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Leap of Fate

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Harry Styles, 28 year old londoner photographer really wanted a baby. And he wanted it as soon as possible. The only problem was that Harry had no one to father his baby, no partner in crime, no true love. But after being basically single once again for almost two and a half years with two years of dating on his chart he decided to take matters into his own hands. Harry was going to get an In Vitro Fertilisation and he already had everything planned out. He told his sister about it a few days ago and since then she's tried to change his mind.

That’s how he once again ended up with Gemma on the phone trying to reason with him about the situation. If Harry wasn't running late for a shooting already he would settle this once and for all, but luck wasn't on his side that day. He forgot to charge his flash and now he was dangerously close to being late to an appointment for the first time since starting his business.

“Gemma,” Harry tried to stop his sister from basically killing him through the phone. “Gemma,”  the constant flow of angry words was not dying down. “Gemma, can you just catch your breath for a second? It doesn’t matter how many nice eligible bachelors are around in the world if I don’t click with them, there has been no one for the past two years that I’ve been even remotely interested in. I’ve had so many dates and set ups that I feel like a right loser.”

Gemma sighed through the phone, clearly thinking about her next words. “What about that cute guy you dated a few months ago? Phil? Wasn’t it?”

Harry stopped walking around his apartment.

“You’ve got to be kidding me, Gems. He wanted me to work as his personal assistant rather than being his partner. I have a job and I’m very pleased with that, thank you. Besides can you actually see me dating and starting a family with someone who wants our future in Ireland? I’d like to stay close to you, mom and Robin. My friends are here, my work is here. Speaking of work, I’ve got a shooting in half an hour. I need to run.”

Gemma took a deep breath, but exhaled loudly. “Harry, Bambi, I just don’t want you to regret your decision. The baby would never have a real dad, it would just be growing up with you and you would have twice the responsibility.” Harry managed to plug his headphones into his iPhone and grab his packed camera bag.

“Let me stop you right there. You and I grew up with mostly only mom around and we turned out quite decent. I really have to go, I’m almost out of the door. Listen, let’s meet for lunch on Thursday and we’ll talk more. I have the appointment at the IVF clinic tomorrow anyways and I can show you more about the procedure and stuff.” Harry threw his bag into the backseat of his car, getting himself into the driver's seat.

“We’ll do that. I’ll be around the bakery at 1am. Don’t you dare run late. Love you, Bambi.”

Harry smiled. “Don’t you dare eat without me, Gems. Love you too.”

The line disconnected and Harry pulled his headphones out of his ear. He really loved his family, but he was also set on this. He had a good life, he had an amazing job with great customers, he had a great group of friends and he certainly was ready to have a baby. He would start his family on his own and who knows, maybe he would meet his soulmate later on. And if he was really his soulmate, he would love the child no matter if he were the father or not.

When Harry arrived at the location Jack was already waiting for him.

“Seriously twat, you are running late? You better have a good story that I can mock you with for a year and not some lame thing like traffic.”

Harry had met Jack when he had a client who played at the Apollo. Harry had stuck around backstage and met Jack after his appearance. They had immediately clicked and besides becoming friends he usually did Jack’s promotional pictures, shootings and basically every time he needed a photographer, Harry was his number one choice. Due to this he had his fair share of important clients. A lot of Jack’s friends and colleagues liked to call up Harry for a shooting as well.

“Seriously, I wish. Just a moody flashlight and my sister biting my ear off,” Jack smiled and patted Harry’s shoulder.

“Always the good baby brother. How is she, how is the little rascal of hers?”

Gemma’s two-year-old who was featured on more videos on his phone than Harry himself and he loved showing her videos off.

“She is amazing, will be seeing them on Thursday. I’m ready to go though. If you don’t mind actually working.” Jack laughed and slapped Harry on his back for his cheekiness.

A good amount of hours were spent on the shoot because Jack basically wanted to redo some shoots and even though he wanted Harry to join him for a lads night out, Harry declined to go through some things for tomorrow's appointment, promising to be in on another night soon.

Harry Styles had wanted a family since he was a little boy. Even though he was the younger brother he always felt like he should watch out for his sister. In school he loved to take one of the youngsters or someone new under his wings to help them through. His first camera was actually paid from one of the babysitting jobs he had since he was 14. Harry was ready to be a father.

That’s why late at night he sat in the office of his flat clicking himself through the clinics site once more. The blue folder with the bank statement and a list of questions already printed out lying next to the keyboard. He had looked through donors at his last visit, but wasn’t sure yet. Maybe he would look through the book once more. Maybe the decision would come easier now. He didn’t want it to be a rational decision only, he wanted to feel something too. Oddly enough he thought that maybe that meant it was meant to be. If the donor wasn’t going to be around, at least Harry could tell himself that it had felt right.

Harry decided to call it a day and see what tomorrow might bring for him.

The next day made his decision just a bit more certain.

When he entered his local costa he smiled at the cashier who was obviously flirting with him. After grabbing his coffee and the barista telling him he would be on a break soon, Harry had a second of thinking that maybe, he should try that dating thing for a little bit. Sadly, said barista walked passed him pointing to the loo and winking at him. As he closed the door, Harry got up and left the coffee shop. Lovely, casual sex in a loo. No way. This wasn’t happening. Harry was so done with that. Don’t get him wrong, he liked sex. But now, he was ready, ready to settle down.

He called the clinic to fix the appointment. He was going to do it.

The morning of his appointment Harry never felt so stressed in his entire life. Everything seemed to go wrong. Wasn’t he supposed to be happy about this? But first his alarm didn’t go off, then his mug fell down when he turned around too quickly to grab it and to top it all off his car was blocked by a Royal Mail van.  

Sitting in his car waiting for the post man, Harry shouldn’t have checked his phone. Gemma was basically telling him that she’d bring their mom to lunch and they wanted to try to knock some sense into him and that of course her husband Michael had a colleague who just separated from his long time girlfriend and wanted to settle down. Surprise, he was looking into guys as well, because he never was opposed to it.

Harry smacked his head on his steering wheel, which made the horn go off. The postman quickly came running from a house and kept shouting something about impatience and the need for postal delivery when Harry sighed and decided to start driving because could his day get any more annoying?

When Harry entered the clinic and was called in for his appointment he was more sure than ever. This was going to be working out just well.

He had found the perfect candidate and he wanted him.

Louis.

He wasn’t sure why he hadn't seen him before.

Louis with his caramel brown hair lying over his forehead, his black rimmed glasses and his cheeky smile. He looked oddly familiar, but maybe it was just his stunning face that made Harry feel like home.

He wanted Louis.

He had musical talent, grew up with a lot of siblings and loved his mom. And he was a sassy one, who else writes “loud” and “not able to bite me tongue” in a thing like this? Harry loved it.

He wanted to have Louis Tomlinson's baby. Or babies? Apparently, twins were running in his genes. Harry laughed at himself for getting ahead. Louis had the most mesmerizing blue eyes, almost as blue as… wait, he wanted Louis for his baby. He couldn’t date Louis, so the effect his eyes had on Harry was not to be taken into consideration.

It would take a few weeks to prepare for the actual procedure and another few weeks until he would know if he was actually pregnant or not, but Harry was ready.

Ready to be a dad. Dad. Harry had always loved the word papa. Maybe he would try to make this a thing in his house. Papa. Harry was ready to be a papa.

***

Even though it came up multiple times again within his phone calls and visits to Gemma, Harry decided to go through with the procedure without including his mom or his sister again. It wasn’t that he didn’t value their opinion, but at 28 he was scared. Scared that true love wasn’t around the corner. True Love might not even be around for the next years and the chances of becoming pregnant were getting lower as time passed.

There were a lot of procedures to be talked about, doctor's appointments to be taken, blood samples to be given and papers to be signed. And luckily to Harry’s freelancing photography business he was able to do all of that. He was going to go through with it.

He was just a bit nervous to tell his friends about it. The judging wouldn’t be helping the stress levels that he was supposed to keep low. Maybe he would just keep this to himself until it actually worked.

***

He was running late for dinner with his friends after he had finished a photoshoot with one of Jack’s pals. He had been recommended and a few days later landed the job. Awkward was the nicest term to describe the day he just had.

As he had driven to the studio where they were set to do the shooting, Harry stood in front of none other than one of the hook ups he had had about three months ago. Connor didn’t seem to recognize Harry right away, especially with the pulled up jacket and the beanie he was wearing. Harry hoped that if he kept the beanie on it would solve itself. Of course he wasn’t that lucky.

After they walked in and they found their designated area in the studio, it seemed to hit Connor like a brick wall. Harry tried to leave it unnoticed as he put his equipment up and talked him through the shoots he wanted to do. What should have been a nice and easy shoot turned into a weird dancing around each other.

No pose was easy to get into, lighting seemed to have conspired against Harry and every time he so much as breathed, Connor was off on his phone texting. Harry was relieved when the shoot was coming to an end and Connor only acted awkward, but had not yet said anything. Far off he was hoping that it would stay like that.

As Harry told Connor that he had everything and that Harry would send him the pictures to pick from before Harry put a good hand on them, Connor raised an eyebrow.

“Look, Harry. I don’t know what you are onto. I’m not interested in dating, we hooked up and I’m sorry if you’re still affected by me.” Connor put his hand on Harry’s forearm. “I really like Jack, but this was a bit shitty. Setting up a photoshoot to see me again.”

Harry gasped. What was Connor talking about?

“Wonderful, another jerk on the long list of people,” it slipped Harry’s mouth. “Seriously Connor, this is not what this was about. I didn’t even know it was you until I arrived.”

Connor nodded with a raised eyebrow. “Sure. You know what? Let’s just forget this happened and be off for the night. I’ll just find another photographer for future shoots.”

Harry annoyed out of his mind grabbed his camera bag, put his camera in and grabbed his other things.

“Well, Connor, nevermind. You’ll be getting the bill for this shoot anyway.” Harry slipped passed Connor, thanked the studio people on the way out and walked towards his car, a look at his watch telling him that he would be late for the monthly dinner date with his friends and one way or the other had to explain to the lads what had happened.

If Harry wasn’t 100% positive about going through with the IVF this was just another point on the long list of why love wasn’t right around the corner. Everyone that was right around the corner seemed to be jerks. What a perspective for every single person looking to settle down.

As he entered the restaurant he saw his friends at their usual table. Trying not to let them know about his annoying day right away he decided to enjoy their dinner.

Niall, Liam and him all went to university in Manchester and they made it a thing to at least once a month have a nice dinner. It was an amazing night and they all felt carefree. Niall mocking Connor after Harry told them made Harry felt not so bad anymore.

The apologetic text from Jack that night telling him that he didn’t know and that Connor was a jerk made Harry feel even better.

***

Most of the main procedure was spent waiting and Harry trying to find his pace without thinking about it every day. That’s why he decided against telling any of his friends about it. If he couldn’t really stop thinking about it, they most likely wouldn’t stop talking about it.

The guys had had a great time out a few weeks later and since Niall was way too drunk to drive home he decided to crash at Harry’s place. That’s how he found out about Harry’s procedure.

Harry was on his knees in the bathroom, spilling the contents of his stomach into the toilet for the third time in the last week. He groaned before gagging. Niall poked his head into the bathroom.

“Harry?”, he said, “are you okay? You have not touched a pint last night. Maybe you’re coming down with the flu?”

Harry smiled. He knew very well that it might not have been the flu without trying to read too much into it.

“Niall, if it were the flu you would have noticed last night, wouldn’t you? You think you could run to the pharmacy and get me a pregnancy test?”

Niall turned to look at Harry, bewildered. “Pregnancy test?! What am I missing? Who are you dating? Was it a hook up? Harry, explain yourself!”

Harry groaned, getting up from the floor and taking a wet washcloth to clean his face.

“Actually, I had an IVF about twelve weeks ago. And I think it might have been successful.”

Niall blinked rapidly.

“I’d yell at you right now, but you feel poorly. I’m going to run to the store so we can take a test. Afterwards, you gotta tell me everything.”

Harry nodded, very well aware he wasn’t getting out of this.

Niall stopped at the pharmacy and bought a pregnancy test. He was too worked up and ran back as fast as he could. Harry had so far spent the time sitting on the couch, going through the several text messages he was getting from the lads about last night. He wished Niall hadn’t found out right now, but taking the test was very important to him.

As Niall entered the apartment Harry rushed up and took the bag from him, locking himself in the bathroom.

“Asshole, you could very well let me in or at least talk to me.”

Harry took deep breaths as he took the first box out and to read the instructions. He did it, he peed on the stick. Setting the timer on his phone for five minutes like the box instructed, he waited, leaning against the sink.

“Harry, hurry the fuck up!” Niall exclaimed and Harry unlocked the door. As he entered the room, causing Harry to startle and knock the pregnancy test onto the floor. He watched, mortified as it slid across the tile and collided with Niall’s trainers.

Harry groaned as he bent over to pick it up, just as the timer on his phone went off.  

“It’s positive?” Niall asked, nervously.

“That’s what it’s showing me.” Harry burst into tears, Niall hugging him.

“Hey, isn’t this not what you wanted?”

Harry laughed through the tears. “No, Niall, this is exactly what I wanted. I am so, so happy!”

Two hours and a fry up later Harry and Niall sat on the couch with a cuppa in their hands. Folder from the IVF clinic in his lap. “... and this is how it happened. I have no idea how to tell my mom though. Gemma was furious when I told her about the plan. But you know, Niall, I’m actually really happy. Even without the other daddy, I can do this. And I have a picture, so maybe one day, I’ll stumble upon him and I’ll tell him.”

Niall sighed, “Only you could come to this solution, Harry, but I’m here. If you need anything, I’m here for you. I love you. Anne will be thrilled, Gemma will come to terms with it. Now, show me this mysterious donor of yours.” Harry gave the folder to Niall, who was tilting his head. “That’s a catchy profile, I get why you chose him. Somehow his face seems to ring a bell. Maybe we went to uni with him? What a coincidence would that be.”

***

Harry was freakin’ anxious. He would admit it too if anyone asked. Though no one asked. He just sat there in the clinic surrounded by pregnant women and men, everyone quite busy with themselves.

First of all, he had always hated blood tests because he hated that they took so much blood for one goddamn test. Hadn’t he given enough blood over the last weeks? And he was terrified to tell his family.

As Harry was waiting in the examination room he was getting nervous. Would his baby be unhappy growing up with just him? Was he sure that he was able to do it himself? Before he could finish his thought, the door to the examination room opened and in walked Dr. Smith, a woman who was in her late sixties with short blonde hair. He already knew her from the procedures, so it was no one new to him.

“Alrighty, Mr. Styles, I have the results of your blood test, whenever you’re ready to hear them.”

“I’m ready.” Harry laughed as he responded.

“Well then! I’m happy to inform you that you are six weeks along.” Dr. Smith responded, pulling a bottle of antenatal vitamins out of the pocket of her labcoat and handing it to him. “Congratulations.”

Harry almost started crying, but he finished listening to what Doctor Smith had to tell him. With three sonogram pictures he left her office grabbing a caffeine free latte on his way to a photoshoot at his place.

***

A few days later strolling past the windows of the city, Harry decided that he was going to tell his mom and sister sooner rather than later.

He drove to his mom on Thursday because he knew Gemma and Poppy were having dinner together. Anne always picked Poppy up and they had afternoon tea. As Harry entered his mom's home he was attacked by Poppy.

“Uncle HAAAAAArr!” she grabbed his legs, hugging them close.

“My little sunshine, how are you?” He picked her up entering the outside patio area.

“Harry, what are you doing here? How are you?” His mom stood up hugging him close.

Harry sat down as his mom went to pick up another cuppa from the kitchen and an additional plate. Harry started tickling Poppy who laughed and slipped down Harry’s lap to show him her newest Peppa Pig dough set as Gemma side-eyed him.

“What exactly drags you here today? I feel like this is not a purely joyful visit.”

Harry laughed, if only she knew how joyful. As his mom sat down he pulled out the sonogram picture from his back pocket and slipped it towards her.

“Mom,” Harry looked at her. Anne went pale, “please say something.” Anne hugged Harry tight.

“I’m going to be a grandma! Who is the father? Gemma, did you know about this, why are you not surprised?”

Gemma’s face was stone-cold.

“You actually went through with it, without consulting us again?”

“Gems, you made your opinion perfectly clear. I wasn’t going to convince you that it was a good idea. I promise you I am happy.”

Anne was still confused. “Would someone please explain to me what is going on?”

And so Harry explained to her how he went to the clinic and saw that there was a possibility of getting IVF, how he found the perfect donor and how he went through with it - to the part where he ran his finger over the sonogram. He was going to have a baby, Anne was going to be a grandma. And Gemma had to accept that she was going to be an aunt. Her face softened, still not happy, but seeing her brother happy made her feel a bit better.

Seeing Poppy sitting on the floor playing with her dough, he couldn’t wait for his baby to be here, whether it would be a boy or a girl, he would love them from the bottom of his heart. And even if he did this on his own, the baby would never be missing anything. All his love would go to the baby - undivided.

The first weeks passed by smoothly, he worked nice photoshoots, had shopping trips with his mom and even his sister and he finally told the lads. They of course made it their goal to fight as much as possible whether or not Niall or Liam would be the best uncle and therefore the best godfather candidate. Harry had baby fever, but at some point he just loved to work a photoshoot without talking about the baby, getting a bit of attention for doing a great job.

***

As much as Harry dreaded a night out with Jack and his friends, he really was curious about Jack’s pals. He had heard lots about them and he was actually in need of a nice night out with people who didn’t know he was pregnant.  

After he had not seen Jack in a few weeks he sure hoped he wouldn’t notice that he was pregnant. His nice topman sweater was big enough that it was covering his growing belly nicely.

They met at a nice hotel lounge that was holding a bar and had an artsy vibe with lots of people standing, listening to music and sipping away on their cocktails. Harry got himself a virgin colada, joining Jack and getting introduced to everyone.

Jack’s scene was laid back, nice people, all somehow in the business. It was a nice chance to get to know some people, to do some good photoshoots before he couldn’t work for a while. He enjoyed flirting with the barkeeper, but somehow he felt weird so their interaction was just a brief one.

As Harry returned to Jack’s group he noticed a familiar face in the group. No other than Nick Grimshaw, Radio 1’s Breakfast Show Star had joined the group.

“Harry, this is Nick,” Jack introduced him, “you might know him already.”

Harry laughed, “Of course, who in Britain doesn’t? I usually wake up with him.”

Nicky smirked. “I am so sorry, I don’t know how I could have forgotten such a pretty face.”

Everyone in the group laughed and Harry turned a slight shade of pink. He wasn’t embarrassed, he just wasn’t used to the attention.

Nick laughed and looked around. “I’m sorry, pals, I gotta leave. One of us needs to get up early to wake up the wonderful british people.” He shook some hands and turned around, clearly looking for someone. “Oii oii, Tommo! We gotta go. Uber is here.”

And with that he appeared - donor 09282013.

That was why he had recognized him. That was Louis Tomlinson, Nick Grimshaw's co-host on the BBC1 breakfast show.

“Mate, I am on my way.” As he passed he saw Jack clapping him on his back, “Oii long time no see, Whitehall. Gonna see you soon, right?” Jack smiled and nodded.

Harry was gasping, his hand immediately touching his belly to connect with his baby.

Louis Tomlinson on paper was amazing, Louis Tomlinson in real life was perfection.

He had sworn to himself he would be able to do this alone, but maybe. No, not maybe, but now he knew. He knew who his baby’s daddy was.

***

The evening ended in an emotional blur.

He had called Gemma about picking Poppy up for a playdate, but Gemma decided to tag along. As they both sat down on a bench and Poppy ran towards the sand pit that was occupied with a few other kids he decided to talk to her.

“Are you still mad at me?” Gemma kept quiet for a second. “I value your opinion, Gems, but you know. I really want this.”

Gemma nudged him in his ribs.

“I know and I really am just disappointed you didn’t talk to me again. Harry, what if the donor is someone really creepy, or god forbid someone horrible?”

Harry took a deep breath.

“Gems, I know the donor. I met him last night.”

“How did that happen?” Gemma looked at him confused.

Harry was thinking for a second to laugh and just make it seem like a joke, but he decided he owed it to Gemma.

“Remember Jack? The comedian I do shoots for? I went out with his guys last night and there was Louis Tomlinson.” Still confused, Gemma waited for the revelation. “Louis Tomlinson,” Harry continued, “You know the radio show host?” Gemma nodded slowly, still not catching up.

Harry facepalmed himself. “Gemma, Louis Tomlinson is my baby’s daddy.”

Gemma almost choked on her water. “You can’t be serious, this is...no...wait, no.”

For the next half hour Gemma kept making bad jokes about how only Harry could have picked someone like Louis Tomlinson to be his donor. Harry had enough at one point and sat himself down next to Poppy on the swings. He rested one hand carefully on his stomach, sure this was not as bad as it seemed.

Harry was going to get Louis Tomlinson involved. Whether as a dad or just a friend. The chances were high that he wouldn’t want to be involved, but he was willing to take the risk.

Just now he needed to see if Jack was willing to introduce them. Or if he would just send him a fan message and go from there.

Okay, wait. That last part was not going to happen.

Going to bed that night, slipping into a exhausting and dreamless sleep, Harry was still not sure how this was all going to turn out.

***

The chance to see Louis Tomlinson came sooner than Harry could have possibly imagined.

Harry had promised Jack to come to his show on Saturday to take some pictures of him in action. Jack wanted to include some new live performing pictures on his website, so in addition to the full set of pictures that they had already taken, he called Harry to take some at his show.

This Saturday Harry was going to be with Jack at the O2 in London. Actually, he was going to start with him on Friday for rehearsals and since Project Baby Daddy was tiring to him, he was really looking forward to a change of scenery.

As Harry’s car pulled up at the back entrance of the O2, his Uber driver thankfully helped him carry all his equipment inside. Harry couldn’t wait for his baby to be born so people would stop treating him like he was sick and not capable of doing things on his own. He was excited to see Jack, because he at least gave him the shit he deserved.

As he settled in the backstage area, he started to set up his own equipment where one of the stage managers pointed him to. He quickly shot a message to Jack, letting him know where he was placed so he would hopefully come looking for him.

After another 30 minutes Harry got hungry and helped himself to a banana and some water. As he sat  back down, rubbing his belly, the door swung open.

At the door, there was no other than Louis Tomlinson himself. Harry stared at him, not able to look away. Louis was as pretty as Harry had last seen him.

A soft grey beanie on his head, just a bit of fringe peeking out from underneath. He was wearing tight black skinnies and worn-out vans, his white sweater bringing out the blue in his eyes and an adorable smile forming on his lips, but he did not speak, wait, or did he? Harry shook his head as Louis made two steps towards him.

“Mate, are you alright? You seemed a bit off there.”

Harry tried to form a full sentence, but decided on a quick “Yeah, everything alright.”

Louis offered his hand to Harry, “Louis Tomlinson, nice to meet you.”

Harry finally came to his senses, getting up from his spot, taking Louis’ hand, shaking it. “Harry St–”

Getting up that quickly wasn’t a good idea. He felt dizzy and crashed into Louis, with all of his body weight.

Louis grabbed Harry by his armpits to keep him upright, “Omg, pal. What is this, what is going on? Are you alright?”

Harry tried to get back onto the chair.

Louis looked at him, “I mean, you know that you are freaking me out right now. Do you need something?”

Harry felt his face redden and waved him off.

“I should have just eaten more, drunk less. Just the usual.”

Louis laughed and let go of Harry, still a bit skeptical.

“I’m Harry, Harry Styles. I’m sure there are nicer ways to meet someone, but we’ve gone passed that.”

Louis snorted, ”It’s nice to meet you, Harry, Harry Styles. I’m Louis Tomlinson.” Harry smiled shaking Louis’ hand once more.

“Are you here with Jack?” Harry asked.

Louis nodded and turned around as the door swung open once more.

“LAAAAADS!”

Jack yelled as he entered the room, hugging Louis and then Harry. He stood next to Harry with a hand resting on his shoulder

“Amazing, Louis, that you were able to make it to the show. Can’t wait to hang out with you tomorrow morning.”

Louis laughed. “Let’s see if you actually make it out of bed in time for the Breakfast Show.”

Jack looked at him offended, while Harry bursted into laughter.

“Lovely, gang up against me. Why don’t you two keep doing that, while I head back to see where my wardrobe has taken off to. Not that I don’t love looking like a slob, but I should at least change into clean stuff.”

Louis slapped Jack on the back. “Wanker, you smell. Go and grab clean clothes while I entertain our dear Harold here.”

“That’s not my name,” Harry said.

Louis grinned at him, “It is now.”

Jack smirked.

“I see I can leave you two to it. Don’t do anything I wouldn’t do…” and he left the room.

“So Harry, tell me about yourself, I feel like we’ve been trapped in here together for a bit.”

Harry fumbled with his belt, trying to ease the pressure on his slightly swollen belly. “I mean you don’t have to if you don’t want to, but you might be missing out. I’m a plus conversation maker.”

Louis laughed, “Let’s find this out then.” He grabbed a chair and two water bottles, putting one in front of Harry. “I’m Louis Tomlinson, as you might already know.” Harry raised an eyebrow. “And I make people wake up with me whispering sweet nothings into their ears.” Harry almost choked on his water. “Yeah and sometimes I try to be funny and make poor blokes choke on water bottles.”

Harry and Louis chatted for a bit, Harry gaining more confidence by the minute, joking himself until one of the stage managers opened the door.

“Mister Tomlinson, you should really find your seat up there before the show starts. Mister Styles, I imagine Mister Whitehall hired you on a private basis, so you should really get your equipment on hand and head out.”

Harry got back on his feet, grabbing the offered walkie talkie and his equipment.

“Harry, wait!” Louis pulled his phone out of his back pocket and handed it to Harry. “Type your number in. If you want to. We could meet up again, finish that nice talk we just had. If you want to.”

Harry smiled, of course he wanted to. This was his chance to maybe tell Louis about the baby and that he was going to be a daddy. If he wanted to. Harry was sure this would turn out well.

After he handed Louis the phone back he saw Louis dialling it and as he left the room he yelled “I just called you. So now you’ve got my number as well.”

That was the last they saw of each other that night. Harry’s pictures went off without trouble, but as soon as Jack had finished the show Harry called an Uber and went through the back door to get home.

Dead on his feet, he fell into bed that night, but also happy and excited to discover if he and Louis would seen each other again soon, when a late message, popped up on his screen.

Harold, I noticed you didn’t stay for the afterparty. Hope to catch a cuppa with you soon.

Thinking of a nice reply to Louis, Harry decided to go with a nice and easy message. He was not taking any chances of not having another meeting.

How about we grab a drink the day after tomorrow? Maybe at the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese on Fleet Street?

Sure, I’ll be there around 5pm. See you then.

Harry slept very well that night, hands on his swollen belly.

***

Harry took another sip from his ginger ale as he continued scrolling through his phone. He’d stopped trying to find something interesting on the news portal a good five minutes ago and had switched back to the messaging app, re-reading the few texts he exchanged with Louis in the past two days. He had just entered the Ye Olde Cheshire Cheese a few minutes before, sitting in the back as he thought Louis would rather sit somewhere unnoticed.

Talking with Louis the day before made Harry realise that he’d love to try dating Louis. The blue eyes he had fallen for a few months ago were even more beautiful in person and his smile was infectious.

Just then, Harry heard the bell at the door chiming, followed by the rattling of the door opening and he looked up to see Louis looking through the place and greeting the bar staff who was currently wiping the table near the entrance. He began to scan the entire pub, smiling when he spotted Harry sitting in the corner. Louis reached up to pull down his beanie and comb his fingers through his fringe and Harry felt his breath catch in his throat. Louis was still as pretty and stunning as the last time Harry had seen him. Harry blinked rapidly and shook his head as Louis walked closer to his table.

“Hi, Harold. Long time no see!” Louis said cheerfully, sitting down opposite of Harry.

“Hi, Louis. Why don’t we order something.”

Louis smiled.

“Someone hungry over here?” Louis unwrapped his scarf from around his neck and smirked at Harry.

They placed an order with the bar staff and got talking. It was so easy and so soothing talking to Louis.

After their food had arrived and they ate, happily chatting throughout the meal and Harry was already on his third ginger ale, they parted ways, promising each other to catch a movie on the weekend.

***

“Harry, why haven’t you told him yet?” Gemma complained.

As if it was that easy.

He was planning on it and it was going to happen. Soon he would tell him, soon. He was just trying to get to know him a little more before doing that.

***

“Harry, can I at least get a bit of that popcorn?” Louis complained, “What are you? Pregnant? My mom had two sets of twins and still I got popcorn at movie nights at home.”

Harry took all his courage.

“What if I was pregnant, would that be that bad?”

Louis shrugged, “Why would it be?”

Harry smiled, not wanting to risk too much by telling the whole truth.

***

"Louis, we're gonna drown." Harry said, seriously.

Louis just laughed at him.

"No we won't, silly. I'm taking care of this!"

"That's what worries me." Harry glared at him.

"Stop complaining and enjoy the beautiful weather."

It was their sixth date and Louis had been planning this day for them. The two of them were sitting in a little row boat and Louis paddled with the oars.

Louis had gone all in with a picnic basket. He smiled at the sight and felt happy. Happy to be there with Harry and no one else.

They always had fun together and both of them were falling for each other. Louis was not scared that Harry was pregnant, indeed he was enjoying it. Harry had allowed him in, showed him sonogram pictures and told him how he had an IVF procedure. So, they always had the best time and he couldn’t wait for them to take the next step.

***

On his twentieth week appointment he took Gemma with him.

She was still upset with Harry, but securing her place as best and only aunt, she decided to be with Harry every step of the way. After the regular examination and a few exchanged jokes from back in the day when Gemma was pregnant, Doctor Smith moved the wand a little more.

“It looks like you're having....a girl. Congratulations!” she said with a smile.

Harry got very quiet. Gemma looked at him. His eyes were watery, tears starting to slide slightly by the corners.

“You're having a baby girl,” whispered Gemma, taking Harry’s hand into hers. “Are you happy?”

“I've never been happier.” said Harry.

After finding out he was having a girl he went baby shopping like crazy. He showed Louis a lot of the things he bought and Louis told Harry about all of his siblings. Harry said that Louis most likely was a kid expert and that he was very happy to have Louis by his side.

They fell asleep on Harry’s couch that night. Cuddled up close. This was just too good to be true. If only there wasn’t this tiny secret growing inside of Harry.

***

“Dear Listeners, this was our dear Tommo being a lovesick bastard.” Nick added at the end of Louis and his caller exchanging dating tips.

Louis rolled his eyes.

“And here we have old grumpy Grimshaw, too old to date and therefore incredibly jealous if anyone dares enjoy themselves.”

Nick and Louis had not been getting along well since he started hanging out with Harry more than he did with Nick. He actually felt bad, he liked spending time with Nick. He just wanted to spend more time with Harry, getting to know him. Louis swore that at the end of the show he was going to ask Nick and take him out for lunch

“Nicky, come on. How about we grab lunch?”

Nick turned around. “Oh, do you still know I exist? I don’t want to be a burden. Please go and have lunch with your boyfriend.”

Louis rolled his eyes.

“Nick, why are you so pissed?”

“Listen, I don’t know that Harry guy very well, but I would really be asking a few more questions about all this.” Nick was his lovely asshole self today.

“I’m sorry you feel neglected, Nick. But I’m really happy. Please don’t be a twat.”

Nick snorted and left Louis standing in the hallway.

Wonderful, a pregnant boyfriend and a moody co-host. Louis was in deep trouble.

***

Louis had picked up some Dim Sum on his way to Harry’s for movie night. Harry had let Louis in and excused himself to the toilet already. A common thing when you’re pregnant, didn’t he know that too well from his mom?

Louis still had Nick's words in the back of his head. Why did he say that he should ask more questions? Louis was falling for Harry and he felt like he could trust him. He was okay with Harry just sharing the things he had shared with him so far. Wasn’t he?

The folder labelled with the word ‘pregnancy’ was right there, prominent. As if it was calling for him, he moved closer to the table, pulled out the folder and opened it.

Louis went pale. He flipped through the folder. That was him.

He had almost forgotten about the time he donated his sperm. It was back after uni when he first moved to London to intern for Radio 1.

That was not possible.

Had Harry known all along who he was? Was Harry a bimbo that was just looking for a baby daddy with a bit of cash on the side?

He was so confused, he was feeling betrayed. His blood started boiling.

Just as Harry came back into the room, Louis made it to the front door.

“Louis, what are you doing?”

He turned around, tears had caught up with him. His eyes watery.

“If this was your plan all along I can very well assure you that I’m protected by law. Whatever sick joke you’re playing, I’m out. I can’t do this.”

Harry looked at Louis confused, hand on his belly.

“Louis, what are you talking about?”

Louis nodded towards the table where the folder laid out prominently. Harry gasped.

“If you would let me explain. I didn’t plan this, this is just the…”

Louis raised his hand. “Harry, please. Stop,” his voice very quiet, “don’t make it worse than it already is.”

And with that, he rushed to open the door, closing it behind himself with a bang and then left.

Harry couldn’t believe what had happened. Where did it all go wrong? He was so sure that Louis would want to be in their baby girl's life. How did he manage to mess up so bad? He should have told him sooner, told him that he knew he was the donor of the sperm. But Harry had been too scared. Scared that he would mess this whole thing up. That Louis wouldn’t want to be in their baby girl's life.

Harry rubbed his belly. He moved himself to the couch, sitting down. Trying to calm his breathing. He laid his head on the back of the couch. His phone began to ring. Of course it was the worst timing. Gemma was on the line and she would see right through him.

He picked up and as Gemma asked him how he was doing he couldn’t even pretend he was fine and burst into tears. Gemma’s soothing words didn’t really help him.

“Harry, I’m going to leave Poppy with mom and I will be with you in a few. Please try to calm down. It is not good for your baby girl. Promise me. I will be with you soon.”

Harry silently agreed, knowing very well how bad it would be if he kept at this pace. He should really set up a kettle and wait for his sister. He tried to get himself off the couch and into the kitchen. The worst idea he could have had.

Passing the table with the folder, he looked at the page that had ruined it all and his tears started coming back again. It wasn’t that Harry wasn’t able to do this alone. That had been his plan after all. But he had fallen for Louis. He really liked having him in his life, even if he didn’t know the baby was his. They had laughed, talked, dated, enjoyed each other's company. He had screwed this up. He should have told him right away.

Making it to the kitchen aisle instead of making a cuppa, he grabbed it and held onto it. It was all too much. He had risked it all.

Gemma picked him up shortly afterwards.

Still a crying mess, she took him to her home. She lay in bed with him, cuddling him close and letting him explain what exactly happened with Louis.

Gemma felt really sorry for her brother, but if she was honest, she understood why Louis reacted the way he did.

When Harry was asleep she went to check on Poppy and slipped into bed with Michael. Kissing him and even though he was sleeping, she whispered promising that she wouldn’t lie to him, not even a little white lie.

***

“Pick up, pick up, pick up!” Louis yelled as his sister did not pick up her phone.

He wasn’t expecting her to. She was off in the states with one of her friends for the launch of a new makeup line she was doing promo for. He sighed and scrolled through his phone.

Nick. No, totally wrong idea.

Tommy, Lottie's boyfriend. That was better.

After the second ring, Tommy picked up the phone.

“Oi oi, Tommy, can I come over? I’m really angry and I need to talk to someone who is not my mom.”

“Sure,” Tommy agreed and Louis ended the call, heading towards his sister’s and Tommy's apartment.

Tommy already greeted him at the door with a beer.

“You sound mad, bro. What happened?”

Louis thanked him, grabbed the beer and let himself fall on the couch. Taking a sip he sighed and started in a loud voice.

“It’s Harry. What does he think he’s doing?! I mean as if it wasn't bad enough I asked him on a date, why couldn’t he have said something?! I had to find out about it from a paper, a paper that I only found because I went behind his back and snooped around. I never snoop around." Louis sighed again, running his fingers through his hair, "I am so humiliated, I could have died! I thought we were supposed to be going out...isn't that what he told me last week? That he liked going out with me?" He closed his eyes, drinking more from his beer. "What happened to "the baby is from an anonymous donor", or "I feel like I can tell you anything", or "I’m going to raise this baby on my own"? Was he just playing me? What does he want from me?”

"Louis–" Tommy tried to step in.

“No! You know what?" He looked at Tommy, shaking his head. "I don't even care… this whole thing was just a pathetic lie to satisfy his needs, wasn't it?... I mean he didn't even have the decency to deny anything, explain anything," he puffed, irritated. "I can't believe I fell for the whole honesty routine... Just, I can't even look at him, this makes me sick.” Louis took another sip. “Is it okay if I stay for a bit, Tommy? I don’t want to continue talking about it.”  

Tommy took the controller and turned the football match on. “Of course, you’re always welcome.”

They went silent and watched the game when Louis quietly said “Ok… I admit it, he got me, he took my sperm as a little trophy, added dating me to his collection and I don’t know how to deal with it.”

Tommy reached over to Louis and put his hand on Louis’ forearm for a second to comfort him. “I am so sorry, bro.”

***

Harry woke up just once in the middle of the night and looked at his phone. Trying one more time to call Louis. It must have been the tenth time.

It went directly to voicemail.

“Louis, I promise you, you got the wrong impression. I am so sorry for being too scared to tell you. Please don’t shut me out, let me talk to you. I need you.”

***

Louis left the next morning for broadcasting house, thinking about contacting a lawyer in the next few days, just in case. But not right now.

Still somewhere in the back of his head there was a little voice telling him that he might be slightly wrong about everything.

***

Light cascaded down through the curtains, warm sunlight coming through the cold skin covered in a duvet. Harry watched silently, his eyelashes fluttered with tiny movements of his eyes and his lips slightly parted as faint breaths passed through them.

He sighed just barely and reached his right hand up to his eyes. His eyes felt sore, his throat felt sore. All the crying last night did not do him good. He rubbed one hand over his big belly, his little girl had gone rollercoaster last night. He moved to bury his head in the pillows, not quite ready to face his niece, sister and her husband. Maybe another couple hours of sleep would do him good.

A few hours later Gemma sat down on Harry’s bed.

“Bambi, you need to get up and eat something. This is neither good for you, or the baby. Please think about that.”

Harry blinked at Gemma, shaking his head and then closing his eyes again.

“Harry, did you try talking to him today?”

Harry shook his head.

“I’ve called 17 times yesterday. I think I’m done being pathetic. But maybe food is a good idea and maybe, just maybe I’ll call Liam.”

Gemma smiled and offered Harry a hand. “I really like that idea.”

Harry did in fact call Liam, that’s the problem. That was why he found himself in front of Louis’ apartment building a few days later.

“This is a bad idea, Liam. This is the worst idea, Liam.” Harry kept trying to talk himself out of it.

Liam and Niall drove Harry to Louis’ apartment. A heavily pregnant Harry made his way up to the fifth floor where Louis’ apartment was.

Knocking on the door, he knew Louis wouldn’t pick up the phone. He had tried, lots of times. Coming clean in person was most likely easier and more honest. At least that’s what Harry hoped.

He knocked on Louis’ door, but was greeted with silence. He looked at his phone, breathing in and out. Then he knocked again, his shoulders slumping down and his hand on his stomach. He looked at his phone again. As he turned around, Louis was standing at the end of the hallway.

“What are you doing here, Harry?” His voice very low.

It had been so long since he’d last seen Louis. Not since he had walked out of Harry’s apartment. He just wanted to reach out and entwine their fingers, to stroke his soft hair and tell this beautiful boy exactly how he felt and how stupid he was. The aftermath of the fight was still heavy between them, what if Louis would not believe him? A question that remained unspoken and unanswered.

Harry took all his courage to finally speak up. “Can we please sit down, Louis. I’m really not well enough to stand and talk in the hallway.”

Louis didn’t move for what felt like an hour. He was there, once again inches away from him, and the world was brighter than it was in the past days. He couldn’t let it slip away.

“Louis, please. I swear if you don’t want to see me afterwards you won’t see me again.”

Louis nodded, almost not noticeable. He paced forward, opening the door and letting Harry in. He walked in after him and closed the door.

“Do you want something to drink?”

Harry just couldn't take it anymore. Tears filling his eyes.

“Louis, I’ve never wanted you to find out that way. I never planned this, I didn’t even know you when I picked you as a donor. To be fair for a second you were familiar, but that was not why I picked you. I picked you because of your profile, because of the way you made fun of yourself and didn’t take yourself too serious. I wanted your genes for my baby because how could you be a bad person if you grew up in such a big family? Louis, I messed up. And I regret it so much.” Harry took a deep breath, he wanted to continue when Louis raised his hand in front of him.

“Why didn’t you tell me when you found out? Why all the little white lies? You could have just told me.”

Harry shook his head and continued “How would you have reacted? Would you not have stormed out of my apartment?”

Louis bit his lower lip. “I had forgotten that I donated my sperm all those years ago. So maybe, yes I would have.” Louis fumbled with his hands.

“Louis, I’m sorry, and I’m waiting to rest my head on your shoulders again. I’m sorry, and I’m waiting to be hugged by your caring arms again and to feel your warmth running through my body. I’m sorry, and I’m waiting to be loved by your beautiful soul again. I’m standing here three feet away from you and I still miss you even more. I’m sorry… I just want you to make me smile again, I want to make you smile again. I want you to be in our lives and I’m so scared I messed it all up. Please tell me what you think.”

Louis looked at his hands, his eyes finding the way from Harry’s stomach to his face.

“You can never lie to me again. And this is not going to be easy. I might not trust you all the time,” Harry pressed his lips together, “but I want to try. Because I really like you and the idea of being a daddy for our girl is really something I have not known I wanted until I was presented the chance for it not to happen anymore.” Louis smiled, and Harry saw the honesty in Louis face, could feel it, every wish he had made, every throb of his aching heart.

All of it, all at once, and it was the push he needed to do what he had been dreaming of doing since he found out that Louis was his baby girl’s other dad.

Louis took a step closer to Harry. His eyes drift closed as his fingers connect with soft skin, right before there was a soft press of lips against his own, because for this moment he wanted to pretend that everything was going to be okay. That this wasn't just a moment that he had taken, but a forever that they could keep.

Even if it was going to be hard, this moment was totally worth it. It was so delicate, so slow and gentle, and yet it was a mess.

Harry didn't know what he was thinking anymore, just that he was feeling at peace and that it was enough for now. It's more than enough, it's everything Harry could ever need and a glimpse of all that he wanted. He was ready to raise his baby on his own when he went to the clinic for the first time, but since he met Louis, he knew that this was what he wanted.

Louis pulled away and Harry was so afraid to open his eyes because there was still another hopeless burning that he couldn't bear to face. He felt Louis hands on his round belly and Louis dropping to his knees in front of him, whispering to the belly and pressing a kiss on it through the fabric of Harry’s shirt. Harry opened his eyes. The world was still going round and the sight of Louis kissing his belly was almost overwhelming.  

“Is this alright?” Louis whispered.

“More than that,” Harry replied.

He was smiling, but that didn't stop him from pulling Louis up and leaning in again. Louis pulled Harry towards the couch.

“Let’s watch a movie and cuddle on the couch. You look exhausted.”

Harry put his legs up on the couch, laying his head into Louis lap.

“Louis, I’ve never meant to lie to you. I really am truly sorry.”

Louis stroked through Harry’s curls, “I know, love. I know.”

It was going to be hard, but Harry felt that it was worth it.

***

They settled into their own pace.

Hanging out at each other’s apartments, Harry showing Louis all the baby things that he had already bought. They went to a movie and Harry took Louis to his monthly dinner with the guys. Niall and Louis hit it off so well that Harry even felt a slight sting of jealousy - very well knowing that he wasn’t really jealous.

***

“Harry, are you almost ready? The appointment's at 4:00 and we need to leave soon so we're not running late.” Louis came into the bathroom where Harry stood frowning at his reflection in the mirror.

Harry felt fat and the shirt stretching over the bump was not helping. He turned to Louis, fear building in his eyes.

“I can't go out. People will be able to tell. What if someone snaps a picture with a mobile or something and sells it to the paper? You’re a radio show host after all.”

Louis put his hands on Harry’s back and smiled at him.

“You need to calm down, love. First, you aren't fat. You're pregnant,” he said, putting his arms around Harry’s stomach, “you are growing a healthy and strong baby. Secondly, what if people recognize me? We are dating and you are pregnant. I’m in this with you if you want me to.” Harry smiled and kissed Louis on his cheek. “Come on, let's go.”

As he turned the car into the car park at the hospital, Louis glanced at Harry, noticing the way he repeatedly ran his hands over his stomach.

“You ok?”

“Yeah, just trying to get the baby to stop punching me in the ribs.”

Louis parked the car and reached over to rub Harry’s side. “You need to cut your papa some slack, munchin. The more you kick, the crankier he gets. And that's not helping any of us.”

“We've got an active little girl in there.” Harry leaned in for a soft kiss. “I’m really happy we decided to try this.”

“I’m happy too. But now, let’s move up to the doctor’s office.” Louis held the door open for Harry.

They walked up to the the antenatal clinic and went through the all so familiar process of checking in, getting weighed, and settling in an examination room to wait for the doctor.

Louis started pacing around, not really comfortable to just be in there and now actually realising that the baby was his. They had been waiting for about fifteen minutes when the door opened, and the doctor walked in.

“Hi Harry,” she said and smiled at him. She looked at Louis. “And who might that be? Your boyfriend?”

Harry smiled.

“This is a funny story, remember how this baby was conceived? Well, actually the all so familiar face that was on the donors resume was Louis’ face.”

Doctor Smith looked at them, her head going from Harry to Louis. She started laughing. Loud. She opened her chart and sat down.

“This is the best thing I’ve heard in my whole career. This is fate. I’m really excited. So, let's see. Things look pretty good – your blood pressure and pulse are good, no signs of retaining water, heart rate normal. Your weight is a little low – normally, by now we should have a little more weight gain. But no need to worry about that, I think you’ll be starting to have contractions soon and overall, I'm happy.” She set the chart aside and gestured to the exam table. “We'll fire up the baby finder and see what's going on inside.”

Harry removed his shirt before the doctor squirted gel on his stomach and moved the wand around until she had a good view of the baby.

“Everything in here looks good. Plenty of amniotic fluid for the baby to swim in, weight is perfectly fine, even if you have not gained the perfect amount, and height is a little small, but still in the right range. Heartbeat is 160 beats per minute – again perfectly normal.” She flipped a switch and a fast, rhythmic sound filled the air.

Louis grabbed Harry’s hand and squeezed it, tears starting to well up in his eyes.

Doctor Smith kept it on longer than she normally would have done. They listened for several more seconds before she flipped the sound off.

“Ok, are you two in need of getting more pictures this time?”

“Absolutely,” said Louis and Harry in unison, their eyes still glued to the screen.

Doctor Smith handed Harry some tissues to clean himself. “I'll give you two a minute. I'm going to print out the pictures for you to take home and burn a DVD copy of the sonogram.” She turned off the machine and left the room.

Harry wiped off the gel and fixed his clothes, pushing himself into a sitting position.

"So I think I really need to tell my family now," Louis said as he helped Harry get up from the table.

“Yeah. I wonder how we’re going to do that?” Harry walked back to his seat by Doctor Smith's desk to wait for her to return with their printed pictures.

“We?” Louis raised an eyebrow, “What do you mean by we?”

Harry finally sat down, looking up at Louis. “Of course I am going to come with you. We’re in this together and I do think it might be easier to explain with actual people around.”

***

Five sisters and one brother.

Harry should have expected the Tomlinson household to be a loud one, but the second he set foot into the gorgeous house he felt at ease.

Louis’ mom Johannah welcomed him with open arms - she literally did that.

“Louis told us so much about you. I really feel like I’ve met you already with all the wonderful things he had to say about you. Please call me Jay.”

They went into the living room and sat down, Doris not leaving Harry’s side for even a second.

As they started talking, Harry and Louis throwing each other quiet glances on how to tell the story, Harry noticed little fingers poking the side of his belly. Doris was carefully trying to get a reaction from Harry’s stomach, putting her head against it.

“Hey Doris, what’s the little girl telling you?” Doris looked up wide-eyed as if she had done something bad. Harry stroked her hair to show her that he was fine. “I wish I was able to put my ear on my tummy, but I’m too big to reach it.”

Doris giggled. “Is your baby a girl?”

Harry smiled and nodded, taking the chance to rip off the band aid.

“Our baby is going to be a girl.”

He turned his head to look at Louis and back to Jay. Jay slapped her hands in front of her mouth.

“Lou, what does this mean? I thought Harry was already pregnant? How?”

Louis pulled out one of the sonogram pictures and handed it to Jay. She stared at it for a moment and looked at Harry, silently asking him to start at the beginning. As Harry told Jay the story she kept smiling until she was laughing from the top of her lungs.

“I can’t believe this. I mean, this is the most fascinating thing, only a romantic writer could come up with that sort of thing,” Fizzy, who had picked up the oldest twin and listened to the story standing in the doorframe, replied, “and it would be titled ‘Leap of Fate’”.

They all smiled at Fizzy and their chatter lasted for quite some time until Harry’s head rested comfortably on Louis shoulder. Louis was happy that he picked up the phone again and let Harry explain himself. He really was.

***

It didn’t take until the following week that Harry woke up earlier than normal. What had woken him up he didn't know but he knew trying to go back to sleep was pointless. Harry put a tender hand on his round belly.

"No need to use my bladder as a punching bag." He laughed as he felt another jab. Louis had already left for recording, a usual occurrence lately.

After relieving himself he made his way down to the kitchen. Turning on the radio to hear Louis’ voice shooting jabs at Nick, Harry wondered if Louis was still mad at Nick or if they would be better together at some point.

As Harry was reaching for the bread above the fridge he felt a sharp jab very low in his abdomen. "Ahh" His hand automatically went to hold the area that hurt. After a few seconds the pain subsided. "Huh, what’s wrong, Stella?"

He went about his morning, the pain all but forgotten.

3 hours later the pain was steadily increasing. Harry was curled up on the bed, hands holding his stomach as he waited for the pain to end. "Ugh, this is not going to be easy."

It was getting worse. Of course Harry knew what it meant.

He had been living with Gemma for the last two weeks of her pregnancy, so he knew. He would be having their baby. And very soon, he thought, as another bout of pain came on.

Harry gritted his teeth as he reached for his phone. Dialing Louis’ number he wasn't surprised when it went straight to voicemail.

"This is Louis, you know what to do."

Harry spoke as soon as the line beeped. "Hey, I know you might still be in the meeting, but, well, our baby girl decided today was a good day. I don't know when you will get this but if you could come, that would be great. I will keep trying until I get you. We're both fine. I’m going to call my mom and Gems." He quickly ended the call then dialed his sister.

"Hey Gems."

Gemma, as the overprotective sister, especially since the fight with Louis, knew exactly why he was calling. Harry tried to speak but when he opened his mouth he was hit with another shot of pain and grunted.

"Harry?"

"Hey Gems. Umm, could you come over? I may need a ride to the hospital." He sighed as the pain ended yet again.

He heard Gemma grabbing her keys and bag. "I'm on my way now. Are you ok?" With pounding footsteps she took the stairs so she wouldn't lose the call in the elevator.

Harry tried to get his bag and make his way outside. "For the most part. But it seems your niece wants to make an appearance today." He smiled. He was having a baby today.

"As impatient as her papa!" Gemma laughed. "Kids got awesome timing. Where is Louis? Is he still at broadcasting house? Do you need me to get anything?"

“No, I'm OK for now. I had some breakfast so I don't think I should eat just in case and I have my go bag already." He hissed as another pain came. "I'll go meet you at the gate."

Harry waited outside, trying to call Louis a few more times. He talked to his mom on the phone who said she would meet him in the hospital and shot a text to Louis’ mom who said she would be coming down as soon as possible.

When Gemma turned around the corner, she jumped out of the car to help Harry to the passenger seat and asked, "Have you gotten a hold of Louis?"

Harry leaned back, hand going to caress where the baby was kicking. "I called but it went straight to voicemail, over and over again. I'll keep trying till I get him."

He hoped it would be soon. Or he would even go the length to call Nick if that's what it took to get his boyfriend home for the birth of their child.

"He'll call back, Bambi. You know he wouldn't miss this for the world."

Harry sighed. "Yeah, I know."

"Call the hospital and tell them we’re coming in. I'll try to get Louis myself once you’re settled."

Harry smiled.

It seemed that their baby girl wanted to make the fastest entrance into the world as humanly possible. Gemma had not even dropped him off into his mom’s arms when the nurses and Doctor Smith exchanged worried glances. Harry was in pain, sweating, downright miserable, but still stubborn as hell.

"No. No. Not happening. Stella, you're not coming. Not till daddy is here. I won't have this baby without him."

Anne looked at Harry. "I don't know what's going on, love, but I'm going to find out and I will be right back. You won't be alone for this."

Harry whispered ok and Anne went. He closed his eyes and pictured their baby. Would she have his curls? Louis’ eyes? He had the most gorgeous eyes so he hoped she would.

Louis smooth voice filled the room and Harry’s eyes instantly filled with tears.

"LOUIS!" He couldn't believe it, he made it!

Louis walked into his line of sight, leaned down, pressing a firm but gentle kiss to Harry’s lips. "There’s no way I’m missing the most important day of our lives. I’ve already missed more than enough." Harry laughed.

Even when he pictured doing this on his own, the emotions he was currently feeling about Louis being with him for this were more than he could possibly take. He wouldn’t have pictured this almost a year ago. Louis was here, he wouldn't miss their baby coming into their world.

Doctor Smith cleared her throat. "Shall I proceed?"

Harry nodded and turned to Louis, who placed soft kisses along Harry's face.

Harry had read a lot about his, but that didn’t really prepare him for how scared he was right now. Dr. Smith and her team didn’t waste any more time getting started. Knowing that Harry’s being cut open sounded weird, but he didn’t even feel a thing.

Louis never left his side. He could feel Louis whispering words of encouragement in his ear, kissing him on every inch of his face.

Harry groaned as he felt an uncomfortable pulling in his abdomen. He felt nauseous and breathed deeply. He was about to say something meaningful, but the room was suddenly filled with the loud, wonderfully clear cries of their baby.  

The doctor held her over the curtain for both fathers to see.

"Congratulations. You have a healthy baby girl."  

They took her away to get cleaned and checked while Harry silently cried and Louis peppered every inch of Harry he could reach with kisses.

"Thank you so much," Harry caught his lips and kissed him passionately, "thank you for giving us a chance.”

***

Epilogue

Stella whined as she woke up from her nap. Harry decided it was time for a break from taking pictures to pick her up from the stroller.

Since Stella had turned their lives around he decided to settle more into the family pictures in his set up studio in their home. He carried her to his current customer.

“Hey Lou, look who woke up from her nap and decided to join us.”

Lou, who had grown attached to Harry and Louis over the span of them dating, smiled at Stella and made a cooing noise at her.

Seven months of Harry and Louis, four months of Harry, Louis and Stella.

Harry was ready for them to last a lifetime, ready to never let them be scared or lies to come between them, ready to marry Louis one day in the not too distant future.

Louis was attending Glastonbury with the rest of the radio crew, he left Harry and Stella on their own for three days. Three days was the most Harry and Stella had been separated from Louis and while they called and texted all the time, he tried to keep himself busy with work.

The love of his life really had been around the corner and Harry not once regretted the In Vitro Fertilisation, even though he would have skipped the mess he had made.

Louis, him and Stella were ready for their future.

Lou poked Harry to get his attention. “Dreamer, give that gorgeous thing to me and you finish that shoot with Lux. She might get jealous if you don’t move that along. We don’t want to find out how long a twelve-year-old can stay quiet.”

Harry laughed, handing Stella over to Lou, getting back to his camera and smiling at Lux.

“Let’s get this moving before the little rascal wants my attention again.”

“Don’t worry Harry. I think she has got mom wrapped around her finger.”

They both laughed, looking at Lou and Stella who were sharing laughs and giggles. Turning to his camera he started taking pictures of Lux again.