“Harry Edward Styles, do you understand the sentence that you’ve been given?”
He didn’t understand what he was doing in Hell at all let alone being kicked out of it, but he nodded his understanding anyways. “Yes.”
The gavel stomped down, ringing loudly in Harry’s ears.
“Then so be it. From this moment forward you have been banished, and will serve your sentence back amongst the living.”
Harry sighed inwardly. All this drama because somehow life had thrown him a shitty card, first with the car accident that ended his life, then with the clearly obvious misunderstanding that landed him in the underworld, and which he was now being booted out for “treating people with kindness.” Honestly, this just really goes to show that their system is flawed.
“Am I at least allowed to ask where I’m going?”
Judge Cowell simply looked at him and snapped his fingers.
“Goodbye Mr. Styles.”
Harry’s eyes blinked open, squinting at the bright sunlight that instantly caused a sweat to break out on his skin. He shielded his eyes, peeling himself off the patch of grass he had been laying in.
He sat up fully, adjusting his vision to inspect the foreign surroundings and finally came to focus on a brown haired man approaching him with a hand held out and a friendly smile.
“Hello there Harry, I’m Niall,” he tugged him up to his feet, clapping a hand on his shoulder. “I’ve been waiting for you.”
“You have?” The statement sounded just as dumb coming out of his mouth as it had in his head. Niall’s face just brightened, an infectious laugh falling from his lips.
“Yup, I’m here to help you. Just think of me as your guide to all things limbo,”
Harry sucked in a breath. Which was something that had been foreign to him for quite some time. “Is that where we are?”
Niall tapped his lips thoughtfully. “Technically it’s called Los Angeles, and if we want to get literal, this is your back yard, but essentially yes, it is.”
Harry blanched. “I’ve never even been to LA before and now I have a house here?” Harry glanced behind Niall noting the pool and patio area. “And like, not just a house, a mansion?”
Niall casually waved him off, “Nah it’s a bungalow in the Hollywood Hills, hardly a mansion,” he motioned for him to follow further into the yard. “It sold for under two million, chump change really.”
Harry nearly choked on his shock. “Maybe for you, but I was a struggling artist who worked at Tesco to pay my way,”
“I know, I read your file before you got here.” Niall sat down on the edge of a comfy looking deck chair, noting Harry’s confusion. “It’s all part of the package deal bud, we’ll get to it,”
“So is this your job then?”
He laughed again with a nod, “Uh huh, and I also happen to dabble in real estate, hence these great digs. Why don’t you come sit down and we’ll go over some things?” He pat the chair beside him, giving him an encouraging smile.
Harry ignored his gesture, choosing instead to pace back and forth while gnawing on his thumb nail. “This can’t be right though,”
Harry stopped in front of him, frantically jabbing his hands back at the house. “All of this! I shouldn’t have been where I was in the first place, and now I’m stuck here? There has to have been a mistake, I swear I was a good person, it doesn’t make sense!”
Niall watched him have his meltdown with careful, knowing eyes, obviously having to have dealt with one or two of these before. “It’s not really that simple Harry,”
Harry was very close to stomping his foot, but he would refrain…for now. “Why?”
“Okay, so you obviously know the Ten Commandments,”
“When we die, everything we have ever done is categorized and compared to that list, and depending on how and when you die, well that’s the deciding factor on whether you go up or down or stay in limbo,”
“Alright, and I’m still telling you it was a mix up, I shouldn’t have been there at all,” Harry finally sat down the chair, massaging his throbbing temples, “Have you seen this happen before?”
“People being booted out of Hell?” Harry straightened up quickly with a nod, desperate for any kind of explanation. Niall shook his head. “No, but I’ve only been doing this for a couple of years. I don’t want to say it isn’t possible.”
Harry felt a glimmer of hope in the pit of his stomach. Maybe he wasn’t wrong. “Are you stuck here too then?”
Niall’s face flushed as he ran a hand though his perfectly coifed fringe, “No, I’m here on assignment.”
Harry searched his eyes, finally getting the message Niall was trying to convey with them. His shoulders slumped forward when he finally realized. “You’re an angel,” he flicked his eyes up at him for reassurance. “Right?”
“Yes.” He nudged Harry in the thigh, hoping to get a smile out of him, “And, a real estate agent.”
Harry suppressed the tiny smile that tugged on his lips and sighed, falling back on the chair to shake his head at the clear blue sky. At least that was nice to see again. “Isn’t it depressing that LA is where they send all these lost souls?”
Niall chuckled at that. “Is it depressing or is it realistic? I mean it’s already full of hopeless wanderers, so it’s pretty easy to blend in.”
Harry sat up again, leaning his elbows on his thighs, hands hung between them in defeat. “So what do I do here?”
“You can work if you want but you don’t really have to, we’ve got you all set up for money and clothes and stuff,”
Harry narrowed his eyes. “Sounds like a consolation prize to me,”
Niall nodded slowly, “It kind of is, I mean you’re stuck here for eternity, and you’re not going to age so...”
“Twenty five forever? That’s...” Harry stared down at his hanging hands. He didn’t know what it was. He was already dead, so obviously he wouldn’t age, right?
Almost as if Niall could read his thoughts (and maybe he could, who knew at this point) he approached his next words cautiously. “You’re still Harry, every part of you that makes you unique, that’s all there but obviously you can’t come back looking exactly like the person that you were—
Harry cut him off, bolting out of his chair in search of a reflective surface. He ran up to the window of the sliding doors that led into the house, hanging his mouth in disbelief. He hadn’t realized with the shock of it all that the long, curly brown hair he had been used to when he was alive was completely gone. He slid a hand though his wavy fringe, peering at the closely cropped hair on the sides of his head. He recognized his face, but he looked more mature, older, like himself but different enough that his friends of days long past probably wouldn’t recognize him. And yet, somehow, he still had glasses.
“You’d think they’d at least give me perfect eyesight, was that not in my welcome package?”
Niall laughed behind him, patting him on the back. “I’m not sure how that part works, but it’s not like they’re hurting your looks at all,”
“Thanks I guess.” Harry turned around, tucking his hands into the pockets of his skinny black jeans. Those would be another thing for him to get used to. He bit his lip, chewing on the question he knew he shouldn’t ask but he needed it out of him. “And um, what about like...my family?”
Niall’s face softened as he placed a hand on his forearm, giving it a gentle squeeze. “You died in 2012, Harry. They’ve grieved and moved on. But they’re happy, trust me.”
Harry frowned again. “What year is it Niall?”
He hesitated briefly, obviously concerned with Harry’s mental state, rightly so. “It’s 2019.”
Harry felt the shallow breaths deep in his chest, squeezing around his heart. He couldn’t die again, could he? “But...I swear it only felt like a month,”
Niall for once, seemed unsure on how to answer. He squeezed Harry’s arm again, guiding him towards the open patio doors. “I know this is all a lot to take in right now, so why don’t you get yourself settled and rest up for a bit,”
He led them into an airy living room just off the patio, sitting Harry down on an oversized white couch with a beautiful glass coffee table that had an intricate hand carved wooden base in front of it. Sat in the middle was phone and wallet.
“Everything you need is in that wallet and phone, including all the pertinent passwords and banking information and my number if you need to get a hold of me,” he stuck his hands in the pocket of his jeans, rocking back and forth on his feet. “Are you going to be okay?”
Harry let out a heavy sigh, “I guess I have to be.” He grabbed one of the throw pillows to squeeze against his stomach, instead of placing it over his face so he could scream into it like he wanted to. He felt a bit timid when he asked his next question. "How do I get around? I've never been to LA before, so I don't know where to go,"
Niall pointed to his phone, “I’ve got you covered there too. You have a driver who will take you wherever you want to go, any time you want."
Harry snorted sarcastically. “Is he dead too? Sounds like a bit of a punishment having to be at an ousted demons beck and call,”
Niall shook his head with a laugh. “Nope, he’s just another guy trying to make it as an actor in this town. He’s got the time and he needs the money.”
“Still, that sounds pretty sad to me, so I guess we’ll get along just fine.”
Niall pulled his own phone out to check the time, shaking his head again. “Yeah, just don’t tell him that you were kicked out of hell for treating serial killers with kindness and it’ll be all good,”
Harry huffed, slouching further into the couch. “It’s not like we were wearing name tags, how the hell was I supposed to know?” Niall raised his eyebrows at his choice of words. Harry rolled his eyes. “No pun intended.”
“Alright kiddo, I’m going to leave you to it. I’ll check back in with you tomorrow, okay?”
Harry nodded. It’s not like he could say no. “Sure.”
Niall strode over to ruffle his hair and pressed a smacking kiss to the side of his head. He supposed as angels went, he was pretty good so far. “You’re gonna be fine Harry, I promise.”
He watched him leave out the patio doors and threw the pillow aside, standing to his feet to pace around his arguably very serene living room. After a minute of circling the coffee table, he decided since he had nothing better to do he might as well check out the rest of his house.
There was a lovely open kitchen also done in bright white with grey accents, housing all the state of the art equipment he had only once dreamed of using when he flipped through his mother’s Martha Stewart cookbooks as a child.
He quickly pushed the memory aside and moved further into the house finding two guest bedrooms and an office space set up with all of the art supplies his heart could ever desire. He turned away from that room with an ache in his chest. He wasn’t ready to try his hand at painting again when he barely knew how to be alive in this body.
He pushed the door of the master bedroom open and almost yelped. Okay, so he had to say the inviting king sized bed with the fluffy, cloud like comforter was the one thing he could not complain about if he had to live this life. Everything about the room radiated relaxation, and for a moment he contemplated throwing himself into the middle of the bed and shutting his eyes for the next twenty four to forty eight hours.
However, his curiosity was going to get the better of him. Here he was allowed back on earth by way of some really fucked up twist of fate, so he might as well go out and enjoy it and leave his unanswered questions home for the night.
He wandered over to the closet and rifled through the coats, finally plucking out a satin bomber jacket with a tiger motif on the front. He zipped it up over the white t-shirt he had already been wearing and poked around in the closet for some shoes to wear.
In his former life he had been all about his Converse trainers because that was all his budget could afford, but in this life he had that option, plus many pairs of heeled Saint Laurent boots and Gucci loafers.
“Who would have thought dying was the way to a high end closet.”
He still opted for a pair of black Converse high tops, because a part of him wasn’t ready to give up the old Harry quite yet.
Once back in the living room he picked up the phone to call his driver, which was handily named as such in his phone. Though it would’ve have been hard to differentiate between him and Niall, as they were the only two numbers he had.
Harry had an actual driver. This really was another dimension.
The line rang twice before a chirpy voice sounded out on the other side. “Hello Mr. Styles! What can I do for you?”
Harry inwardly cringed at being so formally addressed. How do famous people do this? “Uh hi, I was wondering if you could take me down to Venice Beach?” It was the first place that came to his mind because it always seemed so cool in the movies.
“Absolutely sir! I’ll be there in five minutes.”
Harry blinked at the phone when he promptly hung up. Niall wasn’t kidding when he said he’d be at his beck and call.
And true to his word, he was there to meet Harry at the end of his driveway no less than five minutes later.
He waved in greeting as Harry pulled open the door to the foreboding black Suburban. “Hi there! I’m Liam, it’s very nice to meet you sir,”
Harry offered him a wave and a smile back. “Harry, and really, you don’t need to call me sir.” He took in his features as Liam took him in as well, a questioning look in his soft brown eyes. He had some scruffy stubble and close cropped hair that only accentuated his movie star good looks, making Harry ponder why he was a struggling actor.
Liam seemed to realize that he had been staring for a moment too long when he cleared his throat and turned the truck around in the driveway. “My apologies sir, I’ll call you Harry from now on.”
Harry almost laughed at the absurdity of it all. “It’s really okay.”
Liam glanced at him out of the corner of his eye as he flicked his signal on to change lanes. “Sorry, I just...well I assumed you were a lot older when Niall said you were an artist, I don’t know why,”
Harry sent him a tight lipped smile in reassurance. “It happens, all good.” He looked out the window to hide his pained expression. Art had been his whole life at one point, he was even considered to be a bit of a prodigy. He had slowly but surely been making a name for himself locally, but he always had dreams bigger than Manchester.
That was until an icy winter road and a driver under the influence took it all away in an instant.
He shook out of his dark mood, shifting his attention back to Liam. “Niall mentioned that you’re an actor?”
Liam let out a self-depreciating laugh, “I’m certainly trying, but it’s a tough town. I’m super thankful to Niall though, one of my friends that bought a house off him mentioned that I was looking for work and he offered me this gig without so much as a reference check,”
Harry raised an eyebrow, a smirk spreading over his lips as Liam shook his head in a panic, “Oh my, no! I swear I am perfectly normal, you can do a criminal record check, I promise there’s no funny business!”
“Okay, but how do I know that you didn’t just deliver an award winning monologue to try and convince me?” Harry waited about two seconds before giggling into his palm, because Liam looked like he was about to join Harry and drop dead at any moment. “I’m kidding, Liam. I trust that you’re perfectly normal.”
He blew out a relived breath, touching a hand to his heart, “Oh my golly, golly gosh, you really had me going there for a moment.”
Harry leaned back in the seat, the first genuine smile he’d felt in a long time creeping up on his lips. Surely anyone that said the words golly and gosh couldn’t be anything but good.
They spent the rest of the twenty minute ride in a comfortable silence, save for Liam quietly singing under his breath to a song that Harry obviously didn’t know, but enjoyed the sound of nonetheless.
Liam pulled the truck into a parking lot across from the beach, smiling at the skateboarders in the distance, their figures turning into shadows against the lowering afternoon sun.
“I’ll be waiting around here, just give me a ring when you’re ready to go alright?”
Harry nodded, scratching at the back of his neck, feeling a bit silly now. “I’ve never actually been here before, where should I start?”
Liam tapped a hand to his head, scolding himself for being forgetful. “Sorry, I forgot this is your first time here,” he pointed a finger towards one of the bustling sidewalks. “Just head down that street there and it will take you to the boardwalk, that’s where all the good stuff is.”
“Great, thanks Liam.” He hopped down from the truck, rapping on a knuckle on the window as he backed away, “I’ll call you in a bit.”
Liam nodded and gave him two thumbs up, swiftly turning his attention to the weekly newspaper, where he was scouring for jobs Harry imagined. He turned on his heel and made his way through the Friday afternoon crowd, savoring every moment of the unfamiliar sights and sounds.
He strolled for about five minutes before pausing to sit on a bench that was facing the ocean. He took a deep breath and closed his eyes, finding it hard to believe he was actually here.
He could smell the salt in the air and hear the distant crashing of the waves and the constant chattering of voices around him. It was all so real, and it suddenly hit him that he may not have been dead or alive right now, who even knew, but he was flesh and blood. He was breathing and he was full of emotions - all things he never thought he’d get to experience again.
As much as he resented everything that had happened to him, he was being given somewhat of a second chance, and as much as it pained him that he had to let his family go, he reminded himself that he already had.
Harry had died, and it’s been seven years. That was the fact of the matter, and if Niall said that his family was happy, then he just has to believe him. You can’t undo the past, so instead he was going to make do with what he could in his present.
He suddenly felt a presence beside him and opened his eyes to a gorgeous man with a head full of jet black waves and a cigarette hanging from his slightly bemused lips.
“Do you mind if I sit?”
Harry shook his head, motioning to the empty space beside him. “Be my guest,”
He sat down and crossed his feet at the ankles, the sun glinting off the metal studs on his boots. He brought his hands up to cup his smoke, pausing as he asked Harry’s permission. “You cool?”
Harry guessed he was, considering he couldn’t die from secondhand smoke. “It’s cool.”
He blew a cloud of smoke out above his head, turning back to meet Harry’s eyes after. “Nice jacket by the way. Saint Laurent?"
Harry glanced down at the item, struggling to recall if it was that brand name or Gucci, but agreed anyways. “Oh yeah it is, thanks.”
The ashes of his cigarette floated to the ground as he brought it down near the side of his leg, twisting his body to face Harry straight on. “So, are you here visiting the city of angels?"
Harry awkwardly cleared his throat at the mention of angels. He also couldn't believe that a gorgeous stranger was making small talk with him. It had been a long, long while. “Uh no, I actually just moved here on a whim,” he shrugged his shoulders up with a smile. “It's my first time in the city.”
Gorgeous blinked at him blankly before letting out a musical cackle as he reached into his pocket, “Fuck me, you must be crazy,” he pulled out another cigarette, handing it over to Harry, his tattoos mesmerizing him in the process. “Here, you’re going to need this,”
“Oh, I don’t smoke,” Harry politely declined.
“It's legal babe, don’t worry.”
Harry cautiously took the cigarette out of his fingers, twisting it around in his own, when a light bulb finally went off. The whole place smelt like weed now that he thought about it. He cocked his head, lips pursed in thought as he considered giving in and smoking it. No, maybe now wasn't the time. “I’m going to take your word for it, but I think I’ll save it for later. Thank you though,”
He shrugged, lighting up another of his own. “Suit yourself.” He blew another puff of smoke away from them, offering his joint free hand out after. “I’m Zayn,”
Harry shook his hand with a smile. “Harry.”
“Alright Harry, what is it that you do that brought you to LA of all places?”
Harry shifted in his seat, his eyes focusing on one of the street artists set up a couple feet away from their bench. “I’m a painter. Just figured a change of scenery might be inspiring,” he wrinkled his nose at the lie, but he’d unfortunately have to get used to it.
Zayn brightened. “That’s cool,” he offered him the joint again, which he finally took. Why the fuck not. “I’m a musician myself, but I kind of fucking hate it.”
Harry coughed as he inhaled, both in shock from Zayn’s admission and the unexpected potency of the weed. He cleared his throat, handing Zayn back the offending joint with a blush high on his cheeks. “Really? Why?”
He sighed, pulling at a loose thread from one of the many holes in his jeans. “I shouldn’t say that, because I do love making music, it’s just the whole performing aspect. I get all in my head and work myself up and then I’m well and truly fucked before every performance,” he titled his wrist sideways, glancing at the very expensive watch on his wrist. “Including the one I have in about three hours.”
Harry blew out a whistle, scratching a hand through his proximity to the ocean mussed hair. “I’m sorry to hear that, it must be awful to feel that way every time you have a show,”
“Yeah it sucks, but the label doesn’t make money off me siting on my ass, so as they say the show must go on.” He stood up and stretched his arms over his head, cocking an eyebrow down at Harry. “If you don’t have plans, you could come check it out if you like. It might be nice to see a face in the crowd I kind of know,”
Harry looked up in surprise. “You’re just going to invite a guy you don’t even know to your show?”
He smirked. “I also gave you a joint.”
Harry laughed in return. “Should I consider that your good deed of the day?”
His eyes turned serious and sincere as he looked into Harry’s. “You seemed a bit sad to be honest. Thought you could use a friendly chat,” he shrugged the leather jacket he’d been holding back onto his shoulders, “And my mother always taught me to be kind to strangers. So what do you say?”
Harry wanted to say that the last time he used the kindness motto he had ended up here. But maybe here wasn’t going be so bad after all.
“I’d say that sounds pretty great.”
Louis took a sip of his coffee, feeling the instant warmth pleasantly wrap around his insides. Not that he needed it where he was, but it was still a lovely feeling all the same. He had always been an avid tea drinker during his time on earth, but up here in Heaven he had switched to coffee because it was always brewed to perfection.
Sometimes it was still a strange thing to get his head around; the fact that he had died seven years ago (in an unfortunate skiing accident no less) and that yes, Heaven and Hell did exist. Would he have preferred to be alive? Of course he would, because you never know exactly how precious life is until it was gone. However, he was lucky enough to have been given the task of spending the rest of his days as a guardian angel to those around the world who needed it.
And because of that responsibility he was allowed to check in on his family from time to time, and that gave him the sense of peace that he had needed to adjust to his new (after) life.
He hummed under his breath as he flipped through the new assignments chart on the bulletin board in the kitchen. When he had first come into this realm, he had been taken aback at how much it resembled earth. They still had jobs and homes to go to, but they were more of a manifestation of where you would want to be in your perfect world. It was hard to explain, but having come from a fast paced, legal counsel environment in his regular life, he knew that this new laid back work/life balance was an absolute upgrade.
One of the many things that kept everyone happy was the fact that there were no email chains. When you had a new assignment, everyone knew to check the board on Monday morning. It was that simple.
Louis leaned in to read his pertinent information when a familiar whistling and finger snapping had him smiling to himself. He released the papers and let them flutter shut, turning around to greet his friend with a warm smile.
“Niall, long time no see!”
Niall stepped in to wrap his arms around Louis’ shoulders, giving him a bear hug. “Yeah, you too man, how have you been?”
“Oh you know, I can't complain. I was just checking in to see where I’m off to next,” Louis let him go and clasped his hands in front of him, drumming his fingers together with a giddy smile. “I’m getting a celebrity, that’s a first for me. It’s kind of exciting,”
Niall laughed as he tossed an apple into the air, catching it behind his back. “It can be for sure, though some of them are a true test of patience. You’ll be great though, if anyone has the patience for it, it’s you,”
“Thanks, Niall, that means a lot,” Louis leaned back on the counter behind him, nodding towards the board. “Where are you headed this time?”
“Back to good old La La Land,"
Louis lit up at that. “No way, me too! Well, maybe we'll run into each other somehow,"
Niall shined his apple on the hem of his t-shirt, shrugging his shoulders up with a lop sided smile quirked on his lips.
“You never know.”
For someone who had never stepped foot in LA before, Harry was certainly making the rounds all in one day as he followed Zayn and Liam into the dimly lit entrance of the Roxy on Sunset Strip.
Harry had figured that he at least owed Zayn a ride after his generous invite, and even though he had a driver of his own, he was more than happy to hop into Harry’s truck after being introduced to a star struck Liam.
Liam just so happened to be a huge fan, and the song he had been singing along to that Harry had liked as well turned out to be Zayn’s, because of course it was, and not only that, the next movie audition that Liam had coming up was one that Zayn would be providing a song on the soundtrack for. Fate was alive and well and working overtime on this meet cute.
Harry slipped into the backseat and watched with a quiet awe as Zayn and Liam bantered back and forth like they had known each other for ages, getting on like wildfire and never taking their eyes off each other. That last part almost had Harry pointing out that perhaps he should take over driving for a bit, but he decided to keep his mouth shut because really, Liam drove a bit like an elderly woman.
Their instant connection filled Harry’s heart up in a way that made him feel happy and light, something that he felt as though he had not experienced in many long years, and well, he supposed that he hadn’t.
When he had been speaking to Zayn at the beach he had wondered if their chat was edging on something that wasn’t quite platonic, but the minute him and Liam had locked eyes on each other, he immediately knew the difference.
That, and the fact that Zayn had not shut up about how Liam had the perfect bone structure for the big screen, to which Liam gushed back that wasn’t possible when Zayn’s face was surely sculpted by the Greek gods. Harry wondered if Niall had any information to refute that fact, did gods really spend their time making faces for human beings? He shrugged, filing it away for later.
Liam pulled him out of his deep thoughts as he grasped onto his sleeve, turning around to whisper quietly, “Harry, I will never know how to repay you for this!”
“There’s nothing to repay, I didn’t even know who Zayn was up until an hour or so ago,”
Liam stopped in his tracks, placing his hands on his hips and assessing Harry as if he was from another planet. Well. “Surely you’re joking?”
Alright, now he had to backtrack. Great. “You know, because I was really wrapped up in my work for the last couple of years. A total recluse. I have so much Game of Thrones to catch up on,” he added with a nervous giggle. See, he definitely did not belong in Hell. He was a terrible liar.
“Oh gosh, I really don’t want to have to be the bearer of bad news on that,”
Harry laughed, crossing a finger over his heart. Ha, see, it’s not like he could die from this lie. “I promise you won’t have to be, I’ll sort myself out.”
Zayn had appeared around the corner again, waving them towards a roped off VIP area. “Hey, I’ll get you guys all set up in here, my manager said everything’s good, he’ll give you some passes,”
They walked over to meet him at the red rope, which another man was undoing and ushering them in with nod of the head. When he looked up and smiled, Harry could have sworn he felt his entire body, from the top his head all the way down to his toes, react to this man.
“Hey guys, I’m Louis, Zayn’s manager,”
Liam thankfully stepped up to the plate, eagerly shaking his hand. “Liam, and thank you so much for letting us see the show back here, it’s really, really cool,” he nudged Harry with his elbow, giving him a smile that said ‘get your shit together’, “And this is my boss, Harry,”
Louis raised his eyebrows, moving his hand over to clasp Harry’s, “Wow, this is quite a team building outing if I’ve ever seen one,”
Harry flushed, taking back his sweaty palm to (hopefully) subtly wipe it on his jeans. “Considering that we just met today, I’d hope we’re off to a good start,”
Liam nodded enthusiastically, “So far, he’s the best boss I’ve ever had.”
Louis laughed, and Harry could not stand how beautiful he was. “Glad to hear it, and glad to have company up here for once. This is the first time Zayn has ever invited anyone he knows to a show,”
That didn’t really surprise Harry given the conversation they had, and that made him grateful that they were here now and that Liam was his biggest cheerleader. “We’re happy to be here, thanks for having us.”
“Zayn’s going to head backstage now to get prepped, so I’ll see guys in a bit, okay?”
They nodded and watched him walk off with Zayn in tow, who blew them a kiss and waved goodbye. Once they were out of their eye line, Liam bounced over to the couch that occupied the space, pulling a bottle of water out of the ice bucket in front of it for himself, while popping the top off the bottle of beer for Harry and handing it over with an encouraging smile. “You look like you need this.”
Harry accepted it gratefully. “Thank you.”
He sat down next to Liam and listened distractedly to his idle chit chat, while silently obsessing over shaggy hair, blue eyes, and smile that could have lit up all the signage on the Sunset Strip.
Sure, Harry had been with some good-looking guys when he had been alive, and had been in one serious, but short lived relationship with a fellow artist that ended as messily as to be expected for two creative people with nothing but that in common.
But Louis wasn’t just good looking, he was breathtaking. Harry could paint a thousand canvases and never have them turn out as beautiful as he was because it seemed like there was some sort of aura surrounding him that made him glow from the inside out. See, this is what you got when you mixed an artist with an on slot of feelings he didn’t know what to do with.
He also looked really fucking good in skinny jeans.
Harry side eyed Liam while adjusting his own, but he was lost in some sort of social media black hole, which suspiciously looked like a Zayn fan page account. He felt a twinge of embarrassment for having sexual thoughts about a guy he had literally met for less than a minute while sitting next to a guy he had known for only slightly longer than that.
On the other hand, it was interesting to know that he could have thoughts like that and act on them. Honestly, Niall should consider making a pamphlet; it would help clear up a lot of awkward questions and concerns.
The lights suddenly went down, indicating that it was time for Zayn to start, causing Liam to bolt up from the couch to drape his torso over the balcony railing for a better view. His seat on the couch was quickly filled by another warm body, which was Louis, somehow manifesting out of nowhere.
He leaned in closer to Harry, his warm breath tickling the very short hair at the side of his head. “I don’t know what kind of voodoo you worked on Zayn, but I have never seen him this relaxed before a show,”
Harry laughed, pointing his finger to where Liam was dancing and waving his hands in the air. “I think it was less me, and more the weed and Liam combination.”
“He does have the best weed,” Louis mused. He inched in closer, and Harry was going to blame the fact that he hadn’t been breathing for seven years on the fact that he couldn’t quite catch his breath right now. “Zayn mentioned that you just moved here?” Harry nodded and Louis’ returning smile caused his eyes to form a series of crinkles at the sides. “Me too, well, a couple of weeks ago anyways,”
Harry studied his eyes, unable to grasp how they could still shine the way they did in the darkened club, “Have you been here before?”
“Yeah a few times, and I love it. I’m a sunny weather kind of guy.” Yeah, Harry could tell from the patch of tanned skin peeking out from the collar of his dress shirt that he also couldn’t stop staring at, and he may have been caught, because Louis was staring at him with an amused smile. “What do you think so far?”
Harry didn’t know if he was talking about himself or LA, and he didn’t know how to answer either of those questions without making his head explode. “I think it’s going to take some getting used to,” he looked at Louis again, swallowing around the lump of desire in his throat. He definitely had a lot to occupy his thoughts once he got home. “But right now? It’s pretty good.”
For a split second he thought that Louis was going to lean over and kiss him, but maybe he was also going a bit crazy from his day of big and slightly traumatic events. Louis blew out a breathy laugh instead, nodding down at his lap, “That’s good to hear.” He passed Harry another beer, opening one up for himself as well. “Well if you’re in need of some entertainment, Zayn decided he wants to have an impromptu party tomorrow. Do you think you guys can make it?”
Harry drew their attention to Liam again, motioning his bottle of beer towards him. “I think at this point wild horses could not keep Liam away from Zayn. We’ll be there.”
Louis threw his head back and laughed. He was apparently very amused by Harry’s dumb commentary, and it really wasn’t that funny, but he’d take it. Louis sat up straight again, adjusting his shirt back into place and hurting Harry’s feeling in the process. “Alright, I’ll give Liam all the information he’ll need of Zayn’s. I assume since Liam is your driver, this makes the most sense?”
“Yeah, definitely.” And it’s not as if Liam could be complaining about it, that’s for sure.
Louis eyed him up again, narrowing them when he paused on Harry’s face. He would somehow find it in all his power not to squirm under his scrutiny. “You’re a painter,”
It was more of a statement than a question, but Harry answered anyways. “Yes.”
He nodded and leaned back over into Harry’s space, his mouth mere inches from Harry’s ear. “I can tell by your hands.”
He stood up and plucked another beer out of the bucket, sauntering over to place himself beside Liam on the balcony. He never once looked back of course, and Harry wasn’t even sure if he had meant it to sound as sexual as it did.
But he was sure that it was going to be the last thing he heard in his mind before he fell asleep that night.
Louis wandered into Zayn’s kitchen, surveying the fridge for the third time since he got there, even though he knew very well that they were fully stocked with enough supplies to survive an apocalypse. Which was kind of on Louis’ mind when he had done the shopping, because to him, Harry Styles was the human equivalent of an apocalypse. A hormone induced one at that.
It was beyond frustrating because Louis had spent plenty of time down on earth since his untimely demise, and not once had he faltered in his duties or been distracted by a man. Now all of a sudden a soft spoken painter with glittering green eyes and thighs that had to be illegal was making him question this life and the one before it.
In all of his twenty seven years of living he had never felt an instantaneous attraction to someone, which made him a tad bit sad for him and his former boyfriends, and now all it had taken was five minutes with Harry to know that he was smitten.
Louis also knew that he really wanted to rip Harry’s clothes off, and honestly, was it getting hot in here? He fanned his t-shirt away from his chest, offering an embarrassed smile to one of the record labels secretaries who had stepped into the kitchen to grab a glass of champagne and was now giving him a suspicious side eye, which he deserved.
He was about to open his mouth to offer her an apology when Harry and Liam appeared in the doorway with a face he had not expected to see in a million years.
“Louis? What are you doing here?”
Harry, Liam and Niall made their way over to Louis, where all four of them stood looking at each other in confusion. Harry seemed the most perplexed, his questioning eyes boring into Louis’ own. “You know Niall?”
Louis allowed himself one moment to drink Harry and his windblown hair in before hastily grabbing Niall by the wrist, “Yes I do, uh, from work! Just give us one minute; I have to ask him about some keys that Zayn is missing from the house, right Niall?”
“Exactly! We’ll be right back, make yourselves at home!”
Louis tugged Niall out onto the patio, leaving behind Liam and Harry to shrug and shake their heads at each other. Harry gave Louis one last look before turning towards the counter full of booze. Louis led them to a secluded corner of the yard, where he could hopefully raise his voice without drawing (anymore) suspicion.
“Seriously Niall, what are you doing here?”
He flicked Louis on the nose, crossing his arms over his chest, “Excuse me, I asked you first.”
Louis rolled his eyes, thumbing over to where Zayn was now sitting in Liam’s lap in a patio chair. Seriously? He rolled his eyes at that too. “Zayn is my assignment,”
He closed his eyes and nodded, “Ah, okay, that makes sense.” He wiggled his fingers over towards them with a smile, “I’m with Harry.”
Louis mimicked his previous stance, folding his arms together with a grimace. “What do you mean ‘you’re with Harry’, are you’re dating him?”
Niall’s eyes nearly popped out of the sockets in hilarious disbelief. “What? No you idiot, I’m his guy!”
Louis let those words bounce around in his brain as he inhaled and exhaled a very deep breath. “Ohhh shit,”
“Uh oh, did he do something? I mean technically he’s stuck here regardless, but I kinda need to know,”
Louis pinched the bridge of his nose and squeezed his eyes shut, unable to look at Niall or in Harry’s general direction for his next declaration. “He is so bloody sexy. That’s what he did, and I can’t be attracted to him, obviously,"
Niall scratched his head. “...This is definitely out of my realm of expertise, and I’m sorry to ask, but you know, it’s all functioning down there, isn’t it?”
Louis dropped his hand away from his face, affronted. “Seriously Niall? Yes, my dick works,”
“Okay jeez, I was just checking” he lowered his voice, stepping in closer. “And I know that Harry’s does too,”
Louis’ eyes narrowed. “You’re sending me mixed signals here Horan, why in the world would you know that?”
Niall shook an impatient hand out in front of him, “He’s a human again man, I’m assuming they sorted that out for him!”
Louis contemplated this, nodding his head to indicate he was satisfied with the answer, even though the whole topic was absurd. “Alright, as long as you haven’t seen it,”
“For fucks sake, you were just telling me you can’t be attracted to him, now you’re complaining about me seeing his dick, and I’m the one sending mixed signals?” Niall looked like he was about to toss him into the pool, and maybe that was exactly what he needed.
Louis clutched on to his shoulders, giving them a desperate shake, “Help me Niall,”
“I’m not a gay sex guide, Louis.”
“Well, we can literally thank god for that.”
Niall rolled his eyes, batting his hands away from his arms. “Oh, so you’re a comedian down here,”
Louis sighed, running a hand through his hair that needed to be cut months ago. “Seriously Niall, if I were to I don’t know, pursue him, how does that work? Is it even allowed, considering where I came from and where he came from?”
“I don’t really know the ins and outs, Lou. I think that we’re down here doing what we can to help people, but we also have human emotions and some things can’t be controlled,” he took a swig of his beer, a smirk playing on his lips. “Besides, you think I haven’t dabbled?”
Louis pursed his lips, impressed. “Niall Horan, you are truly something to behold.”
He cackled, flicking his eyes over Louis’ shoulder before meeting them again. “If it makes you feel any better, Harry thinks that he was sent there by accident and I think he might be right. So maybe this is exactly what’s supposed to happen, or else why would he end up here, and with me?”
Louis chewed on his lip, considering this. “Yeah, maybe,”
“Something to think about anyways,” he pat Louis on the arm, reassuring him with a wink. “And speak of the non-devil, here he comes. I’ll leave you to it.”
Niall took off back towards the house, while Harry made his way over, passing him with a friendly fist bump. Once Harry reached Louis he gave him a shy smile and wave, "Everything alright over here?”
“Oh yeah, all sorted.” Louis took a moment to himself to appreciate Harry’s outfit. The pink velvet pants with a simple white t-shirt and Vans seemed to offset his messy hair and glasses perfectly.
He looked cute and cuddly, and yet all Louis could think about was getting him naked and putting his hands all over him. Louis had been told a long time ago that your senses were enhanced when you were on earth and he had never actually experienced it until now, and man, were they riled up.
Louis gave himself an internal slap, shaking out of his Harry stupor, offering him a smile and a beer from the cooler they had set up in the yard. “Are you having a good time?”
Harry took the frosty bottle, a mischievous glint in his eye. “You realize both times we’ve hung out you’ve plied with me beer, if I didn’t know any better I’d think you were trying to get me drunk,” he took a swig, wiping away a stray droplet from the corner of his mouth with his thumb and smiled. “And I don’t think anyone’s having as good a time as Liam,”
Louis swallowed around a mouthful of his own beer. If anyone needed to get drunk it was him. He followed his eyes over to where Harry was looking, choking on another mouthful of his drink while they watched Zayn stuff his tongue down Liam’s throat.
“They’re going to be engaged by the end of the week at the rate they’re going.”
Louis couldn’t disagree, which only meant that his assignment was going to be up sooner rather than later. Which was great, he had been sent with the sole purpose of getting Zayn’s stage confidence and general happiness back on track. And clearly that was happening right before their very eyes, with way more groping than anticipated.
“Crazier things have happened.”
Harry hummed, watching Louis with those eyes that were the only thing he saw when he closed his own. He considered his options in that moment, and if Zayn wasn’t going to need him that much longer then he had very limited time with Harry. And maybe he was breaking some sort of rule here, but if no one was going to provide him legislature on angel and ex demon relations then how could he know any better?
“So I know you just moved here,”
Harry nodded slowly, “Yes,”
Louis tapped his toes in the grass, tipping his head thoughtfully. “Okay, so name one place that you’ve always wanted to go and I’ll take you there tomorrow,”
Harry’s face flushed a shade of pink very close to his pants as he nervously picked at the label of his beer, “Anywhere?”
“Well, within reason, Harold. I can’t exactly take you to Leonardo Dicaprio’s house,”
Harry giggled, a spot of beer slashing out of his bottle when his shoulders shook with laughter. “What a bummer, I’ve always been a Leo girl at heart.”
Louis started to roll his eyes but stopped himself. He wasn’t going to get jealous over Harry’s teenage crush. That would be ridiculous. “How do you feel about Harry Potter world instead?”
Harry looked like he was about to bounce up and down but caught himself, much like Louis a minute ago. He nodded subtly instead. “I feel like that sounds like a childhood dream come true.”
“So that’s a yes?”
“Great! Let’s meet around one? That way we can grab a bite as well.” Alright then. Louis was just casually organizing a full on date with Harry. And Harry looked more than pleased about it. This was quite the turn of events.
“That sounds perfect to me.”
Louis threw back the rest of his beer to stop himself from shouting hooray or something else of highly embarrassing nature. He placed a hand on Harry's shoulder, almost gasping at the electric shock he felt shudder throughout his entire body.
Harry looked at him with wide eyes, coughing into his fist. “Um—
“Yes, let’s go see what those crazy kids are up to.”
Louis didn’t know how to process what they both just felt, so he decided to tackle the much easier subject of Zayn and Liam and all the feelings they felt and felt they needed to share with all their friends
Then maybe tomorrow by way of Harry Potter magic, Louis would know exactly what to do with Harry.
Harry paced outside of the entrance of the park, checking his phone again for the time. Louis still had ten minutes, and he said that he was on his way, so he really didn’t know what he was worried about.
Except that he was worried about everything Louis related, so much so that he had grilled Niall about it the whole way home last night.
“It doesn’t seem right going out with him when I can’t even tell him the truth about myself,”
Niall, who has been steadfastly looking out the window clearly trying avoid this subject finally reached for his hand across the leather seat. He gave it a squeeze, turning to face him with an almost peaceful look spread across his features.
“Trust me Harry. This is right.”
Harry frowned, toying with his phone that now held one more, very important number. “What if I fall for him, what happens then?”
Niall was giving him a look that said ‘don’t you mean what happens now’ but didn’t say it. He just squeezed his hand again, turning his focus back to the passing streetlights.
“Don’t overthink it Harry, just go have fun. The rest will work itself out.”
And now here he was internally wringing his hands because the only thing he could do was overthink this. Do you casually bring up the fact that you’re an ex demon in conversation? Or do you just assume every relationship you ever attempt is doomed due to the fact that you’re never going to age and you really are just destined to wander the earth alone forever. Okay, this was getting dark very quickly.
“Worried I wasn’t going to show?”
Harry stopped in his tracks, because there Louis was beaming like a beacon of light, dragging him out of the dim corner he had backed himself into.
He walked up to Harry and tugged on the string of his hoodie, smiling up at him and making every worry melt away with each crinkle that folded at the sides of his eyes. “You were!”
Harry shrugged, biting back a bashful smile. “Maybe.”
Louis’ mouth hung open in feigned shock, “I’m truly appalled Harold, I’ve never stood anyone up in my life.”
Harry finally laughed, tucking his hands into the pouch of his hoodie. “Alright I’m sorry, let me buy you a butter beer to make up for it.”
“Oh absolutely not, way too much sugar for me,” Louis motioned him towards the gates, handing their passes over to scan them in. He placed his hand on Harry’s lower back as they pushed through the turn-styles, and he almost jolted forward from the surge of warmth he felt from that one small touch.
Louis’ face was a light shade of pink when he turned back to glance at him, and he looked so damn beautiful with his hair swept across his forehead and the light blue T-shirt he was wearing only accentuated his eyes, and Harry was so lost in them he had completely missed what Louis had been saying to him. “Sorry, what were you saying?”
Louis raised his eyebrows and his hand like he was about to touch Harry’s face, but dropped it back down to his side, tucking it into the pocket of his jean jacket. “I was saying we can have a real beer at the pub, since it’s kind of our thing now.”
“Oh yeah, sure—oh my god, Louis!” Harry clasped his hands over his mouth as he gawked at the insanely life like entrance to Hogsmeade Village. He was instantly transported back to his childhood, remembering the feeling of buzzing of excitement each time there was a new movie out. And with those thoughts came images of his family, and before he could get too deeply wrapped up in sadness, Louis was there looping his arm into his and dragging him back to the present.
“Come along ‘Arry, let’s get go get us a brew at the Three Broomsticks,”
Harry rolled his eyes, bumping their shoulders together, revealing in the shock that sparked between them. “This might have been a mistake if you’re going to keep saying my name like that,”
Louis shook his head as he pulled open the door for Harry, again escorting him through with a hand on the small of his back. That was a feeling Harry could happily melt right into time and time again. “You can’t get annoyed until I’ve called you a wizard, those are the park rules.”
Harry laughed as he stepped into the line to place their orders. “Alright, that’s fair.” He glanced around at the dining room, a dumbfounded smile back upon his lips. “It really is exactly like the movie, it’s amazing,” he nudged Louis on the shoulder again, pointing to the back of the room. “Why don’t you grab us a table outside, I’ll be right there with the drinks and some chips, cool?”
Harry watched him wander off and finally let out the breath he felt like he had been holding since Louis touched him the first time that day, shaking his head to himself, “Why is he actually amazing though?”
He felt a tap on his shoulder, and met the smiling eyes of a kind looking woman in line behind him. “I don’t know honey, but I think he feels the same way because he probably looked back at you about five times in the very short walk he had over to that table. Just in case you wanted to know,”
Harry was certain his cheeks were as red as the bandana he had used to tie his hair back that morning. “That is definitely good to know, thank you,” he paid for their food and picked up the tray, nodding with a smile on his way past the women and her all-knowing eyes. “Have a lovely day,”
“You too, and he’s very cute by the way.” She winked and Harry blushed again, shaking his head at how much of a school boy he felt like all over again, though that wasn’t a half bad feeling to have to spend the day with.
He made his way over to the table Louis had selected which was out on the open patio, the high afternoon sun shining down on him in such a way that it made it look like he had a halo around the crown of his head. When Louis looked up from his phone and beamed at him, Harry almost thought he was about to sprout wings for the briefest of seconds. He shook his head and sat down, reaching for one of the beers to take a long, and much needed sip.
Louis watched him with amusement, taking a more delicate approach with his own sip. “What happened, did you strain yourself charming the socks off that lady?”
Harry sputtered on his beer, wiping the back of his hand across his mouth to cover his mortification. “Hardly, she actually said that you were cute,”
“Really?” Louis popped a chip into his mouth, chewing with a happy sigh. “Well, I guess that’s true,”
Harry decided to change the subject, because he didn’t want to go down the dangerous road of discussing the various levels of cute that he thought Louis was. He took a chip out of the basket, biting off the end hesitantly. He shrugged, throwing the rest of it into his mouth. “Never going to be like home,”
Louis nodded his agreement, “I hear you. The two things I will always miss is a good basket of hand cut chips and proper vinegar.”
Harry dipped his next chip into the pot of ketchup, holding it up to his mouth. “Have you been out here long?”
“Um, about four weeks this time,”
“And you’re from up North, yeah?”
Louis nodded, reaching in for another handful of chips. “Yeah, Donny, and you were in Manchester right?”
“Right,” Harry’s forehead creased with a slight frown. Wrong. It felt so wrong. He hadn’t been in Manchester in years, seven to be exact. But how to you tell the guy you’re falling for you were in literal Hell?
Louis was watching him curiously, those inquisitive blue eyes scanning his face for the reason his answer seemed off. And then it dawned on him, maybe Louis was the perfect person to ask about some of things he still didn’t know the answer to. He was an outsider with a new perspective, and anything but Niall’s ramblings that were more or less him talking in circles might help right now.
“Can I ask you something? And this may seem a little strange, so stop me if you’re uncomfortable,”
Louis swallowed slowly, circling his fingers around the base of his beer and twirling it as he nodded his head. “Alright,”
Harry fiddled with the coaster in front of him, tearing off one of the soggy edges. “What do you think this all means? Being here, on earth,”
Louis leaned forward, his face schooled into a serious look. “Are you asking me what the meaning of life is young Harold?”
“I guess so.”
Louis pursed his lips and nodded, shuffling himself in a touch closer to Harry’s face. “I think that we’re all put on this earth to do what we can to the best of our abilities. Some of us are meant to do great things and change the world, some of us are put here to destroy it, but we all serve some sort of purpose, be it good or bad. It has to go hand in hand, the chaos and the calm.”
Harry felt his heart rate speed up and a trickle of sweat snake down the side of his neck. “So you um, you believe, in Heaven and Hell?”
Harry struggled with the next question, but he had to know what Louis thought. What Louis would think of him, if he knew the truth. “And what about how you get there?”
Louis slid a hand across the table, covering Harry’s with his own, that now familiar spark heating the space between them. “I think that we’re all judged by what we do with our time on earth, when that time ends, and that is ultimately the deciding factor. Were you inherently good, were you wildly wicked, or were you somewhere in-between?”
“But what if you were good your whole life? Do you think there could ever be a mistake? Where we end up?”
Louis stared deep into his eyes, his voice quiet and low between them. “I think that everyone makes mistakes, even in the afterlife. Is it fair? No, it isn’t,”
Harry petulantly picked another edge off the coaster, throwing it into his growing pile. “Are you going to tell me that life isn’t fair now?” He knows that Louis doesn’t deserve him being childish about this, especially when all of the answers he gave him were very poignant and thoughtful. It wasn’t his fault Harry was in this predicament after all.
“No, I’m going to tell you that you’re pretty perfect Harry,” he quickly brought his eyes back up to look at him, his breath catching in the back of his throat. “And I really want to kiss you right now.”
Louis laughed under his breath, inching his mouth closer. “Unless you really are a wizard and can somehow magically transport us back to your house, then yes, here.”
Harry bit his lip, drawing his eyes over Louis’ as he wet them. Louis slid a hand up along the side of his neck, wrapping it around his nape to draw him in. “Kiss me.”
Harry closed the small gap between them, meeting Louis’ parted lips with his own. The moment they connected, the air between them was electrified. He shivered as he felt every hair on his body stand up in attention, the soft press of their lips causing a flurry of shock waves to his heart. Louis dug his fingers in a bit harder, squeezing into the heated flesh underneath them, humming his pleasure as he dipped his tongue into Harry’s eager mouth
The pulled apart a few moments later, breathless and staring at each other with wide eyes.
They startled back to the reality of the theme park they were in due to a loud pair of clapping hands. The peered over their shoulders and met the excited grin of Harry’s friend from the food line. Harry sent her and embarrassed shrug in answer and quickly turned his attention back to Louis.
His eyes were still wide and his pupils blown out in a way that made Harry want to throw him on top of the table and kiss him until they both came in their pants, but he didn’t think the other patrons of the Three Broomsticks would appreciate that.
Louis rubbed a hand through the stubble on his face, dropping his eyes back to Harry’s lips one more time before nodding to himself. “I think we should go on some rides.”
“Do you mean these rides or—
Louis cut him off with a glare, pushing himself up from the table. “Yes, I mean these rides, don’t you dare finish that sentence,”
Harry laughed, picking up their tray to empty into the trash. “Alright, but am I allowed to finish it another time?"
Louis grabbed onto his hand, causing him to jump on the spot. He was never going to get used the sheer electricity their attraction to each other caused. It was kind of crazy but kind of amazing all at the same time. He spun Harry around and pulled him flush against him, making his whole body vibrate and fuck, he almost let out a moan in front of several children.
“Invite me over tomorrow and maybe you’ll find out.”
Harry leaned down, pausing his lips over Louis’ and smiled, “Will you please come over to my house tomorrow Louis?”
Louis started to laugh as he pressed his lips firmly on his.
“You’re a beggar, ‘Arry.”
And as stupid as the joke was, he laughed too.
Louis stood towards the back of the room as Zayn angled his body into a series of different poses for what would be the possible next cover to his upcoming album. He looked amazing, and you could tell that it was radiating from the inside out.
“You did good Louis,”
He turned around find the face that went with the voice he knew all too well. “Stan…you’re here already?”
The joyful and cherub like man aptly dressed in all white stepped in closer, hands clasped around a clipboard. “I know! I was surprised about this one, I thought I might take at least a couple of months, but here we are!”
Louis shuffled back and forth on his feet, lips turned down as he focused on his tie-dyed Vans. “Here we are, yeah,”
“Oh, did you not want your next assignment yet? If you want to go back for a few days that’s fine too.”
And there it was, the source of Louis’ current dilemma, because all it had taken was three days of Harry for Louis to seriously think about never going back at all.
“Stan, has anyone ever decided to stay here? You know like…permanently?”
Stan dropped his clipboard down to his side, his face perking up. “Actually yes, it’s happened quite a bit,”
Louis raised his head back up, face covered in surprise. “Really?”
He nodded with a knowing smile. “The power of love is an amazing thing, Louis. It makes you do crazy things in life and death.”
Louis tilted his head in question. “You know.”
“About Harry?” Louis nodded and Stan laughed, reaching over to pat his cheek. “We know everything Louis. I just wanted you to ask the question yourself to see if you really do want this,”
Louis’ heart skipped a beat at the mere prospect of it. Of course he loved helping people, it had kept him fulfilled and fueled with happiness for a very long time. But the chance to have his very own life long happiness? That seemed like something that he shouldn’t give up.
Stan watched as he weighed the pros (really, there were no cons) with a soft smile. “You don’t have to decide right now, but you do have to remember Louis, that you would be retired down here. You’d just be you, at this age, here. For eternity,”
Louis nodded his understanding, “Okay, I get that. But I think I should actually tell Harry about the whole me being an angel thing first and foremost,”
Stan laughed. “That’s probably a good place to start.” He motioned his chin towards Zayn, “You’ll get to stay on as his manager, if you’re happy with that,”
“I’d like that, yeah.”
They stood there for a moment and watched him dance behind Liam, who had appeared out of nowhere and was eagerly waving at Louis to get his attention.
“Hey! Harry said you were coming over later, so I’ll give you a lift back,” he added his signature thumbs up for good measure.
Louis laughed, offering his own in return. “Thanks Liam."
He turned his attention back to Stan, rubbing his hands together to calm his jittery nerves. “I’ll let you know by the weekend?”
“Absolutely.” He picked up his clipboard again, ticking a box off with his pen and lowered it once more to say his goodbyes. “Alright then, I’m off to check in with Niall now,”
Louis grinned. “I think he is doing a fantastic job, but, I may be biased,”
Stan shot him a sly grin. “Good point, but I think Niall would flourish in any world.”
“This is true.”
“I look forward to hearing from you Louis, I’ll see you soon.”
He held up a hand to wave him off, “Bye Stan.”
He watched as he vanished down the hallway and blew out a shaky breath.
“What happens when an angel and ex demon fall in love?”
He didn’t know for sure, but he was about to find out.
Louis knocked on the door and bounced on the tips of his toes, the movement shaking the bouquet of peonies in his equally trembling hands. But when Harry opened the door, all of his insecurities instantly fell away. The smile that lit up his whole face when he saw Louis and then the flowers was nothing short of magic.
“Are those for me?”
Louis nodded, passing them over so he could lean in and kiss the side of his mouth. “Flowers for the most beautiful flower I have ever seen,”
Harry rolled his eyes, but accepted them with a blush. “Thank you.”
Louis followed him into the living room, where he paused to stand and look out into the yard, admiring how incredible the gorgeous summer day looked in Harry’s yard. He thinks he could get used to seeing it for many days to come. But, he was getting ahead of himself there.
“How was the photo shoot?”
Louis turned on his heel, walking the couple of feet to meet Harry by the couch. He reached up and smoothed a curl away from Harry’s eyes, hanging his hand back down to his side. “It was good, Zayn looked incredible, but what else is new,”
“Yeah, it doesn’t seem fair that he looks like that while the rest of us are living on the same planet.”
Louis shook his head and took Harry’s hands, “I like my guys with curly hair and glasses,”
Harry narrowed his eyes, a smile tugging at the sides of his lips. “Are you buttering me up?”
“If you mean that literally, I wish.”
Harry cackled. Louis grinned as well, and it quickly dropped when he remembered the subject he really needed to talk to him about. “Hey, can we sit and chat? There’s something I need to talk to you about,”
Harry folded himself onto the couch, laughing nervously now. “That’s never good,”
Louis laced their fingers together and moved their hands into his lap, squeezing them to reassure him. “It’s not like that. It’s…well,” he sucked in a breath and decided to go for it because the only thing he had to lose was Harry, and he just could not have that. “I know about you, and why you’re here, because I work with Niall,” he nodded his head with insistent eyes, hoping Harry would quickly piece it together.
“Oh no, oh shit,” Harry tried to pull his hands away, but Louis firmly held onto them. “Louis—
He shook his head, bringing their hands up to his lips, burning them slightly with the spark that ignited from the contact. “Harry, please listen to me. I know that I should have said something yesterday, but I wanted you to hear me impartially,” he softly kissed the tips of his fingers, searching his eyes with a hint of desperation. “I know that you’re good.”
Harry’s shoulders sagged, but he resisted pulling his hands away now. “Did you read my file?”
“No, that isn’t my business to know.”
He nodded, the pain and emotion obvious across his face, “I died on the way to my first big art show,”
Louis nodded slowly, intent on listening now that he was opening up. “Okay,"
“And I um, I may have slept with this guy you know, and used him for his connections to get it. I didn’t like him. At all.”
Louis smiled, rubbing his thumb through the worry lines creased along Harry’s forehead. “Harry, I don’t think that’s why you ended up where you did, if that was the reason then the underworld would be plenty full,”
That earned him a tiny laugh out of Harry. He looked at Louis, his green eyes misting over. “Do you really believe it was a mistake?”
“I do, but regardless, that doesn’t matter to me,” he stood up and watched Harry’s eyes follow him, the gasp he let out when Louis straddled him exhilarating every sense of his being. “I want to be with you.”
He didn’t clarify that he meant from now until however long he’ll have him, because he also meant it in the physical sense. He slid his hand down Harry’s chest, slipping it under his shirt to play with the button of his jeans.
Harry gulped another breath of air, groaning when he slid his owns hands up Louis’ thighs, his heart already thumping loud enough for them both to hear. “When we touch…you feel that too, right?”
“Oh I really fucking do,”
Harry finally laughed, moving his hands a little further up, squeezing his fingers into the fleshy part of his upper thighs. “Why does it happen?”
Louis clutched onto his shirt, pulling him down so their lips could finally meet. “Our senses are heightened down here, but honestly, I think it’s just us. We're a good combination,"
Harry moaned into his mouth, instantly arching his hips up into Louis. He threw his head back when Louis moved over to bite down on his neck, shaking his head at the ceiling. “Is this even right?”
He brought his head back up, taking Harry’s in-between his hands and steeling him with a look. “Yes, it is. Because I say it is.”
Harry moved his hands up and wrapped them around Louis’ wrists, worrying at his bottom lip. “I’m nervous. I remember what sex is like, but it’s vague you know?”
“I’ve got you Harry.”
“Oh fuck, oh fuck, oh, I definitely don’t remember it being like this, oh fuck,”
Louis slowed down his thrusts, pausing to catch his breath. “Are those bad fucks or good ones?”
“They’re good, they’re good! Don’t you dare stop now, Louis, I swear to god,”
Louis bracketed his arms around Harry’s head, grinning down at him, “Best to leave him out of this don’t you think?”
Harry bounced his ass around impatiently, his chest flared red from the heat being exchanged between them. “Did you always talk this much during sex?”
“I can’t remember if I’m being honest, so I think this might be your fault,”
Harry laughed through grit teeth, clutching onto his biceps. “Okay, that’s nice but I would really love it if you shut up and finished fucking me,”
“Never been told to shut up for a better reason.”
He leaned down to suck Harry’s tongue into his mouth as he fucked into him deep and slow, keeping that pace until he had Harry trembling around him, and right before he about to come he had a fleeting thought about when people talked about a higher state of being. This is probably what they meant.
“Fuck Harry, you feel unreal, I don’t think I ever felt anything close to this in all my years of living,”
“Same, me too, I think, I oh uh— I’m gonna come, I’m gonna come,”
His ears were ringing with ‘harryharryharry’ and his heart was beating to the tune of ‘iloveyouiloveyouiloveyou’ and nothing had ever sounded more perfect to him
Harry reached his hand up to stroke his cheek, slowly catching his breath again. “I just remembered, I never asked how you died,”
Louis sat back on his haunches, tweaking Harry’s nipple on the way up. “If this is your version of pillow talk, it’s really not very good, Harold."
He stuck his tongue out, cheekily thrusting his hips up. “Just tell me,”
“Skiing accident. I never woke up from the coma.”
Harry’s face softened, his hands moving up to squeeze Louis’ waist. “I’m sorry…but at the same time…”
Louis arched an eyebrow, waiting for the rest of his statement.
“I’m kind of glad you died, all things considered.”
Louis laughed and pinched both of his nipples this time, glancing down at his dick. “Yes, I can see that,”
Harry’s smile was so soft and innocent, but the glint in his eyes said ‘please fuck me into the next century’ and really, they had nothing but time to do just that.
And it was then and there that Louis made his final decision.
Harry shuffled his body closer to Louis, drawing his thumb across his lips before replacing it with his own. Even though it seemed like they had just come down from their night of doing nothing but touch every inch of each other, Harry felt like he still couldn’t get enough. “Good morning,”
Louis smiled into the kiss, his eyes still closed, but his hands slipping under the covers tracing over his curves like he already had them memorized. “Mmm, it is a very good morning indeed,” he pushed Harry over onto his back, finally peeling his eyes open so he could focus on Harry’s face when he quickly fell back and sat up against the pillows, pulling the duvet up his chest.
“Niall, don't you knock!?"
He skipped over to the bed, seemingly unfazed by everyone’s nudity and perched himself on the end of it. “Hello lovers! Super excited I can finally call you that by the way,”
Harry and Louis looked at each other, and back at Niall with obvious confusion. “What does that mean?”
He buffed his fingernails on his cable knit sweater, shrugging his shoulders up. “It means that this was another successful mission for Cupid himself,”
Louis slapped his hands to his cheeks, his mouth hung open in shock. “No fucking way,”
Niall nodded, a wide grin spread on his face that revealed his pearly whites. “Yes fucking way. Think about it Lou – me assigned to Harry, him meeting Zayn at the beach, Zayn meeting Liam, you being Zayn’s manager. It was the perfect plan really,”
Harry shifted his back up against the pillows, his own hand rubbing at his forehead in an attempt to process this bombshell, “So, you’re not only an angel, but you’re cupid too?”
“I am an angel of many talents, yes.”
Louis shook his head, his eyes still wide with disbelief. “I can’t believe I never knew about this,” he picked up a wayward sock on the nightstand, throwing it at Niall’s head. “And you pretended to be shocked to see me, you little shit!”
“Hey, I did say maybe I’d see you down here,” he laughed at Louis’ disgruntled face, wiggling his eyebrows. “But, you can also add great actor to my ever growing repertoire of talents.” He twisted his body towards Harry, clapping his hands together. “Anyways, Harry, I’ve got very good news for you!”
He glanced at Niall cautiously. “Oh?”
Niall nodded eagerly and barreled forward with his information, “As it turns out, there was a huge mistake with your paperwork and you should have been upstairs. You were right,” Harry could only blink at him, so he continued on wards. “And a terrible mistake it was, so they want compensate you. They’re offering you a spot on the counsel so that this doesn’t happen again, which means you’d get to review all the cases. It’s a very cushy job,”
Harry scrubbed a hand down his face, trying to process all of this information. He was right; he couldn’t believe it, after all this time he was right. He looked towards Louis who remained slightly shell shocked. “Okay…but what about Louis?”
“Louis is still a guardian angel. His job requires him to be down here most of the time, but with Zayn meeting Liam and being in a good place, he doesn’t really need Louis anymore, so he’ll get placed somewhere else,”
“What if we both wanted to stay here together?”
They both whipped their heads at Louis, who had finally snapped out of his stupor. He took Harry’s hand, bringing it up to his lips. “I mean, only if you wanted to. This is up to you,” he dropped their hands down onto the bed again, squeezing them one more time with a smile. “This is a big deal for you, love.”
Niall pursed his lips, swinging his head back and forth between them before landing his gaze on Louis. “I’ll let you guys discuss it, but you know the answer Lou,” he pat a hand to the bed as he got up and let himself out of the room.
Harry sat up on his knees, situating himself at Louis’s side. “You can’t give up everything for me,”
“I can, and I would.” Louis wrapped his fingers around Harry’s wrist, tugging until he ended up in Louis’ lap. He slid his hands up Harry’s chest, finally clasping them loosely around his neck. “But this is something you should think about, Harry. You finally get to make things right,”
He darted his eyes over Louis’ features, trying to understand how he was willing to do this for Harry. “I totally get that, but why would you do this?”
“Because I love you.” He said it so simply, he gaze never wavering away from Harry’s. “I never felt a love like this when I was alive Harry, so I’m not about to give up the chance to have it for an eternity.”
Harry felt the stream of tears warm his cheeks. He wondered how long they had been there. “You wouldn’t get sick of me?”
“That’s what long walks on the beach are for.”
Harry laughed and leaned forward, pressing a wet kiss to his lips, “I love you too by the way.” Then he kissed him again. And again. And once more just to make sure that Louis got the point he was trying to make. “We can’t take this back once we decide you know,”
Louis touched a finger to the indent of his dimple, a small one in his own cheek popping up. “I know.”
Harry felt more human in this moment than he ever had. He thread his fingers through the ends of Louis’ hair, popping up a nonchalant shoulder. “I heard heaven is overrated anyways,”
Louis rolled his eyes, poking a finger into his stomach. “I wouldn’t put all your faith into Train song lyrics, Harold."
Harry giggled, batting his fingers away. “Fine, what if I put it all in you, huh?”
“I like the sounds of that, any way you mean it.”
“So, you’re okay with it being you and I forever?”
Harry still looked at him a bit unsure. “Forever is a long time,”
Louis pressed his fingers to his lips to quiet him.
“It could never be long enough with you.”
As it was, everything did work out in the end.
Niall ended up taking the job that was offered to Harry, vowing to never loser another soul again.
Zayn and Liam went on to be a successful, chart topping R&B duo.
Harry took up painting again, anonymously donating his work to up and coming galleries around the world, allowing them to keep the profits.
And Louis spent countless hours volunteering at various homeless shelters around the city, always proving Harry’s point that yes, he could have loved anyone.
But he loved an angel instead.
+The end +
“So when I'm lying in my bed
Thoughts running through my head
And I feel the love is dead
I'm loving angels instead”