Chapter 1: Author's Note
I don't know if anyone else noticed, but a lovely person pointed out that a section of this story had been repeated multiple times. Once I found the error, I also realized that some of my story had been missing where this repeat occurred. If you haven't read this before, there should be no problems now! Although, if you find anything that seems off, feel free to let me know either in the comments or on my tumblr! But...if you have read this story before, maybe it can't hurt to either re-read this entirely or just skim through chapter two where the issue had taken place? Only if you want and if you liked this story! I'm so sorry though.
I feel so embarrassed!! Hopefully, the story makes a little more sense now though?
You're all too kind to me, and I love you very much!! xx
Chapter 2: Author's Note
If Heaven and Hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the no's on their vacancy signs
If there's no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I'll follow you into the dark
I Will Follow You Into The Dark, Death Cab For Cutie
Even Angels Have Their Demons
With an exasperated breath, Louis sighs. Everything is white. From the clean painted walls to the tiled floors, to the high vaulted ceiling, and to the decadent chandelier dangling in the center of his temporary room. Everything is white, and Louis is alone. It's his seventh day in Heaven, the day he finds out what job he will have, and he's feeling confused. As it is, it's a huge honor to be rewarded the title of Angel. Most people who pass on maintain their eternity within the confinements of Heaven, peacefully content for the rest of their time. Only those who have sacrificed their mortality, or have proven themselves worthy by some other form, are bestowed with wings. Louis should be proud. Louis should be celebrating. Louis should be a lot of things, but unfortunately, happy is not one of them. He misses home, and it's gnawing terribly at his unbeating heart.
Knock. Knock. "Mr. Tomlinson?" A deep southern drawl comes through the white panel of his door, "This is Teddy, I'm here to take you to your meeting today."
Standing up from the pristine white bed he'd been situated on, Louis walks over to the door, opening it up to reveal a much taller guy on the other side. He's potentially a few years older than Louis at eighteen and is dressed in white smocks and a smile. With his sandy blonde hair framing around his pale blue eyes, Louis can admit there's an instant appeal to him.
"Nice to see you, Mr. Tomlinson," the guy greets with genuine friendliness, giving a swift wave to the younger of the two.
Charmed by his friendliness, though not charmed enough, Louis lifts his lips into something more appealing than his pout. "You can call me Louis."
"Alright then, Louis." Teddy draws Louis' name out as he practices saying it for the first time, and finishes it between his pearly white grin. "Just follow me along."
Keeping his feet in tandem with the boy beside him, they silently make their way down a corridor as white as the rest of the facility, stretching on for what seems like miles. While they walk, Teddy turns to Louis to start up a conversation, most likely to avoid the awkward tension that's begun to creep in. "Are you excited for the big day?"
Louis shrugs nonchalantly, "I suppose."
"Now that's no way to react!" Teddy halts, putting his right hand on Louis to abruptly pause his footing. "This is the day you find out what your job is! This is the day you found out your purpose as an Angel!"
"Well at least someone is excited for me." It's not that Louis is purposefully trying to come off so melodramatic, it's just that he's genuinely not excited. He misses home. That's all he cares about at this moment, and finding out what position of Angel he's received isn't going to change the emptiness he feels at being separated from his family.
Teddy, however, doesn't let Louis' indifference deter him. "Louis...if you're feeling nervous, I promise you it will be okay. The day I found out that I was going to be working directly for the Heavenly Court, I was beyond ecstatic!"
"You're an Angel?" Louis questions, glancing around at the barren landscape of Teddy's back. While raising his eyebrow, Louis asks, "Where're your wings?"
Smugly, Teddy smirks as he pats Louis on the head, "Oh, Louis. Sweet, naïve, Louis."
"Don't patronize me!"
"I'm not!" Teddy laughs at the accusation. "Angels can hide their wings whenever they'd like, and most prefer to keep them hidden anyways. They're just far too big, and they knock everything over."
As Teddy's information processes in Louis' mind, he flushes with embarrassment at his previous actions. "Sorry, didn't..."
"Tha's alright," Teddy rushes. "You can try it if you'd like? It's fairly simple. You just have to start pulling them into your back. Kind of like how you would stretch your toes."
"Why do I get the feeling that it's not like that at all?" Louis comments, as he starts trying out this method for himself. Once his mind has grasped onto what he wants, his body begins to do the rest for him. It's uncomfortable, the pull of his white, feathery wings being squeezed under the blanket of his skin like a square peg trying to go through a triangular hole. But somehow, somehow it works, and after a few moments, the odd sensation ceases. Tilting his head over his left shoulder, Louis looks down at his back in surprise, "Wow! That did work!"
"Told ya," Teddy beams.
Louis smiles up at Teddy, "Thanks!"
"Sure thing. Now enough fooling around, we have to get you to your meeting!"
Grabbing onto Louis' elbow, the other Angel tugs him along, heading further down the corridor. Louis doesn't protest the action, allowing himself to be mindlessly pulled away. However, as another minute passes, a question pops within the cells of his brain, causing him to break the quiet that had surrounded them.
"Hm?" Teddy hums but doesn't glance down at Louis as he continues to pace quickly to their destination.
"If our wings are hidden, how will anyone know we're Angels?"
This time Teddy peers down with a smile, "They know, because we glow," and at the end of his words, Louis suddenly realizes just what he means by that. Teddy's skin is glowing beside Louis as if a million tiny lightbulbs are hiding within the pockets of his skin. Louis gasps in awe at the sight, soon turning his attention to his own torso, to take in the similar way his body also illuminates.
"Wow," Louis whispers in amazement. For the rest of the walk, Teddy doesn't disrupt Louis as he's transfixed, captivated by all the light he suddenly emits.
* * * *
"Louis William Tomlinson," an older man begins announcing from the furthest left, "Deceased on August 30th, 2016; passed away at eighteen years of age."
The room Louis is positioned in is of the utmost grandeur. The walls inside are littered with beautiful carvings of Angels, like the paintings hung in museums, except indented into stone. The circular room also furnishes three large chandeliers hanging from the ceiling, and four king worthy chairs made of out of stone. Within the thrones, four elderly Angels sit before Louis, watching him with interest. Louis remains still, standing in the center of the floor, as they read off what seems to be his information from a folder they each have.
An elderly woman with short steel-grey hair and sharp glacier eyes begins to talk with authority, "You had four other siblings, is that correct, Mr. Tomlinson?"
Louis nods his head timidly under her gaze, "Yes, Miss, that would be correct."
Her stern appearance brightens a touch, but Louis is pulled to a portly gentleman with a bald spot amidst his scattered white hair, and seems to be the eldest out of all four sitting there. "Mr. Tomlinson, we have reviewed your files and have come to a unanimous decision with respect to your position and purpose, as an Angel." He stops to take another breath, keeping his brown eyes held firmly on Louis when he continues, "As decided by the Heavenly Court, you shall henceforth be a Guardian Angel. A protector of souls who have lost their way. A guidance for them, to the path of righteousness."
"A Guardian Angel?" Louis retorts, "Aren't those typically family members?"
The eldest Angel smirks at Louis' confidence in questioning them. "No. The human realm refers to Guardian Angels, often as those family members who are watching over them from beyond. Here in Heaven, a Guardian Angel is quite different. You will be sent back down to Earth, with a mission. Your purpose is to help those that need saving. After you have completed your assignment, you will return here, where you will be given a new person to guide."
Sent back to Earth? Given a mission? Person to guide? The man had spoken to Louis as if the purpose seemed simple enough. Except that none of this was simple. How is Louis supposed to guide someone back on the 'path of righteousness?' The insecurities tangle into a knotted mess, along with the infinite questions, in Louis' head. "Wait...what happens if I don't complete the mission?"
The woman who had spoken to Louis previously, answers with the tiniest touch of a threat laced in her words. "Let's not worry about that, shall we?"
Louis gulps, "Okay, I apologize."
A man that had not talked before brings the conversation to an end with his ebony grin, "Mr. Tomlinson, this the end of your meeting. In the next moment, you will be escorted to the Offices of Guardian Angels, where a lovely woman will help you with the following steps. Should you have any further questions, you may direct them to her."
Nodding his head, Louis replies with, "Okay, thank you," and turns his feet to walk back out the door he had come.
"We expect great things to come from you, Louis Tomlinson." The words reverberate around him as they resound in the room, but when Louis turns his head to find from where they had descended, Louis comes up empty. The four chairs that had previously been occupied are to Louis' shock, left completely deserted. As if no one had been sitting there before.
His gaze lingers, until the door up ahead opens, with Teddy smiling at Louis like he's just won the biggest prize. "Guardian Angel, huh? Tha's pretty impressive!"
Louis rolls his eyes, "There you go again, Teddy. Being more excited than me."
"Well someone has to be," Teddy sasses back.
Giving in, Louis doesn't reply to the last thing Teddy states, because in truth, Louis wishes that he was happier about all of this. Louis wishes that he could be cheering alongside Teddy about the incredible position he's just been given by the Heavenly Court. Louis wishes that he could celebrate this achievement with complete unadulterated excitement, but unfortunately, therein lies the problem. Because the people who Louis wants to tell above all else about this moment, are now only figments of his human memories.
* * * *
For Teddy's sake, Louis controls his mangled thoughts from surfacing. The other Angel is far too excited for Louis to ruin it with his depression, so Louis muddles the pain, and slaps on a content face. It's not overly pleasant, but it'll have to do.
Side by side, the pair travel further down the corridor they had been on before, following the white maze to a door that has a basic plaque on the outside of it. Office of Guardian Angels, Louis thinks, simple, but to the point. Teddy takes the lead ahead of Louis as he stretches out his hand to open the door to inside, waking in confidently like he owns the place, with Louis staggering behind. Once the two are in, and Louis steps out from Teddy's back, Louis takes in his new environment with comfort.
It's not nearly as intimidating or luxurious as the room for the Heavenly Court. This space is much more office like, with cubicles and offices spanning out in every which way. There's a hum of chatter that keeps the silence from taking over, and everyone seems to be in good spirits. Smiling, laughing, or simply talking to the person near them, making the atmosphere welcoming.
All too soon, Louis and Teddy are greeted by a woman who may be just a few years younger than his own Mum, grinning spectacularly as she stops in front of them, clasping a manila file folder within her mahogany hands.
"You must be Louis Tomlinson. Pleasure to meet you, I'm Donna Aires."
The woman extends out her empty hand towards Louis, who shakes it gently. "Hello, Miss Aires."
"Teddy," Donna directs, "I'm afraid I'm going to have to ask you to stay out here."
Teddy nods his head, "Tha's alright, Miss Donna, I know the drill."
With a firm pat on Louis' back, Teddy says, "Good luck Louis," before letting Donna lead him away. In return to his comment, Louis nods with a glimmer of appreciation in his turquoise eyes.
Donna waves off Teddy and begins to walk down the hall, not waiting for Louis to catch up to her brisk pace. They stride further past desks and people until they reach what seems to be a private office. Pushing the door open, Donna suggests with her hand for Louis to go inside first, as she trails in closely after. It's simple on the inside; a large desk positioned in front of a bookshelf, and two chairs are all that occupies the space. Louis takes to the chair positioned in front of the desk, as Donna sits in the one behind.
Her smooth voice soon announces as she sits, "Mr. Tomlinson..."
"Please," Louis cuts in, "Call me, Louis."
At this, she grins, "Okay...Louis. I want to start by asking if you have any questions, and if so, would you like to ask them now, or at the end of our meeting?"
"At the end is probably better. If you don't mind?"
"Not at all," Donna hurriedly replies as she pulls out a white sheet of instructions that she hands to Louis. "With that out of the way, I'm going to begin. As stated on the sheet I've just provided you, there are a few rules Guardian Angels must know and abide by, while working on the job. It's important we go over these now, before I delve into the topic of your assignment. Firstly, as it says on top, Guardian Angels are never allowed to reveal their true identities. In other words, you're not allowed to tell the person you're working with, that you are an Angel. Ever."
Louis nods his head, affirmatively, "Understood."
"Second, under no circumstances may you visit family members or friends from your past life, while you are back on Earth. This also extends to meeting up with people from your past assignments."
While Louis understands, he can't help but find the idea appealing. Maybe talking to his family would be too much, but even just to see them from a distance, and know they're okay, would be enough. Though Louis fears that in his attempts to see that they're doing okay, he'll probably see that they're moving on, and that thought he can't yet bare. So on second thought, Louis decides, never mind. "Has anyone ever tried that?"
Donna squints her curious eyes at Louis and leans back in her chair. "It has been attempted before, yes. However, every time we send you back into society, your physical features are altered enough that your family and friends won't recognize you. It's for the protection and safety of Guardian Angels from being discovered."
Louis nods, "Makes sense."
Sitting back up in her chair, Donna goes on. "Lastly, you are not to associate with any Fallen Angels."
"Fallen Angels?" Louis asks with his head tilted in confusion.
"Yes...Angels that have turned to the dark side, and now take orders from Lucifer."
"You mean Demons?"
"No!" Donna shouts aggressively, saying her next words in a rushed whisper, "Don't say that here! De-...Fallen Angels, I mean...is the only term we use here."
"Right..." Louis says, "Sorry."
"That's okay," Donna breathes. "Now that we have that covered, do you understand and agree to the terms and conditions I've stated?"
"Yes, I do."
"Great. With that over, we can go on to what you, specifically, will be doing." Lifting the folder that's directly in front of her, Donna shows off the contents inside. "This folder contains vital information in regards to the person that you will be guiding, and tips on how to go about guiding them. Please study what's inside, as it will help you better understand your role in this mission, as well as your prospect."
Laying the folder down in front of Louis so he can glimpse closer, Donna points out the picture of a dark-haired, and even darker eyes lad that looks like he should be walking runway models.
"His name is Zayn Malik. He's seventeen years old, and currently is in his last year of sixth form before graduating in the Spring. Unfortunately, at the rate he's going, he won't make even it till Christmas." Taking her fingers away from the paper and glancing at Louis with a hint of hope, Donna says, "Louis, your deadline is until the end of the school year. Guide Zayn, guide him to better choices. Your goal at the end of all of this is to have him go to University in the Fall. Once he officially makes it there, your job will be complete."
At the end of her speech, Donna closes the folder and hands it to Louis carefully. With the weight of its presence in his hands, Louis responds with renewed confidence.
"Just get him to go to Uni? Go it!"
"We've already enrolled you in his school with your new identity as Louis Trent, and you're in nearly all of the same classes. You'll start tomorrow."
"What about where I will live or money to buy clothes?"
"All of that is already taken care of for you. Inside that folder is an envelope with an address and a key to your new flat in London. There's also a credit card in there as well, to purchase any necessities. Please keep in mind, while Angels don't need food in Heaven, they do on Earth. Our body's resources deplete when we're not within Heaven's Gate, and you'll need to keep it replenished with nutrients as any other human body does."
The concept of food hasn't crossed Louis' mind since he's arrived here, and he's a bit disappointed in forgetting something so amazing as that. Getting to eat and drink again excites Louis more than he thought it ever would. "Wow, I wouldn't have considered that. Thank you."
Showcasing her smile dressed in care, Donna responds, "No...thank you, Louis."
Louis can't help when he flushes at the praise. It's just nice to be recognized for doing something good, even though he hasn't started yet. "Is there anything else I need to know?"
"N- Oh, yes! I can't believe I almost forgot, this is very important! We suspect the sudden changes in Zayn's behavior are due to the influence of a Fallen Angel. You'll need to keep on guard while you spend time with him, that person is likely to show up."
"How will I know if there's a De-...I mean, Fallen Angel?"
"Well first, keep in mind that Fallen Angels don't fall prey to our magical façade; they can see us for who we really are. And just like how we have our white wings and glow, Fallen Angels have other distinct physical traits as well. As opposed to our white wings, they have black, though they hide those in the Human world. They also have fangs, and claws, and their most distinctive feature is the red ring around the black pupils of their eyes. Humans can't see these traits on them, nor can they see ours, but all of us immortal beings know the difference."
"Fangs, claws, and red eyes?" Louis shutters, "They sound hideous."
With a light chuckle, Donna shakes her head, "They're actually the most beautiful creatures to have ever walked the face of this earth."
"You're joking," Louis scoffs.
"Unfortunately no. While an Angel's beauty is due to their pure intentions, and honest hearts, filled with hope in bringing peace unto others, Fallen Angels are the complete opposite. They are beautiful because they once were Angels, but now their features emit sin and lust, and they use their beauty to create disorder and chaos in the world."
"Wow," Louis' at a loss for words, not sure what to say in response to what he's just been notified. The confidence he had only a moment ago is teetering, and for every freckle of black doubt that paints itself against his white walls, Louis crumbles. Maybe he's not made out for this after all? But Louis could never openly address that.
"Wow indeed," Donna responds. "With that said, please keep Zayn Malik safe, and protect his soul at all costs. His future lies in your hands now."
Well, that's daunting, Louis internally groans. "Will do." Louis hopes the faux confidence he integrates into his voice, hides the insecurities well enough when he replies.
Crossing her fingers together, laying them in front of her body on the desk, Donna asks. "Do you have any questions?"
Truly? Louis has about a million, but he's itching to start, despite the cyclone of nerves forming within his stomach, sucking up all his courage. "No...no I don't."
"Then by the power entrusted to me, Louis Tomlinson, you are returned to Earth!"
* * * *
The first thing Louis' aware of is his discomfort as his body seems to be leaning against something rather hard. The second thing Louis' aware of is the smell. A rich city scent of cement, rain, and petrol rips through Louis' lungs, spurring his eyes to open in utter shock. The third thing Louis' aware of is the view.
Glancing around at the city life before him, Louis finds himself situated on the steps of a brownstone building. In comparison to the ever white of Heaven, Earth is vividly adorned in so many complex shades and colors that Louis nearly forgot. When Louis was a human he didn't care to take in the small details that created the backdrop of his everyday life, but like a blind man now able to see, Louis gapes as he takes it all in.
The weathered graphite of the pavement, the hickory and sand-colored buildings that align the street, and the small patches of shamrock grass that appear under planted trees while they brighten the pavement, all enchant him. It's spellbinding, dizzying, scanning around to absorb the next pigment that crosses Louis' vision. With a satisfied sigh, Louis thinks how he's truly missed this. He's truly missed this all.
Standing up off the bottom step he's perched on, Louis looks up at the building again, and wonders if this is where his new flat is. Taking out the folder that was tucked inside the jacket he's just now realized he's wearing, he tugs out the envelope from within, to look at what's written. 323 Baker Street Flat 3C; yep, this is the place. Pulling out the key from inside, Louis uses it to unlock the front door of the building. It turns easily, and soon enough, Louis' in.
Clambering up the stairs to the third floor with weak legs and heavy pants, Louis finds the flat at the end of the hallway. Utilizing the key again, Louis pushes it into the lock, releasing a breath of relief when it shifts into place. As he stands there, he'll admit he's a bit thrilled to know what his new home will look like. Maybe something modern? Or maybe something less sterile and more cozy?
Twisting the knob in his right hand, Louis pushes the door open to reveal a living room, and Louis smiles. Upon further inspection, it's not anything great, but it's precisely what he needs. The flat is a basic open concept living space and kitchen area, with a hallway next to the kitchen, that leads to two doors. Louis assumes one is the bathroom, and one is the bedroom. Where Louis still stands, he notices the living room is relatively plain in its furnishings, with a couch, loveseat, and coffee table colored in all different variations of the beige family. It's not the lap of luxury he was hoping for, but it's nice enough. Louis supposes it's meant to be believable since he's supposed to still be in school.
As Louis meanders around the place, noting the minimal inventory of items, he takes stock of a mattress with white sheets, a white nightstand, and a handful of basic kitchen supplies. He supposes he'll need to buy a couple more things to make this feel like home. And food. Oh how he's missed food! Leaving the folder on the counter to be examined upon his return, Louis grabs the credit card he was given and the key. Thinking as he walks, he may also need a mobile and some clothes, if he's supposed to fit back in with modern society again.
* * * *
Silver skies hang above the city, as Louis goes about his day. It's been exhausting. Due to the fact that Louis only has two hands, he's had to make a number of trips back to his flat to drop off the items he's purchased. In the beginning it was his groceries, wanting to get that shopping out of the way since it was Louis' furthest task. After he had carried them back and stored them away, Louis went back out to purchase home decor. The list consisted of things like posters, blue sheets, couch pillows, towels, and a few candles. As he had with the groceries, Louis dragged those bags back, leaving them on his floor to handle when he came home later.
Lastly, he has to shop for clothes. Immediately though, after departing from his flat for the second time today, Louis went to the O2 store. It was on his way to the shops he wanted to go to, and he needs to be equipped with a device for communication. There will come a point where hopefully he and Zayn will become friends, and without a phone, that could lead to barriers between them if Zayn were to ever been in trouble or need help outside of school. Louis can't risk that, so killing an hour of his time, Louis paid for the newest version of whatever iPhone is out, and left with a heavier pocket.
When Louis was inside, the salesman had asked if he wanted to transfer over his contacts from an older phone, and Louis had deflated at that. There are numbers he'd like to add, but he can't. Having told the man no, Louis received his phone empty of a single person to call, but Louis tries to think of this as positive as he can. Soon, he promises to himself, soon it will be filled.
After having placed it in his pocket, Louis pulls his phone back out once he's made it onto a certain street. He's parched and has missed tea more than life itself, and he'd preferably like to buy some sooner rather than later. So using Google Maps, Louis follows the directions as he turns the corner, to the nearest tea shop. When he looks up, it's just across the street and over a tad bit, and the excitement of having the drink elicits a wetness to his tongue as he can practically taste it already. Taking a few more steps, Louis' thriving, nothing can possibly ruin his day.
Halting Louis in his tracks, the words tickle Louis' ear with their bone-deep tone and rich, husky cadence. He's not sure who they're directed towards, but Louis scans around anyway, searching for their target. In his pursuit though, Louis comes across something he could never have anticipated.
A pair of saturated emerald eyes, capturing his own blue, from a short distance away.
The boy Louis is glancing back at is stunning. By far the most attractive person he's ever laid eyes on, as they casually lean against the stone wall of a store. They appear effortless, with their luscious raspberry lips, sharp jawline, brown curls, and vibrant eyes. They're like nothing Louis' ever seen before. Especially the green color of their irises, which are so striking even from a few paces away. Not to mention the inline of red, circling the black of their pupil that - OH WAIT, HE'S A DEMON! Okay, technically Fallen Angel, but he's not in Heaven right now, so it's okay to say that. Right?
When it dawns on Louis that he's essentially been having a staring contest with the one thing he's not allowed to be near, he tugs his own cerulean eyes away. But not before saying, "Leave me alone."
Having the opposite effect, the statement invokes the Demon to move, peeling his body off the side of the building like the back of a sticker. Swiftly, he glides until he's stood directly in front of the Angel, looming over him dangerously. With their proximity, Louis analyzes the Demon's size difference and panics. Louis is significantly smaller, which is to his disadvantage if he should have to fight. However, before Louis can think of an alternative to making out of this alive, the Demon places his large hand confidently on Louis' cheek, rubbing into the skin with his black, nail polish painted thumb. Louis tries to move out from under his heat, but the Demon only grips his face harder and coos, "Aww, don't be scared, little Angel."
Inching his head closer, he stares at Louis with fascination, "My my...look at those blue eyes. So gorgeous."
Swatting the Demon's hand away when he feels a strange pull on his heart, Louis barks. "Back off. I know what you are, Demon!"
A wolfish grin teases the Demon's lips when he asks, "You're a feisty one, aren't you?"
Feisty? Who is he calling feisty? Offended at the comment, Louis retorts with furrowed brows, "Whatever it is you think you're doing, you might as well stop. It's not going to work on me."
This time, the Demon snorts. "We'll see about that, Angel." And then the bastard winks, before turning down an alleyway to disappear. Once he's gone, Louis is both mentally and physically drained from the altercation. Well crap, he thinks as he rubs off the remnants of the Demon from his face, now I really need a cuppa after that!
* * * *
The first night in his new flat was - to put simply - dreadful. After spending hours decorating his belongings to the way he liked, Louis frowned at a thought that flew across his mind. He doesn't have pictures of his mum or sisters. Every chance Louis attempted to do something relatively fun, it was tarnished by the misery he couldn't contain within. He couldn't help it. He wants to tell them everything, but he can't. He can't tell them that he's here. He can't tell them that he's okay. Louis rushed off to bed, hiding under his covers from the reality outside his room, but it didn't do him well. He didn't feel safe. He missed them immensely, and his newly beating heart felt heavy with that weight.
Once morning had come, Louis was depressed. Angels in Heaven rested their eyes, but it wasn't true sleep. If anything, it was more along the lines of meditation. But being back on Earth means Louis needs proper sleep, and unfortunately, last night that didn't happen for him. Grumpily, Louis showers, dresses himself, eats half his toast, and grabs a cup of tea to go, as he leaves out his front door. He has a backpack on, his credit card safely inside his new wallet, and his phone and key safely inside his pocket. With everything he needs, it's finally time to go to school and meet the sole purpose of his mission. Zayn Malik.
* * * *
"Hello, name's Louis Trent. I just enrolled here."
The older woman that Louis addresses at the front desk of the school, with her faded blonde hair and glasses, gives Louis a bored look. "Hm...oh yes. Here you are. I'll just print off your schedule, and you can be on your way. Your first-period class is down the hall, and to the left. Shouldn't be too hard to miss."
Louis grabs the sheet of paper from the woman once it's ejected from the printer, and follows her instructions in where his first class should be. As suggested, it's relatively easy to find. And all too soon, Louis is sitting in the back of the class before most of the students have even arrived at school. Exhaling a loud sigh, Louis decides to use this time efficiently and pulls out his folder on Zayn that he had placed in his backpack. He had scanned the majority of it last night, but it can't hurt to freshen his memory while he has the opportunity to do so.
Peering down at the pages stuffed inside, Louis reads over the interesting details again. Zayn is into art; he's got a sister, and both his parents; he has anxiety, but often rises to his tasks better than he expects of himself. He's self-conscious, which renders him from being able to have proper relationships with family, friends, and love interests. And Zayn is easily persuaded, which could lead to his demise. Louis stares at this, hoping with all his might that he can prevent the inevitable from happening. Had this been Louis as a human still, he'd say miracles don't exist. But considering the fact that Louis is on Earth right now as a Guardian Angel, which includes a pair of white wings tucked inside his body, he hilariously begs to differ. If him being an Angel isn't a miracle in and of itself, then he doesn't know what is.
"Oi, mate. Ya stole me seat."
Shifting his eyes up to the lilted Irish accent, Louis finds a blue-eyed boy with bleach blonde hair, standing oddly over him.
"Sorry mate," Louis replies but doesn't make any movements to another chair. It seems, however, that the apology was all the lad wanted when he takes the seat next to Louis, and smiles.
" 's all good. I'm Niall. I'm assuming you're new since I haven't seen you here before, and not to brag about meself, but I know everyone that goes here."
Louis snorts, "Everyone?"
"Everyone," Niall states definitively.
"Well then, you must be quite the social butterfly, Niall. I'm Louis."
Niall chuckles at the playfulness of Louis' tone, "Nice to meet you, Louis."
Taking it upon himself, Niall goes on to inform Louis of the ins and outs of the student body dynamic, for the rest of the class period. Who's at the top of the food chain, and who's not. Louis doesn't listen to most of what he says, because it's not necessary information, though he doesn't have the heart to tell the kid that. Niall seems incredibly nice, and Louis doesn't have a class with Zayn until third period, so it can't hurt having someone else to talk with during the times he's not officially working.
"Oi, and Louis?" Niall asks as the bell rings, informing the switch for second period.
"This school's fairly big, and people can be mean, so if you need help or a place to sit during lunch, just come find me."
Louis hadn't questioned whether Niall was nice or not - he could tell instantly that the boy was beyond friendly. But this offer, this help, comes from someone who's filled with only pure kindness. Something that very few are ever gifted with. It truly startles Louis to be treated so nicely for no apparent reason but because Niall wants to, but then the boy's smiling at Louis with the widest of grins, and Louis forgets his initial surprise.
"Will do, Niall. And thank you."
* * * *
The second class was a significant struggle for Louis to find, but he manages to get there just before the late bell rings. To his surprise, no one acknowledges the new stranger as he walks to an empty chair, sitting down next to the friendliest looking person he could find. When the teacher begins the lesson, she instructs that the class needs to break up into partners, and Louis sees this as a good chance to talk with the other lad.
"Oi, mate. Mind being partners?"
The boy looks around the room with his puppy-dog eyes, to realize everyone else has found a pair, and only then, nods his head. Louis pretends he's not miffed at the reaction when he makes a joke, "I won't bite, swear."
At this, the boy's chocolate eyes widen as he stutters out, "I thought...thought you were talking to someone else."
"Someone else?" Louis questions. "Why would I do that?"
Flushing profusely, the boy ducks his head and mumbles his response. "Uhm...cause no one ever partners with me."
The answer is discouraging. If Louis' heart could, it would break.
"Well, looks like you're in luck because I do. As long as you want to be partners with me, of course."
The boy's eager smile says more than enough, "Yeah! I'm Liam, uhm...by the way."
"Nice to meet you, Liam. I'm Louis. "
The two boys shake hands and soon move their desks closer to make working together easier. Throughout the period, Louis gets a sense that Liam spends a lot of his time alone, but the boy couldn't be any nicer. Louis wonders why his fellow peers are ostracizing someone like him, but figures he'll found out in due time. For now, Louis just uses all the best jokes he has stored up, and does his best to keep the slowly forming smile on Liam's face, in its place. When the bell rings that their class is over, Louis promises Liam they'll meet back up in the cafeteria, and makes his way alone to his third-period class. The class that he'll finally meet Zayn.
* * * *
On his way up the hallway that should lead him to the class, Louis goes over a few things in his head. He knows what Zayn looks like thanks to photos provided in the folder, but he needs to keep himself in check once he sees him. Just because he knows about Zayn, doesn't mean he knows Zayn. He can't go running in there, trying to act like they're long lost friends. In fact, as hard as it's going to be, Louis' going to have to do this slowly. Organically. Louis' going to have to peel apart Zayn layer by layer, and judging by the stacks of papers on his anxiety and insecurities, that's going to take some time.
As Louis nears the door, he takes one step crossing the threshold from hallway to classroom, when a larger body shoves in front of him and bumps him to the side. Rude. Louis' ready to tell this figure exactly just that, as well, when the tall torso turns around, and Louis' worst nightmares come to life.
"Oh no," Louis utters at the sight.
Curly locks of brown hair. Green eyes with a deadly red tint. And wait...is that a dimple?!
"Hmm? Oh? What are you doing here, Angel?" The deep sultry voice swarms in Louis' ears like a reminder for all the things he's not allowed to touch. He's almost blindsided by the voice, tempted to melt at the velveteen vibrations, until he focuses his eyes. The Demon's expression could almost pass as amicable, except for the eyes. The Demon's eyes are tainted with something indifferent, that sends a cold shiver throughout his bones.
"It's none of your business," Louis bites back.
The Demon's lips quirk up into a smirk, and the sight makes Louis either want to kiss him breathless or pummel him to the ground and because of these confusing feelings - Louis acts out. Instantly, Louis pushes past the Demon, earning a growl as Louis nearly knocks him over on his way inside. But once he's in, he's reminded of why he's here in the first place. Zayn. And speaking of which, said boy is sitting in the middle of the perfectly aligned assortment of chairs, with a spot left open for Louis directly to his left side.
Making his way over as calmly as he can, Louis tries not to draw attention to himself when he sits next to Zayn. He tries to act as one would, on their first day of school, walking into a classroom where he knows no one. He nervously sits down, pulling out his notebook to play the part of a student when he decides that he needs a quick, but efficient, excuse to talk to Zayn. Poking the boy in his arm closest to Louis, the raven-haired, mystic eyed lad looks up with curiosity tangling his exotic face.
"Sorry mate," Louis starts, "But you wouldn't happen to have a pencil I could borrow, would you? I must've left mine back in my last class."
Zayn doesn't smile, but he doesn't look annoyed either, as he reaches into his own bag to grab Louis the writing utensil. "Here you go," he murmurs, as he hands it over to Louis.
"Thanks! I'm Louis, by the way." Extending out his hand to shake with Zayn, Louis' nerves simmer away when the boy meets him in the middle, and says, "Zayn."
This time, there's a slight grin on his face, and Louis is sure that this is an ideal start to their friendship when the most evil of all beings interrupts their moment.
"Zaynie... why're we here today?" The deep voice groans, provoking Louis' attention to be pulled from Zayn and up to the Demon. Louis is unamused by this turn of events, as the Demon, who happens to be sitting on Zayn's other side, yanks on the lad's right arm until Zayn turns away from Louis to look at him.
"We can't wag class every day, Haz. We've talked about this." Louis' intrigued despite his best efforts, at a number of things. First off...Haz? The Demon's name is Haz? Second, Zayn denied the beasts efforts to pull him further to the dark side. There's hope for him yet, and Louis' awfully proud of that. Thirdly, after Zayn tells that monster 'no,' he turns his attention forward to their teacher who starts talking and completely dismisses the Demon for the remainder of the period. Louis is swelling with joy.
The only minor problem was that the Demon refused to stop glaring at Louis' head for all of class, due to Zayn ignoring him. Louis swore he could feel the burn on his skin of where the Demon's eyes had loitered too long, but he wouldn't back down.
When the third bell rings, Louis takes this opportunity to ask Zayn another question. He knows that he has the rest of his classes with the lad, maybe he could use this as an excuse to walk with him in the hallway, too? And hopefully away from that red-eyed oaf that is following too closely for Louis' liking.
"Zayn?" The boy turns his eyes to Louis as they both stand up.
Louis pulls out his schedule to come off as confused as possible and hands it over to show Zayn. "I've been having a bit of trouble finding my classes. Do you know how I can get to my next one?"
Zayn looks over the list and chuckles, "Funny, we have the same class. You like art?"
The boy's hands back Louis' schedule, as Louis responds, "Yeah, I do. I'm not great or anything, but I still have an appreciation for it."
A tight lip grin breaks through on Zayn's face, and he's about to respond when the voice of Louis' largest annoyance comes barreling between them again. "Zaynie, can I walk with you two? Have to see Mr. Fletcher about that paper."
"Course, Haz. Oh wait, have you two met? This is Louis. He's new. And Louis, this is Harry."
So Haz is a nickname. Interesting. When Zayn finishes introducing the two, Harry reaches out his abnormally large hand to shake with Louis', but the Angel ignores the gesture, and instead waves. "Hi."
Reeling his arm back, Harry tries not to show his frustration in front of Zayn, but Louis sees it. He knows it's there, edging underneath his heathen skin. "Hello," the Demon mumbles with displeasure.
The boy between them smiles, having not noticed the strained greeting. After the altercation, he leads the other two out of their classroom, and on the way to the next. No one says anything during this time, but Louis convinces himself not to be discouraged so early on. He has art, lunch, and a few other classes with Zayn for the rest of the day, meaning he has plenty of time for things to work out. Not to mention the rest of the year. It's okay if it's not going well at this moment, Louis' bound to hit a few bumps in the road along the way.
Speaking of which, his largest bump so far, tugs Zayn to the side of the hallway, leaving Louis to stand awkwardly beside them. Louis can't see the Demons face as he leans closer to Zayn, but as Louis stares into Harry's back, he can hear the words he says. "Go to the classroom without us, Zayn."
It's said with an odd sternness to it, but when the two break apart, Zayn leaves them as happy as can be. Louis doesn't have enough time to question what just occurred when he's suddenly being grabbed around the shoulders, and thrown into a cupboard he wasn't aware they were standing in front of. Inside the dark room, the Demon shoves Louis up against the back of the door as it closes, keeping his uncomfortably large, and hot hands, pressed into Louis' arms.
"Did you possess him?" Louis' question goes unanswered when Harry's heavy breathing fills the darkness of the room.
With aggravation, the Demon snaps, "What do you think you're doing, hm?"
"What do you mean, Demon?"
"Don't play dumb with me! What are you doing here?"
Louis adjusts his lips into the cockiest of smirks, "Don't worry about it."
The snide comment procures a fury of rage from the Demon as he pulls Louis' body away from the door, only to slam him hard back against it. Louis doesn't wince at the pain that scorches the expanse of his back.
In a mocking tone, Louis replies, "Don't play dumb with me, Demon. You know why I'm here, I'm on a mission."
"Well so am I. And right now, you're getting in the way of me achieving that."
Louis tilts his head to the side for a brief moment until it clicks. "Zayn? Zayn is your mission?"
The Demon removes his hands from Louis' shoulders, and stands up, fixing his hair as he does. In this position, with the darkness still laying around them, the Demon's eyes glow. It's not like the Angels' skin, it's much more subdued than that, but Louis knows it's still something beautiful. Even for being on the face of pure evil.
Louis doesn't stare long before the Demon speaks again. "Yes. Now if you could kindly fuck off, we can both go our separate ways and be happy."
At his statement, Louis barks out a laugh. "Oi, this is too good." Leaning his body upward so that he's closer into the Demon's space, particularly his plump lips that Louis tries incredibly hard not to focus on, Louis purrs, "Your mediocre attempt at scaring me off was entertaining, I'll give you that." The shiver that ascends on Harry's skin in reaction, supplies Louis with a little too much confidence when he inches even closer. Lifting his lips so that his whisper drifts carelessly into the Demon's ear, Louis goes one step further, and tugs on the bottom of a loose chocolate curl, as he says, "But I'm not easily swayed."
In this vicinity, Louis can smell something earthly wafting from the Demon's neck. Not too bitter like dirt, no...something sweeter, muskier. Like a flower. Like a rose. But why the hell would a demon smell like a rose?
Brought back from his thoughts, the Demon doesn't step away. Instead, he tilts his head so that his own plump lips are barely apart from Louis' forehead, as he replies in his deep timbre, "You're making a terrible mistake, Angel."
When Louis shifts to directly peer in the Demon's eyes, it brings both their mouths only a fraction apart. "Try me, Demon."
A wicked smirk attaches to the monster, just before he rips away from Louis, escaping from the closet at such speed a draft is left in his wake. In the aftershock, Louis tries to think about what has just happened, about what he's just said. How he, a tiny, vulnerable Angel, has just challenged a Demon. But then he remembers Zayn, and without another thought, heads to the class where he'll see the lad next. Louis' other drama can wait; this is what's important. This is why he's here.
* * * *
By the time he made it to his fourth-period class, there were no seats available near Zayn, meaning Louis couldn't talk to him during art. It was unbearably aggravating, but there was nothing he could do, so Louis sat defeated by himself. After it was over, it was time for lunch, and Louis was conflicted.
From his own schooling experiences, Louis knows where people sit at lunch is sacred. There are unofficially reserved seats for the group you belong in, and everyone has their own spots; no one can say otherwise. Not to mention, if Louis tries to sit with Zayn, it could come across as a bit forward, and Zayn could see it as an intrusion more than anything else. Which would be detrimental to the friendship Louis is hoping to build.
Also, Louis promised Liam they could sit together, or more like forced, and Louis' sure he won't be able to sit with both guys at the same time. While Zayn is his target, Liam severely looks like he could use a friend. He may also be of use in uncovering more about Zayn, that Louis wouldn't find out in his folder.
Eventually, Louis wants to sit with Zayn, but the real goal would be for Zayn to offer him a spot there himself.
As students start filing out of the classroom, Zayn nods at Louis just as he exits, and Louis takes the gesture as a good sign. Following the crowd, Louis enters the cafeteria where tons of students are storming through the room - finding places to sit, grabbing lunch, walking around. It's a bit chaotic, and Louis gets lost figuring out where he should go until a firm hand settles on his shoulder.
"Oi, Louis. Need a place to sit?"
Turning his head, Louis finds Niall from his first class and breathes a huge sigh of relief. "Niall! Yeah, I do, but I uh, I promised I'd sit with someone else."
Scrunching his brows, Niall asks, "Oh, who?"
"Liam...er, I didn't get his last name."
Upon hearing the name, Niall grins, "Liam Payne! The only Liam in our year! And that's great. He can come sit with us too. I don't mind."
"Yeah?" Louis asks joyfully.
As if on cue, Liam walks through the doors of the cafeteria, head down, and clutching onto the straps of his backpack. Louis deflates at how sad he appears and vows to do his best in regards to helping Liam out, as well.
"Liam!" Louis shouts when the boy doesn't register that people are waiting for him. Looking up with a mixed expression, Liam catches Louis and smiles. Heading over, he glances at Niall curiously before returning his gaze to Louis.
"I didn't realize you'd wait for me."
"Of course I would Lima, I said we'd eat together, didn't I?"
"It's Liam," the boy corrects.
"I know," Louis mischievously smirks.
Shaking his head, Liam chuckles as he shifts to acknowledge the other boy standing there beside them. "Hi, Niall."
"Long time no see Liam." The two share a smile, and Louis can see the underlying nerves in Liam's expression but ignores it for now.
"Alright lads, I'm hungry. Direct me where to sit, Niall."
The other two follow behind the blonde, as he takes them to a table that's more towards the back. On their way there, they pass by the center table where Zayn and the Demon are sitting, and Louis wants to puke. The thought of leaving Zayn alone with him any longer irks him to his most inner core, but what can he do?
"Oi, Louis. How's the rest of your first day going?" Niall asks as the three sit down, with the Irishman across from Louis and Liam.
" 's been alright. Haven't gotten terribly lost yet."
While taking his sandwich out, Liam pipes in, "Have you met anybody else?"
"Yeah...I've met Zayn, and the De-uhm, Harry...I mean."
Liam shudders when Louis says Zayn's name, and Louis pockets that information away for a later time.
"Zayn used to be quiet throughout school," Niall starts, "And then he met Harry."
Louis immediately jumps on this chance to talk about Zayn, "Yeah? Zayn was pretty nice. Just Harry that was rather rude."
"Harry's changed him a lot," Liam says and leaves it at that.
Niall nods in agreement, "Yeah...he's our resident bad boy."
"Not Zayn, though?"
With a hesitant smile, Liam responds, "No, not Zayn."
The words imply more than Liam's willing to admit, but Louis' not sure exactly what they could mean. He glances into Liam's face for more answers, but Liam's brown eyes stare off into something distant. Louis wishes he could go there and find what's pulled Liam so far away, but he can't. Instead, he makes a joke to keep the conversation light, but it's a futile attempt at getting Liam back.
For the rest of lunch, students stop over to their table to talk with Niall and introduce themselves to Louis, but only one other person takes note of Liam sitting with them as well. With the way he's being treated, and the internal dilemma he's clearly dealing with, Liam shuts himself in entirely. And that's that; there's no getting through to him.
* * * *
Though the rest of lunch didn't get better, Louis managed to swap numbers with Niall and Liam by the end of it, meaning he officially has two contacts on his phone! Other than that, however, the last part of the school day was no better than the lunch they had. Louis wasn't able to talk or sit with Zayn in those other classes they had together thanks to the teachers assigning seats. The only real positive aside from getting the numbers was that Louis didn't see Harry again. Who he has to learn to call by name, so he doesn't slip up and say Demon anymore.
Needless to say, the day wasn't awful, but it could have been better.
On Louis' way home, he stops by the coffee shop to buy some tea and relax. He's exhausted, but he wants to take his time before he has to spend the rest of the night in his flat alone. He also needs to think of a plan. He doesn't want to go to school tomorrow and wing it. He'll obviously sit next to Zayn in his third-period class again, especially when Harry is in that one too, but maybe he should think of things to talk with Zayn about? The boy likes art. Louis could maybe bring it up, and see if it sparks his interest? All they need is one common interest, and that should be enough. And if it's not Art, well then...Louis needs to find out real quick what it may be.
* * * *
Waking up on the right side of bed is the difference between having a good mood or bad mood, and Louis is feeling exceptional. Not only did he manage to have a good night's sleep, but he also ate a decent breakfast that's keeping him pleasantly full, and was able to style his hair exactly how he likes- a tiny lift to his fringe in a half quiff. With his body taken care of, and outfit choice of skinny jeans along with a blue and white striped shirt that's fitting his frame like a glove, Louis' on fire.
His confident attitude follows him into first period where he and Niall spend the majority of it laughing. It hangs around in his second class when Liam steadily opens up, and by the third period, Louis walks into the room more than ready to take on the Demon today.
Bring it on, he practically screams.
Marching into the class with his head held high, Louis saunters over to his seat, sensing a pair of eyes following him as he does. Harry's already in his chair, though once Louis peeks over, he notices that Zayn isn't even there yet. His eyes draw up from the chair to the stone cold expression directed at him from the other side, and Louis' tempted to say something just to annoy the Demon, but Zayn entering the room deters anything he thought to say.
"Hey Zaynie," Louis can hear Harry ask, "Can we skip class today?"
"Ugh, Haz. Stop."
"But I've got a nice blunt for us." Louis' head whips in shock at the comment and Harry grins when he sees the reaction.
Oblivious, Zayn sighs, "Harry...after school, okay?"
Louis can tell that Harry's about to pressure Zayn further, so he uses the tiny pause between Harry's next plea, to cut into their conversation. "Oi, Zayn. You said you like art, yeah?"
Shifting his attention around to Louis with intrigue, Zayn nods. "Yeah?"
"I've been wanting to go to one of the museums in the city, but I'm not sure which one. Figured you'd probably have some good advice."
Caught like a fish on a line, Zayn turns his body entirely towards Louis, giving his back to the Demon. Over Zayn's shoulder, Louis glimpses to find Harry seething in his seat from the move. Louis visibly brightens, wanting to shout in celebration of how glad he is.
"Oh yeah? I've been to all of them, which one did you want to see?"
"I don't care, which one's your favorite?"
Eagerly, Zayn lists off all the varying museums, and what one would expect to find there. The discussion lasts so long that eventually, the teacher has to tell them to be quiet, and when the period's over, Zayn and Louis continue to chat as they walk together to Art. Without Harry. Louis even manages to get Zayn to laugh a few times, which is a serious plus in his books.
After Zayn opens up, the two realize that they have a lot more in common than Louis initially had thought, clicking together almost effortlessly. And by the time the bell rings for lunch, their budding friendship is confirmed when Zayn asks Louis for his number. The boy even goes as far as scheduling plans with Louis, to go to the Museum of Natural History after school. Louis' ecstatic.
* * * *
Unlike yesterday during lunch, Louis and Liam are sitting in the cafeteria by themselves. The very apparent missing counterpart to their group, Niall, is currently discussing project details with his partner, over in the library. Despite the loss, Louis is relieved for him and Liam to be together because it gives him a chance to ask Liam the more personal questions he's been wondering.
"Hey, Lima Bean?"
Sitting across from Louis, Liam huffs out a heavy breath in faux annoyance to the nickname, but quickly smirks to show he's not offended. "I'm still not sure where this nickname has come from, but yes?"
Louis takes advantage of Liam's good mood while it's around, "I want to ask you a personal question, but I also want you to know that you don't have to answer it. I won't be upset if you don't want to."
Frowning around a bite of sandwich, Liam looks up with trepidation in his eyes, "Personal? Okay...uhm...go ahead."
"Did something happen? It just, it seems like people are pretty distant from you, and vice versa so..."
This time, Liam's arms slouch as he searches around the room, though ultimately coming back to Louis. "I'll tell you. And just know, if you don't want to talk to me afterward, I'll understand."
"Oi, none of that!"
"Alright," Liam pouts. "Uhm, well I got caught kissing another guy."
"Welcome to the club," Louis jokes instantaneously, causing Liam's eyes to widen tenfold.
"Are you serious?"
"Yes? Wait...was that your big scary secret? That's why everyone is ignoring you? Because you like guys?"
"What's the other part?"
"The first guy I ever kissed claimed that I came onto him, and uh... forced myself to kiss them."
In the little time that Louis' befriended Liam, he knows without any increment of doubt, that Liam would never do such a thing. And it genuinely angers Louis that not only do a few people believe that, but apparently the whole grade? How?
"Are you serious? And people believed him?"
Louis' reaction startles Liam, "Wait. You don't...you don't hate me?"
"For what? I know you wouldn't do that Liam, that's just nonsense."
"Well tell that to everyone else."
"I really don't understand why they would."
"I don't know? But once a few did, they all did. Even my own friends didn't want to associate with me anymore."
When Louis came out as gay, there were a few jerks that made for a rougher time, but not everyone. Plus, his friends had his back. His best friend Stan even told off anyone and everyone who thought to look twice at Louis in a negative way. Hearing Liam's story, Louis can't relate to that experience. And if that had happened to him, it would have been hell.
"Well Liam, whether you want it or not, you've got a friend now. And I'm not going to turn on you just because of something stupid like that."
At Louis' conviction, Liam's entire expression lightens. "Wow, thank you, mate. That really means a lot."
"Course, what are friends for?"
At the reference to them being friends, Liam preens like a lost puppy that finally found home. It's heart-warming. And at the sight, Louis thinks - this is the purpose of being a Guardian Angel. This is what makes this unfortunate situation, a little bit better. Getting to make a difference in someone's life, even if it's small, is incredibly fulfilling.
Definitely worth the loneliness and immortality...right?
* * * *
"Ready to go to, mate," Zayn asks, patting Louis' back as he walks up to him in the hallway.
Louis beams, "More than!"
"Cool, I just have to grab my jacket from my locker."
"Alright, sounds good."
Zayn's locker is only a hallway over, as they walk together at the end of the school day, to their next destination. In the few steps it takes, they arrive before most of the students have even finished piling out of the classrooms and somehow - Harry is already there waiting for them. Shoot. When Louis gets the Demon in his sights, he's leaning against the wall of lockers, until he sees the boys coming towards him, and stands up abruptly in confusion.
Looking up to Harry, Louis sees the guilt written all over Zayn's face as he stares at his friend, but Louis doesn't feel bad. If he and Zayn don't go to the museum, Zayn's going to be smoking and doing who knows what with Harry instead, and honestly? Who would rather do that?
"Shit, sorry Haz. I told Louis we'd go to the Natural History Museum after school today."
There's a flash of red across his eyes, but once again, it seems only Louis' aware of the evil lurking in Harry's glare. However, just as fast as he had come, the violent hue returns to a calmer green. "That's alright," Harry says with a forced smile. "As long as you don't mind if I come along?"
This idea clearly appeases Zayn because he has a wide grin in response. Announcing with pure joy, Zayn confirms, "Yeah! You don't mind Louis, right?"
This whole situation is severely testing Louis' patience, and when the question is directed to him, he feels like being candid about how he does in fact mind. But when Louis notes the flicker of hope in Zayn's eyes, he succumbs. How can he deny the boy something that could help him 'towards the path of righteousness?' Well...sort of.
Responding as if nothing has even crossed his mind, Louis rushes, "No, not at all." And while Zayn doesn't notice his slight hesitation, Harry evidently does, since the beast is freaking smirking because of it. Always with the smirking. Louis would really like to slap that smirk right off his wretched face.
"Great!" Zayn happily replies as Louis shrivels internally.
* * * *
With the twosome now a threesome, the three boys take the Tube from where their school is, with tension thick in the air. Luckily, the awkwardness subsides temporarily when the large, intricate infrastructure, comes into view. The conversation picks up between Zayn and Louis as they begin to discuss what they're looking forward to seeing. However, Harry keeps to himself, quietly observing the other two's interaction.
"Wait so Louis, where d'ya live before moving here?" Zayn questions as they walk up the grand steps.
"Yeah? That's cool. Harry moved here only a few months ago too." Zayn turns to Harry as he asks, "It was like May of last year, yeah?"
"Yeah," the Demon coolly answers. Zayn tries to appear like he's not bothered by Harry's curt response, but Louis notices the slight alteration. It's not worth mentioning now, but Louis decides to mark that for later, among his list of other things he wants to ask Zayn.
As they head into the building, Zayn comments that he can get discounted tickets for some art group he used to be a part of, and goes off to purchase them. Ultimately leaving Louis alone with Harry.
"Look, Dem-...Harry. I know you don't like me, and in fact, the feelings mutual, but we're here for Zayn. So if you could lighten up a bit, and pretend you don't want to kill me every time you look at my face, that would be greatly appreciated."
Harry's eyes widen just enough to show he's annoyed, "And why should I do anything that you ask?"
"Because it's not for me...it's for him."
Jerking his head back a bit, Harry knits together his eyebrows as he ponders over what Louis has said. However, Louis doesn't get to question him further if he'll play along because Zayn is already arriving back.
"Sorry for the wait. Got us the tickets, so ya ready?"
"Yes!" Louis exclaims, followed by a 'born ready,' from Harry. It's surprisingly pleasant, which scares Louis more than when he's mean, but Zayn laughs at it all the same.
* * * *
"Could you imagine," Zayn begins, "Having to move around to different homes all the time?"
They're scanning through the exhibits, and it's been relatively fun. Their discussions have been flowing, even though Harry and Louis never directly address each other. Zayn gratefully hasn't caught on.
Responding to Zayn's initial comment, Harry states, "Yes, if it was for my survival."
"I don't know," Louis interjects, "I love having one house. Being able to grow up in the same place, remember all the things that happened within the same four walls. Where I chipped the wall, or where my sisters used to hide. I love coming home, and knowing it's home. Like no one else in the world can claim that. It's mine."
Louis had been staring off into the distance as the memories clouded around him, and when he looked up from his reverie, he noticed that there were two pairs of eyes watching him. Brown and Green. Zayn appears upset, but Harry - Harry honestly looks like whatever Louis said has struck a nerve.
"That must have been so hard for you to move then?" Zayn cuts sooner than the silence can fill.
"Yeah, I miss it so much."
Leaning in, Zayn gives Louis a small hug, "It's alright. I know this isn't home, but we're gonna make the most of it."
When Zayn pulls away, it's Harry that Louis' eyes catch on to. Harry, who looks like he's hurt. Harry, who looks like he might say something, with his furrowed brows, and bitten red lip. Harry, that chooses to leave without a single sound, and leaves only confusion to the two that remain. Interesting.
* * * *
Tuesday morning, rain is pouring. Louis grabs his umbrella and travels the few paths to make it to school. He's been feeling a bit off since he left the museum with Zayn yesterday, both unaware as to where Harry ran too. All night even, Louis couldn't stop thinking about it. What could have possibly troubled him so much that he felt the need to leave? Question after question stampedes the mountains of Louis' mind as he walks the streets, deep in thought. But soon the school comes into view, and Louis shuts those questions out as quickly as he can. It goes without saying that he has other things to focus on.
* * * *
"Oi, Louis! Wha's good, buddy?"
Lifting his head from the papers he was skimming on his desk, Louis finds Niall marching to his usual seat left of Louis.
"Nialler! Oi, now that you're here I have a question for you."
Niall's head tilts, "Yeah?"
Glancing around the room, Louis makes sure no one else is listening as he leans in to whisper, "Liam told me what happened to him."
Niall's eyes raise in surprise, before he too, leans in to respond quietly, "Oh yeah? He uhm, he got treated really badly last year. People were fucking cunts."
"I just. I just can't see how anyone would believe that about him. Or how his own friends could just ditch him," Louis angrily confides.
"Well, Liam was always pretty shy, to begin with. So when people didn't really know who he was, why would they think it was wrong? And his friends, they were assholes anyway."
"It's just sad to me."
"Yeah," Niall's tone expresses his genuine concern, "Thankfully, you didn't see the way they were treating him. Gonna be honest, mate. I never believed what they said, but at the same time, I didn't know Liam. I didn't know what to say. We had classes together growing up, we'd been partners before on assignments, but we were never close."
"So no one stood up for him?"
"No." Niall seems gutted at admitting this, "But you know, I'm glad that you're here. You've already befriended him, and that's made a huge difference."
At this, Louis' frustration eases just a bit. "Yeah, I can tell."
"This sounds really weird, and I'll kill you if you tell anyone, but I'm happy about that. I always wanted to do something before, but I never realized all Liam needed was a friend."
"Well, now we both can be his friend."
With a promising nod and a wide grin, Niall fully agrees. "Yeah, we definitely can!"
* * * *
The days following were a mix of good and bad, though the positives outweighed a slight bit more. Louis was getting closer to Zayn, the two couldn't refrain from talking in any of the classes they had together, and Louis was basking in the instant friendship they were forming. In addition to that - Niall, Louis, and Liam had suddenly become a group, and lunch was consistently Louis' favorite period of the day. As Liam was coming out of his shell, the banter between the threesome was unstoppable. There was a strange sensation like they had been friends for years, and not just the handful of days it truly was.
Even Harry was staying under the radar.
The first time they saw each other after the museum incident, Harry had lingered his eyes over Louis for a bit too long, but never commented. Nor did he stare at Louis with any aggression, though it wasn't exactly the most pleasant look either. Truthfully, it appeared more confused than anything else. After that, Harry and Louis continued to avoid each other, and oddly enough, Zayn kept the two separate during conversations, as well. Almost as if he knew something was going on, but couldn't place a finger on precisely what.
Louis' not sure what to make of Harry either, to be honest. The boy -Demon - whatever, is contradicting. When he's around Louis, especially in the beginning, he exuberates dominance and anger. And yet, he refers to Zayn as 'Zaynie.' Which, what even? For Louis, it's not necessary to understand Harry, per se, but Louis can't help taking notes. However, he doesn't dwell on it any longer because Harry hasn't been getting in his way, and that's exactly what he wanted. Why should he be spending any time second-guessing that?
Sitting in his flat, two hours since school let out, Louis gets a text from Niall. Precisely the distraction Louis needs.
Oi! Party tonight
Party? It is Friday, and technically Louis doesn't have anything to do tonight, but is that against his Angel duties? It's socializing - there can't be any harm in that, especially if it's for his mission. Well, technically, it's not, but no one has to know.
Sure ! Who's going ?
Liam is coming! N most of the school prob gonna be there.
Most of the school, meaning that Zayn could be there? Then Louis definitely has to go!
Sounds good ! Where should I meet you ?
Figuring out what outfit he wants to wear for tonight, Louis searches his closet as he waits for a text back from Niall. In reality, this could be a good opportunity to keep getting closer to Zayn, while also keeping Zayn from doing anything 'sinful.' It's the perfect situation for Louis to continue with his mission, and not going to the party would just be neglect to his assignment. Right?
* * * *
The party is wild. Obviously, Louis had gone out while he was still alive, had even drunk himself stupid on more than one occasion, but this particular event is on another level. In large part, because it's in one of the most luxurious houses Louis' ever seen, with a foyer bigger than his entire flat. Unfortunately, the elegance of it all is tainted by the hordes of intoxicated people. It seems everyone is in attendance tonight, making it that much harder as Louis, Niall, and Liam squeeze past their classmates and on to the kitchen.
"What do you want?" Niall asks Liam and Louis.
Liam answers first, "Uh, whatever's easiest."
Niall glances to Louis as he responds, "Nothing for me, mate."
Thankfully, Niall doesn't question or pressure Louis further, before he leaves the two of them to get their drinks. While standing there, Louis peers around at the crowd of people, struggling to recognize a single face. It's strange being unknown and sober. Back in Doncaster, he was the life of the party, but some things happened due to his behavior, that kept him from drinking ever again. Let's just say that Louis was always extreme when it came to being reckless, which is why it's so surprising that he ended up a Guardian Angel.
Who would have thought?
Pulled from his thoughts, Louis spots Zayn making his way over towards him and Liam.
"Hey Zayn," Louis greets as he points to Liam. "I don't know if you two know each other, but this is Liam."
When Louis gets a chance to look up at the boy he's introducing, Liam is shaking, and Louis is completely confused.
"H-hi." Liam stutters out when Zayn makes eye contact with him.
"Hi, Li." Zayn says with a friendly grin, "Yeah, we know each other - even been over each other's houses before."
Louis nearly chokes, "Really?"
"Yeah! We were pretty good friends back in primary, remember Li?"
Liam almost faints, "Yeah."
"That's cool," Louis continues as he ignores Liam being weird, "Enjoying the party?"
"Ehh, could be better, but what else am I gonna do on a Friday night?"
Turning back to Liam, who's been staring down at his hands, Zayn asks, "Hey, you don't still have that comic book collection, d'ya?"
Liam's cheeks flush crimson, causing Louis to be nervous about where this question is going.
"Er, yeah...I do."
Except Zayn's smile explodes like a star, calming any tension that had risen. "Really? That's awesome! Have you added to the collection? How many do you have now? What do you have now?"
Louis' mouth drops open as Zayn propels question after question at Liam's fragile state, and before Louis can do anything about it, they start walking off, leaving a clueless Louis behind. Luckily, this is also the time Niall makes a reappearance, and without another second passing, grabs onto Louis as he shoves him around the room. Every single person knows Niall, and Niall knows them. And very soon, Louis has met their entire student population, and then some.
"Ni, I thought you were joking when you said you knew everyone. I didn't know you meant that you literally know everyone."
"Well I told ya, didn't I?"
"Yes. Yes, you did, mate."
They're standing in a group with a few other people who are talking about some movie Louis hasn't seen. Despite not knowing what they're all talking about, Louis' actually enjoying their company. The only problem is that Louis has to go to the bathroom, like now. His bladder is begging.
"Ay, I have'ta run to the loo," he informs Niall though he doesn't care.
The downstairs bathroom had a line, so Louis figures he's probably better off going to the one on the second floor. As he climbs the stairs, the music fades to a low hum, and there's hardly any people crowding the area. It's the first time all night Louis feels like he can breathe. Making his way down the hall, Louis tries to identify which door leads to the lav when the one directly in front of him opens up, and none other than Harry comes out.
"Oh," Louis says without meaning to.
Harry's eyes lock on him, and immediately they focus with anger. "Angel," he says with malice.
"What crawled up your arse and died?"
The comment makes the red line in Harry's eyes flare, nearly burning away the green. Before Louis can protest, Harry yanks him into the bathroom and shoves him up against the back of the door, once it's shut in place. Louis' wrists are instantly thrown up above his head, where Harry's right-hand keeps them firmly in place against the panel of the door.
"Is this a kink of yours?" Louis smirks, "Shoving me up against doors?"
Harry's lean torso is right up against Louis, and it's unbearable. The heat that radiates through his black cotton shirt burns into Louis, and it's all too much.
"Wouldn't you like to know?" Harry's lips evilly grin, making Louis almost feel afraid. Almost.
"No...I wouldn't. What I'd like is for you to back off me, so that I can take a leak."
Harry growls, "You're testing my patience, Angel." His hands squeezing tighter into Louis' wrists to prove his point.
"Back at ya, babe," Louis sasses with a wink.
Louis' sure that this is the last straw that breaks the camel's back. He recognizes the flash of death as it fogs across Harry's ocean green waves with its crimson hue. Louis' sure this is the end, and he'll be sent back to Heaven, having failed his mission before it's even properly started. And that upsets him. He was enjoying his time down here, enjoying being around Liam and Niall, and enjoying getting to know Zayn. But he also knows his fate. He's pushed Harry too far over the edge, and there's no coming back after you've fallen far below.
Closing his eyes for whatever he's expecting to happen, Louis waits for the blow. He waits, and waits, and waits. The only thing he feels though, is the grasp on his wrists loosen, and then release. And when he opens his eyes again - Harry's gone. To say Louis' left completely befuddled is an understatement.
* * * *
Meandering back downstairs, Louis finds Zayn alone in the kitchen. Utilizing this opportunity, Louis walks up to him, hoping to forget his recent encounter with Harry. Friends can be great distractions, and distraction is precisely what Louis needs.
The lad turns his head towards the call and smiles, "Ay, Louis."
Filling a glass of water, Louis wonders, "Where'd Liam run off too?"
"Niall found him and pulled him away."
Zayn giggles, "'s alright. And are you seriously drinking water at a party?"
"Yeah." Louis looks down at the cup in his hand, and back up at Zayn, "I used to be a big drinker, and had a knack for testing my limits. I got up to a lot of bad stuff when I was drunk, and so I've sworn myself off it."
Nodding his head in agreement, Zayn confesses, "I know what you mean. I feel pretty guilty every time I do something stupid. I know my folks would be disappointed in me, and my sister too, you know? But it's hard when I'm always around it. Temptation's a killer."
"That's what I used to think until I figured out that my closest friends didn't care whether I was drunk or sober, as long as I was okay. And I don't care what anyone says. You can still have a lot of fun without being high or drunk."
As Louis finishes his declaration, Zayn's gaze shifts to someone in the living room, and Louis' eyes follow. Together, they watch someone on the couch take a hit from a bong, and Louis doesn't have to guess to know who the person is. He knows those curls like the back of his hand.
Harry sucks in a big hit and tilts his head to face a boy sitting next to him, pulling him in closer as Harry nearly presses their mouths together. Just when Louis thinks they're going to kiss, Harry blows the smoke he inhaled into the other boy's mouth. He's shot-gunning, as frequent smokers would call it. But why would Louis' statement have Zayn looking over towards Harry? His question is long forgotten, however, when suddenly Harry starts making out with the boy on the couch.
And why does that bother Louis so much?
"Harry's not who everyone thinks he is," Zayn says, aware that Louis and most of the school is gawking at the scene too.
"Sorry mate, but I disagree."
With their eyes still on him, Zayn continues, "You're lucky you have friends that support you no matter what."
"Don't you?" Louis asks with an eyebrow raised.
"No. Harry's the only person I have that doesn't judge me for who I am and what I do, but-" Zayn pauses, and Louis assumes he's wondering if he should be admitting what he's about to. With a sigh, Zayn gives in, "He's got a lot he's struggling with. He won't tell me, but I know, I can sense it. And it makes it hard for me because I know he doesn't trust me, not fully. And even though he doesn't judge me, he doesn't support me either. If I talk about going to uni, he gets real quiet and doesn't say anything."
Internally cataloging what Zayn is telling him, Louis is stumped. Why doesn't Harry try and keep Zayn from going to uni? Why does he stay quiet instead?
"Do you have any idea why he does that?"
"I think...I think I'll never know."
"I hope someday you do."
"I think Harry has too many demons to ever let someone in," Zayn finishes as he takes a sip of his drink.
And well...isn't that just ironic?
* * * *
A handful of drinks later (water for Louis), and a few more laughs, Niall finds the two boys in the kitchen. With a wasted smile, Niall informs Louis that it's time to go, and waves the dark-haired lad good-bye. On their way out, the two boys and Liam discuss the night's events, when Louis glimpses up to find Harry walking ahead of them. The Demon has just passed through the front door with the boy from earlier latched on his neck, as well as, another girl Louis hadn't seen attached to his hip.
Louis' never seen a more cringe-worthy sight.
The rest of the weekend passes aimlessly. Louis spent his time doing his homework, writing up notes on Zayn, and watching Netflix shows until his body morphed together with the couch cushions. After the party on Friday, the relaxation that followed was much needed and insanely comforting. But now it's Monday, resting is over, and Louis' curious what the day will entail after the Friday that they all had. Especially in regards to Harry. Louis did his best to not think about the Demon while he was lazying about, but it couldn't be helped. Every time he'd think of Zayn, it would build a bridge to Harry that Louis couldn't contain himself from crossing over. The two, unfortunately, go hand in hand.
* * * *
The first noticeable change on Monday is the number of people that wave to Louis as if they're suddenly friends. Given, Louis had met most of the school thanks to Niall, but unlike the others, he couldn't recall a single name as they all greeted him in passing. Oh well. The second noticeable change is his friends. They are growing closer, which is made noticeable when Niall decides that their newfound friendship needs a group chat. A group chat, that they spend all afternoon texting into, even when in class.
The last change is Harry. He's - dare Louis say, Demon-ish again? Last week Harry avoided him for the most part, but this wonderful Monday Harry's doing his absolute best to get on Louis' nerves by going through Zayn.
Speaking of which, Louis groans, as he hears the dreaded call, "Zaynie!"
"Let's skip last period and drink."
Zayn rolls his eyes, "I told you I can't skip anymore."
"Fine, we won't skip. After school then. Just you, me, and Jose." Louis doesn't dare admit that it took him a second to realize Harry was referring to Jose as in Jose Cuervo, the Tequila brand.
"I have this art project I have to finish."
"Fine, then let's just get high. You say it always helps with your work anyway."
Louis can see that Zayn's caving, that he's going to say yes, and Louis immediately plans to intervene. Thinking quickly, Louis's not sure what to say. He just knows that he needs to say something.
"Oi, lads?" Louis directs to both of them before Zayn can answer.
"Hmm?" Zayn thankfully mumbles.
"Er, why don't we...uhh...why don't we go to the cinema, yeah? There's that new Captain America out."
Zayn's eyes light up like Louis' spouting fireworks from his mouth, and Harry is glaring like he's trying to laser beam Louis' brain into mush.
"Yes! Haz, you in?"
Harry holds his gaze at Zayn but eventually gives in. "I guess."
Louis fills with victory, as he tallies the score. Louis: 1 - Harry: 0.
* * * *
Afterward, routine nestles itself into Louis' days welcomingly. As Monday occurred, Tuesday happened similarly. Many people were talking to Louis, and many of them, Louis still did not know. Niall and Liam were easily becoming Louis' best mates, and Harry tried convincing Zayn of more illegal activities. Harry wanted to graffiti the school, Louis in lieu offered up going to the Aquarium, and so on and so forth. By Friday, Louis' score of diverting Zayn from the dark-side was ten, and Harry's successes were two.
Glancing up with a mouthful of his sandwich, Louis asks, "Yes, Nialler?"
The three boys are sitting at Lunch, eating whatever they brought or bought, as they chat away.
"There's another party tonight if you want to go?"
Liam is the one to answer before Louis, "Yeah, definitely!"
"I'm in," Louis announces quickly after.
"Cool, we can crash at my house tonight. That way you both don't have to go home like you did last time."
"That's fine with me," Louis happily notes.
* * * *
As with last Friday, the party is at the same girl's lavish estate on the outskirts of the city. And just like last time, the entire school has come. From the moment they arrived, Niall has been off socializing with his multitude of friends, Liam's been anxious, and Louis' been sticking close to said friend, in the kitchen. It's the only room in the house where it's not choc-a-block full of people, and also has enough breathing space for people to mingle and linger a while. Throughout the hour, people come in and out as they grab drinks, stopping to say hello to the two boys. However, for the most part, Louis and Liam are left to their own devices - currently talking about the latest movie that just came out, until a recognizable voice interrupts their chat.
"Ay, Louis! Liam!"
Shifting their attention to the oncoming body, the two boys catch Zayn walking over to where they're standing.
"Zayn!" Louis shouts at the grinning boy.
"H-hey," Liam stutters out.
"Hey! You lads enjoying this party any more than the last?"
"No," Louis admits, "They're all a bore to me."
"You've only been to two."
Louis rolls his eyes, "And that's two too many."
"I...I like the parties," Liam bravely adds in.
Zayn smirks at Liam, oddly making Liam cower nervously even more than he already had been. "Sometimes Li," Zayn says, "I like them too."
Suddenly, someone interrupts their conversation to ask Zayn a question, pulling the boy off into another crowd. Louis doesn't like him leaving because it means that he can't see what Zayn is up to anymore. However, Louis has to trust Zayn and trust him to make better decisions. Louis can't overstep or come on too strongly at this stage of their friendship, and least of all, Louis doesn't want to act like a parent.
Ignoring his conscience that tells him otherwise, Louis returns to Liam, candidly asking, "Oi, Li. Why are you always so nervous around Zayn? Did he do something to you?"
At Louis' curiosity, Liam's cheeks warm, and Louis' not sure if it's the alcohol or the topic change, that is causing this reaction.
Fidgeting with his beer bottle, Liam answers. "Uh, no."
"I," Liam huffs out a sigh, and slinks his shoulders down in defeat, "I uhm, like...Zayn."
"Like, you think he's cool and want to hang out with him, or you think he's fit and you'd like to blow him?"
"I'm just trying to understand. There's a lot of different meanings to the word 'like.'"
"Like," Liam timidly says, "As in I'd like him to be my boyfriend."
"Wow! Good for you, lad. Zayn's gorgeous, and he's ridiculously nice once you get to know him."
"Oh yeah, you two used to hang out, right?"
"Yeah. When we were in primary, he was my best mate."
"Yep," Liam announces sadly. "When we got older, people started recognizing him for either his talent or his good looks, and was eventually shoved into a different crowd. We hadn't talked or hung out in years, but you know all that stuff I told you about? All the stuff that had happened to me last year? Well, last year, I uh...I overheard Zayn tell a couple of people to 'shut up,' that had been talking badly about me. And I don't know? It was like a whole of swarm emotions just hit me."
"He stood up for you?"
"Yeah. I never told him I heard him say it, but I've been thankful for it ever since."
Louis looks at Zayn, and Liam's eyes follow, as he continues. "You should tell him."
"You think so?"
"Yeah," Louis nods vigorously, "I think he'd like to know that it meant a lot to you."
"Should I go to him now?"
"Whenever you want, Li. I wish you all the best luck, but I don't think you'll need it."
Liam smiles gratefully, "Thank you."
* * * *
On his own, Louis stands in the corner of the kitchen, peering down at his phone to appear as if he's texting someone. He's just playing a game, but he's using it as a tactic to not be bothered by unwanted drunks. While he's there, he overhears a conversation happening between two guys, just a couple of paces away.
"Harry, I thought - I thought we had something going here."
Louis almost gags at the way the boy is confessing himself to a Demon. Little does he know who he's fallen for.
"I told you already Ben, not happening."
Harry's voice sounds beyond gruff like it's soar or he's sick. Louis doesn't have a chance to search too much into that when the next question he hears has him gagging.
"Okay fine, but can we still fuck?"
"No," Harry clearly says, "I don't want to."
"Come on! You owe me something since I blew you last time."
"I said no, Ben."
"You're such a fucking bitch. You put out for everyone, and now suddenly you decide to have morals?"
Louis' not sure what honestly compels him, but before he's aware of what he's doing, he's putting his phone in his pocket and walking over to this 'Ben' character. As Louis marches over, he senses the four pair of confused eyes that attach to his unwelcomed presence, while he steps directly in front of Ben's face.
"Excuse me, but I happened to hear what you were saying just now, and really? He's telling you no, and you're going to keep pressuring him because you think that's apparently going to change his mind? You should be lucky that you even had a chance with him at all!"
"Who the fuck do you think you are?"
"I'm the person that's going to make your worst nightmares seem like child's play if you don't walk away right this instant."
The guy stares at Louis until his gaze fixates on something over Louis' shoulder, making him genuinely panic. Eyes widening in whole-hearted fear, Ben gulps just as he begins to back away and run off.
When Louis turns around, he looks up at Harry with annoyance. "You just had to intervene, didn't ya?"
Harry nearly laughs along with a small lift to his lips, "How'd you know I was doing something?"
"Besides the fact that he was looking over my shoulder and not at me, I could kinda see a reflection in his eyes. Gotta say, your human face is a much better look on you than the red eyes and fangs."
This time Harry actually snorts and Louis thinks he's gone and died because there's no way this would ever happen.
"Well, Angel...there's something we both can agree on." When it seems their conversation has reached its limit, Harry stares down at Louis and asks, "By the way, why'd you do that?"
Harry scans around before admitting what he's going to say. "Erm, defend me?"
"We may not like each other very much, but no one deserves to be talked to like that. You're not just a body part for him to use. You're a person, and he wasn't treating you like one."
"I'm not really though. Am I?"
With a frown, Harry replies. "A person."
Glancing up at him with the most sincere expression Louis' ever directed towards the Demon, Louis confides, "I think you can be whatever you want to be, Harry."
When Harry's demeanor at his response, is a lot to take in. In the dim lighting of this party, Harry's eyes shine brighter than all else, especially when the red lining practically diminishes. There's barely a hint of its residue circling Harry's pupil, as the green of his irises takes over Louis' view. Donna was definitely right in her proclaim - Fallen Angels are the most beautiful creatures to walk this earth, and Louis doesn't stand a chance.
"Erm..." Harry clears his throat, "Thanks, Lou."
As if the body language wasn't enough, Harry goes and says that?
His gratitude stabs Louis in the heart. How does he respond to that? Thankfully, he doesn't have to worry because Harry leaves once the words are uttered. Standing still, Louis' not sure how to react. For one, it's the first time in ever that Harry didn't call Louis, 'Angel.' And two, Harry not only said Louis' name but also said a nickname for the Angel. Lou.
Lastly, and above everything else, Harry said 'thank you.' Thanks, Lou. How in the world is he supposed to handle that?
* * * *
"Zaynie, let's skip today. Please, no one will notice."
Louis is ready to stab himself in the eardrum with his pencil. Harry has been persistent, and he's driving Louis and Zayn up a wall. All day yesterday, he had nothing to say, even was relatively pleasant to be around, but not today. Today, the Demon can't shut up. Louis really shouldn't say anything, but he's going mad. And if Harry asks Zayn one more time, Louis is going to commit murder.
"Haz, please stop."
Louis snaps, "Harry if you don't shut up right this minute I swear I will rip your organs out and feed them to the dogs!"
Zayn cackles at Louis' outburst, while Harry looks lethal. Harry glares like he's going to tear Louis limb from limb, and honestly, Louis wouldn't put it past him. For the rest of class, no one says anything, but Louis can feel Harry's burning focus on him. He can feel the anger like an arrow being shot over and over at his head. At the end of class, Louis just wants to get out, but Zayn is the reason he doesn't.
As Louis waits for Zayn to get his backpack fully on, Harry intervenes, staring directly into the Zay's eyes, he says, "Hey Zayn, go on to your next class without us." Not another second later, and as possessed to do, Zayn is trailing off.
"Was that necessary?" Louis barks.
"Don't what me! Possessing him...was that really necessary?"
"Well if it were normal for you and me to be talking, then no. But it's not, and he would question why, and I don't want to deal with all that. But enough about Zayn," Harry chides, "You and I need to have a bit of a chat."
Louis scoffs, "And where do you suppose that'll happen?"
"Oh no. You'll throw me up against the door again!"
"Don't believe you."
"Than that's your problem, not mine."
Harry heads out of the classroom, and despite Louis' mind telling him to absolutely not follow, he stupidly ignores it and does anyway. When they get out in the hallway, no one seems to pay them any mind as Harry opens the door for them to step in. Louis switches on the lights, making light what once was dark, while Harry waits for him to give his undivided attention.
"What do you want to discuss, Demon?" Louis starts, crossing his arms in front of him.
Harry smirks, "More like, negotiate."
The smirk drops into annoyance, "You won't even hear me out?"
"I know what you want, and the answer is no. I'm not backing off Zayn."
"You know, I have a job to do, and you're making it increasingly more difficult for me to complete it."
"Funny, the same could be said about you!" Louis argues, with a pointed finger.
Harry charges forward, backing Louis up against the door. "Yeah well, do you know what happens to Demons when they don't achieve their mission?
"You Angels have it easy. You don't get it right the first time, you get to have another. But not us 'Fallen Angels.' If we don't succeed, we get punished. And I don't think your pretty little Angel ears could handle hearing about what they do to us when we've been bad."
"So what? You being scolded for not completing your mission - that sounds awful and all, but I can't degrade myself for you."
"Argghhhh," Harry yells, slamming his fists against the door beside Louis' head. "I thought after Friday you'd be more understanding."
"Friday was an exception. At the end of the day, you're a Demon, and I'm an Angel. That's our reality."
Harry scoffs, "I thought I could be whatever I want to be?"
Louis doesn't get another word in as Harry pushes him aside and vacates the room. The air in the cupboard suffocates Louis with its heaviness, and Louis feels like crap. He has to achieve this, though, he has to get Zayn to go to Uni. And he'll do whatever it takes to make that happen. Even if it means having to take down someone in the process.
* * * *
"Louis!" Zayn hits him on the arm to get his attention, "Why don't you and the boys eat lunch with us?"
As the two go out into the hallway, heading for the cafeteria, Louis wants to scream with how excited he is. But he can't act like this is what he's wanted all along, so instead, he answers, "You sure?"
"Yeah! No one sits with us anyway, so there's plenty of room."
Joining his table would also mean that Louis will have to sit next to the Yeti for lunch every day, but if it means getting closer to Zayn, Louis can't refuse.
"Yeah, for sure. I'll go get Niall and Lima Bean, and we'll see you in a bit."
As Louis reaches the two others already at the table, he informs them of Zayn's offer, and collectively - they transfer to their new location. When they get to the table, only Zayn is there, which is probably for the best. Louis would've had a harder time making his way over, with the Demon watching him as he did it.
"Ay boys," Zayn greets as Niall sits in front of him. Following with Liam sitting next to Zayn and Louis sitting next to Niall, across from the other two.
It's a few minutes of casual banter as they eat, talk about the past parties, and any other random nonsense they can come up with. Louis almost forgets that there's technically someone missing until he hears a slight gasp. Apparently, no one else heard it, but Louis' head pops up to find Harry staring very angrily back at him. Thankfully, Zayn interrupts to grab Harry's attention.
"Haz! Come sit down. I invited the lads to join us."
Harry immediately changes his expression into a more pleasant one for Zayn, but Louis knows better. He saw how his reaction was when he first took notice of the lads sitting at his table. He saw how his face emitted frustration so far beyond anything Louis could sense.
"I see that," Harry quips. "'ello lads."
Niall and Liam cheerfully say hello, but Louis remains vigilant in his silence as Harry sits directly in front of him.
"Oi, Louis. Don't be rude," Niall says, then turning to Harry to add, "Sorry Harry. We haven't trained him yet," and gives Harry a wink! Louis is annoyed, because really, how can Niall act so comfortable around him?
Before Louis can interject, Harry answers back with a devilish grin, "I would spank him, if I were you."
And excuse me? Who does the Demon think he is to say something like that? "Watch it, Harry," Louis bites back with a vengeance.
"Or what, little Angel?" Harry asks with intrigue.
Louis nearly jumps out of his chair as the words spew from his mouth like bullets at Harry's guard. "Or next time, I'll rip your disgusting tongue out!"
"Louis?" Liam asks nervously, watching as Harry and Louis lean in dangerously close to one another over the table. The action even causes Zayn to say something, "Ay lads, calm down, yeah?"
Without another breath, Louis gets up from the table and storms off. It's not that he's mad because truthfully, he's not. He's ashamed. He's upset that he let that wretched Demon get the better of him, and that he acted on it. Harry's trying to get under his skin. The more vulnerable and weak Louis becomes, the easier it is for Harry to overcome and win. Louis needs to stay strong. He needs to keep his head up. He had this one slip up, but this will not happen again. He promises that to himself.
* * * *
Wednesday night joins Louis for a stroll around London. The air has a brisk chill that saunters over his peach skin, raising a trail of goosebumps in its wake. During school earlier, Louis had done his best to ignore Harry, and the rest of the lads seemed to have already forgotten about the mishap. It was a good day compared to what Tuesday was, but Louis still feels stressed. That's why he decided to come out for a walk. Holing himself up in his flat every night isn't helping his mental state, and the fresh air does something for Louis' nerves that the comfy cushions on his couch will never be able to.
As Louis wanders throughout the streets, he finds himself stopping at a shop to get tea, before he's back out and waltzing around. Despite the hint of cold in the air, it's a clear night, and even a few stars are visible above. It's nothing like the view Louis had back home when the night sky would expand across the horizon, littered with more stars than there are dust particles in the air. It was breathtaking, and always, Louis' favorite sight. There was something so grounding, so humbling, about looking up into the galaxy and realizing how insignificant he really was. And reminding himself that the things he worried about, stressed over, pulled his hair for, really didn't matter in the grand scheme of things. That there was so much more to life...and as Louis strolls along, having lost his chance to live out his mortal days, he realizes how much he took it all for granted.
All the times his Mum baked her special cookies, all the times his sisters would nag him, all the times they fought, and all the times they loved, his family was his everything. Still is his everything. And he can no longer be with them. It's the most painful thing he's experienced thus far, and it isn't even physical, but it feels like it is. It feels like the hole in his heart is burning away what's left, and little by little it's turning to ash. Granted he's had some good days since being an Angel and meeting the lads, but his family is always there in the forefront of his mind. He cannot forget about them; never will forget about them. And although he misses them tremendously, he hopes he doesn't see them again for a long time. That they live out their lives to the fullest. And that someday, someday a long time from now, he'll get to see them again.
* * * *
Two days later, and it's Friday. Louis' currently in class with Zayn and the Demon, and he thinks he's going to do it. He's finally going to kill Harry.
"Zaynie baby, listen. No parties are going on tonight, so let's go to the bars. Get proper smashed, like the good ole' times."
"Sure, Haz. I'm down."
Louis' internally panicking, his nerves quiver like a ship heading into the eye of the storm, but he remains outwardly calm. What can he do?
"Er, lads? Fancy going to another museum today?"
Zayn smiles, "What about Monday? I do want to go out tonight, and the rest of the weekend I've got family stuff."
"Er, it's alright then. We'll figure it out."
Not wanting to, but not being able to stop himself, Louis' eyes peer over to find Harry grinning. When their eyes latch, Harry gives Louis the middle finger and winks, and Louis mouths back so that Zayn won't hear, 'I will end you.'
* * * *
"Louis, don't be a twat! Boybands are just as good as any other music artist!" Niall yells from across the table.
"I'm afraid I'm going to have to side with Niall on this," Liam supplies.
"I wasn't saying they were bad," Louis shouts, "I was saying that the new boy bands are. They have nothing on the classics. Backstreet Boys, 'NSYNC, BoysIIMen, Take That...the list goes on and on. Tell me one band from the last five years that can stand up to them?"
Zayn nervously responds, "The Jonas Brothers?"
Louis scoffs, "The Jonas Brothers? What are you, twelve?"
"What about that band One Direction?" Harry remarks.
Everyone's eyes turn to him, and Louis nearly chokes. Though to be fair, he's actually impressed with the answer.
"I think the blonde Irish lad's fit!" Niall adds in.
"Niall," Louis snarkily says, "That's cause you're a blonde Irish lad."
All the boys laugh at the comment, and even Harry chuckles a bit.
"Well, my point still stands," Niall finishes, "Boybands are great, no matter what era they're from."
"Yeah, yeah blondie...we get it." Louis counters.
Niall adds in, "Oi, anyone wanna go to the park after school's out today? Play some footie?"
"Haz and I got plans, sorry lads."
Liam looks forlorn at Zayn's information, and Louis wonders what happened after last week. Louis' been a bad friend; he completely forgot that he sent Liam off to potentially confess his feelings. Things obviously don't seem to have turned out badly, they've spent all week sitting next to each during lunch, but they don't seem to have gotten any better either. Louis needs to remember to ask Liam later when he gets a chance.
"Oh," Liam pouts, "Well, I'm in."
Louis answers, "Same."
* * * *
At the park where the boys are playing footie, Niall is running to catch the ball as it races past their field of play. While he's off to catch it, Louis hastily runs up to Liam to talk with him as they wait. The three of them have been having a good time since they've left school, and Louis' hoping that the lightness in the atmosphere around them is a sign Liam is in a good place to talk. Some days Louis can tell it's not good to push for answers, but today so far seems to be fine.
"I forgot to ask, whatever happened to you and Zayn at the party last week?"
"Oh," Liam frowns. "I didn't say it. Uhm, he was talking to another guy, and I didn't feel like interrupting."
"Yeah, I'm such an idiot."
"It's alright, but don't be scared, yeah? I feel like Zayn would be happy to have you interrupt any of his conversations."
"I don't know about that."
"Well, I do. Trust me?"
Planting his eyes directly onto Louis, Liam looks for any traces of doubt but comes to find nothing. Louis is fully confident in his stance and has not a single shred of fear for Liam. At this realization, Liam instantly relaxes and grins. "Alright, mate. I trust you. I'll talk to him next chance I get."
"That's a good lad."
At the end of Louis' words, Niall comes charging back from where he'd gone, ball securely in his hands. "Oi lads, prepare to go down!"
"In your dreams Horan," Louis shouts, with the happiest of sensations coursing through his fingertips. If there's one thing that's made becoming a Guardian Angel worth it, it's these two right here. Welcoming Louis in as if he was always meant to be there, and bringing a sense of contentedness to his life, even if only temporarily - has meant the world to him. No matter what happens tomorrow, or months from now, or years from now, Louis will never forget these two. Not ever.
* * * *
"You've got to be fucking kidding me," Niall shouts at Lunch on Monday. Liam is sat beside Zayn, Harry is on the other side of said boy, and Niall and Louis across from the three. It's their usual seats, the spots they've been taking since the first moment they all sat together.
"What's wrong Nialler?" Louis asks.
"I got a C on my paper in Lit, and my parents are gonna freak," he answers devastatingly.
Liam questions, "Why don't you just get a tutor for that class? I think Jenna Turner is one if you need."
"That's not a bad idea," Niall notes.
As Niall and Liam go on about the tutor, Harry and Zayn have begun their own side conversation, with Louis listening idly by.
"Chris got new stuff, wanna throw in?" Harry asks Zayn about something Louis can only assume is illegal.
"Honestly Haz, I'm broke. And I think I want to start laying off that stuff. It's been messing with my work."
"I thought you said it inspired you?"
"Yeah, but now we do it too often. It's more hindering than helpful at this point," Zayn declares.
Harry doesn't listen to anything else that Zayn says though, as he abruptly stands up from the table and leaves. Zayn looks torn, but Louis is quick to come to his rescue.
"Everything alright there, Z?"
Leaning his head against his palm, Zayn shrugs. "I don't know. I really don't."
"What's wrong with Harry?"
Zayn pouts, "Fuck if I know. He's been snapping at me all weekend, and it's like he doesn't get it. He wants to drag himself down into a hole, that's fine. But he needs to stop trying to tear me down with him."
Louis obviously knows why Harry is trying to bring Zayn down, but he's immensely glad that Zayn's conscious of Harry's attempts too. Not only that, but Zayn's trying to defy them and be his own person, and Harry's going to lose with or without Louis' help. While it should make Louis feel incredible that he's close to winning, all he can think about is what's going to happen to Harry if the Demon does lose. And it suddenly makes the taste of victory a lot more bitter.
"If Harry's a true friend, he'd support you no matter what you chose or chose not to do with your life. I know you said he's going through a lot, but Zayn, you need to think really hard about the kind of people you want to surround yourself with, and if Harry should be one of them. Because from where I'm standing, you don't need him. But that choice is ultimately up to you."
"If you had asked me two weeks ago if I thought Harry is someone I need in my life, I would have said yes without a single question. But now...now, I don't know."
Louis nods his head in understanding, and tries to eat the rest of his sandwich, but finds he's lost his appetite. It should feel good. It should feel good. It should feel good. Yet, no matter how many times Louis tries to reiterate that thought in his head, it won't take anchor in his mind because it doesn't feel right to talk badly about Harry to Zayn. It doesn't feel good when the words he speaks, manipulate themselves from his mouth like venom, poisoning Zayn with doubt. It doesn't feel good when all Louis can think about is how every action he makes, has a negative reaction to the Demon. It doesn't feel good at all.
What is going on with him?
* * * *
As the other weeks have passed, this one rolls along as well. After the lunch incident on Monday, Tuesday found Louis as Harry's new victim for his assaults, and coming into Wednesday seems no better. Louis' currently sitting in class, and Harry hasn't been able to keep his death glare off of Louis' face for one second.
"Zayn, can you help me with-"
Before Louis can finish his sentence, Harry is cutting him off. "Zayn doesn't have to help you. You can ask someone else."
Mouth agape, Louis snaps back. "What are you going on about? I don't think there's anything wrong with asking my friend-"
"He's not your friend!"
At the possessiveness of Harry's comment, Zayn yells. "Shut up! You are both my friends, but right now, I don't think I want to talk to either one of you." Once the statement is heard loud and clear, Zayn abruptly leaves Harry and Louis behind in the classroom, with shock abound in their expressions.
They stay quiet for the remainder of the class, but once the bell has signaled their dismal and Louis is collecting his things, Harry stalks up to him. "Louis, I'm asking kindly. Back off."
"You're only saying this because you're threatened by me, and you know I'm going to win."
Encroaching into Louis' space until the Angel's bum is pressed up against a desk, Harry snarls. "Threatened? You think I'm threatened? You're a measly little Angel playing with things that don't belong to you. I'm here to stake my claim. Zayn is mine, now back off."
Louis retaliates as he leans closer to Harry, so close that he can smell the faint hint of roses wafting from his neck again. He doesn't let the heady scent keep him from making his point though, "You know I don't get it - your emotional turbulence? One minute you're cordial to me, and the next you're planning my death. But see, I'm not the real problem here. There's something else going on, and you'd rather take out your frustrations on me than have to face them. But you know what? Do it. Give me your worst, because at the end of all of this, Zayn will be back on the proper path and I'll have won. So it doesn't matter what you do to me, anyway."
Harry is stunned into silence, and despite what his initial warnings had been, he's the one in the end that physically backs off of Louis. Louis' eyes widen at the action but takes his opportunity to leave while he can. When he's just about to pass through the door of the classroom, Louis looks back one final time to Harry, and he's almost reeled in at the sight. Because Harry, a sure-fire Demon with blazing red eyes and fangs, appears genuinely guilty. Like he's aware he's done something he probably shouldn't have done. As Louis stands to witness, Harry peers up from the ground he had been staring daggers into, until his green eyes come to find Louis staring at him. And somehow, the guiltiness that had inked itself into his skin has now altered into sorrow.
Louis' initial instinct is to run back in the room and wrap his arms around Harry in a hug. As if that could somehow cure the darkness that dwells inside. But Louis convinces himself that it's better this way. That it's better that he leaves with the upper hand. That's it's better that he maintains this confidence, though it's tattering at the edges. That it's better that he shows no sympathy, despite it flooding inside him to the point that it's practically seeping from his pores. But it's better this way, he thinks, as he turns around and walks out. It's better to hide how he truly feels. Yes, much better.
He doesn't get the image of murky green waves filled with regret out of his head all day.
* * * *
"It's the weekend!" Niall shouts to Louis and Liam in the halls on Friday afternoon.
"I take it you're excited," Louis jokes.
"That would be correct!"
Liam asks, "What are you so excited for? Got any plans?"
"Yes, I want you both to come over later for a lads night! I invited Zayn and Harry too!"
Oh great, Louis internally groans. "Tonight?"
"Yes, my parents are gone, so come whenever you want!"
"Alright, sounds fun. How about you, Payno?"
Liam's answer comes out on a laugh, "Good for me."
As they walk to Louis' locker altogether, Louis questions, "Did Zayn or Harry say if they're going to come?"
Niall grins, "Yes! They both are!" Waggling his eyebrows, Niall teases, "That's not a problem for you, is it?"
"What no? I love Zayn."
"That's not who I'm talking about, and we both know it."
Liam moves in as his curiosity piques at the topic change, listening intently as Louis explains.
"I mean, I don't hate the lad," Louis tries nonchalantly.
However, Niall's not buying it. "Sure doesn't seem like it."
"He's just an idiot, and I like to put him in his place now and then."
Rolling his eyes, Liam adds, "Mhmm, sure...that's what you're doing."
"What are you implying there, Liam?"
"Oh, nothing." He says as he and Niall look to one another and laugh, apparently in on some inside joke.
"Whatever, you two are losing it. I've got to run home and grab some things, Niall. I'll be by later. Bye!"
The two boys yell back, "Bye!"
* * * *
Dressed in black joggers, and a soft grey shirt, Louis tightens the straps to his backpack. It's filled with clothes for the night, his toothbrush, phone charger, and a few other things that Louis thought would be essential for the get-together. With a nervous breath as he's standing outside the front door, Louis nods his head for reassurance and enters Niall's home. Unlike where Louis had grown up in Doncaster, the majority of the kids Louis goes to school with now come from families with money, and Niall is no exception. His humble abode is really not so humble.
"Oi you bloody tosser, hurry up over there! Everyone's already here," Niall shouts from the living room.
Heading in, Louis kicks his shoes off in the front foyer, before making his way over to the living room. Traveling through the house, Louis comes to an overall modern theme, with black and white accents throughout the home. Louis finds it all very sterile. Getting to the living room, Louis spots Zayn, Liam, Niall, and unfortunately Harry, all situated inside. Zayn and Niall are playing FIFA on the flat screen, while Liam and Harry are watching from the couches with serious enjoyment. Liam's face is bursting with a full-blown smile, and even Harry has something akin to a grin plastered on his face.
A crowd of 'hello's' greet him in response, and Louis wastes no time in getting comfy next to Liam on the black leather of the couch. And for a while, the night is good. They take turns playing video games, they take turns eating pizza, they take turns joking with one another as if this wasn't the first time they'd all hung out outside of school. Like long lost friends, they all meshed together seamlessly, and for the first few hours, everything to Louis seemed great. And yes, including Harry.
However, midnight creeps in, and when Louis thought it'd be time to put on the scary film Niall had been raving about, Harry decides to change up the plans. "You all interested in something to drink?"
The tone in which Harry says 'drink' is enough to get across the point that he's not talking about juice. Louis is panicking, but Niall cheers before Louis can figure out what to do, to evade this situation. "Hell yeah, mate! My family's Irish, we're stocked."
"Even better," Harry voices.
The blonde boy stands up to grab a couple of glasses and the alcohol, and Louis just wants to leave. If it weren't for Zayn, he probably would. "Er, I'm good without lads," Louis says to no one in particular.
Harry zeroes his eyes in on Louis, "Aw, can't handle your alcohol, little Angel?"
"Don't call me that," Louis snaps back with rage.
"Hey Louis," Liam says calmly to diffuse the situation, "It's alright. You don't have to drink."
"Thanks, Li. You know, I think I might honestly go to bed early. I'm tired, and I'm getting snappy cause of it. I'll see you boys in the morning."
"Hey wait, I'll come too," Zayn adds in as he stands from the floor.
"Yeah," he smiles. "I'm not in the mood to drink tonight either."
Out of the corner of his eye, Louis can see a firm pout nestled on Harry's face, but Louis does his best not to address it. "Alright cool. Let's go."
The two go upstairs to one of the guest rooms and agree to share a bed. Zayn's too scared to sleep alone in a new place, and Louis will do anything to get some more time with the other. When they crash onto the mattress and shuffle under the sheets, Louis takes this time to talk. The next twenty minutes are spent chatting about simple things, like Zayn's favorite movie, why he loves his sister even though she annoys him, and how art has always been that freedom for him when everything else seemed so confined. Louis lays next to him, listening to the secrets that he shares, never once disrupting the flow by talking about himself.
But just as Louis is close to falling asleep, and Zayn has turned onto his side to get more comfortable, Louis hears one last thing for the night.
"You know, you're a good mate, Louis. I'm really happy you moved here."
The recognition of their friendship from Zayn is like having water after a drought. It's overwhelming at first and then consumed all at once. Louis doesn't know what to say in response, and truly, words aren't needed at the moment. So instead, he falls asleep with a smile on his face, until he wakes up in the morning, and leaves before the sun has had time to rise.
* * * *
As is expected once someone has consumed the majority of the contents within their refrigerator, Louis has to go food shopping. He's exhausted after spending the previous night at Niall's, but Sundays are already his lazy days. With half-lidded eyes and tired bones, Louis shuffles out of bed and gets ready to go out.
When he's in the shower, he thinks about the night before. It had been entertaining to hang out with the lads, even Harry included, until the Demon had to mention drinking. He's thankful that Zayn chose not to partake in their late-night activities, and he's counting that as the biggest win of all, but something is still bothering him. It's not that he cares that Niall or Liam decided to join Harry. No - that isn't the issue he's dealing with.
Honestly, if Louis entirely looks at the situation, at what happened, and asks himself the question he's dreading to ask, he knows what the answer is. The thing that aggravates him the most about the night before, like a flea on his body he can't get rid of, is the fact that Harry had to drink at all.
Why did he need to mention having alcohol when they were having fun being sober? Why did he need to question why Louis didn't want to drink? Does the Demon honestly find that much pleasure in causing Louis frustration? But if that's the case, if Harry gets off on putting Louis down, then what was that all about in the classroom? What was the reason for the expression that is now stitched into the fabric of Louis' memories, where Harry genuinely seemed sorry? It doesn't make sense; nothing about Harry makes sense. And while Louis, as in Louis the Guardian Angel, doesn't want to know. Louis, as in Louis Tomlinson of Doncaster, does.
Washing off the shampoo from his hair, Louis tries to rinse away his thoughts along with the foaming soap and steps out of the shower. Whatever it is that he wants - or doesn't want to do - in regards to the infamous Demon, Louis doesn't need to stress about today.
Because today is meant for food shopping and homework, and nothing else.
* * * *
On his way to go grocery shopping, Louis takes a detour. The weather in London is surprisingly nice as the sun tingles along Louis' golden skin, tinting the already permanently tanned pigment. The store he buys his food from is another two streets up from where Louis has found himself, but the park to his left looks like a lot better of an option at the moment. Reasoning that he has nothing else to do today, Louis strolls through the busy greenery, taking a seat on a vacant bench.
While there's nothing that especially happens during his hour of rest, it's humbling just sitting back and watching all that's around. Families playing together, friends hanging out with one another, a few lonely souls straggling through the grass. Louis reminisces about his own childhood as he pictures playing with his sisters in their back garden. And while the image has Louis feeling more bitter than sweet, it still lifts a small grin to settle upon his face.
After the hour of relaxing is up, and the growl of his stomach reminds him of his need for food, Louis departs from the scene. It was great while it lasted, but he's also glad it's over. Now casually walking the streets, there are about five minutes left of his walk, till he reaches the store when a familiar face shatters his hazy view.
Marching from the opposite end of the path up ahead, Harry makes a quick turn into an alleyway and disappears out of sight. Louis shouldn't, but curiosity gets the better of him, as he speeds up his pace to follow the Demon. Racing down the alley, Louis doesn't realize how close Harry is to him until it's too late and he literally runs into Harry's body.
"What the - Angel?"
Steadying his shaken bones from the physical contact, Louis looks up to find Harry staring bewilderedly at him. Maybe he should have thought this through. "Er...hi?"
"What are you doing here? Were you following me?"
Harry takes a step forward into Louis' space, while Louis in turn, takes one back. It's weird, but Louis expects the Demon to be dressed in his cocky smirk at the idea of Louis following him, but for some reason, he only appears mad. "Well someone had to make sure you weren't tarnishing innocent souls."
At Louis' remark, the Demon scoffs. "What would you know? You don't know fuck about me!"
"I know enough," Louis argues back.
Inching forward until he's too close, Harry snaps. "You know nothing." His body lingers as if making sure that the words that have left his venomous mouth have seared into Louis long enough to damage. Abruptly after the pause, Harry storms off, but not without bumping against Louis' shoulder on the way.
In the aftermath, Louis only has one feeling resounding within him, and that's guilt. Yes, he feels guilty. Guilty for what he said. Guilty for what he assumed. Harry's a Demon, but that doesn't mean Louis knows who Harry is, or anything about him. And if Harry's a Demon, that also means that at one point he was an Angel. At this thought, Louis can't help but realize he needs more. He needs to know more about Harry. He needs to know what happened that made Harry this way. What does it take for an Angel to become fallen? What cataclysmic event did Harry have to endure, to be dropped down from Heaven unto Lucifer's door?
Gathering himself together, Louis leaves the alleyway and heads to the store with a few ideas in mind. One, he needs to apologize, or maybe simply try harder not to be so rude to Harry. Two, he needs to stop assuming that he knows who Harry is. And three, he needs to know what happened. Louis needs to find out what...no, who hurt Harry so badly that he ended up this way?
* * * *
Despite Sunday being his day for procrastination and laziness, Louis spends it trying to find Harry. He searches every street, checks every alley, but nothing. Harry is nowhere to be seen. Louis should have just stayed at home, but a part of him is glad that he made an effort. Besides, tomorrow is Monday, which means they both have school to attend.
Louis does not doubt he will see Harry soon enough.
* * * *
Unexpectedly, Harry wasn't in school on Monday. Louis hid his nerves upon this realization but figured Harry'd have to be there Tuesday. However, once again, Louis was wrong. Currently exiting his class that he has with Niall, Louis makes it to his next one with Zayn and the Demon. Once he acknowledges that Harry's not there, however, Louis sucks up his pride and asks Zayn, "Hey, have you seen Harry today?"
Moving his attention away from the paper he was doodling on, Zayn scrunches his eyebrows. "Haz? No...haven't heard from him actually."
"So...you don't know if he's okay or anything?"
At Louis' question, Zayn smirks, "Why? You worried or something?"
"No! Just curious is all."
Zayn eyes Louis' behavior curiously as he responds, "I don't know if Harry's okay, but I assume he is. He does this every now and then, disappearing for a few days. He'll show up when he's ready to."
Louis wants to trust what Zayn says, but Louis also knows better. Louis also knows what Harry really is, and for that, he doesn't believe in a single ounce of Zayn's hope. Unfortunately, life for a Demon is not so kind, and there are a million things Louis' afraid that could be happening to him. But Harry's not Louis' mission, Zayn is. Meaning that Louis can't leave class to go searching for Harry like his mind wants him to.
* * * *
Going into school on Wednesday, Louis doesn't expect anything. He's assumed Harry is long gone, and after Tuesday's talk with Zayn, has henceforth also accepted it. Meaning that today when he enters the school, he doesn't go in search of Harry on his way to class, or even spare a quick glance around. Louis is determined to continue on as he is meant to do, and focus solely on his mission.
Walking into his first classroom, Louis shuffles to his seat finding Niall there before him. Glimpsing up at Louis, Niall beams with eagerness. "Louis! Missed you buddie."
"Niall, you saw me yesterday."
Louis laughs at the sassiness, "Point taken."
"I actually had something to talk with you about."
"Yeah! So I was walking in with Liam this morning, and we saw Zayn and Harry having a chat by the lockers, so-"
"Wait, Harry's back?"
"Back?" Niall's eyes furrow, "Didn't know he was gone."
"Oh, right. Never mind, go on."
"Right, so we saw them talking and we were going to go over and say hi, when Harry freaked out on Zayn and stormed off. Zayn looked proper gutted, and we went over to ask if he was okay. He didn't want to talk about it though, so we left it at that. Just weird, you know? Harry always seems to be really calm whenever he's around Zayn, never seen him go off like that before."
"That is strange."
Niall is about to continue on when their teacher waltzes into the classroom, silencing any conversation they're about to have. As their teacher dives into instructing the lesson though, Louis can't silence his thoughts. For one Harry's back, which is good because this is what Louis wanted, right? But second, he's angry. Louis is beyond curious to know what the two were talking about to tick Harry off like that, but unfortunately, that's a question he'll probably never have answered.
Knowing Harry's in school, Louis decides that he can break his newfound motivation for Zayn, just long enough to apologize to Harry like he's wanted to do. Whenever he gets the chance, he'll get it over with, and return back to his purpose. Louis' sure this is exactly what he needs to rid his mind of Harry, once and for all. Say sorry to rid himself of the guilt he feels, and to move on. The perfect solution to all his worries.
* * * *
The problem with having a set plan in mind, is when other factors make those plans nearly impossible to complete. For example, the fact that Harry wouldn't even acknowledge Louis' presence during school hours, which made it extremely hard to talk to him. In addition to that, he wouldn't stay anywhere long enough for Louis to get close. One second he was there, the next he was gone, like blowing out a flame.
Due to this, Louis has justified stalking Harry - well, not stalking per se, more like premeditated following. Nevertheless, Louis' convinced this is the best way to solve his problem. It's not a good idea, Louis deep down knows this, but he doesn't want to admit that to himself quite yet. Once school has let out, he trails behind Harry for what seems like hours, until he somehow loses him. Fuck. Scanning around the streets, Harry's out of sight, and Louis is truly disappointed.
Directing the position of his feet to take him home, Louis is about to step away, when large hands grab onto him and yank him down an alleyway he had just been standing nearby. His eyes shut at the panic of being dragged by a stranger, but when his body is flung up against a brick wall, the familiar position tells him enough about who he's about to face.
"Stop following me."
Opening his eyes, Louis' view is immersed with red-tinged eyes and a beautiful but menacing face. Harry's arms are surrounding Louis' head as they lean up against the wall behind him, and once again, they're in a compromisingly close position. Anyone else would be scared, but not Louis.
"I'm not following you," Louis confidently snaps.
"That's funny. I thought Angels couldn't lie."
"Fine then, stalking. You're stalking me. Stop it."
"I just wanted to say-"
Harry backs away with a snarl, "I don't care what you have to say. Leave me alone!"
"Are you trying to scare me? In case you haven't realized, it's not working out."
At Louis' brazen quip, Harry smirks. The cocky expression stirs something within Louis, but it certainly is not fear. In fact, the only thing he's afraid of admitting is what that emotion truly is, swirling in the pit of his stomach, and enticing a body part he doesn't want to say.
"So you say, little Angel," Harry coos, then in an instant, he's back up against Louis firmer than he was before. Louis is startled by the suddenness of it all, until Harry takes his hand, and begins to trace his fingers ever so delicately across Louis' cheek. As he goes to talk again, Harry's hand weaves across his skin until his fingertips press firmly against Louis' neck like a noose, threatening to tighten their grip. "If I were you I'd be afraid. You haven't seen the best of me yet."
Regardless of what Harry's insinuating, Louis smiles. "You're right." At the sudden comment, the Demon quirks his head back in confusion.
"What'd you say?"
"You're right," Louis continues, "I haven't seen the best of you yet. I don't know who you are. You're right, Harry. Completely."
In the scheme of things, this was not how Louis expected this to turn out, nor did he expect Harry to back off of him fully at the admission. Louis watches as the Demon looks befuddled by Louis' actions, and it reminds Louis of the day in the classroom. Harry has the capacity to feel remorse, Louis can see it plain as day.
"I don't understand. Is that what you came here for, to confuse me?"
"No, I didn't."
Before Louis can finish his sentence, Harry cuts in. "Can you just leave." It's a statement, but there's the tiniest hint of a question in his tone, as if he wants to plead, but is too proud to do so.
Nodding his head, Louis steps to walk away but turns around before he's gone because he came here to say something, and he's not leaving till he does. "I'm sorry."
The two words strike into the Demon like lightning, and he yanks his head up to look at Louis like he's never looked at him before. "What was that?"
"That's what I came here to say...I'm sorry."
Harry is dumbstruck, but Louis doesn't wait, turning on his heels to head back home. There's a weight that's been lifted off his shoulders, and Louis wonders briefly if Harry feels the same way. Or if Harry feels anything at all, really.
Either way, this was the result Louis wanted. Reprieved.
* * * *
There's a change in Harry on Thursday and Friday, that's so subtle the others don't notice, but Louis does. The tension that levitates around the two whenever they're together is significantly decreased. It's not gone, but it's not strangling either, and it's enough that Louis' satisfied. On Friday, there's also buzz around the school about another party later that evening, and everyone seems to be pumped with adrenaline to go. Niall practically screams during lunch over his excitement to drink later, causing all the boys to laugh at the lunch table. Even Harry.
Promising to see one another later, they all disembark from school once the bell has rung, leaving Louis a few hours to himself before he goes back out. Unlike the other lads, he's not particularly excited for tonight's event, but he needs to watch over Zayn. Another small, tiny little voice in his head says he also needs to watch out for Harry, too.
Louis squashes it down.
Getting inside his flat, Louis drops off his backpack and lies down on the couch. He has four hours to shower and eat dinner, which leaves him a lot of time to do nothing. Moments like these are the worst, when the emptiness floods around Louis, tempting to drag him down. Moments like these are when he thinks about all that he misses, his friends, his family, his home. Most days Louis can continue as if it's not nibbling away at him inside, but then there are some days that he can't bother to put up a fight.
Louis wonders if other Angels feel this way? Is this normal to feel indifferent towards who he is now? He remembers Teddy, who said that he should be happy with the circumstances, but Louis spends his days around people who have all the things he wants back. There's only so long he can pretend it's not tormenting him until he breaks.
Walking into his bathroom, Louis watches in the mirror as he starts to force his wings to appear from where they've been hidden for so long. Releasing them to stretch their feathers in a heavy, but pleasant manner. They're white, so so white against all the dull tones of the bathroom walls, and Louis feels sick. He wishes they were gone. Staring at his reflection, staring at his wings, Louis morbidly thinks - Are Guardian Angels supposed to be this sad?
* * * *
For the first time since Louis' initial sobriety, he's seriously considering having a drink. In the kitchen with Zayn and Liam, Louis finds that the party has lost its touch. The feeling of careless, reckless freedom that ignites more drunkenness than the alcohol consumed is long gone. There's nothing special about tonight - everyone's being an idiot, and everyone's drunk. Well, everyone except Louis.
They've been at the party for an hour, Niall has found some girl to dance with, Liam and Zayn are engaged in a conversation about Marvel characters, and Louis has the strangest sensation that he's alone. Maybe it has something to do with the fact that a certain Demon has not arrived for Louis to devote his attention to, or maybe not. But the fact of the matter is, is that Harry is not here, and Louis' honestly disappointed.
Drifting his eyes from the room to Zayn who's called his name, Louis sighs. "Yeah?"
"You alright, mate?"
Zayn rolls his eyes at Louis' lie. "Come now, tell Zaynie what's wrong."
"I can't decide what disturbs me more, the fact that Harry calls you that or the fact that you allow it."
Chuckling, Zayn shakes his head. "Oi Louis, come on. Loosen up now. It's a party. We're supposed to be having fun."
"Thanks for the advice, didn't know that's what I was supposed to be doing."
"Louis," Zayn snaps. "What's bothering you?"
Zayn keeps his dark irises held so firmly on Louis, that the boy can't fend off for much longer. Dropping his shoulders with an exhale, Louis admits. "I don't know honestly. I just don't feel like being here anymore. Speaking of which, where did Liam run off too?"
"Oh, to the loo. And yeah, I get it. Sometimes I'm here, and I wonder why I bothered coming in the first place. Then sometimes I'm here, and I wonder why I ever doubted it before. Happens to the best of us."
Louis shrugs, "I guess."
"Does any of what you're feeling have to do with Harry?"
At the suggestion, Louis' eyes widen, "Why would you say that?"
"Cause I'm not dim, and I see the way you two are around each other."
"I just don't understand him. He's so back and forth with his emotions."
"Louis? That's just how Harry is. Some days are better than others, but he can't help it. Being nice, doing good, it's not in his nature. He's not a bad person, but it's like, he also doesn't know any better? That's sad to say, and I'm not trying to say it's okay for him to act that way, but like...that's just how he's always been. At least, since I've known him."
Defensively, Louis retorts, "Are you saying I should be nicer to him because he can't help it?"
"No! I'm just saying that you need to stop expecting anything better, and then you won't be let down."
Louis doesn't believe that, though. He knows that can't be true, so he sternly confesses just that. "Zayn? I know you're trying to help, but I think you're wrong."
"I genuinely believe Harry is capable of better; I just don't think he realizes that."
"Why do you think that," Zayn wonders while he takes a sip of his beer.
"Because he doesn't know that someone believes in him, that someone has faith in him to do the right thing, and I think if he did, he would try harder."
Watching Louis for a minute before exposing a slight smirk, Zayn chuckles. "Wow Louis, I guess I was wrong about you. You don't hate Harry at all."
"What's that supposed to mean?"
"Oh, nothing," Zayn oddly teases as he pats Louis on the arm. "Let's forget what I said. Why don't we go find Niall and make fun of him with that bird?"
"I suppose that sounds fun."
They start heading out of the kitchen, but Louis stalls, "Zayn?"
* * * *
If Louis thought he and Harry were making some form of progress, well then he is sadly mistaken. Harry hasn't been annoying him specifically, but he's back to bugging Zayn, and in turn, bugging Louis.
"Zaynie, we haven't hung out just the two of us in ages, let's get together after school, yeah?"
Sitting in their class Monday, Louis is ready to scream.
"Alright Haz, alright. I know I've been neglecting you."
The grin on Harry's face is ecstatic, and it makes Louis' stomach churn. Unfortunately, there's nothing he can do. He could try to argue, but it will only come off more aggressive than friendly and confuse Zayn in the process. For once, he has to let Harry win.
"Great! Can't wait!"
Zayn laughs at Harry's dramatic exclamation, before returning his focus to their teacher. However, Louis keeps his eyes on Harry, glaring into the curls at the side of his head until the Demon takes notice, and looks back. At the connection, Louis witnesses Harry's brows raise in surprise from being watched, until those green orbs do something unprecedented. They cloud over with sadness. Louis instantly ponders at the view -
What could be enough to make a Demon sad?
* * * *
"Zayn and Harry are both gone today?" Liam asks, as he joins Niall and Louis at their lunch table Tuesday afternoon, minus their two other friends.
"Probably fooling around somewhere together," Niall jokes.
At the topic, Louis frowns. It was bad enough when Harry got Zayn to hang out with him after school but skipping the next day altogether? That's too far.
"You alright there, Louis?"
Coming back to the present, Louis nods his head at Niall. "Yeah sorry. Lot on my mind."
"Like our Maths test?" Liam worriedly asks.
"That, and other things."
"Don't worry, we can study together," Liam responds at the vague answer. "And anything else, just don't stress about it. Not while we're in school at least."
"Course if you need to talk about it, we're always here," Niall grins widely.
"When I'm ready to talk about it, you two will be the first to know."
* * * *
As the next day crawled in, bringing with it cloudy skies, Louis unhappily shrugged a coat on to head to school. A brisk chill was in the air as the Autumn season settled in, tinting the leaves around the city. To Louis, it's bittersweet. It's beautiful, but it means the end of another year is soon. It also means that his birthday and the holidays will be coming up, and for the first time in his entire life, he won't be celebrating them with his family. He's not ready to think about that though quite yet, not at all.
This particular morning, Louis has time to stop at a café on his way to school, before arriving at the one place he'd rather not be. Once inside, Louis trudges up to Niall and Liam who are standing in the hallway by his locker, and again, he's forever grateful for having them as friends. They make this whole situation just a little more bearable.
"Oi, Nialler, Payno."
The boys turn their heads to find Louis coming up to them, and Niall cheers. "Louis! Finally mate, been looking for you."
"Am I that irresistible? Couldn't wait to see me again?"
"Fuck off," Niall laughs. "Got invited to another party. This one is at Will's. Guess his parents are out of town, or summat."
"Ugh, another party?"
Liam agrees, "I know, but Niall promised this one is supposed to be the best."
"It is," Niall declares. "Will's house is fucking nice."
Louis exhales in defeat, "Fine, I'll go."
"Yes! I knew you couldn't resist me." Niall chuckles and starts to grab Louis into a hug, but Louis wiggles out with wild laughter. Niall looks determined to go in again, resulting in Louis getting into his warrior stance to keep him off, until another person's laugh pulls them from their play. Looking up, Louis sees Zayn and Harry strolling up to them.
"Hey lads," Zayn greets.
"Hey," Niall and Liam innocently say back, while Louis doesn't respond. Zayn realizes this and appears to want to ask, but the bell rings signaling that first period is about to start. Instead, they break off, with no words said between them as Niall and Louis head to their class. Louis decides he'll talk with Zayn later when the Demon isn't hanging around.
* * * *
Louis wasn't avoiding. Well, maybe a little, but he had good intentions. He was avoiding Zayn because he didn't want to make any ill-mannered comments before they had a proper chance to talk about it. Talking to Zayn in class, when Harry was right there, would have resulted in a blowout. Louis is just waiting till they're alone and can discuss it, without any other aspects coming into play. However, he realizes that while this may make a lot of sense to him, Zayn seems to be left completely clueless and offended. So really, it didn't avoid anything at all.
"Zayn," Louis says as they're walking down the hallway to Art. Zayn though is a few paces ahead of him and ignoring him now in return.
Spinning around in an instant, causing Louis to bump into his chest, Zayn snaps. "What!"
"Can we talk?"
"Funny, you didn't seem to want to do that earlier."
"Come on," Louis pleads. "I'm not above begging."
Exhaling sharply, Zayn concedes. "Fine, lavs?"
The two walk towards the closest restrooms, and enter inside as the late bell for the class sounds. Louis doesn't care if he's late, he needs to talk with Zayn. That's what matters. Upon being inside, they take note that no one else is there before Louis goes to speak.
"I didn't mean to come off like I was avoiding you, sorry. I just, I wanted to wait and talk to you about, uhm. How I'm feeling."
"How you're feeling?"
"Harry's not a good friend. I know we've had this talk, but he just got you to ditch school yesterday! The minute he whines just a little bit, you give in, and that's that. You do whatever it is he wants, and that's not right."
"Louis, I don't know why it upsets you so much. No offense, but Harry and I were friends first."
This comment is a cold slap across Louis' face because it means he's being pushy. He has to back off or else he'll lose Zayn for good. "I'm sorry. I don't mean to come off so...aggressive? I just worry. So do Liam and Niall. We see the way he treats you, and it's not - it's not always the best."
"You don't think I already know that? But what do you expect me to do?"
"Stand up to him."
"Yeah right," Zayn mocking laughs.
"I'm serious. We'll be there for you if you need us. But someday you gotta stand up for yourself and tell him, 'no.'"
Zayn runs his fingers through his hair in frustration, but his body language suggests he's surrendering. "You know, I've always had a lot of...insecurities? I uhm, I doubt a lot of things, and I don't really think I'm uh, good enough for like, most people. But Harry, he never made me feel like I was less than I am. Despite how he comes off, he was the first person to accept me and all my faults. Everyone else had judged me or told me to stop freaking out over the littlest things. But he didn't, and I'm always going to be grateful to him, for that."
At Zayn's recollection, Louis is more confused than ever. Why would Harry, Demon Harry, be so kind towards Zayn's personal battles? Why would he not use them to his advantage, in manipulating Zayn to the dark side?
Louis is lost to his curiosities, yet Zayn continues talking. "I know what you think of him, Louis. I know what most people think of him. But just like you and me, Harry has his faults too. And as his friend, I agreed to accept them."
"But even as friends, he shouldn't force you into anything you don't want to do."
At this, Zayn sighs. "You're right Louis, in that respect. I suppose I should learn to say 'no' now and then."
Louis nods his head though it's not victorious, as a pout captures his face, "I suppose I could learn to be more open-minded, as well."
"Yeah, you should. Harry could really use another friend."
And well, isn't that an interesting thought? An Angel befriending a Demon.
* * * *
The party Friday night arrives quickly, like every passing moment of Louis' immortal life. And just as the other parties, the beautifully luxurious home is stuffed with liquor, drugs, and students - and Louis is just about ready to leave.
It's not necessarily a bad party; it's just Louis. When they showed up around an hour earlier, Liam and Zayn linked up together like they usually do at these affairs, leaving Niall and Louis to fend for themselves. It was alright at first with Niall pulling Louis along into conversation after conversation, chatting up a few girls that have the Irishman seemingly interested. It wasn't until Harry showed up that Louis became distracted from all those around him. Harry and his long legs clad in skinny black jeans, accented with his lustful cherry lips and hypnotizing eyes, attracting poor souls like a siren's song.
Louis' over the whole thing, yes over it very much.
The thing is, is that he was willing to do what Zayn asked of him, to 'be open-minded.' But standing alongside Niall and witnessing Harry drink and flirt, and drink and dance, and drink and suck face with whoever he so chooses. It just infuriates him. Harry's like a hungry vulture, swooping down for his next prey, and Louis doesn't want to watch him partake in his meals anymore.
When Louis observes Harry take three people into one of the upstairs bedrooms, he loses it. "Hey Ni, I'm gonna go outside. Need some air."
"Oh okay, Louis."
He thinks Niall might have asked if he's okay, but Louis storms off to the back deck faster than Niall's words can penetrate him. Reaching the doors that allow him to step out into the barren yard, Louis' lungs inflate with a fresh breath of air, purifying the smoke-filled cavities that had infiltrated his insides. He feels alive standing outside, the brisk night air crawling along his skin happily, as it cools off the sweat of the party.
Music plays in the distance, as Louis takes step after step further from the house. He's alone in the dark, no one else wanting to brave the cold, but that's better for him. It's peaceful, serene, grounding him down as he focuses on what's important. Not the drinking. Not the party. Zayn. Zayn is what's important. But so is Niall, and so is Liam. And no matter how hard Louis tries to deny it, the minute he thinks of his friend group, Harry's there too. Louis may not like him very much, but he can't lie to himself about this any longer.
Somehow someway he cares about the Demon, and it's terrifying.
A while passes until the realization truly dawns on Louis, and so does the fact that while the cold had felt nice initially, it's now burning against his pink skin. He needs to head inside, warm himself up, and find his friends. Returning to the party, Louis takes note that quite some time has passed since he departed from Niall earlier, and after a thorough search around the house, Louis can't find anyone. Well, he shouldn't say anyone. Harry is still here, living up his Demon fantasies between two girls' bodies, as they grind against him on the dancefloor. Ew. Alas, Louis has no choice but to talk to him, so he sucks up his pride, and marches over to the sloppy mess that Harry is.
"Harry?" The Demon lifts his hazy eyes to Louis and smirks.
"What do you want?"
"Where's the lads?"
The girls dancing on Harry don't seem to mind their conversation, as they continue to gyrate their bodies closer into his. "Dunno. Zayn and Liam left a while ago, not sure bout the blonde."
"You mean Niall?"
At his indifference, Louis grabs onto Harry's wrist and yanks him from where he was dancing, pulling him over a few steps away. Along with the tug, Harry shouts, "Hey!"
"Listen, I want to leave, but Liam drove us all here. I don't know how else to get home."
Harry rolls his eyes as he slurs, "I don't care."
It hurts, and maybe it's evident on Louis' face that Harry's words actually affected him, because the Demon sighs after another second of silence between the two. "Fuck it, fine. But then we're leaving now," Harry concludes.
Louis nods his head, following hurriedly behind Harry as the Demon makes his way out of the house, and across the lawn. Once they're near the road, Harry stalks up to a guy getting into his car and crowds into the person's space.
Staring directly into the other's pupils, Harry speaks. "You're going to give me your keys, and walk back inside the house."
The boy startles at the words but does as he's possessed to do, leaving Harry his keys and running back into the party. Harry smirks at his success until he turns to see Louis pouting. The smirk drastically changes into a frown matching Louis', and they both stand there with unamused expressions.
"Alright little Angel, get in the car or I'm leaving you behind."
"Should you even be driving? Aren't you a bit intoxicated?"
Harry laughs at the comment. "Unless I consistently drink glass after glass, the alcohol burns away in my veins. Doesn't take me long to sober up."
"Oh, okay." At this, Louis gets into the passenger seat of the car.
It's quiet once he's settled himself in the seat, next to Harry who pulls away from the house with a stern expression shrouding his features. Louis wants to say something, just to rid the space of the awkwardness, but Harry beats him to it.
"Where do you live?"
"Oh, uhm. Over on Baker Street."
It takes another twenty minutes of coasting through city streets and traffic lights until Harry arrives at the corner of his street. Despite hating the quiet the majority of the time, Louis surprisingly doesn't want to leave. "Uh, thanks, Harry. For driving me home."
Harry's face softens the smallest amount from the gratitude, and to Louis, it's a sign of hope. A sign that he's getting through to Harry, even if it's the tiniest amount. Because of this, Louis goes one step further in trying to break down the Demon's walls.
"Do you...do you want to come inside?"
Green meets blue in furthered shock, and though Harry's eyes practically scream one thing, his mouth says another. "No, that's okay."
"I won't bite. Come on - you can even spend the night. I don't have much, but I have a nice couch and warm blankets. I have some food too if you're hungry, and enough tea to last an apocalypse."
"You're really inviting me inside?"
"Is that so hard to believe?"
They stare at one each other unsurely for another beat before Harry actually nods his head in submission. "Okay."
Louis should be more afraid that he's invited a Demon inside of his home, but all he feels is content. And that's the truth. Louis feels content in knowing that Harry will have somewhere safe to spend the night.
Leading them up to the flat, Louis unlocks his door handle, stepping in first with Harry close behind. "It's not much, guess the Heaven's didn't want me to look too rich for a sixth form student."
"So it seems," Harry responds.
"Are you uh, hungry or thirsty? Not sure how the whole 'Demon' thing works."
Harry steps further within the flat and shifts to Louis who's standing in the kitchen. "No, I'm good. But in case you're wondering, Demon's don't need food or water. We can eat it if we so choose, but it does nothing for us in regards to our appetite."
"Do you...do you get hungry?"
"I don't eat souls if that's what you're getting at."
A surge of red flushes Louis' cheeks, "Oh, sorry. Angels have to eat, but I'm sure you already knew that, since Demons were once Angels and all that, uh. Yeah."
At the comment, Harry averts his eyes from Louis' and looks about the room, muttering out, "Yeah," just to say something afterward.
"I'm just gonna grab you some blankets, and maybe some sweats for you to sleep in. They might be a bit small. If you need to shower or whatever, help yourself."
As Louis moves to grab the things he mentioned, he sees Harry pull out his phone, and get situated on the couch. You're doing the right thing, he tells himself, hoping he'll actually believe it if he says it enough.
When he returns, to Louis' relief, Harry's asleep. At the sight of the sleeping Demon, Louis' brain tells him to leave the blankets on the coffee table for him to grab when he needs. But his heart - his heart is telling him to lay the blankets out on Harry, for him. The opposing sides are clashing against each other like tidal waves in his mind, but Louis' goal is to get to know Harry. To break down the barricades that he's put up, and if Louis is aiming to do that, he's going to have to go out of his way for the Demon. So wrapping him up is the best option. Taking the thick green blanket and unfolding it, Louis lays it on Harry's sleeping form. Making sure his feet are tucked in as well, Louis smiles at the sight, and then quietly tiptoes away.
If he happens to save the image in his memory for the rest of time, then it's nobody's business but his own.
Sleep leaves Louis a frazzled mess on Saturday morning. For one, because his bladder is well past the point of no return, and two...there's a Demon in his living room. One would think Louis had trouble falling asleep with Harry just on the other side of the door, but in the absolute truth, he didn't. Not even a touch of difficulty. The moment Louis' body hit his pillows, and his heavy-lidded eyes sealed shut, he was out to the world. That probably says something about the amount of trust Louis has for the other, but he can't delve into thoughts about why he should or should not trust Harry when he's on the edge of wetting his bed. Especially since for him to go to the bathroom means he'll need to leave his bedroom.
Meaning he'll have to confront Harry.
Crawling out of from his bedsheets, the cold air of his bedroom vibrates along his skin as the covers are pulled away, almost making him get back in bed. You've got this Louis, you've got this! When Louis cracks open his door to peek into the realm outside, what he doesn't expect to see is Harry...cleaning? Yes, cleaning. Tidying up around his living room and kitchen, and - dare Louis say? He even looks pleased?
Louis would like to study the situation longer, before entering into it, but unfortunately, duty calls. So pulling open the door, Louis steps out and is met with a curious faced Demon watching his every move. "Er, morning."
"Morning," Harry's deep rasp replies.
"I er, have to wee," Louis says as he points to the bathroom. Harry nods his head, and Louis runs in to hide from the embarrassment that he is. Did he really need to announce his business?
The problem with hiding out in the bathroom is that after releasing himself and washing his hands, there's nothing left for him to do. In addition to that, spending more than five minutes in there just comes off as odd, and Louis doesn't want to further Harry's already biased thoughts anymore.
So he sucks it up, and steps out of the room, appearing more confident than he had before. Even though Louis truly feel likes a mouse in a lion's den. "Hi," he says shakily as he goes to sit on the couch. Harry is on the other end, dressed in disheveled black clothes from the night before, looking at something on his phone.
At Louis' greeting, Harry looks up. "Hi."
"Are you...are you hungry? Or well maybe not hungry, but do you want something to eat or drink?"
Harry's lips twitch into something more pleasant than his ever-present pout, "Tea would be nice."
"Right. On it," Louis stands. "I hope you don't mind Yorkshire. It's the only tea I consume."
The quiet that seeps in as Louis is busy in the kitchen is the same timid silence that had nestled around the boys last night in the car. It's more of a content kind of peace that steadies the room, which gives Louis a sense of hope. When Louis finishes, he brings the mug over to Harry along with one for himself and resides back on the couch.
"Thanks," Harry practically whispers.
"No problem. Uhm, would it be bad form to ask you about your Demonness some more?"
Harry's eyebrow quirks, "Demon-ness?" And Louis briefly thinks how the expression is kind of sexy until he physically shakes his head of that absurd thought.
"I just, I'm curious."
For a second, Louis' sure that Harry will say no, but the second passes with Harry opening his mouth to answer. "I suppose I don't mind. Can't promise I'll answer all your questions though, Angel."
"Okay, that's fine." Louis agrees. With the consent needed, Louis turns his body so that he's fully facing Harry on the couch, his knees propped up Indian style, and his hands hiding into the sleeves of his sweatshirt like paws. "Uh, well what's it like being uh, a Demon?"
"Truthfully? Not much different than being an Angel. The biggest difference is the power of possession and how we run our operations."
"What do you mean?"
"Well, unlike Angels," Harry starts, further emphasizing his words with the movement of his hands, "All Demons are given the ability to possess humans, and buy souls. Whereas for Angels, only a select few are provided abilities beyond your physical attributes like Cupid, for instance. And politically speaking, Demons are a lot more unorthodox in their approach in handling matters. If you want something, you have to possess humans to give it to you, or you make a trade with another Demon. If you behave poorly, there are consequences. Simple but effective."
"Wait, you said if you want something, you have to possess humans or make a trade? What about with the missions you're assigned, they don't give you anything for it?"
"For the missions, we receive our folders, as you do. However, Heaven provides suitable living arrangements, mortal appearances, and cash to supply anything else you might need. Demons give you your folders, and that's it. Everything else you have to figure out for yourself."
"If they don't give you anything, then where do you live?"
At this question, Harry swallows and looks away. It's obvious he doesn't want to answer, but Louis is too curious for his own good, and strangely feels entitled in knowing the answer. "Harry?"
The Demon exhales loudly, "Sometimes I stay in an abandoned property, or an apartment left empty for a weekend. That's what I try to do. If I'm not lucky, I possess people to let me stay in their homes."
"So the answer is no. You don't have a place to live."
Harry keeps his focus on the floor, with his posture slouched as he finalizes, "No, I don't."
Why does Louis feel so immensely sympathetic towards Harry? Why does he feel like it's his job to help Harry, even though Louis shouldn't even be talking to him, much less being friendly? But Louis can't go another day worrying about where Harry is for the night. That...that is an awful thought to think, and no one should have to worry about having a roof over their heads for the night. Even someone like Harry, a Demon, needs a home.
"Stay here," Louis sputters, before he can change his mind.
Bolting upright with wild eyes, Harry asks, "What?"
"Uh, stay? Here?"
"You don't have to offer that because you pity me. I've done fine on my own."
"I don't pity you! Well, maybe a little. But that's only because no one should have to go a day wondering where they're going to sleep for the night. I don't have much, but the flat is warm, and anything in here is yours to use. It's small, but it's something."
Louis ignores the fact that it's only the second time Harry has ever said his name and cuts in, "And besides, it'll keep you from possessing more people, which in turn, makes me feel like I'm doing my job as an Angel. So really it benefits both of us."
"I have nothing to offer you in exchange."
"Well, unlike the Demon realm, I don't want anything in return."
There are a few more pauses, until Harry asks, "Are you really sure?"
It breaks Louis' heart when Harry looks up at him with a mixture of hope and fear in his eyes. Hope because Louis' offering him something without needing anything back, and fear because Louis may not really mean what he's said. He could take back his offer, just as quickly as he made it. To reaffirm to Harry that Louis does indeed mean what he's said, he lays his right palm on top of Harry's hand. A symbol of reassurance that blankets his deepest fears the minute they touch.
To solidify his feelings more, Louis keeps his hand on Harry's when he lifts his celestial eyes up to the boy, staring with all the promise in the world. "Yes, Harry. I mean it. Every word."
Louis doesn't need to hear the answer to know Harry's decision when the look on his face is pure gratitude, but it was more than nice to hear it anyways.
* * * *
The weekend for Louis goes by unexpectedly. Harry, despite Louis' doubts, stays Saturday night again. After their conversation, Louis and Harry spent the rest of the day sitting on the couch watching a new Netflix show, and while it was relatively quiet between them, it was also surprisingly comfortable. They ended last night halfway through the series when Louis left Harry to sleep on the couch again, as he went into his own room for the night. Louis fell asleep, strangely satisfied with the way things played out and went to sleep another night blissfully. Things are finally looking up, or so Louis had wished.
Shuffling his feet against the carpet as he heads into the kitchen, Louis' eyes are hardly open, but he can see Harry's dressed to go out. "Going somewhere?"
"Erm, yeah. 've got some stuff to take care of, but I'll be back later."
There's a thought in Louis' head that tells him he won't. That this is Harry leaving him, and he won't come back, but Louis pushes it aside. "Oh, alright. I gotta get some food and do some homework anyways. Want me to grab you anything from the store?"
"I'm good, thanks," Harry stands hesitantly as he says, "Ok, well, see you later."
As the last echo of his footsteps are heard down the hallway, Louis slouches his position, leaning against his kitchen countertop. It may have been short, but it was good while it lasted. And though not much came of it, Louis might be a little more inclined to list Harry as one of his friends from now on.
* * * *
Just as Louis had said he would, he spent his day buying food and doing his homework. After he completes the majority of his assignments for the following days, he puts on a movie that he's been interested in watching, when he gets a text in the group chat with Niall and Liam.
Niall: Louis u alive?
Louis: Yeah ... why ?
Liam: Didn't see you at the party mate and haven't heard from you since
Niall: U went missing!!
Louis: You left me behind
Niall: Whatever...how'd you get home then?
Louis: Harry took me home
Niall: Get it!!!!!
Louis: Yes Harry . And Niall shut up .
Niall: Knew u 2 just needed some 'release'
Louis: Omg you're a bloody idiot . Niall it's not like that
Liam: Just be careful Louis...
Louis: Nothing is going on !
Niall: Louis n Harry sitting in a tree
Liam: K I S S I N G
Louis is ready to send a nasty text back in the group and throw his phone across the room, but a knock on his door interrupts him from freaking out. Who in the world is knocking on my door at eight o'clock at night? Curiously going up to the front, Louis latches onto the handle to swing it open and finds a frazzled Demon on the other side.
Running his fingers through his hair, Harry moves his jittery hands along with his explanation. "I...I didn't know where else to go. I tried to stay away. I tried to find somewhere else, but I can't. I just...I can't. I-"
"Harry, calm down, it's alright. Come inside, okay?"
Nodding his head, and wrapping his arms together in front of his chest, Harry follows Louis in. Instantly, Louis moves to make Harry some tea, as Harry sits down on the couch in the living room. When Louis has it ready, he comes back with the steaming cup and hands it over to the suddenly fragile Demon.
"Here," Louis says. "Are you okay?"
"Yeah, sorry. I just..."
Harry stares into the contents of the mug, avoiding looking up at Louis when his words falter. In an attempt to keep him from being silent, Louis places his hand on top of Harry's thigh and gives it a light squeeze. "Hey? It's alright. I know I'm uh, I'm probably not the person you want to be around right now, but you can tell me anything."
At his support, Harry's eyes meet his concerned blue, and it causes Louis a head rush staring into Harry's chartreuse waves so earnestly. "Yeah?"
"Yes, I promise. I know we haven't had a good start, but I won't judge you, and I might even understand better than you think, so it's worth a try. I mean worst case scenario I'll have to kill you, but you know, semantics?"
Like a double rainbow coming out after a hurricane, Harry cracks a smile. A pure, unadulterated smile that is so innocent in its form that there's no way it belongs to a Demon. Though in all their time together, while Harry may have acted like an absolute arse, he's never really acted 'Demon-like.' He's not malicious. He's not threatening. Louis' never feared his life in his presence, and it's contradicting. Harry's a Demon; he's the enemy, shouldn't Louis be running far away? And yet, he's sitting on a couch, comforting him, and daydreaming about all the wonderful things he'd like to do with those lips that make Harry's perfect smile. Things an Angel has no business thinking of doing with a Demon.
"Thank you, but I'm not ready to talk about anything tonight." Harry's gaze falls back down to the cuppa in his hands, "And I've calmed down a lot, so I think it's time for me to leave."
Harry stands up, "Yeah. Didn't mean to bother you, I'll just be off now."
"Where're you gonna go?"
With eyes that show the slightest hint of fear, Harry frowns. "I don't know."
"You know, I told you that you could stay here for a reason, and I meant what I said."
"But I'm a Demon, and I shouldn't be getting help from an Angel - of all things."
Louis instantly replies, "No? You're Harry, and I'm Louis, and you're getting help from your friend. I don't see what's so wrong about that?"
It must have been the right thing to say because Harry significantly relaxes. "Yeah?"
"Yes," Louis emphasizes. "I would really like it if you stayed here, again. And maybe the next day after that, but we'll take it one step at a time, yeah? Whatever you want."
"Cool. Now, why don't I get the shower running so that you can wash up?"
Harry nods his head, "That sounds good."
"And Louis?" Harry says Louis' name like he's still getting used to the way it tastes on his tongue. Eyes connecting across the room, Harry's lips shift into a pleasant expression again, nearly stopping Louis' heart. "Erm, thank you."
Scratch that...Louis' heart has officially ceased to exist.
* * * *
As with most things these days in Louis' life, the following week panned out just as unexpected as everything else. For one, on Monday, aside from the fact that Louis and Harry showed up to school together, they were also friendly. It was so startling to the other boys that Niall commented during lunch, asking if aliens had abducted Harry and Louis over the weekend. They obviously hadn't but well - it doesn't seem so far off?
With the tension between the two nearly dissipated, it also created room for connections with the other boys. On Tuesday, Louis passed by Niall and Harry in the hallway going to one of his classes, and on Wednesday, the banter between all the boys during lunchtime was so boisterous that even Harry wholeheartedly laughed along.
However, at home, it's another story. Not that there have been any issues between the two boys, but they seem to be at a stalemate. Harry and Louis do their homework, watch some shows, wash up, and go to sleep. The words exchanged amongst one another are limited at best, mainly because Harry doesn't initiate anything, and Louis doesn't ask. To Louis, he feels like he's tiptoeing around a bomb, knowing it's going to detonate at some point, but just not knowing when.
Harry is bottling up so much within himself, and Louis has been trying to give him space. But there's only so long he can ignore the larger issues at hand, so Louis' devised a plan. He's going to ease Harry into talking. Asking one question here or there, finding out the story in small parts. And he figures that after school tomorrow, as in Friday, is when he's going to give this idea a start.
* * * *
"So there's a party tomorrow," Zayn begins to say as their Art teacher finishes giving them their new assignment in class.
"When is there not a party?"
At Louis' joke, Zayn smirks. "True. You gonna go?"
"I don't know. Every time I go, you run off with Liam, Niall runs off with some girl, and I'm left alone."
"Are you serious," Zayn laughs. "Liam and I like to talk away from the party, and you'll have Harry."
"Have Harry? What are you on about? And besides, what do you mean 'you and Payno like to talk away from the party?' What...are you two hooking up?"
A rush of red taints Zayn's caramel cheeks. "No."
"Oh my god, you are!"
"Shh," Zayn snaps and looks around to see if anyone heard. "I like him, okay? But we're not hooking up, swear."
"Well, why not?"
"Because there's no way he would like me."
"I wish you could hear yourself because you sound like an idiot."
"Do too, and what're we? Five?" Louis teases. "What if I told you Liam likes you back? Would that change your opinion?"
"Why? Did he talk to you about me?"
"Oh my god."
"He likes me? Like, really likes me?"
Louis points at Zayn, "If I say yes, you have to promise to do something about it though. Ask him out."
"Come on Zayn, say you'll do it."
"Yes, fuck. Yes, I will."
"Good, and the answer is yes. He likes you, has for a long time now, so go start making me some babies."
As a friend, Louis shouldn't have outed Liam's love like he had to his crush, despite the fact that it's for their benefit. However, as an Angel, Louis needed to do it. Liam is on the path to success. He's kind, warm-hearted, supportive - exactly the type of person Zayn needs to associate with more. Louis' mission is still in full effect, and truly? Louis knows that leaving Zayn in Liam's hands is the best decision he can make.
* * * *
"I can't believe I came to this party," Louis groans as he, Niall, and Liam are standing in the kitchen of someone's house Friday night.
"Zayn said he and Harry are almost here," Liam points out.
After Louis' quick remark, Niall chimes in, "Don't be a tosser, Louis. You love hanging out with us."
"Not sure where you've gathered that information, but that would be incorrect."
Niall lightly punches Louis in the arm, "Shut up. Oi, there they are!"
Waving dramatically across the room, Zayn and Harry nod their heads in return, as they make their way over to the other three boys. The kitchen is packed, and so after Zayn and Harry get their drinks, Zayn winks at Louis, as he convinces Liam to follow him somewhere off into the house, Niall starts talking to some group of girls, and Harry makes for the dance floor, quickly getting accosted by some drunk boy.
In the pit of Louis' stomach, he feels something vile twist as he watches Harry and the boy making out. It's corruptive and corrosive as it smashes through his innocent feelings, tempting them to join the dark side. Louis chugs his water and walks away with annoyance. He doesn't want to acknowledge what the green serpent eliciting his anger could mean.
* * * *
Louis has mingled around for a while, talking with this person and that, but eventually he grows bored of the same old conversation, that he finds himself exiting out onto a balcony. The crisp air rushes into his lungs, settling his anxious soul. He feels tired of the scene but doesn't want to leave on his own. As Louis rests his arms against the railing of the balcony, peering out into the vacant expanse of another garden, the balcony doors open. Louis doesn't turn to look at the stranger walking in, until he feels them come up next to him, mimicking his posture by laying their arms against the banister.
Of course. "Where's your boy?" Louis doesn't look at Harry when he asks the question, remaining his focus out into the night.
"Don't know. Don't care." Louis can hear Harry tag a swig of something in his cup, and at this, he turns to face Harry.
"You know I don't get you."
"Why do you have to come to house parties to possess people into having sex with you?"
At the accusation, Harry startles. "I don't? I don't possess people to hook up with me. I may be a Demon, but I'm not like that."
Louis scoffs, "So you're saying there are good times and bad times to force someone to do something you want?"
"I don't know why you're getting snappy with me, but yes. I don't like possessing people, to begin with, but sometimes it's easier. But I never, I never possess someone to have sex with me. If they are, it's because they want to."
"Ah, so you're a Demon with morals? How ironic."
"Say what you want, but it's true."
"I still don't get why you have sex with so many people, though? Like, you can do whatever you want with your body, but you hardly seem to enjoy it. At least from what I've seen."
"Erm, well...Demons are godforsaken creatures. Most beings, humans included, despise us. While humans don't know that I'm Demon, it's like they can sense something is off about me. During school, no one talks to me outside our group, but at these parties, they're a lot braver."
"Yeah, but you don't do it just to talk to them."
"No, I...sex is the only time when I don't feel like I'm a monster. People look at me with disgust in their eyes, but when they're fucking me into the mattress, that's gone."
"Having sex with them won't mean they're going to accept you."
"It's not about being accepted, it's about being loved. They may not accept or love me, whoever I am to them - whether that's a Demon or Harry, but they love my body. They love what my body can do for them, and it's not the kind of love I want, but it's the only kind of love I can get. So it's good enough, for now."
Louis steps forward, placing his hand on Harry's arm, hoping to convey all that's welling inside of him at the contact. "Soon enough, someone's going to love you for exactly who you are."
Harry's moonlit eyes drift up to him in curiosity. "You think?"
It may be a trick of the lights cascading upon Harry from within the house, but Louis' sure he sees a flush of color flutter upon his cheeks. Louis feels it too, whatever this is, he feels it so surely within his veins that it's scary. It's as if his body is understanding something before he has even begun to read the pages. At the rush of whatever this feeling is, Louis smiles, encouraging one from Harry, though dimple included. And unlike all the other times before when Harry would brave showing some emotion other than discontent, it doesn't disappear. The grin remains on Harry's exquisite features as he drags his eyes from Louis', and stares up at the stars.
It's one of those moments where Louis' sure he'll always remember. A Demon staring at the sky, enraptured by its beauty, and an Angel doing the same, only looking at the Demon. If only Harry could know just how beautiful he is, and if only Louis didn't know it so well, maybe things would be a little easier.
* * * *
There's nothing easy about hiding a change of heart. Louis' become all too aware of the difficulties in pretending to be friends when suddenly, it's so much more. After the party last Friday, Harry and Louis left together with nothing to say, but a million conversations occurring through their body language. They were shy around one another in a way they'd never been before, and Louis knew perfectly well why he was suddenly timid around Harry. Louis' perspective had drastically altered.
After Harry's confession about wanting to feel loved, Louis couldn't hold his crumbling grudge against the Demon any longer. Harry had proved himself in a way Louis never anticipated, and it crashed like a wrecking ball into the foundation of Louis' preconceived biases. Harry is not the Demon Louis had pegged him for, not at all.
The problem is, is that Louis doesn't want to come off too strong about things. About being friends...and not just acquaintances like before, but genuine friends. Maybe there's more than platonic feelings deep within Louis, but he's not addressing those first. No...first he needs to figure out how to be a friend. All the other stuff he can get to later.
But to put it simply, he's failing at doing that.
Sunday when they both woke up, Harry went out to do whatever he does on Sundays, while Louis went food shopping and did his work. Monday was the real issue. At the beginning of the week, Harry and Niall were going back and forth about some artist, when Niall asked Louis for his opinion on the matter. A matter, which he did not care for. However, he opened his mouth despite having not even listened to the entirety of the debate and sided with Harry. Niall appeared so shocked that he actually dropped food from his hand onto the table. Liam and Zayn even looked up from their conversation, to gap oddly at Louis.
Tuesday wasn't any better because, on Tuesday, their science teacher instructed that they needed to be put in partners for their class assignment. And what does Louis do? He turns to Zayn and Harry. Openly including him in the group, and even making a few friendly jokes with them both, that Zayn had to talk with him after class and ask if he was mentally okay. Wednesday, Louis almost didn't go to school because he and Harry had stayed up watching a few shows, but Harry - Harry woke Louis up and made sure he was ready in time to go. Not only that. No, not only that, Harry made him breakfast. Yes, Harry the Demon made Louis the Angel, breakfast.
It's been interesting, to say the least. The boys thankfully, out of all that they have caught on to, have not caught on to the fact that Harry is living with him. Thankfully, Harry usually hangs out with Zayn or does whatever after school, so they're never leaving together. And in the mornings, no one seems to pay enough attention to realize they've come in at the same time. Although, while in school, it's been crazy between the two of them, aside from the breakfast incident, at home, it's much more subdued. They do homework, they watch shows, they sleep. Talking is more than it used to be, but still minimal. However, now it's friendlier, which makes all the difference.
* * * *
"Oi lads. Mi casa tonight, if you want," Niall shouts across the lunch table.
"Jeez Nialler," Louis laughs, "Pretty sure all of China heard you as well."
"Kiss me, arse."
"Well, I'm down Niall," Harry says.
"To kiss me arse? Didn't know you were into that mate."
"Fuck off. You know what I mean."
"I do. And that's why you're a true friend, Harry."
Zayn's head snaps up, "What's that supposed to mean, ya wanker?"
"It means Harry's better than all of you."
"Whatever. I was gonna come, but now I don't know."
"Come on Z, come on! Don't tease me like this!"
At Niall's pleading eyes, Zayn sighs. "Fine, I guess I'll come."
Niall sticks out his tongue at Zayn who laughs at his childish antics, "Better!"
"I'll come too," Liam announces after Zayn said he would. Louis internally laughs at that, and adds in, "Me too Horan. I'll come."
"Good, good! See you muppets later."
The bell for lunch ends, and everyone parts to head to their classes, but Liam lingers behind everyone else, waiting for Louis. "Hey, can we talk quick?"
"Sure Li, what's up?'
Taking in his surroundings, and making sure the other boys have left, Liam releases a shaky breath. "I uh...I wanted to tell you something."
"You're scaring me Payno, out with it."
"Right, sorry." Scratching the back of his neck, Liam says, "I uhm... kdfkjffk."
"You what? I couldn't understand your mumbles."
"I kissed Zayn!"
At the shout, Louis gasps in surprise. "Wow, good for you, mate! Glad you finally did it!"
"Thanks, I was so nervous."
"Are you dating now, then?"
"Er, not exactly. He wants to take it slow, his parents aren't really into the whole 'gay thing' so."
Louis rolls his eyes, "That's rubbish, mate."
"You're telling me."
"Well, I'm sure it'll work out for you. You lads are meant to be together."
Liam's eyes round with hope, "Yeah?"
"No problem, now off to class you lovebird. I'll see you later, yeah?"
Unable to contain his brimming excitement, Liam waves, "Yep!"
Louis couldn't be more pleased with the news if he tried.
* * * *
It goes without saying that time passes like falling asleep. One moment people are drifting into their subconscious, entering into a luscious garden of dreams, and then suddenly, morning has lifted them from their spell. Hours have passed though it seems as if only minutes ago had been nightfall. For Louis, that is how it feels, casually moving into the next frame of time without being conscious of just how much is passing. Because being immortal means that time truly doesn't exist for him, there is no longer an end to his days. There's no longer a countdown to anything more. He will not get older, and he will not transpire into something beyond what he is.
When Louis was alive, he felt like he was obsessed with knowing what the time was. With checking how many seconds, or minutes, or hours had snuck past him since the last time he had checked the clock on his phone. Obsessed with keeping track of what was the past, present, or future from where he was in that particular moment. He liked knowing because he didn't want to realize one day that his life had ultimately passed him by, as an older man with nothing to his name but a desk job and a couple of cats.
No, he didn't want that life, couldn't afford to have that life. So he valued his time and made sure that every moment living wasn't a moment wasted. That was when the partying had begun, during the prime of his teenage years, when he was determined to grasp onto his youth for as long as he could. Determined to own every millisecond that he could, only to realize that in his efforts to live his life to it's fullest, he was inadvertently shortening its length.
Because truth be told, Louis was not invincible back then, no matter how much he wanted to believe that. Every drink he drank, every cig he smoked, every drug he took, poisoned the thread of his life, nearly bringing him to his untimely end, earlier than expected. The life he so desperately did not want wasted was being wasted. It was a shock, to say the least, when Louis woke up after having his stomach pumped, and was being warned by the doctor that next time he wouldn't be so lucky.
Next time...he'd die.
His Mum was a right mess afterward, wondering what she had done wrong to raise Louis to be so careless with himself. And that - that was even more disturbing than the threat of his life. Because he wasn't being careless, he was trying to live his life for all it was worth, and wasn't that just ironic? That in his attempts to live, he was bringing himself one step closer to death?
After that, he sobered up. He was there for his family, there for his Mum and sisters who had seen a side of their brother they no longer wanted to know. Thankfully, Louis didn't want to either. It took some time, more than he wanted to spend, but he eventually cleaned up his act. Not all his friend's supported him, but those that did were his friends for life. Occasionally he'd go out, but the temptation was hard to ignore. Whenever it'd come crawling back to him, that desire to lose control, he'd just picture his family, and what they'd be like if Louis had left them. It was enough to keep him from picking up another bottle again. It was enough to keep him alive another day.
Too bad fate had other plans.
* * * *
"I swear to fucking god Niall, if you don't let me have a turn, I'm going to punch you and your Xbox."
Zayn was snapping at Niall as the boy went on to play his fifth round of FIFA. Liam had been playing first but gave his turn up to Harry next. However, Niall has been clutching onto his controller without any sign of letting up. Louis doesn't care much for the game, but even he knows the rules. When you lose, next person's turn. Well, Niall's lost twice, it's time for him to pay up.
"Zayn, leave me alone."
This only provoked Zayn though, since the boy suddenly jumped on top of Niall, wrestling him for the device.
"Give. It. Here. Fucker." A few more seconds pass as Harry, Liam, and Louis watch with amusement at the scene, until Zayn cheers. "Got it!"
"Whatever arsehole," Niall pouts. "Don't want to play anymore, anyways."
Trying to keep the situation from getting worse, or awkward, Louis quickly offers. "Oi Nialler, why don't you come with me into the kitchen. I could use more pizza."
The lad thankfully smiles, "Me too."
Entering into the white marble kitchen, with all white cabinets that reminds Louis a little too much of a place he'd rather not think about, Niall runs first for the unopened box of pizza. "I love this shite so much. Me favorite."
"What food isn't your favorite?"
They sit down on the stools positioned at the kitchen countertop, Niall taking a big bite as Louis asks a question. "What's got you all mad, by the way? You don't usually fight over a game like that."
"Ah, it's nothing. Well, not nothing." Niall's quiet for a moment, staring at his pizza long and hard before shrugging his shoulders and peering up at Louis. "My family's thinking of moving back to Mullingar before I finish out the year, and I just...I don't want to. Like, I've always had friends, but you guys are me best mates, and we finally have a good group, and I don't want to leave that."
"I know," Niall frowns, before taking another bite.
Louis chews on his piece, before continuing, "But we're all going off to uni next year anyway, right? So technically, you could just go to uni with us or near all of us, and still be able to visit."
"I wish. My Dad wants me to take over the business. That's why we'd be moving back so that I could start working at the office in Ireland. He wants to show me the ropes so that he can eventually leave that branch to me. It's stupid cause he has an office in London too, that's why we moved here in the first place, so that he could start it. But I guess he's done with London so that apparently means I'm done with London, and we have to all go back. Doesn't even make sense. And I could try to visit during breaks, but I'm just nervous that we're all going to be so busy we won't have time to meet up."
Louis gives Niall an encouraging smile. "Niall...no matter where you are or what we're all doing, we'll be there to see you. We'll make time, yeah?"
"You promise, Louis?"
There's a split second where Louis is hesitant to make this promise, knowing that he will not be here for much longer. But if it's enough to satisfy the nerves within Niall's gut, then maybe a white lie won't hurt too much?
* * * *
The rest of the evening is spent in banter, laughter, and more food consumed than is necessary, but it's the best night they've had all together, thus far. Harry doesn't mention anything about alcohol this time around, and they're all having a great time being sober. At the end of the night when they've all passed out in the living room, Louis' thoughts linger for a little longer before falling asleep. About how amazing it is to have this group of friends. About how wonderful it is, that's he managed to unite together an unstoppable force of wholesome people. About how magical it feels to have happiness flutter inside, spreading its light within every morsel of Louis' already glowing skin, filling its pockets with more than just warmth.
Yes, Louis is hopelessly and utterly filled with love. Love for his friends. Love for his current, though very temporary life. Love for just being here in this moment. And it resides within Louis' heart something fierce.
* * * *
The boys leave Niall's house Saturday morning, after waking up and eating breakfast. Harry left with Zayn to hang out a little while longer, but he whispered to Louis that he'd be over later before they left. When he had grasped onto Louis' elbow, and bent to talk in his ear, Louis' whole body reacted to the whisper by sending goosebumps along his skin, carrying a shiver along with the phantom of Harry's words.
It was tantalizing.
Arriving home later, Louis curls onto the couch, resting his body as he flips absentmindedly through channels. Being alone in his flat is strange. He thought for sure he'd relish in having space to himself again, but with nothing to do, he's now bored and lonely. Another ten minutes pass before Louis gives in, and stands up from his couch. He needs something to do today. Changing his clothes into something more appropriate, though still painfully casual, he grabs the necessities and heads out.
It's not much, walking along the pavement with nowhere in particular to go, but it's better than being cooped up inside. Going in and out of stores, Louis scans through all the items he'd buy for his family if he could and then leaves. After ten stores of the same disappointing feeling soaking into him, he finally decides that maybe shopping isn't the best choice for him, and turns his direction to a nearby movie theatre instead.
Going to the movies is better. It's two hours of his time spent immersed in another world, easing him from his own worries. It also suffices in alieving the boredom that had been present before. By the time the movie's over, and Louis' successfully managed to spend his day doing something more productive than couch sitting, he heads back home satisfied. At the end of the day, he's rather excited to be heading home.
Climbing up the stairs to his unit, Louis' eyes are so focused on his jacket pockets as he tries to pull his keys from within them, that he doesn't notice the figure sitting idly outside of his door. Only until he successfully grabs the keys, and looks up to use them, does he realize someone else is even there.
"Oh Harry," Louis says a little startled by the other's presence. At that, Harry stands up, as Louis questions, "Sorry, been here long?"
"Erm, couple hours or so."
"Really? 'm so sorry."
Unlocking the door, the two walk inside of the flat. Harry makes his way to the sofa, while Louis relocks the door behind him, and goes to make tea.
From the kitchen, Louis yells, "Harry?"
"What do you think about me getting you a key?"
"For your flat?"
"Oh. I mean, you don't have to."
Coming from the kitchen with tea in hand, Louis sits beside Harry on the couch before he answers. "Alright, that settles it then. I'll pick you up one tomorrow."
"Louis you really don't have-"
"This is now your home as much as it's mine, and I don't want you unable to come and go as you please."
"O...kay," the response wasn't the most thrilling that Louis was hoping for, but after studying Harry's facial expression, Louis can see the appreciation written within the Demon's features.
"Good, glad that's settled. Oh, do you wanna shower? I'm gonna tonight as well, but I don't mind you going first."
"Yeah, thanks. I'll just be a minute."
Louis doesn't worry about how long Harry's shower is, in fact, he hopes Harry takes a lengthier one. The Demon could use something to help relax. While Harry shuffles off into the bathroom, Louis spends the next twenty minutes watching a show on Netflix, until Harry comes out and they swap turns. For some odd reason, leaving Harry alone for a while doesn't feel right, so Louis rushes, getting out sooner and drying himself off when he does.
Ten more minutes pass of Louis brushing his teeth, getting into his night clothes, and finally heading back to the couch to sit with Harry. The Demon is all clean, long wet curls leaning against his shoulders as they leave wet stains against his shirt. Louis recognizes the shirt as his own, and is elated that Harry is feeling more comfortable to do things like that. A grin appears on Louis' face with the thought that it's quite possible Harry feels content here, and that...that's wonderful to know.
Taking a seat on the couch, the two boys watch for a little while until a shaky, 'Lou?' comes from across the way - so quiet that Louis' sure he imagined it. Turning to face the direction, Harry is facing Louis though his eyes divert away.
"I know it's not my place to ask, but erm...what's your story?"
"Yeah. How'd you become an Angel?"
As the question lays thick against Louis' heart, Harry's icy green orbs finally lock onto Louis, tracking his movements with unease. "I uhm. I-"
"I'm sorry I shouldn't have asked. That's yours to tell when you're ready, and-"
"Harry, it's fine. I don't mind sharing it."
The unease lifts into pleasant surprise at Louis' calming words. "Really?" Harry asks to be sure.
"Really. It's uh, nothing special. If you had known me as a human, if you had uh...went to school with me, you probably would have assumed I'd died from some form of overdose. I nearly did, actually. A bit sad to think about how much I valued my life and swore I'd never do anything to leave my family behind. And yet, in the end, it wasn't anything I could've avoided."
Harry watches with interest as Louis begins to spill his deepest secret. "I have four siblings and a single Mum back at home in Doncaster. After my partying nearly led to my death, I sobered up. I devoted my spare time at night helping my Mum with whatever needed to be done or just being a better brother to my siblings. It had been hardly three months of sobriety, but I felt like I had everything finally all together. And of course, that's when it happened.
It was my friend's birthday, and we were at a pub for dinner and some drinks. I obviously wasn't drinking, but I volunteered to drive them all home afterward, so they'd be safe. It was just going to be a small group of us, nothing special, but Lottie, the next eldest of my siblings, was begging me to take her. She had a crush on one of my friends that was going to be there, and she didn't want to spend another night home bored. So I caved because I always did with them, and brought her along.
For the first hour, it was fine. We ordered food, some people ordered drinks, and we were just having a good time. But then I had to have a smoke. I hardly ever smoked, like very rarely, but apparently that night I 'had to have one.' When I went outside into the alleyway to light up, everything happened in an instant. I heard this girl crying, and when I looked towards the sound, I saw two guys on top of her. Immediately I walked over to shove them off, and I punched one guy, who quickly ran away, but the other was more persistent.
He kept telling me to back of what wasn't mine - but I saw the girl, I clearly saved her from being raped. Her clothes were strewn, and I just... I couldn't imagine if that was me, and no one had come out? And then I thought about Lottie, and I got even angrier. I started fighting the guy because I was determined for him to leave. I didn't even realize that the girl had moved off to the side of the building, and called the cops.
Anyway, while the guy and I were fighting, I knocked him down on the ground, but then he uh. Well, he pulled out a gun and pointed it right at my head. And I just thought," Louis' eyes water as he harshly laughs at his stupidity, "I honestly thought he wouldn't pull the trigger. And it almost didn't seem like he would when a couple seconds passed, but then the back alley door was opened and Lottie, of all people, had come out. When the guy saw her, he pointed the gun at her instead, and I did the one thing I knew I had to do. I had to protect her. I obviously don't know what happened after, other than that I died jumping in front of the bullet, but I hope...I hope that girl is safe, wherever she is. And I hope too, that the piece of scum was caught."
Harry's mouth's agape at the end of the retelling, "Wow. That's so incredibly brave of you, Louis. A lot of people would have turned a blind eye to that girl, especially not knowing her. But you didn't. That's...that's really erm, amazing. Yeah, that's amazing."
"I just did what I had to do. I don't think I'm special or anything for it. But I know what you mean, not everyone would have done that." There's a pause before Louis starts with a heavy breath again. "I really miss them, you know? My family was my everything, and I know being given the position of Guardian Angel is supposed to be this amazing gift, but I can't help it. I don't want this. I don't want to be an Angel. Not when it's this lonely."
Leaning in towards Louis, Harry lays his hand on Louis' thigh, a sign of comfort Louis has done so often before, but to Harry. "I do know what you mean. I miss my family too. I had my Mum and my older sister, Gemma. Not a day goes by I don't think about them."
"If you could, would you give it all up to be with them? The immortality? The powers?"
Harry doesn't hesitate, "I'd give up my soul, to have five more minutes with them."
"Do Demons even have souls?"
"Some do. But if you've been bad, failed multiple missions, done questionable things even for a Demon, there are punishments where they rip your soul from you. I heard it's the most excruciating pain you can ever endure."
With his glossy, ocean eyes baring nothing but sincerity into the Demon across, Louis reveals, "I honestly hope that never happens to you, Harry."
A pensive expression enraptures his face, "Me too, Angel. Me too."
* * * *
The rest of the weekend was spent similarly to the last few days, except this time when they two boys sat on the couch, Harry leaned into Louis just the slightest bit closer, and Louis would lay his hand just a touch more on Harry's thigh. What they were doing was the same, but everything about it was different. On top of that, Louis' internal organs were having a field day. Any time Harry brushed up against Louis, even in passing to another room, left Louis temporarily paralyzed.
It was either catching Harry's intoxicating scent that drowned Louis' lungs as they entered inside. Or the rushed feel of Harry's hot skin against him like lava, melting Louis in the aftershock. Everything, anything, about Harry suddenly had a massive impact on Louis' bodily functions that he couldn't handle. And not to mention, any time Harry's forest gaze took one glance at Louis, Louis' heart would beat nearly out of his chest. Which he's sure Harry knows, because every time it happens, there's the tiniest hint of a smirk appearing on his face, that screams he's guilty. And Louis' not sure how he feels about that yet.
However, due to the recent changes in their friendship, Louis' glad to be in school. Because school provides him a safe haven away from the confusing and misleading behavior of his platonic friend. Okay - Louis realizes that the platonic ship has sailed long ago, in fact, it even sunk. But whatever it is that he and Harry are now, Louis needs a break. He needs a break from Harry's smile, from his laugh, from his curls, and from his addicting smell, that has caused Louis to hate breathing now unless it's when Harry's scent is infiltrating his lungs somehow. And no, he won't admit that out loud. Ever.
Tilting his head to the voice calling out, Louis finds a blond head running up to him, getting ready to head to lunch.
"In case you haven't heard the good news, Payno and Z are official."
"Official? Like boyfriends?"
"Wow," Louis' brows raise in shock, "Well, that happened quick. Thought Zayn's parents don't approve of him dating guys?"
"So does that mean...?"
Niall winks, "Certain things are better left unsaid."
"Come on, the lovebirds are already at the table, and I imagine Harry will be wandering in too, within the next few minutes."
"Alright. Oh, wait! How's uh, how's everything going on at home?"
"For now it's all good. Nothing to worry about yet."
"Good, that's good."
"Yes. Now let's go, I'm hungry enough to eat a cow."
"Correction, you're hungry enough to eat the whole farm."
Laughter erupts from Niall's mouth, "Yeah, absolutely."
When they arrive at the cafeteria and take a seat at their usual spots, Liam and Zayn are cuddled up next to each other, with Harry in his typical place across from Louis.
"Heard the good news," Louis announces. "Congrats you two."
"Thanks, Louis," Zayn preens.
Harry cuts in, "So when's the wedding?"
"Oi, don't give 'em ideas," Louis jokes in return.
"You mean don't give Liam ideas," Zayn confides with a chuckle. "He's already started naming off our kids."
Liam's cheeks blush at the confession. "I mean, it's just that I've always liked the name Trevor or-"
"Liam?" Niall interrupts.
"Hate to break it to you, but no one wants to know."
"And people say you're the one without a mean bone in their body," Louis sasses.
"Just saving us all the trouble," Niall justifies shamelessly. "Look, even Harry looks relieved, and he never shows any kind of emotion."
Harry pouts, "Rude."
"True though, innit?"
"Look, Niall, we're all having a good time here, yeah? No need to point fingers. Just let the poor man be."
"Oh right, forgot. You two are butt buddies now."
"Kiss me arse, you filthy leprechaun."
Niall laughs, breaking the banter that had been getting more heated than playful, and turns his attention back to Liam and Zayn.
When the other three aren't looking, Harry lays his hand on Louis' to get his attention. "Thanks, Lou."
"No worries. We're friends, right? I've got your back."
There's a flicker of disappointment at the word 'friends' that Louis tells himself not to overthink, until Harry says, "Right. Friends."
What does that possibly mean?
* * * *
Niall: soooo...u n Harry? Friends? Nice!
Louis: What are you insinuating there Nialler ?
Liam: Yeah Niall...what are you trying to say?
Liam: Btws...Z is with me, and he'd like to know as well
Niall: Just that u 2 seem super close.
Louis: Great observation there . really ... excellent work
Liam: Niall is that really all you had to say?
Niall: Louis? Can u save us all the trouble n just admit you like him
Niall: We're not judging
Liam: Well...one of us isn't. I don't know how I feel on the matter
Liam: Nvm. Z just threatened our relationship. I support you and Harry.
Louis: You three are the biggest wankers
Louis: There is nothing going on .
Niall: Mhm...we shall see
Liam: Yes. Only time will tell
Louis: Only time will tell that you're all idiots
Louis' thankful that for the duration of the group chat, Harry isn't around to witness Louis' reaction. The Demon is out doing whatever he does when he goes out, and Louis is home making dinner for himself. He's sure his face is bright red, and he knows he's flustered. If Harry had been right in front of him, he'd probably jump out the window. Not to off himself or anything, not that he can really do that at this point, but to break out his wings and literally fly away from here.
Luckily though, Harry is not around, meaning that when Louis sits to eat his pasta and think about the particular boy, he's not bothered by his train of thoughts. Which lately, consists of the most recent development in their friendship - laughter. Louis wasn't aware that Demons could laugh, and while he's heard chuckles protrude from Harry's lips, he's never heard a full on cackle. But last night, last night he heard it.
It wasn't anything hilarious to Louis too. Harry was coming out of the shower, while Louis was doing laundry, which the machines are in a cupboard in the hallway outside the bathroom. When Harry came out, Louis went to say something to the Demon about how Harry doesn't have a lot of clothes, but when he opened his mouth, a jumble of God knows what came out instead. It was not English, and somewhere along the lines, it even sounded like Louis had an Irish accent. Louis' face had instantly warmed at the embarrassment until loud cackling could be heard through his ears. Harry had his hand on his stomach, leaning in outright laughter. It was so refreshing to Louis, that the Angel forgot his feelings, and joined in along with Harry.
It was honestly magical.
* * * *
Harry: Hey Lou :)
And oh yeah, they text now as well.
Louis: Hey Harry !
Harry: Want me to grab you any food? I'm on my way home.
Home...Harry called his flat home. Clutching at his heart because Louis' sure it's going to burst from his chest, Louis fills with absolute fondness.
Louis: Already made dinner but thanks :)
Harry: Okay xx
Harry's inching further and further under Louis' skin, and pretty soon he'll be nestled deep within his heart, and Louis' not sure what to do about that. Nor does he think he wants to do anything about it. It's inevitable. Despite how forbidden it is, despite how nervous it makes Louis breaking all these rules on his first mission, he can't fight it. As quoted in a post Louis saw recently, "Two souls don't find each other by simple accident."
Louis knows that they were destined to meet, and for him, that was never the question. The question that always was and still remains is -
What is Louis supposed to do about it?
* * * *
There's something about Fridays that ignites excitement within students. There's still a few hours left before anyone can leave, but there's a buzz in the atmosphere regardless. However, it's most likely due to the fact that Halloween is this weekend. Louis had forgotten entirely about the mentioned festival, as his thoughts have been a steady stream of Harry. But when Louis entered into first period this morning, Niall already had a list of three parties they could attend to celebrate.
"Niall, I'm not going."
"I don't have an outfit. I honestly forgot about it."
"Just wear all black and be a ninja or some shit."
"Fine whatever. I'll figure it out."
"So you're coming?"
"Do I have a choice?"
"Good. Glad that's settled."
"Everyone's meeting at me house tomorrow at four. We'll eat dinner, get dressed, and go."
"Alright sounds good."
In truth, Louis has always loved celebrating Halloween. Aside from Christmas, it's his favorite holiday. However, without his friends from home, and without his family who used to carve pumpkins and bake apple pies every year, it's just not the same. He doesn't want the fact that it makes him miss home like crazy, to deter him from having fun though. While Louis hasn't wanted to go out for the past couple of parties, he does want to go out for this. The only thing he'll need to acquire is a costume, and if the person he's thinking of can help him out, he may have a good (and free) idea in mind.
* * * *
After their class with Harry, Louis runs a few paces ahead to grab onto Zayn's arm, and walk with him to Art.
"Hey, sorry. Wasn't thinking there for a minute."
"It's all good, Z. I know you wouldn't leave me behind on purpose."
"Yeah so, what's up?"
"Well, Niall's already bugged me about Halloween."
Zayn rolls his ebony irises in annoyance, "That boy is a menace."
"Yes, but anyway, I think I know what I want for my costume, but I'd need your help. Since you have artistic talent and whatnot."
"Okay, just text me a picture of what you want, and I think that'll be fine."
"Cool. Thanks, mate."
* * * *
Harry had been gone since Friday afternoon and well into Friday night, that Louis had fallen asleep before he came home. When the Demon disappears like that, Louis wants to ask where he's going, but on the other hand, he probably doesn't want to know. If it's anything illegal or just morally wrong, Louis would feel inclined to intervene. As horrible as it is, in this case, ignorance is bliss. However, when Louis wakes up the following morning to Harry up and making breakfast, to say he's surprised is an understatement.
"Are you cooking?"
"Yes," Harry smiles over a hot pan of pancakes.
"Yes, Lou. Now sit down so I can serve you. They're just plain. I hope you don't mind, we didn't have chocolate chips."
"More than fine. Thank you, Harry."
Louis takes a bite and moans around the slice of heaven that's entered his mouth. It's better than the last time Harry cooked for him, which he didn't think was even possible. "Wow."
"So good. Really, thank you again."
The reaction to Louis' praise comes in the form of illuminating green, tinted cheeks, and a bashful grin. Louis' not sure if he overall forgets how to breathe at the view, or if Harry had outright stolen his breath. He doesn't have a chance to investigate further when Harry leans his torso on the counter and demands more of Louis' attention by saying, "Figured you'd need food to sustain your energy for the night we're about to have."
"Are you forgetting that I don't drink?"
Harry chuckles, "Not even about drinking. Hanging out with Niall, in general, requires a certain level of energy to keep up."
"Too true," Louis groans. "He's something else. You sure you don't want any of this, by the way?"
"More than sure."
"Okay. All I need to do is shower, and pack a bag to bring over there. What about you?"
"Just need to shower and change. Won't take me long."
"You want to go first, while I'm eating then?"
"Oh, sure. I can do that. Alright, be out in a minute."
Louis huffs, "How many times do I have to tell you to take as long as you need? Seriously Harry, no rush."
"Fine, fine. Be out in a few minutes."
Harry laughs as he walks into the bathroom, leaving behind an enchanted Louis to his breakfast.
* * * *
"Damn Louis," Niall shouts. "You look fucking awesome."
When Louis steps out of the bathroom at Niall's, all the boys give him head nods of approval along with a few wolf whistles. Even Harry seems to enjoy the appearance, as he's biting his bottom lip while staring very intently at the Angel.
"Thanks," Louis says, "But all the credit goes to Zayn."
"My best work, if I do say so myself."
The outfit was simple enough, Louis' tightest black skinnies, and his black sheer t-shirt. But it's the sugar skull face makeup that completes the costume. When Zayn had initially finished, he pulled away and smirked, telling Louis that he looked hot. Louis' just hoping that maybe Harry thinks so too.
"Yes Louis, you look great," Liam grins. "And that probably cost you nothing. Z and I spent thirty pounds each on our Batman, and The Joker looks."
"Same Li," Niall adds. "My toga shit cost twenty-five. But aside from Louis, I think Harry's probably got the cheapest outfit. And why's that? BECAUSE HARRY DIDN'T GET A FUCKING COSTUME."
"I have a costume?" Harry defends in his black pants and a surprisingly colorful red plaid shirt.
Niall laughs, "Let me guess...you're Harry for Halloween?"
"No, but that's a good idea. I'm a Demon."
Louis' heart stops in its track while all the other boy's burst into giggles.
"No offense, mate," Zayn answers. "But how?"
Harry shrugs nonchalantly, "Just am. Now... are you all going to argue with what I'm wearing for the rest of the night, or can we get going?"
Niall agrees, "Harry's right. Let's get out of here and go fucking party!"
When the other boys are focused on getting their stuff together, Harry turns his head slightly to send Louis a ridiculously mischievous wink, and he's never felt more assaulted in his entire life. Tonight is going to be interesting, that's for sure.
* * * *
Louis will admit that the party's not half bad. Liam and Zayn are wrapped up in one another's arms, but they haven't left the kitchen, so at least Louis knows where they are. Niall is making his rounds and dragging Louis along with him to do so. And Harry, well Harry surprisingly hasn't left to hook up with someone else. He's, for the most part, stuck close by. And every time Louis gets a sense someone's watching him, he looks up to find that it's Harry who is. Staring with an expression on his face that Louis' never seen directed towards himself before, and he doesn't know if Harry's aware of it or not, but it's something akin to lust.
As the hours pass by, Niall meets a girl he's interested in, Liam and Zayn are doing the same stuff they were doing hours before, and Harry is still staring. But this time, Louis' actually determined to do something about it. Leaving Niall to the girl, Louis crosses the room to where Harry is and does the one thing he thought he'd never do.
There's a filthy grin on Harry's face that Louis wants to suck off, but he ignores his thoughts by grabbing onto Harry's hand and pulling him to the dance floor.
The living room where everyone is dancing is packed, but Louis manages to tug Harry to the center of it, nevertheless. In between the heat, and in between the bodies, that's where Louis feels like he can forget about anything other than being right here right now, with Harry. Letting the music manifest itself within his bones, procuring a rhythm to sway his hips, he backs his arse into Harry's front and grinds.
At Louis' actions, Harry let's out a moan that brushes itself past Louis' hair and into his ear. It invites Louis to continue, dancing closer and closer to Harry's body that he's sure he's melted onto the other's skin. Every push and pull of Louis' body causes a firmer squeeze of Harry's hands on his hips, pressing his long fingertips in further. The pressure is a nice reminder that for whatever Louis is doing right now, Harry's into it too.
Four songs pass of the same movement, sweat glistening on Louis' skin, making the natural glow of being an Angel, shine as if he has diamonds embedded within. Harry's lips are dangerously close to leaving imprints on Louis' neck, but Harry's yet to incline his head just that little bit over. Louis wants it. He wants to feel that pillowy pink mouth suck bruises onto his untainted skin, and the thought scares Louis for a thousand reasons, but it doesn't keep him from wanting it regardless.
Louis' determined too, to move his own body just enough to get the result that he wants when suddenly, Harry's hands loosen from him. With a pout, Louis turns his head to see what's wrong when Harry's standing still behind him. However, when Louis follows Harry's new line of vision, it's centered on Zayn and Liam, who must have finally left the kitchen. But why would that concern Harry?
"Sorry Lou," Harry mutters without another glance, before stalking off towards Zayn. Watching alone from the dancefloor, Louis sees as Harry whispers something in Zayn's ear, and they both wander off together towards one of the bedrooms upstairs. Louis doesn't want to believe what he's seeing. He doesn't want to accept that he's been played for a fool. Harry's been a Demon all along. Harry's been doing his mission, all along. Louis should have never let his guard down.
With the world swaying around Louis like the bodies dancing beside him, he can't help think sarcastically to himself. Fool me once, shame on you. Fool me twice, shame on me.
They were all supposed to stay at Niall's after the party, but after metaphorically being stabbed in the back with a knife, Louis couldn't join in on the after-party fun. Not long after what he saw, did Louis confess to Niall that he wasn't feeling well, and left. He didn't want to stick around to see what else was happening.
He's sure he already knows.
When Louis eventually made it home last night, he swore to himself that he would confront Harry about the situation, but when he woke up in the morning, the Demon was nowhere to be found. Louis couldn't wait when his mind was physically hurting from all his thoughts, so he made plans to talk to the next best person about it. Zayn. After their text to confirm plans, Louis finished getting ready and went over to the other boy's place. Louis was nervous, but he was also prepared for whatever was about to be revealed.
"Louis!" Zayn says as he opens the front door in dark grey joggers, and a white long sleeve shirt, "Come on in, mate."
The other boy steps aside as Louis enters into Zayn's penthouse. Well, penthouse truly isn't big enough to describe the three-level complex Zayn's family has of the building. Just as Louis' come to learn of the people he attends school with, Zayn too clearly comes from money. Another excessively expensive home, except this time, filled with more diverse cultural pieces throughout the place. Louis laughs when he thinks about his measly flat in comparison.
As he gazes around, Zayn asks, "You hungry?"
"No, 'm good."
"Well, what can I do for ya?" The question tugs Louis back to Zayn, who starts walking down the hall ahead of where they were in the front room. Louis trails after him, while Zayn continues talking, "You said you needed to talk?"
Following to a room that Louis presumes to be Zayn's, the boys enter the place that's covered in more art and graffiti than anything else. It's eccentric and refreshing, making Louis feel as though he's stepped into an alternate realm. However, despite all the chaos of the colors, it's above all else - peaceful. Louis is right at home as he sits down on Zayn's bed in the center of the room, while Zayn sprawls out next to him, and waits.
"Zayn, be honest with me. Last night I saw Harry pull you into one of the bedrooms at the party. Is he still forcing you to do things that you don't want to do?"
Before Louis has even finished asking, Zayn is outright laughing, which immediately has Louis annoyed. "Why're you laughing?"
"Because that is hilarious! Louis? Harry was not forcing me to do anything."
"What'd you mean?"
Zayn sighs while he sits up to tell Louis, "The other day I told Harry that I meant it when I said I didn't want to do it anymore. The drugs, the alcohol. I mean a drink here or there, but not to the extent we had been doing. I thought for sure he was going to walk off and that'd be that, but he actually smiled and said that he agreed. He didn't want to do it either. So we decided that with the shit we still had left, that we were going to sell it at the Halloween Party. So when Harry came over to me, and we went off into the other room? That was because he found us some people who were willing to pay for it all. And we went to the bedroom to make the exchange discreetly."
Mouth agape, Louis asks with doubt sneaking in his words, "Are you kidding me?"
The doubt dissipates once Louis searches Zayn's face and finds no evidence of a lie. "Wow."
"You should've just asked mate, but I get you were worried."
"Does Liam know?"
"Yeah, he's proud of me for getting rid of it all. I want to be better for him, you know?"
"That's great Z. I'm proud of you too."
"It's crazy, but like, having Liam in my life has been such a blessing. I know it hasn't been very long, but he's already been helping me want to do better. I've been applying to uni's and thinking about what I truly want to do with my future, and he's helped me find options I didn't even know I had."
"Lima Bean's incredible and incredibly gone for you."
"I hope so, because I know I am for him."
"Zayn? I want to say that with or without Liam, you were going places. You're meant for so much more, but...having Liam by your side doesn't hurt either."
"Thank you, Louis. I wish my family would think the same way. They think Art's not a profession. Nor do they think dating a guy is moral, so guess I'm on the path to making them proud, yeah?"
"Well if you ever need a place to stay, my door's always open."
Zayn smiles, "You're too good for this world, Louis. You need to get into some trouble. Be reckless for once."
Louis inwardly laughs at that, if only Zayn knew just how reckless he's been. "I'll try, Z. Just for you."
"That's all I ask."
Leaving Zayn's, Louis is left feeling the guiltiest he has in a while, but also puzzled. He assumed Harry was still trying to win Zayn for his mission, and he'd been horribly wrong. But at the same time, why wasn't Harry doing that? Why wasn't Harry fighting for Zayn's attention like he used to, or leading him down the path of damnation? What is Harry doing, if not his mission? And why would Harry stop? Why would Harry give up? Louis' left pondering a million and a half things, but ultimately he's left with one lasting question. What could possibly be enough to make a Demon risk the one thing they have left?
* * * *
Louis hangs idly by on Sunday until the lock on the front door is unlatched - thanks to the key Louis gave Harry the other day. When the Demon walks in, he looks surprised to find Louis standing by the front door, impatiently waiting for him to enter inside.
Louis steps forward hurrying his speech, "Yeah, yeah. I just...well, I want to say I'm sorry."
Walking further into the flat, allowing the door to shut behind him, Harry's brows knit together, "Sorry? For what?"
"Last night when you left me to go to Zayn, I thought you were doing something bad. In my head, I had already accused you of doing so many things, and I," Louis interrupts himself, "Zayn told me the truth. And I want to say I'm sorry for ever doubting you. I mean, I know this sounds so crazy because you are a Demon, but you're also not? You don't act like one at all, and that's, that's a good thing! But I just, ugh. I'm rambling."
"That's okay, Lou. I don't blame you for assuming I'd act the way I'm supposed to be."
"Don't say that, that's a stereotype. You're a Demon, but you don't act like that!"
Harry chuckles, "Louis...all Demons act like that. I'm the exception, I guess, but that's just me. It's not like there are other Demons out there, not wanting to be generalized with popular opinion. That's just how it is."
"But not with you," Louis states.
"Not with me."
Louis wants to ask why. Why it is that Harry's different, but he doesn't have a chance before Harry's talking again.
"Also, I'm sorry too."
Eyes widen in absolute shock at the apology slipping from Harry's mouth, "What?"
"For erm," Harry clears his throat, "For walking away from you last night when we were dancing. That was rude of me."
Overcome, Louis thrusts his body forward and embraces Harry in a hug before his conscious can tell him otherwise. As the Angel's arms lock tightly around the Demon's frame, Harry gasps but rests his own hand on Louis' back in return. Louis shutters at the way Harry's warmth rushes across his skin in thrashing waves.
"It's okay, Harry."
While Louis' head rests on Harry's chest, a single red tear streaks across Harry's skin, tainting his face with its crimson color - reminding Harry of the monster he really is. Sooner than Louis can notice, Harry wipes away the blood from his cheek, remembering that this is why Demon's don't cry.
* * * *
Louis' out of the shower, while Harry's getting adjusted on the couch to sleep for the night.
Walking into the living room to look at Harry while he's talking, Louis goes on. "Do you need anything else before I go to bed?"
"No, I'm all good."
"Okay. I'm just gonna make tea, and then I'll be off."
There are a few fleeting seconds of silence that pass until Louis hears his name called.
"Is that erm...is that your real name? Louis?"
With his hand around the mug as he returns to the living room, Louis thinks fondly back to his family's surname, and all the significance it stands for him. "Louis is, yeah. But Trent isn't my real last name, Tomlinson is."
Escaping through Harry's lips with a smile, he says, "Louis Tomlinson. I like it."
It shouldn't, it really really shouldn't make Louis' heartache from how Harry's deep drawl sounds purring his name, but something so innocent suddenly feels like a sin. Hearing his name come out of Harry's mouth could be enough to make him weak, but Louis leans against the couch for support and immediately changes the focus. "Do you have a different name, too?"
Harry nods, "They changed my last name when I became an Angel, and I stuck with that when I was a Demon. But uhm, my real name is Harry Styles."
"That has a nice ring to it," and Louis' not lying. The name Harry Styles sounds like a character from a book or even a famous pop star. It's the kind of name given to someone important, someone you remember. And Louis has no doubts he'll ever forget it.
"Definitely suits me better than Smith. Not very original, either."
"Neither is Trent," Louis chuckles, "Clearly someone needs to brush up on the most popular last name's list."
"Clearly," Harry grins in return.
"Well," Louis gently smirks, "See you in the morning?"
Making an effort to turn his body down to his room, Louis stalls in his movements. "Uhm, Harry?"
"Do you...do you maybe want to sleep in my bed with me tonight? It's just, that couch can't be comfortable, and you've been staying on it for a while. Probably could use a proper mattress by now."
"Never mind, forget I asked."
In the second it takes for Louis to shift his body around, Harry's somehow managed to get off the couch and grab him by his wrist, pulling Louis back to face him. "Yes, I would like that. If you don't mind?"
"Wouldn't offer if I didn't want to."
"Okay, then," Harry answers, green eyes alight.
Making their way down to Louis' room, the two shuffle in either side of the bed, until they're only a few inches apart under the sheets. The air around them is charged with electricity, but there's too much anxiety to make anything happen. And even if he could, what would Louis do? Instead, Louis shuts his eyes, trying to claim sleep until a voice echoes to him from across the blankets.
Louis' too tired to realize he didn't say Harry's name correctly, but when Harry moves his body just a touch closer to Louis, Louis figures Harry doesn't care. As the darkness cloaks over them in peaceful silence, the Angel effortlessly falls asleep, happily immersed in the Demon's heat.
* * * *
As carelessly as the rest of time seems to go, flowing like a river around Louis' life, three weeks are suddenly gone. Once again, Harry and Louis are different. Louis' affections towards the other boy have maximized to full capacity within his heart, and he isn't sure what to make of that. What to do with that. Harry too, seems constantly troubled by something, where Louis will catch flickers of turmoil cross his evergreen irises. There's nothing Louis can do in those moments but pray that Harry won't leave in the middle of the night. And every time they go to sleep, the distance left between their bodies almost convinces Louis that he might. That Louis will wake up, and Harry will be gone.
But when the sun comes up and Harry's still around, Louis' grateful for another day together.
* * * *
"I don't care what size tits she has, it's about what size her heart is," Niall exclaims profusely across the lunch table towards the rest of the group on Thursday.
"Ni, what are you talking about?" Louis asks.
"I'm just saying that while yes, it's nice when a girl looks good - I just also like when she's caring too, or sensitive, or whatever other bullshit."
Zayn laughs from across Niall, "So basically, what you're telling me is that Emma is the one. And not because of her looks, but because of her personality. Am I right?"
"Yes! Thank you Z for understanding, the rest of these bloody wankers don't know what real men want."
"Oi!" Louis counters, "Just because I don't want vagina, doesn't mean I don't know what real men want!"
"Sorry, I didn't mean it like that. I was talking about maturity levels here, not sexualities."
Liam and Harry double over in laughter at that, and Harry quips. "Maturity level? You're actually trying to say that you're more mature than us?"
Over their laughter, Niall snaps. "Yes!"
Wiping at his eye, Liam adds. "Oh, that's too good, mate. Too good."
"Fuck all of you. I'm going to the library."
Getting up from his chair, Niall dramatically scowls at the group and storms off.
"Well, I wasn't expecting that to happen," Zayn jokes.
Louis nods in agreement. "No, not at all. What could have possibly gotten into him?"
This time Harry replies. "I think it's that Emma girl he was talking about earlier, right? She must have commented on liking mature guys or whatever. Niall's trying to impress her, 'm sure."
"That's probably true," Zayn answers. "Oh, Louis? Mind walking with me to class early?"
Getting up from their tables, the two boys pull their backpacks on and wave goodbye to Liam and Harry. After they depart from the table, Zayn moves in closer to Louis so they can chat as they walk.
"So, I wanted you to be the first to know, but I have an interview set up for my top Art school tomorrow."
"Shut up! Z are you serious!?"
"Yes! I'm so nervous, though, and my parents don't know I'm going. Liam told his Mum that my family's out of town, and so she's taking me. Liam's coming too, course."
"Wow, I'm so proud of you. They're going to love you. You've got nothing to worry about. You're brilliant!"
"I'm taking it you haven't told them about Liam yet either, hm?"
"No, but I am. Sometime soon I'm going to. Liam's Mum told me I could stay with them if I want, so I'm not scared anymore. And Liam showed me all this funding I could get if I applied, so I don't feel reliant on my family for that anymore either. It's like, I'm finally getting to be the person I want to be, and I have no chains holding me back, you know? Freedom."
"I don't know how you feel because I've never had anyone in my life tell me I couldn't be what I wanted. But I imagine it must feel pretty amazing."
"It does Louis. It really fucking does."
"I'm so happy for you," Louis says as he wraps an arm around Zayn and pulls him in for a hug.
"There any other good news you have to tell me, or can I start being jealous of you now?"
Zayn chuckles as he pulls away from the embrace. "Well, I mean, I haven't told him yet, but I love Liam."
"Yeah, my whole heart just hurts with it. I want to tell him, but I'm afraid it's too early."
"Zayn, there's no timeline for falling in love. And it's Liam - who's been in love with you for years already."
"Yes. You should tell him. You've got nothing to worry about."
"Thanks, Louis. You're honestly one of my best mates. I feel like I could talk to you about anything."
"You're mine too, Z."
"Oh, by the way," Zayn wiggles his brow suggestively, "How're you and Harry?"
"Louis...you can keep denying it to us, we all know and have for a while. You two have changed, and it's for the better. But there's a look in both your eyes that says something else. So...when're you going to confess your feelings to him?"
"I...I...ugh!" Louis stops walking, "I do, okay? I feel so much for him. I don't even know where it all comes from? But there's nothing I can do about it. You don't get it Zayn. There's so much more than just me liking Harry. I can't - I can't act on how I feel, or there could be serious repercussions to the both of us."
Zayn's face appears concerned over Louis' confession. "Serious repercussions?"
"Look...I told you about my family. Despite how they feel, and what they could threaten me with once they find out, I'm still putting Liam first. That's what you do. Fuck whatever else is standing in your way, and be with the person you want. If they're worth it, so is all the other bullshit at stake."
"You think Harry's worth it?"
"Well, that's for you to decide. But I think you're good for each other. You balance one another out."
"But...how? What do I do."
"I think you know the answer to that question, Louis."
Zayn pats Louis on the back as he walks into class, leaving a bewildered Louis out in the hallway. Louis wishes he could, but he can't confess how he feels to Harry. That would be the beginning of the end for the both of them. There's no way it could work. But Louis honestly wishes he could. Louis wishes he could run to Harry right now and tell him everything, but he can't. And Louis' not even sure Harry feels the same way, so why bother, if it could ruin all they've built up? Unless something drastically changes, Louis is going to accept things as is. That's the best he can do.
* * * *
"Hey, Lou," the low familiar cadence of Harry sweeps against Louis' hair like a summer breeze. Turning around in the hallway Friday afternoon, Louis meets Harry's eyes as he comes up to him at his locker.
"What's up, Hazza."
Smiling at Louis, Harry leans against the locker beside his to talk. As he is, Louis should be listening, but he can't help letting his eyes discreetly wander over the curves of Harry's body as they press into the snug fabric of his clothes. Long, lean muscle, so close - yet so far. Louis wants to lick every inch of his perfect skin, but...
"Huh, oh. Yeah sorry. Lost in thought."
Harry reaches out and brushes Louis' fringe out of his face, and it's like being shocked back to life. He can't hide the flare of red across his cheeks that scream he's startled, or flustered, or affected. But Harry, whether knowingly or not, goes on like the champ he is. "I was saying that I'm gonna go with Zayn after school. I'll probably be back around dinner time if you want me to pick you up anything."
"Uhh, maybe pizza? I don't feel like cooking tonight."
"Yeah, sure. I'll text you when I'm on my way home."
Harry walks off, but Louis' left behind, wondering how he'll ever continue to be able to play the part of friends when he can barely keep it together in a simple conversation. This is going to be harder than I thought.
* * * *
It's the first Friday night in a while where the boys don't have plans, and Louis' enjoying his time by starting up with a new Netflix show. He should be productive. He should, but he's not going to. So nestled on the couch with the big fuzzy blanket he bought a few weeks ago, he wraps himself up and starts watching. Unfortunately, the warmth of the blanket and the comfort of his position on the couch leads Louis to fall asleep only after two episodes.
When he does wake up again later, it's to a heavy weight sitting next to him, and something light running through Louis' hair. With a yawn, Louis opens his eyes and finds Harry sitting on the couch looking down on him.
"I texted you, but you didn't answer, so I came back early. Was erm," Harry nervously stutters, "Was nervous when you didn't respond. I forgot the pizza too, sorry."
Moving up instantly, Louis frowns, "Oh no, 'ts my fault, Harry. Sorry. Didn't mean to fall asleep, honest."
Harry looks forlorn as he glances at the TV screen, causing Louis to fill with confusion until he sees where the show has paused. An Angel is flying off into the sky. And yes, Louis was watching something about Angels.
"Harry? What's your story? Your Angel story?"
Huffing out a sigh, Harry keeps his focus on the TV, "I used to live in Holmes Chapel with my Mum and my older sister. I was a good kid, Lou. I studied hard, I kept to myself, and I always helped out my family when they needed it. I even worked at a bakery, so I could start paying for myself and keep some stress off my Mum. But uhm, I wasn't really living to be honest. I was just there, existing in the background of everyone else's lives. In school, people never noticed me, but they also didn't bother me, so I guess that was good. My family - I mean they loved me, but it wasn't enough sometimes."
Turning to look at Louis, Harry goes on, "There was one night where I couldn't take it. I wanted out. I walked to this bridge, and I swore I was going to do it, Louis. But when I got there, there was already a girl with the same idea as me, leaning over the railing. I forgot the whole purpose of why I had gone there and immediately went over, telling her to come back over on the other side, and that it wasn't how she wanted to end her life. Ironic really. It took a few minutes, and I still don't know how, but I convinced her to give me her hand. Except, when I helped her back, somehow in my attempt at guiding her climb over, I lost my own footing and well...you get the idea."
"Wow, are you serious?"
"When the Heavenly Court told me what I had done to help the girl was courageous, especially when my own life was being questioned, I was numb. They said that I put her before my own issues and that I deserved the position of Guardian Angel, but I didn't feel right. Because here I thought that I got what I wanted when in reality, all I wanted was my family back. But I told myself that this was my chance to help those that felt like me and fuck Louis...I put all my effort into it. I was motivated to make my family proud still, even if they didn't know it."
"So how did you become a Fallen Angel?"
At the question, Harry considerably stiffens. "I erm. I don't know that I'm ready to talk about that, yet."
Without another word, Harry gets up from the couch, and Louis listens as Harry's footsteps take him to the bedroom. Louis wants to go after him, but he knows Harry needs his space. So Louis goes back to watching his show, only to keep him from running into Harry's arms.
* * * *
Hours have passed since their talk, and Louis is now finally making his way to the room, expecting Harry to be asleep. He almost had Louis convinced too until Louis got under the covers and heard a sniffle. Immediately, Louis shoots up, leaning over to look at Harry who indeed had red-rimmed eyes.
"Oh, Harry." Louis doesn't think as he reaches his arm over, pulling Harry into his chest, and using his hand to run through the soft tendrils of Harry's curls. Louis isn't expecting it, but Harry begins to talk.
"I was on a mission. There was a boy who was being bullied, and I was meant to help. Keep the bullies from bothering him, help him make friends, and help him want to live his life again. They sent me in because he started having suicidal thoughts, and they were afraid that if things extended any longer, he would do it. So I went, I had two years to complete it, then I'd be done. That was the longest mission I had ever been assigned, but I had to be there till he graduated. But a year into it, a year after making friends, after overcoming his battle with the bullies, after mending his relationship with his Mum, he still did it. He took his own life."
Harry sniffles again, "I was devastated. I couldn't handle losing him, I just - I went a bit crazy. Like all of a sudden everything hit me. My Mum wasn't here, Gemma wasn't here, and now this poor boy wasn't here either. I lost them all. But then I had an idea, a horrible, horrible idea. I thought, what if I could bring him back? Surely that would solve everything. I erm, I went to a Demon, and I was in the middle of making a deal with him when the Heavenly Court arrived."
Harry exhales loudly, "That was...that was the most painful thing I ever went through when my wings turned black. They told me that making a deal with a Demon was an unforgivable crime and that from now on, my missions came from Lucifer. They also said they were incredibly disappointed in me, and that they had high hopes for my future. I've never regretted a decision more in my entire life than that. And when they left me, and Lucifer came to collect the mess that I was, I cried, only to find out that Demons cry blood - that was the last time I let myself do that."
Louis squeezes tighter, "That's horrible, Harry. Not what you did, but how they reacted to you! I understand that maybe you shouldn't have gone to the Demon in the first place, but there are second chances for a reason. They didn't even hear you out."
"Louis, you don't have to defend me. I know what I did was wrong."
"Hey," Louis says as he grabs onto Harry's chin, and forces him to look into Louis' stern gaze. "You were doing what you thought was the best thing. It might have been selfish in some ways, but you never had intentions of hurting anyone in the process."
Red rimmed and green, Harry's eyes widen in shock. "Lou..."
"I mean it, Harry. You're not this horrible person you seem to make yourself out to be. In fact, you've only shown me just how amazing you are."
"Th-thank you," Harry utters in amazement.
Louis' still clutching Harry's face within his hands, lips only inches apart from so much - a line between what they are and what they could be - but Louis drops his hands before he can change his mind. "Uhm Harry?"
"Your wings though, you said they're black?"
"Yeah, but in the human world, we can't use them. They only show up as tattoos on our backs until we go to the underworld, and they break off again. Unlike Angels, who can obviously use them at any point."
"Yeah. I don't know why, but Demons can't do that. They can't control their wings. Like with Angels, they're apart of you. You're connected with them, you feel them. But when they turn black, it's sort of like they die, and you can't do anything with them anymore. So someone a long time ago must have used a spell, that made it so Demons could pass as humans, by making our wings nearly disappear when we enter this realm."
"Can I," Louis hesitantly starts, "Can I see?"
Keeping his eyes trained on Louis, Harry sits up on the bed and pulls his shirt off. After a few seconds, Harry bites his lip, as if he's not sure he wants to go through with this. But in another second, he turns around, revealing the massive tattoo of black wings, spanning from the tops of shoulders to the bottom of his hips.
Reaching out tentative fingers, Louis presses against Harry's hot skin, procuring a tiny gasp to illicit from Harry's lips as he traces against the lines of the tattoo. Harry shutters underneath his touch, and Louis internally preens at the reaction.
While Louis draws over the last bit of ink he hasn't reached yet, allowing himself to indulge in his need for Harry just this once, he unconsciously whispers into the skin, "Beautiful."
The expanse below him flushes red, but then Harry's twisting his body so that he can look at Louis over his shoulder. "Lou? Can I see your wings, too?"
Louis swallows, tension thick between them, but nods in agreement anyway. Taking off his own shirt and forcing his wings to push out, Louis feels his skin ache with having not done it in a while. Once the heaviness of his wings is there, Louis looks up nervously into Harry's eyes, which are locked on his exposed feature. Shuffling closer, Harry extends his hand and gently brushes the closest feathers he can reach. At the connection, an incredibly pleasant sensation courses throughout Louis - like fingers running through his hair.
Despite the tender touch, Louis' nervous about how Harry's going to react. Will he cry more from seeing something he once had but since lost? Will he be angry at the view of something he can never obtain again? Or will he push Louis away, after remembering that they are two opposites of the same spectrum?
As Harry's fingers continue to assess, lightly waltzing through each and every feather with nothing but care, Louis relaxes. However, when Harry leans into Louis' face, Louis' heart flutters again, faster than his wings could ever fly. Lifting one hand to hold Louis' chin, Harry rubs his thumb reassuringly into Louis' cheek, as he speaks.
"You don't need to hide these from me, Louis. Not ever," Harry passionately whispers, conveying a secret only for the two of them to know.
Iridescent blue orbs are blown wide with endearment from the words, and Louis chokes at the realization that hits him. He loves him. Louis loves Harry.
An Angel loves a Demon.
Louis doesn't say anything, but he wraps his arms around Harry again, and this time, lays them both down on the bed. Harry doesn't protest, leaning into Louis' body like he needs it to breathe. When they fall asleep, white feathers surrounding them in a cocoon, their grips don't lessen throughout the night. Tightly bound to one another, even in their dreams.
* * * *
The days that pass after their moment are Louis' favorite. Harry is affectionate towards the other boy, cuddling him at home, sticking by him in school. As opposed to sitting across from Louis during lunch, Harry now sits next to him, with his thigh always touching Louis' under the table. During walks to classes even, Harry finds a way to join Louis, and often times Zayn, along to wherever he's going. Louis, in turn, presses his hand against Harry's arm as much as he can and gives it a little squeeze of recognition. Or Louis will look at Harry, sharing a universe worth of adoration with just the glimmer in his eyes.
"Ready to go home?" Harry whispers into Louis' ear from behind him, as Louis stands in front of his locker.
Louis twists under Harry's body to face the beautiful beast before him, "More than. Can we stop at the café on the way? I've been dying for a muffin."
At this, Harry swells, a fond smirk decorating his face. "Anything you want, Lou."
Louis' cheeks flush, always affected by Harry's charm. "Alright, cool. You wanna go anywhere too?"
"No, I'm okay."
When they leave the school, Harry rushes to grab Louis' hand within his own, strolling side by side to the café. It still takes Louis by surprise after Harry did it for the first time on Monday, right as they began their walk home. It was overwhelming, primarily because they were even going back together at all, since Harry almost always has somewhere else to be after classes are done.
It's a pleasant change that Louis hopes never has to stop.
After getting five muffins, because apparently Harry wanted to treat Louis, they enter back into the flat. Backpacks off, they both reach to take their shirts off - when Harry told Louis not to hide his wings around him, Louis told Harry the same thing. In truth, it feels good to let Louis' wings out. It feels better as they stretch behind him freely. And anytime Harry plays with his feathers, Louis literally purrs, finding it to be his favorite feeling in the world.
After a while of sitting on the couch to do their homework, Louis along the way falls asleep on Harry's shoulder. The Demon doesn't move, not wanting to disrupt the Angel beside him. However, there's a moment where Louis' coming up from his sleep when he's just on the brink of being awake. He's vaguely aware of what's going on around him, despite not having opened his eyes. In this limbo, Louis feels a pair of gentle lips caress his forehead, but they pull away as fast as they came. Beating loudly, Louis' heart demands to be heard, wanting to let Harry know that it's beating for him. Yes, Louis has no doubts. He loves Harry undoubtedly, and he knows he can't wait any longer.
Louis has to tell him.
* * * *
While Thursday had been amazing, Friday was the complete opposite. On his walk to school with Harry, they had been holding hands, and Louis had his confession on the tip of his tongue, ready to set sail out to sea for Harry's love. Yes, it was there, waiting for the command. But Louis choked it back. Something felt off, a slight change in the air, that sent Louis' hair to rise along his skin. He felt like he was being watched.
Louis had his answer on his way to the bathroom during his Math class with Liam. He's about to exit after washing his hands when the whole room suddenly evaporates into white mist. Another second passes to bring Louis to his worst nightmare ever. The Heavenly court.
In the same room, he had been in, what feels like an eternity ago, Louis is suddenly being addressed. "Please state your name," the man to the furthest right says.
"Er, Louis William Tomlinson."
The man second to the left begins next, "Mr. Tomlinson, are you aware of the accusations brought against you today, leading to your arrival in front of the Heavenly Court?"
Panic swells within him. "No, I do not know sir."
The woman, who had been so friendly last time, looks stern with her icy gaze as she goes on. "Mr. Tomlinson, you have been accused of fraternizing with the enemy. How do you plead?"
Louis looks offended, "Enemy? You're referring to De- Fallen Angels as enemies?"
"Mr. Tomlinson, it would do you well not to argue with us."
"I, er. Sorry."
The male to the far left continues, "We have sent you on a mission to work with a...Zayn Malik, is that correct Mr. Tomlinson?"
"Please, Mr. Tomlinson, can you report on the progress of your mission, as it stands currently?"
Louis doesn't hesitate, "Well, it's been going well. Zayn has a boyfriend who's really good for him. He's been applying for Art courses at uni, and he even had a successful interview with his top choice. In my personal opinion, the goal will be met."
The woman picks up, "That may be all good and well, but is it or is it not true, that you have not removed Zayn from the initial problem in the first place - being the Fallen Angel? And that in addition, you've also befriended them?"
"To be fair, being friends with Ha- er, the Fallen Angel, worked out better than trying to prevent Zayn from seeing him at all."
The man to the farthest right frowns. "Mr. Tomlinson, your goal as a Guardian Angel is to guide people back to the path of righteousness. How can Zayn be on the path to good, while the Fallen Angel is still his friend? That means the temptation for Zayn will always be there, trying to pull him back down."
Louis closes his eyes and sighs, "That's a good point, sir. I apologize for not thinking about it like that."
"Maybe next time you will think twice before doing so. However, as of today, we of the Heavenly Court, have decided to revoke your mission with Zayn Malik, and-"
"Wait! Please, wait! I'm sorry for interrupting, but revoke? You're pulling me off the mission? I understand your concerns, please I do. But I've gotten Zayn this far please, I beg of you. Please let me finish this. I know I can."
The woman cuts in, "Mr. Tomlinson, in order for you to prove to us that you're worthy of the position we've appointed you, you'll have to remedy the Fallen Angel situation immediately. In addition, as is understood, you'll have to complete your original goal for this mission. You think you can achieve all that?"
The four glance at one another, before the man on the far left supplies, "Okay then. We'll allow you a second chance, only this once. However, we'll be watching you, and if anything is to our dislike, we will immediately intervene."
As the last four letters are forced between his dry lips, the white fog fills his view, and the court is gone. Within a second he's back in the bathroom, heart racing with fear as it violently pounds in his chest like a drum. If Louis continues to do what he's doing with Harry, he'll be pulled off the mission. That means he'll be separated from Zayn, Liam, Niall, and the boy that put him in this situation in the first place. The boy he loves. Wiping away at the tears that have angrily fallen from his eyes, Louis stands up and splashes water on his face from the bathroom sink. He has to pull himself together.
He has to do this for Zayn.
* * * *
Louis was lucky Friday night because Harry had plans with Zayn, meaning that Louis didn't have to see him before going to bed. But Saturday was different. Saturday was entirely different. Louis woke up that morning to Harry making him a Full English Breakfast and baking Louis' favorite muffins.
Peeking over his shoulder as he's pulling the muffins out of the oven, Harry grins - dimples and all, beaming right at Louis. "Hey, Lou! I was bored, so I thought I'd do some cooking for you? And I know you always love to buy those muffins, so I thought that I could just make them for you, for a change!"
Harry is illuminating, and Louis is floored, because this beautiful creature is the happiest Louis' ever seen him, and Louis has to inevitably push him away. Yes - this wonderful, incredible, captivating person that Louis wants to hold for the rest of time...and Louis has to leave him alone. How can Louis do that? How can Louis do that without breaking Harry in the process?
How can Louis do that without breaking himself in the process?
"Oh," Louis replies half-heartedly, "Thank you, Harry. 'm actually not feeling too well. Think I'm gonna go back to sleep."
"You want anything?"
"No 'm good."
Turning back around, Louis goes into his room and doesn't come out except to go to the bathroom. For two days. He can't stop crying. Can't stop the pain that's consuming his heart like a poison, slowly deteriorating what's left of the organ. But Louis can't let Harry see him like this. Louis can't let Harry know. So he hides out instead like a coward, rather than confront the problem head-on.
And at three am Sunday morning, Louis realizes that it's the second night in a row he's gone to sleep without Harry in his bed, and he's not fine.
He's not fine at all.
* * * *
Throughout the week, it's a slew of Harry trying to talk and Louis trying to hide. Monday Harry wanted to walk home with Louis, which Louis knew also meant trying to hold Louis' hand, so in turn - Louis lied and said he was going to the library to study. Tuesday, Harry sat next to Louis at lunch, and let his thigh press up against Louis', and Louis jumped up saying he wasn't feeling well again. Wednesday, Harry looked defeated, but then again, so did Louis. Their eyes were shrouded with purple bags, their hair was a mess from tossing relentlessly in their attempts to fall asleep, and their movements were slow and languid. Thursday, Harry gave up.
But Friday...Friday was the worst.
Louis and Harry walked together to school, but no words were exchanged between them as they let the hum of city life fill the void. Once they arrived at school, Harry departed instantaneously from Louis, walking over to wherever his first class is, and leaving Louis to his locker. At his locker, Liam comes up behind him, laying a hand on Louis' shoulder.
"You alright, mate?"
Startled and tired, Louis looks at him, "Yeah, why?"
"Well, everyone's worried about you. You're hardly around, and if you are, you hardly say more than a handful of words to any of us."
"I just haven't been feeling well this week."
"You sure that's all there is to it?"
Liam glares into his eyes, and Louis knows Liam can tell he's bluffing, but for now, Liam lets it slide as he exhales heavily with annoyance or maybe relief? Louis can't tell. "Alright," Liam deflates, "Whatever you say. Just, know you can talk to any of us, yeah?"
"Okay, good. Well, get to class."
"Right. Bye, Li."
Despite what he'd like to do, Louis can't skip school, but going along through his day is difficult. In first period class, Niall passes him a note, which goes unanswered. In Math, Liam respects Louis' silence, though every couple of minutes he glances over worriedly. And in his next class, Zayn can't stop staring, while Harry doesn't look at him at all.
After their class, Zayn waits for Louis outside in the hallway, apparently ready to have a conversation. Louis shrinks in on himself, prepared to deflect what he can when Harry comes in front of Zayn and stares him in the eyes.
"Zayn, go to class."
Louis doesn't have to look to know that Harry possessed Zayn. Though before he can do anything about it, Harry's grabbing him by the shoulder and shoving him into the Janitor's cupboard. Louis can't help thinking how familiar this whole scene is.
Pushing him against the door, Harry has one hand on Louis' waist, and one hand on Louis' cheek, rubbing his thumb into Louis' skin with concern. "Lou...Louis. What is going on? Please baby," Harry pleads, "Tell me."
Wanting nothing more than to cry his eyes out at the term of endearment said towards him, Louis swallows. It's all he wants, and it's in front of him, begging for him - and yet, it's the one thing he can't allow himself to have. Maintaining his focus down on the ground, Louis knows that if he looks up into the green that's standing before him, stricken with fear and worry, Louis will fall apart.
"I...I can't, Harry."
"You can!" Harry screams as he slams his fists beside Louis' body on the door he's leaning against.
"I can't! I wish I could, Harry, you have no idea. But. I. Can't."
Harry runs his fingers over his face in aggravation, "I don't know what to do, Lou! I don't know what to do to help you, then."
Louis snaps, saying the exact opposite of how he feels, "I don't need your help."
Dragging his eyes upwards, Louis finds Harry stiffly stood in front of him, a frown fixed on his features as he shakily asks, "What are you saying?"
"I...I'm sorry, Harry. But I have to go to class. I can't talk right now."
"Louis," Harry says as he grabs onto the boy's wrist. "I...I lo-"
"I'll see you home later, alright?"
Louis doesn't wait before he's out of the cupboard, forcing himself to ignore his mind screaming at him to go back. There are a million things he wants to say, but not a single one that he can. Walking away is childish, Louis hates that he did it, but it's the best option he had. It's better for him to leave with words left unsaid, than sit there listening to all the things he wants nothing more than to hear, unable to respond.
It's a lose-lose situation either way.
* * * *
Friday night Louis goes to sleep alone and wakes up Saturday morning to Harry already gone. He should have known this was going to happen. He should have seen it coming, but it still hurts, stinging like a sharp knife cutting open a new wound.
Yes, on Saturday Harry is gone, and so is Louis' heart.
* * * *
It's the following Wednesday when Louis sees him again. His shoulders slump as he walks through the hallway, and Louis desperately wants to reach out and touch him. To feel the heat that radiates from his skin, curling around his body like a flame. He wants to hold him in his arms again and never let him go. But Louis doesn't deserve him anymore. So Louis doesn't do anything but watch what he could have had, literally pass by him.
* * * *
Harry doesn't come back the day after that or the day after that. While at first everyone had been worried about Louis, now that Harry's gone MIA, their attention's been redirected. Louis feels miserable for causing such misery, but what else can he do?
Niall: U seen Harry?
Liam: Z's really worried. Tried finding him but couldn't. Hasn't heard from him either.
Niall: Maybe he'll show up in a couple more days
Liam: Let's hope
Louis ignores the texts that come after that and gets back under the covers of his bed. Suffocating himself in what little scents linger from Harry, which also happens to be the only place Louis feels like he can breathe.
* * * *
When Monday comes around, Harry shows up for a few periods. Zayn tries talking to him, but Harry has nothing to say. Louis' worried he's come to school to win Zayn out in the end, but Louis hates himself for even thinking that. Especially when Harry doesn't give Zayn, or any of the lads for that matter, the time of day. Which only makes Louis wonder why Harry bothered to come back then? Maybe it was for Louis? Maybe he doesn't want to talk to Louis, but still wants to know if Louis' okay? Or maybe that's too optimistic, and it's only just to torture Louis? Reminding him of all the things that he let go.
* * * *
After that Monday, Louis doesn't see Harry again. Winter has officially come into the picture, laying the ground in white serenity, but turning the world as cold as Louis' heart. On chillier nights when Louis' breath ghosts in front of his face, and his hands shake as he wanders around town aimlessly, Louis wonders where Harry might be sleeping that night.
The walks at night were something that happened after two weeks of Harry's disappearance. Louis tried convincing himself that he's not out searching for Harry, but he can't help looking down every alleyway he comes across anyway. He swears it's nothing but an old habit, but his mind knows otherwise. It's a constant battle.
After three weeks of freezing his arse off, trying to find even traces of the person he once knew, Louis raises the white flag of defeat and lets the truth finally set in.
Harry's gone. Harry's really really gone.
* * * *
Things don't get better after that. Louis tries because he's here to help Zayn, but Zayn doesn't need Louis' help anymore. Zayn's been doing fine on his own for a while, and Louis' only holding on because, without this mission, Louis has nothing. He doesn't have his family. He doesn't have his friends anymore. And he doesn't have Harry. But Louis still goes on because he's done all of this to prove a point. And if he doesn't prove that he can achieve his goal, then none of this will have been worth it in the end.
* * * *
Entering the school Friday morning, Zayn calls out to Louis. Tilting his head to the side, Louis greets back. "Hey, Z."
"I uh, have some good news to tell you."
"Yes! I got into the Art course at the uni that I interviewed for!"
"Really! That's awesome. Congratulations!" Louis grabs Zayn in a quick hug.
"Thank you, thank you. I'm so excited to be going there in the Autumn, and I even managed to persuade my parents to agree to it!"
"How'd you do that?"
"I told them that if I didn't go for Art, then I wasn't going at all. And they'd rather have an educated son, then anything else so. They still don't know about Liam yet, but I'm getting there."
"Zayn, that's amazing."
Louis' smile is dimmed, and when a pause nestles itself between them, even Zayn's smile falters into a frown. "You know...I miss him."
Shock floods into sadness as he hears Zayn's confession. "Me too, Z. I miss him, too."
"I don't know what happened between you two, but you need to fix it, Louis."
"Don't lie to me!" Zayn snaps. "I don't care what it is - you don't have to tell me, but don't lie," exaggerating his message by pointing shoving his hand into Louis's chest.
Louis weakly answers, "I'm sorry."
"Just get him back."
"Get him back," Zayn reaffirms. "I want my best mates back — you and Harry. Everything's been shit since you two had your issues, and it's not okay. So please, Louis. Please fix it. Whatever you did, just get him back."
"Zayn, it's not that easy."
Without letting Louis argue, Zayn walks off, leaving a perplexed Louis behind in his draft.
* * * *
Falling snow carries by another week. It's a Sunday when Louis loses his mind. He can't take sitting in his flat anymore. He can't handle sitting on the couch and remembering the way Harry's body melted into it. He can't handle looking at his kitchen and picturing Harry making him food. He can't handle the reminiscing. He can't handle the replaying of memories that don't seem to ever want to rest.
Shrugging on his jacket, gloves, and scarf, Louis goes out in the afternoon and walks. He doesn't care where he's walking too, but it just needs to be far away. Unconsciously, he's walking towards a part of town where he once followed Harry when things were still rough between them. He's not paying attention when he stumbles down a familiar street, or when a ragged voice crashes against him like a car, breaking him entirely apart.
Following the sound, Louis paces down an alleyway to find a very familiar back in his view. The guy is looming over a frightened girl, and Louis knows what's happening before he hears what's being said. Taking a step closer, Louis firmly places his hands on the broad shoulders, to stop what's about to be done.
Harry must have been in the middle of his possession because when he shifts at the sudden feeling, his eyes are entirely black. Louis takes a step back in surprise, as the girl who was standing there only a moment ago, runs down the street in fear. Louis doesn't have time to register that Harry's actually in front of him when he's suddenly under attack.
"What the hell did you do that for, Angel?"
Angel. He called Louis Angel like it was the most disgusting word he could possibly say.
"You tell me, Harry. What were you doing to her?"
When Louis says Harry's name, there's a flicker of sadness across his now nearly red eyes, with the green barely visible through the hue.
"Don't worry about it."
At this, Louis storms up into Harry's space until he's pushing him against the brick wall behind them, "Don't worry? Don't worry? Of course, I'm gonna worry about it! I've been worrying about it! Ever since you left, I've been worrying sick about it! And for you to tell me not to, after everything, Harry! Really?"
Chartreuse eyes roll with annoyance, "Well, you don't have to anymore."
"It's not that easy, unfortunately."
"And why not?" Harry snaps.
"Because I freaking care about you, you bloody idiot!"
Confusion washes over Harry's face, but his features are much calmer after the comment soaks in. Once a few seconds pass, the green color is nearly back in focus when Harry softly questions, "You care about me?" His voice grows louder as he continues, "You were the one pulling away from me. You were the one who wouldn't talk to me. So I left before you told me I had to leave, because I couldn't deal with that!" Red seeps into Harry's eyes until the tears streak down his face, "I couldn't deal with you telling me that. I couldn't deal with losing another person in my life!"
Louis' ocean orbs flow at Harry's confession, inciting Louis to rub his gloved covered thumb on Harry's cheek carefully.
"Oh, Harry," Louis cries.
"No," Harry yells, ripping away from Louis' touch. "I knew it, I could feel it. But if I heard you say it to me, Lou...if I heard you say that you didn't want me anymore - that would have destroyed me."
Louis wraps Harry in a hug as they both let out their tears, both unafraid of the emotional chaos expelling from their lips. While Harry's head lies on Louis' shoulders, Louis finally recites the words he should have been saying all along. "I never meant to hurt you. The Heavenly Court told me I had to stay away from you or they'd take me off the mission. But I didn't want that. Because taking me off the mission meant I'd never see you again, and I couldn't handle that. So I did what they asked because seeing you, even if it meant you being mad at me, was better than not seeing you at all."
The arms entangled around Louis tighten in their embrace. "Louis. I -"
"Shhh, it's okay."
When Harry lifts his head back up, Louis notices a line of a bruise swollen and purple around Harry's neck. "Harry, what happened to your-"
Harry rushes to cover it, but Louis stops him. "It's...it's from not completing my mission. I uhm...I have a lot more," Harry uncomfortably says as he tilts his head down to the ground. Louis' heart crumbles inside the cage of his ribs.
Harry was tortured for losing.
Louis runs his fingers through Harry's hair until he traces his fingers down to Harry's chin and gently picks it up to see his face as Louis asks, "Well, why'd you do it? Why'd you give up so easily?"
"You seriously don't know?! I could never let you lose!" Harry says as though it were blatantly obvious. "How could you expect me to do that?"
"But Harry, you got hurt because of it!"
"But you didn't, and that's all that matters."
Louis shakes his head, "You're ridiculous."
"I'm not. From the first day I saw you, I knew I'd do anything for you."
"You hated me," Louis rebuttals.
"Wrong. You frustrated me. You were this glowing little Angel, with eyes that challenged the skies and colored the seas, and you were so beautiful. I knew I wanted you, but you were the one thing I couldn't have. Course I tried, didn't I? Coming up to you and all, but you had a feisty little tongue that put me right in my place. I'd never been so enraptured by anything in my entire life, ever."
"Louis you are...you're the one," Harry admits as he squeezes his hands onto Louis' hips. "I don't care what our worlds have to say about us. You're it for me."
"Harry please -"
"No Louis listen, I...I lov-" But before the words can be uttered carelessly between them, a loud strike of thunder disrupts the vow, and a mist takes over the boys view. Louis shudders at what it means - The Heavenly Court.
"Louis Tomlinson," the man who sat in the first left appears before Louis, "We have watched your actions for the past couple weeks since allowing you a second chance, and have been immensely disappointed. We are revoking you from your mission on Zayn Malik immediately, and henceforth, will remove your wings upon your return to Heaven.
"Wait, please! Let me explain!"
"Mr. Tomlinson, we will not hear any more excuses for your behavior."
Along each side of the man, two guards appear, walking forward till they've grabbed onto Louis' arms. In retaliation, Harry clutches onto Louis' waist as he pleads, "Louis! Louis, don't leave me!"
Louis looks down at Harry, and though his face is swollen from crying, and this may be the worst thing that's ever happened to him - he smiles. "Harry...I love you."
Expecting to be thrown into the depths of Hell, Louis is shocked when the guards that had been tugging him away halt, and the man from the court asks incredulously. "Excuse me. You love him?"
Without a single doubt in his mind, Louis nods. "Yes, sir. With every fiber of my heart."
"May I ask Mr. Tomlinson, how an Angel could possibly love a Demon?"
Glancing back down at Harry who's still hooked around his torso, Louis smiles again. "Because he sacrificed his own mission so that I could achieve mine."
The man gapes, but Harry now is grinning too, standing up to peer into Louis' eyes with all the love his viridian can muster. "And I'd do it again, even if it meant having my soul ripped from my body. I'd do it a hundred times for you."
Without another breath of air, Harry surges forward and kisses Louis, who kisses back as best as he can while his arms are restricted. It's not the long and desperate kind of kiss Louis wants, but it's enough to leave a tinge of warmth on his lips for a lifetime. The man coughs from the background causing Harry to pull away, his face riddled with a frown. But before Harry has completely departed from Louis' grasp, he whispers to the Angel quickly.
"I love you so much, Louis Tomlinson. Please, don't ever forget me."
Louis doesn't hesitate as he says to the Demon, "I promise Harry Styles, I won't ever forget you."
The last thing Louis sees are Harry's lips before the white fog clouds his view, taking Harry away from him forever.
* * * *
The first day back in Heaven, Louis is thrown into his old room. The second day Louis has a meeting. While Teddy is the one who brings Louis to the court again, this time, he's not as friendly as he had been upon first meeting. Louis realizes he must look like a traitor for having loved such a monster. If only they knew who Harry really was.
When Teddy drops Louis off, he opens the door and gives Louis a reluctant smirk, before closing it behind him. Louis takes a deep breath as he walks forward to meet with the familiar four faces of the Heavenly Court.
"Mr. Tomlinson," the man in the farthest right calls. "You have broken the single most important rule of being a Guardian Angel. Do not associate with Fallen Angels. Even after reprimanding, you still decided to ignore our heeded words."
Inside, Louis' stomach drops at being scolded.
"However," the woman beside him says, "While it's too soon to affirm, it seems that you will have achieved your goal. Due to your impact, Zayn's life changed for the better and based on his future as it stands currently, he will go on to university. In addition to influencing Zayn's life, you've also had a positive impact on a few other boys who were in attendance at the school. As well as - the Fallen Angel."
"Yes," the man on the other side of her speaks. "Had you not been there, Zayn Malik would not have met Liam Payne, who would have finished school without a single friend. Aside from Mr. Payne, Niall Horan would have moved to Mullingar with his family and suffered depression at being alone, and the Fallen Angel would have achieved in taking down Zayn - only to fall further and further into his demonic state, and lose nearly all traces of his humanity."
The man to the farthest left picks up where she leaves off, "So with that in mind, we will review your folder, and assess what actions are best to make next. Once our decision has been finalized, we will summon you for your hearing. Good day, Mr. Tomlinson."
The figures before him evaporate into thin air, leaving Louis to an empty room once more. Louis' shocked, but in a good way. The meeting had not gone as he had anticipated, and it seems the rulers of the Heavenly Court are even unsure of what to make of it all. As far as Louis' concerned, the pros outweighed the cons, but that's for the others decide. In the meantime, Louis does the only thing he feels that can help him at this moment. He gets down on his knees, and he prays. Prays that there still hope for him and Harry yet.
* * * *
With an exasperated breath, Louis sighs. Everything is white. From the clean painted walls to the tiled floors, to the high vaulted ceiling, and to the decadent chandelier dangling in the center of his temporary room. Everything is white, and Louis is alone. It's now been five weeks that he's been in Heaven when Teddy comes knocking on his door.
"You ready to go, bud?"
"Yes, I've been waiting for what's felt like an eternity."
When they're strolling down the halls, Teddy turns to him with a pout, "You know Louis, I would like to formally apologize. The last time I saw you, I acted like a jerk. It's just...rumors fly around here faster than our wings, and the ones about you weren't very good. But I've seen the error of my ways, and I'm deeply sorry about that."
"Teddy, it's not that big of a deal, please."
"It is to me. If this is the last time I ever see you again, I'd like to leave it on a good note."
"Okay then, well you're forgiven."
Teddy nods with gratification, "Thank you."
When they stop outside the door, the other boy leans in to give Louis an unexpected hug, as he whispers to him, "Best of luck to ya, Louis."
The sincerity elicits a smirk, as Louis replies, "You too."
Starting this day off with an apology doesn't bode well with Louis, but he lifts his head up high and enters in with all the confidence he has. As he walks closer to the center of the room where the chairs reside, Louis' nerves shutter within him.
"Mr. Tomlinson," the woman starts off sternly, "After five weeks of close deliberation, we have come to a unanimous decision." Louis nearly cowers under her gaze until the sharps lines of her mouth turn into the tiniest of grins, "You will lose your wings," Louis' heart stops, "In exchange for your mortality."
The furthest left smiles. "We were very impressed Mr. Tomlinson, that you were able to turn all those boys' lives around, in addition to the Fallen Angel. However, what we were further curious about, was the love that you had for said person. So we had a meeting with Lucifer. He would not agree in allowing Harry to become an Angel again, but he did compromise by letting the boy have his mortality back. Harry Styles had passed away in 2014 at the age of sixteen. However, we sent him back, and he's been alive for the past two years as a human, now living in London."
"I don't understand. Harry's human now?"
The man to the furthest right smiles, "Yes, and we have a proposition for you. If you agree to our conditions, we will grant you your mortal life again, as well."
"You mean I won't be an Angel?"
"Not exactly," the man next to him adds. "Our condition is this; you must continue your duties as a Guardian Angel in your human form, but you will exclusively be assigned to Zayn Malik, Liam Payne, Niall Horan, and Harry Styles. This is a lifetime commitment to ensure these boys continue on the best path possible. Do you agree to this?"
Louis couldn't answer fast enough, "Yes, yes! Of course!"
"Good. Now, there are some things you should know prior to your departure. With Lucifer's compromise in giving Harry his mortality, Harry had to lose his memories, meaning that when you return to the human realm, he will not know who you are. That applies to the other boys too, because in their lives, they haven't met you yet."
"But I have met them? It's what...January? February? I've known them since September."
The woman answers, "In order for us to return you, we have to put you on the day of your death, in August. All events leading up to that moment will be the same, except this time around you'll survive."
"So what do I do? They won't remember me. Harry - Harry won't remember me. Wait, will I forget them too!?"
"No, Louis. We are allowing you to retain your memories in order to fulfill your assignment to us. We will help you just this once. Go to the place where you two first met. We'll handle the logistics, you handle the rest."
"And the other boys?"
"You'll meet them when fate decides."
"Wow. So I'm really going back? I'm going to see my family again?"
"Yes, Mr. Tomlinson," the man smiles joyfully. "You will see your family again."
"I...I don't know what to say? Thank you, thank you so much!"
The man to the farthest left grins, "It's our pleasure. As always, we expect great things from you, Louis Tomlinson."
As the words fade out into a distant echo, the surrounding room melts into a pit of darkness. This is it - Louis' going home.
* * * *
" We're losing him."
"Hit him again. I said hit him again!"
" Roger, he's not."
" One more."
Louis is forced from the depths of his subconscious to the small light peeking through, like a tiny window in a basement. Flying at it as fast as he can, the light begins to engulf the darkness, basking Louis in its glow. He reaches out, trying to grab the center of this sun within his mind, getting closer and closer until he's centimeters from grasping it in his hands.
Sensitive eyes open to blinding white lights, and at first, Louis fears he's still in Heaven. Except this time - there's a monitor beeping somewhere beside him, and people are talking somewhere above him, and he's so thirsty he could cry.
"Oh my god, Louis. Louis, can you hear me, baby! Louis! His eyes, they're open!"
"Excuse me, Miss, but we're going to need you to step back."
The brightness has momentarily blinded Louis, causing him to rely on his other senses to figure out what's going on. Listening, he takes note of what's around him. The sound that brings him to tears is one he hasn't heard in months, the warm cadence of the person he's missed more than anything else while he was gone.
"Oh baby, Mum's right here."
Her familiar scent envelops him as a comforting arm wraps around his chest. Louis does what he can stay awake, to relish at this moment, but his energy is beyond depleted. After a few overwhelming seconds, nestled in his Mother's embrace, Louis drifts back to sleep.
* * * *
When Louis wakes up again, it's much quieter. He opens his eyes, and this time, he can see. He's in a hospital, and his Mum is asleep in a chair next to him, her head leaning on the chair in an attempt to find a comfortable position. At the sight of her, Louis cries. He can't believe this is really happening. He can't believe he has his life back, his family back. And soon enough - Harry back.
Speaking of Harry, Louis needs to get to him. Now. The panic that he'll miss his chance to get to him floods Louis with fear, and he starts ripping the attached wires off his shoulders when one of the monitors starts beeping like crazy.
A nurse runs in at the noise, "Mr. Tomlinson, you have to leave those on; you're not stable enough yet."
"Please, I have to find him. I have to find Harry."
"The nurse looks concerned as she puts the IV and other cords back in place. "I don't know who this Harry is, but I'm sure he'll be waiting for you when you can be released. And after a couple of people have thanked you, of course."
Louis leans his head curiously, "Thanked me?"
"You're a hero, Mr. Tomlinson. And there's a particular girl who's been dying to talk to you."
Realization dawns on Louis' face as he remembers exactly why he died in the first place, "How is she?"
"She's going to be okay, thanks to you."
* * * *
After three days of family bonding, sleeping, and watching so much television he never wants to watch it again, the doctor finally agrees that Louis can be released tomorrow morning. He will need checkups every other week or so while the stitches for the bullet wound to heal, and Louis will need lots of rest and medication, but he's finally good enough to leave. Meaning Louis can finally get to Harry!
A soft voice startles him, but he gazes up to the front door from his bed, to find the girl that he hasn't seen since the day he died — the girl he saved.
"Oh, hi," Louis welcomes.
"I heard you were leaving tomorrow, so I wanted to stop in and talk before I lost the chance."
"That's fine, uh, come on in. How have you been doing?"
Sitting down on the edge of the bed, her wavy brown hair falls around her back as her tired eyes brighten, "Honestly? It's hard, but if you hadn't been there, I know it could have been a lot worse."
"I can only imagine. But you know, you shouldn't worry about the 'what ifs.' I promise you, it doesn't help."
"You're right, I know you are. Just can't help it sometimes," she frowns. "But I didn't come here to bore you with my personal issues. I just, I wanted to say thank you. You saved my life, and I can never repay you for that."
Louis smiles, "Knowing your safe is good enough for me."
Timidly, the girl's dry lips form into something resembling the same, "That day was the scariest day of my life, and I was so sure I was going to...well you know. But then you came in like some Guardian Angel, and you did what not many other people would have done. I honestly hope to be as brave as you someday."
At the mention of being a Guardian Angel, Louis internally laughs at the irony. "I promise love, you are already a lot braver than you think you are."
She nods, probably not believing Louis' words but hopefully at least wanting to. "Well, I'll let you go, don't want to drag this on. But thank you again, Louis. I hope you get all that you want out of this life. You deserve it."
Something settles within Louis, like a piece falling into place that he didn't know he was missing. When the girl exits the room, she leaves more behind than the shadow of her presence, and Louis feels grateful for all that she said. It was a reaffirmation that he's doing something right with this life and that he does deserve to be happy. That he does deserve to be alive again.
Now all he needs is his Harry.
* * * *
"Bye Mr. Tomlinson. Call us if anything starts acting up, or the stitches swell."
"Will do. Bye!"
Getting helped into the passenger side of the car, Louis turns to his Mum in the driver's side, set on taking them home. To Doncaster. All morning he's been analyzing ideas over and over within his head on how he can casually bring up what he wants, but there's nothing easy about Louis' request. He knows she'll be confused, and most likely refuse, but he wants to try. And surprisingly, the best way to get his Mum to agree with anything is to be blatantly honest and blunt. He needs to get right to the point, or he'll ruin his chance.
Hesitantly, Louis speaks up, "Mum?"
Before shifting the car in drive, she gives her attention entirely to her son, "Yes, darling?"
Louis doesn't waste a breath as he rushes out, "I can't explain it right now, but I need you to do me a favor."
"Okay?" She questions, her features wrapped in worry.
"There's this boy that I'm in love with, and I need to see him today. I know I'm healing, but it can't wait any longer. So please, can you drop me off at the train station?"
Her eyebrows quirk, eyes squinting in clear judgment, "Where are you going that you need to take a train?"
Louis doesn't miss a beat, "London."
"London? Louis that's like four hours from here!"
"You've just been shot, Louis! You should be going home and taking it easy."
"I know, Mum."
Her similar sapphire eyes observe him for a moment, assessing how serious Louis is before they surrender in defeat. "You have to text me when you get there," she sighs out.
To say Louis is shocked at her response is a vast understatement.
"I know, Mum," he answers before she has a chance to change her mind.
"And text me when you're coming back."
"I know, Mum."
"And I need to know if and where you're staying. And with who."
She stares for a little longer and then rolls her eyes, "The things I do for you, I swear."
"It's cause you love me."
"You're damn right I do, but if you risk your life one more time on me Louis, I swear I won't make it."
"I promise Mum. I promise I won't do that again."
* * * *
Four hours pass and Louis runs off the train the minute they arrive. His body is aching as he jogs towards a queue of cabs, motioning for one to take him to the spot where he and Harry first met. It's another twenty minutes of sitting anxiously in the back seat, legs bouncing restlessly until they get there - the corner of the street nearby that café. When he pays the driver and rushes from his seat, Louis looks around but doesn't see his love yet. It's okay though, he knows he's coming.
Moving into position, Louis leans against the brick wall exactly where Harry had been initially - waiting for the love of his life to pass him by.
It's another three minutes of paranoia, but then it happens. Coming down the street, coffee ribbon curls materialize in Louis' view. Harry has his head down, staring at his feet while he walks along. Even though Louis can't see his face yet, his breath is already blown away with the lazy August breeze. Harry's startlingly gorgeous, and Louis' missed him tremendously. Flashbacks of gentle hands touching white wings in the dark of a room, send violent shivers down Louis' spine. He can't wait. He can't wait to hold Harry again. To love Harry again.
Stalling in his spot for Harry to reach his vicinity, Louis lingers till Harry's directly in front of his line of vision. That's the moment when he clears his throat, ready with a promise for this beautiful boy that Louis' going to love him this time, for the rest of their lives and more.
For the rest of eternity.
In the seconds leading up to one of the most significant moments of Louis' life, a set of familiar words rest eager on his tongue, waiting to be released the same way they had once been directed at Louis - so long ago. It's funny how much it all has changed. Before Louis gets lost in memory, however, Harry nearly comes to pass. Lifting slightly from the wall, the former Angel calls out to his beloved Demon, blue eyes capturing green in an everlasting vow.
Chapter 6: Epilogue
So I'm finally adding the epilogue that a lot of you asked for! I'm sorry this isn't much, but I hope it's enough! I really struggled with wanting to do this, because I really really did not want to let any of you down! I was, and am, still really nervous that it's going to disappoint you all, but I do really hope you like it! Also, I'll be posting my ABO story within the next couple days, so maybe you all could check that out, as well...if you want!
In case I haven't said this enough already, I love you all so much it hurts!!! :) :)
A Year and a Half Later
A cinnamon apple candle burns in the center of the apartment, drifting it's fragrance leisurely onto everything within its grasp. Including Harry. Louis inhales the soft spot beneath the boy's ear, just high up enough on his neck where his gentle tufts of hair begin to reach. Harry's been curled against Louis' chest for the past hour, having fallen asleep during a show they were previously watching. Louis' too infatuated with Harry's sleeping form, to ever disrupt it, though he will have to wake him up in a half-hour for lads night - a serious misfortune, Louis thinks.
As the former Angel's eyes linger to the calendar on the wall, zeroing in on the date, he smiles. Today is exactly one year since Harry and Louis officially became boyfriends, just four months after they reunited. Or in Harry's memories...met. Louis recounts that day as vividly as he lived it, calling out to the beautiful boy, and Harry turning to him with the most adorable of curious expressions Louis' possibly ever seen. An expression Louis never would have witnessed when Harry was a Demon.
The taller boy was so caught off guard by Louis trying to introduce himself, that Harry began to stutter from nerves. There was no longer the cocky confidence Louis knew so well; it was all innocence and naivety, traits that Demon Harry had lost long ago. It was a bit surreal, but Louis wanted Harry all the same. Once Louis successfully got Harry to exchange numbers with him, he was relentless in his mission. Texting the boy non-stop, until he had successfully convinced Harry to have dinner with him, later that night.
After that, it was almost effortless - emphasis on the almost.
The Angel still loved his Demon, but he needed to relearn him all over again. Harry was not the same as the person Louis once knew. And on the other side, Harry didn't know Louis at all. That was the most difficult for Louis because he wanted to give his heart entirely away, but as things usually do, it took Harry some time to get to the same level that Louis already was at.
But the Angel held it in as much as he could. He tried to hide the extent of his feelings, especially in the early months, when things were relatively new. Thankfully, it didn't take much time for Harry to get there, as well. Like magnets, they instantly were drawn back together. Sometimes, Louis would wonder if maybe Harry's love for him hadn't simply gone away, but rather - had been hiding in his heart, until human Harry found a way back to them?
In the end, it didn't matter. Being loved by Harry was all that was important, regardless of which version it was.
Since they've been together, Harry has never regained his memories about their time before. Louis wanted it in the worst way, for Harry to just wake up and recall everything, but obviously, that wasn't part of the deal. Although, in the first couple months, Harry had these overwhelming sensations of déjà vu, as if everything in that moment he had lived before. Louis' hopes would increase when it seemed like Harry was just one thought away from unlocking the key to his repressed memories, but after a while, they diminished. Maybe someday it will happen, and Harry will remember everything from before? But for now, it's all a forgotten dream.
Aside from their relationship, other elements made things a bit more difficult, too. For starters, Harry was living in London, while Louis was at home in Doncaster. Harry had been residing with his sister Gemma for his final year of sixth form, making the commute to see one another a challenge. They did it anyway, but some weeks had gone by where neither one had the time or money to make a trip out. In the end, it strengthened their desires for one another, rather than tarnished it - thankfully.
Distance made their hearts grow fonder, and all that.
But the year eventually ended, and Louis was going to uni in London, come the upcoming Fall. Harry too, was going to uni in the city, but at one of the other art schools nearby. They were both beyond thrilled to be within walking distance of each other, an experience, human Harry never knew.
During the Summer leading up to it, there were other new changes. Gemma wanted her boyfriend to move in with her, meaning Harry needed to get out, causing him to search for someone in need of a roommate. It took two weeks for Harry to find, pack, and move into his new place, all before Louis had a chance to see. When the Angel did get an opportunity to spend a night at Harry's flat - the boy was incredibly surprised to find that somehow, someway, Niall was Harry's new flatmate. Supposedly, the Irish lad had just moved to London from Mullingar and was working for his father's portion of the business, in the city. He hadn't any friends yet, so he posted his spare room hoping to meet more people that way.
When Niall said it was fate to have found a great friend and flatmate in Harry, Louis smirked, looking up to the heavens with a knowing look.
The rest of Summer strolled by until it was time for Louis to start uni. Once the two were living in the same city, they were inseparable, despite the fact that Louis did not move in with Harry. The Angel truly wanted to, especially when he remembers all the fun they had, but he didn't want to pressure Harry. So instead, Louis chose to live in the dorms.
It ended up being a good idea, however. On move-in day, while Harry and his family were helping Louis unpack, his dorm mate had entered with an alarmingly familiar smile. Harry had extended his hand to greet the stranger first, but Louis knew who it was right away. Zayn was once his best friend, he could never forget his face.
It's been a few months since then, the semester closing in on the holiday season. Louis' brought Zayn over to Harry's flat countless times, to the point where the three including Niall, are now best friends.
And as for Harry and Louis?
They continue to fall further and further into their love, like two fish swimming to the bottom of an endless sea. They're consumed in each other, in a way, neither of them have ever been before. Louis sometimes gets emotional when he thinks about all the weeks he spent convinced he was never going to see his love again. It physically pains him to the point of tears, when his mind drifts back to those lonely days. Harry always wonders what's wrong, but Louis only ever smiles, telling him that he'll do anything in his power to keep Harry for the rest of his life and more.
Harry thinks Louis' just a sap, and well...maybe he's right?
"Oi!" Niall yells as he and Zayn come into the living room. "Wakey wakey motherfuckers, time for lads night!"
Louis' brought back from his reminiscing, to the living room where Harry's still asleep on his chest.
"I already ordered the pizza. Zayn...pick a movie. And if you pick any of the Marvel ones, I'm personally going to come over and chop your hands off."
Zayn smirks and flips him the v.
"Wanker," Niall shoots back before directing his attention to Harry and Louis, "And you two! No more cuddles!"
"Alright, alright. Piss off," Louis laughs. On top of him, Harry begins to shuffle ever so slightly. At the movement, Louis runs his fingers through Harry's curls, easing him into waking up, "Come now, love. It's time for lads night."
The boy lifts his head up and yawns, before opening his green eyes to Louis' sight. He's so unbearably precious, Louis might actually succumb to his death again.
"What?" Harry sleepily asks as Louis stares at his immensely adored boyfriend.
"Nothing. You're just...so gorgeous, Harry. Sometimes I get a little amazed that you let someone like me into your life still."
Harry's confusion turns into the dopiest of grins, his dimples prominently on display. "Fuck Lou, I love you so much, I don't know what I'd do without you."
"Well, you'll never have to know, because I'm always going to be here for you, love."
Louis leans in to kiss Harry's sugary lips, but a pillow thrown at his head keeps him from his target. "Oi!" Louis yells as it hits him in the face.
Zayn just shrugs as Niall bursts out laughing. "You two are disgusting. And on any other night, I'd tell ya all to fuck off into your room, but tonight is lads night! And it's gonna happen no matter what!"
"Pizza!" The boisterous blonde screams after his rant, racing over to grab the door. Once Niall opens up to let the pizza delivery boy inside while he pays him, Louis hears a gasp. Though he knows it came from Zayn, Louis' eyes get caught elsewhere, latching onto the person holding the pizza in their hands.
Liam. The last and final piece to their puzzle.
The gasp is audible enough that Liam and Niall halt what they're doing to look over at the one who made the sound. However, when Liam sees Zayn, he gasps, too, "Zayn?"
Liam flusters, "Wow, what a small world."
Harry pipes up from his seat at the interaction, "You two know each other?"
"Yeah, er Li - I mean Liam, and I went to school together. We didn't talk much in sixth form, but uh-"
"That's cool, a former friend!" Niall interrupts. "Ay! You should stay for lads night! It's about to start; Zayn just needs to pick the movie."
"I mean, I have work still," Liam explains, "And I wouldn't want to impose."
"Nonsense," Zayn interjects. "You should definitely hang with us!"
Liam's cheeks bloom a lustful pink at Zayn's proclamation, "Well," he begins flustered, "This is actually my last stop for the night. I just have to run back to the shop and grab my things. You mind waiting another ten minutes while I go around the corner?"
"Not at all," Louis chips in. When Liam glances at Louis, there's the initial expression that all the boys had when they first noticed him. Recognition. As if they know Louis from somewhere, but can't place their finger on it. Both Zayn and Niall spent days trying to remember what was on the tip of their tongues, but would never discover. Louis eventually got used to it.
"O...kay? Alright. I'll be right back!"
It takes exactly ten minutes for Liam to return, and Zayn and Niall to finally decide on something to watch, all while Harry and Louis laugh at the banter as they're comfortably cuddled together on the couch. When Liam returns and settles in a spot right next to Zayn, Louis can't help but surge with emotions.
All five of them are actually here. All five of them are back together. Louis takes in the sight that he thought would take years more to have again and grins.
He's finally home.