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Just keep breathing

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Harry has had asthma for as long as he can remember.

At school it was always difficult to do sports for longer than 30 minutes without running out of breath.

He always kept his inhaler by his side. But when he got older his ability to breathe improved, he no longer had to wheeze everytime he did activities with friends.

When he joined one direction it came back, during the first arena tour it was hard for Harry to sing without using his inhaler. Maybe he shouldn't jump and dance around on stage all the time but he never let's his fans down.

The boys of course know that sometimes harry gets asthma attacks but not frequently anymore but it still scares the shit out of them when he has one of those fits, especially Louis. He's always there for the curly haired lad. His small boy who is now actually a lot taller than him still needs his protection and comfort. Even after all those years Louis is still by his side no matter the circumstances.

The boys were on the american leg of their tour, everything went perfect although they were all tired. Heading off to bed at 1 am and waking up at 4 every day is not the best thing in the world.

But they kept going like they always do.

 

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Harry watched the boys happily dance and interacting with the fans while singing when suddenly smoke hits him from the smoke machine in front of him. He immediately start to cough. Shit not again.. He always has problems with those machines. During the coughing fits his chests starts to tighten. Every movement he made started to hurt, his throat was on fire so he just stopped singing right away.

He started to hyperventilatem wheeze and tried to warn one of the boys. He looked up to find one of them and saw Louis sitting on the edge of the stage. Try to warn Louis he thought, he always knows what to do. he wanted to scream to him but he couldn't, his throat felt like it was on fire.

He desperetaly searched for any contact and met Liams brown eyes. He was mouthing something at Harry but he ouldn't comprehend it.

Once again Harry blinked and noticed everything around him was swaying. Fans were desperate to get any sort of attention of him but he kept his gaze on the floor. Trying to collect his breathing but it didn't work at all. I really need help now, he thought. His heart started to beat faster as his hands started to shake. Emotions started to hit hit hard. Sadness. Anger. Fear. Lots of fear. Am I having a panic attack on top of an asthma attack?

*************************************************

Louis was sitting on the ramp of the stage while he was mouthing the words Harry's solo in 18. Smiling at the fans in the front row he noticed there was something off. He could only hear the fans screaming the words on the top of their lungs. Why was Harry not singing? He turned his head to the stage looking for the curly lad but he found Liam looking at him instead. Eyes filled with worry he ran over to Louis.

''I think Harry's having an asthma attack.'' Liam said, picking Louis easily off the ramp.

Louis just nodded, easily knowing what to do and he went to Harry who was standing on the other side of the stage standing by himself looking at the ground. He looked pale like really really pale. He tried to make eye contact but he just stared at the ground like he didn't even noticed any of us approaching. ''You alright love? Liam said you were having trouble breathing.'' Louis said in the most soothing voice. Then Harry looked up, with puffy red eyes and suddenly starts coughing. The mic slips out of his hand and the falling sound fills the arena. Harry's clutching at his chest. Body doubled over, his hair covers half of his his face, his face flushes to a dark red as his coughing turns into wheezing.

 

''Shit shit, love...harry where is your inhaler?'' Louis says, who is panicking now noticing harry is really having trouble breathing and that it's not just a small fit.

But harry can't produce an anwser his throat is closing up and he can't breathe his body is trembling with hyperventilation.

Still panicking louis sits down next to harry and lifts harry's head to look at him. ''Love..you need to try catching your breath okay... breathe with me.. You're alright I promise okay just listen to my breathing a-and repeat it... '' Louis said but it didn't help.

Harry feels tired ... and weak... he feels utterly weak, and drained to even look up. And all he wanted was being hold by Louis until he could catch his breath... but he just couldn't catch his breath without using his inhaler.

The music had already stopped and chaos ensued, fans were screaming and crying. The big screen went black the second Harry dropped his mic and above all: Harry couldn't fucking breathe.

''The paramedics are on the way.'' Niall very quietly says standing with Liam. When did they even come here? Does it matter? "Don't panic. It's okay." Liam says in a calm voice but by the looks of it he's just as much panicking as the others.

"Don't tell me to fookin' panic Liam. Harry is having a asthma attack. The paramedic should be here hours ago! Louis hissed at Liam, whilist his eyes still on Harry.

"Lou...sss-stop... you-" Harry finally gasps but gets interrupted by another coughing fit.

The cough are loud and spit is dripping out of his mouth. Harry's eyes grow wide it's all becoming too real the boys are standing in front of him with worried looks, Louis is holding harry's shoulder so he won't fall and Harry is really having trouble breathing and his vision is getting more blurried by the second.

"Shhh baby, sorry..you gotta stay with me.'' Louis whispers. He places his hand carefully on Harry's back. But harry doesn't even notice Louis' touch or his voice.

Next time Louis takes a look at Harry, he sees a blue tint on his lips and his eyes are so close from closing that all he can see is the white and not the lovely green orbs. He definetly knows that the paramedics need to hurry the fuck up. "No, no, no, Harry, no. Stay with me, don't do this love, no. C'mon love." Louis says. He gently brushes his fingers at his cheeks, trying to get his attention.

But Harry doesn't acknowledge him anymore, he's too far in his attack and he is losing the fight with his consciousness. All he can hear is muffled voices like he's underwater. His neck and chest muscles are in an extremely tight position that causes discomfortt. He feels tired and is losing his coherence. Black dots are covering his vision and he let's the black take over. His eyes roll back in his head and he falls limply in Louis' arms.

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Hi guys, I was wondering if you like the sotry and if I should continue? It's my first fanfic so please say if there's things i can improve and what should happen in the next chapters!

Thankyou!

xxx

Chapter Text

‘’Harry. No no no. Wake up. Please!” Louis pleads with teary eyes as Harry is laying motionless in his arms. Carefully slapping his flushed cheeks to get any sort reaction out of him.

Something is terribly wrong.

He doesn’t hear Harrys loud breaths anymore.

He immediately checks his breathing by lifting his head up at Harry’s mouth.

All he can hear are small wheezes of air, but at least he’s still breathing.

It feels like an eternity, but the paramedics finally arrive and they squat down next to Louis whose still holding Harry close.

Louis doesn’t even notice them until they remove Harry out of his arms and he gets shoved away by Niall.

They go working on Harry, laying him down on a backbord, checking his vital and placing an oxygen mask on his face while mumbling things to eachother in concerned tones.

Louis swallows, eyes watering as they work on Harry’s unconscious frame.

“Cameron? We have a twenty year old male here, passed out due to a severe asthma attack. I’m going to need an oxygen tank. I need the ambulance to be ready as soon as we escort him out.’’ One of the male paramedic says speaking into a walkie-talkie.

“I-is he going to be okay?” Niall asks with shaky breaths.

“He will be, as soon as he gets the help he needs which is in the hospital.” The paramedic says discreetly, jaw contracting.

Louis heart sinks to his stomach. Harry never needed this much help with an asthma attack.

It’s possibly the worst asthma attack Harry’s had in the years he’s known them.

They lift the backbord upwards on the gurney as they wheel Harry off the stage with a high speed.

Louis jolts forward to one of the paramedics backstage.

“I need to be with him” His voices raises.

“You can’t go with us now. Sir you need to step aside please. We are transporting him to St. George and we need to get going NOW.” One of them says.

Louis hesitates but nods. Runing a shaky hand to his hair.

He glances one more time at Harry who still has his eyes closed and who was looking awfully pale.

The paramedics rushed off to the nearest exit the boys joined him. Hugging the both Liam and Niall tightly Louis finally lets out all of his emotions and starts sobbing uncontrollably.

Harry was dying in front of his eyes and he couldn’t do anything but sit there and watch the scene unfold….until the paramedics finally arrived..

“He’s gonna be alright… Harry is a fighter.” Liam finally whispers, voice rough with unshed tears.

 

And Louis prays, prays that next time he sees Harry he will be fine again and wouldn’t struggle for a simple breath.

Chapter Text

Two hours.

He’s been sat here for two hours and not a single word about Harry’s current condition has been spoken from any medical staff.
It makes no difference to ask more nurses or receptionists because no one seems to know a patient by the name Harry styles and Louis thinks that’s ridiculous, he’s getting more frustrated as minutes pass by.

It was a fifteen minute ride to the Hospital but it was an absolute chaos. Several phone calls had been made on their way to Harry, including an emotional call between Anne and Louis. They were both in shock and Louis couldn’t control his emotions any longer so Liam had to step in, giving Anne Harry’s whereabouts on the phone.

“Does anyone know how Harry got the asthma attack?’’ Niall speaks up, interrupting the uncomforable silence between the three of them in the back of car.

“No..Yes – maybe….I-I think I saw smoke or something hitting his face I don’t… fuck, I don’t know mate. It all happenend so fast.” Liam mutters.

Both of them just nodded unsure at Liam, still trying to comprehend the whole scene that just happened in front of their eyes.

As soon as they arrive at the hospital, Louis leaves Liam and Niall behind, as he runs down to the reception desk. But as Louis starts yelling at one of the workers behind the desk the other boys join him.

“What do you mean you don’t know where he is? It’s your fookin’ job to know these things.” Louis argues.

Louis gets shoved away by Liam whose presseing him into a chair at the waiting room.

“You being angry at those workers isn’t gonna fix Harry’s condition.” Liam says, keeping himself steady despite Louis’ attempts to break away from his hold. “Louis stop it. Don’t make this harder by causing another scene.” He says, an agry tone has taken over him.

Louis finally lets go of Liams grip and sinks back in his chair. His eyes well up with tears as he tries to recollect himself.

Not much later and the three of them accompanied by Anne and Gemma who look utterly broken. Eyes red of crying, flushed cheeks and black mascara stained under their eyes.

They embrace all three of them wrapping their arms in a tight hugs. Louis sighed and hugged them back tightly, glad they could find comfort in each other.

“Are you guys okay?” Anne asks, voice no louder than a whisper.

“I….” Louis hesitates and inhales loudly before continuing “I think so. Don’t worry about us, please.”

“What did the doctor say?” Gemma asks while attempting to wipe off the wet mascara under her eyelids.

“Nothing. Nobody has even come up to us to give as any sort of infromation.” Niall sighed.

They all sit back in their seats. Anne sits between Gemma and Louis, softly using one hand to card through her daugthers hair while the other hand lays on Louis’ lap. Niall and Liam are sitting next to eachother while Niall taps his foot uncontrollably to the ground.

Waiting for almost two hours now. All of them know this is a bad sign. If it was something small they would already came up to them saying it was nothing too bad and they can see him but that’s not the case. Harry’s probably fighting for his life right now while they just sit here and do nothing but wait.

Trying to fight back all the bad thoughts in his mind while bitting his bottom lip, Louis finally speaks up: “This is all my fault. Harry would’ve been fine If I should’ve kept that stupid inhaler at hand. Fuck this is all my fault.”

“Lou, we all know this is not your fault,” Gemma says.

“Yes it is. This is really bad Gems. No one has even been out to speak with us about Harry’s condition you what that means!,” Louis said, giving up on holding tears while continuing with a lack of oxygen. “We can’t go see him, he’s not okay and I can’t stop overthinking the worst scenarios.” Louis admits while sobbing.

“Louis, we know nothing about the situation harry is in, he might be awake and well for all we know. You need to calm down before you jump into all kinds of conclusions. Harry’s strong, you know that,” Anne speaks up holding Louis to her chest trying her best to calm him down.

It works. After a while the sobs disappear and are exchanged with that damn silence again. Only the ticking sound of the hanging clock can be heard and Louis is getting more and frustrated and starts looking up at the clock that’s hanging across the room.

But next thing he knows, he sees something approaching him in the corner of his eye. Louis moves his head to the left and sees a doctor standing at the opposing end of the waiting room.

“Family and friends of Harry Styles?”

“Yes,” Louis speaks up before anyone else can anwser. They all rise up to their feet.

“I’m his his mother, Anne and this is his sister Gemma.” Anne says while shaking his hand. “They are his friends.” Anne continues talking while looking at the boys.

Well friends, Liam and Niall but not me. But the doctor doesn’t know that right now, right? Louis stupidly overthinks

“My name is Dr Grayson. Pleasure to meet you all.”

“How is my baby doing?” Anne asks nervously.

“Right,” Dr Grayson nods as he takes a look at the paperwork he’s holding. “You might want to take a seat,” the doctor insited.

Eyes growing wide as they all sit down. Holding eachother with clammy hands hoping for good news.

“This is not going to be easy for you…” Dr Grayson swallows and begins.

 

“Your son suffered from brain hypoxia."

Chapter Text

Hi guys, sorry for not posting but this whole week + next monday and tuesday I'll only be focussing on school because it's very important and shit (yes i hate school with a passion) but after that I'll be posting as much as I can.

I also have some ideas for a new story and one shots so that's good

 

Wish me luck at school,

 

I need it

Chapter Text

Brain hypoxia? Wait. What is he talking about? Harry only suffered from an asthma attack right? Not something with his brain… this does not make any sense - but neither is the word Brain Hypoxia… what the hell does that even mean? Louis thinks to himself after hearing the diagnosis from the doctor. But as soon he wants to ask the doctor about it Anne replies.

“Brain hypoxia w-what does that mean?,” Anne interrupts, voice heavy and trembling while her tears are making a slow appearance.

“It means that your sons brain wasn’t getting enough oxygen. This occured when your son was suffering from a severe asthma attack. When he was brought in Harry was struggling to let out a simple breath. The breathing tubes in Harry’s chest were squeezing tightly shut and filling with mucus, blocking his vital oxygen supply. “

The Doctor pauses for a bit as Anne sobbed on to Gemma with squeezed eyes. Gemma, tries to wipe away her tears, face heavy and mind torn.

Louis effortfully keeps from crying loud, letting his vision get blurred and tries to listen to the doctors words.

“-We tried to stabilize him with drugs who were supposed to help the muscles around Harry’s airways to relax but there was a problem. The mucus was stopping the drugs from reaching his blood supply. His body was not responding to the treatments and medications at all. After that he started showing symptoms of brain hypoxia including temporary memory loss, reduced ability to move his body and difficulty with paying attention meaning that the oxygen supply in his brain had disappeared while he was slowly losing his consciousness. Brain cells are very sensitive to a lack of oxygen as a result it can cause severe brain damage or death within five to ten minutes. However we noticed the symptoms in time so we immediately intubated him meaning we’ve had to place him on a ventilator. He’s also been given a high dose of medicines to sedate him to help him relax so he feels more comfortable. Harry is now stable, for the most part."

“So will he be okay or not?”

“I haven’t had much time to assess the level of brain damage. Because he hasn’t regained consciousness yet, nor shown any signs of waking up. Recovering from brain hypoxia depends largely on how long your brain has gone without oxygen. As I said earlier we’ve noticed it time but that doesn’t mean he wont suffer form the after effects.

“After effects? What kind of after effects?”

“Well, your son may have recovery challenges that eventually hopefully will resolve. The potential challenges include: insomnia, hallucinations, amnesia, muscle spams and seizures.”

As soon as the words fell out of the doctors tongue Louis felt sick to his stomach. No this can’t be happening for real. Harry who was having the time of his life on stage a few hours ago is now suffering from brain damage. It was so much worse than Louis thought.

None of this makes sense to him. Harry is young and healthy, always forcing Louis to eat vegtables or something else healty intestad of his loved greasy food. Harry shouldn’t even have fucking asthma in the first place it is not what he deserves.

He shakes his head in disbelief. This isn’t happening. This did not fucking happen to Harry, right?

He pinches his arm trying to get out if this miserable nightmare but it’s not working he is still in the same room with Anne, Gemma, Liam and Niall who are now stilenty sobbing while holding eachother arms.

Fuck.

He is freaking out right now. He needs to get away from this bullshit, his stomach is turning and he can literally feel his heart pounding against his sterunum. He is not paying any attention to what the doctor is saying because the only thing he hears is the blood pumping aginst his eardrums.

He excuses himself before he quickly got up and ran into the bathroom without closing the door and he threw up the contents of his stomach. By the time he was done, Liam was there to flush the toilet and give him a cup of water with his shaky hands. He wiped his mouth before he drank the water, ran his hands under the cool water of the sink and he splashed some on his face trying to recollect himself again. He startled when he saw himself in the mirror. He almost didn’t recongnize himself, he looked like an absolute wreck, and he couldn’t believe that it had been two hours since they arrived at the hospital. He dried off his face before he walked out into their small waiting room, ignoring the sympathetic glances from everyone except Anne, who is just staring blankly at the ground, fresh tears coming from her face.

He could not even imagine what Anne would be thinking – her son, her baby. Probably laying motionless in that damned hospital room, …hearing all those things about him…..and knowing there was nothing she could do to make any of this go away. Louis knows how attached she is to Harry and how he loved her back. And it breaks his heart even more.

The doctor was still talking, with an undertone.

“you can go see him now,” Dr. Garyson said. “Not all of you at once though, please. Just three of you for now.”

Anne nodded. “Gemma and Louis, come with me for now.”

Louis nodded looking at Niall and Liam who seemed to understand, giving Louis an sympathetic look.

“If you’ll follow me…” The doctor says, waiting for them to follow.

A few long hallways and a lift ride later, they found themselves in front of room 214. Intensive care. The doctor, one hand already on the door knob, turned around to look at them seriously, the tenderness never leaving is features, making the three of them nervous.

“Before we enter I just want to warn you. I don’t mean to scare you but I am merely trying to prepare you for what you are about to see. It is hard to see a loved one in a condition like this, He’s got a lot of wires attached to him but these are here to help him. Don’t be scared to touch him but be gentle. One other thing: Mr. Styles is unconscious so don’t expect any sort of reaction from him.” The doctor said before he opened the door to Harry’s room

When they entered the room Louis’ stomach churned at the sight. Harry who was still awfully pale was laid flat out on a bed, wires coming and going in every direction and a tube sticking out of his mouth leading to the ventilator. His beautiful chocolate curls were all splayed around his face. He was wearing a blue hospital gown and a blanket covered his bottom half. The heart monitor was beeping in a irritating tune. The ventilator clicked in a steady beat, supplying sweet oxygen to his form.

Louis wiped his eyes frantically as they began to water. He wasn't going to cry. He was too tired of crying. He stepped forward, walking to Harry’s bedside where a chair had been conveniently placed. Gemma and Anne taking the other side of the bed.

Louis heard Anne whispering something to Harry, but he couldn’t hear what she was saying. While Gemma was running her hands trough his curls while giving him a kiss on his forehead before both of them stand up, looking at Louis.

“We’ll give you some time alone,” Anne said, placing her hand on Louis’ shoulder.

Louis nods, eyes still fixed at Harry’s as they slowly walk out of room.

"Hey Harry," Louis said quietly, taking his partner’s limb hand in his own, holding it tightly. "You gave us quite a scare tonight baby," Louis said, placing his other hand over his right. He rested his head on them and took a deep breath. "I love you Harry. And I have no idea what I would do without you. So you gotta hang on baby okay? Can you do that for me?" Louis asked, his eyes closed as he concentrated on keeping his eyes dry.

He opened his eyes and looked down at the hospital bracelet wrapped loosely around his husband's wrist. Harry Edward Styles It read. Date of Birth – February 1 1989. Gender - Male. Age – 21. Hospital Identification # - 12297438. Date of Admission - April, 9, 2015. Reason for Admission – Asthma Attack. Louis looked past the bracelet quickly, glancing at the bone of Harry’s wrist where he could see his tattoos. He smiled, looking back at memories of Harry getting more and more tattoos and eventually making Louis addictive of getting his own.

"I love you Harry," Louis whispered once more.

"You two have something special. A kind of love I don't see very often, and believe me. I see a lot of families." Louis jumped when he heard a new voice, he lifted his head to see a nurse he hadn't heard enter standing on the other side of Harry's bed checking his chart. Louis smiled at her.

"Yeah," He sighed as he looked down at Harry, who looked so young now, while sleeping. "I suppose you could call it that,"

"He's gonna be okay," The nurse said returning the smile. "He'll be able to go home very soon," Louis only nodded.

"He really is lucky to have a guy like you Louis," The nurse said before making her way out of the room leaving Louis wondering when he had told her his name.

Chapter Text

Louis watched the (thankfully) steady rise and fall of Harry's chest as the other slept. He glanced at the slowly and steadily beeping heart rate monitor next to Harry's bed. Harry was going to be okay and Louis knew it, but it wasn't easy to see him like that. It wasn't easy to just sit back and do nothing. He had been in the hospital for the better part of two days now,

The beeping of the heart rate monitor gave him a headache as he watched the green line on the black screen constantly rise up and down. He had a lump in his throat as his eyes suddenly began to water. If Harry was awake right now, Louis could imagine him rambling off jokes to lighten up the mood even in his bad condition. But Louis didn't know when Harry would wake up. No one did. Or if he would wake up.

The doctors and nurses couldn't do anything else but wait for Harry to regain conciousness and diagnose any of the after effects - which sounded horrible, not only to Louis but the whole family Anne, Gemma, Robin, the boys and the rest of their family's, everyone esle informed by then.

He hasn't checked any social media or watched the news on the telly he's scared, scared for people's reactions; he could get mad or a sobbing mess again. he could already imagine the headlines in the front of the newspapers,

Harry Styles famous boyband member of One Direction rushed to hospital due a overdose?

Harry styles sick?

Harry Styles addicted?

Fame becoming too much?

He cringed at those thoughts, Paparrazi were never his favourite thing of the job and they could make this situation so much worse, saying stuff like that the famous teen heartthrob had gone to drugs and such, when it is actually a medical condition and it's none of Harry's fault.

He hated to see the miles and miles of tubes hooked up to his husband, but Louis couldn't help but just...watch. Keep watch.

It wasn't like he could sleep, anyway, even if it was nearing three in the morning, even if exhaustion was yanking on his limbs and trying to pull him under. He couldn't let himself sleep. If he did, he would have nightmares, something bad would happen, the fans would show up and finish the song, Harry would die, Harry would die, Harry would die—

A choked sob clawed its way out of Louis' throat. Clapping a hand over his mouth, Louis turned his head and fixed his eyes on the ceiling. Eyes burning and breath uneven, he tried to calm himself down by thinking of something, anything other than the possibility of Harry dying.

"The doctors are taking good care of you", Louis said, smiling precariously, knowing that Harry couldn't see it. "Don't you worry about anything else except getting better, okay? I'm gonna be here when you wake up. I promise."

Louis couldn't remember a time when he and Harry weren't together—they had been bandmates since they were both so young then, learning how to adapt to the celebrity lifestyle. They had spent almost every day together as they grew older.

A weak smile found its ways to Louis's face as he remembered when they were put together in a band. He and Harry already had a special relationship and boy, Simon was not happy.

That wasn't the only trouble the boys had gotten into over the years. That time management went all crazy to both of them at the end of interviews, because who would like a boyband with 2/5 of them being in a relationship together? Or the Wellington incident, and, of course, there were a million and one other things that they got themselves into.

God, what he wouldn't give to go back to simpler days. Days where they weren't stuck in a damn hospital bed. Inhaling sharply, Louis bit down onto his hand. Tears slipped down his cheeks as it finally, finally hit him (it had hit him days ago, too, but it hurt more and more each time).

No. Stop. Think of something else. Different.

The first time they kissed, drunk, at an overnight birthday party—

It had been a mistake, an alcohol-ridden decision, when they snuck off to the bathroom in the middle of the night in a fit of drunken laughter. Louis had pressed Harry back into the wall before clumsily kissing him, too much pressure, too much teeth, too much in general, but, God, Louis didn't mind. At the time he had wanted more.

Even now he still wanted more, he realized, hesitantly looking over at Harry again through watery eyes. Nothing had changed from earlier. He didn't expect it to. Would've been nice, though.

Would sure be nice to feel Harry's lips against his own again.

He lets his mind drift off again to various memories of their lives.

The first time they said the three words and eight letters-

"Do you want me to mean it?" Louis asks, tilting his head, his eyes bright with curiosity. He chews nervously on his lip when Harry remains silent. "Harry. Do you want me to mean it?"

Swallowing hard, Harry ducks his head, wishing he'd thought to grab his shirt already just so he'd have something to do with his hands. Instead, he fidgets under Louis' scrutiny, shifting from one foot to another. "I want you to mean it if you mean it."

"That's not an answer."

"It's an answer," Harry says defensively, "just not the one you want to hear."

Louis swings his legs over the edge of the bed, pushing himself upright then holding his hands up in mock surrender as he takes two long strides to close the gap between them. "Hey, I'm not trying to piss you off." He gently tilts Harry's chin up until their eyes meet, and he smiles.

The sight of those dimples sends a wave of affection coursing through Louis, prompting him to inch just a little closer to Harry so their lips come together for a soft kiss. "Maybe I do want you to mean it," he admits. "Maybe I want to say it and mean it, too."

Louis' fingers thread through his hair. It's comforting, something he's been doing since the first time they'd fallen into bed together, and it draws a contented sigh from Harry. "You can say it. If you want to, you can say it. Because I did mean it, Harry. I didn't want that to freak you out but of course I meant it, you have to know I did."

Harry nods. He takes hold of Louis' wrist, pulling his boyfriend's hand from his hair so he can leave a kiss against his palm. "It does freak me out." Louis' face falls a little but Harry shakes his head. He lowers Louis' hand to his chest, over his heart. "It freaks me out but only because I've assumed for a long time it was too late for me. I didn't expect you."

Louis laughs, nodding his understanding. "Yeah, I get it. Can't really say I expected you, either. So I'll say it again now, if that's okay."

"Please."

"I love you."

Harry lets out a slow exhale, his eyes slipping shut as he repeats the word in his mind. Harry loves him. Louis loves him, and Harry believes that. It feels foreign but he welcomes it.

"I love you, Harry."

Or before they'd both admitted to their unspoken exclusivity and decided to take the next step. Until that day, that had been the best decision of his life-

"Listen, I wanted to— to ask you something."

If Harry can see through to his nerves, he doesn't show it. His expression grows more serious instead, one hand reaching for Louis' so their fingers can entwine. "Yeah? What is it?"

Fixed with Harry's full attention, Louis suddenly finds his brain void of all rational thought.

Maybe this is a bad idea. No, of course it is, who's he kidding? Right here, this is the half-cocked plan Louis had concocted that would lead to an enormous change in both their lives? This is why he should leave this kind of thing to Harry but then again, it's been three years, and Harry hasn't done it yet so if Louis wants to get things done, he'd concluded he'd have to do it himself.

But what if the fact that Harry hasn't done it yet means he doesn't want to do it at all?

"Lou?" Harry ducks his head to force Louis to meet his eyes again. Louis hadn't even realized he'd looked away. "You can ask me anything, sweetheart. You know that, right?"

All at once, it seems to be enough. Louis smiles, leaning in to press a quick, affectionate kiss to Harrys lips, then takes a deep breath. "I've been thinking about a few things for a long time now. Us, specifically."

Harry blinks, tensing. He needn't worry. "Okay. Go on."

"Well, one of the things I thought about was how much I do love you." That helps Harry relax, his shoulders relaxing a bit. "It's been three years since you told me you were falling in love with me but I want another three years with you. And another three, and another three. Harry, I want to spend the rest of my life with you. If there's anything I'm sure about, it's that."

He start to reach into his jacket pocket with his free hand but then Harry's pulling back and he's certain his entire stomach is about to jump right out of his throat.

"Wait. Louis." Harry shakes his head quickly, holding up a hand. "Are you doing what I think you're about to do?"

Louis scowls. "Maybe not anymore. You're not exactly coming off as receptive right now."

It'd been a stupid plan, he should've known better, and he's about to say as much when Louis reaches into his own pocket to produce a small, velvet box.

Louis freezes, He stares slack-jawed at the box before pulling out his own, holding it out in his palm so they can compare the two. This doesn't seem real, it doesn't seem like it possibly could be, but then Louis hears clapping and it takes him a full thirty seconds to realize it's for them.

A burst of laughter escapes him as he startles back to reality, to the enormous grin on Harry's face, to the fast beating of his heart his chest.

He hasn't even asked the damn question yet.

His voice trembles when he does, but it's a good thing. It's an amazing thing. It's the best decision of his life. "Harry, will you marry me?"

"Only if you marry me," Harry answers. He wastes no time in meeting Louis'slips for another kiss, the two boxes still held between them, clutched now to their chests.

Once they part, Louis laughs again, turning his head to his shoulder to wipe away fallen tears. "I think that can be arranged."

"So you're saying it's a yes?" Harry teases as he flips open the lid of his box.

Louis only nods as he does the same, his eyes focusing on the titanium band nestled within a pillow of silk. "It's a yes. A million times yes."

Louis groaned quietly. God, he was too exhausted for this. Why couldn't things just be...easy for once? They had long since accepted that both of them were gay for eachother, but there was nowhere and no way to admit it to anyone else besides their families and mangement. Not while living in Homophobe Central.

Harry had wanted to emerge from the closet with Louis. Harry had wanted to make changes from that point, but he opted not to tell anything to anyone. He kept quiet, as he always does.

Louis, on the other hand, had issues biting his tongue on the subject. He's always been one to stand up for himself and his lover. He simply chewed management a new ass in the next conference meeting they had and it weakened their forces a bit, but not nearly enough to shift a portion of what had taken place.

Rather, they had made an extra effort to disunite Harry and Louis, which instead caused outrage among the One Direction fandom, because the fans had video after video of proof from the airport and yet they were still being told that Larry's relationship status was bullshit, any form of it, they were being told that even a friendship was bullshit. Louis and Harry were gradually being forced even farther into the so called “glass closet”.

The waterworks started up again, but it wasn't like it had stopped to begin with. Louis scrubbed at his eyes, trying to keep his sobs quiet. Fuck, fuck fuck fuck fuck fuck, Harry was going to die just like his uncle, wasn't he, well, not just like his uncle, his uncle died because of a drunk driver, a head-on accident, and this wasn't that, but he was still going to die, or that's how it felt.

"Harry," Louis whimpered. "Haz, wake up, please, I need you to wake up, I just...fuck, I need you, Harry, please. Please..." Pressing the heels of his palms against his eyes, Louis continued to mumble his pleas for the other boy to wake up, his words slurring together as exhaustion and fear clawed away together at his insides. He didn't know what he was saying anymore. He didn't know what he would do with Harry. All he knew is that he couldn't do it, whatever it even was.

Louis fell sleep like that, arms falling limp against his chest, with Harry's name dying on his lips. No nightmares invaded his dreams for the first time since they had been admitted, but he couldn't know that in a few short hours he would be living a nightmare from the bed across the room.

When he awoke the heart monitor and its constant beeps were still beeping loudly in his ears. The loud sound rang in his ears which gave him a headache. Louis groaned in frustration and exhaustion.

His groan was a little too loud when Gemma, who was sleeping in a chair on the other side of Harry's bed, woke up slowly.

When did she even came here?

How long had he been asleep for?

She shifted slightly into a sitting position, glancing her gaze towards Harry then to Louis

Louis had honestly never seen Gemma so exhausted. Bags were under her eyes and her hair was frizzy. Her makeup was smeared on one eye when she was leaning her head against it, sleeping.

Louis sighed as he suddenly felt regretful. "Sorry."

Gemma shook her head in understanding, mouthing an 'It's okay' in reply. Her gaze then fell to Harry who hasn't changed much. Gemma wished she would never see her borhter like this.

"You know, sometimes when I wake up, I always hope that all of this is a dream," Gemma said not taking her eyes off of Harry. "I guess I just had to face the hard-cold-truth."

Louis nodded but didn't reply. The pain in his heart suddenly coming back. He had to agree with her. He really did wish it was a dream and really wished that Harry wasn't in the hospital and that he was up and healthy. But he wasn't. He didn't know if Harry was going to be okay. No one did. Heck, even the doctors didn't know.

 

When the program of giving Harry's sedatives by a nurse happened, Louis startled up. He had fallen asleep again. Gemma wasn't in the room anymore. He shot a quick glance on his watch, it was almost midnight. Back home it was almost noon by now, a good time to make a call.

Louis didn't even know why he told his mother about Harry's actual predicament at all, but as soon as he started to talk on the phone, he was unstoppable. Apparently he had needed someone, who was not directly involved, to talk about the issue.

Although she was shocked about the events, his mother gave him a lot of comfort. She listened patiently when Louis couldn't continue to speak because he was shaken by another crying fit and tried to take away as much of the guilt as possible. She had always known how to say the right words in the right moments, but Harry noticed that even she wasn't unaffected. His parents loved Harry dearly.

"I'll call your manegement and agent to cancel your flight and your upcoming appointments. You are needed in London, now. Don't worry, take all the time you need! And call me whenever you want."

After the call Liam had just entered the room, carrying a few paper bags.

"Hey, I hope I didn't interrupt. I'd been here earlier, but you were fast asleep. Brought you dinner, is pasta alright?"

"Sure, although I'm not even hungry."

"You have to eat, there is still so much time left before they even start to reduce the sedatives."

Liam sat down on the other chair and took his brother's hand before he softly whispered, "Hey Harry, I'm here again. Don't you think Louis should eat?"

When he looked at Louis he had tears in his eyes.

Liam sighed, the entire day he had constantly been on the edge. He was overwhelmed with the situation and had some doubts as to whether he could really handle all that alone.

"You haven't eaten at all Louis. And we definitely don't want you passing out on us. Without you here, I would've long gone crazy. So please eat".

And Louis did, after pulling Liam into a bone crushing hug, stroking comfortingly over his back.

"I would go crazy without you as well! Alone the fact you didn't snap when you learned about the husband thing. We'll have each other's back, that's a promise!"

"Promise!"

They finally left Harry to eat in the visitor's room, at least a few bites until both of them lost the little appetite they had

Soon after he had returned to the hotel, meeting up with Niall. Management had booked a few rooms in a small hotel near the hospital, breakfast included. Although none of them we're hungry, Niall had some oatmeal, the only thing he believed he was able to stomach, before leaving for their rooms to get some rest.

After a hot shower and a fruitless attempt to find some sleep, Louis headed eventually back to the hospital right after noon. If he couldn't sleep, he could just as well be with Harry. That was better than tossing around and pondering about the ways he could have helped him, if he only had paid more attention. Maybe they even had news about his condition. Since he assumed the rest of the boys, Anne and Gemma to be asleep, he sent them some quick texts and left the hotel alone.

When he entered the room, he saw that Harry's position had been changed. Someone had turned him slightly to the left side and put a pillow in his back to support him. The next thing, he noticed, was the almost empty urine bag. There was a mark with a time written next to it, 9 a. m.

That had been hours ago.

There was the familiar nurse from the other day, who gently smiled at him while drawing blood from the venous catheter in Harry's arm.

"He doesn't produce much urine, is that a bad sign?" Louis asked full of concern.

"That's quite normal, actually. The kidneys don't seem to like the state he's in, so they don't work properly. But don't be afraid, we check his blood for renal failure every few hours. It's all right for now. This bag will fill in no time, you'll see."

She smiled friendly and put a hand Louis' arm in a comforting gesture. Louis let out a shaky breath and gave her a wavering smile. After she had left, he sat down on the chair on the left side of the bed. He took Harry's hand and stroked over the knuckles.

"So... I don't know if you remember, but a little time ago you told me that whenever you were sick as a kid, your mom read you this one book", Louis said, crouching down to reach into his back. He couldn't suffocate a little chuckle. "I called your mom a while back, actually. Told her I'm putting together a scrap book and I wanted to include the book you mentioned. She told me the title, and, uh.. Here."

Louis pulled out the book, looking down at it. He couldn't help a smile. "I found it from this little book store on the Fifth. Paid two bucks for it. And I don't know, you can call me cheesy all you want, but I thought it'd be nice if I read you this. Maybe... I don't know, maybe hearing it will help you wake up. Or maybe it's just a waste of time and you can't hear me after all, but I think it's worth the shot."

And so another hous passes..