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Finding You

Chapter Text

 

Louis groaned in frustration, before taking a deep breath and holding it. He quickly wrapped the bandage around his chest, taking a shallow breath after he’d securely fastened it. He slid on his shirt, grabbed his bag, and went off to class.

“Ah, Mr. Tomlinson. How nice of you to join us,” Professor Wilson said, gesturing for Louis to take a seat. Louis nodded, his cheeks tinted red, before taking his accustomed seat. He tried to focus on his professor discussing Charlemagne, and how his time as a ruler changed the way kings ruled, but found his mind wandering. The bandage around his chest was pressing uncomfortably against his ribs, making his breaths come out shallowly.

“Louis? Do you know the answer?” Professor Wilson inquired.

“I’m-I’m sorry, Professor. What did you ask?” Louis asked.

“Why did Pope Leo the Third crown Charlemagne king?” Professor Wilson said, his brow creasing in worry.

“Charlemagne was crowned king on Christmas Day because he came to the Pope’s aid when…..when,” Louis gasped, before crumpling. He slid out of his chair, his head hitting the floor with a resounding thunk.

“Louis!” Professor Wilson exclaimed, hurrying towards him. He took his pulse, finding it thready and weak, and then reached into his pocket for his phone. He hastily dialed 911, and gave instructions to the dispatcher. After he hung up, he and the entire class waited in silence until the EMT’s arrived.

“His name is Louis Tomlinson,” Professor Wilson said.

“Thank you,” Niall said, as they started to take Louis vitals, before loading him on to a stretcher and taking him out of the room.

----

“Liam, look at his breathing,” Niall said, watching Louis chest attempt to rise properly.

“He’s not breathing properly,” Liam said, moving to lift his shirt, gasping when he was that Louis had wrapped his chest tightly, and there were bruises creeping out from underneath the wrapping. “Shit, Niall. He wrapped his chest with an Ace bandage. I need to get it off. Hand me the scissors?”

“Here,” Niall said, handing them to him. Liam carefully cut along the side of the bandage, and moved it away from Louis chest. He gently pulled his shirt down, watching as Louis breathing slowly evened out.

“He should have a CT scan, when we get to the hospital,” Liam murmured, his eyes focused on the rise and fall of his chest. “Just to make sure his lungs and ribs aren’t damaged.”
They pulled into the ambulance bay a few minutes later, and carefully unloaded the stretcher.

“26-year-old student, Louis Tomlinson, fainted during class,” Liam said, pushing the stretcher into A&E.

“Put him in trauma 1, okay, Liam?” Harry said, quickly putting down his chart. Niall and Liam. Harry followed Liam and Niall into the room, shining a light into Louis eyes.

“He had wrapped his chest in an Ace bandage,” Liam said, showing Harry the bandage. “It constricted his breathing, and I think is what caused him to faint.”

“Okay. Thank you, Liam,” Harry said, pulling up Louis shirt. He examined the bruising, before putting his shirt back down. “I’ll see the two of you tonight, yeah?”

“See ya tonight, Harry,” Niall said, and they wheeled the stretcher out of the room.

“Harriet, can you put in an order for a chest CT for Louis?” Harry said, stepping out of the room.

“Sure thing, Dr. Styles,” Harriet replied.

“Let me know when he wakes up, please,” Harry said.

“I will,” She said, and Harry moved onto his next patient.

“Dr. Styles,” Harriet said, stepping into the patient’s room he was in. “Mr. Tomlinson is awake.”

“Thank you for letting me know, Nurse Hooper. Will you go over the discharge papers with Mr. Sprout, here?” Harry inquired.

“I will,” Harriet replied.

“Thank you,” Harry said, handing her the chart. He hurried towards Louis room, pumping some sanitizer onto his hands before stepping inside.

“Mr. Tomlinson. I’m Dr. Styles,” Harry said, standing next to the bed. “How are you feeling?”

“Sore,” Louis quietly said, staring up at the ceiling.

“Do you want to tell me why you wrapped your chest with an Ace bandage?” Harry inquired.

“I can’t buy a binder,” Louis whispered, his gaze still focused away from Harry.

“Louis, I know it’s difficult, but you really shouldn’t use an Ace bandage to bind your chest. It’s dangerous.” Harry said.

“I know. But I needed….I needed to do it,” Louis murmured, turning his head to look at Harry. Harry was surprised by the blue of Louis eyes, and quickly scolded himself for getting distracted.

“You need to get a CT scan, Louis,” Harry said.

“I don’t want one,” Louis replied, reaching for his clothes. “I’m going back to my school.”

“Well, then I’ll need you to sign a form saying that you’re refusing medical treatment, and leaving against my advice,” Harry said.

“Fine,” Louis said, unfolding his shirt. “Can I have a moment, please? I’d like to get dressed.”

“I’ll be right outside,” Harry said, stepping out and pulling shut the curtain. Louis got off the bed, dizziness overwhelming him for a moment. He sat down, taking a deep breath. A sharp pain went through his chest, and he wrapped his arms around his ribs, letting out a low cry of pain.

“Louis? Louis, lay back,” Harry said, his carefully putting his hands on Louis shoulders. “Where does it hurt?”

“My-my ribs,” Louis gasped.

“I’m need to look at your ribs, Louis,” Harry said, moving the gown aside. He gently touched his ribs, biting his lower lip. “I think you’ve got a break. I’m going to have to take you up to x-ray to make sure.”

“Okay,” Louis groaned, and Harry wheeled him out of the room and up to x-ray. He carefully helped Louis out of the bed, and lay him down on the x-ray table.

“I’ll just be in the next room, Louis,” Harry said, as the technician moved the machine so it was centered on Louis torso.

“Okay, Dr. Styles,” Louis replied. When the x-rays were finished, Harry took Louis back downstairs, putting him back in his room. The slides arrived a few minutes later, and Harry took them, quickly looking at them.

“You’ve got two fractures, Louis. Your fifth and sixth ribs are broken.” Harry explained.

“My ribs are broken? Just from wearing a bandage?” Louis quietly asked.

“Yes,” Harry replied. “Ace bandages are not something you should be wearing, Louis. They do a lot of damage-the kind of damage that you can’t see,” Harry replied. “Now. I’m going to prescribe you some pain pills, and if you have any worries, come back here immediately.”
“Thank you, Dr. Styles,” Louis murmured. He took the prescription that he gave him, before slowly walking out of A&E.

Chapter Text

 

Harry stretched, finishing up his paperwork. He glanced up at the clock, and smiled to himself. It was almost time for his shift to end, and he was looking forward to going home. Filing away the last of the sheets of paper, his mind flashed to the man who had come in earlier, Louis.

“Hey, Harry, want to come out for a drink with me?” George inquired, interrupting his chain of thought.

“Can’t tonight, George. I have an early shift tomorrow,” Harry replied, standing and gathering up his paperwork. He hurried out to the car park, the rain pattering against his shoulders, before he unlocked his car and tossed his briefcase in the back. He got behind the wheel, and began the drive home. His long day at work had left him exhausted, but didn’t stop him from taking note of Louis, who was standing outside of a building, his collar pulled up around his neck. Harry pulled over, and rolled down his window.

“Louis,” Harry said, looking out the window. “It’s Dr. Styles. What are you doing out here?”

“Dr. Styles,” Louis gasped, jumping slightly. “I locked myself out. I’m waiting for my roommate to get back, but he might be out until really late.”

“You shouldn’t be out in the rain,” Harry said, biting his lower lip. “Get in?”

“Where would you be taking me?” Louis inquired.

“My place. There’s a spare room, if that’s okay with you,” Harry replied.

“Okay,” Louis murmured, walking over and opening the passenger door of Harry’s car. He lowered himself onto the seat, wincing slightly. Harry watched him with concern, before shifting the car into drive.

“Do you live alone?” Louis quietly asked.

“No,” Harry replied, glancing over at him. “I share a house with Niall and Liam.”

“Niall and Liam?” Louis inquired.

“They’re the EMT’s who brought you to the hospital this afternoon,” Harry murmured, not wanting to remind Louis about the events that had transpired earlier.

“Oh, okay,” Louis quietly said, turning to look out the window.

“Have you eaten yet?” Harry asked.

“Not yet,” Louis replied, looking back over at Harry. “I had a late class.”

“Niall should have dinner ready,” Harry said, pulling into his house’s driveway. “He cooks on the nights when he and Liam get off early.”

“Did you know each other before you became a doctor?” Louis inquired.

“I knew Niall before. My family moved from my home town to Mullingar, Ireland. After I graduated from school, I moved back to London to go to school. Niall came with, and we lived together. Then Niall met Liam, during the first year of him training to be an EMT,” Harry explained, opening his car door. Louis followed suit, walking alongside Harry to the front door. Harry opened it, calling out a greeting to Niall and Liam.

“Been wonderin’ if you’d ever be gettin’ home, Harry,” Niall called.

“Took a bit of a detour,” Harry said, hanging up his coat. “Niall, you remember Louis?”

“I do,” Niall said, looking over his shoulder, as he stirred something in a pot. “Nice to see ya, Louis.”

“Hi, Niall,” Louis murmured.

“Where’s Liam at?” Harry inquired.

“He’s upstairs, changing his shirt. Had a bit of an accident involvin’ the spaghetti sauce,” Niall replied.

“Tell me you didn’t throw it at him, Niall,” Harry groaned.

“I didn’t throw it at him exactly,” Niall sheepishly said, shrugging. Harry rolled his eyes, before grinning at Niall. He walked over to a cupboard, taking down four plates, before walking over to the dining room.

“Can I help?” Louis inquired.

“If you want, you can get silverware? Niall, will you show him where the drawer is?” Harry inquired. Niall nodded, and pointed at the drawer where they keep the silverware. Louis took out four sets, and followed the direction Harry had gone. Louis lay the silverware out, briefly looking up at Harry. Harry smiled at him, the skin around his eyes crinkling. Louis briefly smiled back, before going back to the kitchen and returning with glasses. He placed them around the table, and went back into the kitchen.

“Harry! Your home,” Liam said, entering the dining room and throwing his arms around Harry.

 

“Liam, you prat, get off,” Harry said, trying to extricate himself from his grasp. “We have a guest tonight.”

“Who is it?” Liam inquired, before lowering his voice. “Did you pick up another stray?”

“It’s Louis. From earlier?” Harry quietly said.

“I remember Louis. How’s he doing?” Liam inquired.

“He locked himself out of his apartment, and wasn’t sure when his roommate would be back,” Harry replied. “I didn’t want to leave him in the rain.”
Louis came back in at that point, and greeted Liam.

“Hello, Louis,” Liam said, smiling at him.

“How was the rest of your shift?” Louis inquired, setting down the glasses.

“It went well. There were a few calls, but it wasn’t so bad.” Liam answered.

“That’s good,” Louis said, pausing when Niall called for them to bring their plates in. They did, Harry snagging Niall’s plate to bring with him. Niall placed spaghetti and sauce on their plates, and they all walked back to the dining room. Niall, Harry and Liam started to eat, while Louis stirred the food around his plate for a bit, before taking a small bite. He ate slowly, distracted by his thoughts.

“Do you think he’s okay?” Niall inquired, looking over at Louis. Harry and Liam looked over as well, then looked back at their food.

“I don’t know, Niall,” Harry quietly replied.

Louis found himself thinking about how he could bind his chest again, if there was another way to do it without using an Ace bandage. His last binder had been damaged, and he couldn’t afford to buy a new one.

“Hey, Louis,” Harry said, breaking him out of his reverie. “Want to watch a movie?”

“Sure,” Louis replied, looking around the table. The rest of them were done with their dinner, and he glanced down at his plate, which was still half full.

“If you’re done eating, I can put your food in the fridge for you, for later.” Niall said.

“Thank you, Niall,” Louis said, placing his plate in the hand that Niall held out to him. Liam and Harry took their plates to the kitchen, rinsing them off before placing them in the washer.

“Any preference for movie?” Harry inquired, pausing in the doorway to the living room.

“Nope,” Louis replied, taking a seat on the couch. Harry put a movie in the DVD player, and took a seat next to Louis.

“Are you doing okay, Louis? How are your ribs feeling?” Harry asked.

“They hurt a bit, but I’m doing okay,” Louis murmured, leaning back against the couch. Niall and Liam came in shortly after, taking a seat on the other couch, sitting closely together. The movie started, and they groaned in unison.

“Captain America, again, Harry?” Niall complained.

“It’s a good movie, Niall!” Harry protested.

“Yeah, yeah,” Liam said. “Bucky Barnes is the best character, and Steve Rogers is really hot. We know.”

“That’s not the only reason I love it,” Harry murmured, his cheeks tinted red. Louis let out a small laugh, stopping when his ribs protested. They sat back, and watched the opening section of the movie. Louis fought to stay awake through the whole movie, but, when they got to the part where Bucky fell, he couldn’t keep his eyes open any longer. Harry kept his eye on Louis, wanting to make sure that he wasn’t in pain. He noticed when Louis started nodding off, and when his head leaned on his shoulder. When the movie ended, Harry gently lifted Louis, and carried him to the spare bedroom, pulling back the covers and tucking him in.

Chapter Text

Louis awoke, disoriented, unable, for a few moments, to remember where he was. He bit his lower lip, shifting through his memory, remembering that he had locked himself out, and that Harry, of all people, had come along. He remembered the nightmare that he had, where there was a man leaning over his bed, telling him to “quickly and quietly get up and come look”. He stumbled out of bed, heading towards where he remembered the kitchen to be. Louis could feel his chest tightening slightly, and bit his lower lip, fighting against the anxiousness that he could feel rising in his chest. Louis rummaged around in the kitchen for a moment, searching for tea. He made himself a cup, turning off the kettle before it began to whistle in earnest. Louis poured the hot water in a cup, and placed the bag in it as well. He took a sip, feeling the warmth of the tea soaking through his bones.

 

“Stop! I’m armed, I’m warning you!” Harry’s said, from the doorway.

 

Louis squeaked, dropping the cup of hot tea that he was holding. The cup broke in two, and he felt the tea splash against his feet.

 

“Ow,” Louis quietly said, looking from the spilled tea up to Harry.

 

“Louis?” Harry inquired.

 

“Yeah?” Louis murmured.

 

“Why are you up?” Harry asked.

 

“I….I couldn’t sleep,” Louis quietly said.

 

“So you decided to make tea,” Harry murmured. He stepped into the kitchen, flipping on a light switch. “How about you go clean the tea off your legs, and I’ll make us another cup?”

 

“Okay,” Louis replied, carefully picking up the broken pieces of mug. He threw them in the trash, before heading to the bathroom. Louis carefully cleaned the tea off his legs, glad that it hadn’t burned his legs. When he was finished, he went back to the kitchen, and mopped up the spilled tea.

 

“I could’ve gotten that,” Harry murmured, pouring water into two cups, before placing the tea bags in them.

 

“It’s fine,” Louis said, placing the towel in the sink. Harry carried the cups to the living room, and he followed along, biting his lower lip. He sank onto the couch next to Harry, who handed him a cup of tea.

 

“What happened, Lou?” Harry inquired. “Why are you up?”

 

“I-I had a nightmare,” Louis murmured.

 

“Do you want to talk about it?” Harry asked.

 

“It started off normal, and then….then it felt like there was a man leaning over me, telling me to quickly and quietly get up and come look. It felt so real….I woke up,” Louis replied.

 

“That sounds scary,” Harry murmured. “Do you want to watch a movie, to take your mind off of it?”

 

“Shouldn’t you be sleeping? Don’t you have an early shift tomorrow?” Louis asked.

 

“It’s fine,” Harry replied.

 

“What’s being a doctor like?” Louis inquired.

 

“It’s good. It’s nice to be able to help people,” Harry replied. “Do you mind….I was wondering if I could ask you a question.”

 

“Sure,” Louis said.

 

“You’re transgender. Did you have a binder? Why an Ace bandage?” Harry asked.

 

“My binder was damaged. I can’t afford to buy a new one right now,” Louis quietly said.

 

“I’m sorry, Lou,” Harry replied, before taking a sip of tea.

 

“It’s alright,” Louis murmured. He drank his tea, enjoying the warmth that seeped into his bones. Louis felt his eyes growing heavy, the warmth making his eyes heavy. “Thank you, Harry. I was wondering, have you ever met a transgender person before?”

 

“Not one that I knew was transgender,” Harry replied.

 

“Do you want to know what it’s like?” Louis inquired.

 

“If you want to talk about it,” Harry murmured, turning to face Louis.

 

“It’s….it’s painful, sometimes. Knowing that how I physically look, how society perceives me, isn’t who I really am. I was ecstatic when I first realized that I was transgender. I’d spent so long feeling like I didn’t fit in, and not being able to understand why,” Louis quietly said. “I realized it later in life. When I was a kid…I thought I was interested in girls, but that wasn’t it. But it also….it took me a long time to accept that it was okay to be transgender. I spent a long time fighting against myself. Went to some pretty dark places. I wanted to numb it all, to stop thinking about it all. I never told my parents. I was afraid to, honestly. But that secret….it ate away at me. It stressed me out to the point that I couldn’t think about anything else, couldn’t eat, couldn’t sleep. Eventually, it got to the point where I collapsed from the stress. When I woke up, my Mum and Dad were there, and I knew that I had to tell them. I couldn’t keep it a secret any longer. So, I did,”

 

“How’d they’d respond?” Harry quietly said.

 

“My Mum was alright. My Dad….he didn’t take it so well. But he’s a little better, now. It’s taking time for him to come to terms with it,” Louis murmured.

 

“I’m so sorry, Lou,” Harry whispered.

 

“It’s alright, Harry,” Louis replied, leaning back against the couch. “I’ve accepted myself. It took a while, but I’m good.”

 

“I’m really glad, Louis,” Harry said, stifling a yawn.

 

“I think it’s time for bed,” Louis said, gathering up his and Harry’s cups, and taking them to the kitchen. He placed them in the sink, before returning to the living room. “Harry, come on. Time for bed.”

 

“Alright, Lou,” Harry murmured, his eyes half shut. He stumbled off the couch, leaning on Louis.

 

“Where’s your room, Harry?” Louis inquired.

 

“N-next to yours,” Harry yawned. Louis put an arm around Harry’s waist, helping to support the other man. They walked to Harry’s room, and Louis pushed open the door.

 

“Here you go,” Louis said, helping Harry sit on the bed.

 

“Thanks, Louis,” Harry murmured, crawling under the covers. “If I’m gone before you’re up tomorrow, I’ll leave my number on the table.”

 

“Okay,” Louis said, smiling at him. “Sleep well.”

 

“You too, Lou,” Harry sleepily said. “Goodnight.”

Louis walked towards his room, quickly getting under the covers and falling fast asleep.

 

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Chapter Text

Harry awoke, the sun glaring through his curtains. He glanced over at his clock, groaning when he saw the time. He had an hour before his shift started, which gave him thirty minutes to get ready, and thirty minutes to get to work. Sighing, Harry pushed back the covers, shivering slightly as the cold air hit his skin, and as his feet touched the cold wooden floors. Harry took a brief, warm shower, before donning his work clothes and heading towards the kitchen to grab a banana. Harry ripped a piece of paper off the pad they kept near the phone, wrote his phone number down, and a quick note to Louis. Taking a bite of his banana, Harry hurried out the door to his car, heading for work. He pulled up to the hospital, heading inside while tugging on his doctor’s coat.

“Morning, Luke,” Harry said, nodding at the night shift doctor.

“Good morning, Harry,” Luke replied, looking exhausted.

“Rough night?” Harry inquired.

“You could say that. There were people from an overturned bus that came in a few hours ago.” Luke said.

“How many severe injuries?” Harry asked.

“Ten,” Luke replied.

“I’m sorry, Luke,” Harry said.

“Thank you,” Luke said, before heading to the locker room to change.

Harry picked up the charts that were left over from the night shift, glancing over them before placing them back on the counter. He walked into the nearest room, pulling up their file on the computer.

“Hello, Mr. Reid. I’m Dr. Styles. How are you feeling?” Harry asked.

“Better now,” He replied. “Do you think I’ll be able to go home soon?”

“We’ll have to see,” Harry said. “Someone will be back in half an hour to check your vitals, and then we’ll talk about letting you go.”

“Thank you, Doctor,” Mr. Reid replied. Harry checked in on everyone else, then hurried out at the sound of an approaching siren. The patient came in, and Harry checked him over. He then went behind the desk, searching for a piece of paper. Harry glanced up when the sliding doors of the E.R. opened, and everything slowed down. A man was walking through the doors, a handgun held loosely in his hand, by his side.

“Everyone down!” Harry frantically said, his eyes growing wide. Everyone ducked down behind whatever was closest, their eyes wide with fear.

“There’s a man with a gun,” Harry quietly said. “Everyone stay down,”

Harry slowly stood, his hands raised. The man holding the gun swung it towards Harry, his finger alongside the trigger.

“What are you doing?!” He shouted.

“Sir, please, put the gun down,” Harry calmly said.

“Why? You killed my daughter, and my granddaughter!” He sobbed.

“Sir, please. Is this what your daughter would want?” Harry asked.

“Don’t talk about what my daughter would want! She’s dead because of you!” He said, spit flying from his mouth.

“What was her name?” Harry quietly asked.

“Elaine,” He replied. “Do you remember her?”

“I do,” Harry murmured. “She came in after a car accident. She was seven months pregnant, and there was too much damage to her heart to save her. We tried to save the baby….but we were too late. I am sorry for your losses,”

“You’re the doctor who failed to save her?” He asked.

“I am,” Harry murmured. The man raised his gun, pointing it straight at Harry.

“Then you’re going to pay for her life,” He quietly said. His finger went to the trigger, and he squeezed. There was a loud, harsh noise as he discharged his weapon. Harry fell back, his fingers clutching his shoulder. There was a flurry of commotion, which faded in and out, until Harry did the one thing he could. He closed his eyes, and sank into a place of silence.
When he came to again, it was to the steady beeping of a machine. He cracked open an eye, and saw that he was lying in a bed, Niall was sitting next to him.

“Niall?” Harry murmured, his throat dry.

“Oh, Thank God,” Niall said, his voice breaking. “How are you feeling?”

“Like I’ve been shot,” Harry said, his voice hoarse.

“They said that your shoulder is fine. They removed the bullet, and everything should heal fine. They’re going to check up on you, and then they’ll let you go,” Niall explained.

“That’s a relief,” Harry replied. “Did they say anything about coming back to work?”

“A few weeks off,” Niall said. “What were you thinking, telling that man that you were the one working when his daughter died? Luke worked that case-I remember because Liam and I brought her in,”

“I couldn’t let him go after Luke,” Harry quietly said.

“He could’ve killed you, Harry!” Niall said, his voice cracking.
“But he didn’t, Niall. I’m fine,” Harry murmured.

Chapter Text

Louis came to slowly, his eyes feeling heavy. It took him a moment to recognize his surroundings. Remembering that he was at Harry’s, he rolled back over and drifted off. The next time Louis awoke, it was to the sound of pots and pans banging together. He groaned at the cacophony, pulling the covers over his head for a moment, before pushing them off him. He walked to the kitchen, rubbing the sleep from his eyes.

“Morning, Louis,” Niall said, setting down a few plates. “Would you like some breakfast?”

“Have you already made it?” Louis inquired.

“Yeah,” Niall replied.

“Then yes, please,” Louis quietly said. “Would you like me to do anything?”

“Do you mind getting some silverware from the drawer?” Niall asked.

“Sure,” Louis said, going over to the drawer. He took out three sets of silverware, and placed it on the table.

“Is that breakfast I smell?” Liam asked, stepping into the kitchen. “Good morning, Louis,”

“It certainly is,” Niall replied.

“Good morning, Liam,” Louis murmured, taking a seat at the table.

“Sleep well, Louis?” Liam inquired.

“Well enough,” Louis replied. “How about you?”

“I slept well, thank you,” Liam replied. Niall came over then, loading food on the plates, while managing to accidentally fling some onto Louis shirt.

“Niall,” Liam groaned, rolling his eyes.

“Sorry about that, Louis,” Niall said, only sounding a little sorry.

“It’s all good,” Louis replied, picking off the pieces and placing them on his napkin. “Just a bit of egg,”

“You’re lucky he’s so laid back,” Liam said, affectionately rubbing his thumb over the back of Niall’s hand. “If it were Harry he’d have pitched a fit by now,”
“You’ve got that right,” Niall replied.

“Harry’s a bit dramatic?” Louis inquired.

“A bit is one way to put it,” Liam said.

“Now, Liam, let’s not spoil Louis view of Harry just yet,” Niall said, patting Liam on the arm. Liam rolled his eyes affectionately, before digging into his breakfast. Louis and Niall followed suit, and the next few minutes were silent, with only the sounds of silverware against the plates.

“Do you have class today, Louis?” Liam asked, leaning back in his chair.

“Yeah. In a few hours,” Louis replied. “Do you have a late shift today?”

“Yeah,” Niall said. “We’re on the overnight shift,”

“And Harry has the day shift?” Louis inquired.

“That’s right,” Liam answered. When they finished eating, Louis gathered up the plates and took them to the sink.

“I can take care of that,” Niall said.

“That’s okay. You cooked, I can wash the dishes,” Louis replied.

“Louis, you don’t have to do that,” Liam said, standing. “I can do that,”

“It’s okay, Liam, I’ve got it,” Louis murmured, placing one of the plates in the dishwasher to dry. He quickly finished the dishes, placing them in the washer. “Thank you for breakfast, Niall. I hope you have a good shift. I’m going to head back to my place, and get ready for class,”

“Would you like a ride?” Liam inquired.
“Thank you, but that’s okay,” Louis quietly said.

“Are you sure?” Niall asked.

“I’m sure,” Louis replied. “Thank you, for everything,”

“It was our pleasure, Louis,” Niall and Liam said. Louis gave them a small smile, before opening the door and walking out. He began the walk to his house, thinking about Harry. He wondered why Harry had decided to help him out last night, when he could’ve just as easily left Louis there. Louis sighed, pushing out all thoughts of Harry out of his mind, and thought to the classes he would have that day. He pulled out his phone and dialled his roommate, Ed, who, thankfully, picked up.

“Hey, Ed, are you at our apartment?” Louis inquired.

“Yeah, I am,” Ed replied. “Did you lock yourself out again?”

“I did,” Louis murmured.

“I’ll be down in a minute,” Ed said, hanging up the phone. Louis stood outside, grinning broadly when Ed pushed open the door.

“Good morning,” Louis said.

“Good morning, mate,” Ed replied. “Where’d you spend the night?”

“With a friend,” Louis murmured. “Harry,”

“Where did you meet this Harry?” Ed inquired.

“At….at the hospital,” Louis muttered.

“Hold up. The hospital?” Ed said, stopping so suddenly that Louis ran into his back.

“I may have passed out in class,” Louis quietly said.

“Because your binder broke? Did you start using an Ace bandage?” Ed asked.

“Ed, drop it, please,” Louis whispered.

“Louis-” Ed started to say, trailing off when he saw the look on Louis face.
“What do you want for dinner?”

“How do you feel about chicken?” Louis inquired.

“Sounds good,” Ed replied, opening the door to their apartment. Louis stepped in behind him, heading straight for his room and the shower that was connected to it. He took a quick shower, and then got dressed, grabbing his backpack and heading to the living room.

“I’m heading to class. I’ll see you in a few?” Louis said.

“See you later, Louis,” Ed said, looking up from the notebook he was holding. Louis grabbed his keys before walking out the door, heading towards the college. He sat through class, half paying attention and half absorbed in his thoughts. When the professor dismissed the class, Louis walked outside into the darkening evening, breathing in the cool Autumn air.

“Hey, Louise,” One of his classmates snapped. “Wait up,”

“My name is Louis, not Louise, Derek,” Louis snapped, rolling his eyes.

“You’re a freak,” Derek snapped, grabbing Louis’ arm. “I know that you’re not really a man. What was your name before you decided to pretend to be one? Louise? Lucy?”

“Let go of me,” Louis gasped.

“No. I don’t think I will. I think I’ll teach you a lesson,” He snarled, raising a fist. When he was finished, Louis fell to the ground, wrapping his arms around his ribs.

“Get away from him!” A voice, one that Louis recognized, shouted.

“This isn’t over, freak,” Derek snarled.

“Louis? Louis, are you okay? Did he hurt you?” Ed murmured, gently putting a hand on Louis shoulder. Louis let out a soft whimper, trying to move away from Ed’s hand. “Hang on, Lou, I’m going to get help,”

Ed stepped away for a moment, dialing 911, and hurriedly explaining what happened and giving them the address. Louis heard the sound of sirens, but they sounded muffled to him, as if they came to him through water. Louis whimpered, wrapping his arms more tightly around himself at the feeling of hands gently touching him.

“Louis, look at me,” Niall’s soft voice said. Louis shook his head, tightly squeezing his eyes shut.
“Louis, we’re going to get you onto the gurney, okay?” Liam’s quiet voice said. Louis lay there, whimpering in pain as they carefully lifted him.

“Can I come with?” Ed inquired. “I’m his roommate,”

“Sure, mate,” Niall replied, loading Louis into the ambulance.