Harry bounced and stretched his arms up, the energy backstage working in a sort of feedback loop getting him more and more excited for what was coming next. The producer approached him and pointed at the door, signalling that the cold open was over and that he should get ready to go onstage. Harry nodded and exhaled, a smile spreading across his face.
He bounded down the stairs, invigorated by the screaming audience and the bright stage lights. “Hello New York!” he shouted, grinning. “Thank you, thank you. SNL. It’s great to be here hosting for the FIRST TIIIME!” The crowd erupted into cheers, and Harry went on autopilot, first mentioning his recently released solo album and then moving on to his starring role in an upcoming romantic comedy, hitting all the points his reps had told him to and throwing a couple of jokes in for good measure.
“And of course some of you might remember a band I was in–something called One Direction?” The crowd cheered again, even louder and longer this time, and Harry willed the ball of tension in his stomach to go away. “So I guess you’ve also heard that we’ve got a little album coming out, then?” They clapped, and someone stood up in the audience. It was happening. Harry pointed to her.
“Yeah, Harry, hi Harry, oh my goddddd!” It was Kate McKinnon, dressed in full 1d fan gear. “Night Changes!!!” she screamed. “Are you gonna do Night Changes?”
“Sorry Kate, love, I’m not singing tonight! Just hosting…we were in rehearsals all week,” Harry said, shaking his head. “I’ll sing for you later, k?”
The next cast member stood up. This time it was Kenan Thompson in a shirt that said “1D Dad!” and holding a stack of glossy photographs.
“Harry! My daughter loves you. Can you sign these?” Kenan said, waving the photos and holding out a pen.
“Maybe after the show, just–um–tell me her name?” Harry said with a shrug and a smile.
“It’s Kenan, K-E-N-A-N,” Kenan said, getting a laugh from the crowd.
“Ahh those aren’t for your daughter, are they?” Harry said wagging his finger. “It’s alright, I’ll get you after the show, yeah Kenan?” Knowing what was coming next, Harry felt his heart racing. He exhaled and squinted into the audience.
“Ok, anyone else out there?” he said, a hand shielding his eyes.
“Actually I have a question.” At the sound of Louis’ voice, the crowd burst into wild cheers. “Who hosts SNL without any of their fellow band members making guest appearances?”
Harry grinned. “Not me, I guess–everyone welcome Louis Tomlinson!” He thrust out his hand as Louis bounded toward the stage, his heart pounding in his chest. Louis took his hand and Harry pulled him up, turning to face the audience with his arm slung over Louis’ shoulder. The crowd was still cheering as Harry looked at Louis, getting final confirmation that he should go ahead as their eyes met.
As the cheering died down, Harry took a breath and got ready to continue. “Now Louis, it’s not fair to call you a band member, is it?” The audience was quiet, waiting for a punchline. “Not when you’re my husband, yeah?” Harry looked from the camera to Louis’ face, unable to contain his smile at the light in Louis’ eyes. He leaned in and let their foreheads touch, before kissing Louis once, soft and sweet, on the lips, the crowd erupting in a mix of awws and cheers.
The two of them laughed a little and Harry turned back to face the camera. “We have a great show for you tonight! Kacey Musgraves is here! And I love Louis Tomlinson! Stick around!” he said. As the cameras were about to turn off, he pulled Louis into a deep kiss, eliciting more cheers from the crowd. He’d have to get changed for his first sketch in a moment, but first he needed to bask in the feeling of finally being able to kiss his husband in public.