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Hearts Don't Break Around Here

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           LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES, SEPTEMBER, 2016

 

 

           The call comes when Louis is just about to get into the pool. He is not LA’s biggest fan, but when it’s summer and London still won’t give him the perfect weather, it’s in his American house where Louis Tomlinson, Grammy winner, singer-songwriter decides to relax.

            It’s his first week of break ever since he started touring around the world in August 2015. Before that, Louis had been working non-stop on his new album, and going to music festivals and TV Shows promoting his most successful single, Back To You, a song about his shitty ex. So now, more than ever, he feels like he deserves to relax.

            Liam, apparently, does not.

            “Tell me you’re calling about a yacht party you want to invite me to”, is how he answers his cellphone.

            “Fat chance”, his manager and friend snorts on the other line. “Unfortunately, I am not on a break.”

            “Because you don’t want to”, Louis points.

            “Whatever. I’m calling about Christopher Nolan.” He says.

            “Sorry. Who?” The singer frowns. He knows all too well who Christopher Nolan is, having known Liam – who is a fan of all things Batman – for eight years now, he just doesn’t know why the hell Christopher Nolan would be calling Liam.

            “Movie God, yes, him. Batman guy, Inception guy, Christopher Fucking Nolan.”

            “Okay, I got it. Why the hell did he call you?” Louis asks as he brings his beer to his mouth, the cold liquid doing wonders to his body. God, he fucking loves soaking up the sun and having nothing to do for a change.

            “Well, he didn’t call me. An assistant did. Have you heard he’s making a new movie?” Liam asks.

            “Nope.”

            “He’s making a new movie.” He states. “And he wants you on its soundtrack!” If Louis knows Liam, and he knows Liam pretty well, his manager is about to explode with excitement. He can hear it in his voice how much effort it is taking for Liam to not scream and jump around. Actually, scratch that, he might be jumping around as they speak. “Louis? Still there?”

            “Yeah, mate, I’m here. That’s- great”, he responds genuinely. “What does he want, though? For me to just sing something or-?”

            “He wants you to write a song for the movie. It’s going to be about the Battle of Dunkirk, and he wants a fellow Brit to write about it, says you’re… Going to treat it right or something. LOUIS THIS IS GREAT!”

            “Shit.” Louis is… Dumbfounded. “Shit, you’re right”, he chuckles. “It is awesome. But-”

            “No buts. No. Buts.”

            “It’s so much work, Lima. I’ve literally just started resting. And when have you ever seen me write about… A war? Like- fuck, this is some serious shit right there.”

            “Louis. You and I know how great of a writer you are. The Grammy Academy knows, Christopher Fucking Nolan knows. You’ve got it.” And- Liam’s got that voice, that voice in which Louis can practically picture his pleading, puppy eyes. It’s not always that Liam Payne coaxes Louis into doing something he’s not very willing to do, but when he does, he’s usually being very serious about it.

            Louis doesn’t know if this time he’s doing it because he knows it’ll be another great career opportunity to Louis or because he’s a hell of a fan boy. Either way, he’s starting to get used to the idea.

            “Stop saying his name like that.” The singer mocks.

            “I can’t.” Liam squeaks and the singer laughs again.

            “When would he need the song?” He gives in, lying back on his chair and settling the beer on a table by his side.

            “The assistant said something by December would be great.” Liam explains animatedly. “A final version around February or March, definitely. The idea is to release the music video in May, a month before the film hits the movies. Oh, yes, there has to be a music video.”   

            “Payne.”

            “Tommo. C’mon.”

            “I… Can try to think of something. Give me a week, let me sleep and the idea sink in.”

            “Please.” Liam says again and Louis takes a loud, deep breath. “They can send you the script, so you can get the right- vibe, I guess.”

            Louis finishes his beer and sighs again. He can write something by December. It’s not impossible. He’s done more in less time.

            “Fuck, Liam, all right. Send me the freaking script.”

            He thinks he hears his friend squeaking again.

            “Are we really accepting this?”

            “We’re accepting this.” Louis replies tiredly. “Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ll go back to doing nothing. Have a good day.”

            “You too, my beautiful, most awesome, favorite client. Have a great day resting by your pool in your multimillionaire mansion.”

            “Goodbye, Liam.” He laughs and hangs up.

 

           

            LONDON, ENGLAND, NOVEMBER 2016

 

 

            Everything is shit. Literally everything Louis has come up with is absolutely hideous.

            As someone who’s been in this industry for a long time, he knows how to write a hit. He knows how to put songs together and make them sound just like everyone wants them to. Louis, smart as he is, has become a radio god, but also someone who can write good things, because he believes that writing is a very honest job.

            It demands a person to look within and search till they find what is really there inside of them. Writing demands your painful honesty, he’s read somewhere. And it’s no wonder that some of the greatest masterpieces have stemmed from pain, including his.

            The difference, this time, is that he needs to write about a kind of feeling he’s never once felt, only read about. Louis keeps checking the script over and over again, and every now and then he feels like he can connect with a scene. The theme, mostly, is to not give up.

            Do not give up, is what is written on the paper in front of him, the only thing he can think of, and it’s absolute shit because thousands of people have written about it before in this exact way. He scratches the sentence before he feels tempted.

            He can’t picture what those people were feeling, is the thing. He can’t even fathom the idea of being eighteen or twenty something and having to fight for your country without even understanding what that means.

            Louis sighs and takes his phone, deciding to tweet instead.

            Wish that I could have a time machine. He tweets and then scrolls through his timeline just to see what is going on. Every time he tweets something his notifications go crazier than normal, and he smiles at some of them.

            What for? @littlesunlou asks.

            So I could see the things I couldn’t see.

            Shit, that’s it.

            Louis grabs the paper again, pencil in hand.

            In less than fifteen minutes, Just Hold On is born.

 

 

-

 

 

            The first person to listen to it is Liam, of course. Louis records it in his house, just his voice and the piano – a proper demo, if you ask him. And then he sends the file to Liam via email.

            The singer quite likes it, if he’s being perfectly honest, and, he thinks, if it doesn’t make the movie, he at least has one song for his next album, one that he isn’t sure when is going to come out because he’s got zero inspiration for it at the moment.

            Because Louis is bitter. There’s literally no other way to describe it.

Louis was just beginning to record his latest album when Zayn, R&B singer and his boyfriend at the time decided to cheat on him. That wasn’t necessarily news, but when it hit the media, things got a little too much. Pictures of him and his boy-toy at the moment wound up on twitter and, well… The rest, as they say, is gossip.

            The websites and magazines say that Zayn flew to Sweden, where Louis was at the time, and they talked it out and broke up amicably, but the truth is that they only texted and Louis told him to not contact him again.

            But now this is over and done with. There’s already a sad album out there talking about this shitty period of Louis’ life. Now he wants more, he wants different. He just doesn’t feel like it. Not yet, at least.

 

 

-

 

 

 

            LONDON, ENGLAND, DECEMBER 2016

 

           

            Neither Louis or Liam was expecting the actual Christopher Nolan to be at the meeting when they went to London to show the song to the movie people. That’s how Louis calls them, since he has no idea of what each of them does.

            “Welcome, welcome”, a dark-haired woman called Janette says.

            “Thanks, nice to meet you, I’m Louis.”

            “I know, we’re big fans of yours ‘round here”, she smiles as she shakes his hand. “Hi.” Janette offers her hand to Liam.

            “Hey, I’m Liam, Lou’s manager.” He shakes it. “Thanks for having us.”

            “Thanks for being here”, Christopher smiles and shakes their hands too. “I’m Christopher.”

            Louis smiles and shakes his hand, and much like Janette did to him, he says big fan. Liam doesn’t say anything. He mutters a nice to meet you without meeting Nolan’s eyes, and then proceeds to sit at the table greeting other people. Louis muffles his laughter and follows him right away.

            “So, Louis, tell us about the song.” Claudia, from sound engineering asks him.

            “I- struggled, a lot, writing this.” He speaks slowly.

            “But it’s come out great!” Liam intervenes.

            Louis only looks at him.

            “I’m not a fan of big words and difficult interpretations. I feel like honest things tend to cause an effect on people without having to be too elaborate. With that said…” He takes a deep breath. “The song is called Just Hold On. My producer and I can change the tempo of it, if you guys want, but I thought of it as a ballad, at least for the movie… Just voice and piano, like this demo.”

            “Interesting.”

            “Yeah. It’s not a song about war.” Louis says and eyebrows hit the ceiling. “It’s a song about trying to move on after a harrowing experience, and not knowing exactly where to go, but- you know, holding on to life anyways.”

            “Okay…” Nolan responds. “Hit the play button, please.”

           

            As soon as Louis voice fills the room, everyone is silent.

            His whole body shakes like a leaf and he is immediately brought back to the first time he showed a song to L.A Reed when he was still seventeen. Life is pretty fucking crazy if you ask him.

 

 

-

 

 

            Louis and Liam leave the office in London with a deal ready for 2017 and a concept for a video already in mind.

            It’s a good way to end the year.

 

             

            LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES, MAY 2017

 

 

            Louis records the song in New York City and releases it there at the beginning of May, giving it one month or so of promo before the movie actually hits the theaters. He goes on a few interviews about it, but doesn’t perform it live. Christopher asked him to do it at the French premiere next month, so that’s what he will do.

            Just Hold On does great, both versions. The movie one – which is the ballad he’d originally thought – and the radio one, a more upbeat version to catch the younger audience attention.

            He is currently getting ready for his last interview when Liam calls him ecstatic about a new brand that wants to work with him.

            “But don’t I already have a contract with ADIDAS?” He asks his friend as a very lovely lady puts product in his hair.

            “Yes, but Givenchy is such a big thing. And, between you and I, way more beautiful, Louis.”

            “You’re right. I”ll do whatever, I’m not a model.” He laughs.

            “Your fans seem to disagree”, Liam jokes. “Did you remember got Jimmy Fallon later this week?”

            “Yes.”

            “And James Corden, too? Next Friday?”

            “Had forgotten ‘bout that.”

            “I’m flying in tomorrow to prep you and all.”

            “Don’t need prep, Lima. Spend time with your kid, for fuck’s sake.”

            Liam now has a baby. A BABY. He and Sophia hadn’t even been trying and then boom, she got pregnant last year. Now little Arthur is in the world and Louis has a godson.

            “Yes, you do. It’s just for a week, I’ll survive… I think. He’s so cute, Louis, fuck.”

            “I know. I might go back to London with you to visit. It’s honestly killing me staying away from Artie.” He says truthfully. “How’s Soph holding on?”

            “Sleeping schedules are crazy, but she’s as happy as I am.” His friend replies. “We went from scared, to stunned to… This.” He chuckles.

            “It’s good, mate. It’s really good.” The singer smiles despite himself. “So, Fallon in two days and Corden on… Friday next week?”

            “Yes, that’s it. See you soon, mate.”

            “See ya.”

 

-

 

 

            It’s not the first or the fifth time Louis is being interviewed by Jimmy Fallon, but it’s definitely the one in which he’s feeling the most embarrassed. Louis doesn’t think he was blushing this much when he gave his coming out interview years ago.

            And here is why:

            “So, Louis, tell us, how excited are you for the movie premiere next month?” Jimmy asks him, a smile on his face.

            “Very excited, to be honest. This project is so very special, and at first I wasn’t sure I was good enough to be involved in it in the slightest, but I guess it is working out, yeah?” He smiles back.

            “I’ll say. Just Hold On reached number one in ninety one countries during its first month and it’s still number one in the UK, debunking Ed Sheeran from the list, how does that feel?”

            “Good, good.” He chuckles. “Ed’s congratulated me on that a few times, which is great. We’re good friends, so.” Louis shrugs.

            “How were you approached with the idea? Tell us.”

            “Uh, basically I was on a break in my LA house, just enjoying the sun when my manager called and said Christopher Nolan was asking for me”, he laughs. “It took me a few minutes to process the idea.”

            “Interesting…” Fallon muses. “You see, I have heard a different version of this story the other day…”

            “Oh.”

            Louis frowns.

            “Yes… Apparently your name came up a lot during cast meetings…”

            “Hm, I did not know that.” He really didn’t.

            “Are you familiar with Harry Styles?”

            And- is there anyone who isn’t familiar with Harry Styles these days?

            The guy is just the biggest thing in Hollywood right now. It’s like everyone just slept and woke up in love with the guy.

            His career has been growing over the years now, and this is his big movie debut, having participated in different TV Shows in Europe and America. Louis doesn’t follow him closely, but he sure as hell knows his face.

            “I’d say so, yes. Everyone is these days, right?” Louis chuckles.

            “Rumor has it he’s very familiar with you. A big fan, one might say.”

            “Is that right?” He raises an eyebrow.

            “Yeah. Word around is that he was the one who pitched your name to Nolan in the first place.”

            Louis knows what Jimmy Fallon is implying. He also knows that, for all that matters, Harry Styles is very much straight. And Louis won’t go down that road on television. He won’t.

            “Well. I’ll be sure to thank him when we meet”, he smiles and wills his cheeks to stop heating up.

           

            The conversation changes back to Louis’ music career again, and he is asked about a new album and his process of writing. This is known territory. Thank God.

 

 

-

 

 

            “The fuck was that?” Louis asks Liam once they’re in the car driving back to his house.

            “Don’t know, mate. Didn’t think they’d want to play this angle for promo.”

            “What d’you mean?”

            “Styles is in the process of coming out, apparently.” His friend replies.

            “Harry Styles is GAY?” It is a good thing Liam is driving, because Louis would’ve totally braked the car out of the blue now.

            “Not sure, but he’s not straight either.”

            “Oh.”

            “Yeah. And he did mention you to Christopher Nolan, I just asked his assistant to check the veracity of the story.”

            “This is…”

            “Good.” Liam smiles. “Corden’s friends with him and will probably ask you the same thing. They’ll do the whole cutesy story, play as if you guys have a crush on each other to gain the girls’ attention. Smart.”

            “I don’t like it.” Louis says, finally.

            “Why not?”

            “I don’t even know the bloke?” He replies, a bit hysterical. “How am I supposed to pretend to have a crush on him if the only thing I know about him is that I liked his hair better when it was long?”

            Liam barks out a laugh.

            “Good thing you have a few days to do your research.” Is all his friend replies.

 

 

-

 

 

            And research Louis does.

            He literally feels like one of his fan girls because he spends two nights in a row watching interviews and reading about the actor.

            Here is the thing: Harry Styles is a fucking blessing.

            Louis can’t stop staring at him and even when there are other people around, he feels like this boy specifically has the entire room for himself. No matter the setting he’s in, all eyes are always turned towards the curly-haired man.

            Louis still stands by his opinion. He prefers Harry with long hair. There’s just something softer about him when he pays with his curls, something more feminine that has never caught Louis eye up until now.

            “So, Harry, what is your secret to remain so humble when there’s all this hype with you being Mr. Styles?”

            The interviewer asks shoving not only the mic, but also her boobs to his face. Harry couldn’t be more unimpressed by her advances if he tried. Louis smirks.

            “Uh, I feel like people who are most successful are people who know the type of friends they allow into their inner circle, like, the type of energy they surround themselves with.”

            “But don’t you have the broadest inner circle ever?” She chuckles, trying to be sexy and funny at the same time.

            She fails, because Harry frowns.

            “Only if you believe everything the rags write about me”, he shrugs. “My inner circle involves my mom, my sister and two childhood friends. So.”

            Louis moves on to another interview. It might be the fifteenth he’s watching today, but who’s counting, right?

            Liam comes and goes from the house. Brings food. Works out. But the singer’s still focused on his MacBook screen.

            “So, how do you respond to all your dating rumors then? There’s… A lot.”

            This one is more respectful, but Louis still doesn’t understand why she is asking about this instead of the show he was featured in at the time.

            “I have a lot of friends, and some of them are girls – and apparently I’m dating all of them.”

            He even sounds a bit constipated. Louis would too. Has, in the past. He hated the straightness thrusted into his face when all he wanted to do was scream I SUCK COCK. Maybe Harry feels the same, which is why he’s decided to come out.

            “But aren’t you ever dating them?” The woman pushes. Harry coughs not to answer. “You really don’t want to answer that, do you?”

            “No”, he coughs again, and then smiles. “People are too worried about my love life when I barely even have one.”

            “Do you want one?”

            “It’ll come when it’ll come”, he answers. “I think you know when you find someone. And the newspapers tend to think more than I do, which is… Disturbing, to say the least.”

            The last video Louis watches is a “Harry Styles Funny Moments”, in which he catches himself smiling fondly at the screen at how terrible his jokes are, but just how easy it is to get lost in his words.

            Well shit.

 

 

            LOS ANGELES, UNITED STATES, JUNE 2017

 

           

            There is a game called Spill Your Guts or Fill Your Guts, and Louis agrees to take part in it. He doesn’t know why. He’s pretty sure it is a trap to make him eat the most disgusting things ever. And as Ben Winston keeps explaining it to him, Louis looks at Liam desperately, hoping that his manager has vetoed questions Louis won’t be able to answer.

            He gives a short interview and James does not roast him about anything Harry-related. It’s intriguing, to say the least, because Liam said he would, but then again, maybe they’re saving this for the game.

            Louis thinks he’s ready. It’s not like he is in the closet or in a relationship, and if Harry’s team is all right with that, all right enough to plant the story themselves before giving Louis’s team a fair warning, then, well, the singer’s got nothing to lose.

            “Are ya ready for this, Louis?” James Corden asks in a loud voice, huge smile on his face.

            “Bring it on!” He laughs as he sits at the table across from the TV presenter.

            “Okay, let’s have a look at what we’ve got here…” He starts rotating the table. “Oh my God, all right… So, we’ve got jellyfish, chicken feet, bull penis…”

            “Not my kind of penis.” Louis interjects and the whole audience, including James Corden, cracks up with laughter.

            “Oh my God, uh… A thousand year old egg…”

            “How is that possible?”

            “Don’t know mate. Uh… A fish smoothie, pig blood curd and a balut…”

            “What even is a balut?” Louis questions.

            “To be honest I have no idea either.”

            “It all looks terrible anyways…” He tells James, who simply chuckles and gets the cards. “And I know people can’t smell it, but it’s horrible as well…”

            “Okay, I think I’m gonna start by giving you the pig blood curd.” He says as he turns the table. Shit. Louis might be a bit scared now. “Okay, ready?”

            “No.”

            “Of all the current singers out there… Who is your least favorite?”

            “What- that’s not fair!”

            “It’s not supposed to be fair!” James squeaks.

            Louis wants to say Zayn Malik right away. But Zayn’s too fucking good and Louis does not want to sound bitter.

            So he simply grabs this horrific thing in front of him and eats it.

            Next he asks James about rude people in the industry. James answers it. James asks how many millions he makes a year. Louis answers it, because Forbes tells everyone anyways.

            It goes for some five excruciating minutes, when James finally gets to the last one.

            “So, Louis, who is your biggest crush at the moment?”

            There’s a glint in his eyes, like he knows what Louis is about to answer. So this is it then. Well.

            “Thought this game was supposed to be difficult, James.”

            “You’re just too honest, aren’t you, Louis?” The presenter tilts his head. “Who is your biggest crush at the moment?” He repeats the question.

            “Uh- my biggest crush at the moment might just be Harry Styles.” He answers and everybody screams.

            And no. Louis isn’t lying at all.

 

 

-

 

 

LONDON, ENGLAND, UNITED KINGDOM, JUNE 2017

 

 

            A week before the movie hits the theaters, Louis is invited to its premieres in Europe and the one in New York City.

            The first one happens in London, and he travels there excitedly. He wants to see his family, and he wants to see Sophia and the baby.

            “Good thing to know you miss me”, Liam jokes when Louis tells him that.

            “But I am constantly with you. Can’t say the same for our families”, he shrugs.

            “We should do dinner tonight. You and I, and Soph. Maybe ask Lottie if she wants to come…”

            “After I sleep for hours on end, sure.” Louis yawns, resting his head on the window. “What time even is it?”

            “Eight-ish. Oh. You’re gonna like this!” Liam laughs and turns up the volume of the radio.

Louis is about to tell him to fuck off, because too much noise, but then Nick Grimshaw’s obnoxious voice announces Harry Styles on air after the break, and Louis shuts up before he even says anything.

“Why am I gonna like this?”

“Cause you’ve been obsessing with all things Harry Styles since you first saw an interview of his”, his manager laughs.

“Shut up, Payne.”

“He’s single, you know that, right?” Liam wiggles his eyebrows and the only reason Louis doesn’t knock him on the head is because his friend is driving.

Louis focuses on what’s coming from the speakers as Liam stops at a red light. London is as grey as it’s always been, albeit a bit warm because of this time of the year.

There is a game called Heart Monitor Challenge, and this is what Harry will play with Nick. The radio host makes a joke about Harry being dead as soon as he is connected to the monitors, and then the doctor gives them Harry’s average heart rate, 68 beats per minute.

“So, I’m gonna show you a series of images and we’re just gonna see how you react to these images, okay?”

“Okay…” Harry mumbles.

“I think we should start with the man that is making you a major movie star… Sir Christopher Nolan.”

“Uh, I was, I was- uh- I was pretty in awe of him the whole time I was on the set, really…”

“Not scared of him?”

“I was a bit scared of him, yeah.”

“So the heart rate is fine! It’s all calm, I believe you.” Nick perks up.

“Yeah.”

“Now we go from Christopher Nolan to those gross purple trainers you used to wear at the beginning of your career…”

Harry laughs loudly into the mic. Louis does not smile at it. Nope.

“Heart rate is rising.”

“Yeah… Uh, they were pretty bad.”

Both he and Nick laugh a lot. Nick makes fun of him and says his heart rate is rising and then mocks him again, saying that he should bring them back. Louis thinks they’re friends, he’s not really sure. Harry seems more at ease joking with him than with anybody else Louis has watched.

Holy moly, he’s no better than a fan girl right now, analyzing everything.

He misses a few seconds and then Harry’s seeing a Ryan Gosling picture. Personally speaking, the man does nothing for Louis, but Harry’s heart rate goes up to eighty.

Nick tells him that.

“Eighty!”

“No, it’s not!” He laughs, a bit embarrassed.

“All right, Harold… How does money make you feel?” The monitor makes a different sound. “There’s too much in his bank account, he’s flat lined!” Nick jokes.

“Oops”, Harry coughs and laughs.

Even Liam seems amused now. Louis refuses to meet his friend’s eyes, though.

“Next we’re going onto… Actress and model, Camille Rowe. How d’you feel about her?”

“I don’t- I don’t know her.”

            “You don’t know her?”

            “No!”

            “Oh.”

            “I’m sure she’s wonderful.” Harry states.

            “She looks nice.”

            “I’m sure she’s a wonderful person.” Is all he gives him. Get in, Harry! Louis thinks. He knows the “nice person” trick all too well.

            “Heart-rate lower than the purple gross trainers.” They can hear Harry’s chuckle through the mic, but there’s nothing else. “Next up is a favorite! A Chelsea boot!”

            “I hate you all so much!” He laughs. “A Chelsea boot.”

            “HEART-RATE IS RISING!” Grimshaw screams.

            Louis lets out a chuckle, Liam does too, looking at him fondly.

            “Heart-race is the highest it’s ever been. Oh my God! Ninety! A hundred!”

            Harry laughs, laughs and laughs and Louis catches himself thinking that he wants to hear it in person.

            “Would you say that’s the biggest love of your life? The Chelsea boot?”

            “Probably…” Harry agrees.

            “I wonder if you’ll actually flat line right now…” Nick says. “Next up is another person…”

            “Oh Lord, please don’t.”

            “How do you feel when you see…”

            “Grimmy!” Harry warns him.

            “Louis Tomlinson’s picture…” What? “In a leather jacket?”

            There’s muffled laughter in the studio. And also silence. Louis is confused.

            He looks at Liam and Liam throws his head back, mutters something about this being gold, and then focuses on traffic again while Louis tries to process that in a BBC Studio somewhere in Central London, Nicholas Grimshaw is showing a picture of Louis to Harry Styles, who is having his heart rate monitored.

            “Have I told you I hate you today?”

            “Eighty-five, higher than Ryan Gosling…” The radio host comments. “Take a closer look, Harold… Oh my God, ninety-five, A HUNDRED AND TEN, HARRY STYLES- what.”

            “I hate you. I hate all of you in this studio”, he keeps repeating as they both laugh hysterically.

            “You can take this one home with you- we’ll laminate it.”

            “You’re idiots. You all are idiots.”

            “For the benefit of the radio, who are you pointing to?” Nick asks him.

            “Gem and Niall.”

            “They’re your sister and best friend, we just reached out to them, wanted some triggers… And it worked! You have the biggest crush on Louis Tomlinson and now everyone knows.”

            “Hopefully not him”, Harry chuckles.

            “You’re admitting to it!” Nick Grimshaw is hysterical. “Oh, this is GOLD!”

            “Shut up, I wanna be done with this interview now…” Harry Styles whines.

            “What the-” Louis looks at Liam. “Was this on purpose?”

            “No idea.”

            “Did you know this was going to happen?” He asks Liam again.

            “Lou, no”, Liam is serious, but he’s also smiling. It’s disconcerting. The whole thing is.

            Liam drops him off at nine fifteen and it takes two hours of tossing and turning in bed to fall asleep, thinking about someone he hasn’t even met.

Yet.

 

 

-

 

 

 

           

DUNKIRK PREMIERE – LONDON, ENGLAND, JULY 2017

           

            Louis is very much used to girls screaming very loudly and carpets full of paparazzi ready to blind him with their flashes. Louis knows how to pose, where to look, which angle is his best. He’s done it all before. He is prepared for this.

            It’s just- movie premieres always scare the shit out of him.

            His first one was when the second Avengers movie came out and he was invited to participate, since it’s no news to anyone that he is a major superhero fan. After that one, he’s been to many, but it never ceases to amaze him the magnitude of it all.

            Liam told him to give a few interviews, and Louis guaranteed his friend he didn’t need to be there for it. Instead, Liam has sent an intern, a girl called Sidney, that Louis is having to babysit more than anything because it’s her first time doing something like that. Also, she is a fan of his. Honestly, he’d be better off alone.

           

 

            “Love, it’s all right.” He smiles before they get out of the car.

            “You’re gonna guide me and pretend to shield me, even though I am in no danger cause Alberto and the other body guards will do it, yeah?” He tells her. “Then I’mma stop for a minute or so on an X, you’ll move me to the next, and then the next.”

            “I know, I-” she looks down at her papers.

            “Okay. Breathe. You’re going to see more famous people out there.”

            “I’m not a fan of theirs like I’m a fan of yours. I swear Liam did not prepare me for this. I am so sorry I’m such an idiot, I am eighteen, I should be-”

            “Sidney, you’re fine”, he chuckles. “After the exes, then, what will you do?”

            “Guide you to the first interviewer. Liam said three or four, tops.”

            “Three, please.”

            “Okay. And I allow you a three to four minute talk with them, is that it?” She asks.

            “Exactly.” Louis smiles. “You’ve got this. Liam will be proud and I won’t even murder him for sending a newbie to such a big event.” The singer chuckles a little and then squeezes her arm.

            “We’ve got this.” She smiles back. “You look stunning, by the way.”

            “Thanks, love.”

            “Harry Styles is going to fall in love with you on the spot.” She winks.

            “Cheeky.”

            And then they’re out.

            Exes on the carpet. Flashes. Screaming girls. Screaming paps. Screaming body guards. Flashes. More fans. Louis signs a few papers, tries to remain sane. He spots a  huge picture of his and Harry’s and doesn’t focus on it, but his brain registers it anyways. He smiles to himself. A selfie. Another one. Sign this, please.

            “Louis, time to move!” Sidney grabs his arm and guides him towards the first interviewer.

            Things are crazy.

            “So, I am here with Louis Tomlinson…” The guy starts saying, but Louis can barely hear him. Another car has stopped at the beginning of the carpet. People are going to collapse any time soon, and Louis knows why.

            Harry Styles has just arrived.

            And Louis. Well. Louis is a grown man. He curses himself a hundred times for even letting his heart race in his chest. He knew they were bound to meet tonight. What the hell is wrong with him?

            “Louis, have you watched the movie yet?” The man asks, and Louis focuses back here.

            “No, I’m gonna watch it now for the first time, am very excited.” He smiles.

            “You wrote the song for it, though, right? How was the process?”

            “Oh, I- well, I received the script last year, and then just tried to draw the emotion from that… It wasn’t easy, especially because it’s our history we’re talking about, right?” He says. “But I guess it came out all right.”

            “It’s a very emotional song, Louis.”

            “It is, it is. I’m thinking it’s going to be a very emotional movie too, gotta get ready.”

            “Are we going to get any new music from you soon? There are a bunch of your fans round here as well, and they all want to know.”

            “Yes, yes, definitely, I was on a much needed break, but I’m getting ready to go back to the studio in the next couple of months…”

            “This is good to hear, Tommo, thanks, man.”

            “Thank you”, he smiles back and Sidney leads him to the next interviewer.

            He goes up a few steps and finds himself in a box with another interviewer. A blond woman who has a smile whiter than those ones on TV commercials.

            She creeps Louis out a bit, but he shakes her hand just as enthusiastically as she shakes his. Very.

            “We are here with Louis Tomlinson, twice Grammy Winner and possessor of countless other awards, who wrote the theme song for Dunkirk, Christopher Nolan’s new movie, how are you feeling, Louis?”

            “With an introduction like that, who could feel bad?” He laughs. “I’m feeling great, love, this atmosphere is just amazing isn’t it?”

            There are many fans in front of him and he waves to all of them.

            “There’s a much younger crowd here than expected for a war movie, do you think that’s your effect combined with Harry Styles’?”

            “I mean, maybe?” Louis frowns. “But those people went or go to school. Saying that they’re interested in the movie solely because of me and Harry is completely underestimating them…” He answers her.

            People scream louder. Jesus, his ears.

            “Well, they clearly agree and a smiley Harry Styles does, too, apparently.” The woman looks behind his shoulder.

            Now.

            Louis is pretty aware that this happens in seconds. Five, maybe ten. He feels like ten is a bit of reaching. But in his mind everything happens in slow motion.

            He turns around and Harry is there.

            In all black, hair combed with perfect product, eyes brighter than the fucking starts in the night sky. He’s stunning. If Louis weren’t feeling the woman’s hand on his forearm, smelling the summer breeze and hearing all of those screams, he’d be pretty sure he was dreaming and Harry was a mirage. But no. Harry’s there.

            Harry’s there, just out of the camera’s reach, and he’s got both dimples showing up. He’s looking straight at Louis, and everything else is simply background, out of focus, compared to the man right there.

            “Care to join us, Harry?” Louis snaps out of it when the interviewer asks that, microphone almost hitting Louis’ face when he turns around.

            Harry walks towards them.

            Louis swallows thickly, blinks twice, and then they meet.

            “Hi!” The actor says animatedly into the mic, eyes still on Louis. “Nice to finally meet ya.”

            “Likewise”, Louis manages to say.

            “I hear you have a crush on me…” He muses.

            Oh. Are they playing this game? In front of everyone?

            Shit.  Louis likes him instantly.

            “I hear you almost went into cardiac arrest when you saw a picture of me in a leather jacket. Is it hanging in your living room yet?” The singer throws back and smirks. He has no idea how.

            “I had that coming”, Harry chuckles and looks down, cheeks reddening.

            Fans go mad. The interviewer is lost for words.

            “I guess I need to congratulate you on a great song and then I’ll be out of your interview.” The actor looks up, a bit more composed now.

            “Thanks, and I don’t mind, not at all. Was just telling lovely Carmen here that teenage fans don’t get enough credit.”

            “And I was on the sidelines agreeing with every word you say.” Harry tells him and then turns to the interviewer. “I feel like yeah, we do attract a younger crowd, but- I mean- what is wrong with that? They grow up with us. And many people forget they were once younger.”

            “So you both feel like most of the time the media belittles your fans just because they scream a little louder and look a little cuter?” The woman clears up, a fond smile on her face.

            “Yes, definitely.” Louis says.

            “And our fans look a lot cuter, they’re the most beautiful ones in the world. Maybe that’s why everyone else is so jealous of them”, he shrugs.

            Louis might be the one falling in love on the spot.

            “That’s great, Harry. Are you nervous for everyone seeing the movie for the first time?”

            “Uh- a bit? Yeah? But I’m more excited than anything.”

            “You should be nervous, I’ll be judging you the whole time”, Louis warns him; he’s clearly joking.

            “Then I’ll make sure to sit right beside you tonight, so you can tell me all your opinions.”

            “I’m very opinionated.”

            “And I like you already.”

            “And I am the one who has a crush on you?” Louis asks, the whole world out of focus again.

            “I never said it wasn’t mutual. I did almost go into cardiac arrest seeing that picture of yours.” Harry replies.

            “Oh God, get him out of my interview.” Louis rolls his eyes and Carmen, the interviewer, simply laughs and lets them both go, thanking them both for this entertainment time, and wishing them luck with the movie.

            Sidney comes to get Louis and tell him he has one more interview, while Harry’s handler is very much red with anger, pulling him as well. Harry gets rid of the man, approaches Louis again as people’s screams only get louder seeing their interaction.

            “In my bedroom.” Harry says in his ear.

            “What?” Louis shakes his head, a bit confused.      

            “Your picture. It’s not hanging in my living room. It’s hanging in my bedroom.” His voice is low. So, so low, even though everything is happening noisily around them.

            Louis feels a shiver run down his spine.

            When he looks back at Harry, his green eyes have darkened considerably. If Louis could, he’d fuck him right here, right now, and he thinks Harry would let him.

            The actor walks away before Louis can say anything else, and he just hopes, with everything he’s got, that Harry actually sits by his side once they’re inside the theater.

-

            It’s way calmer once they’re inside the theater. People talk lower and there’s no one shoving anything to Louis’ face. He says hi to some people he already knows and is introduced to some others.

            His body guard is outside and so is Sidney. Unfortunately, she couldn’t come in, even though he tried.

            The actors are starting to come in as well, and they seem to have special places in the front of the room, leaving the back ones – the better ones – for the journalists and movie critics that are present, Louis supposes.

            He finds one that isn’t reserved, in a quiet corner of the room, and sits there. Harry Judd from McFLY is right behind them and they talk for the few minutes they have before Christopher Nolan enters the room. Everyone applauds as he gets the mic to speak.

            The cast is by his side and they all have huge smiles on their faces, but Louis can only stare at one of them. Yes. You know exactly who.

            “Thank you, thank you”, Christopher starts. “Thank you all for being here, we’re very excited to see your faces and welcome you to watch what we’ve been working for since the beginning of last year. Everything you’re going to watch is due to an amazing crew and this incredible cast right here. These young men went above and beyond for Dunkirk, and I hope you can see that. Thanks again. Enjoy the movie.”

            More claps, and then everyone is finding their places.

            Harry Styles dead ass bypasses everyone and walks towards Louis, and a woman follows him. It looks like she’s been crying.

            “Did you save me a spot?” Harry asks cheekily.

            “If I said no?”

            “I’d be wounded.” He puts a hand on his chest. “Mom, this is Louis Tomlinson. Louis, this is my mother, Anne.”

            “I can’t believe I’m already meeting the parents, Harry, I am appalled.” Louis jokes nervously and Anne laughs. Harry does too, blushing only a bit. The singer gets up.

            “It’s a pleasure to meet you, Louis. I’m sorry my face is all messed up, I’ve been crying nonstop since we got here.”

            “That’s quite all right, love, my mother was the same…” He reminisces and goes into the corridor. “Please, have a seat.”

            “Thank you.” She passes through him, leaving two chairs, sitting on the third one.

            “No problem. Harry?” He tilts his head.

            “Yeah, right.” Harry gets in and sits there, right by Louis’ side, as promised. “Why did you come alone?” He then asks. “These things are boring enough when you’ve got company.”

            “Are you calling your own movie premiere boring?” Louis frowns.

            “No. This one is awesome. I’m just saying, like, events like this one, in general.”

            “Yeah, don’t know. My sister couldn’t come, my manager who also happens to be my best friend just had a baby with his wife and I didn’t want to pull him away from that, so-”

            “A baby!” Harry exclaims. “Do you have a picture?”

            “I- yes?” Louis replies a bit stunted.

            “Harry loves babies”, Anne tells him.

            “So do I”, the singer recovers quickly. “He’s also my godson, so I have tons of pictures of his. Every time I come here I practically camp at Liam and Soph’s place…”

            “Oh my God, he’s the cutest!” Harry squeaks.

            “He is.” Louis chuckles and hands his phone to Anne, so she can take a look.

            “Oh, he really is adorable…” She says as the lights go out. “Okay, we’ll talk babies later. My baby’s movie is just about to start.” Anne whispers and both Louis and Harry chuckle.

            “Ready?” Louis asks Harry.

            “Are you?” Harry replies.

            And boy, is Louis ready.

 

 

-

 

 

            He’s got a headache. This is what Louis registers first when the ending credits come up and people are clapping all around him. He doesn’t have tears in his eyes, but just because he can’t cry. He can’t do anything while he’s still processing what he’s just watched.

            Louis is no movie critic and his knowledge of this war goes as far as what he didn’t pay attention to when he was at school. Still, his feelings are everywhere.

            “I am so proud”, he can hear Anne sobbing and hugging Harry by his side. He turns to look at them and his chest clenches.

            Great, now he might cry.

            “That was so good, H, congratulations.”

            “Don’t cry, mom, it’s all right, thank you”, he answers and hugs her tighter.

            Louis misses his mom’s hugs.

            The singer is just about to congratulate Harry when someone grabs the mic in the front of the room again.

            “May I have everyone’s attention, please?” A middle aged lady asks. “There will be a reception celebrating this screening in the room next door. You are all invited to join us. Thank you for coming.”

            Harry takes a deep breath and then looks at Louis.

            “So?”

            “That was… Really, really good.” He admits. “I didn’t say anything throughout the entire thing and, trust me, it takes a lot to shut me up”, Louis chuckles.

            “It’d be so wrong for me to make an innuendo out of this, wouldn’t it?”

            “Considering the fact that your mom’s right beside you, yeah. But I already know what you were going to say anyways.”

            “Do you now?” Harry squints his eyes.

            “Uh, now I don’t know.” The singer laughs. “Shall we go?”

            “Mom?” Harry turns to her.

            “I… Am not in the best mood for a party?”

            “That’s quite all right. I’ll have someone drive you home, yeah?” He smiles.

            “I can spot Jordan at the door…” She says getting up. “I can handle myself, baby. You enjoy your night, yeah?” She kisses his cheek.

            The room is just starting to clear up.

            “You sure?”

            “Yes.” Anne smiles a teary, beautiful smile. “It was very nice to meet you, Louis.” She says, passing by him.

            Louis gets up one more time.

            “Lovely meeting you too. Congratulations on your son, he did amazing.” He says and not only to be polite. Harry is one hell of an actor after all.

            Harry gets up to hug his mom one more time and then lets her go.

            “I brought her more so she could have a distraction than anything…” Harry tells him. “My step dad died a few weeks ago. It’s been… Hard.”

            “Oh.” Louis’ eyes widen. “I… Know what it’s like, to lose someone so close. I’m so sorry.”

            “Thank you.” This is the first soft smile Harry is giving him, and it’s Louis’s favorite yet. “So, uh- d’you have plans? Tonight?”

            “Don’t we have, like, a reception to go to?” He replies, motioning towards the door where everyone is going to.

            “Yes. Or…”

            “Or?”

            “We could skip it? And go out to dinner?”

            “Oh.” Louis looks at him, straight into his eyes.

            “Assuming that you’re actually interested in me, and wasn’t just indirectly helping me with my coming out in the last couple of weeks, which- thank you, by the way… I, uh- I think you’re gorgeous, and quite funny. And I’d like to take you to dinner. Tonight, preferably. But I could wait, too.”

            This is the fastest Harry’s spoken since they met three hours ago.

            “I-” Louis breathes. “Yes.” He decides to say, right away. No beating around the bush. “I’d very much like to have dinner with you, Harry Styles.”

            “Good.” Harry smiles. “My hotel all right?”

            “Aren’t you forward?” Louis asks cheekily.

            “I- no. I mean, yes, I am, but- I was just. Ugh. You’re making me dumb.”

            “I’m just joking, please relax.” He smiles and starts walking with him. “Though you’re so fit that if you told me the food was your dick I’d be fine with it.”

            “Louis!” Harry scream-whispers and Louis throws his head back, laughing loudly and catching other people’s attention. “It might be dessert”, Harry then whispers in his ear. “If you play your cards right.”

            They stop, just for a second.

            “Is it…” Louis asks. “Is it okay if I don’t want to play? Like, can we not make this, uh, whatever this is- a game?”

            He knows he is asking for too much. They. Have. Just. Met. But Louis is tired. He’s tired of no meaning in his life and he’s tired of pretending he’s all right with it all. He wants to stop. He needs to stop.

            Luckily for him, for the first time in forever, the stars seem to have aligned, because Harry Styles smiles. He smiles and his dimples make an appearance, and, as he places a hand on Louis’ lower back, he says, just for Louis to hear:

            “We can make this whatever you want, Lou. If it’s just for tonight, I’m in. If it’s more than that, I’m in too. I really, really liked you before I met you. And I really, really like you now.”

            “There’s a lot of really’s in there.” Louis observes.

            “Yeah.”

            “I really, really like you too.” He smiles.

            “Guess I’m very lucky then.” The actor squeezes the side of Louis’ hip.

            “Makes two of us.”

 

 

-

 

 

            The car ride is interesting. They sit close together and talk about the movie, mostly, and Harry tells a couple of funny stories about when he was on set. They get to Harry’s hotel just a little after eight. To the average Brit, it’s a bit late to be having dinner, but both of them are used to crazy schedules, so it’s fine – also, they’re hungry.

            Harry guides him inside with a warm hand still on Louis’ lower back, and even through the fabric of his suit, he can feel it. He doesn’t know what is happening to him. Louis thinks that his heart hasn’t stopped racing ever since they met. Is this feeling ever going away? God, I hope not.

            “Good evening, Mr. Styles, did you enjoy your premiere?” A blonde man asks as soon as they get to the hotel restaurant.

            “Yes, thank you very much.” Harry smiles politely.

            “Evening, Mr. Tomlinson, it is a pleasure to have you here again.”

            “Thank you, evening.” Louis responds.

            “Table for two?” The man then turns to Harry again, a pleasant smile still on his face. Louis wonders if it’s genuine, and then he laughs at himself, thinking that if a person doesn’t genuinely smile around Harry, then that’s not a normal person at all. This guy seems pretty normal to him.

            Harry mutters a yes, please and they are both guided inside.

            This is a luxurious hotel and it’s located just a little bit outside of town. Louis has been here a few times, mostly for special events. He’s not one to stay at hotels when he’s here, now that he has his own house.

            “Out of sheer curiosity”, he starts as soon as they’re sat at the table, “don’t you have a house here in London?”

            Harry chuckles.

            “No. I have a really small, shitty flat from when I was broke.” The actor answers.

            “Really?”

            “Yes. I do have a house in Los Angeles, because I’m there more often than I’m here. I’m in London mostly for events, and if I want to visit my family I just go to mom’s, up North.”

            “Got it”, Louis answers.

            “D’you have a place here?”

            “I do… I have one in LA, too, but I’m there either for work or when I miss the sun. I’m a proper Englishman, I think. I love it here.” He shares with Harry, who hasn’t stopped smiling ever since they started talking.

Louis doesn’t want that smile to fade from his face.

“So am I”, the actor says, “I mean- England reminds me of who I am; people ‘round here call me on my shit, I have some good friends. Hollywood just offers better jobs.” He grimaces.

“I get it”, Louis assures him. “We’re always traveling anyways, no point in buying a big house anywhere, unless you wanna invest in real estate.”

“Is that what your houses are? Real estate investments?” Harry questions him, seeming genuinely interested.

“No. I mean- maybe a bit. They’re too big just for me, but a while back Liam convinced me it was a good idea, and I loved decorating them, I have to admit.”

“Liam’s the one with the baby, right?”

“Yes.”

He remembers, Louis thinks dumbly.

They’re quickly interrupted as the waitress offers them wine, and Harry looks at Louis questioningly – as soon as Louis nods, the actor orders them a French wine, and they both place their orders.

The restaurant isn’t as crowded as it usually is on weekends, and Louis has never been more thankful for not having an audience in his life. If he could, he’d probably spend the rest of the night right here, staring at Harry.

“Is it…” Louis squints his eyes, not sure if he should ask what he wants to.

            “Is it…” Harry trails.

            “Is it true you were the one who pitched my name to Christopher Nolan? This is eating me alive, I need to know.”

Harry cracks up a loud laugh and then places both hands on his mouth, looking around with widened eyes to see if anybody is paying attention. Only a few heads turned, which is a surprised, considering how loud that was.

“Jesus.” Harry murmurs and then clears his throat. “Yes, it is. I mean, we were reading one scene at the table and then Chris mentioned he was looking for someone to do it… I happened to have been listening to you all day that day, so I just said it.”

“You actually listen to my music?”

“You really thought I didn’t?” He chuckles.

“I don’t know. Thank you, I’m flattered.” The singer says genuinely.

“You’re very good, Louis. Like- everything you write is amazing.” Harry is so sincere in his words that Louis could scream. He has never met anyone like this boy, and Louis has met thousands of people throughout his life.

“D’you have a favorite?” Louis asks.

“I do.”

“You gonna tell me?”

“Not yet.” There’s a glint in his eyes. Louis registers it in his memory, keeps it in his heart. Green is his new favorite color.

“Why not?”

“You gotta earn it”, Harry says mischievously, voice low.

“Harry Styles”, Louis takes a deep breath. “You’re gonna be the death of me.”

They stumble into Harry’s hotel room an hour later when they’ve already eaten and drunk a bottle of wine together.

Louis is giddy. It’s like he’s in high school again getting off with his first boy when he takes off his blazer and places it on a chair near a desk. Every bone in his body is ignited, and when Harry closes the door behind them, taking off his own blazer and tie right away, the singer is faced with a bunch of great options and he doesn’t even know where to start.

“This is very posh”, he says as if he hasn’t been to one of these rooms before.

“It’s not like you aren’t used to five star hotels, please.” Harry half-scoffs and gets close to him. “D’you want something to drink?” He asks.

“I think we’ve had enough, movie star.” Louis smiles, looking up at him. Harry does nothing, just stares at Louis for God knows how long, before the singer chuckles and averts his gaze. “You know…” He starts, “for someone who was so quick to tell me they had my picture on their wall, you’re taking a long, long time to kiss me.” He looks at Harry again.

The actor smiles a thousand stars smile.

“Maybe I’m waiting for you to kiss me first.” He muses, gets closer.

“Is that so?” Louis takes one more step forward. There’s nowhere to go from here. They’re connected head to toe, a breath apart. Harry sighs weakly, as if he will make the final move if Louis doesn’t.

But Louis does.

He places both of his hands on Harry’s hips and squeezes them twice, before he finally closes the remaining distance between them.

            He’s never had a first kiss like this. It’s like in a second everything falls into place as Harry sags into his body, mouth open already. Their tongues tangle in a way that only people who’ve practiced this for years can manage – they fit. They fit and they both recognize it instantly.

            Louis takes a deep breath and pulls Harry in as the singer’s hands go straight into Louis’ hair. Harry pushes back. Harry kisses with intent. Harry kisses exactly how Louis likes to be kissed. And as the singer runs his hand on the other man’s back, Harry’s already guiding them to the bed, falling onto it like a rag doll, pulling Louis with him.

            He falls in between the actor’s legs and kisses him one more time, supporting his weight with both hands by Harry’s side while Harry’s hands are everywhere: on  Louis’ hips, on his back, on his ribs, on his arms. Louis disconnects their mouths for one second, just to take a look at him, but Harry grunts in complaint and pulls him in again by his tie, making Louis fall onto him with his whole body.

            Their legs entwine and Harry actually pulls him closer, moaning into his mouth and bucking up his hips, showing Louis just how interested he already is.

            Louis needs a breather, so he kisses down Harry’s jaw and neck as Harry keeps roaming his hands on his body, stopping one of them in Louis’ hair and pulling the short strands on his nape, causing Louis to bite on the soft skin of his throat.

            “Lou-” he says. How someone can sound so wrecked by so little Louis will never know, but Harry does. He sounds like he’s been fucked twice already, and Louis just needs- he needs to make sure this is all right before going forwards, cause he doesn’t think he’ll be able to stop once he really lets himself go.

            “Hazz”, the singer breathes into the other man’s neck, willing himself to sit up, now straddling Harry’s hips. He’s very aware that his ass is on Harry’s crotch and Harry’s half hard. But. They need to talk first. They seriously do. “What do you want?”

            Harry opens his eyes again. For the millionth time tonight Louis thinks that no metaphor in the world could describe what it is like looking into them. Earlier, he’d thought of Harry’s eyes as the sea water in the middle of the summer. Now that those emerald balls are staring at him full of want, Louis compares their darkness to a forest at sunset – the green of the leaves clinging to the very last bits of light they can.

            “Whatever you want to do with me”, he replies softly. A deep contrast to the heat of this moment. “I don’t usually do this; whether you believe me or not, doesn’t matter much right now, but I thought you should know. I absolutely suck at one night stands”, Harry explains, both hands moving to Louis’ thighs. “... But I meant what I said earlier. I’m in for whatever you want. I’m here. You can have me.”

            “Harry”, Louis breathes loudly again and he just needs to kiss him one more time. This boy- man… This person is too much. Too fucking much.

            Harry kisses back just as desperately.

            “I don’t usually do this either”, Louis says to his mouth, hands trembling as he starts to unbutton Harry’s shirt. “But then again I don’t think I’ve ever wanted someone this much”, he confesses and that’s all the incentive Harry needs to give in completely too.

            Suddenly Louis feels Harry’s perfect hands on his ass and he has a very hard time doing anything else that doesn’t involve rutting on top of Harry, because this is really the best feeling in the world. Still, he needs to get a move on if they’re going to accomplish anything tonight.

            Louis kisses down Harry’s neck again and goes down to his chest; he can feel it in his lips when Harry’s heart races and in his hand when Harry’s dick hardens. Louis squeezes his bulge at the exact time he takes one of Harry’s nipples into his mouth and the noise Harry makes is above all explanation.

            The actor writhes on the sheets and Louis does his best to finish undressing him without having to detach his mouth from Harry’s body. He manages, for most part, but he still needs to get out of bed to pull Harry’s pants off. Harry follows him, sitting on the edge of it and pulling Louis into his parted legs.

            Harry’s tall, taller than him, and their size difference isn’t even that big now, considering how tall the bed also is. Still, Louis has a different angle to kiss him, so he takes it – because fifteen minutes in and he’s already addicted. Harry lets his head be guided wherever Louis wants to take it, and even though he moans into the kiss, completely gone as Louis’ tongue plays with his, his hands are already taking Louis’ pants off.

            The singer manages to get rid of his tie and shirt by himself, as Harry simply appreciates his thighs, sighing heavily as he runs the tips of his fingers up and down Louis’ legs, making Louis shiver all over.

            “May I?” Harry asks, eyes innocent looking up, hands on the elastic of Louis’ boxers. The sheer contradiction that is Harry Styles is what drives Louis insane, he thinks.

            Harry’s soft and harsh, funny and serious, pure light with a touch of darkness.

            Louis nods once, and the actor doesn’t waste any time before hooking his fingers on the waistband of the boxers. He kisses Louis’ sternum and runs the tip of his tongue down to Louis’ navel. He shudders and places both hands on Harry’s shoulders, letting his nails scratch his muscles and feeling his knees weaken at the exact moment Harry’s mouth gets in contact with his covered bulge.

            “Harry”, he calls him, his voice already rough.

            “You’re perfect”, Harry replies, completely in awe, hands finally moving of their own accord and removing Louis’ last piece of clothing. He really doesn’t know how he steps out of his boxers and gets back to the same position, but he does. “You’re absolutely perfect”, the other man replies.

            “I- fuck”, he closes his eyes as Harry closes his mouth around his dickhead. He suckles slowly and firmly, tongue circling around the tip of his cock like it’s a lollipop. “Oh my God, Harry”, Louis moans again, this time louder, and one of his hands go up to the actor’s hair, the other moving to his bicep.

            “Taste so good”, Harry says as he comes up to breathe. “Just like I’d dreamed.”

            “You’ve dreamed ‘bout me?” Louis asks.

            “You have no idea.”

            Then Harry goes again, and he goes down, all the way. One of his hands is on Louis’ ass and the other playing with one of Louis’ nipples and Louis is so overstimulated that he actually starts to support his body on Harry’s, since he doesn’t think he’ll be able to stand much longer.

            Harry sucks him with passion, in a way that makes Louis believe this is exactly what this man was born for. Fuck acting, sucking cock is Harry Styles’ true calling.

            “Look so good, doing it so well, fuck”, Louis encourages him, caressing his scalp but never moving him against his will.

            It’s only when Harry deep-throats him for real and squeezes both of his ass cheeks that Louis gets the message. He pushes Harry’s head down and not only feels, but also hears the moment his dick hits the back of Harry’s throat over and over again. Louis fucks his mouth for two minutes, he thinks, and he stops right before he can feel that feeling in the pit of his stomach. He doesn’t want to come now. No way.

            “You can come”, Harry says, voice absolutely destroyed. “Come now and I’ll give you five minutes before you fuck me senseless into this mattress.” He offers, and then licks Louis’ head again. “Sound fair?” He asks.

            “Yes, yes, yes, very fair.” Louis answers way too fast and Harry chuckles, but is choked by a dick in the middle of it, because- well, they’ve got important matters to attend to.

            It’s wicked how in sync they are. Harry sucks him and sucks him and sucks him and Louis is pretty sure he sees white for a while there. He can’t stand still, so as his hips move according to Harry’s head, his hands also start traveling Harry’s body, his nails scratching every part that they can get in contact with. Harry moans around him, and it’s that strong vibration that takes Louis to the edge.

            He feels it in his back, and in his belly, his thighs and then finally his cock. He comes before he can muster the power to warn Harry he’s about to, but he finds out pretty quickly that he doesn’t need to worry, because, as it turns out, Harry Styles swallows. Louis is in heaven.

            The actor suckles till Louis starts getting oversensitive and then looks up.

            “You missed a bit there”, Louis smiles a bit dazed, thumb cleaning the side of Harry’s mouth. Harry sucks it too. “How’re you real?” He then asks.

            “Just come here”, the actor calls him.

            Louis kisses him right away. It’s slower this time. He’s very aware that Harry’s rock hard, and he’ll attend to it in a few seconds, but for now they just kiss. He caresses Harry’s scalp slowly and lets his tongue tell Harry everything he doesn’t know how to verbalize yet.

            “C’mon, scoot back”, he says lowly into Harry’s mouth.

            Harry does just that.

            “Where d’you keep lube? Condoms?” He asks before he climbs into bed.

            “Think I unpacked. Check the bathroom sink”, the actor responds as he lazily strokes his own dick.

            What a view.

            “Hey. Take your hand off it. It’s mine tonight.” He warns before turning around.

            He thinks he hears Harry asking only tonight? and finds himself answering hopefully not under his breath as he goes into the bathroom to find what they need.

           

            When he returns, just a few seconds later, Harry’s dimmed the lights and is climbing back to the bed. He even carries himself in a pretty way. Louis really does not know how to explain, but he finds everything about this man attractive. Borrowing a few words from Harry’s book, Louis can say that he already liked him before they met in person, but after today he will have to admit that he is completely besotted with him.

            “You look lovely, did you know that?” He tells him as he lies by Harry’s side. “Truly mesmerizing.”

            “Lou…” Harry smiles. “Kiss me again?”

            “Always”, Louis replies and leans in, his entire body molding into Harry’s.

            Their kiss, albeit a bit calmer, is still as deep as the first one, still full of desire as they were before. Louis finds the lube when they separate for a second and opens it, coating his fingers and pulling Harry closer to him. They’re facing each other, both on their sides, and it’s not the best angle for Louis’ hand to find Harry’s rim, but it’s right, somehow.

            Harry kisses him as Louis teases back, but when the singer’s done with playing and asks for Harry to spread his legs a bit, Harry simply hides his face in the crook of Louis’ neck, rests one of his legs across Louis’ hips, and is spread out right there, half on the mattress, half on top of Louis, ready for whatever it is to come.

            Louis feels everything when he circles Harry’s hole. He feels anxious and he feels good, he feels so very excited. Harry sucks on his skin as he asks the actor to relax a bit, and when the first finger is in, Harry whimpers right in his ear.

            “Oh-ooh”, he says as Louis gets past the first knuckle, “feels so good, been so long”, Harry lets out.

            “I’mma be careful with you, Hazz, ‘s all right.”

            “I can take it rough”, Harry tells him.

            “Some other time, yeah?” Louis promises.  

            “Some other time?” The hope in his tone is something that the singer will never forget. Louis simply nods, Harry smiles, and they resume what they were doing.

            “Yes.” He confirms it one more time and then goes all in.

            Harry lets his head fall forwards and rests his forehead on Louis’ collarbone and the singer works one finger into him, slowly loosening him up getting Harry ready for another.

            Their position changes as Harry writhes around, but they remain on their sides, with one of Louis’ hands inside him and the other stroking Harry’s dick, collecting the pre come at its tip to use it for a better slide.

            Harry’s big and so very hard, and every time he moans, kissing any part of Louis’ skin that is available, Louis hardens a bit more, to the point in which he’s already fully ready to go again once he’s three fingers in. He plays with them inside of Harry and fastens the pace just because he loves this part. Most people overlook it, but fuck it if watching somebody else fall apart like this isn’t one of his favorite things involving sex.

            “Lou, ‘m ready”, Harry mumbles, mouth agape as Louis hits his spot.

            “I know”, he smirks and hits it again, and again, and again.

            His dick’s asking for some attention already, and he knows Harry needs to be fucked tonight before he comes too, but before- before he needs to kiss him again, just to prove to Harry that he can.

            He leans forwards and catches Harry’s bottom lip between his teeth, rolls it there and hears another tiny whimper coming from the other man; so he kisses Harry properly, dances with his tongue inside of Harry’s mouth and feels the actor’s nails scratch down his shoulder blades, the only way Harry has to show his pleasure right now.

            “Louis, please”, he asks in his ear. “Please, Lou.’ He pleads, one more time.

            Louis kneels on the bed and looks for the condom, eyes completely unadjusted to any sight that isn’t Harry. He finds the small foil package quickly, though, and rips it with his teeth, being careful not to get lube all over it.

            “Let me?” Harry asks, kneeling too, in front of him.

            “Do the honors, movie star”, Louis allows.

            Harry smiles and rolls the condom on Louis’ dick. The singer hisses a bit, God; this is so fucking good; he doesn’t remember the last time it felt like this. He doesn’t think it ever has. But, instead of being scared, Louis relishes in it.

            “How d’you want me?” The other man asks.

            “Can you ride me?” Louis asks, already knowing the answer.

            “Can I ride you…?” Harry asks ironically as he lightly shoves Louis’ shoulder, the singer falling with back on the bed. “We’ll have to see about that, won’t we?”

            “We will”, he smiles happily as he places both hands on Harry’s hips.

            Harry aligns himself up with Louis’ dick and in a gracious motion places a hand behind his back, taking ahold of Louis’ cock.

            “Go slow, movie star.”

            “I-” Harry takes a deep breath, “I will.”

            The moment the head of Louis’ dick breaks into Harry’s tight heat can only be described as heaven – at least to him, but he’s very inclined to believe it is for Harry too. He’s sure it hurts a bit, because he isn’t, well, small. And he’s aware that he’s definitely thick. But Harry’s so, so perfect that he doesn’t falter. Not even for a second.

            He does take it slow, but painfully, sensually so. The actor groans as Louis’ squeezes his hips and places both hands on Louis’ chest, circling his hips to get used to it and sinking steadily, as Louis loses any train of thought he aspired to have at the moment.

            “So good, you’re doing so good, love”, he manages to say.

            Harry feels amazing. Louis closes his eyes and surrenders to the heat; he lets the actor adjust at his own pace, but he takes more than ten deep breaths so as to not start fucking him on the spot.

            “Oh my God, Louis”, Harry breathes out as he sinks down completely. “Holy fucking shit”, he says and they both chuckle. “You’re- I-” the actor swallows thickly, then bites his bottom lip.

            “What?”

            “I might say very dumb things if I don’t shut up.” Harry chooses to go with, leaning down and getting closer to Louis’ face.

            They both moan as Louis’ dick shifts inside him.

            “Like what?”

            Harry kisses him. Not to say dumb things, Louis supposes. Harry kisses him and takes control of it for the first time tonight. His hands go to Louis’ sides, supporting his body on the mattress as he starts to circle his hips.

            Louis doesn’t move much at the beginning, just lets Harry have his way. But then the actor moans again, sounds and feels more comfortable, and Louis takes this as an invitation.

            He traces his hands down Harry’s back till they’re both on his ass. He squeezes and massages it and encourages Harry to actually ride him with a quick, small slap on his left ass cheek.

            “Yes”, Harry voices as he straightens his body. He moves like a pro, and  Louis even thinks of making a joke about Harry being a porn star, but then the actor moves his hands to Louis’ thighs and uses his knees to hold himself up, sitting back onto Louis’ dick right after, repeating the motion over and over again, gaining momentum and fastening his pace with each thrust.

            Louis knows his heart is racing, he knows that in no time his sweaty fringe is going to stick to his forehead, but he doesn’t care about any of that when he grabs Harry’s hips again and helps him ride him. He brings the man down as if he weighs nothing, and Harry screams the third time Louis does it.

            “There”, he says unhelpfully. I know, Louis thinks.

            He holds Harry again and lets him have his way a little bit longer, but then he just gets impatient to hear him screaming again, so he plants both of his feet on the bed and makes Harry’s torso come forwards, just so he can hold himself a bit better on the headboard as Louis drives into him mercilessly.

            Thrust after thrust, moan after moan, they create a moment that is only theirs. A moment no one will ever take from them. It’s like they’re both suspended in time, and the only thing that exists is right here, right now. The only sound they can listen to is their skin touching one another and their labored breaths filling the atmosphere.

            “Fuck, fuck, Louis, God, you’re so good”, he moans in Louis’ ear as his dick slides up and down the singer’s torso.

            They’re completely connected right now, and Louis finds it so intimate and so perfect that he needs to turn his head to catch Harry’s mouth again. He sits up a bit and Harry hugs him with his arms and legs. They barely move.

            Harry moves his hips as if he’s giving Louis a lap dance, and Louis thrusts into him slowly, but deeply. They kiss and Louis takes Harry’s cock in his hand when he feels it’s right. Not when Harry asks him to. Not when he asks Harry if he’s close. But when he knows. Because he just does.

            The singer strokes him three times before Harry’s trembling on top of him, come painting both of their bodies, mixing with the sweat that had already left their skin shining.

            “C’mon, Lou”, Harry encourages him, “c’mon”, he says again.      

            Louis throws him on his back and Harry spreads his legs in the air. The singer thrusts into him again, both of Harry’s legs on his shoulders, and as Harry tells him he’s the best he’s ever had, Louis’ mind blanks out again, and in his world there’s only Harry Styles, a hotel room, and the feeling of completeness he’s only written about, but never really thought could be so tangible up until now.

 

 

-

 

 

            “I think I wanna say some really dumb things too. Stop me.” Louis confesses later, when they’ve cleaned up and are laying down again.

            “I won’t stop you.”

            “Then I’mma have to kiss you just like you did to me”, Louis chuckles.

            “Won’t stop you from doing that either.” Harry smiles at him. Now it’s a lazy smile, a post orgasmic one.

            If it were up to him, he’d already have catalogued all of Harry’s smiles. His heart’s playing tricks with him, ones his mind can’t catch up with.

            He does kiss Harry, once, but he also speaks.       

            “When your hair’s long- are you a hair up or hair down kinda person?” He asks. Harry looks at him funnily. “Horror movie or rom-com? Cat or dog? Do you like coffee or tea? Are you moon or sun? Park or coffee shop? Romantic love or platonic love?” He asks all in one go. And then… “A pop song or a poem?” Louis finally breathes out.

            Harry chuckles and kisses his cheek.

            “I told you I wanted to say dumb things.” Louis looks down. “I- I’ve been obsessing with you for a while now. I just- I want to know things, and I don’t want to scare you off, but I clearly don’t know how to not do it, so.”

            “You’re not scaring me”, Harry tells him. “If anything, you’re making me wonder if maybe I can tell you everything I’ve been meaning to.” He says sweetly, his thumb stroking Louis’ upper cheek ever so softly.

            “You can.”

            “I guess I will. But- answering your questions first...” He says. “I’m a hair down kind of person. I only put it up when it’s really hot outside.”

            “I miss your long hair. I mean- I’ve never met you with it, but- I quite like it”, the singer tells him.

            “I can let it grow again.” Harry says, then kisses the tip of Louis’ nose. He’s too much; this is too much. “Rom-com, definitely rom-com.” Thank God. “I’m partial to cats, but I love both. You?”

            “I’m partial to dogs”, Louis confesses. “But got nothing against cats either.”

            “Good.” Harry says simply. What does that even mean? “What was the next ques- oh, yeah. Coffee or tea. Both. But I prefer tea.” At that, Louis smiles.

Harry’s hand has moved to Louis’ neck now. Louis has both of his tucked under the covers, the air conditioner finally kicking in full force. Harry’s warm though. So warm Louis thinks he might choose sun, but then…

            “I’m going to say moon, to the next one. Because we’re together right now, and- there’s no way for me to believe that you are not the sun.”

            “Me?” He laughs.

            “Yeah. I’ve been a bit obsessed with you, too, and I see your fans saying Louis is the sun all the time. A few hours with you and I can understand completely what they mean.” The actor says it and quickly averts his gaze. “See. Told ya I was gonna get dumb, too.”

            “No complaints here, love.” Louis says sincerely, then pecks his mouth. “Park or coffee shop?”

            “Park.”

            “Romantic love or platonic love?”

            “I…” Harry says and lies on his back, staring at the ceiling. The lights are still dimmed from before, slowly making Louis feel sleepy. “I think both are important, but- at this stage in my life I’m going to say romantic love.” He looks at Louis very briefly, then up again. “I don’t necessarily want a love like in the movies or romance novels, you know? I just want to find someone, and wake up to his arms wrapped around me after years and- and I want our kids to look at us and think “love can be forever”. Yeah… That’s what I want.”

            Subconsciously, or not, Louis gets closer, and wraps Harry in his arms.

            Lowly, in his ear, he asks.

            “Pop song or a poem?”

            “Why do I have the feeling that this is a trick question?” The actor looks at him.

            “Doesn’t have to be.”

            “Tell me what it means? Please?” Harry asks him, voice soft, curious.

            “Mom used to say happiness is a pop song; sadness is a poem. It stuck with me, especially after she was gone.”

At that, the other man turns on his side again, staring straight into Louis’ eyes.

“I guess that… Uh- I’ll leave this one up to you.” He bites his bottom lip.

“How so?”

“Let’s get to know each other.” Harry offers. “Let’s go on dates, and have really hot sex, and tell childhood stories. Let’s try. And then you decide. You decide whether you’ll write me a pop song or a poem. How does that sound?”          

“It… It sounds perfect.” Louis agrees and rests his head on Harry’s chest. “Dates. Hot sex. Childhood stories. Sign me up, Hazza.”

Harry hugs him a bit tighter at that.

“Thank you. For giving this a chance.” He hears the actor say, placing a kiss on his head.

Louis is very, very sleepy, but he thinks he manages to kiss Harry’s chest one more time before drifting into nothingness.

 

 

 

-

 

 

 

DUNKIRK PREMIERE – DUNKIRK, FRANCE, JULY 2017

 

 

This time, Harry gets to the black carpet first.

Louis’ flight was delayed, and then he fell asleep in the hotel and it took his sister knocking on his bedroom door to wake him up. Louis brought her mostly because she wanted to meet the cast of the movie, and because her boyfriend “was being a jerk” and she “needed to get out”.

Anyways, what happens is that the second Louis arrives at the carpet he is aware of Harry’s presence. There are rainbow flags everywhere, and people are waving them and screaming every time the actor waves or blows a kiss. The actor has just come out. Well, officially, because it’s not like Harry’s been trying to hide for the past few months – and Louis knows his because he’s been an avid follower of Harry’s career for a while now, as everyone in the freaking world is aware of it now.

Lottie, Louis’ sister, goes inside from the backdoor and says she’ll wait for him there, but the singer knows he needs to go through the paps and interviewers again. It’s all the same, and Liam didn’t send anyone this time, and Louis didn’t even ask him to come, since they’ll already travel together to New York next week, where the last Dunkirk Premiere will happen.

He smiles at the cameras and counts ten seconds before he crashes one of Harry’s interviews. Because he can. And also because it’s been two days and he already misses the actor being close to him, but he’s not about to admit that just yet – not to the camera at least.

“Is it a Louis Tomlinson we’ve got here?” The interviewer asks. Louis is sure they’ve met at some point, but he doesn’t remember when.

“Do we?” Harry’s eyes widen for a second, right before he turns around and sees Louis there; the way his lips curve up in the softest, most pleasant smile will never really leave Louis’ mind.

“Hi, sugarplum”, he chuckles as he gives Harry a half-hug. “You crashed my interview in London, it’s only fair that I crash yours now.”

“I don’t mind.” Harry replies. “You good?”

“Better now.”

“Me too, yeah.” God, they are both such idiots and in front of the cameras.

“I guess congratulations are in order, right?” Louis smiles big and then looks from Harry to the interviewer.

“We were just talking about it!” The guy smiles. “Harry Styles doesn’t like the ladies! This came as a surprise to everyone.”

Not everyone, Louis wants to correct him. He knows a huge portion of Harry’s fans – and even people outside his fan base – already knew or at least strongly suspected.

Heeeey, I like the ladies”, Harry says outraged. “But I don’t necessarily subscribe to heteronormative labels”, he grins. “Some of my best friends are girls… That just happens to be all they are. Friends.”

“Some people said you did it right now because of the movie, to sell more tickets. How do you respond to that?”

“Uh- I did it because of the movie, but not to sell more tickets. Chris is too good and he definitely doesn’t need me to be successful. It was more of, like, Hollywood is a pretty fucking homophobic industry”, there you go, H, “and I guess I didn’t want to get movie roles because people thought I was shagging every actress left and right. Cat’s out the bag, I’m gay”, he shrugs, “let’s see who hires me now”.

The interviewer chuckles nervously. Louis is so full of pride he doesn’t know what to do with himself.

“You are fucking brilliant, so you shouldn’t have a problem with getting hired… Unless Hollywood is even dumber than it is homophobic, that is.” He says it just to Harry, and the actor knows it, because he offers him a very private smile.

“You came out a couple of years ago, Louis, so, any advice to Harry here?”

Louis doesn’t even need to think before he speaks.

“Nah-” he looks at Harry again. “He’s bloody amazing, he’s handling it perfectly.” Then he squeezes Harry’s hip. “Now if you’ll excuse me, I think I’ve an interview of my own to give. Please ask him more about the movie.” Louis says to the interviewer. “See you inside, H.”

Louis goes to his own interview and doesn’t look back, but if he did, he’d see the way Harry completely missed the next question, simply because he was staring as the singer went.

Louis’ interview is just fine. They ask him about the movie, how he got to be a part of its soundtrack again and if it’s true he will perform the song live tonight at the reception. It is – just like Nolan asked him to a couple of weeks ago.

Louis isn’t nervous, per se. He has performed in front of important people dozens of times already – Grammy’s, hello –, and he knows it will be a good performance. These days, his favorite ones are the intimate ones – the ones in which he can connect to the music and to the audience, and create a bridge between the two. But he still can’t help but want to do good for more reasons than one.

Harry says he’s a fan. He says he actually listens to Louis’ albums. He is the main reason as to why Louis is even involved in this project. So he wants him to love it. It’s not nervousness. He’s just apprehensive.

“You’re like a schoolboy with a crush”, Lottie rolls her eyes.

“I’m an adult with a crush.” He corrects her. “And to be honest at the end of the day it doesn’t seem to make much of a difference”, Louis chuckles.

He goes to the screening again, because his sister insists on watching it, and it isn’t hard to see this movie again. Louis has a feeling that one of these days he’ll be at home on a lazy day and it’ll be something that he will want to watch one more time. But Harry isn’t here.

He texted Louis before saying he’d give more interviews and they’d see each other at the reception, so Louis replies with a bunch of “x’s” and turns off his cellphone, practically narrating the whole story to his sister as they watch it – he honest to God doesn’t know how Charlotte doesn’t knock him on the head the first time Harry shows up on the screen.

“Schoolboy with a crush, I am telling you”, she says after the movie ends and they exit the room, following everyone into the reception saloon.

“I’m not ashamed.”

“You shouldn’t be. He’s just as bad”, Lottie shrugs.

“How’d you know?”

“He hasn’t stopped staring at you since we got here.” As his sister points ahead, he finds Harry right away.

He’s at the bar and he’s got a fruity drink in his hand. He smiles his big smile to Louis, and his legs move before his brain even catches up. Lottie follows him with a smug expression on her face.

“Nice seeing you again round here”, Harry says as Louis approaches.

“Are you already drunk?” He asks.

“Nah, just happy”, the actor looks down, cheeks reddening.

Louis doesn’t really know how to respond to that without giving Lottie ammunition to mock him for the rest of his life, so he just decides to introduce his sister instead.

“Hazz, this is Lots. Lottie. Uh, Charlotte. My sister.” He clears his throat. “Lots, this is Harry Styles.”

“Wow, Louis, one name is enough.” Lottie laughs and smiles at Harry. “But nice to meet you. It’s not like I wasn’t a fan before, but now my brother just won’t shut up about you. So.”

“Charlotte.” Louis only pretends to be embarrassed. He isn’t, really.

“To be fair, my sister would say the same to you”, the actor smiles kindly to Louis. “And it’s nice to meet you, Lots. Lottie. Charlotte.”

“Just pick one”, she rolls her eyes.

“But I like them all!” Harry exclaims exasperatedly.

“Lottie’s fine. There you go, I’ve chosen for you.” Louis’ sister tells him. “Now, what are you drinking and where can I get it?”

“Just here”, Harry turns around and calls the barman. “Want something, Lou?”

“Whisky on the rocks, please.”

“I’ll just have what he’s having, looks pretty and tasty.” Lottie tells the young guy, and he says something like right away before turning around. “Congrats on the movie, Harry. You are fantastic, hope to see you at Award Ceremonies next year.”

“He will be.” Louis affirms.

“Thanks. I just want people to enjoy it”, he smiles bashfully.

“You’re right”, Lottie turns to him. “He’s every bit as lovely as he seems to be.”

“Aw, Lou.” Harry coos at him.

“Shut up.”

“Come here”, Harry opens his arms and Louis hugs him sideways, receiving a kiss on his temple. “Have dinner with me tonight?” He asks.

“Sure. If you don’t mind my annoying sister crashing it.”

“Course not, it’ll be-”

“If you think I’ll spend the night watching you two flirt you’re sorely mistaken, little brother.” Charlotte tells Louis.

“Uh, I’m not your little brother?” He says confused.

“I just always wanted to say that”, she shrugs. “I think I just saw Lou Teasdale…” Lottie squints her eyes. “Is that her, Lou? What d’you think?”

“I think so, yeah.” Louis says.

“It is her”, Harry confirms. “How’d you know Lou?” He then asks curiously.

“I interned with her a year or so ago”, Lottie tells him. “I miss her.”

“Makes one of us”, the actor chuckles.

“Why don’t you like Lou?”

Louis also wants to know, so he thanks the barman for their drinks, when they came, and then focuses on the conversation again.

“I don’t dislike her? It takes a lot for me to dislike someone”, Harry tells Lottie. “It’s just- I’ve never really cared about gender stuff? Like- clothes are clothes, make-up is make-up and so on…” Lottie nods, following his train of thought. “And then- uh, I think I once asked her to paint my nails? She used to work for a show I was also working on. And, uh…” He laughs, looking down. “She told me she could give me a bottle of nail polish, but she didn’t want to be a part of it.”

“What?” Louis frowns.

“Like- she doesn’t believe men should wear too much make up or anything too girly? Because then it’s too feminine or whatever, and that is not how she works.”

“What a-”

“Nah, it’s all right, I mean, each to their own, right?” Harry smiles, ever so kindly. “I just- I used to think we were friends, and I almost came out to her back then. But all this shit just threw me off at the time. She’s a good person, and very talented. We just don’t share the same views.”

“This doesn’t make any sense”, Charlotte expresses her opinion, and she sounds a bit angry, Louis might add. That’s my girl. “She’s a make-up artist and a hair dresser, for fuck’s sake.”

“That’s what I thought.” Harry says and sips from his drink.

“Well, I’m sorry, Harry.” Charlotte smiles. “I’m still going to go over there and say hi, because it’s the polite thing to do, but… Uh- yeah. I’m sorry. And congrats on being out. It’s not easy, I- I’ve watched Louis go through it and it broke our hearts how mean some people can be. But it’s worth it, isn’t it?” Lottie smiles.

“It fucking is”, Louis smiles. “See you around?” He asks Lottie.

“I might ride back with you to the hotel.”

“Kay.” She kisses his cheek and then offers Harry another smile before walking away.

“I really like your sister”, the actor tells Louis.

“She’s great”, he agrees. “Never tell her that or I won’t hear the end of it, but if it weren’t for Lottie our family wouldn’t be, well, our family today.” Louis says and Harry frowns and tilts his head as if he’s asking how so? “After mom died, I went off the rails. You didn’t even need to follow the rags to know that… It was everywhere. I was everywhere. But Lots- she… She took care of the children, and she took care of me. And I owe her a fucking lot.”

“That’s… That’s beautiful, Louis. That you’re thankful, I mean. It’s a great trait in a person. Anyone else could take it for granted.”

“You’re too nice to me, Harry.” Louis gets closer. “And I really want to kiss you.”

“I really want to kiss you too”, Harry leans in. He pecks Louis’ mouth just once, then kisses his cheeks again. “But I don’t want people to stare, and there are too many journalists here.”

“Ugh. If I didn’t need to perform in a few minutes, I swear I’d drag you to a restroom right now.”

“I’d let you.”

“I know.” Louis smirks.

-

As soon as Louis is asked to perform, he goes into professional mode.

There isn’t a band with him tonight. There isn’t even anyone to play the guitar. There’s just a beautiful piano in the middle of the room, and a spotlight shining right there. He is introduced by Christopher Nolan himself, and everyone claps as he takes his seat at the piano.

“Evening”, he says into the mic. "I can't remember who said it, but a soul and a heaven must exist because good people aren't rewarded enough on earth. What you guys did with this movie, the people you represented and the way you portrayed them… It was beautiful, and it’s exactly what they deserve. Here’s to the brave people who fought for us, and here’s to everyone who’s still standing. Thank you for letting me be a part of this, somehow. "

People clap one more time and Louis gets into the right mindset to perform the song.

It’s great, and he feels more alive than ever.

So what do you want them to say when you’re gone? That you gave up or that you kept going on? What do you do when a chapter ends? Do you close the book or do you read it again?

Even being a bit dark, he can see Lottie by Harry’s side, and both of them singing along with him. It’s an incredible feeling, and it’s another one of those moments that the singer wants to commit to memory and never let go. He’s known Harry for less than a week, and he already has a collection of stories saved in his heart and mind.

Once he’s done, people encourage him to sing a bit more. So Louis performs for however long his back allows him. It’s mostly covers, songs that are appropriate for an event like this, but he squeezes two of his songs right there. People come and go, take pictures, make videos. Harry doesn’t move.

When Louis finally thanks everyone for the last time, the actor gets to him before a journalist, though. Still, Harry waits for Louis to give a fifteen minute interview, and then pulls him by the hand, asking if they can please go back to one of their hotels already.

“Mind if it’s mine? This way I can give Lottie a ride.” Louis asks.

“Of course not”, Harry smiles. “I’m gonna make my round of goodbyes, you make yours, find your sister, and we meet in the front?”

“Perfect, love.”

It escapes.

And it’s normal, Louis is sure Harry doesn’t make anything of it. Louis calls taxi drivers love sometimes. But it’s different. To him, it is different, this time, when he calls Harry that – his heart races (oh, but what is new?) and he feels his cheeks heating up, but he turns around quickly, and goes to find Lottie and make his round of goodbyes.

They manage to get to the hotel before nine pm, which is an accomplishment, since no one really wanted them to leave. Louis is sure they were papped this time. But he doesn’t care. He really doesn’t. He shoots Liam a text just in case he’s contacted in London for “a quote”, and his friend doesn’t reply right away, so the singer turns off his phone and leaves it on his bedside table.

Both he and Harry opted for having dinner in Louis’ room, watching something on TV, cause this is what a proper date is. They dress down and Harry borrows a pair of Louis’ sweats. They’re a bit small on him, just like Louis’ ADIDAS jumper, but he still looks every bit as lovely.

“I’m a Nike kinda person, this is betrayal”, Harry comments chuckling as he sits on the couch by Louis’ side.

“If it was up to me you wouldn’t be wearing anything right now, so”, he shrugs.

“You’re ridiculous.” The actor replies.

“I am. And I’m also just joking, you know that, right? This” he motions between them “uh, this is more than sex, yeah?”

“Yes.” Harry gets close to him, “I know.”

And then they’re kissing.

They’ve only been together once, that first night they met. They have called and texted nonstop the last couple of days, it’s true, but neither of them had time to actually take the other on a date or simply pay a visit, so this is the second time they’re alone together. This is the second time they’re doing this.

Just like the first time, though, Louis gets the feeling that, in a way, it isn’t a first at all. Now, Louis Tomlinson is the furthest thing from being religious these days, but when he kisses Harry, the only thing in his mind is a quote from Fitzgerald’s book, The Beautiful and Damned, that says that two souls are sometimes created together and in love before they’re born, because- because this feeling can’t be normal. It can’t. Normal people don’t feel like this so fast.

Louis has never felt like this so fast.

Harry traces his bottom lip with his tongue and then nibbles gently on it, making Louis smile despite himself in the middle of their kiss. The actor then pecks his mouth three times, fast and strong, and then hugs Louis by his middle.

“Is it ridiculous that I missed you?” He asks, face buried in Louis’ chest.

“I missed you too”, Louis says and raises Harry’s head, pulls him in by his chin. “I missed kissing you like crazy. And I missed you laughing at what I say, even though I’m really not that funny.” He pecks Harry’s lips.

“You are”, Harry pecks his. “What’s this?” He then looks at the coffee table.

“Oh- I found videogame controls in the drawer. My manager always makes sure my rooms have them”, the singer laughs. “D’you wanna play while our food doesn’t get here?”

“What are we playing?”

“I uh- I think I only brought FIFA with me”, Louis says.

“I’m so gonna kick your ass”, Harry’s smile spreads.

“Didn’t you say you suck at football in various interviews?”

“Yes, I’m absolutely rubbish. But I excel at videogames. You’re screwed”, the actor laughs. “C’mon, Lou, chop chop, put the game on.”

Harry does kick his ass, but not because he is much better than Louis – they’re on the same level –, but because Louis spends more time staring at the actor than actually paying attention to what Rooney, his player, is doing.

He just can’t. Harry is magnetic, and Louis doesn’t know if it’s because they’ve just met or if it’s because that’s just the way it is when you’re around this man, but he finds that he doesn’t really care. If it’s just for now, if it’s just the honeymoon phase of something that isn’t even defined yet, then Louis will take it.

Because if it fades away, if it gets a bit more normal, a little less heart-racing, then it means Louis has been around him enough for it – admiring Harry – to be a habit. And now, more than the first day, Louis wants it to.

It’s their second day. Their first date – yes, Louis is calling this a date –, and Louis is already thinking about the future. Sue him. He doesn’t care.

Their food arrives and they change the video game for an episode of Drop Dead Diva, both of them finding it interesting enough to pass the time now and not get them hooked on the story. They talk throughout it, though, so the TV Show is basically background noise.

Harry tells him about Gemma and how much he misses her, but how happy he is for his sister. She’s currently working for Buzzfeed, and she’s mainly in London, but “she travels everywhere”, he says grumpily, as if he doesn’t do the same. Louis listens and indulges him in childhood stories, because Harry seems to be big on those.

“I just feel like we need to be as attached to our roots as we can, so that we can avoid becoming conceited assholes.”

“I agree”, Louis simply says. So Harry continues.

It’s nearing one am when they finally give up watching any television and turn it off.

“You wanna take a shower?” Louis asks.

“I think so, yeah. I’m pretty sure someone spilled champagne on me earlier.” He chuckles.

“There’s extra towels in the ensuite, I’m sure.”

“Hmkay, thanks.” Harry kisses his forehead and then gets up, going straight to the bathroom.

Louis collects their plates and puts them on a tray on the kitchen sink, and then gets back into the bedroom, making the bed for them to lie down. He turns on his phone again and checks on Lottie, but she doesn’t reply, probably already asleep. Liam’s answered his text and asked Louis to call as soon as he got that, so Louis does, even if it’s very late. Time’s not a concept when you have a baby, Louis, his manager said the other day.

“Hello, Lima bean, how are you?” He asks as soon as the other man’s face pops up on his iPhone screen.

“Sleepy, of course”, Liam says lowly. “He’s just fallen asleep again. Soph too, she’s exhausted, poor thing.”

“After New York I’ll go back to London and babysit for you guys so you can do something adult”, Louis promises.

“We can afford a nanny, Lou”, his friend rolls his eyes.

“I know, Liam, I’ve seen your paycheck”, he jokes. “No,  I… I miss babies, okay? And I love your baby, so let me be.”

“If you say so”, Liam smiles. “So, is there a Harry Styles there?”

“He’s showering.” As soon as he says it, Liam wiggles his eyebrows. “We’ve literally just played videogames and had dinner tonight.”

“How cute.”

“It is.” Louis says. “You asked me to call?”

“Right.” Liam goes into manager mode. “Uh- what are you two doing? Shagging? Being friends with benefits? Or is it more? Or, well, what do you want to tell the rags, if you want to tell anything.”

This is refreshing. A while ago, no one would’ve asked Louis that. Not even Liam. What Louis wanted to do didn’t matter. It was all about the image. Even after he came out, they still treated him this way for a while, even when he was “dating” Zayn, especially when he was dating Zayn. But then again, Louis has never met someone who hated being famous more than his ex, so, there’s that.

He hasn’t asked Harry exactly what he wants to say, but the other day they were texting and the actor mentioned that he didn’t really care how their “story” was perceived, as long as the both of them were on the same page and had the correct version of it.

“I don’t really want to say anything, mostly because mine and Harry’s thing started on TV right?” It’s a rhetorical question. “So everyone’s kind of aware of what’s going on, I suppose. I guess you could say, like- at least for me, we are getting to know each other? And it’s not just sex, I made sure to ask it more than once. It can’t be, not with the way  I-” he stops himself.

“Not with the way you what?” Liam questions.

“Not with the way I feel.” Louis makes sure to not look at the camera when his manager slash friend slash guardian angel slash a real wanker sometimes coos at him.

Harry comes out of the bathroom right when Liam’s finished being ridiculous.

“Wanna meet him?” Louis asks.

“Sure.”

“Hazz.” He calls weakly. “Liam wants to say hi.”

Harry opens a smile and throws himself on the bed, only a towel around his waist. It’s disturbingly distracting.

“Hi, Liam, nice to meet you, you have the cutest baby on earth.” Harry waves to the camera.

“Of course Louis has showed you pictures already.” Liam rolls his eyes fondly.

“First day we met.”

“Louis’ got baby fever, I swear”, his manager jokes.

“Hey! Do not mock me for loving my godson more than I love myself. And you know how much I love myself.”

“Don’t I?!” Liam snorts. “Narcissistic bitch.”

“You?” Harry asks incredulous.

“We’re clearly joking”, Louis says airily, and smooths his thumb on Harry’s cheek, kissing him lightly right there.

“Clearly”, his friend jokes once again. “It’s really nice to meet you, too, Harry. I’ll see you soon in New York, yeah? Can’t wait to watch the movie. Louis’ been waxing poetry about you in it for seventy two hours now.”

Louis doesn’t even fight it.

“Good.” Is all Harry says.

“Okay, I’ll leave you guys to it. Have fun and do everything I would if I didn’t have a newborn in my bed right now.” He smiles. “Bye, guys.”

Harry waves through his laughter.

“Love you, Lima Bean”, Louis whispers softly before finishing their face-time call. “So.” He takes a deep breath. “Think I’mma shower too, okay?”

“Okay.”

Harry’s a bit dazed.

“Are you okay?” The singer asks.

“Do you- did you really talk about me to people? In such a—a nice, and, uh, perfect way?” He averts his gaze as he asks.

“Yes.” Louis replies simply. “Is that all right?”

“Hmhm. More than.”

“Good. I’m gonna shower.” Louis kisses him and goes into the bathroom.

           

When he gets back, the lights are already off except from the bright one coming from Harry’s cellphone. He’s already in bed and covered; the air conditioner is on. Louis’ heart skips a few beats when he thinks that, at some point, this could be a normal occurrence in his life.

He walks around the bed and lies on the other side, and thinks it’s cute how Harry remembered which side he prefers.

“My mom said hi”, Harry sighs and places his phone on the bedside table. Then he turns to Louis.

“Say hi back when you get the chance”, he says, placing one hand under his face and leaving the other one between them. Harry catches it right away and kisses it. “Did you have a good night?”

“The best”, Harry smiles. “I loved meeting Lottie and Liam. And hearing all the lovely things they had to say”, he chuckles. Louis looks down, Harry kisses his hand again. “I really did, Lou.”

“Good. Because I… Look.” He takes a deep breath. “I’ve learned one thing about myself recently, and that is that I love being horribly straightforward.”

“I’ve noticed.” The actor says. “I love it too.”

“Yeah. I love sending reckless text messages—because how reckless can a form of digitized communication be? And telling people I love them, and telling people they are absolutely magical humans and I cannot believe they really exist.” He stops at that. Louis hopes Harry knows he is one of those magical humans. “I love saying shit like kiss me harder, or just you’re a good person, and, you brighten my day. I live my life as straight-forward as possible these days. Because one day, I might get hit by a bus.”

“What?” Harry frowns, a funny expression taking place on the lovey-dovey one he had just seconds ago.

“I mean… It can happen, yeah? And what if I get hit by a bus and never say anything?” He asks. Harry doesn’t answer, so he goes on. “I don’t know. Maybe it’s weird. Maybe it’s scary. Maybe it seems downright impossible to just be—to just let people know you want them, need them, feel like, in this very moment, you will die if you do not see them, hold them, touch them in some way… Whether it’s your feet on their thighs on the couch or your tongue in their mouth or your heart in their hands.”

Louis thinks he’s explaining it well. He hopes Harry is following. He hopes Harry doesn’t get up and leave after he’s finished.

“But there is nothing more beautiful than being desperate. And there is nothing more risky than pretending not to care.” He whispers. “We are young and we are human and we are beautiful and we are not as in control as we think we are. We never know who needs us back. We never know the magic that can arise between ourselves and other humans. We…” He breathes. “We never know when the bus is coming, is what I mean.”

Harry’s silent for a second there, but then he almost attacks Louis with how fiercely he kisses him. He rolls on top of Louis and invades his mouth with his tongue as deep as he can. There’s so much passion behind it that Louis feels dizzy.

He kisses back to the best of his ability, and he’s pretty sure they’re going to be out of breath at any second, but it doesn’t matter. Not when Harry’s putting as much as sentiment as he can in this moment; not when their breaths are in sync and their hands are tangled. Not when this man is whispering kiss me harder to his mouth over and over again.

Louis gives him exactly that. He kisses him harder, he kisses him more, he kisses him till their lips are numb, their hair is messed up, their chests are heaving. He kisses him until time stops existing again.

Then Harry puts his mouth to his ear, and in the lowest, softest voice he’s ever used, he says:

“No wonder you’ve won so many Grammys. You have a way with words I can only dream of having”, he chuckles and Louis feels his skin tingle right there. “But I need you to know that you are a good person. You brighten my day. And I love touching you. Any part of you. Whether it’s your feet under my thigh or your tongue in my mouth. And I am desperate for you. So, so desperate I don’t know what to do with myself.”

“Harry.” Louis hugs him harder.

“Lou.” He kisses the skin below his ear.       

The singer simply hugs him tighter, then kisses Harry gentler than before.

“We’re going to be amazing together”, he says into Harry’s mouth, to which Harry replies: we already are.

 

 

-

 

           

 

DUNKIRK PREMIERE – NEW YORK, UNITED STATES, JULY 2017

 

 

They arrive at the LaGuardia airport, which was supposed to be better than JFK, but it’s actually a hundred times worse. LaGuardia is smaller, and even though Queens is far from the city, their fans manage to get there and scream as if the premiere was happening at the airport instead of in Manhattan.

There are paps everywhere too and Harry blames his team. He also blames himself, since it was his idea for them to come together, but Louis is fine with it. Sure, it is not ideal, but he can manage. They both stop for pictures and autographs, though Liam ushers Louis to get out of there as soon as possible.

People around them grumble, since they’re just trying to have a normal day, but that’s just New York for you – only ten percent of the population is nice, and usually because they want something; Louis is used to it. He doesn’t like it, but he’s used to it.

            There’s a van waiting for them, and they enter it as soon as they get past everyone. Louis hugs two more fans and Harry sends kisses, then he door is closed and they are off on the road.

            “Where to?” The driver asks.

            “Chelsea, Midtown”, Liam answers and then gives him the exact address.

            When Harry said “we should go to New York together”, Louis didn’t think twice, his only condition was that they stay at his apartment instead of a hotel. Louis doesn’t like hotels in NY. Louis doesn’t like NY, period. So here they are on the way to Louis’ flat, and he’s happy. He’s got Harry and Liam with him, and Harry’s best friend will arrive later today. The premiere is only tomorrow, so they’ve got time to rest and have fun, and it’s just… Nice.

            For the first time, Louis isn’t worried as to how his personal life will come across to the media. Because here’s the thing: many people can call it bullshit. Louis could be one of those people if he were looking at it from the outside. He and Harry met on Sunday. Today’s Friday and here they are, doing things together as if they’ve been in a relationship for at least three months.

            Louis has always been one of the first people to point fingers and judge. Like why the hell is A having lunch with B’s family if they’ve just started dating? He was also, probably, one of the first to say that was pure PR, and had no truth to that story – whatever that story was.

            But now he finds himself being the protagonist of the plot and he finds that he likes it. And he doesn’t care about what anyone else thinks at all.

           

            He lets Liam and Harry talk on the way to Chelsea and rests his head on the window with his earplugs. Planes always make him a bit sick, especially when he tends to spend too much time inside of them, plus, the time zone doesn’t help, so Louis closes his eyes and lets Alex Kapranos’ voice settle him a bit.

            “Lou.” Someone calls him. “Louis…” It’s Harry, speaking really low. Louis opens his eyes. “Hi”, the actor smiles.

            “Hey.”

            “We’re here. Liam says you need to allow the van in.” He’s still whispering, and Louis wants to kiss him now, and thank him more than ever.

            Louis grew up in a loud house full of loud people. He was never woken up by soft voices and someone caressing his fringe, no. He grew up to his mom screaming, kids crying. Once or twice he thought he was drowning, but it was just Phoebe and Daisy throwing water on his face.

            Louis hated that.

            Don’t get him wrong, he loves his family to pieces, has the fondest memories of them. But he was never like them – not when it comes to the loudness of it all. He hasn’t told Harry that yet, though, but he didn’t have to. Unlike Liam, his best friend of years now, or his previous, uh, hook ups –, Harry simply seems to get him. It’s liberating, and it’s so good Louis almost suffocates in this feeling. You won’t hear him complaining, though.

            He gets them inside and Liam goes straight into his “bedroom” to put his things.

            “You sure Niall can stay here too? I can book him a hotel.”

            “It’s a three bedroom flat that I rarely come to, Harry. It’ll be happy to have some people in it.” Louis jokes. “C’mon, let’s give you a tour then.”

            He shows Harry the other rooms and when he reaches the balcony he finds his friend there, a beer already in hands.

            “Where did you find it?” Louis asks curiously. Last time he was here was when he came to New York to record the song for the movie. It’s been a few months.

            “I had your flat restocked, obviously.” Liam replies. “Got you and Harry one.”

            “My hero”, the singer bats his eyelashes. “What are our plans for the afternoon? We can’t sleep.”

            Jet-lag is a bitch, but he knows that if they sleep, it’ll be much worse to catch up with the American clock.

            “Thought we’d go out to lunch…”

            “I could cook”, Harry offers.

            “You cook?” Liam and Louis ask at the same time.

            “Yeah”, he chuckles. “What do you guys like to eat?”

            “Literally anything”, Louis says as he follows Harry into the kitchen. Liam goes too, just to keep them company.      

            Harry finds chicken and smiles bigger than Louis did when he found weed in his bedside table when they went to leave their things there. The actor says he’s got a family recipe in mind already, and when he turns around opening cabinets and drawers just to get familiarized with the space, Liam turns to Louis and offers him a private smile, asking him if he could please keep this one.

            Louis wants to. Louis wants to so bad.

 

 

-

 

 

            They have lunch at the table, and Louis thinks it’s the first time it is being used since he bought this place. It’s funny. They eat while talking about the city and the event, and how crazy big it all is. Harry tells Liam a story about Christopher Nolan – or “Chris” – that he’s already told Louis, but it is worth it hearing it again just so he can witness his friend’s face.

            He doesn’t think he’s ever seen Liam fanboy this much, not even when they met Florence three years ago and he completely lost his shit. Louis honest to God does not know what Liam will do when he meets the director tomorrow. He just hopes he can record the moment to make fun of him later – probably online, where Liam’s starred some of Louis’ best tweets and Instagram posts.

           

            In the afternoon, Liam says he’ll do some work from Louis’ living room so both Louis and Harry decide to stroll around the neighborhood. Harry says the last time he was here he went to Taylor Swift’s place, and everyone thought they were dating, and it was absolutely horrible.

            “I remember some rumors that you were together…” Louis muses.

            “God, no, never.” He chuckles.

            “She’s a good beard, according to the word around.”

            “Yeah. For a singer she’s an amazing actress.” Harry comments and Louis does not miss the shade. It’s true. Louis himself doesn’t like her, but then again he isn’t one for fake people. “I never liked my beards, though. Since the beginning, they were all models and they all sucked. Well. There’s Taylor, who isn’t a model. But she sucks too.”

            The singer laughs.

            “I liked mine. I mean, I got bored, sure, but they were nice. I’m still friends with El, although we can never be seen together.”

            “How did that happen?”

            “We spend a lot of time together”, Louis shrugs. “My family liked her, mom loved her and she made it easy for everyone. She did her job; never spoke much- it was… Nice. But then being hidden got too much, especially when I met-” he stops right there.

            “When you met Zayn?” Harry raises an eyebrow and gives Louis a side smile. Louis flushes and looks down. “That seemed… Messy, but- uh, your songs make me think you really loved him?”

            “It’s…” Louis sighs. “I won’t say complicated because it was pretty simple. Weird, I guess.”

            “How so? If I may ask.”

            They turn a corner and the sun hits Harry just right. Louis has never seen a more beautiful sight.

            “Zayn was one of my favorite people, since the first day we met, we just- hit it off, I guess. He was my other half, you can say, but in a very platonic way.” Louis explains. “We liked to party, drink and smoke weed. And we happened to always be at the same events. I thought he was hot, he thought I was hot- why not, you know?” Harry nods, showing Louis that he is following. “At first we just hooked up whenever we saw each other, and we were really good friends, so, it worked.” He shrugs.

            “What happened then?”

            “We decided to date.” The singer smiles a bittersweet smile. “We thought we’d be good boyfriends, I suppose, but it was never- never a proper relationship? I don’t know how to explain, it just wasn’t- right, but it also wasn’t wrong, so I went with it. I loved him, you’re right, but I was never in love with him. He was one of my best friends, he helped me come out, we- we went through a lot. Then he cheated. It wasn’t the first time, and by then we weren’t even together, properly, I don’t think-” Louis pauses, gathers his thoughts. “But he cheated publicly, and it was very shitty and I- I had enough, I suppose. Plus, mom said I deserved better.”

            “She was right.”

            “Yeah. And it was right when she… When she got sick. So that was a really shitty period of my life, and I was very angry with Zayn, sometimes I still think that I am. Not because of the cheating, but because I felt betrayed in other ways.”

            “I… understand, I guess.” Harry says. “How’d you feel now? About it all?”

            “Lucky.” He replies right away and the actor tils his head in a funny way. “Look, I grew up, yeah? I think part of me clung to Zayn so much because I felt like I could always be young and reckless with him. Careless. But- after that I kinda, uh, found myself again? And I’m still young and all, but I’m not careless anymore.”

            “You’re carefree”, Harry observes.

            “Yeah. I’ve grown. I’m mature enough to meet a great guy and let him know how much I like him, and young enough to allow myself to be taken by this… Overwhelming feeling that only first dates and toe curling kisses provide.” He chuckles and then nudges Harry’s shoulder. “I’m lucky because I was single when I met you. And I wasn’t a bad guy anymore.”

            “You’ve never been a bad guy.” The actor corrects him softly.

            “Not bad. I meant, like- party boy, the careless version of me. You wouldn’t have liked me two or even one year ago.”

            “I think I would’ve liked you always.” Harry turns around, stops them in the middle of the sidewalk. Louis looks up and Harry’s already leaning in, both hands on his hips, pulling him closer.

            Louis Tomlinson lets himself be kissed, really kissed in public for the first time in his life. And he isn’t even a little bit paranoid about what passers by might think.

            They stop at a music store and Harry spends minutes on end going through different albums on vinyl. It’s something he got from Robin, his step dad, Harry tells him.

When Harry was younger, and Robin and his mom had just started dating, Robin would put Elton John or something equally romantic to play, and they’d dance in the living room to their favorite tracks when they thought Harry and Gemma were sleeping. Gemma usually was, but Harry would sit on the stairs and watch them, hoping that someday he’d have what they had.

Louis hugs him tight and buys him every vinyl he liked. Harry almost tears up on the spot, and the singer kisses him silly at the register, because it’s a free country and Louis is a free man.

            Next up is a bazaar. Harry’s absolutely in love with almost everything and he buys it all. In the end, he convinces Louis that he needs the exact sunglasses he’s tried on just for fun, and Louis allows the actor to buy him the glasses as a gift. I might even wear them, Louis jokes. Of course he will.

            When they get back to Louis’ flat it’s past eight pm, the sun’s just finished setting, and there’s laughter coming from inside.

            “Finally, you fuckers!” A very blond, very agitated guy says as they enter, hands full of shopping bags.

            “Nialler!” Harry grins and celebrates as he sees his best friend.

            Niall gets up and almost tackles Harry to the ground with how strongly he hugs him. Niall came straight from Ireland, because he was there visiting family when Harry invited him for the New York premiere, hence not being on the same flight as the other men.

            “Missed you, you dick.” The guy says.

            “Missed you too.” Harry replies. “How did you get here?”

            “Liam sent a car.” He answers.

            “Thanks, Li”, the actor then says. “Uh, so, Niall, this is Louis. Lou, this is my best friend.”

            “Honor to meet ya, mate. Heard great things about you already”, the singer says as he stretches his hand.

            Niall hugs him just as strongly as he hugged Harry.

            “You kidding me? I’m such a big fan, you have no idea! I was the one who got Harold here hooked on your music in the first place!”

            “Oh, wow, thanks”, the singer jokes.

            “I’m sorry I didn’t tell you before, Lou, but you’re in for a long night of Niall fan boying.” Harry warns him.

            “It’s a good thing we have time then”, Louis says, still playfully. “I do need a shower, though. Still feel like the plane’s on me.”

            “Ugh, same.” Harry huffs and then Louis looks at him suggestively. They both laugh. “You can go first, I’ll settle Niall in.”

            “I’m already settled, Liam is a great host. He even gave me food.”

            “My Lima Bean is very efficient”, Louis coos at his friend, walking around the living room and placing the bags on the floor. “You guys wanna see what we bought?”

            So both Harry and Louis sit on the floor and start unpacking stuff, showing their friends what they’ve bought and telling the stories of their day. Niall shares his own funny story about something that happened on the plane, and Liam gets up to get them beer. When he sits again, it’s on the floor, between Louis and Harry, but that’s fine, because Louis’ friend really needs to talk to Harry about one vinyl specifically.

            At one point Louis is trying on Harry’s ridiculous clothes and modeling them, while Liam takes “incriminating pictures” and Niall runs his fingers through the actor’s hair. It’s like they have always been this close, like it was always meant to be the four of them, joking around, laughing together, bonding on a Friday night – comfortable, exhausted, ridiculously happy.

            Harry ends up showering first, but just because Liam goes to sleep before eleven since “somebody needs to wake up early tomorrow to see to your princess matters”, and Louis and Niall get too caught up talking about footie. Both of them support their home football teams, and their teams kind of suck, but it’s the love that is more important than anything.

            Louis really likes Niall. He’s the most easygoing guy he’s met in a long while, and he carries himself in a way that the singer can only dream of. He’s absolutely chill. Sure, he does act a bit fan boy-ish, but even then he’s just so cool. Louis can totally see why Harry chose him to stick around.

            “Lou, I’m done”, Harry calls from the ensuite.

            “Guess I should go shower, then”, Louis says, a bit lazy, “otherwise I’ll end up falling asleep here on the couch.” On cue, Louis yawns. Niall does too. For a second there it’s like they’d forgotten just how exhausted their minds and bodies are.

            “I showered as soon as I got here, Liam said that I could, so I might just- go to sleep now?” Niall says, a bit uncertain for the first time tonight.

            “You can do whatever, mate. Mi casa es su casa? Or something like that.” He laughs. “Seriously, feel at home.”

            “You know…” Niall says. “Harry really hasn’t shut up about you since that first day. And now I can see why. He’s my best friend, and he’s the best, happiest person I know.” He pauses. “Today, I saw him be even happier. I didn’t even know that was possible.”

            “Do not make me blush, Irish.” Louis jokes.

            “I’m serious, you know? You have my blessing to marry him.”

            The singer squints his eyes, goes serious for a second there.

            “You do know it’s only been a week, right? Well, not even that.”

            “In this life, maybe.” Niall shrugs. “Us Irish, we know things”, the very Irishman says it playfully, but something tells Louis he is being serious. “When the time comes, the only question you will have to be asking me is please, Niall, can you find out Harry’s ring size?

            “Oh, please, by then I’ll already know that.” He catches himself saying. “Shit. I am very smitten.”

            “You are. It’s cute.”

            “’M not cute.” Louis mumbles.

            “Who lied to you?” Harry says as he enters the living room, wearing only boxers. Holy shit, he’s so hot. “You are very, very cute.”

            “You are cute.” He says.

            “I know. We are very cute.” The actor gets closer and kisses his cheek. “Go shower so we can cuddle as sleep, please? I’m dead on my feet.”

            “Hmkay…” Louis replies lazily, pecks his mouth. “Night, Nialler. See you in the morning.”

            “Night, Lou.”

 

 

-

 

 

            Harry gets back to the room only five minutes after Louis has finished his shower, a cup of tea in hand. How he knew Louis wanted it is beyond the singer’s understanding. Maybe Liam told him.

            Louis drinks it and then brushes his teeth, Harry already in bed. He closes the curtains and plugs his phone on the charger by the side of the bed; Harry does the same on the other.

            “Am I the only one who feels like I’ve lived one month in one day?” He asks tiredly as he lies down.

            “Definitely not.” Harry sighs. “I had a headache, stole one of your pills.”

            “No problem”, Louis smiles. “You feeling better?”

            “Will be, as soon as you kiss me”, the actor gets closer.

            “Sappy.” He says as he leans forwards, catching Harry’ bottom lip between his. “Tell me you’re not too tired to get off, please”, Louis mumbles. Harry replies never and the singer can feel rather than see when Harry opens a smile. Louis uses it for leverage and inserts his tongue into the other man’s mouth.

            They kiss lazily for God knows how long, and the faster it gets, the harder Louis’ dick gets, especially when Harry squeezes his ass and gives him the impulse to straddle his hips.

            Louis kisses him and kisses him and he’s so hard when Harry removes his boxers that it is a real blessing when the actor decides to stroke his dick.

            It’s all very slow and coordinated, they get each other off exchanging mutual hand jobs; they barely stop kissing, and when they do is because Harry wants to leave a hickey on Louis’ neck. He knows it’ll show tomorrow, especially with the outfit he’ll be wearing, but, if anything, the singer is eager for people to know that what he and Harry have been up to has nothing to do with the media, but with them.

            “Faster, love”, Louis says in his ear, catching Harry’s earlobe between his teeth.

            Harry groans and speeds up his hand, the other one probably leaving a huge mark on Louis’ thigh. You won’t hear him complaining.

            “Jesus, Louis”, he moans as Louis squeezes his dickhead between his thumb and forefinger, massaging it. “Oh-oooh my-oh”, he moans again, shuts his eyes tightly; Louis speeds up his pace and brings his other hand to Harry’s hair. He’s still on top of him, and his cock is trapped between their stomachs, with Harry’s hand enveloping it.

            Louis goes faster and rougher, breathing loudly into Harry’s ear and pulling his hair as he stimulates Harry’s cock as much as he can.

            “Lou-Louis-oh-” is all comes out of Harry’s mouth. Louis works harder, wants him to come first.

            “C’mon, Hazz”, he coaxes him, “come for me, baby.”

            Louis doesn’t know if it’s the term of endearment that does it or the fact that he pulls Harry’s hair even harder, maybe both combined, but the actor comes right then with a loud growl in Louis’ ear that sends him into frenzy.

            Harry’s hand keep working on him, even in his orgasmic haze, and Louis dances on the actor’s lap, fucking himself in Harry’s hands.

            “So good, Lou”, he says, “you’re so perfect, look at you”, Harry murmurs and squeezes his ass. “Want to do so much with you.”

            “Yeah, like what?” Louis asks, rutting forwards and catching Harry’s mouth.

            Their tongues meet before their lips do, and it’s as filthy as it is incredible.

            “Wanna suck you again, want you to suck me”, he says into Louis’ mouth and he whines. “Wanna bend you over somewhere and eat you out for hours, then fuck you so good you will see stars…”

            “Harry”, he whimpers.

            “Want you in every way I can have you, want you to do whatever you want to me too, fuck Louis, you have no idea of the things I’ve imagined us doing”, he whispers and squeezes Louis’ head in his hand. Louis opens his mouth and no sound comes out as he feels white ropes of come shooting out of his dick onto Harry’s fingers. “That’s it, yes”, the actor smiles and kisses him again.

            Louis climbs off his body and falls with his back onto the bed. They’re both panting as Harry grabs some tissues to clean them, then they laugh together, moving towards each other one more time to spoon. Louis has never liked sleeping with other people, has always found it a bit weird to share the same space as he is someone who moves a lot in his sleep. But there hasn’t been a day in this week that he hasn’t slept on Harry’s chest when they were together, and the ones when Harry wasn’t there, Louis missed him terribly.

            Life has a funny way of proving people wrong.

            “I keep thinking about what you said earlier”, Harry speaks, “about being lucky.”

            “Yeah?”

            “Yeah. And I. I guess you are. But I can’t help but think that what happened to you was pretty shitty. The scale of it all, I don’t know.”

            “It was.” Louis agrees. “Very shitty. But then again… Maybe bad things happen because it’s the only way we can keep remembering what good is supposed to look like.” He voices. “Feel like.”

            “You really think so?”

            “It’s a theory.” He pecks Harry’s mouth.

            Harry smiles.

            “Thanks for having me and my best friend here, Louis.” He then says. “It means a lot to me.”

            “I know. It means a lot to me too.” He smooths his hand on Harry’s cheeks. “Goodnight, love.”

            “Night, Lou.”

 

 

-

 

 

            The premiere itself isn’t much different from what they’ve already done in England and France. Only this time they arrive together.

            They don’t hold hands, that’d be too much, but they do pose for pictures together, and they let everyone know that this isn’t a friendship at all when Harry is, more than once, asked to look at the cameras instead of Louis. Louis chuckles and kisses his cheek. Fans scream louder than they were screaming before.

            They do separate at some point, and give their interviews separately too.

            “Anything you wanna say about the movie, Louis?” The woman asks him.

            “It’s fucking awesome- oops, sorry, no swearing.” They both laugh. “It’s great, the cast is amazing, and it’s definitely an Oscar nominee, in my not so very professional opinion.” He says.

            “Are you bragging, Tommo?” The interviewer jokes.

            “The British don’t brag, love, that’s an American phenomenon. I am just stating a fact.” He jokes back.

            “That’s all right. Some people are saying you and Styles are here together, is there any truth to these rumors?”

            “Is it a rumor if we literally arrived in the same car for everyone to see?” Louis winks and then walks away without saying anything else.

            For the third time, he watches the movie, because Liam needs him to be there with him. It’s fine, though, because Harry enters the room too, for Niall, and both the singer and the actor hold hands throughout the screening and they actually comment the movie with each other; now that Louis knows what to expect, he can, finally, tell Harry exactly what he thinks of each scene. (Spoiler: they are all amazing.)

            For the first time, they decide to attend the after party. Their friends are there, the cast is there, and there’s booze. There are also a lot of people that know them – and that they know.

            “Is that DiCaprio?” Niall asks.

            “Shit, I think so.” Louis whispers.

            “Oh my-” Harry holds Louis’ arm. “That’s- Leonardo DiCaprio. Louis.”

            “I know.”

            “You guys are ridiculous”, the Irishman says, “You’re two of the most famous people in the world right now and here you are, star struck by DiCaprio.”

            “He was in Titanic!”

            “He won an Oscar!

            Louis and Harry say at the same time, respectively.

            At this time, Liam approaches them with a champagne flute.

            “Guys, did you see that Leonardo DiCaprio is here?” He asks.

            The three men simply nod, and Liam proceeds to talk about what he just witnessed in the loo.

           

            Eventually, they do meet DiCaprio, but he comes to them; to Harry, specifically. He introduces himself and tells Harry how amazing he was in that movie, and that hopefully they’ll work together at some point, he will definitely keep Harry in mind for his next projects. Harry almost dies on his feet; Louis almost explodes with pride. Niall is the only one courageous to ask for a picture, Liam takes it.

            They drink. Oh my, do they drink! They drink and they dance and it’s all so good. The music is good and the alcohol gave them a good buzz, good enough that even Louis’ manager, friend, uptight Liam James Payne, is throwing some moves on the dance floor and sending videos to Sophia, who will probably murder him when she wakes up.

            Louis is so involved in a group of acquaintances that he almost misses Harry talking to Fionn Whitehead – his co-star – in a corner. They’re laughing and Fionn is touching his elbow and- Louis is drunk, okay? That is his excuse as to why he strides across the room till the gets to them, clearing his throat way louder than necessary.

            “Hi, love”, he says as he places a hand on Harry’s lower back.

            “Lou!” Harry says very loudly with a huge smile on his face. “This is my Fionn. Wait. My friend, Fionn. Fionn, this is my Louis. He is very small and very cute.”

            Fionn laughs.

            “We text, and Harry’s talked a lot about you”, the guy says and stretches a hand for Louis to shake.

            Louis shakes it, because, well, what can he do?

            “Funny, he doesn’t talk about you at all”, he replies.

            Harry looks at him a bit surprised, and so does Fionn.

            “Oh, all right, uh-” he looks down, then at Louis again. “How’d you like the movie?”

            “It was awesome, Harry was so much better than you in it and-oh fuck I’m so sorry”, he apologizes as he stops himself mid-sentence. “I’m drunk, and I’m jealous, and I’m not this crazy, I promise!” He looks at Harry. “You are an asshole, and you’re driving me insane.”

            Harry… Harry laughs.

            “Mate, I’m straight.” Fionn lets him know. “And Harry’s very much stupid for you.”

            “Uh-” The singer looks down, then hugs Harry closer. “He’d better be.”

            “Plus, Fionn and I have a bromance going on, it’s totally platonic.”

            “Totally. Even though you are the king of innuendos, I swear to God!” The guy rolls his eyes and Harry shoves him just as fondly as he does with Niall.

            The difference is that Louis wasn’t drunk when he met Niall. And right now he wants to punch Harry’s BFF in the stomach.

            “I…” He takes a deep breath. “Cannot find a way to be polite with you right now because all I see is you two flirting and trust me, Fionn; it’s not your fault. I’m just really tipsy, and Harry could flirt with a rock if he wanted to!”

            “Heeeeeeey, I am not flirting!” Harry pouts. “You’re just drunk, silly Lou. I only have eyes for you.” He states. “It rhymes!”

            Let the record show that Harry Styles cheers, and lets his drink spill everywhere.

            “We’re good, mate”, Fionn says and chuckles a bit. “I’m staying in New York for a bit, so let’s just hang out whenever.”

            “Please. Okay. I’ll leave you two to it and will go find more booze to get even more pissed.” Louis smiles and kisses Harry on the cheek. “See you ‘round, babe.”

            “Hey- Louis”, Fionn says, “if H stops to talk to Tom Hardy, can I please record you throwing a fit?”

            “Why would I throw a fit?”

            “’Cause Tom flirts back.” The guy laughs.

            “Oh for fuck’s sake…” Louis walks away and both Harry and Fionn laugh loudly.

            Louis needs more beer.

            All in all, the night is a success. The four of them – Louis, Harry, Liam and Niall – are some of the last people to leave the after party, and they all just climb in the back of a Land Rover laughing at the most ridiculous jokes, barely making it to Louis’ flat without falling asleep.

-

            In the morning, Louis wakes up to a terrible taste in his mouth, but that’s pretty much it. He opens his eyes, barely, and finds medicine and a bottle of water on his bedside table. Minutes later, Harry enters the room bringing him a mug with coffee and two slices of toast on a plate.

            “Morning.” He says.

            “What time is it?” Louis asks.

            “Ten-ish.” His voice is low, once again. Louis is so thankful. “Liam is taking a shower, he’ll go to the airport in a bit. Niall is already out exploring.” Then he pecks Louis’ mouth. “How’re you feeling?”

            “Like something died in my mouth, don’t kiss me.” He looks away and Harry chuckles. “Gimme the coffee.”

            Harry hands it to him ever so softly, like he’s been acting every morning. He waits in silence as Louis gets more and more awake, and then tells him that he should go say bye to Liam, and that if he wants, they can spend their whole day in bed.

            That’s exactly what Louis does.

            He and Harry see Liam off at eleven sharp, and since they don’t have anywhere to go, anything to do, they go back to Louis’ room, falling into bed right away. As soon as they’re there, Harry makes himself smaller and this time he’s the one to fit in Louis’ arms, head on his shoulder, mouth right under his jaw. He gives him one, two, three kisses, and then sighs contentedly.

            “How’s your schedule for the next couple of weeks?” Harry asks.

            “However I want it to be, to be honest.” Louis answers. “I gotta get back to the studio, have some writing to do… Need to put another album out at some point, don’t I?” He chuckles. “Why?”

            “Was thinking… We could go to LA together, enjoy the sun… And finally go on dates.” He smiles on Louis’ skin. “I have some work to do there too, and… Yeah. If you could work from there then… Then it’d be ideal.”

            “And if I couldn’t?” The singer asks, more curious than anything.

            “Then I’d have to find a way to move my work wherever you were.”

            “Hazz.” His heart’s racing again. Harry Styles effect, of course.

            “To some people, not caring is supposed to be cool”, Harry says. “Like, everything is judged, enjoyed and then disposed of in, like, five minutes.” He raises his head, looks at Louis. “I’m not interested in those kinds of people. I like the person who commits, and goes all in and takes big swings- and, uh, and then maybe fails or looks stupid, but that’s life, you know?” He asks rhetorically. “I’m just- I told you that I suck at one night stands.”

            “And I told you this is not what we were. Not what we are.” Louis states.

            “Exactly. What I’m trying to say is… Beyond all rationality, I already care about you. A ridiculous amount. I wanna be next to you and learn more about you. Whether here, in LA or wherever you are. So. I need to know your plans. I need to know where you’ll be for the next couple of weeks because, if you let me, that’s where I’ll be too.”

            Louis kisses him.

            “LA works for me.” He says. “I might need to go to the UK often, because of my family, but… I want to be where you are too, okay?”

            “Yes?”

            “Yes.”

            “Okay.” Harry smiles softly. And then he laughs.

            “What?” The actor keeps laughing. “Harry, what?”

            “It’s just- I had the most ridiculous thought.” Louis waits for him. “We’re going to be Hollywood’s new gay power couple. Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka won’t know what hit them.”

            There’s something about the way Harry’s eyes shine that assures Louis that everything will be all right. Still, he needs to check.

            “We’re going to be a couple, uh?” Louis opens a smile.

            “We so are.” The actor assures him. “And you’re going to be so jealous of everyone that so much as talks to me whenever you’re drunk.”

            “Oh my, does monogamy sound good!” He puts a hand on his chest and laughs fondly. Harry shuts him up with a kiss, and Louis just goes with it. But then… “Wait- why do I have to be the jealous one?”

            “Because you acted ridiculous yesterday, and it was the funniest thing ever.”

            “Oh, please don’t remind me of that.” Louis groans.

            “It’s okay, Lou. If it were you flirting with a hot guy, I’d have gone bonkers too.”

            “So you do think he’s hot?” He looks at Harry, faking outrage.

            “You don’t?!”

            “Eh. He is. Kinda.” The singer gives in. “We’re not inviting him for a threesome though.”

            “Are we inviting anyone for a threesome?” Harry snorts, a touch of curiosity to his tone.

            “God, no, never.” Louis rolls onto his back and pulls Harry on top of him. “I’m not sharing you with anyone. You’re mine.” He says as he brushes Harry’s hair out of his eyes.

            “Am I?” The actor gives him a side smile, his cross necklace hanging from his neck and swinging between them.

            “Aren’t you?” Louis challenges him back.

            “Yeah…” He leans in. “Yes, I am.” Harry kisses him. “I’m yours.” If that isn’t the best news Louis has ever gotten, then he doesn’t know what is.

 

         Holy shit, Louis Tomlinson is about to be so in love.

 

 

-

 

 

 

           60th ANNUAL GRAMMY AWARD – NEW YORK CITY, UNITED STATES, JANUARY 2018

 

 

            “We are here on the red carpet with Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles, how are you doing tonight, boys?” The girl asks, her flashy dress almost blinding Louis.

            “I’m feeling pretty great, how about you, Lou?” Harry smiles at him.

            “Well, you should, you’ve won a Golden Globe and have been nominated for an Oscar, love”, he chuckles. “I’m not feeling too bad.” He chuckles.

            “Not with the Grammys you’re about to win.” He points.

            “Oh my God, it is very true what they say about interviewing you both together!” The interviewer comments. “How can you be this cute?”

            “We just are”, Harry offers.

            “I guess so.” The woman smiles. “But yes, Louis is right, you’ve won a Golden Globe earlier this month and has been nominated for your first Oscar… How does that feel?”

            “It feels incredible, I can’t lie-”

            “Does it feel as incredible as I do?” Louis says in a low but not too subtle voice and then clears his throat.

            Both Harry and the interviewer catch it. First Harry blushes, then he leans in, mouth aligned to Louis’ ear.

            “Nothing feels as incredible as you do.” A shiver runs down Louis’ spine, Harry smiles innocently and then turns back to the interviewer. “Sorry, Giuliana, as I was saying… Yes, it does feel incredible, yeah, and I feel so very lucky, this movie’s brought me-” he looks at Louis and then at her again “so many amazing things…”

            “You guys met through the movie, am I right?”

            “Yeah, yeah” Louis decides to answer this one. “Harry here had this major crush on me and just really needed an excuse to ask me out.”

            “Excuse me! You said first, on national television that you had a crush on me.” Harry fakes outrage, and both of them laugh.

            “Does it matter how it started? It paid off, didn’t it?” Giuliana asks.

            “It did, it really did.” Louis says. “We are where we are tonight because of it.”

            “Yes. You are at the Grammy’s. You’re up for song of the year with Just Hold On, is that correct?” Louis nods. “If you win tonight this will be your… Fourth-”

            “Fifth.”

            “Fifth Grammy, oh my God, how exciting is that?”

            “Very exciting, yes, especially because Just Hold On is such a good song, and the sentiment behind it is just- it’ll be good to win an Award with the song that brought me the love of my life, but there are some great artists here tonight, and I’ll be happy if any of them take it too, of course.”

            He is very aware that he said love of my life on the red carpet, with a camera shoved to his face. This is no news, though. Louis and Harry exchanged their first I love yous in October last year, moved in together just about a month ago. Anyone who doesn’t see them for what they are – a couple who is in love, who is forever –, should really have their eyes checked.

            “And are you performing tonight, too?”

            “Yes, I’ll be performing my new single tonight.”

            “I’m sure it’s going to be amazing, but tell us, Harry, of course you’ve listened to it, what can we expect?”

            “Oh, I haven’t!” The actor pouts. “Lou’s a right jerk when he wants to be and didn’t let me listen to it even though, according to him, he wrote it right by my side.” Harry expresses himself using air quotes for the final words, making a ridiculous imitation of Louis’ voice.

            “Have you ever thought that maybe it’s a surprise for you, because it’s about you, you annoying muffin?” Louis says indignantly, rolling his eyes.

            “Oh my, my, now we are even more excited!” Giuliana cheers. “Well, I for one cannot wait to hear it, I’m sure it’s going to be great. Good luck tonight, Louis, and to you too, Harry, at the Oscar’s next month.”

            “Thank you, love, hope you like it too.” Louis replies.

            “Thank you, have a good night”, Harry says politely and then takes Louis’ hand.

            They walk together on the carpet smiling at everyone and stopping for more interviews together. It’s far from being the first time they’re walking into an event together – as a real, serious couple –, but there’s something about tonight that makes Louis even more nervous.

            Maybe Louis is more nervous today because of the song thing. And it’s very stupid for him to be feeling this way, since Harry knows Louis loves him to the ends of this earth and then back. They’ve met each other’s families, they’ve mentioned marriage in a couple of years, and they’ve talked about how many kids they’d like to have. It’s no news to anyone, and certainly not to them, specifically, that they want to spend the rest of their lives together.

            Still. It’s a big step – putting a single out, on the freaking Grammy stage, right there in Madison Square Garden. And it’s an even bigger step admitting that he wrote it for someone, when his other songs left almost everything up for interpretation.

            Zayn is somewhere in here, Louis is sure, so he looks around trying to find him. They’ve met a couple of times at parties in the last few months, and it was all right. He doesn’t think he’ll ever trust the other singer again, or that their relationship will be as good as it once was; but they’re on speaking terms now – much to Harry’s disdain. They even wrote together, right before New Year’s, because Ed Sheeran said he needed them both in the studio with him. That was a fun writing session.

            Louis holds Harry’s hand the whole time. For the longest time Louis attended these events alone, and he was always drifting in a sea of people. With Harry, he feels anchored. He knows exactly where to go, when to walk, when to stop. He’s a whole new person. A better one.

-

            To no one’s surprise, according to Pharrell Williams, Louis wins Song of the Year. As soon as he calls Louis’ name, Harry hugs him and kisses him despite the cameras, despite everyone else around. But, well, this is how they started, this is how they fell in love: for the world to see. There’s no use in hiding anything now. On the contrary, what they have is too beautiful to stay hidden.

            “I love you, I am so proud of you.” He says as he cradles Louis’ face in his hands. Pecks his mouth one more time.

            Louis thanks him, hugs him again, and then goes up to thank everyone.

            He’s pretty aware that he’s got forty seconds or so to talk, so he makes it quick.

            “Wow, does it feel good to come up here again!” He jokes and hears chuckles in the audience. “About a year and a half ago I got a call from my manager saying that Christopher Nolan wanted me to write a song for the soundtrack of his new movie… I was very reluctant until I wasn’t, and never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I’d be here, today, because of it. Because of something that only exists thanks to my best friend, Liam, being a major fan of Chris’s and convincing me to be a part of that amazing project, and Chris, for wanting me in the first place.” He stops collects himself. Grips the award a bit harder, and looks ahead. “But there are also a few other people I need to thank. My family, as usual, for their unconditional support. My friends, for keeping me on the ground. The producers involved in this song. And Hazz, for being the first person to think of me when we didn’t even know each other. I owe it all to you, at the end of the day. Thanks, everyone.”

            People clap, lights dim and someone calls a commercial.

            Louis knows he has to perform right after it comes, so he poses for more pictures and gives two more interviews, and then fishes his phone out of his pocket. He wants to text Harry, but his boyfriend has already sent him a bunch of ridiculous texts saying that he’s gorgeous, and he loves him, and I wanna ravish you tonight. Louis takes a deep breath.

            I love you, too, baby. Please be backstage after my performance?

           

            “Tommo, you’ll be up next.” Someone warns him and then hands him a guitar.

            “Thanks, mate.”

            “Ok, countdown about to start…”

            Louis nods and walks towards the stage, positioning himself in the middle of it. He’s rehearsed twice here and a hundred times by himself, in a studio. He’ll do fine, he’s sure.

            When he gets the signal, he starts. And for the next three minutes or so, the only thing he cares about is playing well, singing well, and, most importantly, conveying his message.

 

            It was one of those moments

            When everything changes

            He was walking towards me

            Green eyes reminding me of the sea

            I must’ve been staring

            Cause when I caught his eye

            It seemed like

            I had been looking at him for all my life

 

            So I said

            Why don’t you come and go with me?

            Somehow I know, I’ve waited my whole life to see

            You standing there, with the wind in your hair.

            I’m as sure as a boy could be

            You are the man that’s been running around in my dreams…

 

            Hey…

            Once in a lifetime does not happen again

            So I took a chance in a gamblers’ game

            Put my heart on the line

            And maybe I’m crazy, but I’ll never regret

            What I said to someone I knew before we even met

 

            And I said,

            Hey, I finally found you

            I’ve been dreaming about you

            Somehow I know, this changes everything

            You’re standing here, it’s crystal clear

            I’m as sure as a boy could be

            You are the man running around in my dreams

            You’ve been running around in my dreams

           

            Louis gets a standing ovation and smiles at the audience, mouthing a thank you to everyone around. He goes backstage and as soon as he puts his guitar down, he spots Harry waiting for him, just as breathtaking as the first day they met. The only difference now being his hair – he let it grow, and his curls frame his face making him look even softer, somehow. And oh, they love each other, so, there’s that.

            The singer walks peacefully towards him, and can see that Harry’s been crying. Of course he has.

            “Hi.” Louis says, his voice low despite the craziness going on around them.

            “Hi”, Harry replies, places both hands on Louis’ hips and leans down, kissing his lips gently, meaningfully. “So…” There is less than an inch between them, their noses bumping. “I am a pop song, then?” Louis feels rather than sees Harry’s smile expanding.

            The singer closes his eyes, crosses his hands around Harry’s neck and thanks the heavens for being so, so lucky.

            “Pop song”, he murmurs back, “definitely pop song.”

            Harry is happiness.