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It’s supposed to have been an ordinary lads night out, a few pints with his best mate at a concert he’s really looked forward to. It’s his first time to see tonight’s big artist. Before this, Liam’s watched him on the television along with thousands, at first with envy that he wasn’t the one wowing the judges and also the British people.

 

There was a time Liam had hoped that would’ve been him, entertaining with his own songs.

 

Though, music is Liam’s life even now, even if he never made it big and instead ended up just enjoying other people on stage from afar. Because it is from afar, their seats not particularly great nor near the stage.

 

It’s hard with money after having paid the rent, his paycheck not big enough to get him anything better. He works part-time at a small Irish pub, where he badly tried to fake an Irish accent to get a job.

 

Somehow he still got that job and with it a new best friend in a proper Irish bloke, who found Liam’s bad accent hilarious. Enough to not tell him for three whole weeks that he knew Liam wasn’t Irish.

 

He stopped pretending shortly after that.

 

Rest of his time, he spends teaching kids playing the piano. He does like it, and he doesn’t miss standing on stage too much, but when the longing becomes too big, he does a small gig at their local coffee shop.

 

That’s nothing like this; this is big and sold out. It’s Harry bloody Styles first tour back after a three-year break, so that’s expected.

 

He  just had to be there. Harry being even more celebrated now near seven years after his second place on the X-Factors. He is huge, but it’s still been surprisingly quiet about him the time he was gone. Before that, he was the rags favourite celeb to cover, and Liam can’t remember how many people Harry’s been connected to, all the gossip about him.

 

About who his true match could be.

 

It never lasted for long, one pretty girl that might just have been a friend replaced by another. Until Taylor, who lasted longer, and when she gave out her album Red, everyone was sure Harry was the one to bring colour into her life.

 

Turned out he wasn’t the one.

 

Now Harry’s back in full force, and Liam’s seen Harry smile back at him from magazines and huge adverts about his show. Other than that, it’s been quiet about him. There are no new rumours about his love life, and his social media is blank apart from a few black and white -- Liam’s been told it’s not just him  who can’t see -- artsy photos.

 

Liam wouldn’t have missed this for anything, and luckily Niall’s a big fan himself. He wasn’t hard to convince to tag along.

 

Might be luck that brought him there. Or faith, his mum would say if she knew because it hits him just as Harry enters, and the flash of colour and noise cause him to almost miss the start of the show.

 

The sound from the stage is loud, and Liam’s overwhelmed. So, so overwhelmed. It feels like he might be sick at any moment, his head spinning and all the colours almost too much. He can’t place them, can’t tell them apart.

 

It’s just bright, even in the darkened arena it’s almost too much for his eyes. He blinks his eyes shut, and wonders if he’s drunk. If he’s dreaming.

 

It doesn’t feel real.

 

When he opens his eyes, looks down at his arms, he sees stark black tattoos covering his skin. He’s never seen a reason to add colour before now.

 

His skin isn’t tinted grey anymore, like everything else have been, all his life until now.

 

It’s everything Liam’s whished and absolutely not at the same time. His heart feels like it’s about to beat out of his chest and it’s a mix of a happy and scary feeling twisting around in there.

 

The question is, who is Liam’s soulmate . It’s kind of a silly word, but it’s the one Liam’s grown up to hear so many times.

 

The problem is that it could be anyone.

 

Niall’s next to him, swaying along to the music. Drunk enough on beer and music that he doesn’t notice that Liam’s skin is clammy and most probably green-ish.

 

Not that Liam knows what green really looks like. He’s read the textbooks in school, and he knows that green is the colour of the leaves in the spring and that the ocean is blue.

 

Everything is so bright on stage, but Harry looks frozen.

 

Just one song in he pauses, mic firmly in his hand. He looks confused, a bit lost as he gazes out at the sea of people. Behind him, his band carries on. Even though the main act seems to have forgotten why he’s there.

 

”Oh no,” Liam mumbles and wrinkles his forehead together. How’s he ever going to get to properly meet Harry Styles, the one person who’s named top bachelor in all magazines ever.

 

Everyone wants to be his match, and Liam’s heard the stories about fans going too far trying to meet him.

 

Liam doesn’t want to be one of those. He doesn’t want to intrude or be weird .

 

It could just be a coincidence. It could be the pretty girl next to Niall, who now that Liam looks closer, he can see holding hands with the girl next to her. So probably not her, then.

 

Not that it’s uncommon to date, or even marry someone when your life is still grey. It’s a dream for most to meet the one person that will turn life to colour, and even though they’ve all been told fairy tales about it as kids, they, later on, find out about the statistics.

 

How usual it actually is to never even meet the one, timing not ever right. It’s quite sad when he thinks about it; his mum and dad met young, and he’s been told about happy love all his life.

 

He wanted that for himself, too.

 

The girl probably isn’t the one, but he still glances over to her once more. She is verket pretty with her verket coulourful hair.

 

She was there before too, so it’s really not her. He knows it could be any one of all thousands in the room, that popped into it about the same time as Harry.

 

Exactly the same time. It seems unlikely, he knows, but it seems even more unlikely that Harry would be his soulmate.

 

It feels long to him, but it  doesn’t take long for Harry to get back into it, doing a twirl before he leans closer to the mic.

 

Liam’s transfixed.

 

He can’t stop watching, and he knows he’s not alone. Harry’s got that pull on people; that wow factor, something that makes him stand out in the crowd.

 

It fits him being a pop star, Liam thinks. His deep voice and his stage presence alone. That he’s nice to look at doesn’t hurt either. His hair shorter and his suits covered in flowers tonight.

 

He looks so unlike Liam, who looks like an ordinary student still; in jeans and a t-shirt. His hair buzzed short since a few months back.

 

Liam’s always liked Harry’s style; it gives him something special, more life and brightness even in black and white.

 

As Harry moves from one side to the other on the big stage, Liam follows him with his eyes. He can’t help wondering, even as he tries to relax and let it go.

 

Nothing good will come from worrying about it, that he can do later.

 

Just a few songs later, Liam’s buzzing, and he bops along to the music. His smile never slips from his lips as he sings the words back at Harry, his voice not being heard over the crowd. It’s pure joy, and Liam bumps his elbow into Niall’s side to get his attention.

 

Between two songs, over the noise of people screaming for Harry, he leans closer to Niall.

 

”What colour is your shirt?” he asks, feeling a sudden need to know.

 

“Green,” Niall grins, lifting an almost empty plastic glass of  beer to his lips.

 

When Liam nods and makes a note of that green is the colour of Harry’s eyes. He’s not sure why he remembers that fact, since it’s been useless to him before this day.

 

He feels dumb doing it, knowing it’s no use dwelling about small things like that when just getting in contact with Harry without scaring him off, will be trouble.

 

If Harry now sees colour too, why would he believe that Liam’s his soulmate? Out of everyone in the crowd? He  must be even more confused than Liam.

 

“Great,” Liam says belatedly, and it’s first then Niall reacts. His eyes going almost comically wide, and his beer slipping from his fingers.

 

“What,” he shouts, the music starting again after Harry’s rambling talk in between songs. Which Liam’s somehow missed. “Why do you want to know that?”

 

Niall looks like he knows like he’s already figured out. He’s the smart one of them, Liam thinks.

 

“I’ll tell you later,” Liam shouts back, and maybe Niall realises that there’s no use trying to hold a conversation with the loud music picking up again because he lets it go.

 

He looks tempted to drag Liam out of the arena, though. But  Liam’s relieved to be allowed to go back to watching Harry, his whole focus seemingly back on putting on a proper good show.

 

His stumble, in the beginning, it’s like it’s never happened, and it makes it easier for Liam to not think about the mess of trying to reach Harry.

 

But it might just not be Harry, which would be sad in a way -- Liam’s had a celebrity crush on him, he knows that. His mates know it too, and he’s been teased plenty about it -- but it would also be a lot easier to find his soulmate if he or she wasn’t famous.

 

He can still make one of those posts on social media, maybe manage to get a good spread on it. Just Harry’s name in it, the mention of him, would help with reaching more people.

 

No matter what, people tend to love those sweet, hopeful posts, and Liam’s shared more than one himself.

 

But it’s a problem for later, now he just wants to enjoy himself.

 

Liam loses himself in the rush of colours and the music. He feels way drunker than he is, and he sings until his throat feels sore.

 

— — —

 

After the show, when they’ve squeezed their way through a mob of people, Niall half jogs next to his side. It’s cold outside, and Liam’s got his beige jacket pulled tight around himself, and he only knows it’s beige because the label said it was that colour.

 

Beige, he’s been told, is a safe colour. Warmer than the cold grey he’s used to, but nothing people would laugh at because it matched his outfit weirdly.

 

His carefully planned colour system in his wardrobe, he can let go of now. He can, finally, see the world like he’s always longed to do.

 

Suddenly, he wants to go out and buy the loudest coloured t-shirt he can find, and wear it with as coloured pants. Just because he can.

 

Liam notices Niall looking at him, trying to get his attention with a raised eyebrow.

 

”So,” Niall says, shaking Liam out of his trance. ”Your colours turned on, I guess?”

 

”It’s a lot,” Liam settles on, not sure how to put words to what he’s feeling.

 

”Yeah, I remember,” Niall says, and gets that pleased little smile on his lips he always gets when he thinks about Louis.

 

“You know who turned you on, though,” Liam says, letting out a giggle when he realises what he’s said.

 

“Hell yeah,” Niall grins, wiggling his eyebrows. Sometimes, it’s like Louis rubs off on him -- in a way that Liam can think about without feeling the need to clean his brain with soap.

 

He’s seen Niall’s naked bum more time than he’s ever wanted to, sharing a flat with Louis as they both took classes at Uni. He’s mainly the reason Louis and Niall met, and he’s more than happy for them.

 

No matter how disgustingly in love they are, or just plainly going a bit too far with the public displays. Now, he’s got his own tiny flat, and he’s missed having someone to live with.

 

He wants to be that in love too and have someone who’s waiting at home for him after work.

 

“Who was it?” Niall asks.

 

“Don’t know,” Liam answers, frowning. It’s not a lie, and he knows he could say anything to Niall -- who might laugh at him, but never in a mean way.

 

Niall stops walking and grabs at Liam’s wrist to get him to stop too. “You don’t know?”

 

Liam shrugs. It feels silly to say that he thinks it Harry, that he feels it even though he’s got no way of really knowing. It’s not like he’s talked to him, or felt Harry’s skin under his fingers.

 

In time, if he’s not getting to see his soulmate again, the colours will fade back to grey. He hopes it won’t come to that; he’s already starting to get used to it, and he can’t imagine how a summer day must look.

 

He just hopes it’s all sorted then.

 

His mum says she just knew, the first time she kissed his dad. But everyone tells their story different.

 

“Might be Harry,” Liam rushes out.

 

“Fuck,” Niall mumbles, a stunned look on his face.

 

“I know,” Liam whines, wondering why he couldn’t fall in love with his best mate’s roommate. Seems a lot less complicated. Harry’s great, fantastic even if what he lets people see of him is anything to go by, but he’s not easy to get to know.

 

“I mean, he’s a hell of a looker that bloke. But his bodyguard is fucking huge.”

 

“It could be just about anyone,” he adds, not wanting Niall to jump to conclusions just because he did.

 

“We should try with Harry,” Niall decides, and Liam’s happy that he’s got someone to help him with this. He’s not sure where he’s going to start. “He’s the one person we know by name in that place.”

 

“True,” Liam nods, shaking his arm free and pulling them tight around himself. “If only we knew how to tell him without coming off like we’re on drugs or something.”

 

Niall smiles, looking all too pleased with himself. “We need a plan, someone to help us out with it.”

 

“Oh no,” Liam laughs, shaking his head. “Don’t do me like that.”

 

Louis’ plans tend to be on the wild side, one time even involving a stolen golf cart at a party where he worked as a server -- borrowed, as Louis would’ve said. Liam’s still got no idea how they got away with that without getting in trouble.

 

Still, he agrees it’s a good idea to bring Louis in on it. He’s going to need all the help he can get.

 

-- -- --

 

Liam is looking at his colour cards when Louis drops down next to him on the sofa, feet up at the coffee table at once.

 

Liam barely even reacts to him being there, even though he never let Louis in. Louis still got a spare key of his, and he’s got the habit of using it like he still lives with Liam

 

Louis is far more responsible than Liam would like to give him credit for, knowing he’d be teased endlessly for it. Louis is such an older brother, both taking care of those he loves, and making their life a tiny bit harder.

 

In a fun way, most of the time.

 

”You want me to quiz you? Louis asks, not looking shocked in the slightest about Liam holding a pink card with the neat little text that tells Liam that ’pink is the colours of some flowers and also pigs.

 

There’s a cartoonish pink pig on it, too.

 

It feels like they’re made for kids, and they probably are given he’s found them in a box from before he moved away from home. His mum had hope Liam would fond his soulmate young.

 

Niall’s filled Louis in, then.

 

”Nah,” Liam says, and places the card in his lap. ”You’d only ask obscene things.”

 

”Lies,” Louis huffs, trying to hold back a telling smirk that makes it obvious that Liam was right about it. ”And here I am to help you out with your little Harry problem.”

 

"It's a bit of a problem," Liam sighs, and bumps his foot against Louis'. He's told him to keep his dirty feet on the floor.

 

Not that it helps, when he's no better himself.

 

Louis rolls his eyes. "It's not that big of a problem."

 

"I can't just buy him a beer and then shag him." Liam would've liked that, though. It sounds easy and fun.

 

"Well, that was a good plan," Louis preens, sounding fond over that memory of meeting Niall. A time that must be pretty blurry considering it was a pub night out.

 

Liam snorts out a laugh. "That was you almost falling all over yourself trying to get in Niall's pants."

 

"Hey now," Louis says, tweaking one of Liam's nipples in revenge. "Be nice to me if you want my help."

 

"I don't want your help," Liam whines, rubbing his hand over his chest. He should really learn when that's coming; it's not like it's the first time.

 

Louis shrugs, knowing that Liam's lying through his teeth. He's going to need every little bit of help he can get if he's going to avoid a nervous fit before the end of next week. If it gets to it, he knows he can count of Louis and Niall to get him drunk enough to forget it all for a night.

 

"Well, you fucking need it. You wanker," Louis says, managing to sound fond even though he's cussing Liam out.

 

Liam leans his head back against the headrest of the sofa. "Hit me with it then."

 

Louis grins, and rubs his hands together; he looks every bit like an evil genius in the planning, Liam reckons.

 

"Nothing that will end with us I jail," Liam insists, shaking his head. Louis looks all too excited. "Or something that will leave me not allowed near him."

 

"That would be dumb," Louis says slowly, as if it would be unthinkable.

 

It's really not.

 

”So I’ll say we go big anyway,” Louis says, and nods when Liam shakes his head. ”He’s not going to notice you otherwise.”

 

Liam wants to be noticed, so he stops shaking his head.

 

The next two hours Liam dodges a few plans that he might be okay with in two weeks, if nothing else works.

 

They end up with a plan that involves trying to get tickets to Harry’s last show, and if not possible to get meet and greet tickets — Liam’s wallet is already empty enough as it is — they’ll have to wait outside for Harry with others fans.

 

He might or might not let Louis’ sisters do a huge, glittery sign for them to hold up.

 

Until then, he’ll have to be sure not to miss any fan from the concert who’s searching for a soulmate.

 

He can’t rely on just the feeling in his stomach, that it’s Harry.

 

— — —

 

Liam’s got a habit of checking Harry’s Instagram first thing in the morning.

 

Their plan to get tickets to Harry’s last show failed, everything already being sold out. So now he needs to keep even better track of Harry’s schedule; where he’ll be and when. When Liam will be able to see him again, a lot closer this time.

 

He’s heard Harry’s voice more times than he can count. It’s familiar, as is the way he moves. But it’s not all there is to know about Harry.

 

It’s just the little piece of him that Harry allows him to see.

 

He wants to get to know the real Harry because he’s the one Liam’s supposed to fit with. How it really works, scientists and priests still argue about.

 

Faith, or God, or just a random mutation to the human gene that makes them that way. He would place his bet, on the latter option. He’s not a huge believer in God. He knows there’s been some research on the statistics for bonded couples and those who are not.

 

Most couples do work out, and it’s never a sure thing. If you’re unlucky, your soulmate isn’t a healthy choice for you, and life can always come in the way. A person changes, but with the joy of having someone to light up the day, most things get easier to deal with.

 

Most mornings it’s useless, but last night, after a show, Harry’s posted a photo. It’s in colour. Liam wonders if he’s still dreaming it all up at first.

 

Harry never post anything not black and white. Never, ever.

 

The post is still there when Liam’s rubbed his eyes with the back of his hand, phone still in it.

 

It’s made his fans go absolutely wild, and Liam can see more than one person claiming to be the one for Harry in the comments.

 

There are so many of them that he feels slightly sick.

 

It doesn’t feel like much use for him to try to do the same. Instead, he writes, ”I went to your show the 25th.”

 

He doesn’t think much of it when he rolls out of bed. It’s just a silly reply out of thousands, and he doesn’t want to get his hopes up.

 

Any plan of Louis’ would probably be better than this.

 

— — —

Later that night, he’s still trying to decide which plan he should go with, out of all of Louis’ suggestions. His colours have started to lessen, he's sure of, and it’s only been about two weeks.

 

He doesn’t want to wait longer than he has to.

 

The television is on in the background as he opens up Instagram again, and stares at the photo on Harry’s timeline.

 

It’s one of those reality shows, meant to hook you up with your soulmate but most often ending in a very public mess. Liam snorts when he thinks about trying to get Harry onto one of those shows.

 

Years ago, when Harry was a teen, he took part in another type of reality show. This is very different. Harry’s different. It’s highly unlikely.

 

The production company for any of the shows would probably bend over backwards to get Harry on their show.

 

They’ve probably tried and failed. And even if they did manage; how would Liam get himself on the show?

 

A vibration from his phone tells him he’s got a DM on Twitter, and Liam’s sure it’s yet another gif of Harry, in courtesy of Niall.

 

It’s not, though.

 

“Um,” Liam mumbles and blinks at his phone. He expects what he’s got in front of him to change.

 

It’s still there, and he needs Louis there to pinch him. Liam tries himself, nails sharp on his skin.

 

He lets go with a wince and read the message once more.

 

‘Hi.’ It’s all it says. Innocent and ordinary.  Nothing he would really care about from someone he doesn’t know; it’s either either someone trying to sell something, or hit on someone when it starts like that.

 

It’s from Harry, though. Who he’s been trying to figure out how to get in touch with for two weeks.

 

Liam’s never that lucky, is he?

 

First, he almost manages to convince himself it’s all a joke. That Louis’ somehow managed to pull this off. Liam never leaves his phone unlocked near Louis anymore, but even if he had, Louis would never be that mean to him.

 

Liam pulls up Niall’s number and listens to the phone ring. He could really need someone to figure out what to do.

 

“Answer him, fuck’s sake,” Niall says fondly, as soon as Liam’s explained it all with too many words.

 

“Right,” Liam mumbles. He should just answer him; for all he knows, Harry or whoever uses his screen name is just messing with him. Or just saying ‘hi’.

 

It’s Liam brain that makes this into a bigger deal than it is, he tries to convince himself.

 

‘Hii’, Liam writes and then deletes. He writes it three more times before he hits send. Nothing clever comes to his mind.

 

It doesn’t take long for Harry to answer, the show is still on in the background, but to Liam, it feels like forever. He’s about to get up and start pacing his small joined bedroom and living room.

 

He can’t really understand why Harry’s even writing him. Liam’s twitter is mainly filled with retweets from his mates, pictures of them drunk and stumbling all over each other. He’s barely even mentioned Harry on there.

 

Liam’s not a shy person, most of the time. He’s bubbly and likes to laugh loudly, but he’s unsure of what to write now.

 

Did you enjoy the show?

xx

H’

 

Liam nods to himself. This question he knows how to handle.    

 

I had an aaaace time,’ Liam sends, faster this time. The extra letters, he notices first afterwards, and his cheeks flush a little bit, but it feels unimportant to impress Harry with perfect grammar.

 

‘Nice.’

 

Your amazing,’ Liam adds, knowing well that his might his only chance to tell Harry how great Liam thinks he is. It feels surreal, that it might actually be Harry -- waiting for Liam’s reply, maybe in his posh flat, the size of just his bathroom probably bigger than Liam’s entire flat.

 

It was very bright,’ Liam types in, only to add, ‘ Very colourful .’

 

Liam’s holding his breath as he waits for a reply.

 

Liam doesn’t want to tell Harry straight to his face that he saw colour the first time he saw Harry. As much as he can say it to his face through a phone. Saying to someone you've never met, and even worse, has admired, that he thinks they’re soulmates, seems like too much. Too sudden. Surely he’d get blocked or ignored forever by Harry.

 

‘Are you local, or did you travel far to see us?’

 

‘Yes, just outside of London, ’ Liam sends back, confused by the questioning.  

 

‘You want to meet up for a coffee?’ He gets back, and Liam almost drops his phone. Almost as shocked as by the first message, he reads it one more time.

 

To meet him for a coffee pretty much sounds like the best idea ever. Colour can only do so much to make a person happy; without chemistry and a connection, that rush won’t last long anyway.

 

Harry doesn’t post any more photos that night; Liam checks before he goes to bed.

 

— — —

 

They agree to meet up in public; it’s safer for everyone that way, and while Liam sits there alone in the small coffee shop -- at the table in the back -- Harry walks in with a large man close behind him.

 

Security; it feels weird to Liam that someone would need to bring security to a thing like this, in the middle of the day. But he and Harry live completely different lives.

 

Luckily, Harry’s bodyguard just gives Liam a long look and then sits down a few tables over. Far enough away that Liam won’t embarrass himself by saying something stupid in front of him.

 

”Purple,” Liam blurts out, the first thing Harry sits down in front of him.

 

There he goes; with saying the first thing on his mind.

 

Harry looks confused, adorable with his nose and forehead wrinkling. Liam wants to bop his nose or give it a tiny butterfly kiss.

 

”What?” Harry asks, voice slow and deep.

 

Gosh. He’s embarrassing himself in front of Harry already. He should have written down cue card of what not to say.

 

”Your jacket is, like, really purple,” he clarifies, and it's something he never thought he would do. Point out to Harry what colour his outfit is.

 

Colour is a good talking subject, given why they’re at this ’ it’s not a date ’ but still feels like a date thing. But a hello would be a better way to start.

 

”Hi,” Liam says belatedly, sure his cheeks are blotchy pink by now. “I’m Liam.”

 

Harry holds out his hand waiting for Liam to shakes it. His smile is warm, with a dimple deep in one cheek. “I’m Harry. Harry Styles.”

 

‘I know ,’ Liam just manages not to say. Everybody knows who you are.

 

He almost expects a ‘zing’ when they touch the first time. His life isn’t one of those romantic Hollywood but he might have watched one too many of those with his sisters.

 

It still feels special.

 

Harry’s hand is warm, and Liam’s got a slight panic that his hand is sweaty. He’s been really nervous the whole day, unable to think about anything else than this.

 

Harry looks around them, pleased that they seem to have gone unnoticed. Liam’s spent too long in front of the mirror before coming there, but still was a bit too early to make sure not to miss Harry. He’s still wearing a soft grey college sweatshirt, and Harry’s got a pair of light blue jeans with his purple sweater.

 

They probably look like a pair of Uni students, Liam reckons.

 

Harry still looks unbelievably good, and Liam wants him. He already had an inkling that he would; but he wasn’t prepared for how it would feel. Somehow, it feels like he’s met Harry before, and it’s what his mum said about meeting his dad.  

 

Harry laughs, deep a low, and Liam stops his day daydream about him a Harry doing all sorts of things.

 

Harry looks down, and Liam follows his eyes.

 

They’re still holding hands. Liam lets go at once when he notices and puts his hands in his lap. He does his best not to fidget too much.

 

“Should we order?” Harry asks, and Liam nods quickly.

 

“Yes,” Liam says eagerly and holds his hand up to get noticed by the cute waitress with a shock a colourful hair. “Sounds like a plan.”

 

The girl’s eyes get big when she looks from Liam to Harry. Harry just smiles and places his order, polite and with a smile that feels a little less real than the one that he gave Liam before.

 

Liam orders a coffee drink, that he knows got more sugar than caffeine in it. The last thing he needs when he already feels hyped.

 

“I like her pink hair,” Liam tells Harry after she’s left with flustered cheeks.

 

“It’s really special,” Harry agrees with a small nod. “Nice to be able to see things like that now.”

 

“Oh.” Liam wants to ask when Harry when he started to be able to see colour; if he knows who his soulmate is.

 

What Liam’s even doing there.

 

It doesn’t take long for their order to arrive; Harry’s picked a good place, it’s pretty calm and quiet. The cake looks gorgeous, too.

 

“Got a bit of a sweet tooth,” Liam admits sheepishly, shrugging. He spends enough time at the gym, sure of his body these days.

 

“Wouldn’t have guessed,” Harry says, and it’s almost flirtatious.

 

Harry wrinkles his nose when he sniffs his black coffee. He looks like he regrets his choice.

 

“Not good?” Liam asks, sipping carefully on his own drink.

 

Harry snorts and shakes his head. “You’ve no idea how much coffee I’ve had the last few weeks. Not good for the body, I’ve heard. First time to this place, though. Wanted to make it special, you know.”

 

Liam doesn’t really know what Harry means. Has Harry has more non-dates with people from Twitter? Is Liam just one person in a long line?

 

Liam hums, unsure of what to say. “Bored, are you?” He tries to laugh it off, to shake the sudden uncertainty.

 

Harry shrugs. “One could say it’s pretty damn hard to find the right person.”

 

It’s cryptic, but Liam thinks he understands Harry anyway.

 

“Any luck?” He wonders, trying to ignore his heart thumping away in his chest.

 

It feels a bit like he’s the right person; when he looks at Harry, everything seems that sharp and bright again.

 

Harry should be able to feel it, too.

 

“It’s a bit like finding a needle in a bubble bath,” Harry says, pouting when Liam starts giggling behind his hand.

 

“Pretty sure that’s not the saying,” Liam laughs.

 

“You’re mean,” Harry drawls, wiggling a finger at Liam. “You shouldn’t be mean to your dates, Liam.” He drags out Liam’s name long, and Liam’s so caught up in the way Harry says his name that almost doesn’t catch what Harry says.

 

Liam fumbles, his half-empty mug nearly tipping over. He ignores it.

 

“But it’s not a date,” Liam says in playful defence, when he really just wants to tell Harry that he really is a good boyfriend. The kind that’ll wake you up with breakfast in bed and will give your mum roses on her birthday.

 

“It kind of is like a date,” Harry says, and Liam’s blush deepens.

 

“Only with a bodyguard,” Liam answers. “That makes it a bit unusual for me.” Liam doesn’t say that it’s been a long time since his last date. He’s no virgin, but it never felt real for him to be with someone who he knew wouldn’t last.

 

Harry glances over at the man he’s brought with him, almost looking surprised to find him there.

 

”Yeah, I reckon that bit is a tad bit weird,” he says, and Liam wonders if it’s still weird for Harry to bring him along. It must be.

 

“You didn’t ask for a date either,” Liam insists.

 

”I could ask you on a new date,” Harry says, his foot bumping against Liam’s toes. ”One without Arnold.”

 

”What about your other dates then? Liam asks, more than anything wanting to scream yes .

 

”Don’t think they’re so colourful,” Harry says softly.

 

”Should we talk about it then,” Liam says, and Harry pouts when Liam once again fails to answer his question.

 

Harry reaches out, brushes his finger over the back of Liam’s hand.

 

”You’ve no idea how shocked I was.” He lets out a little laugh, a bit lost in his own world as he thinks about it. ”There I was, wanting to shout of joy and wanting to ask who it was.”

 

”My mate thought I should’ve gone to one more concert and thrown up a pair of undies,” Liam giggles, ”And that was still a better idea than some.”

 

Harry tips his head back as he laughs,  ”must’ve been wild.”

 

”This whole thing is a bit wild,” Liam says, all of it still feeling a bit unreal. The whole thing, how he finds his soulmate in the least expected place, who his soulmate is.

 

But Harry feels real. Is real.

 

Liam’s sure now. Harry’s the one, he would be able to tell even without the extra help of truly bright purple.

 

”I guess I’m the needle in the bubble bath.”

 

It’s his way of saying yes to one more date, and to even more after that.