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poppies in may

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"Little poppies, little hell flames,
Do you do no harm?
You flicker. I cannot touch you.
I put my hands among the flames. Nothing burns."

— Sylvia Plath

 

Louis doesn’t believe in perfect. Or, he doesn’t believe that the word perfect should be exploited the way it is in current day and age. He does firmly believe that people overuse it, abuse it to the point where the word started sounding dull to his ears, insignificant.

But.

Watching as Styles’ eyes get darker each time Louis swipes a spoonful of store-bought vanilla ice cream onto his tongue, licking over his lips much slower than necessary every single time, he thinks how nothing short of perfect this situation is.

It hasn’t started perfect. Far from it, really. Going out drinking with his roommate and his roommate’s girlfriend—third wheeling, if you will—is actually a recipe for a disastrous night. Full of heart eyes and hushed whispers, and Louis can’t help but squirm from being extremely uncomfortable because everything they do feels intimate and private, even when they’re in a room full of sweaty, wasted young adults.

Which is why he has separated himself from both of them, and decided to eat vanilla ice cream he has found in the house owner’s freezer at the dining table, completely alone. Watching what all the fraternity brothers get up to while intoxicated, he really doesn’t think it looks as weird as it sounds.

Another thing Louis doesn’t really believe in is being drunk—which he, admittedly, is, at this very moment—and making good life decisions. And maybe that’s why when he locks eyes with the one person he should have expected to be attending this particular party, he tilts his head and basically goes to town on a silver spoon he took from some frat kid’s kitchen.

He has never even said more than a fleeting hi to him when going to the same classes. He definitely doesn’t think he ever spared a second to think about how enticing those green eyes can be, boring into Louis’ own. He’s been at it for what feels like eternity, sharp jaw visibly setting every time Louis puts a new spoonful of slowly melting ice cream into his mouth. It makes sparks shoot down Louis’ spine at the unwavering attention.

He’s putting on a show for him, essentially giving the damn spoon a blowjob in the middle of a frat party, while staring unashamedly into the frat president’s eyes. It might be, up to date, one of the weirdest things he has done in his college career, but at least he’s not bored out of his goddamn mind, he supposes.

Then, suddenly, Styles pushes himself off of the doorframe he was leaning on, leaving the group of people he was standing with without a word, and starts making his way over to him. Louis almost drops the spoon, startled. He hasn’t expected Styles to do anything—scoff and ignore his antics maybe—definitely hasn’t expected Styles to decide to approach him.

So maybe it isn’t that perfect of a situation. He never intended on having to face the consequences of his actions—he never does, really—and maybe this is it. This is where he gets his arse beaten for making poor life decisions. For spontaneously deciding that it is somehow a good idea to provoke the Harry Styles. The one and only Harry Styles that all the kids are simultaneously afraid of and trying to suck up to as much as possible.

It’s quite honestly one of the most cliché and overdone stories that has ever existed—everyone being hyper aware of the rich, handsome frat president—with his holier than thou attitude and Saint Laurent chelsea boots.

It doesn’t faze Louis. Hardly.

He has lived his whole life among those kind of people. Never really associating himself with them, more like coexisting. Being adopted by a wealthy, high profile family with three kids his age puts things into perspective. So he does know what they are really made of. How genuinely normal and boring can well-off people be.

Still, he does feel frozen in his chair, blinking uselessly at Styles almost elbowing someone in the ribs while trying to get to him. His eyes never left Louis’ and Louis is afraid to look away, worried that if he strays his gaze Styles will wreck him without straining a muscle, while simultaneously feeling anxious to find out what he’s actually planning on doing when he does get to Louis.

Curiosity killed the cat, Louis’ brain screams, body already in a flight, more than a fight, mode. He squirms in his seat, Styles being only a couple feet away.

But satisfaction brought it back, he thinks, staying put reluctantly.

Styles rounds the dining table and stands right in front of Louis, staring down at him. His hand goes flying to the backrest of Louis’ chair, and he grips it so tight Louis worries the wood might give out.

“Tomlinson,” he grunts out, like he’s fighting himself not to do something. Louis should have fucking fled when he had the chance.

He drops the spoon into the half-done ice cream container and straightens up. He’s not going to fucking cower away from a conceited nineteen year old boy, turn tails like everyone here would. He supposes this is the time someone finally stands up to him. And if it’s with vanilla ice cream residue still on his tongue, so be it.

“Styles,” he addresses him calmly, leaning back on his chair. He crosses his arm over his chest and puts a leg over the other. “To what do I owe the pleasure?”

Styles seems to consider him for a moment, watching with hooded, and glazed over eyes. Then the corner of his lips lifts slightly.

“To the fact,” he drawls, and nudges the container with the knuckle of his hand. “That you’re eating my ice cream.”

Louis blinks. “Oh,” he breathes, caught off guard. He had no idea.

Styles hums lowly and Louis watches as he reaches for the spoon and moves it around inside the container. “Not only that,” he slowly bends forward, Louis leaning away instinctively. “Now I have to deal with a problem I wouldn’t have if it wasn’t for you,” he brings the ice cream covered spoon up to his mouth and replicates what Louis was doing just a minute ago. He licks the spoon, painfully slowly, never breaking the eye contact. It’s most likely supposed to be mocking, but the blood rushing straight to Louis’ cock decisively disagrees.

Louis’ brain takes a moment to compose itself, he has to lick his lips before he parts them. “And what exactly,” he rasps out, can smell the vanilla wafting from Styles’ mouth each time he breathes out, “have I done?”

He doesn’t have a second before Styles drops the spoon onto the table carelessly and yanks at the backrest of his chair. It scrapes back a few inches and Louis yelps, hands flying straight to the seat. Suddenly, with his whole arm deliberately pressed against Styles’ front he doesn’t need an answer to his question. He can very well feel it. 

Louis bites his lip and looks up slowly. “And you’re telling me you don’t have anyone who can sort this little problem of yours out for you?” he manages to say and watches as Styles tilts his head, eyebrows raising almost unnoticeably.

“Well,” he says, casually as ever, not even trying to hide or change the fact that his hard dick is prodding at Louis’ arm as they speak. “In my opinion people should always take responsibility for their actions,” he brings the hand that was gripping the chair up to Louis’ ear and caresses the skin under it gently with his thumb. Louis squirms in his sit, the touch making goosebumps appear all across his body. Styles then leans in again. “Especially if they know exactly what they were doing,” he almost whispers.

There are multiple choices Louis has here, and he’s sure Styles would let him choose any of them. Even if reluctantly, he would.

His body seems to only like one of the possible options, though, and who is Louis to deny his own body anything?

He licks over his lips again, watches Styles’ eyes trace the movement closely, and smiles up at him. “Lucky for you,” he shifts his arm, and hears Styles’ breath stutter. “I’m nothing but responsible,” he says, and almost laughs at how quickly he gets pulled up and led upstairs where no other party attendant is allowed to go.

 

Louis stifles a yawn, staring at the clock in Mrs. Brook’s office. He can feel her expectant eyes on him, and lets his head fall back on the backrest of the guest chair. He scratches at his skinnies absently and starts tapping his thumb against them. He has shit to do, and he’s wasting the precious time he has left in this day to sit and get berated for something everyone should’ve seen coming. The fact that he was the one who took the chance to do it is just a small detail.

Mrs. Brook sighs. “Listen,” she starts, and Louis tries not to roll his eyes at her condescending tone. “You obviously know why you’re here, and I know you’re a smart young man and it won’t happen again,” she says a little questioningly, like she’s doubting her words. Like she thinks now that Louis finally has had enough and decided—in the name of his hanging by a thread sanity—to give Alice a piece of his mind, he will suddenly start being a bitch to everyone.

It would be more like starting to voice his opinions, but. That’s neither here nor there.

He relaxes into the chair for a second, closing his eyes. For how much people piss themselves about being cross with their teachers, and having to talk with them in their offices, he’s honestly quite comfortable. He stifles another yawn, hand going up to cover his slightly parting lips. He should try sleeping more, maybe. He snorts loudly at the thought. Like that’s ever gonna happen when living with three rowdy teenagers.

He opens his eyes, gaze immediately landing on Mrs. Brook’s concerned face. She always looks concerned from what he’s seen so far, so he’s not that worried about it. “Sure,” he says, eyes back on the clock. He hears the wind blasting on the windows, making them shutter. Sounds of raindrops hitting the glass rapidly growing.  

He doesn’t have anything to cover himself with. Maybe he’ll go to the college team’s locker room and steal Harry’s coat and umbrella. He’s pretty sure he’s at practice now, so he’d have a pretty good chance in succeeding. He smiles, thinking of Harry sending him pictures of his dumb, completely soaked face, flipping him off. It wouldn’t be the first time.

“Okay, well,” he hears Mrs. Brook say, hand itching to grab his bag and go. “That’s all, I guess, not much more to say about this,” she barely finishes the sentence when Louis pushes himself off the leather chair, grabs his bag and makes his way out the door.



“I still can’t fucking believe you did that,” Georgia whisper-yells when they round the corner of the hall to try to sneak into the boys’ locker room. He tells her to shut up, slapping her arm. Undeterred, she continues. “You just fucking walked up to her,” she pauses, most likely for the effect, which they do not have time for. Practice ends in fifteen minutes, and when he sets his mind on something he feels wrong if he doesn’t go through with it. “And called her a pretentious, spoilt little brat with tits for brains.”

Louis huffs, slapping a hand over her mouth when one of their teachers walks out of the room in front of them. They hide behind a corner quickly and wait for her to walk by, before Louis withdraws his hand and makes a face at the dark purple lipstick residue smeared on his palm. He wipes it on his skinnies.

“I told her she has a viscous silicone gel for a brain,” he says, correcting her. He grabs her hand, and tugs her down the hall hurriedly. “And that she has to mind how tightly she ties her hair back, ‘cause it can put too much pressure on her head, and make it burst like her pompous little bubble did when Mrs. Brook chose me for the main role and not her,” he adds, and rolls his eyes when Georgia snickers behind him.

“Harry will be proud,” she says. Louis decides to ignore her.

They finally get to the door, and Louis pushes it open, not minding when it hits the wall behind it harshly. He bites his lip, hearing loud talking coming from behind the doors to the playfield, and heads in the direction of Harry’s locker. Georgia mutters something about the couch being furious if he finds them here, but before he can tell her that it’ll be fine, he hears shouting.

He picks up someone saying Harry’s name, head snapping in the direction of the large, red pair of doors. He hears a loud thump, and his legs start moving on their own accord as he speed-walks and pushes the door open.

“—fuck did you say?” he hears Harry say lowly to the guy he has pressed up against the red brick wall a few meters beside the door. Louis curses, realizing Harry has Nathan standing on his mere tiptoes, most likely barely able to breathe. They always have to find something to fucking fight about, imbeciles.

“Styles,” he calls, annoyed. He pushes the door wider, and starts trudging up to them quickly. Everyone’s eyes snap to him, except for Harry’s and Nathan’s. They both visibly tense up, Harry tightening the grip he has on Nathan’s shirt. Louis hears someone in the group mutter speak of the devil, but ignores it pointedly as he walks up to both culprits of his sudden irritation. “Let him go,” he says through pressed together teeth.

Harry purses his lips and doesn’t move. Louis’ eye twitches.

He puts a hand on his forearm gently, then yanks it down. Harry bends down to his level immediately. Most likely by his own volition, because there’s no way Louis could ever move him against his will. Harry’s eyes are still trained on Nathan’s full of regret face when Louis gets close to his ear.

“You can forget about me going to your stupid game next week if you don’t let my best friend go,” he says lowly, and watches as Harry’s eyebrows furrow. He pushes at Nathan’s chest once more before letting him go. He doesn’t spare a look in Louis’ direction before he starts walking to the door, mumbling curse words under his breath.

Louis crosses his arms over his chest, and stares at Harry’s broad back disappearing behind the door. Nathan clears his throat beside him. “Did you start teaching him new tricks yet?” he grumbles. Louis closes his eyes briefly, before tilting his head at him. He measures him with a bored look. This comparing Harry to a dog is getting tiring, and Louis isn’t even sure he fully understands it.

“Did you start being less of a pain in the arse yet?” he retorts. “Because it doesn’t look like it.”

Nathan gapes at him. “He was the one who fucking pushed me into the damn wall!” he shrieks, gesticulating wildly at the door the other players are coming in through. One of them starts talking to Georgia about her presence at the game tomorrow, and Louis suppresses a smile at her pained expression.

He glances at Nathan again, before making his way over to Georgia and the overeager boy. “I know you, Nat,” he says. “And I know you like to provoke him any way you can,” he adds, and hears Nathan scoff, but ignores it in the name of helping his best friend get out of an uncomfortable situation. He’s a good samaritan, you see.

He puts his hand on the guy’s arm gently and smiles at him when he gets his full attention. “I’m sorry, but she actually has a date tomorrow afternoon. She and her girlfriend are going on a real fancy dinner,” he says false apologetically. “Honestly, I wish I had such a strong, long-term relationship like they do,” he sighs wistfully.

The guy goes wide-eyed before apologizing profusely to Georgia, who looks so bewildered Louis wonders how the guy didn’t see right through his lie. He scurries off to the locker room, and leaves the three of them standing outside, getting soaked by the rain.

Louis sees Nathan shake his head at him in his peripheral vision. “Damn drama majors,” he muses, stepping forward, and pulls the door open, Georgia slipping inside immediately. “Wonder how many times have you used this shit on me.”

Louis snorts, patting him on the arm. “I don’t have to use anything on you, babe,” he says, going past him. “You already do everything as I say.”

Nathan hums. “I did notice you started collecting stray dogs and making them loyal beasts that push people against the fucking walls, I did,” he says, feigning thoughtfulness, and Louis rolls his eyes. He does feel a set of eyes follow him as he walks through the locker room, though, so he supposes the loyal part is not that far from reality.

“Stop comparing Styles to a damn dog and work on your bitchy attitude, hm?” he turns around, and smiles up at Nathan’s amused, gray eyes. He then looks in the general direction of Harry’s locker and finds him sitting down, staring right at them. His head is tilted back, large nostrils Louis has come to make fun of on many occasions flaring noticeably.

Bubbles that he stopped questioning a long time ago form inside his belly as he trudges up to him, adjusting the bag on his shoulder. “Styles,” he addreses him, looking down. Harry doesn’t hesitate before putting both his hands on Louis, big portion of his thighs suddenly covered and burning mildly from the touch. “You’re not gonna apologize to him, are you?” Louis asks, still hopelessly counting on him and Nathan to settle this forever ongoing argument the seem to have.

Harry snorts humorlessly, and that is enough of an answer.

Louis sighs. Truth be told, he does feel a little bit responsible for whatever is going on between them. He’s not oblivious; he knows it concerns him, in some way or another. He refuses to be a middleman to their little dispute, though. They’re grown man that were friends long before Louis has come into their lives.

“How are you getting back?” Harry asks, hands going up and down Louis’ hips mindlessly.

Louis turns to Georgia who’s standing with one hand on the door knob, looking impatient. He turns back to Harry.

“Thought about stealing your umbrella and going back on foot,” he says, and watches the corners of Harry’s lips quirk up.

“Of course you did,” he replies. “How about going back to mine—” he starts, but Louis interrupts him quickly, scoffing.

“Yeah, no. I don’t feel like waddling around on the stage during rehearsals tonight,” he says, and flips Nathan off over his shoulder when he makes gagging noises.

“Oh!” Harry perks up, abandoning his poor attempt on getting laid. Leave it to him to never go through with what he starts. “How did it go today? Did you get the part?” he asks, and frowns at Georgia when she snorts loudly from beside the door.

Louis smacks his lips. “Yup,” he steps back, Harry standing up immediately. “With some small complications, but I did.”

“Christ,” Harry says, amusement painting his tone. “What did you do to Alice?”

Louis scoffs indignantly. “Exactly what you did to Nathan a moment ago,” he says. “Just verbally.”

Harry grins. “Atta boy,” he says, and pats Louis on the head.

Louis scoffs again. “Alright,” he says pointedly, and swats Harry’s hand away. “That’s enough of you,” he turns and starts walking in Georgia’s direction, but a hand grabs his wrist and pulls him back. Before he can do anything Harry’s lips are on his, soft and lingering.

“Glad you got the part,” he smiles into Louis’ mouth. “I’m proud of you.”

Louis pulls back. “Don’t get sappy on me, Styles,” he says. “But thanks,” he adds, and with a quick goodbye hug to Nathan, he walks up to a grinning Georgia and slaps her arm.



“So when are you making it official?” Georgia asks through a mouthful of her veggie burger. She has put every single sauce that came with the meal in it, and now it’s dripping on the sides, various toppings making different-colored dots on the paper plate underneath it.

Louis makes a face at her, and reaches for a fry.

“What do you mean?” he asks, and dips the tip of the fry in a big pool of ketchup Nathan made on one of the plates.

Louis doesn't know and doesn't want to know how he got so many packets of the thing, but he's reluctantly impressed. Not many people would sacrifice seeming like a normal human being for ketchup. The girl at the counter whom he asked for it probably—most likely—thinks he’s insane.

Looking at Nathan coat his entire fry in the condiment, Louis can see why.

“You and Harry, babe,” Georgia says, putting her burger down. She reaches for a napkin and wipes her mouth, staring at him expectantly.

Well. For how much of a nosy shit she can be, she's at least cleaner than Nathan. He spares a look in his best friend's direction and, lo and behold, his chin is coated in ketchup. There's a smudge of barbeque sauce on his cheek, which Louis finds mildly intriguing, considering the only packet of it went on Georgia's burger.

“How did the topic go from different types of dogs we want to Styles?” he wonders, and sees Georgia scrunch her nose a little. Her brief glance in Nathan's direction doesn't go unnoticed.

“Ah,” Louis says, and turns his head to Nathan. “See what you've done? You been going around referring to Styles as a dog and now we can't even have a stupid conversation about them without his dumb name popping into our heads.”

Nathan shrugs. “It's not like he hasn't corrupted some of us anyway,” he says pointedly, and stuffs another, dripping with ketchup, fry in his mouth.

Louis scoffs. Grabs a handful of napkins and slaps it onto Nathan's chin, the thin tissue paper sticking to it immediately when he retracts his hand.

Georgia barks a laugh, doubling over in her seat, and Nathan just sits there, looking scandalized.

“I don't appreciate you spouting bullshit left and right, Nat,” Louis tells him. He reaches for another fry, and pops it in his mouth without dipping it in ketchup first. He might be done with ketchup for a while.

Nathan looks at him like he's insane, and points to his chin, Georgia still laughing into her hand loudly.

Louis rolls his eyes. “Me being violent isn't news, do you even pay attention whenever I hit you?”

Georgia lets out the last small giggles and nods. “Yeah, Louis being a violent fuck doesn't have anything to do with Styles,” she agrees, and before Louis can thank her she adds, “But you have been spending an immense amount of time with him for, what, half a year now? That's why I'm asking when are you gonna stop leading him on and let him finally ask you out?” she inquires, like it's something obvious. Like it's widely known that he's been—apparently—leading Harry fucking Styles on.

Louis gapes. It's certainly fucking news to him.

“Leading him on,” he parrots, disbelief coating his tone. “Why the fuck would I be leading him on?” he asks, honestly lost.

Nathan scoffs from beside him. Georgia gives him a look.

“Because you want to be in a relationship with him, but you're afraid of commitment while also being terrified that someone might snatch him from right before your eyes,” Georgia informs him, the all-knowing fuck. “So you lead him on and make sure you've got him wrapped around your finger so he won't get away.”

It feels like everything goes silent suddenly in the diner. Louis’ gaze slides from Georgia's raised eyebrows to the mess on the table. He's quiet for a moment.

“That's bullshit,” he tells her, not looking up.

Georgia hums. “I'm just saying,” she starts softly. “You might want to rethink your strategy before whatever it is you're doing blows up in your face.”

Louis’ leg started going up and down nervously some time ago, heart suddenly racing like it knows something he himself doesn't. He glances at Nathan beside him.

He has taken off the napkin Louis had slapped on him, chin now clean from any condiments. And he looks so fucking uncomfortable Louis feels his own face morph into a grimace.

It's no secret that Nathan likes him. Hell, he's told Louis himself,  a mere year ago when Louis moved here from London. He's asked Louis out not even a week after him starting college here, and even after Louis gently letting him down, he agreed on becoming friends.

He hasn't mentioned liking Louis since then, but Louis isn't blind. And he certainly isn't cruel, either, so he changes the subject for Nathan's sake, and starts ranting about Alice thinking she's all high and mighty, but then not even learning half the lines from their script.

They don't mention Harry for the rest of the lunch.



wrapped around your finger so he won't get away, Georgia's words echo in his mind.

It's not the best time for them to pop into his head, he thinks as he's lowering himself down onto Harry's cock slowly, staring into his eyes, mossy green staring right back. Strong hands grasp at his thighs, cold rings making contact with Louis’ already overheated skin.

They barely even started, and Louis feels like he's been hard since last Christmas.

He puts his hands on Harry's gently. Then scrapes his fingers lightly up Harry's forearms, and back, smiling at how it makes Harry shiver underneath him.

Harry's head falls back onto the pillow when Louis lowers himself fully, hands tightening their grip on his thighs impossibly. He groans lowly, and Louis can feel him fighting an urge to fuck up into him, hips going up a couple times almost unnoticeably.

He stays put for a moment, reveling in how full and right he feels. How much he's missed this, even if it's been only a week since Harry's been in him last.

He rolls his hips in a little circle, testing, and almost yelps at how fast Harry's hands find his arse, grabbing handfuls immediately. He puts his hands on Harry's pelvis, and swallows a moan that’s threatening to escape his lips when he feels Harry's fingers trace over where they're connected.  

Scratching at Harry's skin, he lifts himself up a bit and comes down just as slowly. He does it again, muscles in his thighs already on the verge of giving out, burning mildly.

“Fuck,” Harry grunts, pushing Louis forward by his arse. “If I knew you were gonna go that slow I wouldn't have let you be on top,” he reaches his hand up to Louis’ fringe and pushes it away from his eyes.

Louis swallows before saying, “Let me have it,” he rolls his hips in a circle again, breath stuttering when Harry's cock brushes over his prostate. “That's literally the only time I'm ever gonna come close to topping, so let me have it.”

Harry chuckles. “Isn't that right,” he says, and Louis feels him let go of his right arsecheek before he gets a slap on his bum that makes him fall forward, Harry almost slipping out of him.

“You fucking—,” he starts, and slaps Harry's chest when he starts to chuckle again. “A little warning would've been fucking nice,” he mutters, and repositions himself again.

Harry hums in lieu of a response, and seems to let his left hand roam free on Louis’ body, fingers going up to his neck, then down, grazing Louis’ nipples. His right hand still clutches at his arse, one finger prodding relentlessly at Louis’ stretched rim, making him groan.

He leans back, and reaches behind himself to grab Harry's thighs. Then starts lifting himself up again, rolling his hips forward. Harry's head falls back again, hands landing on Louis’ waist. Louis can hear him curse under his breath when he speeds up, and leans his weight on one arm, left hand reaching down to cup Harry's balls and squeeze lightly.

Harry lets out a loud groan, hips bucking up. Louis lets his head fall back, and leans on both his arms again, thighs almost going numb from how much they're burning.

Not a minute goes by when Harry mumbles, “Fuck, I can't,” and sits up so suddenly, he jostles Louis, making the world spin for a moment.

Louis finds himself being held up to Harry's chest, his strong arm winded around Louis’ waist, hand gripping his side tightly. He's sitting on his heels, the other hand still plastered to Louis’ arse.

He doesn't give Louis a second before he starts fucking up into him without preamble, forehead resting on Louis’ shoulder.

“What did I say about giving me warnings,” Louis manages to choke out between moans. He grasps at Harry's hair with one hand, and yanks back, forcing Harry to look up at him. Harry's blissed out face comes into view, eyes immediately landing on Louis’ lips, and he doesn't spare a second before connecting their mouths.

It's a spit-covered lip gliding more than anything at this point, but Louis will take it, happy and content, bouncing in Harry's lap.

It doesn't take long for him to come, Harry hitting his prostate relentlessly with every other thrust, and them teasing each other way before they even stepped into Harry's room, trading dick and arse pics all day like no problem.

It's been a week. He can't be held accountable for his actions when he's been dick-free for a week.

Just as he's ready, lips getting more sloppy against Harry's with every passing second, he gets tipped back suddenly. He lands on his back with a gasp, Harry holding him close so he doesn't slip out. Louis watches with a blurry vision as he sits back on his heels again and grabs Louis’ hip with one hand, lifting him slightly off the bed.

He feels him wind an arm around his bent leg, hand grabbing the meat of his thigh tightly. He has a second to grasp at the sheets before a high-pitched moan is wrenched out of him when Harry starts pushing his hips forward again.

“You look fucking wrecked,” he hears Harry rasp out above him, and locks eyes with him instantly. His mouth is open, bitten and cherry-red. Eyes glossy, boring into Louis’ own.

“Yeah,” Louis moans out, and bites his lower lip. He's so close. “All because of your dick, daddy,” he says, and almost gasps out in pain when Harry stills above him, gripping his hip so hard it’s bound to bruise.

Fuck,” Harry grunts, pushing himself as deep as he can, and starts coming, rides it out with small thrusts forward. Louis follows, eyes sliding back, eyelashes fluttering, as he feels Harry's cock pulsing out come inside him.

When Louis opens his eyes after a moment, the only sound being both their heavy breathing, Harry's already staring back at him. He's going over Louis’ hipbone with his thumb gently, small smile dancing on his lips.

“Wha’,” Louis rasps out, slapping an arm over his forehead. He tries to move, but Harry doesn't let go so he lays there, arse in Harry's lap, his back and head on the sheets.

“Nothing, I just—,” Harry starts, gaze sliding to somewhere to his right. He suddenly looks nervous, and people being nervous after sex is never a good thing. Especially the ones that still have their dick nestled deep in Louis’ arse.

Louis hums, then pats the hand gripping his hip. Harry's head whips back to him. “Good job, H,” he says, and watches as Harry swallows, then looks down and back up again.

“Yeah, thanks,” he says, and apparently decides now it's a good time to slip out of him. Louis hisses, sensitive all over, and watches Harry lay his bum back on the sheets gently. He stands up then, the sound of bare feet making contact with the wooden floor loud in the room.

He turns around to Louis and visibly hesitates, before putting a gentle hand on his thigh.

wrapped around your finger so he won't get away

He bends, and Louis watches silently as he gives his knee a kiss. He then smiles up at him, mossy green glinting happily.

before whatever it is you're doing blows up in your face

Louis averts his eyes.

Fuck.



“What d’you reckon?” Louis asks, turning around. He holds up the sheer black tank top and waits as Harry tilts his head at it.

“I reckon I’d be able to see your lovely nipples through it so you should definitely get it,” he gets as a response. He turns around instantly, and puts it back on the rack.

Stupid frat boy, ruining a fucking piece of clothing for him.

“Oh, don’t put it back. It’d probably look good with those lacy panties I bought you two weeks ago,” Harry adds. He sounds like he’s gonna burst into laughter any second, and Louis turns to him with a raised eyebrow.

“The fuck’s wrong with y—,” he starts, but then sees an old lady staring right at them, looking more or less scandalized. “Oh for fuck’s sake,” he sighs, and grabs Harry by his elbow, dragging him two aisles away from her.

“I can’t fucking take you anywhere,” Louis jabs a finger on his chest a couple times. Harry grabs his hand. Brings it to his mouth and kisses it, small smile playing on his lips. “It was my turn to choose what we’re doing this weekend, and if you can’t go shopping without offending old ladies I think you’re beyond saving.”

Harry hums behind Louis’ hand. “I went because you wanted, it was a nice thing to do,” he tells Louis, and starts slowly backing them up into a more secluded aisle. “I can be nice, you see, especially for you, baby,” he drawls.

Louis’ back hits a wall. “You mean only for me,” he corrects, and looks up at him.

“No one else is worth being nice to,” Harry agrees, and Louis should probably address that, because it’s the first time Harry has ever confirmed it. As obvious as it already was. But being pressed against a wall and kissed silly certainly clouds his judgment as to what is more important in this very moment.

They’re interrupted by a loud gasp. Harry parts their lips with a loud smack, visibly reluctant, then turns his head to whoever just walked in on them, and snorts. He turns to Louis again, then reaches for a deep red hoodie hanging from the rack above them and, grinning, says, “Look, babe, this one would go really nicely with that red pair of knickers you have on right now, eh?”

Louis smacks him across the head.

 

He feels his head slowly dropping down, eyes slipping closed. Someone nudges him gently on the shoulder, but he doesn't care, closes his eyes fully.

There's a couple seconds of relative silence—as silent as it can be on a field during a game anyway—then he gets blasted with a horn and falls off his seat.

“What the fuck is wrong with you?!” he screeches at Georgia. She shrugs, looking unapologetic, and points to the field. Louis glares at her, before following her line of vision.

Harry and the coach stand off to the side, looking an awful lot like they're arguing. The game is still on, without Harry on the field, and Louis feels his eyebrows furrowing. He turns to Georgia. “Why is he not playing?”

She shrugs again. “Foul. Dunno what he did, though,” she says and goes back to playing with the horn, blasting a beat similar to Never Gonna Give You Up . Louis watches as Nathan turns his head on the field instantly, and grins at them, waving.

Louis could ask. But he won't.

He turns his gaze back on Harry, and finds him walking in their direction, staring right back at him. His eyebrows are furrowed, lips in a thin line, and if Louis didn't know him he'd probably be pissing himself right about now from fear of being beaten to a pulp.

He does know him, though, and knows this gaze. He sighs, slotting his hands in his lap. He’s probably going to get dragged out of here, and forced to humor Harry for the rest of the day. He always gets clingy when he gets kicked off the game.

As Harry comes to a halt in front of him, face blank and arms crossed over his chest, Louis quirks his eyebrow. He's just about to open his mouth when, sure enough, Harry grips his hand and yanks, pulling Louis out of his seat.

He can hear Georgia shouting after them, but Harry is quick, long legs making their way to the lockers with impressive strides. Louis doesn’t even try to stop him, Harry has a damn death grip on his hand and doesn't seem to be letting go anytime soon.

Harry pulls the door to the lockers open when they get close enough, and pushes Louis in first, big hand splayed across his lower back. Louis glances up at him. He still looks like he'd be glad to punch something right now, the same blank but silently furious expression visible on his face.

Harry guides him to his locker and sits him down on the bench underneath it. There's a few beats of dead silence while Harry rips off his gear, and open his locker to get his change of clothes.

Louis can't take it. “You know, I don't think you manhandling me like that is gonna have a positive outcome on my reputation here,” he tries, forces a small smile in Harry's direction.

Then, like a bomb dropped, Harry punches the locker beside his. “A fucking foul,” he seethes, standing only in his boxer briefs, t-shirt and jeans in hand. “I didn't even fucking touch him,” he turns to Louis with wide eyes and furrowed eyebrows.

Louis blinks. “Well, clearly you did,” he remarks before he can stop himself. He doesn't actually know what happened on the field, but knowing Harry he probably did deserve to be kicked off the game. Almost always is.

But Harry also wouldn't lie to him.

He rubs his hands on his thighs. “Doesn't matter what I think anyway, I didn't see it happen.”

Harry pauses in the middle of putting on his jeans, and looks at Louis. He raises one eyebrow. “Did you fall asleep again,” he says flatly.

Louis scoffs. The fuck he means again , it happened maybe, like, twice. “Well I'm sorry that staring at you for however long the game is makes me fucking sleep,” he retorts, crossing his arms over his chest.

Harry looks at him for a long moment before shaking his head with a small smile. He resumes dressing up, and the room falls silent again. Well, at least Harry’s not seething anymore.

“So,” Louis starts. “What did you drag me after yourself for?” he watches as Harry closes the locker and starts walking to the door.

“Well, I'm fucking done today with everybody,” Harry tells him, and Louis forces himself not to read too much into why he doesn't get categorized as everybody. “So we can do whatever you want, as long as I don't have to deal with anyone's bullshit.”

“What about my bullshit?” Louis find himself asking as he stands up and follows him.

He watches as Harry grips the doorknob and turns around to look at him, face suddenly so soft it makes Louis halt in his steps. It's a face he made only a handful of times, and only when his eyes are on Louis. That face, when Georgia first witnessed it she turned around to Louis and called it in motherfucking love, you blind fuck.

“I'm always here for your bullshit,” Harry says softly, eyes trained on Louis. “You know that,” he adds with an almost unnoticeable smile, and fuck if that doesn't sound like a goddamn love confession. The most unromantic, shitty love confession that makes Louis’ heart pound like a sledgehammer inside his chest.

“Yeah,” he chokes out.

before whatever it is you're doing blows up in your face



They end up playing footie—(“It's soccer, Louis, keep the fuck up!” “Why don't you shut the fuck up and pass me the fucking ball!”)—outside Harry's frat house. It's a bit cold, wind picking up slightly, and Harry doesn't hesitate before throwing his zip-up hoodie in Louis’ face.

“You could've at least handed it to me like a normal person,” Louis calls, voice muffled by the thick material. He grips it, and pulls it down. “I don't need you reenacting a dumb romantic high school moment, but throwing it in my face is a bit too much,” he puts it on, and rolls the ends of the sleeves up a little.

“A romantic high school moment, huh,” Harry muses a couple feet away. He has the ball balanced on the tip of his Nike's, that show-off. “Don't think I'd ever see you in one.”

Louis frowns. “What do you mean?” he asks.

Harry rolls the ball underneath his foot, and looks at him. “A romantic high school movie,” he says. “Or any romantic movie for that matter. What with you constantly running away from any sort of romantic advances on my part,” he adds, gaze steady on Louis.

Louis blinks. “I—,” he stutters. Doesn't know what to say.

Harry hangs his head and chuckles. He kicks the ball to Louis. “I'm joking, Lou,” he says, smiling, but it looks forced, like he was hoping for a different reaction from Louis, and Louis doesn't even try to hide his frown.

“Your face, though,” Harry chuckles again lowly, looking down. “You looked terrified.”

Louis watches him rub a hand under his nose. This is bad. This is really bad.

He coughs. “Do you want me to come back to yours after my rehearsals?” he asks, changing the topic probably none too smoothly.

Harry looks at him for a moment, before nodding. “Sure.”

 

Six months. Six months since this whole thing started, and Louis only now starts seriously thinking that, maybe, just maybe, it's not only about sex after all.

It's not like he hasn't briefly thought about it—Harry having feelings for him—what with them spending way too much time together for what is supposed to be a friends with benefits deal.

He also supposes having movie nights three times a week, when they cuddle and talk about their dreams and problems while eating take-away, and stealing kisses between all of that is not really what friends with benefits do either.

But they had never set any rules. They were both new to this whole thing, not thinking about stupid rules people do set for themselves and then never follow.

They never had any boundaries. From day one, when the first night he spent with Harry, this dumb jock with big hands and an even bigger smile that he doesn't seem to show to anyone but Louis has brought him breakfast to bed, and asked if they can do this again.

Maybe he should've known. Maybe Harry asking him if he can fuck him raw two months into this, saying he hasn't had anyone since they started this thing should've been a red flag of sorts. Maybe when they went to test themselves so they could fuck without any restraints should've been taken into consideration.

Maybe when people started calling them a couple, and maybe when other frat boys started joking how Harry only ever listens to Louis should've been enough to know that this whole thing has never been only about sex, from the very beginning.

So. Maybe he should've realized that.

But he hadn't.

He has thrown himself into this without thinking ahead, brushing Georgia off when the first thing she has said about it was it's not a good idea, Lou, people always catch feelings and get hurt in the end .

And the thing is, he has never even taken feelings into consideration.

He has never had a real, genuine connection with someone. He has never been in love, doesn't know what to even look for when it comes down to it, and he's not even sure he believes in it at all.

And maybe this is why he had forgo taking Harry's feeling into consideration. Maybe he really is leading him on, and maybe Georgia is right to call him out on it.

And maybe he should set things right before it does blow up in his face.

 

Louis has never been that into rain. It messes up his hair and makes his clothes smell funny when they get dry, so he can say he's not in the best of moods rounding the corner to Harry's frat house, the raindrops getting heavier by the second.

The talk he's about to have with Harry doesn't really help his mood either.

He hopes it's not too late. He really hopes that it's going to be fine if he ends things so suddenly, and maybe Harry's feeling won't get too hurt.

He shakes his head at himself. Who would've thought that mere six months ago he didn't even think Harry had any feelings, and now he's trying to think of a way to not get them hurt.

“Louis!” he hears someone shout, and turns to see Nathan getting out of his car. “Wait a sec!”

He stops walking, and watches as Nathan locks his car. He gets more and more soaked as he's striding up to Louis, blond hair already plastered to his forehead with rain.

He looks way too happy for the weather at hand, and Louis barely opens his mouth to ask why before Nathan reaches for his hand and drags him over to the fence beside the gate, shielding them from the rain under the trees.

“Um,” Louis starts and gets immediately cut off.

“So,” Nathan says, and doesn't let go of Louis’ hand, thumb grazing his wrist gently. “Georgia said you told her that you're planning on ending it with Styles,” he looks at Louis, gray eyes searching.

“I mean, um,” Louis says, and looks down on their connected hands. “Yeah, I, um. I'm actually about to.”

“Okay,” Nathan breathes. “Okay, um, listen,” he takes a deep breath. “I know that I've already asked you this, and you've already, uh, told me you don't really see us having a future together,” he says, and bites his lower lip.

Oh, God.

“Well, uh” Louis stammers a bit. He can't believe he's going to have to let this kid down again. “I didn't say it like that , I just said I wasn't ready for a serious relationship.”

He watches as Nathan's eyes widen. “Okay, so if I asked you to consider giving me a chance now ,” he steps closer. “Would you?”

Louis sighs. “Nathan, listen,” he starts, but Nathan's eyes look so earnest and hopeful he doesn't think it through when he says, “I don't know.”

And it seems to be enough, because Nathan's other hand lands on his waist, and he grins like Louis just agreed to fucking marry him.

“Okay, I can work with that,” he says, and Louis really doesn't have a heart to let him down right now, so he goes with it, and as Nathan bends forward and gives Louis a kiss on his cheek the world comes crashing down suddenly.

“Fucking delighted for you two,” he hears Harry say lowly, and whips his head in his direction, Nathan's hands slipping off of him.

He's standing at the gate, only a couple feet away from them, mouth in a thin line. Louis didn't hear him walking up to them, the rain coming down too hard, and now they're both standing there, staring at each other, and Louis hasn't realized when he stopped breathing.

“How long have you been standing there?” Louis hears Nathan ask, and watches as Harry wraps his arms around himself.

“Long enough to know that you'll give anyone a fucking chance, except for me,” he grits out, eyes steady on Louis’. He chuckles humorlessly, and Louis can feel dread take over his body, feels like his heart is going to beat out of his chest, or just stop altogether. “And here I thought, like a fucking idiot , that you were just afraid of commitment and would come around once I show you I could be a good partner,” he shakes his head. 

Louis feels himself step forward, hand gripping the fence instantly because of how light and heavy he feels at the same time. He feels like he can’t breathe, feels like he’s dying , watching Harry take a step back. His mossy green eyes that he has come to love having on himself suddenly turn red-rimmed and look just fucking miserable .

He opens his mouth but no sound comes out, like his voice can’t get through the big lump that has formed in his throat. Harry nods lightly. “Right,” he mutters. “Can’t even find anything to say to that, huh? Shows how much I’m really worth to you,” he says and, with one last death glare at Nathan, turns around and starts walking back to the house.

And maybe he deserves it, Louis thinks bitterly. His hand curls around the fence tightly, and he feels like if he lets go he’ll slid onto the cold ground and never fucking stand up again.

Maybe all of the times he has ignored the obvious signs, and ignored what the consequences of ignoring them would be has come to bite him on the arse.

Maybe standing here, soaked, staring at Harry’s hunched over, retreating back is what he deserves.

He feels a hand on his shoulder, and looks up, Nathan’s face suddenly blurry. He feels him thumb under his eye, mouth in a thin line. Then, Nathan bends forward and embraces him, and Louis goes slack against his chest, legs too numb to keep him upright.

“I’m such a fucking dick, God, ” he hears Nathan mumble in his neck, and wants to lean back, look at him and say that it’s not his fault, but gets pushed towards the frat house entrance instead. “Go, Lou, before I start crying, too,” he smiles and winds his arms around himself.

Louis hesitates. “But—,”

Go,” Nathan urges. “Go or I’ll never forgive myself for ruining whatever the fuck you two seem to have, no matter how much I hate his guts.”

Louis looks at him for a moment, before nodding, and takes off, striding up quickly to the door. He pushes them open, and doesn’t hesitate before taking the stairs up to the roof. He runs three stories up, and sighs, reaching for the doorknob on the last step. He turns it and pushes.

Just like he expected, Harry’s sitting on the edge of the roof, arms crossed over his chest, staring down, and Louis can’t help but pause to just look at him.

“I heard it all, you know,” he startles when Harry’s voice cuts through the silence. He looks up at him, and Louis breathes out shakily before walking up to him slowly.

He sits down beside him. “I’m—,” he rasps out, and clears his throat before continuing. “I’m not that great at, um, love,” he says and hears Harry snort humorlessly beside him.

“Or communication,” Harry says. “Or maybe just taking other people’s feeling into consideration before you go and plan on fucking dumping them out of nowhere without a solid reason,” he adds.

“Okay, I’m shit at a lot of things, glad we established that” Louis mumbles. “Now, could you let me finish?” he turns to him. Harry still doesn’t look up at him, but nods.

Louis sighs. He brings both hands up to his eyes, and rubs at them, taking a deep breath. “I know it’s a shitty excuse, but you’ll have to deal with me for a moment,” he says. “So, um. I don’t necessarily think love is real,” he watches as Harry’s head snaps in his direction, eyebrows furrowed. Louis scratches at his thigh nervously, and continues. “You know I’m adopted, I’ve told you that before. And, um, that kind of already comes with a set of lovely issues I’m still struggling with today,” he pauses to rub under his nose.

“And you also know my adoptive parents got divorced, that’s why I’m even here and not still in London. Because I went with my mum, and she wanted to move here. Now, I know you haven’t met them both and haven’t seen them before they officially parted ways, but. It’s like. It’s like they were perfect,” he looks up to find Harry already looking back.

“The were so in love, H. It felt like my heart was being wrenched out of my chest when all I could see for those last couple of months was either fighting or complete silence. And it’s just. If this is what love eventually comes down to, then I don’t want to believe in it. And I don’t want it.”

They sit in silence, only sound being Louis sniffling and the rustling of leaves.

Harry sighs. “It’s not a shitty excuse,” he says. “It still doesn’t give you a free pass on being an oblivious idiot for six months, with a lack of communication skills, but it’s not a shitty excuse,” he reaches for Louis hand, and holds it.

Louis nods. “I’m so sorry for everything I’ve, um, I’ve put you through,” he says, voice cracking. He looks at Harry and smiles. “If it’s any consolation I probably would’ve flaked before I even brought this up today, when I planned on ending things,” he watches as Harry rolls his eyes, and shakes his head.

“And, um, it will probably take me a bit more time to, you know, um, fully be in this, but. I never, ever want to feel what I felt when you looked like you were gonna just fall apart in front of me. Losing you for that one moment felt like fucking hell and I never want to go through that again.” 

Harry runs his thumb across his hand gently. He pulls then, Louis stumbling into his chest, and winds his arms around him tightly. “Okay,” he says. Like it’s just that easy.

And maybe it is just that easy.



“Thank you again, Mrs. Tomlinson for having me,” Harry says, squeezing Louis’ waist where they’re standing right outside his mum’s flat. “I always wondered why Louis is such an amazing cook, and now I’ve got my answer,” he grins, and Louis can’t help but roll his eyes. Fucking suck up, this kid.

His mum hums, and nods. “Well, I’m glad. I always thought being able to cook will bring him more luck in the love departament, and look how right mums always are,” she looks at Louis with raised eyebrows.

Louis groans. “Alright,” he says pointedly. “I’m really happy this whole thing went well and you didn’t murder my boyfriend on the spot, but we really have to go,” he tugs at Harry’s coat sleeve impatiently. He has a meeting with his therapist in less than thirty minutes and he’d rather not be late.

He’s been on time since he has started going two months ago, and doesn’t want to fall off his schedule because of his mum getting chummy with Harry. That’s literally the last thing he wants, actually. One minute more and she’ll offer to show Louis’ childhood photos, and that would just be a straight up disaster.

“Okay, okay,” her mum huffs, and opens her arms for him to come into. Louis goes willingly. She then hugs Harry, and sends them their way with leftover lasagna in hand.

“Well,” Harry starts as they’re walking to his car. “I dunno about you, but I think she liked me,” he grins at Louis, cheeks rosy from the slight temperature drop.

“Oh trust me, she’s already planning our wedding,” he sighs, and hears Harry chuckle. “She made lasagna, that’s how she shows love, don’t you know?” he pauses right beside the car and smiles up at him.

“Oh so when you made exactly that last week and then made me clean up all the dishes, that was you showing love?” Harry asks, placing a gentle hand on his waist.

“You know me so well,” Louis coos, and grins when Harry rolls his eyes. Reaches up to his neck and brings him down, slotting their lips together chastely. “And you know I love you whether I make you lasagna or not.”

Harry sighs. “I know,” he says. “And you know I love you whether you do make lasagna or not.”

Louis hums into his mouth. “I do.”