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love is simple, it's just that simple

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It’s 3:24 am.

Harry rolls over and spreads himself out in the space next to him, goosebumps rising on his skin as the cold, unmade sheets come in contact with his arm. Disappointment fills his gut when he realizes Louis isn’t next to him, and he blinks his eyes open in hopes that Louis is sitting on the end of bed like he used to.

He’s not.

So Harry and rubs his eyes with his fist, throwing the covers away from his body as he throws his legs over the edge of the bed and stands up. Entering the hallway, Harry makes his way into the guest bedroom, and is greeted by the usual sight of a made up, untouched room.

Entering the office next, Harry smiles once he sees Louis sitting in their spiny chair, his leg tucked underneath him as he toes at the carpet.

“Love,” Harry says, and it’s kind of a routine now, because they’ve been together for 3 years and Louis has had insomnia for way longer than that. “Come back to bed.”

“No,” Louis shakes his head, and Harry can’t believe Louis still insists on not coming back to bed. “I’ll be tossing and turning all night, I don’t want to keep you up.”

Harry enters the room further, standing directly in front of Louis and running his hand over Louis’ cheek. “I’ll sleep better knowing that you’re next to me.”

Louis tilts his head at him, his eyes becoming illuminated by the moonlight. “I’ll be a burden,”

“I love you.” Harry says without missing a beat. “And you’re never a burden.”

“Why are you so sweet to me?” Louis asks, and Harry never answers, because Louis always stands up after he says that, letting Harry take his hand and lead him back to bed.

Harry tucks Louis in and kisses his forehead before making his way to his side of the bed. “Remember when you first left the bed because you couldn’t sleep?”

Louis chuckles quietly, reaching his arms above his head and looking over at Harry. “And you thought I’d left you so you’d gone into panic mode,”

“Heyyyy,” Harry drawls out playfully, “It was after we had sex for the first time, I thought I did something wrong.”

“Mm,” Louis hums. “Imagine the relief you felt when you found out I had an illness instead.”

“I don’t have to imagine it,” Harry says, scooting closer to Louis and bringing his arm down so he can play with Louis’ fingers. “I lived it. Come here,”

Louis scoots closer to Harry and Harry wraps an arm around Louis, completely coddling him. Louis rubs his thumb over Harry’s hip bone. “Get some sleep, yeah?” He says.

“Shouldn’t I be saying that to you?” Harry asks in return, and his eyes are closed but he feels Louis shake his head.

“I’m not tired.” Louis tells him, and yeah, he has a point.


A week later, Louis and Harry are just lounging around eating dinner, sitting at the table and talking shit about their co-workers when Harry’s phone rings.

Harry wipes his mouth with his napkin before picking it up. “Hello?”

“Harry!” It’s his mum.

“Mum!” Harry grins, and Louis smiles too. “How have you been?”

“Great, and how about you?”

“I’ve been fine,” Harry nods.

“Good to hear, good to hear. So, I called to ask if you and Louis wouldn’t mind coming up this weekend and helping me out with something.”

“Oh?” Harry shifts in his seat, cradling the phone to his ear.

“I was wondering if you and Louis could maybe help me clean out my attic?”

Harry smiles. “And by ‘me and Louis help you clean out the attic’ you actually mean, ‘me and Louis will clean the attic while you make dinner’.” At the sound of his name, Louis looks up from his plate of pasta, brows furrowed and his jaw moving as he chews.

“I think it’s a fair trade.” Anne defends.

Harry laughs into the phone. “Yeah, yeah. I’ll ask him.” Harry takes the phone away from his mouth and looks at Louis. “Think you’re up to cleaning out my mum’s attic this weekend?”

“Of course,” Louis replies. “I love going to your mums.”

“Then answer this next question honestly,” Harry begins, but Louis interrupts him with a loud voice so Anne can hear him over the phone.

“Yes, Harry I love Anne’s cooking as well!”

Harry can hear his mum say something but he ignores her, shaking his head before turning serious again. “How much sleep have you gotten this week?”

“Does it matter?”

“Of course it does, Lou.”

“Like, 5 full hours.”

Harry presses his lips together, hesitant.

“Harry, I’m fine. I promise. I’ve gotten less.”

“I know,” Harry sighs. “But I also know you’ve gotten more.” Louis just looks at him helplessly, and Harry feels bad. “I love you.”

Louis blushes a bit, and Harry finds it incredible how his face still reddens after three whole years. Louis laughs out his, ‘I love you too’.

Harry starts laughing as well, and he brings the phone back up to his ear with a grin. “Yeah, we can come. Saturday? Or Sunday?”

“Whatever works best,” Anne says, and Harry looks over at Louis one more time.

“Saturday or Sunday?” Harry asks him, and Louis just bursts out laughing for no reason at all, throwing his head back before placing his forehead on the table, shoulders shaking with laughter. “What?” Harry cries with mirth. “What’s so funny?”

Louis picks his head up again and is still laughing, pointing a finger weakly at Harry. “You – you just – your face,” That’s all he gets out before dissolving into laughter once again.

“Stop laughing at me!” Harry cries, and Louis just laughs louder, beginning to stand up and take his plate into the kitchen.

Harry pouts as Louis picks up his plate too, because Louis is still laughing.

“Saturday, I don’t care, babe. Saturday.” He barely gets the sentence out through all his laughter, and Harry lightly slaps Louis’ bum as he makes his way out of the dining room.

“Saturday.” Harry tells Anne. “Saturday works better.”

“Great, because I wanted to talk to you about something.”

Harry’s stomach sinks on instinct because everyone knows nothing good ever comes out of a parent saying ‘I need to talk to you’. “Why don’t you talk to me about it now?”

“It’s something better said in person,” Anne says, and oh lord is Harry nervous now.

“That sounds… ominous.” Harry hears the kitchen sink running and the sound of dishes clanking together and Harry’s heart beats in adoration at the thought of Louis cleaning up the dishes. He briefly remembers their first time eating dinner together, but his mother’s voice is in his ear again, but Harry only stars listening fully when she mentions Louis’ name.

“What?” He asks, dazed, because he really was not playing attention at all.

“How’s Louis doing?” Her voice has gone soft, Harry notices.

“The medicine he got a few weeks ago doesn’t work, but that’s nothing new.”

“Honey, I don’t think all that medication is good for him. I mean, I want him to sleep as much as you do, but isn’t there a risk of something bad happening? Those are very intense sleeping pills he’s prescribed, aren’t you ever worried he’ll accidentally overdose?”

“All the time. That’s why I told him to stop taking them. I hate seeing him look so tired all the time, but I could never,” Harry pauses, this is something he thinks about quite a lot, despite how much he hates even the thought. “I could never live if I let him overdose like that. I just hate when he leaves the bed at night, you know? Because like, I know it’s because he doesn’t want to keep me up, but I can’t sleep without him, Mum. I can’t sleep unless he’s there.”

“I know, Harry, I would-” But Harry stops listening.

Louis catches his eye from where he’s leaning in the doorway and Harry smiles sadly at him, the initial surprise of Louis’ presence being dulled down by the fact that they’ve lived together for a long while and Harry’s used to how quiet Louis can be when he wants to be.

Louis just looks down at himself, ashamed, and Harry taps the table to get his attention because that’s not the important part of what he just said.

“Yeah,” Harry says once he realizes that Anne is done talking, and probably has been for a while. “Thanks Mum. I have to go,” At this, Louis immediately shakes his head, because if Harry wants to continue talking to his mum then he should, but Harry doesn’t want to talk to his mum anymore – he wants to talk to Louis.

“Bye Harry, see you Saturday. Love you, don’t forget I-”

“Love you too,” Harry says hurriedly because Louis has left the room and Harry just wants to talk to him.

Louis is sitting on the couch in the living room and he’s got the TV on some irrelevant show that he and Harry have watched a thousand times, but it doesn’t even matter because Harry mutes it once he sits down.

“I’m sorry I can’t sleep,” Louis says, looking down at his lap.

“No, no Louis, no.” Harry chants, getting up on his knees and touching Louis everywhere because Louis needs assurance when he gets like this. “Don’t apologize for something you can’t control,”

“I just feel bad sometimes,”

“Well don’t,” Harry says. “I love you just the way you are, and I would only change one thing about you, do you know what that thing is?”

“If you say you want to change my last name, I will get off this couch because your jokes are horrible and I want nothing to do with them.”

Harry barks out a laugh because Louis is always groaning about how bad Harry’s jokes are. “You love my jokes,” Harry defends weakly, and Louis just shoots him a look because no he does not. “Alright, alright, you win. Want to watch some home improvement shows?” Harry suggests, mainly to get off the topic of what Harry was going to bring up, because Louis is smiling now and Harry loves it when Louis smiles.

“Are you suggesting that our home is in need of improvement?” Louis counters, but he’s reaches for the remote anyway, grinning as Harry pulls him into his lap.

“I think our home is perfect,” Harry tells him, kissing his temple as Louis turns his head to look at him. “Just like the people inside of it. Speaking of people, what do you call someone who-”

“Nooo,” Louis squeals, burying his face in Harry’s chest and smacking him. “No jokes!”

Harry just laughs and kisses Louis’ head again, running a hand through his hair as some random construction worker begins to talk about how to knock an unwanted wall down.


“How long has been since you’ve been up there?” Harry asks Anne as she putters around the kitchen quickly, grabbing miscellaneous pots and pans from the cupboard.

“I was up there like, 3 weeks ago.” Anne says, and Harry raises an eyebrow at her.

“Really?” He teases. “That explains why when Louis and I pulled down the drawstring stairs, we got showered in a pound of dust.”

“Did you come all the way down here just to tell me that?”

“I thought you should know,” Harry says snootily, crossing his arms across his chest.

“Well thanks for telling me, even though I don’t really care.” Anne retorts, ignoring her son as he gapes at her. “Now, I invited you here for a reason-”

“I get it, I get it,” Harry interrupts, putting his hands up in surrender. “I just wanted some water before I further subject myself to whatever horrendous things we might find upstairs.”

“Wait, wait.” Anne says suddenly, and Harry stops in the doorway, turning around to face his mother, who is now standing right in front of him.

“Where’s Louis?” She whispers, and Harry looks at her confusedly.

“The attic.” Harry replies, “Why?”

“I wanted to talk to you, remember?” Anne says, and Harry nods nervously, looking around and wondering why Louis can’t be present.

“This is about Louis, isn’t it?” Harry realizes it as he says it, and he crosses his arms defensively across his chest because yeah, Anne may be his mother but if she says something negative about Louis, Harry has every intention of getting them both out of here.

“How many times have you and Louis had sex this week?” She asks calmly, and Harry chokes.

“What?” He splutters, looking behind him to see if there was any chance of Louis walking in the room soon.

“How many time have you and Louis had sex this week?”

“Why are you asking me this?” Harry says, his voice high and shrill.

“Just answer the question!” Anne presses, “I’m your mum! You can tell me anything!”

“But this is like-” Harry sighs and rubs a hand over his face, completely giving up because he can tell his mum will just keep nagging him. “You mean like, sexual things? Or just sex.”

“Just sex.” Anne states, and Harry can’t believe he’s telling her this.

“Four.” He sighs, “Four times.”

Anne lights up at his answer. “Harry!” She cheers. “That’s better than average!”

“Mum what the – alright, what did I tell you about watching Dr. Oz?”

“Harry, I’m trying to have a serious conversation with you.”

“About me and Louis’ sex life!?” Harry nearly shouts, and Anne shushes him.

“Harry, this is about the bigger picture! Sit down, please.”

“Oh my god, fine, fine.” Harry huffs, pulling out a chair at the kitchen island as Anne takes a seat next to him.

“Correct me if I’m wrong,” She starts, and Harry looks at her. “You and Louis have been together for three years, you have sex regularly, you have financial stability, and you can barely function without him.”

Harry sighs, but nods. “What does that have to do with anything?”

“I think it’s time you make an honest man of yourself,”

“And by making an honest man of myself you mean…” Harry trails off, taking a sip of his water while Anne lets out a frustrated noise.

“Get down on your bloody knee Harry!” She says, obviously. “Ask him to marry you!”

Harry nearly spits out his water, but he instead inhales it all in a gasp and ends up choking on it instead. Anne smacks his back a couple of times and it doesn’t help at all. Harry’s face is red and he’s coughing like mad, looking crazed once he meets his mother’s eye.

“What?” He chokes out, wiping up the water droplets from his chin.

“At least tell me you’ve talked about it,”

Harry blinks. “Well, yeah, a bit. We’ve talked – a bit,”

“Harry, surely you would know whether or not you want to be with each other.”

“I - of course I want to be with him, there’s no doubt involved.”

“What’s the setback then?”

“I – I don’t know, we’re in a good place right now, I don’t want to ruin it.”

“You think proposing would ruin your relationship?”

Harry coughs a bit, looking sideways at her. “Well when you put it like that, it sounds kind of dumb.”

“Look,” Anne says, placing a hand on her sons shoulder. “I know it’s not my place, but I don’t think you’ll find anyone better for you than Louis.”

Harry looks at her. “There’s no one better for me than him,” He agrees.

Anne is going to say more, but a sneeze makes her stop and turn towards the doorway.

Louis is standing there holding a cardboard box, he shakes out his hair and gives both Harry and Anne a pointed look. “Is no one going to say bless you?” He says with a smile.

Anne does but Harry doesn’t because all that’s going through Harry mind is husbandhusbandhusband Louis could be my husband.

“Harry?” Louis asks, setting the box down on the floor. His eyes go from Anne to Harry as he slowly steps towards the pair.

Harry gets up from the chair and just steps in front of Louis, which makes Louis nervous because Harry’s face is completely void of emotion.

But then Harry hugs him. He wraps his arms around Louis’ shoulders and hugs him tightly and Louis is confused, to say the least. He makes eye contact with Anne as he wraps his arms around Harry’s waist.

“I love you,” Harry whispers in his ear. “I love you a lot, you know.”

Louis just nods against Harry’s shoulder because he returns the feelings and Harry knows it, but Anne is still watching them so Louis pulls away with a smile.

Wiping his nose, Louis runs a hand through his hair as he addresses the whole room. “I found a box with some maternity clothes in it that I felt we could just donate to charity.  Along with that came some other things,” Louis shoots a teasing smirk to Harry. “Including a ‘Days I Wet the Bed’ calendar. Harry, that is a story you seem to have forgotten to tell me.”

Harry blushes and hangs his head. “I was like, 5!”

“Really?” Louis grins. “Because the calendar says you were 12.”

Harry just groans and lowers his head, so Louis walks over and kisses him on the cheek. “Hey, love.” He says quietly. “Chin up,” Louis taps his chin with the tip of his finger and Harry’s melts because that’s what he had told Louis the first time Louis told Harry that he feels like a burden because he can’t fall asleep.

“What else is in there? Maternity clothes, you said?” Harry changes the subject and he’s glad that Louis decides to drop it as well.

“Yeah,” Louis nods, walking over to wear the box lies on the floor, bending down and opening it. “Lots of maternity clothes.”

Anne hums and stands up from her seat, walking over and standing next to Louis. “I say we donate them.”

“Wait, I wanna look at some of them first.” Harry says, bending down and grabbing the first article of clothes off the top of the pile, shaking out the dust before holding it out in front of him. “This thing is huge!” Harry exclaims, putting the large gray maternity sweatshirt against his body and giving his mother an astounded look. “Did I really make your stomach this huge?”

Anne laughs and nods. “You were a pain.”

Still is a pain.” Louis adds on, and Harry swats at him.

“No but seriously, this thing is huge! I bet me and Louis could both fit inside of it.” Harry face lights up at his own idea, and within seconds he’s pulling the sweatshirt over his head.

 “Come here,” Harry grabs the hem of the sweater and lifts it over Louis’ head as he presses his chest to Harry’s. Louis’ too short though, and his head doesn’t pop out of the neck hole like Harry’s does.

Only slightly suffocating, Louis gets himself out of the sweater. “I need to be higher up,” He says to Harry.

“Sit on the counter,” Harry instructs, and Louis obliges, turning around and climbing on top of the counter. “My god you’re so tiny,” Harry smiles, and Louis glares at him.

“Just get over here,” Louis grumbles, and this time it’s Harry’s turn to follow orders, walking over and bringing the sweater up over Louis’ head. They both laugh when the task is completed, the fabric only stretching a bit as it covers both of their bodies. Louis laughs at Harry’s giddy expression when his heads pop out of the neck hole.

“Mum look!” Harry says with a grin, and Anne looks over at the two with a smile of her own.

“You look absolutely ridiculous.” She says, but neither boys are paying attention.

“I’m going to lift you up,” Harry whispers, and Louis chuckles as he wraps his legs around Harry’s waist. “That is mad,” Harry observes as he walks Louis around the kitchen. “I’m keeping this.”

Anne shook her head at her son antics. “Of course you are.”

“What are we ever going to do with this?” Louis asks as he puts his arms through the sleeves with ease considering the fact that Harry’s hands are currently gripping Louis’ thighs.

Harry shrugs. “I don’t know. We can use it to make a two person fort for only our upper bodies.”

“You’re ridiculous.”

“Ridiculously creative,” Harry corrects him, and Louis laughs.

“Yeah, whatever you say. We’ve still got 6 more boxes to sort through.” Louis tells him through a yawn, squirming in his arms.

“Yeah alright,” Harry agrees, but he only sorts one more box before insisting that he and Louis go back home. He hoped that Louis yawning was a sign that he was going to sleep for more than 2 hours that night.

When Harry wakes up to find Louis sitting up next to him, drumming his fingers silently against the mattress, Harry knows he was wrong. He pulls Louis into him though, because out of all the things that might be wrong, Louis didn’t leave him, and that’s what Harry cares about.


He puts it on again as a joke, really.

Louis had said again and again that keeping it was a dumb idea because seriously, Harry, when are we going to need a maternity sweater?

So as they’re sitting through a Lord of the Rings marathon on TV, Harry suggest that the sweater is a wonderful cuddling aid.

“Cuddling aid,” Louis echoes. “What even is that?”

“Something that helps you cuddle,” Harry says obviously, leaving the living room and heading towards the bedroom.

“First you say our home needs improving, next you say our cuddling isn’t up to par, what’s next?” Louis whines, but Harry is already gone.

“This is absolutely ridiculous,” Louis says as Harry sits back down on the couch, trying to persuade Louis into joining him inside the monstrous article of clothing.

“But…” Harry trails off, his eyebrows raising and a grin blooming onto his face when Louis sighs in defeat.

“But I’ll do it anyway.” Louis rolls his eyes as he says it, but Harry cheers either way.

When Louis crawls on top of him and disappears under the sweater, Harry laughs because Louis’ fingers tickle him a bit. As Louis’ head appears next to Harry’s, Harry’s eyes are bright. “Fun, innit?”

Louis scoffs. “You are a strange one. It is warm, though. I’ll give you that.” Louis settles against Harry’s chest and Harry’s sighs contently, fingers tapping Louis’ back to the unknown beat of husbandhusbandhusband.  

Halfway through The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King, Harry feels his eyes begin to droop.

“Lou?” He says, moving underneath Louis’ body. “Babe?”

“Hm?” Louis sounds, picking his head up and wiping his mouth. “What?”

“Want to go to bed?” Harry asks him, trailing a finger behind Louis’ ear.

“Sure, love.”

“Okay, how are we going to do this?” Harry gestures to their bodies with a smile.

“Um, sit up.” Louis instructs, and Harry does so. “Put your legs down, like, yeah.” They get into a position where Harry’s sitting on the couch regularly, and Louis is on his lap. “And then I’ll just-” Louis adjusts himself so that his legs are wrapped around Harry’s waist, and they only hear the fabric stretch to its maximum twice. “There.”

“So smart,” Harry chuckles sleepily, leaning in to kiss Louis softly.

“One of us has to be,” Louis mumbles back, and Harry pulls away with a laugh.

Harry carefully lays them down on the mattress, legs tired and eyelids heavy. Louis stretches his legs out and tangles them together with Harry’s, pressing their chests together.

“I love you.” Louis whispers, and Harry smiles sleepily at him.

“I love you too.”


“Goodnight. Sleep well,” Harry says.

Louis just sighs.


Harry wakes up at 9:36 in the morning.

Louis is fast asleep on his chest, curled up in the giant sweater.

Harry stretches his arms before freezing because-

Louis is asleep.

Louis is asleep.

Louis is asleep.

And there was no way he got out of bed in the middle of the night either, because Harry definitely would’ve felt it. Forcing himself to ignore the physical excited energy that is now pumping through his veins, Harry lays his head back against the pillow, trying to calm himself down.

It proves a waste of time, though, because Harry can’t go back to sleep no matter how hard he tries. Louis has been diagnosed with insomnia since he was 16, hasn’t gotten a full nights sleep since he was 13. And now –

And now –

Carefully, Harry reaches over to the nightstand and grabs his phone, calling Jay.


“Jay, it’s me, Harry.”

“Harry, is everything okay?” She sounds worried, and Harry can’t blame her, he himself sounds crazed.

“Yeah, yeah, great actually.”

He doesn’t really know how to bring it up.

“Is there any reason you called?”

“Um, yeah, um. It’s Louis, he’s – he’s asleep, right now, and has been for the past 10 hours.”

The line goes silent.

“What?” Jay asks in a deadpanned voice filled with disbelief.

“He’s asleep. Right now, and has been. For 10 hours.”

“Oh my god,” Jay breathes. “Oh my god.”

“I know,” Harry says, because really, what is he even supposed to say?

“How?” Jay asks, and finally, a question Harry can answer.

“Well, funny story, we’re both curled up inside a maternity sweatshirt.”

“What?” Jay asks, but this time it’s through a burst of laughter.

“Yeah, it’s kind of a long story.”

“Well then, thank you for calling me, Harry.”

“You’re the first person I thought of,” Harry tells her honestly. “I was wondering, would you and Dan maybe like to go out to dinner soon?” Harry chews his lip nervously, wondering if she’ll question him.

“I would love to!” Jay says, and Harry’s instantly relieved. “I haven’t seen you boys in so long.”

“Too long,” Harry agrees. “Well, I’m going to go. Thank you Jay, and see you soon.”

“You too Harry! Bye!”

They both hang up after that, and Harry smiles as he looks down at Louis. Harry hasn’t had many chances to look at Louis when he’s sleeping all peaceful and silent, and he isn’t ashamed to say that that’s what he does for the next twenty minutes.

Harry can tell Louis is about to wake up by the way he starts to move his hands, his fists clenching and unclenching as his mouth opens and he exhales, eyelids fluttering and he opens his eyes with haze.

“Hi, love.” Harry greets, a hand immediately going to Louis’ hair.

“Good morning.” Louis says back tiredly, and then he becomes floored with confusion. “What time is it?”

“A little after 10,” Harry tells him quietly and he watches as Louis’ eyes widen.

“A little after 10?” Louis asks, breathlessly. Harry just nods and Louis is still for a moment before a huge grin is spreading over his face. “A little after 10.” Louis repeats with amazement. He then starts to laugh gleefully, hanging his head before giving Harry an astonished look.

“I love you,” Harry says, and Louis laughs again, pressing a closed mouth kiss to Harry’s lips.

“I can’t believe I slept,” Louis goes on, “Over 10 hours. That is incredible.”

“I love you,” Harry says again, louder, because he knows that Louis knows it but he wants him to feel it.

“I love you too.” Louis says to him, bringing a hand up and stroking Harry’s cheek. “So much.”

When they get over their initial bewilderment, Harry suggests that by some miracle, it’s the combination of himself and the damn maternity sweatshirt that caused a great night sleep for Louis – the first one he’s gotten in who knows how long.

Sitting at the dining table, tea in hand, Louis gives Harry the most loving look imaginable, his mouth falling open and his eyes widening and his emotions on display and Harry could completely wreck him if he wanted.

But he doesn’t.

Because while Louis is looking at him, Louis says, “I cant sleep without you,” In such a small voice that Harry could’ve imagined it. The words fill his brain and overwhelm his senses because they’re so familiar, but the voice saying them is not.

“Me neither,” Harry says, just as quiet. “I can’t sleep without you either.”

Louis looks like he understands now, like he understands why Harry always comes out of bed and finds him, has been for the last 3 years and will be for all the years to come.


“You look sharp.”

Harry looks over from where he’s straightening his tie to look at Louis leaning against the doorway, clad in boxers and a tank top.

“You look sexy.” Harry grins, and Louis just rolls his eyes, walking over to Harry and standing next to him. Harry wraps and arm around Louis’ waist and brings him closer into his side.

“You seem rather excited to see my mum,” Louis notes, and Harry looks at him.

“I haven’t said anything about being excited,” Harry says, and Louis just shrugs.

“You don’t have to, I can feel it, like radiating off of you or something. It’s weird.” Louis wrinkles his nose and Harry laughs.

“Well I’m sorry my excitement is such a bother,” Harry jokes, and Louis steps out of his hold.

“You should be.” Louis teases back, grabbing Harry’s hands and looking up at him. “I have to go get dressed.”

Harry hums and leans down for a kiss, to which Louis responds my bringing his arms up to wrap around Harry’s shoulders. Just as Louis is about to pull away, Harry opens his mouth and Louis lets out a sound of surprise, pulling away and smiling at the way Harry chases his lips.

“Plenty of time for that later,” Louis tells him. “We’re going to be late if we don’t hurry.”

“Well get dressed quickly, then.” Harry says, straightening his sleeves out.

It’s Harry’s turn to be surprised as Louis leans up and kisses him one more time before stepping away and saying, “I’m going, I’m going. You seem more enthusiastic to see my parents than I am.”

Louis has a point, Harry is much more enthusiastic to see Jay and Dan than Louis is, but Louis doesn’t need to know that.

Once they arrive at some random fancy restaurant that Harry and Jay picked out together, they sit at their reserved seat and order an appetizer.

Jay’s absolutely buzzing in her seat, and Louis catches on before anyone else.

“What is it, Mum?” He asks, and Jay absolutely lights up.

“Have you slept every night this week?” She asks, and Louis blushes and shifts in his seat while Harry grins proudly.

“I have,” Louis says, and Jay lifts her arms above her head, doing a little dance in her seat.

“I’m so proud of you, Louis.” Dan says, and Jay nods vehemently.

“I haven’t done anything,” Louis shrugs, and Harry leans a bit closer to him.

“I’m proud of you too, you know.”

“I know you are, I just don’t get why. I didn’t do anything, you did it all.”

“Well then, I’ll be proud of myself too.” Harry says, pulling back and sitting upright in his chair. Louis reaches out and rubs a hand on Harry’s thigh under the table, and Harry reaches down to tangle their fingers together.

“And all of this happened because of a maternity sweatshirt?” Jay asks.

“And Harry,” Louis points out.

“Yeah,” Harry nods. “Crazy, innit?” The waiter appears with their appetizer and everyone quiets down as they eat, making small talk until they order a main course for themselves.

Harry decides that now is a good time as ever, and he pats his pants pocket before running a hand inside each of his jacket pockets, overdoing an act of confusion. Of course Louis picks up on it.

“What’s wrong?” Louis asks him.

“Ah, I think I left my phone in the car.” Harry says, stricken. He knows what Louis will say next.

“Would you like me to go get it for you?”

“If you wouldn’t mind,”

“It’s no problem. I’ll be right back,” Louis says to the table, getting up and pushing his chair in before walking away.

Harry takes his phone out of his pocket and places it on the table.

Jay gives him a strange look, and Harry shakes his head, nerves finally catching up with him. “I have a question for you both,”

Jay and Dan exchange a quick look, both adopting a more professional expression. “What is it?”

“We’re friends right?” Harry starts off, and Jay nods slowly.

“Of course.” Jay says.

“Family, even.” Dan adds, and Harrys lips twitch up in a smile.

“Right, well. You know I love Louis, more than anything, and you know he’s absolutely changed my life in every good way possible, and I have, and will continue to, try my best to please him,” Harry swallows, looking between Jay and Dan. “And I was wondering-” Harry’s voice cracks a bit and he clears his throat to cover it up. Taking a deep breath, Harry calms himself down. “I was wondering if I could have your permission to ask for his hand in marriage.”

The table is silent.

“You don’t have to give an answer right now –”

“Yes!” Jay shouts, accidentally gaining the attention of a few people sitting by them. “Of course you can – oh my god.” Jay’s laughing and grinning and Harry’s grinning as well, completely flushed. “I thought you’d never ask.”

 Harry smiles and is about to say more but then he catches sight of Louis, who is walking back to the table with a sad expression on his face, so he presses his lips in a firm line, not saying anything.

“I couldn’t find it, love. I’m sorry. Are you sure you didn’t leave it at home?”

Harry taps his phone where it lays on the table. “I found it.”

“Oh,” Louis says, but nods anyway. “Why are you looking at me like that?” The question is directed at Jay, who’s looking at Louis with bright eyes and a beaming grin.

“I’m just very happy to see you.” Jay covers up, and Louis smiles at her.


When the main course arrives, Louis looks down at his plate and Jay immediately shoots Harry a look. Harry laughs silently and puts a finger up to his lips, reaching down to rub Louis’ thigh much like Louis had done earlier. Louis looks up at him with a mouthful of spaghetti and throws him a closed-lip smile.

Harry just pats Louis’ thigh to the more familiar beat of husbandhusbandhusband before pulling away.


A few days later, Harry decides that todays the day. They’ve just come home from helping a neighbors put a satellite dish on their roof. They have a son named Charlie who just turned 2, and the couple had said that they wanted more appropriate channels for their child.

Watching Louis keep the kid company was nothing short of adorable, and watching the couple playfully bicker about made Harry realize that he wants that with Louis right now.

There’s nothing stopping him either. He’s got the ring, he’s got the confidence, so what’s the hold up? Opening the front door to their home, Harry decides that there is no hold up.

“I wonder if our roof is all clean like theirs,” Louis says when he sits down on the couch, bending down to untie his shoes. “Do you think they hire someone to clean it? Should we do that?”

Harry chuckles, walking over to Louis and poking the tip of his nose. “I think our roof is perfect, just like the people who live under it.”

Louis shakes his head and stands up, grabbing his shoes and making his way to their bedroom, Harry following. “I’m serious Harry, what if for whatever reason someone goes up on our roof, and they’re completely repulsed! Now that I think about it, the rain must do a mighty job of getting dirt and stuff off, but wouldn’t that just put dirt in the gutters? Should we get out gutters checked?”

“I think we should get you checked, what even are you rambling on about?”

Louis wrings his hands together, looking very nervous. Harry’s up and next to him in seconds, placing his hands on Louis’ shoulders trying to calm him down.

“What’s wrong?”

“Our gutters are dirty,” Louis says quickly, and Harry forces a laugh.

“Seriously Louis, what’s wrong? Are you feeling-”

“Will you marry me?” Louis blurts out, and his eyes widen, and Harry feels himself goes stiff. “Shit,” Louis curses. “I’m supposed to get on my knee first - okay, um,” Louis scrambles down to get on one knee, reaching into his coat pocket and pulling out a jewelry box. Harry arms fall limp at his sides and he stares down at Louis with disbelief. “Harry Styles,” Louis starts, and Harry feels himself start to cry. “Will you do me the honor of being my husband?”

Harry doesn’t say anything, doesn’t move, doesn’t blink, until suddenly he’s springing into action, running over to the closet and throwing things off of their hangers looking for his pair of black boots.

“W-what are you doing?” Louis stutters nervously, pocketing the ring and following Harry with an air of fear and surprise, tentatively putting a hand on Harry’s bicep. “Harry you’re scaring me, say something, please.”

Bending down, Harry grabs his shoes from the back of the closet and nearly knocks Louis over by turning around so fast, shoving one of the boots in Louis’ face.

Louis stumbles backwards, still looking mortified, and Harry shakes his head at himself, reaching in the shoe and taking out a jewelry box himself.

“I got you one too, I want to marry you too,” Harry says hurriedly, and reassurance takes over Louis’ features, and soon enough he’s laughing.

“You had a ring this whole time, and you let me stand there and believe for a second that you were going to say no?” Louis shouts, but he’s grinning like mad, and Harry’s laughing too, tossing the ring onto the bed and advancing towards Louis, picking him up and spinning him around a couple of times. Louis wraps his legs around Harry’s waist and laughs still, wiping away some tears when Harry stands still.

“I love you,” Harry says, and Louis sniffs and giggles a bit, reaching forward to wipe Harry’s face free of tears as well, but he doesn’t really do anything other than spread the wetness around.

“I love you too,” Louis grins, leaning in to kiss Harry, threading his hands through Harry’s hair. Harry opens his mouth immediately, sucking on Louis tongue and biting at his lower lip before pulling away.

“You are so perfect,” Harry says, ignoring the string of spit connecting their mouths. Harry drops Louis onto their bed carefully, crawling up and resting in between his legs. He grabs the jewelry box from next to Louis and places his elbows on either side of Louis’ head, leaning down to peck Louis’ lips as he opens up the box and pulls out the ring.

“It’s nothing too flashy,” Harry explains, holding the ring up so Louis can examine it. It’s a silver band, sterling silver and shiny as anything. “I know you don’t like things like that.”

“Harry it’s perfect,”

“It’s engraved too, look.” Louis holds up the ring and squints at it, staying silent for a second before bursting out in laughter.

“You’ve got to be joking,” Louis says, and Harry is about to retort, to defend the words etched into the inside of the silver, but Louis takes the jewelry box out of his own pocket, sliding the ring Harry gave him on onto his finger before handing Harry his ring. “Look at mine,”

Harry opens the box and is stunned. It’s sterling silver as well, except it has tiny black diamonds etched into it. “It’s beautiful.”

“I got one with diamonds in it, because I know you like things like that.”

Harry shifts between Louis’ legs, sitting up a bit so he can hold the ring up higher, watching how the diamonds glow.

“That’s not even the best part,” Louis says, and he’s grinning again, “Look at the engraving.”

Harry obeys, only needing to read the first 3 words of the engraving before laughing, burying his face into one of his palms.

“I can’t believe we got the same thing engraved in each other’s rings.” Harry sighs, but it’s funny, and it’s lovely, so he puts the ring on the appropriate finger and leans down to kiss Louis, his fiancé, one last time, thinking about the words that they’ve both said more than anything.

I can’t sleep without you.