends was an alpha after all - but, well most alphas were exactly like that. Louis turned towards the tower and took a cup from the top off and handed it to the alpha. “By the way,” Louis managed to say as he watched the alpha take a big sip of the cup, “it’s beer.”

The alpha’s face contorted in displeasure but he didn’t stop drinking. Louis was impressed. Most people would stop. Ruder alphas would even spit it out - potentially in his face. But not this alpha. He drank until the whole cup was empty, and didn’t even burp. He just asked, “who the fuck bought this?”

“Niall. I just made the tower.”

“Well at least the tower is nice.” The alpha reached for a second cup. “Can I, or do I need your permission?”

“Will you take it like a civilized person or are you going to try and topple the whole thing before the majority of the party gets to see my masterpiece?”

The alpha held up his hand in a scout’s pledge. “On my honor.”

“Say the whole thing.”

“The whole thing?” The alpha quirked his eyebrow in question.

“On my honor, I, insert your name-”

The alpha smiled. “If you wanted my name you could have just asked.”

“Do you want a second shitty beer or not?”

The alpha laughed. “On my honor, I, Harry Styles…”

Harry. It was a nice name. Louis tucked that knowledge away.

“Do solemnly swear.”

“Do solemnly swear.”

“To not be a knothead.”

“To not be a knothead.”

“And to pick your next cup out like a civilized human being.”

“And to pick my next cup out like a civilized human being.”

“Or so help me god.”

“Or so help you god.”

“You will owe Louis twenty pounds for time wasted.”

“I will owe Louis twenty pounds for time wasted.”

Louis nodded in satisfaction. “Alright, you may have another cup.”

Harry took the cup that had been next to his first one. This time he took only a sip of the beer. Louis expected him to turn and leave but instead he lingered there in front of the tower and right next to Louis.

“So, Harold, since you seem to be hanging around in the kitchen instead of mingling, tell me about yourself.”

“Well, first of all, my name’s not Harold. It’s just Harry.”

“That’s not very distinguished.”

“You’re right. Louis is much more posh. I should follow suit.”

“You definitely should. Now, back to answering my question about yourself. You’ve come to this party early considering I don’t recognize you.”

“I’m friends with Ed. He said I could show up anytime after eight and so here I am. Pretty sure some of my brothers will be here soon. I think they were pre-gaming back at the house.”

“Brothers?” Louis asked. He knew some alphas who lived together liked to play pack, so that must be what Harry meant.

“I’m part of the Alpha Student Society.”

Louis made a face. The Alpha Student Society - ASS (Louis was positive it had been intentional) - was an exclusive group for alphas on campus to join. Supposedly they were similar to the Omega Equality Committee (OEC), a place for young alphas to grow and become the best alphas they could. The group trained future leaders of the world and blah blah blah. Louis didn’t necessarily believe the hype. He’d never heard anything ASS did, unlike other organizations on campus who did try and make a difference.

“You don’t seem impressed.”

Louis shrugged. “Just don’t know much about it. Was the name intentional?”

Harry grinned and tried to hide his mirth behind his cup. “We are just a group of dumb young alphas at the end of the day. Rumor has it it was intentional but nobody can prove it. And no, before you ask, I didn’t have to kill anyone to get in.”

Louis rolled his eyes but he couldn’t stop himself from letting out a smile.

“Ha! Got you to smile with that one.”

The smile was threatening to take over his whole face. “Only because i find what you said incredibly stupid.”

“I think you used the wrong word. I’m pretty sure you were going for ‘endearing’, right?”

Louis could barely stop himself from laughing. “Nope. Pretty sure stupid is what I was going for.”

“Your words say that but your scent tells me otherwise.”

Louis flushed. It wasn’t that he wasn’t expecting Harry to scent him. He knew he was probably starting to send off pleased pheromones and any alpha would be able to pick up on it, hell it even isn’t a shock Harry commented on it. Most alphas would. It was the way he said it. His voice had dipped lower than it already was. Nice and husky and inviting.

Louis took a deep breath to take in Harry’s scent. It was only fair after all. Harry’s chest puffed up, leaning closer so Louis could take it in uninterrupted. It was still cinnamon, tinged now with a heavy thread of desire. Now that Louis was intentionally scenting him he could admit Harry was definitely the best alpha he’d ever had the pleasure of encountering. His mouth watered at the thought of being around this alpha for any length of time.

Louis wanted him.

“And your scent tells me you’re an idiot,” Louis said, because he wasn’t going to go easy. That was no fun.

Harry chuckled, and by the twinkle in his eye Louis hoped it meant he was up for the game of chase. “I guess you caught me. We just do normal group things. Have study sessions. Organize weekly movie nights.”

Louis was pleased Harry was staying in his space even as the conversation changed. “Those must be fun. Action movies every week?”

“Actually, last week I had everyone watch Mamma Mia.”

“A cinematic masterpiece.”

“I should know. I am an art history major after all.”

Louis giggled, fucking giggled, and he didn’t try to pull it back in. Harry had reverted him to a teenage omega flirting for the first time at his locker. “I don’t think those things go together.”

“They definitely do,” Harry said, angling his body so someone could reach behind him and get a cup from the tower. Louis didn’t even care it looked like people were starting to do exactly what he had stopped Harry from doing. He just wanted more, more, more. “So tell me about you. What is a pretty omega like you doing in a place like this?”

They fell into a steady conversation from there, trading stories from university, and sharing their interests. They didn’t have many overlaps in friends, which made sense since Harry ran with the cream of the crop alphas, and Louis was regulated to the stricter rules of living in the omega dorms. But it turned out they loved the same football team - an incredibly important detail - as well as had similar tastes in music. Louis hadn’t heard all of the bands Harry mentioned but the trade off was Harry hadn’t heard all of the musicals Louis was spitting out.

They slowly drifted from the kitchen, leaving the beer tower to its own fate, so they could be a bit more isolated. And if Louis was angling them back towards where Ed and Niall’s rooms were, well it wasn’t his fault. He had privileges as Niall’s best friend, and dammit Niall owed him.

“So, quite possibly the most important question of the night. It will decide the fate of our entire relationship,” Harry said.

“Oh it’s a relationship is it?”

Harry waggled his eyebrows, chest pressed up against Louis’. They’d made it right up to Niall’s room. All Louis had to do was reach over, open the door, and pull Harry in. Harry seemed to realize it too, if the way he was crowding Louis against the wall was any indication. He’d give it a moment. He loved the chase.

“Are you a knock knock person, or are you a pun kinda guy?”

“More like a bun kinda guy.” Louis couldn’t stop himself from saying.

God it didn’t even make sense, but somehow it sent Harry into peals of laughter. Louis felt himself preening under the laugh, the accomplished “I pleased an alpha” instinct that was impossible to fight. Louis didn’t bother trying.

Harry swayed even closer, pressing Louis right up against the wall. One hip push and Louis knew he’d be able to feel Harry’s cock. He arched up, unable to resist, and yup, there it was. Harry was hard.

Louis licked his lips and watched as Harry’s eyes followed the path of his tongue. “You can check my buns out if you want.”

It wasn’t his best line but it did the trick.

“Can I?” Harry asked even as his hands - his giant fucking hands - rested on Louis’ lower back, right above the curve of his bum.

Louis tilted his head to the side, inviting Harry to sniff if he wanted. Louis was already pretty positive he’d like what he found since he’d been leaking his scent for the past hour, but this invitation was the first formal step towards any kind of courting that would come. If Harry ignored this then all he wanted was a one night stand, and it would be fine. Louis could live with it, even if he’d be a bit disappointed. But if Harry sniffed, or hell, if he nuzzled his neck? That would mean Harry accepted his offer for courting.

He held his breath, waiting for Harry to make his move. Harry dipped forward, lips grazing the edge of Louis’ jaw before tracking down the line of his throat. Louis gripped the front of Harry’s shirt, body tingling at the sensation of lips on his neck. His eyes slipped closed as he felt Harry’s lips part and attach to his neck in a very, very gentle suck.

“Oh, fuck,” Louis gasped. His knees were about to give out.

Harry caught him. His big hands slipped down, gripping Louis’ bum and pulling him flush up against his body. Louis let himself be manhandled, scrambling to grip Harry’s shoulder so he could get leverage to wrap his legs around Harry’s waist. Harry let him as he nipped at Louis’ neck.

It was like sensory overload. Louis wanted to let Harry keep playing with his neck, but he also wanted more.

“Kiss me?” He asked, even as he felt himself start to get wet.

Harry gave one final suck to his throat before he leaned up to kiss Louis.

The first touch of their lips was electrifying. It was the kind of kiss that was talked about in the first omega class he’d ever taken. The one that told you this is the one. Louis opened up under Harry’s lips, letting his tongue swipe into his mouth and get a good taste.

“Can we use this room?” Harry asked as he broke the kiss.

Louis nodded frantically. “It’s why I brought us here. Niall owes me.”

Harry kept one hand underneath Louis’ bum as he used the other to open the door to the bedroom. Louis clung to him, refusing to be put down until they were in the bedroom and he was able to lay back on Niall’s mattress. Harry seemed to have no problems carrying him and the show of strength was doing something to Louis. He hadn’t expected it to affect him that way but here he was, getting wetter at an alpha carrying him.

Harry tumbled them into the bed and that was when it got frantic. Any pretense this was going to be calm and easy flew out the window as Harry came back in for another kiss. Louis arched up, trying to get friction against Harry’s cock through their jeans.

“You taste so good,” Harry groaned as he broke the kiss so he could lick Louis’ neck.

“Haven’t even tasted me properly yet.” And wow that wasn’t exactly what Louis wanted to say but it was out there now and he wasn’t going to take it back.

He couldn’t see the details of Harry’s face in the dark of the room but he could smell the shot of desire that went through his body. “Can I?”

Louis swallowed and nodded, before realizing Harry probably couldn’t see him do it. “Yeah. Yeah I can get on my knees-”

“No. No. Let me,” Harry said as he already moving down Louis’ body, helping him get undressed. “Want to be able to see your face.”

Louis pulled his shirt off as Harry worked on his pants, both of them desperate. Louis was pretty positive something ripped but he didn’t care because in that moment he was naked in a bed, underneath an alpha who had been licking and biting at his neck. That was some mating shit and Louis was here for it. He pulled Harry in for one last kiss before he pushed him down, spreading his legs so Harry could dive in between them and get a taste--

The door slammed open, shining the hallway light on them. Louis shrieked in surprise as three people stood in the doorway and he tried to scramble under the blankets.

“H, what the fuck!” One of the shadowed bodies said.

Suddenly all three people - alphas - descended, grabbing Harry and pulling him up and away from Louis. Louis tried to untangle himself from the blanket to reach for Harry and pull him back because he didn’t want him to go. Harry didn’t seem to want to go either, if the way he was fighting against the three people either.

“It’s for your own good.”

“You’ll thank us.”

The three alphas were talking to Harry but Louis barely registered what they were saying. He just wanted Harry to stay here with him. He finally managed to get out from the blankets and grabbed his pants and jeans, pulling them on as quickly as he could. “No, leave him here. He wasn’t- we were in the middle of something.”

Both of their pleas fell on deaf ears though and the three alphas dragged Harry out of the room. Louis let out a whine and could only stand shirtless in the middle of Niall’s room, wondering what the fuck had just happened.

***

Louis was frankly going a little mad. It had been eight whole days since Niall’s party and he hadn’t seen a single hair of Harry. He was seriously contemplating going to the house he knew members of ASS lived in, but he wasn’t that desperate yet. He may be brazen but waltzing up to a house full of alphas wasn’t something that appealed to him. Especially since there was little doubt word would have gotten around their group what he and Harry had been caught in the middle of.

This didn’t mean Louis hadn’t contemplated it. He’d gotten as close as walking up and down the street in front of the house, before he chickened out. Harry would come find him when he got the chance. Louis knew this because they’d had a connection. Harry had bit him. Okay it wasn’t like it had been a full blown provisional mark, one alphas put on omegas they were exclusively courting and planned on mating in the near future, but biting of any kind was a huge deal. The light hickies Harry had left along his neck had faded but they had been there! And they meant something.

Louis wasn’t good at this whole patience thing though. He’d found an alpha that was worth courting and he wanted to get a move on already. Louis had always known he’d wanted to be mated since he was a kid. Yes, he was in uni to begin his career, and he intended to have one as well, but he knew he could have both. A career and an alpha. It was the dream.

Louis made his way into the cafeteria, grabbing a sandwich to eat before settling into a table so he could revise his essay before his next class. He’d written a paper on omega history in the 1970s and how it influenced the current resurgence in omega rights but he knew his conclusions were weak. He’d been distracted thinking about Harry, which was not an excuse that was going to fly with his professor.

He had pulled out his laptop and was going over the paper when a strong cinnamon scent hit his nose. His head shot up because that was Harry. He knew that scent was Harry. His eyes darted around the crowded cafeteria trying to spot him. He scanned from the door to the line once, twice- there.

Harry was coming into the cafeteria. Louis must have been able to pick up his scent early because of the connection they had made. Which meant Harry was probably able to scent him as well. He felt himself preening as he gave a quick swipe through his hair to make sure it wasn’t a complete mess. Hopefully it wouldn’t be obvious Louis had been pulling all nighters to finish school work. He wanted this reunion to be perfect. They could have lunch together, catch up a bit, and then make plans - hopefully for that night or even the weekend.

Louis stood up, waving his hand to get Harry’s attention as he did. He felt himself beaming as he caught Harry’s eye, ready to bask under the attention of the alpha just like he had the other night. Except… Harry was turning away. Harry had made eye contact and had turned away. Louis’ hand lowered slowly as he tried to process what happened.

He could feel a couple eyes on him from his the other people at his table but that was fine. He tracked Harry’s movements towards the burger line and felt a little better. Harry was hungry. He’d grab his food and then come over to Louis. That was fine.

Louis sat back down and tried not to let the jitters get to him too much as he watched the line move slowly. He barely remembered he had food and homework as he waited for Harry to grab his tray of food and make his way over to Louis. His knee was bouncing like crazy by the time Harry pulled away from the line and started heading towards the tables. It was all he could do to contain himself from waving again and calling Harry’s name, but he had waited eight days for this moment. He could wait thirty more seconds for Harry to sit down across from him and--

Harry walked right by him and took a seat at a table with a bunch of other alphas. He had completely avoided Louis.

Louis felt himself deflate. His shoulders sunk and his knees stopped bouncing as he stared slackjawed at Harry’s back, sitting at a table full of people who were not him. His hand crept up and touched his neck where the remains of Harry’s scent had disappeared yesterday morning. He had been hoping to get wrapped up in it again but now… now Harry hadn’t come over to seen him.

Louis closed his laptop as his mind raced. Maybe Harry didn’t want to approach him in front of the other alphas. The kind of teasing alphas put each other through when one of their pack was courting wasn’t always something new couples wanted to deal with. Maybe Harry thought he wouldn’t want to deal with it, especially after they had been separated with no explanation at the party.

Louis would just have to show he was fine with it. He packed up and began a very purposeful walk right by Harry’s table. He kept glancing over, waiting for Harry to turn around. He didn’t recognize any of the alphas at the table, so there was a good chance none of them had been the ones to walk in on him and Harry, but he hadn’t exactly gotten a good look. It didn’t seem to matter though. Because no one looked at him. Not even Harry.

Louis made it all the way to the cafeteria door with no acknowledgement from Harry, and that really hurt.

***

“What is his problem?” Louis demanded as he stalked around Niall and Ed’s kitchen. He’d had to wait until after his class to come over, but it had given him time to think. Not that it had done much good, which is why he was here now, with Niall, Ed, and his alpha friend Liam. They were gonna have a pow-wow and figure out what was going on with Harry.

“Maybe he can’t pop a knot?” Niall suggested.

“Ew,” Liam said.

“Doubtful,” Louis said. “He seemed perfectly fine up until his friend pulled him off. And I may have called him a knothead earlier in the night and he didn’t make a single comment to me about it.”

“This whole thing doesn’t really seem like Harry to me,” Ed said.

Louis rolled his eyes. “Well I mean, he did it, so it was him.”

“Maybe he’s going into rut soon?”

“No. I would have smelled it. No rut.”

“Maybe,” Liam spoke up. “Maybe he heard about your reputation.”

Louis froze. What the hell was Liam even talking about? “My what?”

He knew he was glaring and if looks could kill Liam would be dead but Liam just barreled on as if he wasn’t aware of his imminent doom. “You do head the OEC. Plenty of alphas wouldn’t want to associate-”

“Plenty of alphas, huh? Like you?”

“I meant like for a potential mate. You know I’m your friend, and I’m all for equal rights.”

“But not for your omega.” Louis’ voice was low and dangerous and it finally seemed to register with Liam.

He held up his hands in defense. “That’s not- this isn’t about me! I was just trying to throw out a reason he might not want to be around you. If he just found out say from a friend or something. Maybe he isn’t into that kind of thing.”

Louis felt his blood boiling. Simmering under his skin. If there was one thing that could piss him off it would be bigots, and high and fucking mighty alphas. And it made sense. Louis hadn’t been able to mention his work at the OEC when he and Harry had been talking. He’d mentioned his major was Omega Studies but that was typical of a lot of omegas. Harry probably had no reason to think that meant Louis intended to do anything with his degree. And if he was part of ASS he probably expected his omega to be barefoot and pregnant while he was the one off saving the world. “Fine, you know what,” Louis said, cutting off Liam’s rambling. “I don’t need to know that kind of alpha anyway.”

“Hear, hear,” Niall cheered.

“Guys, that really doesn’t sound like Harry to me,” Ed said again, as if repetition would make it true.

“Well do you have a better reason he’d be avoiding me?”

Ed frowned. “No, but-”

“Cause he straight up kept walking when he spotted me. Do you know how embarrassing that felt? For him to just ignore me after I waved at him. Everyone saw.”

“Oh, Lou,” Niall said, reaching out to give him a hug. “You don’t need that kind of disrespect. There are plenty of other alphas out there who are gonna love you for exactly what you are.”

Louis took a deep breath. “I know. So. Fuck that alpha. I’m done. I’m over him.” He smiled at his three friends. “Thanks for listening and helping me out with this.”

He was officially over Harry Styles.

***

Louis’ heat came right on schedule two weeks later. He had been regular since he’d had his first one at thirteen. Every four months on the dot. He was very used to the routine by now. He locked himself up in his room with as many toys as he owned and rode out the five days his heat lasted.

This heat was no different. Louis started off feeling hot, and then the itch started, the one that wasn’t able to be satisfied no matter what he did. Around the middle of his second day he started losing track of what was happening. All he could do was try and come enough to break the heat and remember to take care of himself.

That was the one perk of living in the omega dorms. Another omega came in every day and brought him food and water so he didn’t dehydrate. Once he was mated that would be the alpha’s job, but for now he didn’t have an alpha. He could have an alpha, if Harry wasn’t a bigoted fuck.

Harry would have been a great alpha. They’d shared similar interests, and they’d been able to make each other laugh. Louis was positive if given the chance they would have been able to find out even more about each other during the courting period before they eventually mated.

And god mating sounded amazing right now. Louis had never taken a knot during heat but he knew it would be exactly what he needed.

If only Harry hadn’t fucked up.

Now that Louis was thinking about Harry it was the only thing he could focus on. He could only remember what it felt like held up against the wall, his bum cupped by Harry’s strong hands. The way shivers shot down his spine when Harry licked at his neck, when Harry bit his neck. What it felt like when Harry was taking his clothes off. Telling him not to turn over. The anticipation of Harry going down on him, eating him out.

Louis came harder than he had all heat. And then he couldn’t stop. For the rest of his heat all he thought about was Harry, and what could have been,

When his heat broke four days later he came out of his room with his mind made up. Harry may not want him because he was a bigot but Louis was going to change that. He had to.