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“And the winner for Best Supporting Actor is…”

Louis clenches his eyes shut and crosses all of his fingers whispering a mantra of “ please be me” . He doesn’t care if he’s caught on camera looking like an idiot, just so long as he wins this award. He worked his arse off for this award. He deserves it.

“Tyler Preston!”

Louis’ entire body freezes, eyes squeezing even tighter in frustration. He didn’t win. He didn’t fucking win. And what’s worse, he lost to his ex. The ex he’s still supposed to be on friendly terms with because as far as the rest of the world knows they became really good friends on the set of the movie they’re up for the award for. He quickly breathes out his current frustration and pastes on a fake smile of delight, clapping politely. He even rises to his feet to give the man a standing ovation, reaching out to pull him into a hug when he walks by because Louis Tomlinson is a fucking great actor.

Tyler squeezes him tightly, whispering a ‘thanks, mate’ in his ear before releasing him and continuing on to collect his award.

Louis keeps smiling even though he wants nothing more than to be petty in this moment. It wouldn’t be so bad if Tyler hadn’t shown up with Harry on his arm. After breaking up with Louis because he wasn’t ready to be open about their relationship with the public, he shows up to the biggest awards show of the year with his gorgeous ‘friend’ that Louis has no doubt he’s actually fucking. This is some seeding bullshit if Louis’ ever seen it (and he has -- he’s currently finishing up his own seeding process so that he can come out in a couple of months). 

When Tyler accepts his award, he thanks God and his family and their director. He doesn’t thank Louis who’d helped him memorize lines, who’d calmed him down when he was frustrated with himself for having to do more than a few takes on the scenes he couldn’t seem to get right, who’d cuddled up to him at night and kissed away his worries that maybe he was in the wrong business. Louis knew he wouldn’t. Because he’s a selfish bastard. He doesn’t even thank the rest of the cast.

Louis smiles through it all until the next award is given and he’s sure there’s no chance that a camera could possibly be on him anymore. Only then does he let the smile fall from his face. Fuck. He’d really wanted that award. He knows now that he’s better off without Tyler but after losing his relationship to the business, it would have been nice if he’d gotten something back from it. An Oscar had seemed like a pretty good trade-off. 

Louis sits through the rest of the awards show, clapping politely when he’s supposed to and trying not to peek at Tyler and Harry every chance he gets. He’s absolutely over Tyler but it doesn’t seem fair that he’s replaced Louis with someone so gorgeous. The real kicker is that Louis had met Harry a few times on set when he’d visited Tyler and one of the sound guys from the movie that he’d been friends with too, and the thing is, Harry isn’t just a pretty face. He’s witty and funny and kind. Louis had really liked him, and now he’s wondering if Tyler had been sleeping with them both at the same time. Maybe Harry was never actually his friend just like Louis was never his friend. 

Hoping to get away without being invited to any afterparties or see Tyler giving his winner’s interview after the show, Louis tries wading quickly through the crowd. His hopes are dashed when he gets pulled into an interview himself not ten feet from where Tyler is being interviewed, his Oscar in hand. 

“So, Louis,” the interviewer starts and Louis is expecting to be punched in the gut with a question about how it feels to lose to his castmate, “I think everyone saw the hug you gave your castmate when he won the award you were both up for. I love how supportive that was in the face of what I know had to be a disappointing loss for yourself.”

“Oh, thank you,” Louis answers. That wasn’t quite as bad as he expected. “It’s really the work that wins in the end and this is a story that I know was close to both our hearts so, it doesn’t feel like such a big loss at all.”

“That’s so lovely,” the interviewer melts at Louis’ half-truth. It does feel like a big loss. It feels like a huge loss but he is a little glad that if he couldn’t win, at least his film did. “So, will we being seeing you at Tyler’s famed Oscar After-Party?”

“Oh, uh,” Louis’ so busy trying to quickly come up with something other than ‘actually, I’m gonna go home, get wine drunk, and pass out on the couch watching John Hughes flicks on Netflix’ that he doesn’t notice Tyler has finished his interview and is sidling up to wrap an arm around his shoulders until it’s already too late. 

“Of course he is,” Tyler confirms on Louis’ behalf, smiling at the interviewer. He squeezes Louis tighter. “Wouldn’t be a proper after-party if our whole cast wasn’t there to celebrate the film. Isn’t that right, Tommo?”

Louis smiles at Tyler, careful not to let it look strained. “Of course. Wouldn’t dream of being anywhere else.”

And that’s how Louis ends up at a stupid, showy party at Trevor’s big, fancy house, standing in a corner of the back yard drinking champagne alone. He’s sipping his champagne and watching the dresses twinkling in the lights set up by the swimming pool as actresses and models network with their other peers and the occasional director or two when someone appears beside him. 

“Hi,” a familiar, slow voice says, pulling Louis from his musings about who will be on the best-dressed lists tomorrow. 

“Hello, Harry,” Louis grins at him. It feels like it’s the first time all night that he’s smiled genuinely. He’s not angry with Harry for falling for Tyler’s charms, after all, Louis fell for them once too. And it’s actually kind of nice to have someone he likes to talk to. “How are you tonight?”

“I’m doing great, thank you. How about you? Are you okay?” He’s smiling at Louis but there a hint of concern in his gaze. 

“Is this about the Oscar I lost?” Louis asks, wryly. 

“And the dickhead who basically forced you to show up at his party by announcing to the press that you’d be here when I know you weren’t planning to come,” Harry adds with a knowing look.

“Oh, well. I’m as good as can be expected given the circumstances,” Louis answers, raising his champagne flute. “At least there’s alcohol. Also, are you not the dickhead’s date?” Louis scrunches his brow skeptically. “Should you be calling him names at his own party?”

“I was doing a favor for an acquaintance by attending the show with him, but then I saw how he forced you to show up here so that he could rub his win in your face and I’m not cool with that,” Harry shakes his head with a sad grin. “He’s not my kind of pal.”

“Am I?” Louis asks and he can feel the air charge between them a little bit. 

“I think you might be,” Harry says with a little nod. “I always thought you were nice when we ran into each other on the set of the film.”

“Well,” Louis preens. “Likewise.”

“You know,” Harry says, taking Louis’ champagne and sitting it to the side. “I heard that Oscars are made of Britania metal which is like 92% tin. So he really didn’t win anything special tonight.”

“What are you on about?” Louis asks, stepping closer to Harry, drawn by the come hither look he’s receiving. 

“I’m just saying, I think I have something better to offer,” Harry replies, lifting Louis’ hand to his lips for a kiss. 

“You know, you may be right.”

The next year, Louis wins the Oscar with Harry by his side.