When Harry moved down to London for work, he had been unsure of quite a few things. He was fairly confident about his neighbourhood, since Gemma had moved down to London a few years ago and she said it was a decent part of town. He felt pretty good about the job itself as well. What he hadn’t been sure of was how long it would take him to adjust to being in a bigger city and the social life there.
Harry was a social person. He liked his nights in as well, but he was a quintessential extrovert. He needed to be around people on a fairly regular basis in order to feel content. Moving to a new city worried him a bit, because he didn’t know how long it would take to make good enough friends to feel happy with his situation.
That’s why he had been so lucky to find Niall. His first day at the new office, Niall had come into his cubicle and started filling Harry in on all of the gossip and secret affairs that were happening with their colleagues. He helped train Harry on his new clients as well, and then invited him out to dinner with his flatmates.
Harry had fit in seamlessly, or he thought so anyway, and he quickly came to regard Niall, Zayn, and Liam as his close friends. The biggest issue was Zayn’s best friend, Louis.
See, Louis was… Harry had no idea how to describe him, actually. Louis was gorgeous. He was funny, witty, caring, protective.
He also was the one person in the group that Harry wanted to be closest to, and yet Louis never gave any indication as to whether he even thought they were friends. Sometimes he was sure that he and Louis were on good terms, but then other times Louis would be surly and quiet and Harry wasn’t sure if he’d done something wrong or Louis was just in a bad mood. They’d exchanged numbers, but had never actually used it to reach out to each other.
So, Harry pined from afar. Ish. He waited for the moment he would find a subject, a topic, a clue as to how to get in Louis’ good graces and to a place where he finally knew for sure that they were friends. If there was a possibility for more at that point, then great, but Harry really just wanted the friends bit secured first.
Tonight, his pining was happening across Niall, Liam, and Zayn’s living room as Louis had shoved himself in beside Zayn on the loveseat, despite Liam and Zayn already taking up all available space. Harry was comfortably seated in the recliner a few feet away while Niall ordered dinner.
“Did I tell ya what I came back to when I got home last night?” Niall called from the kitchen before walking back out carrying some beers.
“Oh God,” Liam groaned as Zayn turned a bit pink and started giggling. “Don’t do it, Ni. Come on.”
“These fuckers got their dates mixed up and thought I was coming home today,” Niall said, gesturing at the embarrassed couple on the sofa before he set down the beers on the coffee table. “They were not so prepared to share the flat again so soon.”
“What exactly does that mean?” Louis asked, opening one of the bottles and taking a big swig. “Ugh, your beer is shite. I don’t know why I think your taste is going to change.”
“Shut up. I got home and everything was quiet, so I went to the kitchen hoping to get some food before bed.” Niall maneuvered himself so he was in easy eyesight of both Louis and Harry before pointing at the two of them and asking, “Can you begin to guess what kind of mess I found?”
Louis just arched a brow and said, “A sink full of dirty dishes?”
Harry snorted and shrugged. “A distinct lack of leftovers?”
“You two are incredibly boring. No, I found a partially used can of whipped cream, some chocolate sauce, a spoon, and evidence of those food items positively smeared at random on the counter and floor.”
Niall looked between Louis and Harry for a moment, smile wide on his face as he waited for it to sink in.
Harry jumped when Louis crowed loudly and began moving about so he could poke at Zayn and Liam’s cheeks. “Oh my God, you two are filthy, filthy boys!” he exclaimed. “You couldn’t even make it to your bedroom, could you? You had to go at it right there in the kitchen!”
Louis was cackling as Zayn and Liam tried to push him off of them to no avail.
“We really thought we had time to clean it up and everything,” Liam said, weakly. Harry had never seen the man so red before, and he’d got a horrible sunburn last month at Glastonbury.
Louis had grabbed the throw pillows piled at his feet and started tossing them at Zayn and Liam.
“Niall, how was your trip home?” Zayn asked as he was hit in the face multiple times with a pillow.
“No, no,” Louis laughed, pausing his onslaught. “You’re not going to change the subject that easily!”
The buzzer sounded indicating their curry had been delivered, and Niall left to get it, pinching Liam’s cheek as he walked past.
“I do suggest next time you decide to have some play time in the public spaces of your flat, you stick with the whipped cream. Much quicker clean up than other items like the chocolate sauce and definitely easier clean up than honey.” Tilting his head, Louis tapped his chin and said, “Then again, maybe that’s part of why I like honey so much. The extra time and attention it requires, yeah?”
Harry’s brain might have just shorted out. He tried to keep breathing, but all he could think of was honey and Louis. Louis and honey. The most ridiculous thing was, his thoughts weren’t even that sexual, despite that being the obvious implication from Louis. No, he was just sitting there, imaging Louis sensually eating honey off his finger as he looked at Harry through his eyelashes.
Fuck. Harry needed to get Louis some honey. That was what he’d been waiting for.
Niall interrupted Harry’s spiraling thoughts when he came back in and set down the two bags of food next to the beers. He could plan details later. He needed to act like a normal human again so he didn’t ruin all chance of friendship before he could get the honey to Louis.
Taking a deep breath, he smiled and thanked Niall, then tried to focus on the food.
Harry stood in his kitchen, staring at the jar of honey he’d just bought at the shops for Louis, and squared his shoulders. Louis lived quite close, Harry only had to walk through the park and cross a street to get to his flat. He could definitely do that tonight. It was Saturday, after all, and Harry knew that Louis was still awake because he’d posted a selfie talking about how he was binge watching the newest series of Stranger Things about ten minutes ago.
Tonight was the night Harry was going to finally solidify his friendship with Louis.
Grabbing the honey before he lost his nerve, Harry headed out the door. He tried to calm his slightly shaking hands as he made his way across the park, but to no avail. His heart started pounding harder the closer he got as well. He hated that Louis got him so worked up and literally all he wanted to do was gift him some honey since he liked it so much as a way of breaking the ice. That wasn’t so bad, was it?
Harry emerged from the trees that lined the park and came to a stop. He’d forgotten the crossing was a zebra crossing and that the road was fairly busy, even at this hour of night. It wasn’t so daunting when Harry had gone to Louis’ flat before, but it had always been early enough in the day that it was well lit and Harry didn’t have to worry about gauging how fast cars were going and if they would see him. The street lamp was out, therefore casting that entire section of the street in a level of darkness that isn’t usually attained in London.
Looking down at himself, Harry cursed quietly. He was wearing all black with his favorite gold boots. The boots would help reflect the lights, at least, but that wasn’t really a great support for him when he looked at how fast the cars were going. Was everyone driving faster at night, or was it just because he was nervous and it seemed like they were going faster? Plus, he’d quickly learned after moving down to London that, at least in his neighborhood, the cars were not as likely to stop for pedestrians at zebra crossings as they should. It was quite the culture shock for him.
Finally seeing a break in cars, Harry took a step out on the street, but realised he hadn’t checked the other direction. There were definitely cars coming towards him from the other way, and they weren’t slowing. He almost tripped over his own feet as he rushed backwards. Clutching the honey to his chest, Harry took a deep breath and glanced up at Louis’ building.
It was so close and yet so far. All he wanted to do was give him some honey. Now he was risking his life in order to do so.
Actually… Harry smiled to himself. That was kind of a fun thought. He felt like a modern knight, risking his life just to prove to Louis that he paid attention and heard what he said. That he wanted to be friends. That Harry was someone Louis could rely on.
His simple act was quickly getting built up in his head as this grand romantic gesture, but it didn’t calm his heart at all. His hands were more steady, though. This sudden grand aspect had him feeling grounded and ready.
Once more, Harry saw a break in cars, and this time he checked both directions. Quickly jogging across before his luck changed (again), he pressed his hand that wasn’t holding the honey to his chest.
“See? Not bad,” he said quietly to himself before dodging someone who had just come out of the kebab shop next door.
Harry focused on his breathing as he walked the rest of the way to Louis’ building. He got there just as someone was leaving, so he let himself in and went up to door 1B.
Closing his eyes, Harry took a deep breath, and knocked. He didn’t want it to be too loud as it was quite late, but still loud enough to be heard over the telly. He heard the sounds within go quiet as Louis likely paused the show and came to the door.
Realising this was his moment, Harry shuffled and tried to find his words. What was he going to say again? Oh God, he’d had an entire speech prepared, and now it had completely left him. Why hadn’t he written it down? Something? Anything?
Louis opened the door and he looked so soft and beautiful. It wasn’t even fair. He was in a ratty pair of grey joggers and that was it. His hair was swept across his forehead and it was obvious he was near sleep, but Harry had never seen him look so good.
When Harry finally raised his eyes from Louis’ chest, he realised Louis had likely said something. Shit. What had he said?
“Uh,” Harry said, clearing his throat. “Sorry, what did you say?”
Smirking a little, Louis crossed his arms and popped his hip. “I said, ‘Hello, Harry. What brings you here so late on a Saturday?’” By his tone, Harry could tell it wasn’t exactly what he’d said before, but he was sure Louis was making it sound overly formal to tease him.
Then his brain kicked in and right. Now he needed to respond instead of gaping at the man he hoped was his new friend like an idiot.
Eyes widening, Harry said, “Right, fuck. Hi, Louis. I just wanted to give you this.”
Louis’ brows creased as Harry held the honey out to him. Taking the honey from Harry, he said, “Honey?”
Nodding, Harry said, “Yep. Hope you have a great night!”
Fisting his hands at his sides in frustration, Harry left the building as quickly as he could.
This time, the zebra crossing was entirely clear. Because of course it was. At least it aided in his quick getaway.
Harry had never been so grateful for his morning jogs as he was now, because he truly was jogging, even in his tight black jeans and boots, back across the park. He needed to get back in his flat as soon as possible so he could hide himself and never think about the fact he somehow ruined the moment that was supposed to help him and Louis be friends.
How had he cocked that up so badly? He really did have an entire explanation for the honey. He had been ready to go and tell Louis why he’d wanted to do it and how he hoped that they could become as good of friends as he was with Niall, Zayn, and Liam. Maybe even better. He’d always felt like he and Louis had something a little stronger between them than the rest, but now he’d gone and destroyed any chance of that growing into something better like he’d hoped.
Finally back at his flat, Harry stormed up the stairs and basically crashed into his flat. He’d have to bake some cookies to apologise to Barbara for all the noise tomorrow. For now, he needed to drink the rest of the bottle of vodka he had in the freezer.
Stripping off his t-shirt and throwing it across the room in frustration, Harry almost threw his boots after the top, but decided that would be too much noise for the neighbours downstairs too. Instead, he settled for dropping them a little more harshly than he normally would, then he made his way to the kitchen.
He had just taken his second swig and winced at the burning feeling it was causing in his throat when someone started banging at his door. God, he was going to have to bake several dozen cookies for all his neighbours at this rate, couldn’t this night just end?
Harry rushed to the door and jerked it open to find Louis, now fully clothed and panting while looking livid.
“What the fuck, Harold?” Louis spat out, poking Harry’s chest and pushing his way inside the flat. “What was that? Am I just some sort of booty call? A quick, kinky fuck to get it out of your system and then go back to whatever the hell it is that some cherub-faced man like you does to relieve himself sexually?”
Harry blinked several times in the hope it would help clear not only his view of Louis, who had gone a bit blurry as soon as he’d opened the door, but also his confusion.
It helped the vision, not so much the rest.
“I have no idea what you’re talking about,” Harry said slowly as he rubbed the skin Louis had poked so harshly before. “Are you angry about the honey?”
“Yes, I’m mad about the honey!” Louis cried, arms flying in the air. “What else would I be angry about?”
“The fact I randomly showed up at half eleven on a Saturday without an explanation?” Harry said without thinking, his confusion ramping up even more. “I don’t know! Why would you think I did that for a quick fuck?”
“The honey, Harry. Fuck, you’re so slow sometimes,” Louis said, pacing around Harry’s living room now.
That got Harry a little angry. Between that and the vodka setting in a little, Harry was quickly losing his temper.
“Excuse me, you have no right to come into my home and insult me like that,” Harry said, marching over to Louis. “I just wanted to do something nice for you since you mentioned liking honey, and I stupidly thought, Hey, maybe we could be friends and this is how I can get that to happen, but now you walk in here and call me stupid and I don’t deserve that!”
That brought Louis up short. Still panting, probably from his own quick pace across the park based on his fast arrival as well as his anger, Louis put his hands on his hips and screwed his entire face up. “Wait, you didn’t give me the honey as a reminder of the conversation we had about food sex last night?”
That… had never even occurred to Harry. That made a lot of sense, actually, that Louis thought Harry was trying to imply something with his gift.
“Fuck,” Harry muttered, scrubbing his hands down his face. “No, I didn’t even think about it like that until just now. I just wanted to do something nice for you and you said you liked honey, so I got you honey.”
Louis paused before anger settled in on his countenance and he started prowling towards Harry again. “So what, am I not good enough to fuck you, hmm? Are you too posh and so much better than me that you can’t bring yourself to settle for some low-life from Donny like me?”
Harry shook his head in confusion. Louis was too much to keep up with now.
“Wait,” Harry said, holding his hands up to pause Louis’ advance, “so you were offended I wanted a one night stand with you before, and now you’re offended that I don’t want a one night stand with you? Can I do nothing right with you?”
“Well, for your information, I’m more than just a sexy man, but I am a sexy man! I deserve to be recognised as such without being looked at as only a hot piece of ass!”
Louis was within arm’s reach and Harry couldn’t let him continue the conversation this way. Louis was obviously gearing up to keep going with his rant, and Harry couldn’t formulate words fast enough to argue with him until the vodka had left his system, so he did the only thing he could think of.
Harry reached out and pulled Louis into his chest, kissing him fully on the mouth.
Louis didn’t even bother fighting back, he relaxed right into the kiss and gave it back to Harry as good as Harry could give it. It wasn’t anything close to what Harry had hoped for their first kiss, but no one was perfect, he supposed.
Pulling back, Harry took a deep breath in, and saw Louis blink and look up at Harry. He looked more calm than he had since he’d opened his door to find Harry holding that damned jar of honey.
“What was that?”
“You are more than a ‘hot piece of ass’,” Harry said, chuckling a little when Louis rolled his eyes, “but I’ve also wanted to kiss you since we first met. I just didn’t know how to go about asking you on a date when I didn’t even know if you considered me a friend.”
“So you do want to have sex with me?” Louis asked, looking up through his eyelashes in a way that Harry knew without a doubt he had practiced.
“Of course I do,” Harry said with a sigh. “I just don’t want it to be a one time thing. I’d like it to happen fairly regularly if you’re up for it.”
“I’m not easy, Styles. I expect to be properly wooed,” Louis said before leaning in and kissing Harry again.
This time, the kiss caused jolts of energy to course through Harry and he could feel arousal building within him already. The way Louis’ hands were practically caressing Harry’s bare sides was too much for him to handle.
“I swear, I’ll wine and dine you as good as anyone,” Harry promised before pulling Louis in for another kiss.
“Well, in that case…” Louis winked and then began to push Harry towards his bedroom. “Too bad I left the honey at home. It could have come in useful.”
Harry tripped over his feet a little at the idea of actually being able to put that honey to use in the way he’d been fantasising about since yesterday. “We can make up for that tomorrow,” Harry said as he flipped on the fairly lights in his bedroom.
Louis gave a hum of approval as he looked around Harry’s room. “I’d normally tease you for being so eager, but I can’t say I don’t feel the same.” Walking up to Harry, Louis tugged off his shirt and said, “Now. what do you want tonight, honey?”