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"You should eat something,"

Harry sat at the table, his hands folded in his lap.

It was the same old thing every single day. It was the same fight; trying to get Harry to compromise. It was a constant war of his within himself.

"I'm not hungry," he mumbled, and it wasn't a lie. He truly did not have the desire to eat anything.

"You've been saying that all day," Louis walked out of the kitchen, where he'd been making himself a sandwich. Harry glanced up at him, only for a brief moment before promptly looking away.

"... eat some? Just a little bit, please," the long suffering boyfriend suggested, pushing a paper plate toward Harry.

He looked down at the white bread and the lettuce, the tiny apple slices chopped into fours. He felt guilt form in his empty stomach, a twisted unpleasant feeling surging through his bones.

"Please?" Louis asked again, looking too anxious to even touch his own meal. His breath was tremulous, and each he took sounded more painful than the last.

Harry couldn't just disregard Louis's pleas. He knew the older boy was trying his hardest to come to terms with this new trend, the fact that his boyfriend was skipping meals or throwing them up. Harry could only imagine the pain he was feeling. Louis didn't deserve to have his efforts crushed, when all he held in his eyes was deep blue sincerity.

So he sighed heavily, picked the sandwich up in his hands, examined it for a few moments.

He felt like Louis was holding his breath, watching him with teeth marks in his bottom lip as he anticipated what Harry would do next.

Unnerved, Harry cleared his throat and took a small bite. Louis watched as he chewed, then swallowed the tiny bit of bread and mayonnaise.

"Thank you, Baby," Louis said to him, exhaling in relief.

Harry decided to eat a couple of apple slices instead, nibbled on them until his stomach started to hurt.

He peeked up every now and then, saw Louis eating his own sandwich and crisps. It was all he could be bothered to put together.

Ever since he found out, he hadn't let Harry anywhere near the kitchen, said he wanted to make sure his boyfriend was eating proper meals everyday. It was heartbreaking, really. 
To Harry it was just a nuisance.

Louis cleaned his plate completely. Harry huffed as he watched Louis take his three-quarters of a sandwich and half an apple to the trash, let it slide out of his hand into the bin.

"I've got to go in tomorrow," Louis informed him, pressing a gentle kiss to his curls.

"For how long?" Harry asked, watching as Louis turned to go down the hall toward their bedroom.

"'Till noon,"

Harry was tired of living this way. He was lonely, and sick. He felt awful all the time and the only sliver of relief he had from his constant agony was when he was with Louis. Louis didn't judge him, or disapprove of his lifestyle. He didn't force him to eat or get upset when Harry couldn't. Louis truly loved him and in Louis's presence, Harry felt loved.

But they needed the money.

Harry was in no condition to do the work he used to, slaving away in the university library lifting heavy boxes, labeling and organizing in the hot summer. After much argument, Louis made him quit.

He was on break from his classes until August, and so Louis made certain he used all the time he had to get better. And Harry would tell Louis again and again that there was nothing wrong with him; that he was on a diet and just trying to drop a few sizes. Louis never really said much after Harry said that.

Anyway, Louis picked up the extra shifts at his job, worked late nights to keep the bills paid and the rent covered. Harry never ceased to feel guilty when Louis came home exhausted, kicking off his shoes and unbuttoning his uniform shirt with a heavy sigh. Harry would lay under the covers with his hands clutching his pillow, watch Louis collapse on the mattress and pass out within minutes.

Harry wished he could tell Louis he was sorry, that he hadn't meant for things to be so difficult. Harry wanted to apologize with all his heart, but there wasn't much he could do. Louis wouldn't listen to half of the things that came out of Harry's mouth. He'd never say it aloud, but Louis didn't trust him.

"You gonna be alright here by yourself?" Louis asked.

Harry pulled the sleeves of his jumper down over his hands, averted his gaze to the floor. Louis knew Harry's depression was at its worst when he was left alone to his thoughts.

"I'm okay... I'll be alright," Harry nodded quickly, dismissing Louis's concern.

"I've got to do some homework," Louis told him, as he walked to their room.

And so he left Harry, sitting at the kitchen table alone. 

Harry woke up to an empty bed the next morning. He had nothing but a ghost of a memory of Louis's lips on his forehead before he left.

He laid in bed with his eyes opened, staring at the ruffled covers of the space Louis left in them.

He rubbed a hand over his groaning tummy, knew he shouldn't have eaten dinner last night. But Louis stood over him, silently begged him with those eyes and Harry couldn't refuse after he'd spent all that time in the kitchen (though he'd never been good at cooking) making Harry a meal infused with his love. Louis hadn't fed him much, but Harry had cleaned his whole plate of spaghetti, still forced every forkful down and didn't acquiesce to his urge to puke immediately after.

So he was in pain. He always got horrible stomach cramps after he'd eaten a full meal. Harry sighed, aware that the calories would, yet again, set him back against his diet plan.

He wasn't sure how long he laid in bed, staring at the ceiling, brow furrowed in deep thought.

He did a lot of thinking when he was alone. He did more thinking about his flaws and how he could make them better when he was alone. He stared at the shadowless walls of the bedroom they shared, did a lot of thinking to back when he and Lou first moved in here, first fell into this thing called Love. He did a lot of crying, wiping of his tears into his sleeves because he wished Louis didn't have to work so hard and stress over him. He felt so horrible that he was causing so many problems and making everything difficult. Harry thought too much, when he was alone. That's why he didn't like it when Louis left him there.

Harry dragged himself out of bed to get ready for the day. He hated this part.

He went into the bathroom, brushed his teeth and washed his face because if he didn't he'd have pimples that would make him look even more ridiculous than he already was. Harry wasn't exactly sure when he started hating his reflection so much.

He left the bathroom and went to the kitchen, got himself a glass of water and took his vitamins. He went into the living room, did fifty push ups, wasn't sure if he made it to fifty because he was gasping for breath and seeing dizzy static behind his eyelids. He'd meant to go for a jog, but he didn't think that would be a good idea when he could hardly catch his breath sitting against the couch, so he did some crunches instead.

When he was coughing and wheezing he decided to stop. He had to be careful about his workout sessions because that was the only thing Louis didn't know about. Harry had to keep them secret and he knew if he strained himself Louis would come home and find him sweaty and passed out.

He went back into the bathroom after that to clean himself up, take a shower.

He pulled his sweater over his head, tossed it onto the tiled floor, then he stripped himself of his grey sweatpants, pushed them down his thighs and over his knees, stepped out of them and kicked them into the pile as well.

He walked over to the shower, reached behind the curtain and twisted the faucet handle. The spray didn't startle him like it used to when they first moved in. He was used to the way the water shot out of the head freezing cold at first.

Harry stepped away from the shower cubicle to let the water heat up. He returned to the mirror, unsure of his actions.

He was obsessed with the thing he hated the most. His body. He had to change it—had to make it better. And try as he might, he still never felt good enough.

He swallowed thickly; his throat felt bone dry. Harry smoothed his hands down his torso, where they stopped on his pudgy hips. He winced as he felt them, saw the way the fat moved in the mirror. He touched his thighs, turned his body to see how big they looked from the back. His breathing picked up as he grimaced, eyes scanning his bum. He felt sick as he squeezed the thick flesh.

"Shit," he muttered, wiping a hand down his red face. It took him quite a while before he realized he was crying, the hot tears spilling down his cheeks uncontrollably.

He rubbed his eyes, then he pulled his boxers down and left them in the center of the room.

Harry cried in the shower for a while. He let his broken sobs have their liberation and they echoed throughout the bathroom walls as he curled up in the corner. He wrapped his arms around his thin waist, his wet mop of hair dripping into his eyes. He sat there on the floor of the shower, hating himself even more with every wail that left his lips.

Eventually he hauled his flaccid limbs up, cleaned his body and washed his hair with Louis's shampoo.

He dried off, avoided his reflection as he shook his damp curls out.

He pried through their closet, clutched the wrapped towel to his chest as he looked for something to wear.

He found some of Louis's clothes; a baggy crew neck and some joggers. He slipped them on, had to wear something deep enough to shelter the world from his hideous curves. He sighed, took his phone from the charger cord and went down the hall.

He hummed in the kitchen as he opened the fridge, had some of the strawberries Louis picked up on his way home from work on Saturday. He ate three, took his Prozac, sat at the dining room table and filled the rest of the empty space in his stomach with water.

He got back into bed after that.

"How's Louis?" She asked, her voice soft and kind like he always remembered.

"He's fine. He works too much. Doesn't listen to me," Harry answered to his mother, sitting up slightly in the bed.

"Ah well... bills have to be paid," she said. Harry still didn't feel any less guilty about the whole ordeal, but.

"Yeah but it's hard for him... juggling classes and double shifts. I feel like I should be helping, or at least doing something, I-"

"You need your rest, Harry. Louis's done the exact same thing I would have. It might be hard but it's important that you get healthy,"

Harry pulled the duvet tighter around him. He was always so cold, even in the heat of summer.

"I know... but, I feel bad. For putting him through this," Harry sighed, his hand soothing circles over his abdomen.

She was quiet, exhaled like she didn't want to say what thoughts ran through her mind.

"Are you talking to your therapist?" She asked, concern lacing her tone.

Harry gnawed the inside of his cheek, picked at the loose threads on his pillowcase before he even contemplated a response for her.

"... yeah," he answered, shrinking into Louis's clothes.

"Are you lying to me?" Anne asked, worriedly.

Harry gulped, ashamed to reply. He was always a terrible liar.

"I just... Mum, I don't understand why I need therapy. I'm eating. I promise, I am. Louis won't let me out of his sight. I'm taking my medicine... I don't see the point," he huffed, changing the position of his arm so he could switch the phone to his opposite ear.

"Harry, please. Give Dr. Albaccus a call, will you? She's here to help you. She can't do anything if you don't try to talk to her about... the thoughts you have," she said, tremulously.

"Okay," He dismissed, turning onto his side to escape her contempt.

"I don't mean to dictate anything... it's only because I love you. We love you so much, and we're doing all we can to help," she mumbled, her voice cracking. It send shivers up his spine to hear her so broken. Harry was so tired of hearing his loved ones cry because of him. He wasn't that important.

"I know, mum..." he muttered.

"Once a week at least, please?" She urged, her voice soft, persuasive.

"Alright," he said, only hoping to end the call soon.

"I love you. Tell Louis I said, 'hello'. I've got to get started on dinner," she told her son. Harry knew she tried her best to mask that soul devouring anxiety as to whether or not he was alright. As a mother of a son who was as deep in the abysmal depths of depression as Harry was, he could imagine her concerns.

"I will. Love you too," he answered, picked the phone up in his hand.

"Alright, Baby. I'll talk to you later,"

"Bye, Mum," he said, before hanging up and letting his phone drop to the mattress.

When Harry woke it was to the soft touch of his boyfriend.

His eyelashes fluttered as he felt Louis's fingers brushing his curls from his forehead, his thumb tenderly gliding over his cheek, his warm lips on the tip of his nose.

"Come on, Baby. It's time to wake up," Louis whispered, his voice soothing.

Harry pried his eyes open to the orange light of the bedroom. It looked around close to sunset, but he wasn't sure. He sat up disheveled, rubbed his eyes and squinted to see the room.

Louis was still in his uniform, must have just gotten home. In his hands was a brown paper bag of what looked like Chinese takeaway. Harry wanted to groan. Who knew how many calories were in that?

"You hungry?" Louis asked, kicked his tennis shoes off and climbed onto the bed beside Harry.

Harry eyed him nervously, didn't want to partake in anything Louis had to offer tonight.

"Um..." Harry almost tried, but Louis was already tearing open the bag to retrieve their meal. He took a shaky breath.

"Wasn't sure what to-I just got the chicken fried rice and the spring rolls with the sweet and sour sauce. Know you like those," Louis said, criss-crossing his legs and one by one laying the plastic containers out on the wrinkled duvet.

Harry scratched his arm, uncertain whether or not to move closer. He knew Louis was trying his best here. Harry really wished he'd stop trying sometimes because he couldn't handle the guilt.

Harry sat in silence as Louis pulled out the plastic forks.

"And he gave me this one free. I don't know how it's any different. It might be good. Wanna try it?" Louis asked enthusiastically, but it was forced. Even Harry could tell.

He hungrily stuffed one of the spring rolls into his mouth, bit half of it before sticking the severed remains in his container of fried rice.

"Hm?" Louis turned to Harry, offered him the other one. Harry couldn't just reject him from the get-go, so he took the spring roll and nibbled the corner of it. The greasy texture of the shell against his tongue make him feel sick, but he just chewed, swallowed the bite, did his best to play along.

"They always make the chicken just right, yeah? I wouldn't trust anyone else to do it," Louis took a forkful of the rice, stabbed a piece of chicken and shoveled it into his mouth. Harry knew he must have been starving after such a long endless day.

"Here," Louis said after a moment, noticing Harry wasn't eating his food.

Harry glanced up at Louis, hoping his charade would be put to rest.

He offered Harry a forkful of the rice, and although there were peas and carrots and chicken and onions, Harry couldn't accept.

"Don't tell me you don't like fried rice anymore," Louis sighed, holding his hand up to catch any bits that fell from touching the sheets.

Harry just looked at him, holding his spring roll in his cupped hand.

He frowned, though he was still drowsy from his nap, he couldn't shake the irritation he felt. He was just sick of pretending. He was tired of Louis guilting him into doing the things he physically couldn't. It hurt him to eat like this.

"Just a little, yeah?" Louis offered again, giving Harry that-that look with the tired eyes with the bags and the raised eyebrows and the tiny smile that conveyed to Harry that this was his boyfriend and he was giving all he had for him. Again, Harry couldn't just... crush him when Louis was venturing out on hope; making himself vulnerable and susceptible to Harry's rejection.

So Harry swallowed, forced his mouth open and let Louis gently slide the fork in between his lips. Louis smiled, pulled the clean fork back out and dug it back into the rice to gather another bite.

Louis got Harry to eat four forkfuls, then placed the fork on the paper bag and closed up the container. He kissed Harry on the lips, thanked him for the effort.

As he started to eat his meal, Harry felt endeared. Louis knew he couldn't just eat a whole bowl of stir fry like him. He appreciated Louis's understanding, and even if it pained him to admit it, Louis did his best to treat Harry like he had an eating disorder.

"You feel okay?" Louis asked him, rubbing his back with his free hand.

Harry nodded, then proceeded to watch Louis gourmandize his entire bowl, before stuffing the empty container back into the paper bag with the plastic forks.

"How was work?" Harry changed the focus, as Louis shifted positions so that his back rested against the headboard.

Louis cleared his throat, inviting Harry to cuddle into his side. "Tiring... got a new shipment today. More desktop computers. It doesn't make any sense, since most people want laptops but, no one asked me," he mumbled as Harry slipped his body under his arm, resting his head against Louis's chest.

"That's stupid," Harry commented in agreement.

"Not my field so it doesn't matter anyway." Louis sighed. Harry could tell he wasn't happy. He wanted to do something to change that.

"We should do something this weekend..." Harry suggested, unsure as to whether or not Louis would agree or not.

"Mm," he hummed, barely gave Harry a response.

"I mean... haven't seen Zayn in awhile. Niall got a job. He texted me. I'm just saying... you work a lot and-"

"No, no, I understand. Maybe," Louis half-hazardly replied, clearly tired. His mind was constantly somewhere else, Harry was well aware of it. He rested his hand flat over Louis's chest, pat him there.

"I might have homework so, it depends," Louis said, as he sat up. Harry moved away. "... think I might have an assignment,"

"Okay," Harry sat there as Louis got up and tossed the trash in the bin, then took Harry's leftover meal to the fridge in the kitchen.

He stayed in the same spot when Louis returned with his laptop. He placed it on the night table before he went to undress.

Harry sat, bit his lower lip as Louis yanked his shirt over his head, his sun kissed torso coming into view. Louis took his black jeans off and tossed them into the laundry basket (for Harry to do later, noted).

It had been a while since they had sex. Harry hadn't really been feeling up to it lately. He felt even more insecure about his body now that Louis knew. And despite the fact that Louis would never, ever treat Harry any differently because of it, the boy still felt shy. He still got the urges, of course, just wasn't as affected by it anymore. Suppressed them.

Plus, Louis was constantly busy. Harry knew it wasn't his fault, or anything. He knew there were plenty of factors, including the one where Louis was working overtime while Harry sat on his arse all day folding laundry or staring at his disgusting fat in the mirror with the excuse of 'taking a recovery period' that everyone on the God damned planet seemed to agree was in his best interests but, oh right, except for him. It was like he didn't have an opinion, or a say in the matter, and Louis was breaking his back everyday to take care of them when Harry was perfectly capable and wasting his abilities. It didn't make much sense at all. But. No one asked him.

"How much do you have to do?" Harry asked as Louis sat down on the end of the bed with his computer, navigating to the assignment page on the website.

"Have a paper to write..." Louis said, scratching the back of his neck.

"What?" Harry pulled a face.

"It's... it's not due 'till next Thursday," Louis said, patting Harry's thigh. He nodded, felt slightly better.
He wasn't sure if the guilt would ever go away.

"I'll do it tomorrow. Only have the morning shift,"

Harry listened as Louis talked to himself, decided to start doing some research now, take some notes so he could plan his outline.

Harry had never felt so useless in his life.

He supposed in a month he would have to worry about his own schooling again, and to savor his freedom while he had it. It didn't make him feel any better to watch Louis working until late, was brushing his teeth for bed when he returned to the room to find Louis had fallen asleep against the keyboard, typing a million random characters onto the open word document.

So Harry had taken the laptop, undid all his mess, saved his notes and closed the computer. He placed it onto the dresser, then pulled Louis under the covers with him. Harry felt his heart ache with the love for his boyfriend. He wasn't sure any amount of thanks could suffice.

Louis took care of him, each and every day. He never complained or lost his patience with Harry. He did all he could; gave it his all in whatever he did. He was so proud of Louis, just wasn't sure how to make sure his boyfriend knew how much he was loved.

Harry didn't like taking his antidepressants. They made him so sleepy, and he slept all day long. He usually woke up around ten, went for a run, took his medicine when he had breakfast, then took a shower and got back into the bed. He couldn't help feeling even worse when he was drugged up because he knew it was the chemicals. Harry knew if it weren't for the drugs he'd still be the sad boy he always was.

Louis would come home some days and find him in the bed, but he wasn't sleeping. One of the reasons Harry wasn't the keeper of Louis's trust was because of his tendency to skip doses on purpose. So Louis would stumble upon Harry in a fit of dejection, bundled up under the duvet, shivering in agony.

Louis never really knew how to react to Harry's condition, never knew how to take proper care of him until Anne got him seeing doctors and psychiatrists and psychologists because he needed medications to make him feel better. It was pathetic really.

At the thought, Harry bitterly smirked to himself from under the sheets, sniffled as he pulled the covers tighter around his frame.

Louis did his best on days like those, couldn't get him up and most certainly couldn't convince him to eat anything. Harry got his way on those days.

"Harry, you can't just not take your medicine," Louis would chastise him, as if it would mean anything when Harry's voracious demons consumed his mind. He laid on the bed, unthinking, unfeeling, silent tears streaming down his pink cheeks.

Harry knew the consequences of not taking his pills and purposefully entering such an invalid state. He knew all about those hushed phone calls in the middle of the night between Louis and his own mother. He knew they were plotting against him, considering mental hospitals, psych wards like he was some lunatic; like he'd lost his mind.

It wasn't fair, Harry thought. He chewed his thumbnail from where he laid in his wake, the possibilities whirring through his pitch black soul.

"Yeah, that's what I thought. Crazy, innit?"

Harry heard Louis at the door, pushing into their room with his phone to his ear and his computer bag slung over his shoulder.

Harry wiped his eyes and tried to sit up quickly, knew what would happen if Louis caught him misbehaving again.

"Alright, yeah... I'll tell him you said, 'hi'. Definitely. Text me. Okay, later, mate," Louis hung up and put his phone on the dresser, gingerly placed his computer at the foot of the bed.

"Hey, Love," Louis greeted him, his mood the polar opposite of Harry's.

"Hi," he replied, his voice groggy, unused.

"That was Liam. 'Said he and Zayn are free Friday night if we wanted to go over to their place," Louis said as he started taking his work clothes off. And Harry hadn't done the laundry, so Louis wouldn't have any clean shirts to wear. Lovely.

"Okay," Harry mumbled, his attention clearly somewhere else. He spaced out for a moment and since Louis had been with Harry long enough to know how he gets when he feels especially sad, he quickly caught on.

"Hey, what's wrong?" Louis asked as if he had no recollection of Harry's chronic depression, just genuinely wanted to know why Harry was feeling sad.

Harry placed his hand against his forehead, sighed as Louis sat on the bed next to him in efforts to comfort him.

"I don't know... just." Harry shrugged, wiped his wet cheeks with the back of his hand.

"Did you take your medicine?" Louis skeptically asked, and Harry knew the scolding was coming.

"No, Lou. I didn't," Harry grumbled.

And Harry knew that wasn't the right answer. He knew Louis tried his best to keep Harry together; stop him from falling apart. The one time Louis would allow his temper to slip was when Harry did irresponsible things like this because it showed that he didn't really want to get better. And that wasn't true at all. Harry wanted to make a change, but his refractory attitude made things a challenge.

And Harry hardly understood why everyone was always telling him that he was as thin as a rail when he saw the evidence of his obesity in the mirror. He didn't understand why in the dark of the night Louis would whisper to him that his body was perfect, when he knew his abhorrence was as clear as daylight. Harry was embarrassed of his own reflection, but his mum would argue with him all day about how beautiful he was as a boy and always will be as a man. Harry wanted to believe them, but until his eyes stopped deceiving him he would believe whatever they portrayed.

"Why, Harry?" Louis stood up, his attitude shifting instantly.

"Because... I don't like how they make me feel. I'm useless on the drugs, Lou. I'm just so exhausted all the time and I can't do anything," Harry insisted, glancing up at Louis.

"You've been laid up in the bed all day anyway haven't you?" Louis asked, running a worried hand through his feathery hair.

"Lou, just, yes... But I'm not having those... thoughts anymore, so you don't have to worry about m-"

"Harry, I don't care how tired you get. I'd rather you spent all week in bed passed out and safe than staying up late thinking of ways to take your own life," Louis gritted, angrily. But it was still all good intentions. His words were driven by all the care and the concern in the world and his anger was fueled by his innate need to protect Harry. It was so good of him. Louis was so good to Harry.

"I'm not suicidal, I promise," Harry argued.

"Not anymore. And I'd really, really like to keep it that way," Louis breathed quickly, his heart beat quickening.

Louis didn't even bother changing. He crawled into bed beside his boyfriend and completely encompassed Harry in his arms, tightening his hold whenever Harry sniffled.

And Harry still hadn't quite figured out how to thank Louis for being there for him, but he'd sure he'd think of something once he got his brain back, once he was himself again.

A thunderstorm came that night.

Louis made Harry some herbal tea and a paper cup of noodle soup, had him take in the nutrients through liquids.

He sat at the headboard as Harry sipped on his cuppa, both hands flying across the keyboard as he constructed his essay.

Harry stayed silent. He never liked thunderstorms. The rain splattered against their bedroom windows and Harry shivered each time the flash of lightning and the crack of thunder erupted from the sky.

Louis had coaxed him earlier to take his medicine, told him that it would make him feel better, which it had. Harry just hated knowing that there was nothing he could do to feel better without drugs. He hated the fact that there was no solution and no relief.

"Are you finished yet?" Harry asked, a quiver in his voice.

"Almost... got the conclusion left," Louis mumbled, thoughtfully, reading through the words he had already written.

Another boom of thunder sounded, wracking the whole flat complex.

Harry had always been afraid of big storms like this. When he was younger he had to walk his dogs outside a few times before they had a fence up and he watched the night sky light up like it was the middle of the day. He used to crawl under his bed with his blanket and hide, cry until his Mum found him there and coaxed him out. He hated loud things growing up, like fireworks and jets and rollercoasters and helicopters and thunderstorms. Harry was never a big fan of any of those things, but Louis usually protected him when he was frozen with fear.

"Can't you proofread it tomorrow and then write the conclusion. It's pretty late. Plus the paper isn't due for a-"


"... a week," Harry whimpered, closed his eyes as tight as he could to try to remove himself from the current surrounding.

"Is it the storm?" Louis asked, and yep, he could clearly tell what Harry was trying to do. He closed up his laptop with a sigh and placed it on his nightstand. Then, Louis removed Harry's mug from between his pale hands and placed it on his night table on the other side.

"Come here," Louis murmured, pulling Harry to his chest, wrapping his arms around him.

It was just so loud and it hurt his eardrums. He nestled close up to his boyfriend, let his skinny fingers ball into a fist and tighten in the material of Louis's t shirt each time a bolt came even louder than the last one.

Harry took a sharp breath, tried his best not to focus on it and to inhale Louis's freshly showered scent instead. Louis pulled the duvet over their bodies so that they were completely hidden under the covers, sheltered from the storm. Harry kept his eyes shut tight, always trusted Louis to know what to do in the situations where he needed a little extra love and support. Harry always knew it was natural for him.


Harry trembled, pressing himself even closer to Louis, as if he could be a part of him, sewn to him; made inseparable from his life support.

"Shh," Louis whispered, stroking a calming hand over his shoulder. He was such comfort and bliss. Harry took a deep breath and listened, did his very best to ward out all but Louis's voice from his head.

"I'm right here, Baby," Louis assured him over the cacophonous weather outside the flat. His voice was something beautiful, something Harry definitely wanted to hear over the loud terrifying shrieks from the smoke black clouds in the sky.

And soon all Harry could hear was the pitter-patter of rain drops coming down on the loft.

He slowly opened his eyes, saw that they were both curled up under the duvet. The room was dim and dark and Louis's arms were still constricting Harry, as if he'd never noticed any storm as the cause of Harry's distress. Because truly, Louis would have held him this feverishly anyway.

"Lou..." Harry croaked. Their legs were entwined as they laid on their sides, and Harry's head was pressed to Louis's chest, but he lifted it to try to get a glimpse of Louis's face.

"Hm? Feel better?" Louis asked, opening his own eyes. Harry loved to know that when Louis took him to that special place he went with him too.

Harry nodded as well as he could all bundled up under the duvet. It was warm under there, just two bodies entangled under the sheets. The rain was still coming down hard, but Harry had nearly tuned out everything except the love in Louis's eyes.

"I love you," Harry said, and Louis smiled fondly at him.

"Love you too," he whispered.

Louis moved his hand up to cradle the side of Harry's face, thumb moving on its own to brush over Harry's cheek.

Harry smiled, shyly under Louis's warm gaze. It was endearing but also a bit unnerving. Harry didn't know why, exactly, but he felt unsure to have Louis looking at his face, as if he were scanning each feature.

Harry looked down out of his own self consciousness, couldn't meet Louis's gaze when he was staring like that.

But Louis moved his hand down, with the knuckle of his index finger, lifted Harry's chin up.

Harry inhaled through his nose; had been a little shocked when Louis pressed their lips together.

But he was so glad Louis had.

Louis sweetly carded his fingers through Harry's hair, used his hands to provide a special kind of comfort while they kissed.

Harry smiled into it, felt that joy he only could in Louis's presence. Louis cupped his face, tilted his head to the side to capture Harry's lips, slot them together.

Once Louis began to shift into a more comfortable position, Harry's hands followed suit as well.

The older boy moved to hover Harry, climbed on top of him so that his knees bracketed either side of Harry's hips. Louis pulled the duvet with him once it started to slip down, yanked it further over their heads to shield them from the world.

That little sentiment Harry appreciated more that the sun moon and stars all together. It stunned him with awe at how Louis just knew what to say and do at all the right times. It was incredible, and made Harry blush so hard his face burned.

Harry slid his hand up to the back of Louis's neck and his fingers fiddled with the thin strands of his chestnut hair. Louis nudged his chin up so he could guide their movements, as in everything else Louis did, he showed Harry the way. He took care of Harry.

"Lou," Harry breathed, his mind a hazy cloud of his boyfriend smothering him with his passion, absolutely drowning him in desire.

Louis licked into his mouth, the slow slick feel of their tongues colliding shooting jolts of ecstasy through Harry's weak body.

Louis pulled away to look at him, kissed his cheeks and his nose before trailing back down to his lips. Harry giggled at the tickling, his own hands sliding through Louis's soft hair.

"Oh, there they are..." Louis bit back a grin the moment Harry's dimples made their appearance.

He kissed them with his hands still caressing Harry's face.

"... so pretty," he whispered as he moved, started peppering soft kisses down Harry's neck.

"Mm," Harry moaned, his eyes flitting shut and the pleasant sensation. Louis parted his lips, sucked a small love bite into the spot beside Harry's ear where his neck met his jawline. It was Harry's spot, the place he enjoyed being marked the most.

Harry could feel his excitement tenting in his briefs, but he didn't want to say anything just yet. Whenever they got mischievous like this Harry liked to let Louis set the pace, let him control and him decide what happened and when. Harry didn't feel the confidence to ensue or to ask Louis for sex anymore. If it happened it happened. If Louis was too tired or not in the mood, Harry kept his mouth shut.

Louis moved up from Harry's neck, gave him dilated blue eyes which confirmed to Harry he was in the mood for it.

So Harry pulled Louis back down by his shirt collar, snogged the living daylight out of him.

Louis was definitely turned on, panting in Harry's mouth as Harry nudged his leg up to ground it into Louis's groin. He wasn't sneaky at all, and Louis kissed him mercilessly as a result.

"You hard?" Louis asked, his left hand slithering down between their bodies to press the heel of his palm against Harry's crotch.

"Yeah," Harry writhed, breath coming out in hot puffs.

"Want me to touch you?" Louis asked, always making sure that Harry was comfortable with what was going on. It was so very sweet of him, Harry thought.

Harry nodded, his voice somewhere else at the moment.

He groaned as Louis sneaked his hand down Harry's front, slipped his fingers under the waistband of Harry's briefs, took hold of his firm erection, thumbed over the slit of his sensitive tip.

"Lou," he breathed, barely audible.
Louis's hand stroked him expertly, his hand twisting and pulling and teasing in all the right ways.

But Harry wanted more. He wanted to be so much closer to Louis, didn't want to just get off. He felt good, of course, but it had been so long since they last had the courage to do this. Harry wasn't having a freak out session and Louis wasn't being overly careful and so Harry didn't want this perfect opportunity to pass him by. Who knew when they'd again get the time and chance to have sex.

Louis pumped him faster, his wrist flicking and thumb dipping into the precome that pooled into the head of his cock, spread it down his shaft to smoothen the glide.

Harry gasped, his head tossed back and his toes curling in the sheets with the overwhelming pleasure that coursed through his veins.

"Feels good?" Louis made sure, as he pressed smooth kisses to his collarbones.

"Oh, y-yeah," Harry answered, his fingers flexing where they'd limply fallen to his side.

The sound was the only thing filling the room. Harry's broken breaths, his whimpers and the amorous sound of Louis jerking him off.

"... want... Lou, I-I want-"

"What is it? What do you want, Baby?" He slowed his wrist movements, let Harry's cock glide through his hand.

"Want you to fuck me," he exhaled, finally able to catch his breath.

Louis frowned, something Harry winced at when opened his eyes. He hadn't meant to be so blunt, but.

"Are you sure?" Louis asked, a deep furrow of unnecessary concern in his eyes. Harry hated it. "We... we haven't done that in a while,"

"I know," Harry said, using that fact to support his proposition.

Louis smoothed his hand down Harry's lower abdomen, uncertain of his next move.

"Please... miss you. Miss having you inside me," Harry sighed, his soft hand touching Louis's face, moving down his cheek to feel his stubble.

Louis breathed out, before he threw the now blazing hot duvet off of them and climbed out of the bed.

Harry watched as he rummaged though their dresser, pulled out the lube and a condom.

Harry carded his hand through his hair as he looked over at the clock, saw it was late enough already.

He looked up at the shadowy night ceiling and waited for Louis to return to him.

"You clean?" Louis asked as he got back onto the bed.

"'M always clean," Harry smiled, pulling Louis back in for a kiss, and it was soft and slow and intimate, the way their tongues glided and their lips separated only to reconnect momentarily.

But Louis wasn't as loose and relaxed as he was before. His hands shook slightly as he took his pants off and left himself in boxers and his shirt.

Harry most certainly wasn't the biggest fan of stripping in front of anyone, so he tried to focus on getting Louis undressed.

Harry sat up, scooted closer and furled his fingers under the hem of Louis's shirt. He slid it up and helped him take it off, pull it through his arms and over his head. Harry tossed it aside and let his hands roam free on Louis's charred golden torso, pressed his lips to his chest and thumbs to his nipples.

Louis breathed out, visibly bothered by the sensual touches.

"Can I?" Louis asked once he was left in just his briefs, kissing down Harry's neck to distract him from the question.

Harry could feel Louis's hands there on his waist, frozen; unwilling to move without his consent.

"... um, yeah, just. Don't stare, please," Harry shakily breathed, pleading with Louis through his bullet blown pupils.

Harry lifted his arms up, tried to make it easier for him. "Never," Louis agreed, pressing a soft kiss to his lips before he pulled the baggy thing off of him in one swift motion.

And Louis kept his promise.

His eyes were trained on Harry's face only as he laid Harry down onto the bed. Harry put his arms around Louis's neck, pulled him in for another quick kiss before Louis reached over to the side to retrieve the lube.

Louis didn't even remove his eyes to pull Harry pants down and off of his legs. He hadn't needed to. Their gazed stayed locked until Louis cracked the tube of lube open, told Harry he needed to be prepared.

So Louis kissed down Harry's milky white skin, with gentle words and soft encouragements got Harry to part his monstrous thighs so that Louis could fit between them.

Louis was so gentle, as always. He kissed Harry's knee as his fingers thrusted past Harry's tight rim, scissoring slowly to make some room. Harry smiled, didn't feel as sick or as insecure about his body when Louis was treating him like royalty.

Three fingers twisted and pried, rubbed against his sweet spot and Harry groaned, his head thrown back at the intensity. He breathed heavily, his chest rising and falling quick as he anticipated Louis.

"Alright," Louis said, crawled up to kiss Harry again and again, told him how beautiful he was, kissed his cheeks, got him to laugh and forced his dimples to protrude.

"Just fuck me, please," Harry chuckled, his hands sliding over Louis's back.

And so Louis picked up the condom, tore the wrapper open and rolled it onto his painfully engorged cock.

Harry got ready, slid his arms around Louis's neck, spread his thighs hitched them around Louis's waist, hooked his ankles together so the rested against Louis's lower back, then he closed his eyes and exhaled.

Louis pushed in, his cock stretching Harry in same beautiful way it always had. Harry missed this so much he could cry.

Louis was always so worried what would happen when they made love, felt like Harry was fragile and didn't want to break him. Harry knew it was all in Louis's head. Harry was a big boy; nineteen now. He didn't need Louis to be concerned over him every moment of every day.

But Louis couldn't help it.


After Louis found Harry passed out in the bathroom with his head on the toilet seat, he knew all his fears had been perfectly necessary.

After he'd found Harry trembling on on the shower floor with a broken razor pressed to his vein, he'd taken him to the hospital.

After Louis found the bloodstained tissues in the rubbish, he felt his heart race.

Harry could never forget the moment Louis found him that night, with two fingers gouged into his throat coaching up the meal he'd just consumed. Louis couldn't take his eyes away. And Harry had nightmares about the look on Louis's face when he discovered Harry's sickness. He had fears about Louis's concerned gaze, knew he was asking why.

And Louis couldn't handle the ache in his bones for the love of his life. Harry could tell it was hurting him more than anything ever could.

It was hard sometimes, when all he wanted was to love Harry.


"Move," Harry told him, his chest collapsing once he felt Louis's first heavy thrust.

He struggled to maintain purchase, knew his grip was weak and couldn't quite hold on.

But Louis was always, always gentle with his body. He never sawed into him or dicked him even if that's what Harry wanted. Louis was slow, was always sweet and careful and kissed him through the burn and the stretch.

Louis rocked, made sure every push of his hips was enjoyable for Harry as well. Harry whimpered, felt the head of Louis's cock press right to his soft prostate. His fingers dug into Louis's back, his lips falling open.

"Oh... Lou," he breathed, lost is his coital eroticism, thighs quivering as Louis sped his thrusts only slightly.

Those teasing strokes were what made Harry weak with arousal. Louis's hair fell into his eyes and his chewed his lower lip, kept his focus concise as Harry writhed beneath him.

It was all so intense. He'd nearly forgotten how good this felt. Harry wished they could do this more often because this was all the therapy he needed. He needed his boyfriend, his loving arms and kind ways and gentle touches. He needed Louis to loom over him; cloud his head of everything bad. He wanted this forever.

The deep but slow thrusts were unbearable. Louis huffed out a soft noise, was clearly torn trying to balance his own pleasure from Harry's.

"Harder," Harry begged, his hands gripping Louis's back.

Louis tried to compromise, began fucking into him deeper, made Harry gasp and his spine arch. He didn't go any faster however, chose to make their sex as tantalizing as possible.

Louis sucked on his neck, bit down and kissed him, leaving those blooming reds and teeth marks Harry loved to touch and press his thumb into.

Harry loved to feel crushed under Louis's weight. It made him feel lighter. He could hardly gather his surroundings or catch his breath. He glanced up and all he could see was Louis, his sweet blue eyes and pink lips and sweaty fringe.

Harry touched the flush of his face, dusted his thumb over his cheekbone just to feel his fingertips burn.

The springboard squeaked as the mattress rocked. Harry held onto Louis with all his might, his eyes squeezing shut as he was brought closer and closer to orgasm.

"I'm... oh, I'm gonna come," Harry whispered, as his blunt fingernails tore down Louis's back.

"Yeah, baby... come for me," Louis told him, one hand against the mattress for support while his other hand wrapped around Harry's girth, giving him that extra boost.

Harry spasmed, his body quivering as Louis fucked him through it, giving his dick a smooth stroke before pumping the come right out of him.

"Louis," Harry breathed the most orgasmic gasp, his voice lost in the back of his throat as his toes curled and come splashed between their bodies.

"So good for me, Baby." Louis kissed him, not long after he was thrusting in a few more times did he come into the condom, his groan lost in the crux of Harry's shoulder and his neck.

They were flushed pink and sweaty, covered in Harry's come and smelling like sex. Harry never felt happier in his life.

"Feel good?" Louis asked, drowsily peeking up at Harry with his one eye that wasn't mashed into the pillow.

"Yeah," Harry nodded, completely debauched.

"Good," Louis said, his arms sliding in to envelope Harry from behind.

Harry got the picture, turned to his side and let Louis spoon him. They always got rather emotional after sharing something so intimate. Louis knew how much in meant to Harry that he would go through the trouble and Harry knew how much Louis wished they could do it more.

It was sacred, and special for the two of them. Harry let Louis's arms engulf him completely, and before he could stop himself he was drifting fast asleep.

"No, see... that's not actually what happened." Zayn sighed, pushing Liam aside.

Louis sat on the couch next to Harry, the younger boy biting his lip as Zayn fixed the story.

"He wanted to follow the gps, right? I told him that sometimes you can't do that 'cause it's standard but not always exact."

Liam just sat on the carpet, leaned back against the couch and sipped his drink.

"... we get to this road, like a dirt- no- a sand road and we're about to turn into it and I said, 'Liam, we better stop here because this doesn't look right'," Zayn narrated, giving Liam a fond glance.

"Yeah, well, that's what the stupid thing said, Chadwick road, okay? I was just following directions," Liam said in his defense.

"Anyway! We're in this rental car Sudan... driving down this sand road and I start to notice these... kind of like, broken tires all along the side of the road. And my mind went straight to thinking they were the remains of the other cars that trespassed."

Harry laughed, imagining the vivid image of their two good friends stuck in the middle of the California desert.

"Oh, please," Liam rolled his eyes at Zayn who sure was telling an accurate story here.

"And not only that... but there was like, a sign that said no trespassing-"

"Then why was it even on the grid?" Liam asked, exasperatedly.

"And we get about half way through, and I could feel the car like, sinking..." he trailed, letting Liam take over.

"Yeah, see, I could feel us slowing down but then all of a sudden the tires just gave out and we were completely buried in the sand,"

"And then he got out and started trying to dig us out with his bare hands and I told him to stop 'cause there was scorpions and rattle snakes out there," Zayn laughed, and Harry could feel the true amusement in his eyes. Louis was awestruck, his brows raised as if he couldn't believe the outright stupidity-

"It took a while for the tow truck to come and pull us out but it was about noon and the sun was still so hot the sand felt like fire-"

"And I wasn't wearing shoes 'cause I didn't want to get sand in them, and the sand was like scorching but I had to wee so I went over to like, a tumble weed and had one right there," he chuckled through it.

Louis laughed hard at that, could only imagining Zayn under the hot sun, pissing in the middle of the desert while waiting for the tow truck to come for them.

"Man, thank God the guy came. I was starting to wonder if he'd ever show up." Liam smiled, standing up to get another piece of pizza.

"Yeah, but I owe that wonderful life-threatening experience to Mr. Liam Payne right here," Zayn said, glancing up.

"Where were you guys going anyway?" Harry asked.

"We were on our way to Vegas. Got there much later than we'd hoped, but," Zayn shrugged.

"You didn't really think we were gonna die, did you, beb?" Liam asked him, handing Zayn a cold can and a napkin.

"I did, actually," Zayn said, matter-of-factly.

Harry thought it would be fun to get out and to see Liam and Zayn. They'd come back from their summer holiday in America about two weeks ago and Harry was dying to hear some of their stories.

At some point, Louis slipped his hand into Harry's and entwined their fingers. He always needed the comfort when they were out of their home and with other people. It wasn't just their own little bubble anymore and it took Harry some time to gather that.

"So how's your summer been?" Liam asked the two of them.

And Harry knew they didn't know. He could tell they were unaware of his depression and his eating disorder. That was the point. He didn't want anyone to know.

He was pretty good at hiding it too. He could still function like a normal human being-could mask his true thoughts and feeling just the same as any other human could. Harry knew some people in his family had his whole dynamic misconstrued and never let him out of their sight because of it. Harry was able to cackle just as obnoxiously with his friends as he was able to sob into his pillow at midnight. Most people just didn't get it.

"Good, actually. I've been working and taking a class. Harry's been taking some time off. It's been relaxing, honestly," Louis answered without a single flinch.

Harry was so glad he had Lou. He was so lucky to have a boyfriend as responsible and mature and as careful as he was.

"That's good. I'll be going back to Uni in the fall too... kinda regret taking that gap year," Liam sighed, joining Zayn on the love seat.

"Where do you work?" Zayn asked as he twined his and Liam's fingers.

"I'm at the Apple Store near Oxford. It's just a couple miles down the street," he said, waved his hand like the commute was nothing.

"Do you get paid well?" Zayn asked.

"Yeah, it's not too bad. I'm working double shifts, so the pay's quite nice," he smiled, giving Harry's hand a soft squeeze.

Harry looked at Louis, confused.

Louis gave him a nervous look, like he understood the tedious pain of keeping up the charade.

"Niall texted me the other day. 'Said he finally got a job," Harry joked, picking up his water from the coffee table, having a sip.

"Well it's about bloody time," Liam laughed, and it was true. Niall was the last of them to grow up even if Harry was the youngest of their group.

"He said his mum wasn't helping him anymore," Harry smiled, snuggling into Louis's side.

"Poor Niall," Zayn mused.

"Hopefully he'll get his own place soon," Louis said to Harry, reminding him of how it was when Louis's mum kicked him out.

It had been a bit of a tragic story, really. Louis's parents were never too fond of the fact that he cheated on his girlfriend with a boy from school. The moment he worked up enough courage to tell them he was gay was the exact same moment they told him to pack his things and get out of their house.

Harry was never too proud of the fact that he and Lou were fooling around behind Hannah's back. Harry never saw himself as a slut, but that's what Louis's mum had called him. He remembered that phone call like it happened only yesterday. Louis was living with Harry and his family, didn't really want to talk about the fact that his parents had disowned him. Louis's mum gave Harry a call one night, told him what she thought of him and Harry had never felt the same ever since. The guilt was constant after that day.

Harry didn't like to think about it. Sure they had a rough start, but Harry was in love with Louis. They made each other happy. It gave Harry an uncontrollable pain to know that Louis's mother didn't approve of them nor would she ever. After that whole thing, their love just grew stronger. They sought comfort and acceptance in each other where they couldn't find in family or friends.

Eventually life moved on. Louis moved to London and Harry went with him. They got a flat together and shared the rent. Life was good for a long time after that.

"You're not hungry?" Zayn asked Harry, curious when he noticed Harry was the only one sipping water while the rest of them chewed down greasy slices of nitrite-layered, artery-clogging pizza.

Harry blinked back into reality.

"Oh, no. I ate before we came. Sorry," he said wistfully, hoping Zayn would understand.

He didn't press it. That was one of the many wonders about Zayn. He was smart, and could tell when he was being lied to, but he knew when something wasn't his business and had enough courtesy to adapt.

That was the only issue they had that night. For the most part it was all banter. It was fun and games and no one took anything too seriously.

Harry would thank Louis time and time again for being his crutch, but he didn't think Louis would understand him if he did.

It was the first of February. The evening of his birthday.

Harry remembered that night all too well.

He hadn't been feeling good, was laid up in bed after he'd eaten a whole meal plus a slice of the cake Louis made him for his birthday. He wanted to go throw up, was still deciding on whether or not it was a good idea.

Louis was on the phone in the living room and it was only just sunset. He figured he had some time to get it all back up before he finished.

He was wearing one of Louis's jumpers, he thinks. It was soft and fuzzy and warm, hugged his pudgy frame.

He had crawled out of bed groaning, went into the bathroom and kneeled on the hard tile.

He wasn't used to purging. He didn't always do it. He never liked throwing up because of how his throat was raw and his voice was shot afterwards. He hated the taste of bile and wished he could just go back in time and stop himself from eating all of that food.

So Harry closed his eyes as he stuck the first two of his fingers deep in down the back of his throat. He gagged a few times before anything came up. He ushered the food back up and into the toilet bowl. He had to catch his breath before he could do it again.

He was in the middle of gagging himself when Louis found him, thought he was sick and needed help but instead he found Harry making himself throw up.

And Harry and flinched back the second he heard Louis's voice, wiped his hand on the front of the jumper and cursed into the dry air. He curled into himself like he always seemed to do when Louis was standing above him, almost as if he'd been caught with his hand in the cookie jar (ironic comparison, he realizes).

Louis helped him up and flushed his meal down the toilet. Harry was weak; feeling even more like shit, so he'd brushed his teeth with Louis near by, spit into the sink and gargled some mouth wash as well.

Louis took him to bed after that, made sure heater was on and drew back the covers for Harry to climb underneath.

It was silent. Neither spoke, but it was also the comfort factors of their flat that constructed the aura of the home. Their home.

It was night time and Harry could hear the sound of the London streets down below as Louis crawled under the sheets behind him, completely encompassing him from behind. Louis's warm arms were complimented by the soft sound of rain against the windows, the way the heating unit hummed above them, the gentle beat of Louis's heart pressed against his back.

And Louis rubbed his warm hand over Harry's aching tummy, kissed the nape of his neck and hummed an untitled tune. Comfort things. Gentility. That was their relationship.

Harry knew from that day on, nothing would ever be the same.

Louis loved him too much.

He woke up alone again.

Harry slid out of bed and went into the kitchen, knew Louis wouldn't be happy with him if he skipped another dose of Prozac.

He took his medicine, and, for some strange reason, decided to check in the fridge.

He found a plate covered in shrink-wrap with a pink sticky note stuck to it. Harry exhaled as he took the plate out, placed it on the kitchen counter and picked off the note.


'Good Morning, My Love.
I have to work late again tonight, so I won't get to see you today. :( 
Please eat some! I know it's hard for you sometimes, but it would make me really happy if you tried just a little bit. I made you eggs and toast and some vegetarian bacon. I promise it's good! Anyway, sorry I had to leave without saying goodbye. Make sure you take your medicine. Oh, and your mum called and asked that I remind you to call Dr. Albaccus today. Sorry, Baby. I have to listen to your Mummy. 
I love you. Be safe.

Love, Louis x. '


Harry sat at the table and ate a little bit of everything. He happened to really think he was trying to get better. He ate more and more everyday, but he still did his workout and he still stuck to his diet. He watched his carb and calorie intake and he weighed himself on the scale every day. He was very self aware, but for Louis's sake he kept the puking at a minimum. He was content at the amount he allowed himself to eat, thought of making Louis proud of him was what encouraged him to do so.

After he ate and took his antidepressants he went for a run. It was hot out and he was lazy, but he managed to take five laps around the perimeter of the building before he jogged back up the stairs to their fifth level flat.

He showered and bypassed the mirror. He knew some days were better than others and today felt like one of those.

He did the laundry after his shower, placed them in according to color and made sure to wash Louis's uniforms with extra care.

A little bit of housework kept him from losing his mind, so after he swept and mopped the kitchen floor, he put the laundry in the dryer and then went around the flat dusting picture frames and fluffing the couch pillows.

At around noon Harry made their bed with fresh clean sheets, then sat down on top of the duvet. He grabbed his phone from the night table, then scrolled through his contacts.

Harry could always depend on Louis. He knew Louis would never hurt him or urge him to do anything that would make him unhappy or harm him. The least he could do was follow instructions and trust the man he loved with all of his heart.

So he dialed his therapist.

Harry couldn't say he didn't have seconds thoughts once she answered. He wasn't quite sure what to tell her. He hadn't called Dr. Albaccus in months having thought talking about his issues was pointless after the first session. But his lover wanted him to try and his mother was begging him to, so he figured it was better not to make people sad. Plus, it couldn't do any harm.

"Mr. Styles... I haven't had a call from you in a while. How are you feeling?" She asked, her voice calming.

"Um... well, alright I guess. My mum and Louis told me to call you," Harry said honestly, told her he wasn't really in the mood to have a chat.

"At least you're honest. Do you know why they wanted you to call?" Dr. Albaccus inquired.

"I guess to... check in with you every now and then? They've been on me about it,"

"Are you still taking antidepressants?"

"Yes... but, I don't like them. They make me really tired and I feel useless because I normally sleep all day," he sighed, hoping she would listen to his concerns about it.

"Dr. Roberson could give you another prescription. You could try Zoloft. If you want, I can schedule an appointment for you?" she suggested.

"Um, thank you. Yeah, that would be good," Harry nodded, fiddled with his sweatpants.

"Alright. How about next week? Does the twenty-first work for you?"

"Yeah, that's fine. Thank you,"

"No problem at all," she said.

Harry let himself relax against the headboard, didn't feel as offset when actually speaking with her than he'd originally thought. Maybe talking wouldn't be such a bad idea after all.

"Could I ask you something?" Harry asked one morning. Well, it was nearly noon, but Louis didn't have to go in for another two hours so the two of them were cuddled up in bed, procrastinating on the day.

"Sure," Louis hummed, playing with Harry's hand.

"... do you ever, feel guilty about... what we did?" Harry asked, too afraid to look Louis in the eye. He wanted to know if the guilt was pestering Louis like is nibbled away at him every single day.

"What do you mean?" Louis asked, pressing his lips to Harry's fingers, thumbing at his knuckles, obsessing over his palms.

"Like... how we were together and stuff while you were... with her," Harry elaborated, his voice muffled in the pillow.

Louis frowned, shrugged. 
"I mean... to say I was guilty would imply that I regret something wouldn't it?" He asked Harry.

"Maybe... I don't know,"

"Well I don't regret being with you then. I mean, I've never been as happy as I am with you. It was wrong of us-of me to cheat on her, but if I'm completely honest, I don't think I'd ever take it back,"

Harry curled up under Louis's arm, made himself smaller in comparison.

"Why? Do you feel guilty?" Louis sat up a little straighter, shifting their comfortable position.

Completely. Immensely. Profusely. Whole-heartedly. I think about it everyday. It hurts me all the time.

"A little bit," Harry murmured, nervous of what Louis might have thought of him.

"That was a long time ago. I don't know, at the time, I guess I was upset about the whole thing... but, if it took all that for us to be here... together, then I wouldn't trade it for the world," Louis told him.

"Hush..." Harry blushed, still felt butterflies when Louis said sappy, heartfelt things like that.

Louis smiled. "It's true,"

Harry sighed. 

He knew he had to tell Louis what was on his mind. Louis would have probably been upset with him for keeping it to himself all this time but there wasn't much Harry could do about that now. He hadn't been ready to share it until now.

Harry sat up, removed himself from Louis's arms to look him in the eye.

"I've got to tell you something," he said, nervously scratching the back of his neck.

Louis sat up too, his mood shifting to be serious in an instant.

"What?" Louis asked, worriedly.

Harry took a deep breath.

"I don't want you to be angry with me after I tell you, but, you probably will be," Harry sighed, accepting his fate.

"What is it?" Louis frowned.

"... your mum called me a couple of days after you moved in with us... and she was yelling at me, and, she said all these things... to me. I didn't want to hang up on her or tell her off or anything because like, it was your mum. I respect her," Harry started, gaze fixated onto the white bedspread.

"... but she called me a slut, and said it was my fault for turning her son into a faggot and that you deserved to be with a pretty girl like Hannah. She told me I ruined everything and basically forced all the blame on me." Harry huffed, a couple years of pent up anger spilling out.

"And... she started going off and saying how all I wanted was your attention and how she always knew I was gay, but she never thought I'd end up stooping so low to come on to my best friend. I just... I remember I just wanted to tell her I was sorry, but she wouldn't even let me say anything. I still feel so bad about that,"

Louis just stared at him, a blank expression on his face.

Harry never thought that Louis might not have even believed him, but that was also a possibility.

"And all I remember was just... feeling like everything just collapse in on me like... almost like she knew. You know? 'Cause I-"

"Harry, please don't. She was angry. None of it meant anything. I'm so sorry, I never even knew she-"

"No, Lou... listen." Harry sighed, taking Louis's hand in his own.

Louis looked at him.

"I only felt that way because of how much you meant to me. You weren't even my boyfriend yet, but I knew I wanted you to be. I never wanted to make it seem the way it did, but she made me realise that. Instead of just being honest about my feelings from the start... I got you doing the wrong thing and... I know I shouldn't have done that."

"You didn't 'get me doing the wrong thing', Harry. I willingly cheated on her. It wasn't your fault, Baby, I am and always will be capable of making my own decisions," Louis assured him.

"But... I wanted you to choose me over her. I still feel bad because. Your mum was right. I wanted your attention. I can't just act like I didn't then. I still do,"

"Then it was my fault for not breaking up with her. I was too afraid to be 'that gay kid'. I knew they weren't going to like it, but I was weak. I should have just ripped the plaster off and accepted the truth as it is,"

"But that's your family. You've only got one, Lou," Harry said, his eyes wide.

"I know Harry. But if they don't accept me and our love, then there isn't much I can do. To me, they'll always be my family, but I can't-won't be a part of them as long as they reject me," Louis replied, staring at the sheets.

Harry sort of knew that. It was Louis's decision to make, after all. It's just... Harry couldn't even fathom how simple it was for Louis to disconnect his emotions, to numb himself to their spite when their opinion should have meant the world and then some to Louis.

But at the same time Harry knew in a million lifetimes, alternate universes and parallel dimensions, Louis would still choose him no matter what cards life dealt them. Louis wouldn't give up his deepest love for his family's approval. He'd always had a bit of a rebellious side toward his parents and now that they were in a relationship and had their own flat and their own life together, Louis passionately felt no reason to include them in it.

And Harry loved to feel chosen by Louis-like he'd give up the world for him-but at the same time Harry felt like it was his fault Louis and his family were on bad terms. 
It was his fault.

Now, Harry felt like what Louis's mum had said to him that night was inscribed on his body somehow, somewhere. It were as if Harry carried her hate, her resentment and wore it so wherever he went everyone could see and know what he'd done. He was pitiful, and she was the only one in his life who ever had it in them to tell him. He had never been so self-aware until she confronted him and called him out on his behavior. And Harry just wished he could thank her for that.

"But I'm so sorry you had to deal with that. I wish you hadn't been the victim of her anger," Louis told him, his voice rueful.

Harry exhaled heavily, didn't feel much when Louis's arms swallowed him up. The guilt would still eat him alive until his heart had finally had too much and couldn't take anymore.

So Harry nodded, and although he wasn't sure how to feel, he understood Louis's concern. He tried to imagine what it felt like to be Louis, but he could never mimic a pain so raw. 

"I think it's guilt," Dr. Albaccus said.

Harry laid on his back on their queen sized bed, bundled up in Louis's clothes again. It was one of those comfort things. He didn't feel the same if he wasn't surrounded by his boyfriend in some way, couldn't have him with him when Louis was gone all day at work for Harry to miss him like crazy.

"I know it is... I just, I have figured out why I feel so awful about it," Harry pulled on his bottom lip, working through his thoughts vigorously the way he did some days. To find a solution to his harm instead of a way to punish himself for it.

"Have you talked to Louis about this? How you feel about him not being faithful to Hannah?" She inquired, softly.

"Yes... a couple of times. He doesn't feel the same. He said he wouldn't take it back. 'Said it'd be kinda like going back in time, and he doesn't want to mess up what happened to bring us together," Harry said fondly, thinking how sweet, how wonderful, how Louis it was of him to feel that way. Even though Harry didn't get it, he still thought it was kind of beautiful.

"Do you feel like a change would have kept the two of you from being together?" She asked, and Harry could faintly hear the sound of her pencil etching across her paper. He'd fed into this after all, hadn't he?

It was just so lonely during the day. He had no one to talk to, having ignored most of his friends texts once he moved far away with Louis. Once he got lost in his thoughts he hadn't felt up to making small talk to keep them around anyway. There were only a few people he kept in contact with.

Anyway, Harry didn't feel comfortable sharing how he felt about things with just anyone. Harry mostly wanted to speak to Louis about things or at least have him around to listen.

And Dr. Albaccus was nice, but she was also a professional. She helped him feel better in a different way. She listened to his concerns and answered his questions. She helped him with his thoughts and that really set his mind at ease.

"I'm not sure. I doubt it. I don't agree with him, I genuinely think we were wrong to do that. I don't know..." Harry thought, combing a few fingers through his matted curls.

"You said his mother called you and blamed you for the whole thing?" The woman asked.

"Um. Yeah... she never liked me, I don't think. Louis came out to his parents a few days after he broke it off with Hannah. Which, I guess his mum knew it was coming... but." Harry breathed, thought about that night Louis showed up at his house asking to spend the night because his mother and father didn't want him there anymore. He had been eighteen already and they weren't having his homosexuality story and told him to leave. Louis had been very cold and quiet that first night. He was taciturn, didn't want Harry to touch him or try to comfort him. Louis needed some time alone to his thoughts; he needed to process what had just happened to him. Harry still couldn't comprehend how Louis's parents could be so cruel.

"... I told him he could stay since he didn't have anywhere else to go. She called, figured Louis would be with me... she told me off. I don't know what else to say," Harry mumbled shyly.

"How exactly did she 'tell you off '?" The doctor asked.

Harry shuffled under the covers, turned onto his side.

"I'm not sure I understand the question,"

"She acted out of anger which was probably fueled by fear. Did she attack you, or did she attack the situation?"

Harry inhaled sharply. He'd never thought about it that way before.

"She attacked me," Harry sighed, her words still very fresh in his mind. He swallowed thickly, remembering how hot her tone was, how thick her voice was with rage. She was completely infuriated with Harry after what he'd done. She was the only one who saw through his act and pinpointed his flaws.

"Do you remember what she said to you?"

Harry did remember. It was wired, like her voice had electrified him through the phone cord. She had told him everything and held nothing back. She was crying too at some point, Harry recalled. Knowing that he caused the poor woman so much pain was enough to make Harry cry too.

"... some name-calling... insults, about my sexuality," Harry started, reluctant to remember.


"She sort of blamed me for the whole thing. She said I turned Louis gay which, I know isn't possible, but... yeah. Other than that... I sort of got the picture," Harry finished, biting his lip.

"So... some homophobic slurs were used?" Dr. Albaccus questioned.

"Yeah... a few," Harry responded, rolling around onto his front on Louis's side of the bed.

"It's been a hour, Harry. I've written down some notes but I think I might know what exactly led you to create the image of yourself that you have now. We can pick up where we left up next week," she told him, kindly.

"Alright. Thank you." Harry smiled, felt better now that he knew this was going somewhere.

"... Lou, don't," Harry giggled, his feet kicking against the mattress. He spent the majority of his life in that bed. It was home.

"What? This?" Louis teased, his lips back against Harry's flat stomach, blowing firm air to make that dreadful flatulent sound that made Harry choke on his own laughter. It tickled like shit and Louis loved to inflict torture onto his boy at three am sometimes.

"It tickles," Harry managed to gasp out through his uncontrollable cackling, his whole body curling to escape said torture.

Louis's fingers held the hem of Harry's shirt lifted so he could have his way with Harry's tummy.

"Why do this to me so early?" Harry drowsily asked, drunk with affection for his boyfriend. Louis was stupid, but he was his.

"Because I love to make you smile," Louis said, pressing a kiss to Harry's belly button before covering his pale skin back up.

Harry breathed out a laugh, unsure of how to reply. Louis's response to that was simple: more kisses.

"What are you doing now?" Harry asked, still catching his breath. Louis shifted up to bed to Harry's chest, hands smoothing over his collarbones.

"Just... admiring," Louis hummed sleepily, his two fingers soft when they touched Harry's tight nipples through his shirt. Harry breathed shakily and watched Louis awe over him. It was strangely invigorating. It made Harry feel high off of Louis's attention. He needed that the most; craved it like oxygen.

"May I take this off?" Louis asked politely, his lips set into a tight line and Harry couldn't read him; couldn't glean what he wanted with his body.

"Why?" Harry asked, squirming a little under Louis's touch, his gaze. He was conflicted. Harry never got enough of Louis but he still felt so nervous around him.

"I want to touch you... if that's okay. I won't stare, Baby, I promise," Louis reassured Harry, explained his actions.

Harry wished he had to guts to say no. Things would be so much more tolerable if none of this ever happened; if he never found out. If Louis never started treating him like he was made out of glass. If Louis hadn't been so caring and didn't look at Harry like he was the most exquisite creature on earth, maybe things would have been so different.

"Okay," Because Harry was so trusting. He would leave his life in the palm of Louis's hand if he had to. He had no doubt that Louis would be careful with him.

So Harry sat up a bit, lifted is arms to the ceiling so Louis could slide his hands under the hem of his-Louis's-shirt, dragged the thin material up and over Harry's torso.

Louis took the inside-out shirt in his hand, folded in outside-in, then folded it in quarters before planting it on the mattress beside their bodies.

Harry watched him with dangerous precision, eyes trained on his every move and motion, not worried but... just curious as to why-

Louis looked at him briefly, had promised he wouldn't stare too long. His lips dropped down to grace the center of Harry's chest. Harry sighed, his muscles relaxing into the bed.

He wasn't sure what Louis's intentions or his motives were, but Harry was pretty certain that he didn't mind all that much anyway.
Louis would never hurt him. Ever. So there wasn't any real reason to fret.

Louis's fingers skimmed over Harry's milky chest, the soft skin blushing under his attention. All of Harry was attuned to Louis. His body pined for Louis's touch, was terrified of his rejection and although it never came, Harry still felt sparks in the back of his throat telling him to stop Louis before he went any further. Maybe it was stupid of him.

Louis took all the time he wanted, planting kisses along Harry's jutted collarbones. He smiled; couldn't help himself. Louis made him feel young and innocent and sweet like a child. In him, Louis elicited pinks and rouges and strawberry reds like sugar and sour all at once. It was candy; utter bliss. Louis was surreal and taught Harry happiness in a way no one else could.

Louis's lips stopped against Harry's nipple, and Harry could swear he read those thoughts right out of his head.

With eyes glaring right into Harry's soul, Louis let the tip of his tongue flick out against his nipple.

"Oh... Lou," Harry exhaled a bothered laugh, hadn't been expecting Louis to turn this sexual (but then again, how could it not).

"Hm?" Louis looked at him while he rubbed his hands down Harry's chest, touching him here and there, making him giggle and breathe out in surprise.

"Feels good, stop," Harry tried, biting his lip as Louis licked at his other nipple, then gently bit down on the supple brown skin.

Harry closed his eyes, could feel this going straight to his cock. It was bloody three am in the godforsaken morning and he couldn't understand why Louis was horny now.

"Your so pretty when you're turned on," Louis pulled away, shot Harry a very coy smirk.

And Harry was sure he was blushing all the way to his toes. He knew the look Louis was beholding and it was in no way attractive let alone 'pretty'.

"Love kissing you," Louis murmured into Harry's skin, burning him with such adoration. Harry didn't deserve to have Louis worship his body like this. His body wasn't worthy of it.

His body was strange. Harry was well aware of that. His joints hurt all the time and his muscles were extremely underdeveloped. He still got pimples like he was a prepubescent child and his fat distributed in all the wrong places.

They told him he had anorexia nervosa, something he'd only ever heard in school before when they talked about girls and body image and self worth. Harry knew the wretched picture he saw staring at him in the mirror and he knew he wasn't happy with that reflection. No one ever explained to him how he and Louis were seeing two different things, but Harry was obsessed with figuring it out. His heart broke a little each time Louis gave him that same soul-crushing look, and Harry couldn't take the guilt another day. Harry was breaking his heart.

Louis moved down his torso to his stomach where he'd started, this time, leaving smooth open-mouthed kisses all along Harry's body.

Harry closed his eyes, breathed out so that he could relish in his boyfriend's lips, his care and his love. Harry relaxed his body in confidence, knowing that Louis would always take care of him, no matter what.

He stopped by Harry's thighs, looked up at him. Harry pried an eye open.


Harry's brow furrowed.

"... can I eat you out?" Louis asked, that wild blue of his eyes just frantic for approval.

Harry wasn't sure. Yeah, they had done it before, but that was a mighty long time ago. Sexual things had sort of taken a backseat considering the circumstances. Harry wasn't opposed to it. He loved feeling Louis's tongue inside of him, his hot mouth and his warm breath.

But just being exposed was the thing that sent nerves back through Harry's body. They settled in his gut an he wasn't sure how to tell Louis's how he felt.

"Yeah." Harry nodded, instead. 
"...I'd like that,"

And Louis smiled up at him through lust blown eyes, slowly began the task of peeling Harry's boxer briefs over his hips and down his thighs.

Harry sighed as his semi-hard dick was exposed to the cool air. He closed his eyes the moment he felt Louis lick up the underside of his shaft, his whole body trembling under the sensation.

Harry made a breathy noise, his body arching as Louis trailed his lips down to the base of his cock, tasting and teasing his sensitive skin.

Harry could help it, and his bones flourished with deep scarlet arousal. Louis moved further down as soon as his cock stood proud against his front, begging to be touched.

Louis moved even further down, properly fit himself between Harry's thighs and pressed kisses to the insides of them.

Harry was extremely insecure about having Louis's between his legs. He didn't want to speak up and ruin any moment they were having, but he just got a bit anxious about being naked for Louis, is all. He tried his best not to focus on it, or think about it.

He never wanted to do anything wrong when they were doing sexual things.

Harry cautiously slid his legs up and over Louis's shoulders, watched his older boyfriend as he nestled closer, got comfortable there.

Harry bunched his fingers in the sheets, his knees buckling together when Louis swiped his tongue around his entrance with no warning.

He hadn't forgotten how good it felt. He just hadn't been thinking about sex lately. It was indescribable and Harry felt like he wouldn't make it to morning if Louis continued.

He released a hard exhale, his lips falling open on contact.

Louis didn't say anything. He just buried his face between Harry's thighs, his tongue lapping at his rim.

Harry's whole body shivered like he was on ice. He moaned, his head falling back against the pillows.

It was overwhelming; intense pleasure that curled in his tummy and trickled up his spine. He gasped when Louis's prickly stubble scraped the hypersensitive area, heightening the touch.

Louis seemed just as content as could be. He used both of his hands to hold Harry open, licked broad, fat strokes with the flat of his tongue, then poked the tip of his tongue in, let it swirl the sensitive area, before breaching the muscle.

Harry could only hear the pounding of his heart from the inside of his head, the rapid pace of his respiration and the sloppy, wet sound of Louis's licking him out.

"Lou," Harry groaned, his thighs quivering on either side of Louis's head.

He didn't say anything in reply, continued to eat him out in deadly concentration.

He could feel how Louis's slick tongue was working into him, the soft, but constant pressure against his walls felt so good he couldn't speak.

He was getting so messy, so completely wet, with Louis's saliva dripping all over the place.

Harry could feel the slight burn of Louis's face scraping his thighs, his back arched as if he wanted more of it, but didn't have any idea how to ask.

It was so euphoric. Harry was lost in it; dazed within the feeling. He felt high, like he was floating and could never be dragged back down.

"Please," Harry cried, his voice weak.

And Louis heard his cries. Louis kept his mouth at work, but moved one hand up to take care of his raging hard on.

Harry felt all the tension in his muscles subside. He let his head drift back as Louis took care of him, skilled fingers wrapping around his girth and jerking him real slow.

He exhaled, his breaths getting more and more labored as Louis continued to work him.

Louis's lips covered Harry's hole and sucked a little before his tongue grazed up his taint.

Harry's toes curled as, with his other hand, Louis's started working his index finger into Harry. It was so wet and he was so opened that it slid in smoothly, then back out. Harry wasn't sure he could handle all of it at once and his desire for more was insatiable.

"Shh," Louis soothed his desperate whimpers, crooked his finger up to rub at the small bump along his upper walls.

Harry groaned even louder once he reached it. He wasn't used to being loud during sex, but when Louis was taking care of him sometimes he couldn't help himself.

He stared at Louis, his chest rapidly expanding and collapsing right before him. He looked down to his swollen red cock, with his very own eyes saw how needy he was.

His eyes were bleary and glassy and he could barely tell where he was or what was going on. He glanced around the room, saw the walls and the windows and their dresser and the closet door and the bathroom door. Everything was heightened, and kind of scary. Nothing seemed real.

"Lou," Harry pleaded, the squelching sound of Louis touching him in every way completely drowned him.

Soon all his focus had dissipated. Harry laid there, as all the tender stimulation took him over; consumed him. He couldn't speak or breathe. He just trembled.

"You're so close Baby... come for me, Love," Louis sounded like a voice lost in the hazy distance, an aimless cry out on the other end of the dark tunnel.

Harry felt everything burst behind his eyelids and he arched off of their bed. He moaned as his whole body was sent into tremors, come spurting from his cock jolts at a time.

Louis's gentle hands worked him through it, fingers still fucking in and out of him while his whole fist pumped him of every last drop.

Harry couldn't do much but lay there after that. He was faintly aware of Louis removing himself, getting up to go to their bathroom, and coming back with a washcloth to wipe his come stained abdomen.

Harry recalled being kissed and coddled some more when Louis came back from the bathroom the second time. He vaguely heard Louis's voice telling him he was beautiful and wonderful and perfect. He hummed as Louis slipped his briefs back up his thighs and tugged his shirt back over his body.

Harry hated three am sessions, but Louis giving him sex was always a plus.

The following day Louis had off.

So Harry woke up to the smell of freshly cooked breakfast. His stomach churned at the thought of what Louis was probably making. It smelled deliciously like greasy potatoes and fluffy eggs and sweet pancakes: all pleasure foods Harry had given up.

He decided to go take a shower to take his mind off of it.

Harry washed his hair and shaved his face, was never too fond of his body hair either. He exited the bathroom all wrapped in a towel, then walked over to their closet to try and find something decent to wear.

Louis was probably going to take him out of the flat today. He insisted that the days he was home and available that he and Harry go out into the world, since he rarely saw much of it. He said it would be good for Harry, to get some fresh air and sunshine. Plus they had to do some grocery shopping according to the older boy so.

Harry slipped on a long sleeved shirt and some of his own jeans. They were quite baggy on him, he noticed. That was a good sign. He would probably need to go shopping soon, once the money came around.

He slipped on a jacket and crouched down to the floor to dig around for his tennis shoes. The floor was carpeted, but it still hurt his knees to go down so low.

He found his sneakers and pulled them out by their laces. He stood back up with a huff and went to their dresser for a pair of socks. Once he had want he needed, he left their room and went to the kitchen table.

He placed his shoes and socks on the floor and went into the kitchen, where Louis was in sweats, frying bacon in a pan.

"Hi," Harry said, enveloping Louis from behind and pressing his lips to the side of Louis's neck.

"'Morning, babe," Louis greeted him warmly, nuzzling into Harry's touch. He smiled, holding on to his love.

"I made you breakfast." Louis told him as he ushered the strips of meat onto his own plate. Harry took a step back, didn't want to be in the way.

"Here you are." Louis said, with a kiss to his temple. Harry took the plate Louis made for him with a smile, grabbed a knife and fork, then went to the table and took a seat.

It was the same routine each time Louis took the initiative to do this. Harry would smile and say thank you like a good boyfriend, be ever grateful to the boy who wanted nothing more than for Harry to be healthy and well.

But Harry thoroughly examined the contents of the plate before he even picked up the fork. He chewed on his lower lip as he scanned over the meal, skeptically. He saw the eggs and the pancakes and the vegan bacon and the fruit and he felt so loved, so completely enamored by Louis. Guilt had made its home in Harry's body, and every time he looked at Louis's hard work it made everything hurt tenfold.

Louis sat down and ate. He was always especially hungry in the mornings. He tried not to stare as Louis shoveled forkfuls of the food into his mouth. Harry gulped, knew he hated when people did that to him.

"Aren't you hungry?" Louis asked, reached across the small table to touch Harry's hand.

Harry never knew how to respond to that question.

"Um... yeah," he stammered, took a stab at some eggs, brought them up to his mouth and ate.

Louis smiled that wistful smile. 
Harry was used to it these days.

It wasn't so hard. Food just tasted bland these days. It felt like he was chewing a mouthful of cotton. He wasn't interested in eating. He felt nothing, didn't crave things like normal people, didn't feel famished on a regular basis despite his eating habits. He usually just shrugged when Louis asked him if he was hungry before he found out. He was honest when he said he wasn't sure. His body would ache for it sometimes, contract and hurt him as the acid gnawed away at itself. But mentally, Harry genuinely wasn't sure. He shrugged.

Louis sighed and watched as Harry did his best, and didn't comment when the boy couldn't force anymore down. Harry would thank Louis if he knew how to.

"I've got to shower and get ready. Could you make a list of the things you want to eat this week? For the grocery store?" He asked as he loaded the dishes into the dishwasher.

Harry nodded from where he sat at the kitchen table.

Louis brought over his meds and a glass of water, placed them on the table in front of Harry.

Harry glanced up at him.

Louis stood there and waited. Harry eventually unscrewed the cap of the bottle, doled out two of the pills and placed them on his tongue.

Harry drank the water and once he put the glass down, Louis ruffled his curls. He kissed Harry's temple, then left to go get ready.

"Whats next?" Louis asked, as he placed the marinara sauce into the small basket on his arm.

"Um... I wasn't sure so I put like some fruits," Harry mumbled, unsure. Louis just squeezed his hand where they were linked together, lead him to the other side of the grocery store.

Harry followed along calmly, tried not to notice some of the other shoppers looking at them. He tried his best to keep his gaze low, didn't want to be caught staring at anyone too long. He always felt even more insecure about his sexuality when he was in public with Louis.

Because Louis was completely different. He didn't mind little public displays of affection here and there. To Harry he would say 'who cares, Love' or that it wasn't anyone else's business but theirs anyway. For such a long time Harry wasn't allowed to show his love for Louis at all, let alone in a public setting. Harry just didn't like to feel judged. That's all. Maybe it was all in his head.

"Want bananas?" Louis asked, picking through the bushels of yellow fruit.

"Yes, please," Harry requested, converse clad feet scuffling together against the polished tile floor.

"Alright," Louis smiled, as if taking care of Harry was his favorite thing to do. Maybe it was. The thought made Harry smile.

"Anything else?" Louis asked.

Harry checked the list.
"I kind of... I like when you feed me soup, more than... other stuff," he murmured, peeking up at Louis through his fringe. He still wasn't used to admitting there was something wrong with him and his diet, but Louis made him feel less scared of the truth.

"Oh, okay," Louis nodded, his fingers flexing in Harry's loose hold. He tightened his grip as they started to walk again, toward the canned goods.

Louis let his hand rest on the small of Harry's back as he looked around, scanned the ingredients of each soup can, chose a few low fat minestrone and lentils before placing them into the basket.

Louis picked up a loaf of bread from the shelf and then they headed toward the checkout.

"Why did you buy these?" Harry asked, holding the bouquet of flowers Louis had picked up back while Harry was putting cans into bags.

"They're beautiful, yeah? I saw them and I thought of you," Louis said with a lovesick smile, as he helped load the couple bags into the backseat of his car.

Harry blushed hotly, his dimples fighting to protrude as he looked over the daisies and the tulips. He hardly felt beautiful, but Louis wasn't having it and was fervently working to make that change. He still got butterflies in his tummy when he looked at Louis and he hoped that much always remained the same.

"Do you not like them?" Louis asked, worriedly. He gave Harry a hopeful gaze, which, of course made the boy melt right into the tarmac.

"No, I do. I love them, Lou. Thank you," Harry reassured him, stroked the flat of his palm down Louis's bicep.

"You're very welcome," Louis smiled, leaning in to peck Harry's lips. The kiss was short, hardly enough for Harry.

Louis closed the door to the backseats and then got into the driver's seat while Harry made his way over to the passenger's side still cradling his flowers to his chest.

He expelled a romanticized sigh as he got inside the vehicle. He pulled his seatbelt over his chest as Louis put the key in the ignition and Harry stared at his flowers, admiring and smelling them the whole ride home.

The flowers were in a glass vase on the center of the kitchen table. Harry sat at the table for a little while after he'd set them up, completely endeared by Louis's sweet love declarations.

After Harry had finished gawking over them, they changed into comfort clothes and Louis put in a movie. They had a couple hours to kill before bed time and Harry was savoring each moment until he would wake up in the morning to an empty bed yet again.

Halfway through the movie (though, Harry wasn't entirely sure how) they started kissing a little. Louis had placed the side of his hand on Harry's face and Harry had his pale fingers gripping the hem of Louis's shirt.

And now they were full on snogging. Harry was pressed with his back to the couch cushions while Louis laid atop of him, hand tangled in Harry's soft curls, tugging gently.

Louis's tongue was a national treasure no matter where it was used, and Harry gladly sucked it into his mouth while their lips conjoined.

"Mm," Harry breathed, his hands moving up to cup Louis's face, to slowly bring him closer.

Louis didn't say anything, just obeyed. Harry couldn't get enough of these intimate moments. They were simple, and pure. Harry parted his lips and let Louis's tongue delve into them, licking the roof of his mouth before retracting.

Harry felt Louis's right hand slip under his shirt to touch his side, squeezing down on the sensitive flesh. Harry giggled into Louis's lips, breathily told him that it tickled.

"Sorry," Louis smiled, leaning back in.

Harry's hands guided them. He sought out Louis's lips and when they connected, sparks still spasmed though Harry's bloodstream. Kissing Louis was never boring.

Their legs were entwined and their hips level. Harry wasn't aroused yet, but he was definitely turned on.

They used to make out a lot back home back then, when life was a toxic fantasy. Harry would throw his arms around Louis's neck and smile with the joy of a thousand roses. They'd meet in secret on the weekends, rarely on weeknights. They'd snog in the back of movie theatres and grind in the backseat of Louis's car. Harry used to go over to Louis's house for sleepovers, and his mum would always eye him suspiciously when she saw the way he dressed and caught a glimpse of the rainbow bracelet on his left wrist. They'd play video games and eat junk food in Louis's room; laugh like the sun because they were best friends. It was so simple, another form of breathing. And they'd dig the sleeping bag out of the closet as per Louis's mother's requests, but Harry would always end up under the sheets with Louis once the lights to the house cut off. In the dark they'd talk some, soft whispers of insecurities and confessions that never left Louis's childhood bedroom. And Harry would end up straddling Louis's lap, sucking at his neck, asking politely for Louis to touch him there, kiss him like that, take control and make him feel good. It was exciting and bad and scary. They had to be real quiet and Harry always had such a hard time keeping his mouth shut when they did naughty things in Louis's parent's house. It was a rush, got his adrenaline pumping and his head swimming and Harry thinks he fell in love in that bedroom with the silly David Beckham poster staring down at him as he came down from his orgasmic high.

"Love you," Harry nearly blurted, the minute Louis's lips parted from his.

Louis got that soft look on his face, his lips turned up and his cheeks burning red like apples.

"I love you too," he said, lost in the moment. Harry gave a short nod, beckoning Louis back to his lips.

And Harry remembered when they would look at each other in the hallway at school, when Harry was sixteen and Louis was eighteen. He remembered feeling bitter, and jealous when he saw Louis holding hands with his girlfriend. He remembered the feeling he got in his gut every time he saw them kiss. He knew how Louis felt about him, but he never ceased to feel insecure when he saw Louis smile with her, heard him laugh and feel joy in her presence. It hurt him.

Their lips slotted together again, a little bruising this time. Harry's grip on Louis tightened and he drew him in closer.

"Oh," Louis breathed, amusedly. Harry's hand moved, worked down Louis's sides to settle on his hips. His fingertips stroked the soft cotton of Louis's pants, felt over the elastic of his briefs.

"... want you," Harry sighed, his eyes closed. He could feel Louis's semi pressing to the inside of his thigh, could almost feel the friction where he wanted it most.

Louis kissed him again softly this time, soothing his swollen red lips. "Getting all worked up, hm?" He taunted, his hand smoothing over his chest from under his shirt.

"Yeah," Harry exhaled, could feel Louis's hips slowly moving against his.

He was lightheaded with the feeling, the ecstasy. He let his hands squeeze into the flesh of Louis's bum, pull him closer.

He breathed out, his head falling back against the couch as Louis's hands worked to pull him out of his boxers.

It reminded him of the good old days, crammed together so close and breathing in each other's lust, mind too swarmed for rational thoughts.

It was amorous and lewd, just plain dirty to grind each other into messy orgasms, but Harry was in love with the filth.

"Lou," he gasped, his hands venturing back up to caress Louis's neck. Their tongues met before their lips, and Harry groaned at the slick feeling. They were completely clothed, but Louis had their cocks out just like back then, with one hand he guided them and they just rubbed off on each other.

Harry's breathing picked up after a little while, felt how their precome mixed and their cocks slipped together. His fingers dug into Louis's shoulders as they moved, both hot and breathless and desperate for release.

Louis kissed his neck as their lower halves collided. Harry wanted nothing but skin on skin contact, wanted Louis close to him and the clothing was restricting.

But he was already so close, his heart pounding in his eardrums and he wanted to come. Louis kissed him so tenderly, so softly, showing him his love with each.

Harry held onto Louis; his lifeline as he reached his peak, his whole body trembling with his impending orgasm.

"'M close," Louis whimpered as their lips separated again.

"Me too," Harry smiled, never got enough of this feeling; of being so close to Louis, getting each other off and enveloping themselves in love.

And Harry could feel Louis's hand holding him up against the couch as his other took their cocks, and Harry's hand frantically worked with him to bring them over the edge.

Harry moaned, his back arching as he came. Louis's teeth sunk into his shoulder as he rutted down. Harry felt him come a moment later, the warm sticky substance pulsing out against his hand.

Louis's eyes were blown when he sat up. His hair was mussed and his lips were a fluorescent pink. He kissed Harry, gently took his lips, then pulled away to catch his breath.

Louis just looked at him with those deep blues. Harry bit his bottom lip. They were so close their chests were pressed together, frantic breaths exchanged between them.

They were sticky and needed to clean up but he didn't feel like moving a muscle. He was sleepy and sex-dazed and wanted Louis to hold him.

"Guess we're not watching the movie?" Louis chuckled, pressing his lips to Harry's cheek for a lingering moment.

Harry shrugged sheepishly, loved Louis's kisses too much to feel ashamed of his insatiability.

"Come on, Babe. Let's go wash up," he sighed, getting up. With his clean hand he turned off the television.

Harry reluctantly rose and followed Louis down the hall to the bathroom.

"Has anyone else in your life disapproved of your sexuality?" Dr. Albaccus asked.

Harry shifted his weight to his right foot, then his left in an attempt to ease the ache on his knees.

"Yeah... My dad. My biological dad, but he was never a big part of my life. I mean he was, but he never helped raise me or anything. He did the right thing, admitted he was my father, came over for dinner with his wife every now and then, but he was never my father," Harry said, resting his folded arms on the countertop.

"Has anyone else used slurs to express their disapproval?"

"He never called me any names. Most people didn't mean to be derogatory with their use of slurs. Like, fag. I've heard people call me that, but it wasn't usually meant to hurt me. Like kids at school or whatever. Other than being bullied at school I never really cared much about the comments,"

"So... Louis's mother was the first to really use your homosexuality as a pressure point?" The psychologist asked, working through it.

"Um... I guess not. I don't know why it hurt so much when she said it. I've heard people call me a faggot before. I just sort of, brushed it off like one does. I try not to let those words affect me because there are always people who say mean things and hate without purpose but... I don't know," Harry sighed, a little agitated. He was so tired of being confused and he just wanted some answers.

"Why do you think you feel guilty about Louis not being faithful to his girlfriend when he was the one who acted? Do you think it's because his mother forced you to believe it was your fault?" She asked.

Harry thought for a moment.
"Maybe... I mean she's his mum and I felt bad for making her so... angry,"

"But that wasn't your fault,"

Harry swallowed.

"In all reality, his mother was angry because of the situation, not you. She was angry that her son came out and told her he was gay. How could that have been your fault?" Dr. Albaccus said to him.

Harry took a deep breath.

"I-I don't know..." He'd never thought about that before. Louis's mum was angry about Louis's sexuality. She probably could have cared less about her son being unfaithful.

"I think she used those pressure points to hurt you. They weren't necessarily true, but she knew you would feel empathy toward her anger and you took to heart every word she said,"

Harry nodded, though the woman couldn't see him.

"Do you think her words have anything to do with the way you see yourself now?"

"Uh, yeah... maybe," he said, holding the hot phone close to his cheek.

And somewhere deep down, Harry had already known that. He knew before that whole escapade he would have never started spending hours in the bathroom looking at himself in the mirror. He knew he wouldn't have started to care about a lot of things after that day. He wouldn't have been so insecure or weak or self concerning had it not been for Louis's mother. But she was the person who gave Louis life. She raised him and taught him to be the beautiful person he was today. How could Harry not listen to her?

"It's been an hour. You've done good today. We're getting somewhere, for sure," she said, her tone light.

"Yeah- yes. Thank you so much."

"My pleasure. How are you feeling? The new prescription fit any better than the last?"

"Yes. Much better. I appreciate all your help. I'm getting a lot more done," Harry assured her, smiling to himself.

"Alright, well I guess I'll talk to you next week," Dr Albaccus said.

"Okay, yeah. Bye," he said.

"Do you talk to your mum?" Harry asked, fingers playing through his boyfriend's feathery hair.

Louis hummed, tiredly. He'd worked another ten hour shift today and he was knackered, but Harry had to talk to him about this.

"Couldn't hear you," Harry teased, rubbing his flat hand across Louis's chest.

"N-not really," Louis frowned, probably curious as to why Harry wanted to know. "Why?"

"You should. I talk to my mum," Harry suggested, nestling into Louis's side.

"Your mum didn't kick you out," Louis grumbled, his eyes still closed.

Harry sighed.

"Could you...? Maybe. I'm not saying you have to... I'd just... I'd like it if you did," 

"Yeah, maybe,"

And Harry wasn't sure if Louis really meant that, but the next time he spoke he was met with soft snores from an endless day.

Harry just pulled the duvet up over their bodies, knew in his heart it wasn't his business anyway.

He closed his eyes and they slept.