"Niall babe," Harry calls.
"In the bedroom love," Niall responds, rolling onto his stomach, pushing his laptop to the side as Harry clomps up the stairs towards their room.
Harry enters the room with a small smile, shuffles over to the bed, plops himself down on the edge of the mattress before running a hand down Niall's naked back, stopping at the waistband of Niall's sweats then going back up, hand settling at the top of his spine.
Niall props himself up on his elbows, sensing something wrong with his boyfriend.
He accepts the kiss Harry places on his lips with a grin, tries not to pout when Harry pulls away rather prematurely.
He's got this look on his face though, something's definitely wrong. Niall saw it this morning when Harry merely pushed his eggs around on his plate and then again when Niall was washing up, Harry stood next to him, staring at himself in the mirror then at Niall then back to himself again with this odd look about him that Niall couldn't determine the cause of. And now it was in his silence, the tense of his shoulders and in the way his fingers twisted together.
"What's up cuteness," Niall sighs, twisting on the bed again so he's on his side, can curl around Harry's hip, legs tucked up against Harry's as he pushes himself up just a little more so he can settle his head on the side of Harry's arm.
"Maybe I should shave," Harry doesn't pose it as a question but Niall sort of feels like he's asking what Niall thinks.
Was that really what's been on his mind all day?
"Says who," Niall asks, pushing a few stray curls off Harry's forehead, he left it down today, no product to bind it or bandana to hold it captive just a lot of hair, curls of plenty. Niall tucks some of those lush curls that he loves so much, behind his ear, rubs Harry's scalp till he's practically melting under his fingers.
"They don't like it, been making fun of it," Harry sighs, pushing down into Niall's hand.
And now he's a little angry because who doesn't like it, why don't they like it, why does it matter, what are they saying that's made Harry want to shave his light smattering of scruff?
He feels his defensive boyfriend instincts kick in, it wells up inside him, protect, protect, protect, keep Harry safe, keep Harry happy.
"Who doesn't like it," Niall presses as he runs his thumb above Harry's top lip, calloused skin caressing fine dark hair, rose bud lips part unconsciously. Harry sucks in a deep breath.
"People," he whispers a little dejectedly and Niall tuts at him fondly. He can already tell that the extra attention has made Harry feel better.
"Do you like it," Niall whispers. Hand moving to cup Harry's jaw, thumb moving over the hair on his chin, the little bit that dusts up and down his jaw.
"Harry," Niall cuts him off, tapping his cheek so Harry focuses on him, "Do you like it?" Harry doesn't say anything, worries at his lip as he thinks about it. Weighs his feelings about it against how other peoples' opinions made him feel.
"Yeah," Harry mutters after a few moments. Green eyes meet blue briefly before looking down at his knees.
"Makes me feel older...more mature, like a man."
Niall laughs softly at that as he nuzzles Harry's cheek, repeats 'like a man' as he kisses the stubble on Harry's jaw.
"I like feeling like a man for you...you deserve that."
Niall chuckles again, louder and maybe a little teasing. "My man,"
Harry nods his head, kisses the tip of Niall's nose as the blonde snuggles impossibly closer to his side.
"Do you like it," Harry's low drawl asks after a short while.
Niall gives him a disbelieving look, raises an eyebrow.
"What do you think," his tone taunting, playful.
"I don't know that's why I asked," expression completely deadpan.
Niall looks at him before smiling, flopping back on the bed. He wiggles up against the pillows before tucking an arm behind his head. And with a tilt of his head and a crook of his finger, eyes alight and intent, "C'mere," he sighs easily to reel Harry in.
Harry does, crawls across the mattress quickly, obediently, moves to hover over his smirking boyfriend.
"How bout you kiss me and then tell me what you think I think about it."
So Harry does kiss him.
And he revels in the way Niall giggles as the hair above his lip tickles Niall's when their mouths move together. His laughter huffs out between them, makes the air hot and damp and hard to breathe but just the way Harry likes it. Harry decides he's just a little in love with how giddy this is making Niall.
He didn't realize it before but Niall seems to like kissing him with the little bit of mustache he's got going on. It's silly and wonderful and makes Harry feel good. Better than he has in days so he kisses Niall harder, presses him into the sheets, swallowing the laugh that turns into a moan as his tongue breeches Niall's lips.
He snickers to himself when Niall lets out a delighted squeal when Harry moves from his lips to his cheek, behind his ear and down his neck, the soft hair brushes his skin, like a thousand butterfly kisses that drive Niall wild, driving Harry wild as a result. Niall shivers but his skin is hot, so fucking hot and now Harry's got goosebumps too.
Niall takes his face in his hands, holds him steady as he sits up, rubs their cheeks together letting out a content little hum that has Harry's stomach doing somersaults. Their cheeks press and Harry feels Niall heat up even more as his stubble pricks at Niall's smooth, pale perfect skin. And then Niall gives a bit of a growl before laying his lips on Harry's cheek, giving little open mouth pecks up his jaw and back down. Opens his mouth wider against his chin and breaths out before latching his teeth onto it, giving a gentle bite that makes Harry smile.
He pulls away after a few more moments, a couple more kisses and just stares up at Harry, eyes soft, full of such blatant adoration that Harry thinks he might pass out.
Niall runs his hands across Harry's face, fingers trace every inch, stubble laden or not.
He takes it all in.
Harry doesn't shave it off.
Instead he screws his boyfriend, who happens to love his facial hair, six ways to Sunday.
And after that he sucks Niall's cock until he's practically sobbing but it isn't Harry's mouth that makes him come a second time it's the way Harry pulls off with a pop, rubs his cheek against Niall's lower stomach. Harry's scruff catching on the dark hair of Niall's happy trail, prickly stubble turning pale skin raw and red and perfect and when Harry breathes out against Niall's hip, "Not gonna shave," it sends Niall flying over the edge.
Reality check, Niall's opinion is the only one that really matters to Harry.
And Harry's gonna go out on a limb here and presume that Niall's got a pretty high opinion of the starter scruff Harry's been sporting.
"Should I shave for the award show tonight,"
"Well you are nominated for the style icon award, don't want to look anything short of spectacular," Niall doesn't miss a beat with his mocking comment. Tone laced with a laugh.
And then Harry starts laughing too because neither of them can quite get over the reality of Harry's nomination. Harry only owns three pairs of pants and one pair of decent shoes...and that's being generous.
Harry snorts, which makes Niall lose it even further before composing himself.
"Ni I'm being serious,"
"So am I,"
Harry chews on his lip, clearly deep in thought.
Niall sighs big and exaggerated before getting off the bed, digging around under it for a moment and Harry won't lie and say he wasn't distracted by the view. Niall's bum in the air wasn't something he'd ever tire of seeing.
"Come on you," Niall beckons him forward with a wave of his hand, walking to the bathroom with a curious Harry on his tail.
Niall's leans against the counter in the bathroom, hands Harry the package that Harry eyes suspiciously.
"Happy early Christmas darling," Niall says with a cheeky smile that makes Harry nervous and aroused at the same time.
A razor, that's what Niall got him for Christmas.
"It was originally a gag gift because you'd been playing with growing it out but now you want it gone so...there you are good sir,"
Harry smiles at him, twirls the sleek, rose gold razor between his fingers and Niall takes it from him with a huff.
"I don't know what you're smirking bout, I mean this is top of the line, really quality stuff this," he hops up onto the counter. Puts the razor down beside himself, stretching to grab a wash cloth from the rack, wetting it quickly before dragging Harry forward with his feet hooked over Harry's hips.
Harry just smiles as he's tugged about, hips settling against the front of the vanity. The granite counter top is cold against the naked skin of Harry's stomach.
Niall runs the wet corner of the cloth over Harry's face, dampening the skin, tossing it over Harry's shoulder once he's satisfied, it lands in the tub with a wet thwack.
Harry gets a little distracted by how into this Niall is. His eyes excited and happy, Harry smiles at him even though Niall isn't looking at him, busy getting the shaving cream out of the medicine cabinet. Niall's legs tighten around his waist when he looks back at Harry, eyes locked on shimmering green ones as he squirts a dollop of sensitive formula shave gel into the palm of his left hand.
Harry gets closer as Niall presses his heels into the small of Harry's back, legs wrapping tighter and Harry can't get much closer to the counter but that's right where Niall wants him so that's where he stays. His free hand tugs Harry's head forward, thumb and forefinger keeps him in place as Niall lips meet his, whisper soft, gentle and Harry's eyes blink open slowly when he realizes Niall's mouth isn't on his anymore.
He watches Niall's determined expression as he rubs the blue gel till it foams and turns white then he sets to work covering Harry's cheeks, jaw, chin and around his mouth with the white shaving foam.
His tongue pokes out of his mouth and Harry's stomach swoops because Niall doesn't give many things this sort of undivided attention, guitar, music, food, family. Harry's lucky he's found himself on that list though. He loves having Niall's attention and right now he has every last bit of it. Harry laps it up, like a dog with water on a hot August day.
And Niall smiles when he thinks he's satisfied with the generous lather coating Harry's face. Their eyes meet and Niall's twinkle as Harry's sparkle but then Niall's squawking and spluttering because Harry just darted forward like a snake after it's dinner, got shaving cream all over Niall's face. He had nudged against Niall's cheek, kissed the corner of his mouth before Niall even knew what was going on and Harry laughed like he was the funniest guy around. Niall bit his lip against his own laugh, tried to glare at him but it didn't do much good considering he knew that Harry knew he wasn't mad.
Niall's too in love with that curly haired doofus to really be mad or stay mad. So he merely wipes his own face clean, smoothed out the patch that Harry had smushed up, wiped off his hands and sets to work.
Niall looks at him, question in his eyes but Harry nods his head so Niall keeps going.
The blades of the razor are warm from the hot water Niall had been running it under moments before, as he lays the head of it at the top of his jaw running down from right next to his ear to his chin, hair coming off with ease.
Slow, smooth strokes, the clinking of the razor against the edge of the sink as Niall got rid of the extra foam, the water running as Niall rinsed it clean before pressing it back to Harry face, it's a symphony of trust.
Complete, undisputed trust.
Harry's letting Niall put five sharp razor blades to his face, his skin, his neck, putting every ounce of faith he had in Niall, believing he wouldn't cut him or hurt him. Knowing he wouldn't.
"Don't give me a weird goatee or anything like that," Harry says as Niall turns to rinse the razor, Niall's hand tightening on his shoulder, heel jabbing into the base of his spine is scolding enough.
"I wouldn't do that," Niall says under his breath.
"I know," Harry whispers back and Niall looks at him sideways before going back to clinking the razor against the sink. "I trust you."
But Harry's isn't talking about the goatee thing anymore.
And Niall turns to look at him full on. Stops and just stares at him before smiling, leaning forward a little, razor all but forgotten in his limp right hand.
"I love you," Niall puckers his lips and Harry leans in pecking Niall's lips, careful not to get too much shaving cream on his face.
"Mm I love you too," Harry hums. And then Niall's smiling wider, bringing the razor back up to finish shaving off Harry's stubble.
"'M gonna miss it," Niall sighs but Harry knows he's only teasing him. "Liked it a lot."
And Harry tries to keep his shoulders still as the laugh rumbles through him as to not jostle Niall or the razor in his hand.
"You liked the beard burn,"
"Yeah, and you liked that I liked it," Niall pinches his shoulder, "Watch yourself Styles, I could end you with one wrong flick of this thing," as he waved the razor in front of Harry's face. Harry grins at him.
He doesn't say anything else, just lets Niall finish. And when it's done, face smooth and hairless once more Niall pulls him close as he hops off the counter, rubs their cheeks together as he lets out a sweet sigh.
"I like this too," Niall whispers, pulling Harry down to kiss him, nothing to tickle his lips this time though. "I like you,"
Harry chuckles before hauling Niall up in his arms, kissing the smile right from his lips.
And he lays Niall down on their bed, loves his body till the blonde is boneless and sated and Harry has to get dressed and accept an award but he can't decide if he's upset that Niall isn't left with raw, reddened skin from Harry's scruff or that he had to leave Niall alone in bed at all.
He notices it the next day after he kisses Niall good morning and the blonde merely rolls over, snuffles into his pillow before he falls back to sleep, chuckles his way into the bathroom.
It's his razor, he eyes it deciding if he wants to shave, if he needs to, if Niall would want him to when he sees it.
The inscription on the handle, just a gentle etching that's hard to see in the dim lighting of the bathroom.
- For my manly man, stay scruffy xox NH
So Harry decides to do just that, puts the razor back on the counter and doesn't shave.
And he doesn't shave the next day.
Or the day after that.
Or the day after that.
And Niall doesn't complain so Harry doesn't bother.