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another boy caught in the rye

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It was one day before Halloween. New York City was always especially bright during festivities. Never, in all of his years of touring and hopping from place to place, Harry had seen a city so full of life, bursting at the seams with expensive people and cheap confetti. It was refreshing and weary at the same time.

“Do you know what you’re gonna be?”

“Hm?” Harry looked away from the window to face Mitch. He had a mint green Fender guitar in hands, strumming a mindless tune that could probably top the charts if Harry took five minutes to come up with some lyrics.

“For tomorrow. You have, what, five costumes to decide from?”

“Six. And no, not yet.” He shrugged. “But you should reconsider this whole blasé thing you’ve got going on and get a costume yourself,” Harry teased him, knowing that he would never sign up to this kind of embarrassment.

“Yeah, right,” he scoffed with a laugh. “I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?”

“See ya, mate.”

In a flash, Mitch had collected his guitar and left the door. Harry was alone again, like he usually was. 

He sighed, holding his cheeks in his hands as he returned his attention to the window. Even though he loved New York and its chaotic wilderness, he ached for a bit of calm. He wished he could see his mum or spend a weekend in London to recharge, but he was on a world tour, of course. Like many times before, he would have to suck it up.

 


 

Harry would only have a single more gig, at Madison Square Garden, of all places. Only one more and he could have a few blessed days to rest, even if away from home. He could get through it.

Instead of focusing on how it could be difficult, obnoxious and one of the biggest concerts of his career, he was trying to think of how fun it could be. It was called ‘Harryween, the fancy dress party’, after all, and he was willing to make the most of it.

“I’m going with David Bowie.” He placed his Ziggy Stardust costume in front of his body and evaluated it. Bowie’s own designer had sawn it for him. He had the shiny red boots to go with it too. “Ziggy played guitar and he was quite good at it,” he laughed.

“It’s an interesting choice,” Adam said from across the room, where he was suiting up. They still had a few hours until soundcheck, but Harry knew he liked to be ready in advance.

“It is,” Harry agreed, “but is it perfect?”

“I think so, yeah. It’s an exact replica, is it not?”

Harry realised Adam had missed the point. It wasn’t about the finishing, the price of the garment or the details. It was about the feeling. And Harry wasn’t feeling particularly glittery that evening.

“Maybe.”

“Do you know what Orville’s going to wear?”

“Orville?” For a minute, he had forgotten he had a guest act. He had checked on the guy once he had landed in New York, but that had been all. Perhaps, he was too in deep with this whole costume thing.

Adam nodded. “He’s across the hallway.”

Harry excused himself and left. 

He knew very little about Orville Peck. It was a known fact that he made good music and that he was quite handsome in all his eccentricity. The fact that he was signed to Columbia also made management happy. His dates had lined up with Harry’s and he was invited to open the shows – as simple as that.

Harry had texted him earlier that week to make sure he had everything he needed in his dressing room. Surprisingly, Orville said he only wanted some bottles of sparkly water and an essential oil diffuser. After sorting it out with the crew, they didn’t talk anymore.

Harry knocked twice on the door.

“Come in.”

The deep voice sent shivers down Harry’s spine and he needed a couple seconds to make his arm work the handle.

“Harry?” Orville sat up abruptly in surprise. As always, he had a fringed mask on. This one was black with light pink fringes that went all the way until his bare nipples, contrasting against his tattoos – a big leopard on his chest was the one which really caught Harry’s eye. The pink fringe was matching the colour of his leather trousers, while his feet were bare.

“Hey,” Harry scratched his head awkwardly at seeing him shirtless, but smiled nonetheless, “are you busy?”

“Not at all, no,” his smile was concealed, but audible in his tone.

Harry moved from behind the door jamb, “Is it okay if I steal some of your time?”

“Of course! Have a seat!” 

Harry complied, entering the room and sitting across from him. The space between them felt small all of a sudden, lavender oil flooding Harry’s nostrils. The way Orville’s blue eyes were jackknifing him through the mask was awfully distracting too.

He promptly recognised the music that was coming from his record, delicately spinning around the needle. “Weyes Blood, isn’t it?” he smiled, happy to know he got ready to his own curated playlist too.

“Yes!” excitement rose in his tone. “She’s something else. 'Andromeda' is one of my favourite tunes ever.”

Harry tittered, agreeing, “It’s quite the song.”

“I wasn’t expecting you,” Orville said gingerly, hoping his anxiety wasn’t too obvious.

“Do you always keep this on?” Harry gestured to the mask with a smile. “I thought it was a costume thing.”

“If there’s any chance an outsider can see me, yeah.”

Harry hummed, feeling like he was intruding a private moment. He was an outsider, apparently.

“But why?” he asked anyway.

“Well,” Orville shrugged, “I can be whoever I want. Even if someone could read my mind, they couldn’t read my face. And it gets the people going,” he smirked playfully.

Harry laughed, a bit out of place. “That’s bold.”

“It’s not about the mask itself. It’s what it makes people feel.”

Harry nodded, “I get that.”

“Do you like it, though?”

The question happened to catch Harry by surprise and his cheeks went pink at it. He had never thought about it before. Of course, it was wacky and capricious in the best show business-y way, but did Harry like it?

“Yeah,” he decided, “it’s different.”

“Different,” Orville repeated it, testing the word on his tongue. 

“That’s actually why I’m here,” Harry remembered the reason that he had gone looking for him in the first place. “To talk fashion.”

Orville raised his eyebrows, pleasantly surprised, “I like to think I’m quite versed in that field.”

“What are you wearing tonight?” Harry got up, heading for the man’s clothing rack. There were many vibrant colours, a lot of leather and an unhealthy amount of fringe.

Orville stood up as well, on Harry’s heel. “Tonight? This,” he theatrically motioned to what he was already wearing, “plus a shirt and the jacket to match, of course.”

“But…” Harry stuttered, “it’s Halloween!”

“So?” the man looked puzzled, almost offended.

“Don’t get me wrong, you look fabulous,” Harry reassured him, “but aren’t you a cowboy everyday?”

“Including Halloween,” Orville reasoned. “And I’m not going to be a regular cowboy. I’m going to be a gay cowboy in pink leather with a fringed mask.”

Gay. 

The word echoed in Harry’s ears, sticky sweet like liquorice. Of course he knew Orville was out, everyone did. It still hit him, though, seeing the word leave his lips with so much certainty and utter nonchalance.

“What’s up?” Orville asked, confused by the stunned look on Harry’s face.

“I guess you’re right,” Harry stammered out, realising there was nothing remotely ordinary about pink leather and a fringed mask.

Orville started going through his clothing rack, “What about you? Going out with a bang?” he teased, but his voice was warm.

Harry shrugged, watching the swift movements of the man’s fingers, “I don’t know yet. I have some customs to choose from. Lambert says I should go as a wizard. We even had a cyan cape made, a pointy hat and all.”

“And what do you say?” Orville looked up at him as he grabbed his complimentary pink jacket from the rack.

“I was thinking Bowie. I don’t feel particularly stardust-y tonight, though,” he laughed bitterly, wishing he wasn’t feeling so jaded and overwhelmed.

Orville went quiet, rummaging through the rack again.

“What are you looking for?”

“Hmmm,” he hummed, “hold on.”

Harry just watched, trying his very best not to ogle how Orville’s thighs looked in his tight trousers or how his back muscles flexed just slightly. He moved like a swan on the water, completely in his element. Harry envied him a little, his self confidence and how comfortable he looked in his own skin.

“Here.” He showed Harry a pair of pants just like his, but red. “There’s the upper part too,” he went through the rack again and retrieved it. “Your stylist can make some quick adjustments, if necessary.”

“Do you want us to match?” Harry resettled in his step.

“Why not? You could pass as a cowboy. Strong shoulders, unruly hair. I even have a hat for you.”

Harry creased his eyebrows, taking some time to consider it.

“I’ll do country if you do glamour,” he grinned, still a bit taken aback by Orville’s effect on him.

“I don’t see how they’re exclusive, stud.”

“Come on, you know what I meant. I’ll wear your leather and you’ll wear my sequins. That’s my condition,” Harry extended his arm for a handshake.

“Can I choose which outfit, though?”

“Be my guest.”

“Well, that’s precisely what I am,” Orville shook his hand, sealing the deal.

“That you are,” Harry smiled.

“You know, you’re not that intimidating up close.”

“Am I intimidating from afar?” Harry tittered, embarrassed.

“Far out. Face to face, though…” he tilted his head to the side awkwardly.

“What?”

“It’d be inappropriate of me,” Orville sighed, tossing Harry’s cowboy outfit over the arc of the chair. “Gossip is the Devil’s personal phone line. People talk. And their big mouths often lead to big troubles.”

“They do,” Harry sniggered. “You should know that by now. But I don’t see how I come into the picture.”

“Oh, darling. Don’t get your dander up.”

“I’m not,” Harry promised, even if Orville could see through his lying.

“So, do you want to try it on?” Orville changed the subject, eyeing the red outfit with a gleam in his eyes.

“Here?”

“It’s a dressing room, no?” he chuckled lightly, returning to his seat beneath the large mirror. 

Harry would probably be more inclined to change there if he wasn’t wearing a Britney Spears t-shirt under his jumper and something quite scandalous under his baggy mum jeans.

“Yeah, it is,” he agreed, shedding his jumper easily.

“A slave to the culture of the popular like myself, I see,” Orville praised his t-shirt as he moisturised his hands.

Harry smiled, taking off the t-shirt next. 

And, well, Orville was glad to be wearing a mask that could conceal his facial expressions. He had seen Harry in magazines before – tattoos peeking from under his clothes, barely clad and even naked – and he was always portrayed as the rockstar heartthrob, a fallen pop angel. In the flesh, though, Harry’s curves were daintily molded around all that black ink. He was soft spoken, giggled a lot and ducked his head down far too much.

Orville wanted his mouth on the pulse of his neck.

“I don’t think we’ll have to adjust it,” Harry examined the red leather jacket, walking to the full body mirror.

The fabric felt heavy on his fingers as he traced the embroidery on the back, two cowboys on their white horses. They were facing each other, pulling on the reins, like they were about to duel. Orville’s name was sewn above it in big, black letters. Its entirety was carefully bedazzled with big, silvery rhinestones. “It’s really beautiful. The details are incredible.”

“Designed it myself," Orville flaunted.

Harry glanced at Orville’s reflection in the mirror, “A man of many talents,” he complimented him.

“Try it on.”

Harry slid the sleeves up his shoulders, stretching his arms to get used to it. The length was just right, surprisingly.

“You were born to be country,” Orville beamed from his chair. “I think it only needs a little pin on the side.”

He started rummaging through his drawer, looking for one.

“There we go.” He opened it with his teeth and Harry could finally see his mouth properly. It felt like he was prying into a secret that wasn’t his to know. Why couldn’t he avert his eyes from it, then?

Orville approached him, securing the pin to the fabric. “Perfection.” He stood behind Harry with both of his hands gripping his shoulders, staring at his reflection. “Now, the pants.”

“Um. Later. I think I should pitch it to Lambert first.”

Orville seethed at him with a sly smile tugging on his lips. “I can adjust it for you if you need to.”

Harry turned around to face him, his knees going a bit weak at how Orville was hovering over him like a hawk. “Yeah?”

He nodded. “Come on, then,” he thumbed at Harry’s hipbone over the denim, sending shivers down his legs.

They should have been acting professionally, but they weren’t. Orville shouldn’t be wanting to see Harry strip so badly, but he was. Harry’s heart shouldn’t be rising in his ears, but it did feel like it would explode. Had it been this long since he had gotten laid?

He turned back to the mirror, unbuttoning his jeans. Then, he unzipped them slowly.

At the sight of white lace peeking through it, Orville’s breath got caught in his throat.

Harry wanted to laugh at the man’s sudden reaction, but he wasn’t much better himself. So, he just shimmied out of the jeans, letting them hit the floor with a soft thud. He stepped out of it calmly, too caught up in his self image issues to look back at Orville.

“Really, now?” the man spoke behind him. “Fucking lace?” he marvelled at Harry’s peachy ass cheeks, perky and bouncy.

“I don’t–”

“I like it,” Orville cut him out. “Do you wear those on stage too?”

“Sometimes. They’re actually quite comfortable.” Harry tried to brush off the fact he was nearly naked, wearing just a jacket with Orville’s name on it. He felt like a commodity, and the terrifying part was that he actively enjoyed the thought.

“I doubt it,” Orville shook his head with a chuckle.

Harry wasn’t sure why he had allowed himself to be in this situation, but it wasn’t as foreign as he thought it would be. If anything, discussing fashion, music and lace panties with another man who wasn’t his stylist was exhilarating. The pressure of his skyrocketing career almost made him forget how much he craved being around people and bonding with them over mundane things and his own interests.

“Let’s see how the pants look,” he reached out for them, sliding them up his calves. The leather was a bit cold, sending shivers down his legs.

Orville bit his bottom lip, “Not better than this, that’s for sure.”

Harry ignored his remark for his own sanity, buttoned the pants around his hips and turned around to face him again. “How do I look?” he raised his hands. “No bullshit.”

“Honest?”

“Cold honest.”

“Fucking edible, really.”

Harry laughed, embarrassed. “You’re biased ‘cause they’re your designs.”

“I’m biased ‘cause you look like a piece of artwork standing there. I’ve never realised how much you should embrace your inner country boy more often.”

“Cheers to that,” he tilted his head. “I feel good.”

“Better than Bowie?” Orville teased.

“Better than I’ve felt in a really long time.”

A knock at the door interrupted their conversation. “Mister Peck, we are–”

“Jeff! Um, hello! I was just checking in with Orville,” Harry rushed to say, infinitely glad he hadn’t barged in minutes before when he was just in his underwear.

“It’s a pleasure having you here,” Jeff said to Orville, not daring to ask what the hell Harry was looking like a cowboy for.

“Likewise.”

“Just wanted to let you know your soundcheck starts in thirty.”

“Thank you,” Orville bowed.

Then, Jeff was gone, closing the door on them before Harry could come up with an explanation.

“That manager of yours,” Orville clicked his tongue against his teeth, “he kinda gives me the creeps.”

Harry cackled. “He doesn’t do it on purpose. Jeff’s just a bit uptight.”

“I don’t believe that for a second, sweetheart. But, tell me.” Orville took a step forward to adjust the jacket over Harry’s shoulders. “I showed you my toggery. Now, show me yours.”

They went back to Harry’s dressing room, while his band were tuning their instruments upstairs. Orville said he would pick his outfit, but that Harry would have to close his eyes while he took it off the rack.

“Why?” he pouted. “It’s not fair.”

“I want the surprise effect,” he beamed, moving his fringes out of the way so Harry could see his mouth. “Show business and whatnot. I’m a dramatic.”

Harry snorted. “Fine. You owe me.” He covered his eyes begrudgingly.

Orville just laughed, picked out the outfit and left. 

“Pleasure doing business with you!” he shouted from the door jamb.

“God…” Harry whispered to himself, uncovering his eyes, feeling a little foolish as his stomach bubbled with a foreign type of excitement. “What the fuck am I doing?”

 


 

After his own soundcheck, Harry brushed his teeth and washed his face. He was awfully nervous, taking some time to breathe in deeply and calm down. He should be thinking about the set list, the encore, the audience, Madison Square Garden. But he was thinking of Orville, his mysterious persona, quick-witted one liners and, last but not least, his thighs.

“Keep it together,” he pointed a stern finger at his mirror’s reflection. “You’re a professional musician, not a professional whore.”

Then, he left for hair, makeup and, of course, to dress up.

“Do you want it a bit curlier?” his stylist asked, plugging the blow dryer in.

“Actually, Molly, I’m wearing a hat tonight. Don’t worry about it too much.”

“That’s new,” she laughed, brushing his hair softly.

“I’ve been wanting to try new things.”

“I’ll make it extra curly, then. Like it was back in the days.”

Harry smiled at her, trying to ignore the knots in the pit of his chest. 

For makeup, Harry asked for a very thin layer of eyeliner and a lot of highlighter. After checking his face in the mirror, the outfit was the only thing missing. 

Orville had delivered it to his stylist, the matching hat on top, alongside a folded note with Harry’s name on it.

“Guy’s got a bit of a crush on you,” Lambert raised his eyebrows.

Harry shook his head, “I think he’s just downright outgoing.”

“Is that why you’re swapping outfits with him? ‘Cause of his social skills?” the man mocked him, knowing very well Harry was lying through his teeth.

“He convinced me. It looks nice, you’ll see.”

“Have you lost your mind?”

“I may be mildly concussed,” Harry agreed.

Lambert snorted, “You do you. If you need a stitch or anything, I’ll be having some coffee outside.”

“Thank you. You’re the best, truly.”

Lambert kissed his cheek and left with a warning expression on his face.

Harry sighed audibly, staring at the note before him. He opened it, embarrassed about his shaky fingers.

Dear Harry,

‘You may need me and this Winchester, curly.’

Hitch a ride.

With love and the scorcher of the desert,

OP

Harry gasped as he recognised the quote immediately – it was from one of his favourite movies ever, 'Stagecoach', starred by no other than John Wayne himself. Still, he giggled, in disbelief that Orville would name his hat Winchester. Each time he dug a little more deeply into his mind, more his personality and sense of style made sense. He didn’t dress like a cowboy. He was a cowboy, in every sense of the word, contemplative and nuanced.

Shaking off his thoughts, Harry picked one of his black long sleeved blouses to wear underneath the jacket, one with a big pussy bow in the front. Then, he put on the jacket and the pants, with a pair of black Gucci boots to match.

Looking at himself, he felt in his skin for the first time in forever. Like the daring, spontaneous, risk taker Harry that he missed so much. He placed Winchester on his head slowly, completing the look.

“Howdy,” he greeted himself. “It’s showtime.”

Even after years of being in the industry, Harry was sure he would never be desensitised to a big crowd. He was behind the curtains with his band, waiting for Orville to open the show, and the screaming was absolutely deafening. The lights of the arena were already off, which meant the best time of those people’s lives was about to start any time.

“What, are you kicking a tumbleweed to the stage too?” Mitch mocked him, light heartedly.

“Buzzkill. I look fabulous.”

“Can’t argue with that.”

“Did any of you see Orville?”

“I did, just a couple minutes ago, but he told me not to tell you what he was wearing,” Sarah laughed, dumbfounded at their dynamic.

“What a wanker,” Harry cursed, fixing the hat on top of his hair, already a tad sweaty.

Out of the blue, a guitar started to play, its strings echoing through the speakers like a progressive earthquake.

“What the fuck? Did he go through the other gangway so he wouldn’t run into us?” Harry’s jaw dropped.

“Looks like he was very determined to not let you see him before the actual gig,” Adam chimed in. “He’s quite the character.”

“Oh, you have no idea.”

Harry soon recognised the chords of 'Summertime', Orville’s voice chiming in to sing the first verses.

“Catch ‘em by surprise, chasing the horizon,” he pointed at Harry as soon as the light beam shone over his outfit, “nothing holds me down…”

Harry gasped audibly as he saw his choice – Elvis Presley’s famous white and gold suit, matching a white mask with black fringe. He even forgot he had that in the rack but, God, he was so glad he did. What really made his fit extraordinary, though, was the white hat he had chosen, one that had dove wings in the back. Harry actually believed the man could push the ground and take flight at any second, as he looked too ethereal to even be human.

“Oh, wow,” Charlotte voiced Harry’s thoughts. 

“Yeah,” Harry breathed out. “Wow.”

“We’ll be riding all night,” Orville sang, looking back at Harry again. “Happy Harryween, New York!”

The crowd cheered him on, even those who didn’t know the words to the song.

“Welcome to my very personal rodeo,” he strummed his white Les Paul. “Love me tender, Madison Square Garden!”

Harry giggled from where he was hidden backstage, blown away by Orville’s charisma. “He’s a fucking pro. I should be the one opening for him, Jesus.”

Everyone around him seemed too entranced to even acknowledge Harry’s jibber-jabber, swaying their bodies or singing along to 'Winds Change'.

And winds did change, didn’t they? They took Harry to this headspace of bliss before he had even stepped on stage. He couldn’t remember when was the last time he had been so excited to watch someone else perform.

The songs went on and on and Harry danced like it was a private concert, because maybe it was. He loved Orville’s songwriting tactics and how every tune told a story of some kind of western folklore, vivid and bright, overflowing the brim of logic with the epic tales of men who rode horses with fire in their blood and fearlessness in their eyes.

“This is my last song. It’s one I keep very close to my heart, called 'Turn to Hate',” Orville spoke into the mic, snapping Harry out of his trance. “For this next tune, I would like to invite my new best friend to centre stage. The one, the only, Harry fucking Styles!”

Harry was caught aback, his heart hammering against his rib cage. “Me?!”

“GO!” Adam pushed him forward before he could even fathom what was happening.

A few seconds later, he was already under a very bright spotlight, where he had belonged his entire life. His body filled up with adrenaline, shooting fireworks through his veins.

“Is everyone having a good time?!” he shouted into the microphone, quickly embodying his entertainer persona, that always came so easily to him. He smiled at Orville, pointing at him. “House’s full of legends tonight! Give it up for Orville Peck!”

The crowd mirrored his excitement and he took a second to bask in it, taking off his hat to greet them like a cowboy would, hoping Orville was watching how hardly he was trying to commit to the role he had assigned to him.

Without ever rehearsing it, Harry started singing the first verses of the song alongside Orville, paranoid to stay in tune.

“It’s got an awful bite,” he gulped, “it’s gonna rise again. Keeping track of everything we lose…”

As if he was sensing his hesitations, Orville scooted closer to him, playing the guitar like some kind of godlike musical creature. He stared into Harry’s eyes, feeling a funny goose bump as he realised they were wearing each others’ clothes in front of all those people. “Tell me you can stay! Don’t leave, don’t cry, you’re just another boy caught in the rye!”

Harry relaxed, taking his time to dance with him, doing his twists and his trademark dance mannerisms.

“It’s alright,” they sang together into the same mic, “it’s alright!”

In that moment, it really felt like it was. The leather on Harry’s skin was warming up, as if it was adjusting to his limbs, molding into him like goo. He had the best job in the world, really, even if he forgot the dimensions of his privilege sometimes.

Then, Orville started his guitar solo, running his finger through the strings like roller-blades on ice. Harry danced around him, cheering him on.

“Don’t say goodbye, it’s alright!” Orville sang on his own, motioning to the mic so Harry would sing the last verses with him.

“Done enough to take the bait,” both of them sang, “don’t let my sorrow turn to hate.”

The lights went out completely, signalling the end of Orville’s act. The crowd screamed, edging them on, still in disbelief they had just seen Harry Styles dressed as a cowboy in the flesh.

Orville took the opportunity to seize their private darkness. He brushed the fringes out of his face and kissed Harry’s lips. “Have a nice show, sweetheart.”

Before Harry could react at all, the man was already leaving to the side of the stage, heading back to his dressing room.

Was this a goodbye, an invitation, or just a way to thank him? Harry had no clue, and the fact he would have to do an entire gig before finding out made anxiety stir in his bones.

“It’s just you and I, New York,” he spoke, prompting the crew to turn the lights back on.

His band walked into the stage, getting ready by their instruments. The smirk on Mitch’s face made Harry suspect he may have seen what happened, but he would have to worry about that later.

“This is 'Adore You'!”

The set list progressed quickly and, in the blink of an eye, it was over. Touring was muscle memory to Harry and that had both its bad and good sides. He was sweaty as hell, pretty sure that the leather hugging his thighs would give him a rash. His hat had gotten lost somewhere in between his dancing and he hoped Orville wouldn’t mind.

“I’ll be back real soon! Trick or treat people with kindness and, please, drive safely. I only get to do this if you come. So, thank you for coming. Good night!”

He held hands with all of his band and they bowed together, thanking the audience.

Someone in the crowd threw Harry a rose, which he caught mid air. He thanked them and blew them a kiss. Then, the lights went out again and they left the stage.

Harry’s ear was still ringing, like it always did whenever he did a show. He removed his earplug and made a beeline to his dressing room.

“Hey, buddy. We’re going downstairs for a drink, if you’d like to join us. There’s some candy and pumpkin juice too, apparently,” Sarah invited him, even if his eyes already told her he wasn’t keen about it.

“Raincheck, yeah? I’m exhausted.”

Sarah smiled at him and caressed his shoulder, “Just don’t be mean to yourself.”

“Thank you,” Harry smiled at her in the best way he could.

Like before, as soon as he closed the door on her, he was alone again. His dressing room welcomed him warmly, almost as if it knew he needed some solace. His headache was back, he missed his mum and everything felt a little too much. 

He turned his dim lights on and lied down, closing his eyes, not bothering to undress just yet. All he did was take off his boots and socks, turning the air conditioning on. He could listen to everyone else popping champagne downstairs, celebrating the end of the North American tour leg.

A soft knock on his door interrupted his train of thoughts.

“Come in,” he said, unbothered, already expecting it to be Jeff wanting to go through his promotional schedule in Europe.

“Hearty as a wild horse, are you not?” Orville asked, poking his head through the door.

“Orville.” Harry stated stupidly, sitting up straight quickly as he took the man’s features in.

He had showered and changed into a soft cotton t-shirt and light washed jeans, with a thick belt holding them up. Even though he looked completely different, he still had a mask on – a lilac one. The fringes on it were shorter, though, covering him just past his chin.

“Please, do come in. Sorry it’s a bit of a mess in here.”

Orville smiled behind his mask, walked into the room and closed the door behind him, locking it.

“How was your show? Good?”

Harry shrugged, highly aware of the locked door. “Another day, another dollar. You know what it’s like.”

“Not in the dimension you do,” Orville walked towards him. “How come you’re not partying with the others?”

“You aren’t either.”

“I would if you were.”

Harry hummed in response, but turned around to rummage through one of his cabinets. “Do you want something to drink?” 

“What poisons do you have in there?”

“Silver tequila, green apple Bacardi and Bailey’s,” he ran his slim fingers through the labels.

“No whiskey?”

“Afraid not.”

“No rum either?”

Harry shook his head, lamenting his scarce diversity of liquor. “I don’t know any pirates.”

“Apple Bacardi it is.”

Harry reached out for two glasses, pouring it for both of them.

“Knock yourself out,” he handed one to Orville.

Orville chugged it all down at once, feeling it burn down his esophagus like dynamite.

“It’s probably with someone in the audience right now,” Harry said, holding his glass with no intentions of drinking from it. “Your Winchester,” he clarified. “I lost it.”

“Did you find yourself, though?” 

Harry was taken aback by the question. He drank some of the Bacardi to buy him room to think of an answer. “I’m on my way,” he decided. He shed his jacket and, then, his pussy bow, tossing them on the ottoman. “It’s a bit warm. Sorry.”

“Is it?”

“Leather is a tad claustrophobic,” Harry looked down at himself. “I guess that’s what I like about it.”

“See, Harry...” Orville reached behind his head to unzip his mask. “If you’re not a buckle bunny, you’re giving me the wrong impression here,” the mask fell on the floor, revealing his face.

He had a blonde buzzcut and an extremely wide jaw. His lips were a little chapped from up close and his nose was a tad crooked to the side, like he had gotten in a saloon fight long ago and decided not to fix it. Through and through, Orville was everything Harry liked in a man. Crude, relentless and undeniably rugged.

“A buckle bunny.” Harry parroted quietly, unsure of what to make of the term and of Orville’s icy eyes eating him up.

“Have you heard this before?”

Harry nodded. He remembered it from a couple western movies. Buckle bunnies were women who prowled around rodeos, seducing the winning cowboys so they’d take them home. They dressed provocatively, usually in mini denim skirts and flanneled tops that showed more of their cleavage than they should. Everyone knew what they were there for and that just sparked their desire even more.

Orville’s lips twitched into a smile. “So?”

Harry ducked his head down. “I can be your bunny,” he whispered.

Not two seconds later, Orville had Harry’s body against the wall. He kissed him properly this time, exactly how he had been wanting to do ever since he had seen Harry on the cover of Vogue, wishing he was that bloody blue balloon he had in his mouth.

Harry slid his hands up to Orville’s neck, kissing him back. He tasted like green apple, breaking the law and an autumn day all at once. The rubbing of their tongues was wet and loud, but what really was making Harry lose his mind was the way the buckle of Orville’s belt was cold against his navel, even over the gossamer fabric of his shirt.

“Christ,” he cursed. “You’re unbelievably... unpredictable.”

“I told you,” Orville panted back, “I’m a dramatic.”

They resumed their kissing, Orville quickly unbuttoning Harry’s trousers. “You looked so hot with my name on you,” he breathed out, lowering the zipper.

“Yeah?”

He nodded, “All those people saw you prancing around in my clothes. A whole packed arena.”

Harry whined low in his throat, throwing his head back to bare his neck.

Orville got his hand into the back of Harry’s underwear, surprised to not find any fabric there when he cupped his ass cheek.

“No undies?”

“Thong,” Harry mumbled.

Orville slid his pants down his legs and tugged on his blouse, “Get these out.”

Shakily, Harry obeyed, tossing the blouse alongside the other clothes. He was disgustingly sweaty, too self conscious to be as in the moment as he’d like to be. Then, he stepped out of his pants, cringing at how badly they were sticking to his calves. “What- what are you gonna do to me?”

“You’re gonna suck my cock. Like the good bunny you said you’d be.” There was no hesitation in Orville’s voice whatsoever. His words were clear, straightforward and brute, like everything else about him.

To be frank, it had been a while since Harry had been intimate with someone. His moments of social mingling were often followed by periods of isolation, self reflection and just raw loneliness. After so long in this limbo state, he thought he’d never get back to feeling comfortable with doing things out of the blue, just for kicks or his own indulgence.

“Yeah.” He pushed Orville’s body so he’d fall on his turquoise sofa, proving himself wrong. “I will.”

The man looked stunned, a sly smile adorning his mean face. Deep down, though, he was right to assume Harry only needed a little push to let go and jump off the edge.

Just in his thong, he climbed over Orville’s body, bracketing his thighs. He did quick work of getting rid of his belt, slipping it out through the hoops of his pants. The cold metal contrasted against the warmth of Harry’s palms, making his spine tremble with the thought of what he was about to do and to whom.

“Breathe,” Orville chuckled. “We’ve got time.”

“Aren’t you flying back home tomorrow?”

“Tomorrow is still far away,” he argued.

Harry looked him straight in the eyes, mirroring his desire. Did Orville do this with every man he worked with? Was repetition the cause of his boldness and expertise, and would both be a mere result of a progressive desensitisation?

“Is this a reoccurrence?” Harry asked, before he could think twice to stop his irrational jealousy. “Do you... have a lot of bunnies in your backyard?”

Orville’s eyes went dark. There was fire around the edges of his irises and his expression was harsh – a gold rush. He grabbed a handful of Harry’s hair, pulling him closer.

“You’re the one I’m aiming at.”

Nodding frantically, Harry finished unbuckling his belt and moved on to unbutton his jeans. “You’re so hard,” he spoke, more to himself than anything. “You’re so fucking hard,” he repeated, in utter disbelief he was really about to suck him off.

“A fine observer.” Orville glanced down at himself, seeing the tent in his boxers. “I bet your mouth does a lot more than just blabber.”

“Yeah.” Harry licked his own palm and took hold of Orville’s cock, lowering his pants to his mid thighs.

He gave it a few lazy tugs, ecstatic about how it was throbbing in his palm, angry red and veiny. He wondered how it would feel up his ass and if it would hurt, which he kind of hoped it would.

As he was about to take him into his mouth. Orville’s hands stopped him. “Hey. Hold on. Turn around.”

“What?”

“Gonna eat you out.”

Harry’s hole pulsed at the mere thought of having Orville’s sharp and warm tongue inside him. “You want me to ride your face?” he asked, stupidly, doubting he was even worthy of it.

Orville smirked, “Save a horse…”

Harry would have laughed if he wasn’t a pile of nerves. Instead, he scrambled to get in position. “My thighs are really clammy,” he apologised shyly, looking back at the man to speak.

“I honestly couldn’t care any less.”

Orville moved the thong’s string to the side and spat on Harry’s hole. It clenched around it, dripping down his perineum like nectar. 

He grabbed Harry by the hips and scooted him closer, lapping his tongue into him. He tasted like musk and sweat, the thin string glueing to his skin like molasses.

“Fuck,” Harry grinded his ass back, not wasting time to engulf Orville in his mouth too.

His pubes were neatly trimmed and his cock was hot and heavy on Harry’s tongue, throbbing slightly, like it had been like that inside his jeans for a while.

It was hard for Harry to maintain his balance – every time Orville’s tongue lapped against him, his thighs slid a little downwards, too slippery with sweat.

“Stay put, bunny,” he mumbled, positioning Harry’s hips again. “Stop squirming.”

With his mouth full, unable to reply, Harry just tried his best to prevent his legs from slipping, quickly adjusting his body to Orville’s.

“Good,” Orville said, moving Harry’s thong’s string to the side again. He licked a big stripe of skin, tasting Harry’s sweat with hunger.

In response, Harry’s hole pulsed again and he could feel the weight of his own erection poking Orville’s ribs. Meanwhile, he was bobbing his head up and down, jerking the man off with his mouth and hand.

“I feel like you’re the one who does this often,” Orville teased, mouthing against his ass.

Harry removed his lips from his cock with a wet pop to reply, slapping it across his face a couple times. “I just really enjoy doing it,” he said, voice already hoarse.

Orville chuckled and slapped his ass, his hand gliding across it with sweat. “Keep it up, then.”

Of course Harry complied, sucking him off eagerly. Whimpers and moans were caught in the back of his throat, sending vibrations down Orville’s cock. He could hear him hissing in pleasure, slightly flexing his thighs as he fucked into Harry’s mouth with nearly noticeable thrusts.

“You can fuck my mouth, you know,” Harry mumbled in between gags, dangerously close of reaching his climax.

Orville grunted, thumbing at his hole, slippery wet with spit and sweat. “I like seeing you struggle.”

For Harry, there was something oddly familiar about this headspace. Even out of practice, the role fit him like a glove. There were no flashing lights, no screaming fans, no crowd to worship him. Instead, he embodied the figure of a worshiper himself, a one man cult, allowing his underlying submissiveness to emerge. Nothing in that moment mattered more than pleasuring Orville, who had seen right through his facade and graciously indulged it.

“You do?” Harry slapped the man’s cock against his face again, closing his eyes to revel in the ecstasy.

Orville didn’t reply. Abruptly, he forced two of his fingers into Harry alongside his tongue, eager to test his boundaries.

“Oh!” Harry’s thighs jolted downwards, seeking friction.

On full display, Harry started to come, quickly staining the front of his lingerie and, consequently, Orville’s torso. It lasted a lot longer than he thought it would, his elongated moan echoing through the thin walls of the dressing room.

Orville retreated his fingers, kneading the chub of Harry’s hip. “Naughty bunny,” he clicked his tongue against his teeth, noticing the damp spot on his body, where Harry had come.

If there was anything that could make Harry love sucking cock even more, it was the moral obligation he felt to reciprocate. Before he could get back to it, though, Orville stopped him, sitting up to pull him by the hair.

“Get on your knees.”

“Yeah,” Harry scrambled to get to the carpeted floor, knowing very well it would burn his skin, exactly like he wanted it to. “Okay.”

Orville was standing before him, jerking himself off. He was really hung, Harry noticed from that angle, and it made his body tingle with nerves.

With no warning whatsoever, Orville gripped Harry’s sweaty curls and tilted his jaw up.

Harry trembled under his touch, electricity running through his veins. He opened his mouth, more than ready for what he had been thinking about all night.

Orville ran his thumb across Harry’s bottom lip, already missing biting into the flesh. 

When he fucked Harry’s mouth, his thrusts were short and erratic, on the verge of a kind of animalistic euphoria. 

Harry’s ears were still ringing and he couldn’t tell whether it was from the concert high or the haze he was in. He felt Orville’s coarse hands tugging on his hair, short nails raking across his scalp every now and then, his warm cock sliding back and forth on his tongue and nothing, absolutely nothing else. 

“Did you hear me?”

“Hm?” Harry mumbled, mouth full, looking up at him with red rimmed eyes.

“Gonna come down your throat,” Orville repeated himself, stalling his orgasm like a rein would hold a rebel horse.

Harry nodded, eager, and prepared himself.

Orville’s come filled his mouth rapidly, a long jet that seemed to last forever. He didn’t moan whatsoever, just growled low. He held Harry’s head with both hands, making sure he’d swallow every last drop he had to milk.

Then, he pulled out slowly, with a satisfied grin on his lips.

Harry gasped for air, cleaning the spit and come off his chin with the back of his hand. His knees were arched outwards on the carpet, nearly giving out from how badly he was trembling.

“Are you really leaving tomorrow?” was the first thing Harry said, still on his knees, upset he wouldn’t have the chance to get to know the man better.

“Mhm,” Orville agreed, lying back down on the sofa after pulling his pants up. “I don’t belong to big cities.”

Harry got up too, uneasy on his feet. The way his own come was sticking his lingerie to his crotch felt obscene and he could tell Orville agreed, from the way he couldn't avert his eyes from the damp spot.

He sat beside Orville, eyeing the ceiling, exhausted. The air conditioning was drying his sweat like alcohol evaporating from his skin, sending chills down his bare chest. “Where do you belong?” he breathed out.

“I live on a ranch in Canada. A lot of grass. Pretty boys. Nice orchard.”

Harry chuckled, “The memoir writes itself.”

“You’re welcome to tag along,” he shrugged. “There’s not much to do, but the view is great. I have a blue roan horse I think you’d like. He’s the sweetest one I’ve ever seen.”

Harry turned his neck to face him, still breathless. “Do you mean it?”

“You don’t have to be in France until next week, right?”

He nodded carefully.

Orville raised his eyebrows as if he was proving a point, “Consider yourself officially invited to the Peck Manor, then.”

“God. Whenever I think I figured you out, you pull something like that.”

“Like what?” Orville played coy, running his eyes along Harry’s body. “We’d be just two good pals having some whiskey on my porch, munching on apples, feeding sugar cubes to the horses. Y’know, regular things. We’d probably be naked, but we can disregard that.”

Harry laughed, hiding his face in his arm. “Okay.”

“Okay?”

“I’ll go to Canada get drunk with you.”

A beat passed. Orville scooted closer to Harry, looking hungrily at his lips. “Daniel.”

“What–”

“My real name’s Daniel. Can I kiss you now that we’ve been properly introduced?”

A breath got caught in Harry’s throat and he couldn’t help but stammer. “You already did.”

“That was its own form of sexual rampage,” he argued with a laugh. "I meant a real kiss."

“You can kiss me,” Harry tittered with a frantic nod.

So, Orville did. This time around, it was quiet – the kiss, Harry’s mind, Orville’s urges, the air around them. A warm atmosphere settled easily inside their chests.

“I can’t believe we’re doing this,” Harry whispered against his mouth.

“I’m usually a nervous guy,” Orville pondered. “There are no bunnies in my backyard.”

Harry smiled at him and they kissed again. Eventually, their tired voices diminished until they completely faded away, drowning in the sound of Blaze Foley, that was strumming his guitar nostalgically in Harry’s record player.

When Harry and Orville were on a private jet to Canada, their names were already hitting headlines all over the world.

“Styles Goes Country!”

Fans were surprised by Harry Styles’ outfit of choice for his very own Harryween fancy dress party – nothing less than one of the signature looks of his opening act, country star Orville Peck.

Orville ditched his cowboy aesthetic and pulled a full Elvis Presley costume, showcasing his eclectic fashion range and branding himself as a chameleonic entertainer.

Both, signed to Columbia Records, delivered a heartfelt duet of Peck’s big hit, ‘Turn to Hate’, an emotional cowboy tale told as a folkloric song.

 

“Harry Styles Spotted in Canada”

Inside sources exclusively tell that the pop heartthrob was seen with country star, Orville Peck, after their concert at Madison Square Garden.

He was papped alone at Toronto Pearson, carrying a duffel bag across his chest and sporting a straw hat.

Representatives for both artists decided not to comment on dating rumours or future collaborations.

 


 

“I hadn’t been around this much green since my childhood in Cheshire,” Harry commented as he took a bite of his apple, lying on the grass beside Orville. “I feel younger.”

“It’s indescribable, isn’t it?” he turned his neck to face Harry, little weeds poking his tattooed arms and sunshine lighting up his eyes. “I wouldn’t trade this for anything.”

“I don’t think I’ve had the chance to thank you. You pulled me out of something I didn’t even realise I was in. Shifted my steering wheel.”

“That’s what friends are for.”

Harry smirked at him, tossing his apple into a bush.

“I'm not gonna be your friend,” he said.

When he climbed over Orville’s warm body, his nervousness was contained, held back by a recently rescued self confidence. The tabloids could speculate all they wanted, write every story they heard, but nobody would ever know how tenderly Orville kissed his lips. That was their private Pontiac heaven – a secret shelter in the outskirts of fame, bright lights and loudness.

“I’m gonna be your bunny,” he completed.