They don't talk about it.
When Harry wakes up the next morning, everybody is already up and having breakfast and when he enters the kitchen he thinks that maybe instead of the bus that he's actually in a war zone.
Everybody is scattered around the counter, dirty plates in front of them, cereal boxes lying between the plates and cereal spilling out of it. In the middle, there is orange juice, milk, coffee and tea. A cup, with what Harry hopes is water, is lying on its side and it causes the counter to be covered in a thin layer of water. Nobody pays it any mind.
By the stove, Louis is stood with his back turned to everybody, making pancakes. When Harry clears his throat, Louis turns around and gets a big smile on his face, "Oh, hi Harry!" He says way too cheerily, "I'm just making breakfast for all these hungover people. Do you want anything?"
Louis is cheery and Harry is so so so confused. This is the same guy that Harry had seen have a breakdown only a few hours prior. How can one person make themselves look okay so fast? Harry doesn't understand why he wants to know so bad, because Louis is basically a stranger but it still makes him so curious.
He wants to ask Louis what happened. What caused him to curl into himself on the bathroom floor at such a awful hour?
Realizing that he's staring too long, he nods at Louis and moves to the only available seat left next to Liam. Conveniently, it's the closest to the stove.
Harry thinks about asking Louis again, who has turned back to the stove, and when he turns around and opens his mouth he feels a hand on his bicep. It's Liam, who has his lips pressed into a thin line, his brows furrowed and who looks Harry dead in the eye- almost like he knows what Harry had wanted to ask Louis. The look on his face is simple.
And that's all that Harry gets but it's not enough- it's not an explanation. He wants to know, wants to ask Liam even but he's quickly cut off from his thoughts as Louis speaks up, "Alright, everybody! Second batch pancakes are done!"
A loud groan is heard around the table and then Niall, who's head had been previously rested on the countertop, speaks on everybody's behalf, "Louis, we love you and you're cool. But can you please shut the fuck up? Unlike you, we did drink last night and have to face the consequences."
Louis smirks then dramatically puts his hand on his chest, "I'm sorry. I guess I'll just-" and then he's shouting the next sentence, "Talk really loudly!"
Half of the people around the table gets up and flips Louis the finger, who in returns just gets an adorable smile on his face before waving them off.
Niall looks at Harry before speaking again. "Tell your boyfriend to shut the fuck up."
Louis turns around to face Niall and frowns. "What?"
Harry groans and puts his head in his hands. "'Larry'."
Louis' nose scrunch up and he looks so adorable. "What's Larry?"
Niall's eyes narrow at him. "Seriously? You too?" He looks to Liam then. "You. Tell him."
Liam beams- obviously knowing now what Niall is referring to, "Niall ships Larry. Larry is Harry and you, Louis. Shipping means when-"
"I know what shipping is," Louis interrupts, and looks to Harry. "But me and Harry huh? Niall, how on earth did you even come up with that?"
"You two'll look cute together," he shrugs. "Plus, I kinda see like a mutual chemistry flow when you two are together. It's inevitable. It's gonna happen soon."
Harry looks to Louis, who's looking between him and Niall before he addresses him. "You're weird, Niall."
"You have your hobbies and I have mine."
"Your hobbies include making up imaginary ships?" Harry speaks up do for the first time since entering the kitchen.
"That's where you're wrong, Harold," Niall says with a wide smile on his face, "For now, it might still be imaginary, but in the future it won't be. Now," He looks to Louis, "Where's my pancakes? I'm starving!"
Louis shakes his head before he places two pancakes on everybody's who's still at the counter's plates. Harry gratefully accepts his and he doesn't think anything of it, so he takes a bite of his first pancake and-
"Fuck, this taste like shit," Niall voices Harry's exact thoughts.
"Rude!" Louis says loudly, "I told you all that I'm not a great cook!"
"He burnt water," Liam says beside Harry, "Like, he ligit burnt water on a stove. I'm not even joking."
"You said you'll never tell anybody!" Louis accuses Liam, who just shrugs, "And, if it taste that bad then why did you eat the first batch?"
"We're hungover, what do you expect?" Lou says from across the counter.
Harry quickly realizes that there are two sides of Louis. A day Louis and a night Louis. The day Louis is the the one with the fake smiles. The pretender, as Harry would call him. The night Louis, is the real Louis. The sad, empty one. The one Harry wants to get to know.
The rest of the breakfast is spent like that - full of banter and jokes and Niall telling Louis that's he's never cooking again.
And still not talking about what happened in the bathroom.
The second concert goes well enough. Harry doesn't feel nervous or the need to be sick. He sings and throws water around and jokes with the band and he actually enjoys it.
Louis is behind the curtain the entire time watching him with a smile on his face.
It's when they're back on the tour bus, preparing to go to Italy already, that Harry feels the need to be sick again.
Him, Liam, Niall and Louis are sat in the lounge area, the rest of the people either in bus 1 or busy somewhere else. They're discussing what they enjoyed about Ireland and when Niall starts saying how proud he feels of himself, is when Harry's phone rings.
He looks at the screen and then sighs, "It's Johnson."
Niall stops talking. "Oh."
"Who's Johnson?" Louis asks, confused.
"He's, uh, he's the head of our management," Liam says, discomfort lacing in his voice. He looks to Harry before speaking again, "Aren't you going to get that?"
Harry presses his lips in a firm line and then taps the answer ' button before putting the device up to his ear.
"Mr. Styles, how lovely of you to finally pick up your phone." Is the greeting he gets.
Harry hates him, "What do you want? We just finished a concert and I'm tired. So make this quick." He's happy that he sounds rude.
"I'm just calling to inform you that once you get in Italy, you'll go on a date with upcoming model Sasha Graziani."
Harry's brows furrow together. Liam frowns. Niall smiles at him sympathetically. Louis looks confused.
It's obvious they heard.
Harry thinks that at the other end of the line Mr. Johnson is smiling. He can picture him, sitting in his high chair behind his desk. Looking over the London sky while at the same time ruining Harry's life with just a few sentences.
Harry shakes his head, forgetting that Johnson can't see him before speaking up, "No. No, you said the last tour was the last time shit like this was going to happen."
"Mr. Styles, we are well aware that we said that. But," Harry hates him, "This is simply to get your name in the papers."
"Bullshit!" Harry says, his voice angrier than intende. "We just started stadium world tour. I'm pretty sure my name is in the papers!"
"On the contrary," Harry can hear the smugness in his voice, "We just want to get you mentioned in a few papers. Everything we do, we do for the benefit of the band."
Harry stands up, pinching the bridge of his nose, "No. No, I refuse to do this."
"Harry, you realize that by not doing this you are not only putting your career, but also the career of your bandmates and entire crew in danger, right?" Mr. Johnson accuses Harry. He makes it sound like Harry is the one doing something wrong by refusing to go on a forced date.
He looks to Liam and Niall, who are eyeing him with sad expressions. It's not the first time something like this has happened. He huffs. "Fine. I'll do it."
"Yes, I thought that would convince you," he hears Mr. Johnson say smugly. Harry hates him with every fiber of his body, "You'll be receiving the email with the exact details of this date by tomorrow morning. Enjoy your evening further, Mr. Styles." The line died after that and all Harry can do is stare at the wall.
He feels tired and frustrated and so - so manipulated.
He feels the need to get his frustration out- so he kicks the couch and storms out of the room to his bunk, knowing that there are three pairs of eyes following him.
He doesn't leave his bunk until a few minutes past two in the morning, when he's absolutely sure that everybody's asleep. When he enters the kitchen, he switches the light on and goes to the fridge, looking for something to ear considering he didn't eat before nor after the concert.
When he's settled on leftover homemade pizza, he quickly puts it in the microwave and when it's done he hops onto one of the chairs and puts the plate with three slices of pizza in front of him.
Just as he's about to take his first bite, a voice behind him clears their throat. He thinks he's familiar with that voice by now.
"He's alive," Louis says smiling, while taking a seat beside Harry. "I actually thought you died. Didn't come out of that bunk for a minimum of four hours."
Harry knows he should be irritated. He knows that it's only suppose to be him in the kitchen, but he can't get himself to be mad at Louis. Not when he's wearing a too big jumper and too long pajama bottoms, which hung over his bare feet. He's smiling softly at Harry, his hair a mess on top of his head, indicating that he had been in bed. All Harry can do is return the soft smile.
"Yeah," he begins. "Sorry about earlier. You know, me just storming off like that."
Louis shrugs. "It's okay. Liam explained everything."
It's silent for a few seconds before Louis speaks again, "Harry...I know it's not, like, any of my business or anything and we're barely what people can consider friends. But like, I'm here if you want to talk about it, okay?"
Harry doesn't want to talk about it. He doesn't want to tell people his problems, but with the way Louis is looking at him- so uncertain, and beautiful and his smile is so soft (what is it with this boy and soft smiles when he's around Harry?) and in a way, so interested. Interested in knowing Harry's problem. Interested so that he can help Harry with his problem.
Harry thinks it's the first time in almost four years that a stranger(can Harry still call him that? They barely know enough about each other, so he thinks it's fitting) is actually interested in helping him without wanting something in return.
Harry doesn't know what comes over him, but before he can catch himself he speaks, "It's just...I don't, like, I don't know what to do. Like, I don't want to be forced to go on a date. But it's gonna be so selfish of me to say no, because I'm putting a lot of peoples careers in danger and-"
"Harry," Louis interrupts, "You know your management's manipulating you to do this, right? Emotionally, they're fucking with your head."
"I know," he begins, "But, like. The contract states that we have to follow their orders and by refusing they can cut us off their label."
"Can't you just sign with another label then?" Louis asked with confusion lacing his tone.
Harry shakes his head, "No. They can literally sue us and the other label if we try to do that. We're signed with them until 2017. So until then, they literally own us."
"I'm sorry," Louis says while reaching over as putting his hand over Harry's. He looks so small and pretty and he's trying to comfort Harry and it means more than it's suppose to.
"I just," Harry begins, "I'm confused and I don't know what to do anymore. Like, the media portrays me as this womanizing jerk and the fans portrays me as this healthy eating softie. And I'm not either of those, but that's what management wants- I just don't know."
Louis frowns. "Well, who's the real Harry then?"
Harry doesn't answer, not because he doesn't want to but because he can't. His management has changed Harry Styles so many times over the years, that he guesses somewhere along the road just Harry got lost. He doesn't know who he is. He knows who he's suppose to be, but he has no idea who he is.
He guesses that Louis realizes he doesn't want to answer because soon after he clears his throat before smiling. "Right well, I guess it's time for bed then."
He doesn't get up though. He looks at Harry, almost expectantly.
So Harry says the only thing that comes to mind, "You can stay. Like, if you want to. You can talk to me."
Louis smiles and nods. "Okay...Is this gonna become a thing?"
"What?" Harry asks, confused.
"Like, you and I. Talking when everybody's asleep. Is it gonna become a thing?"
Harry smirks. "Maybe."
That night, he learns a lot about Louis. He learns his birthday. He learns that Louis is gay and single. He learns that Louis has a degree in English. He learns that Louis has a big family also.
He learns a lot about Louis. But he doesn't learn everything.
They're playing two shows at San Siro stadium in Milan and they're lucky enough to get off the tour bus and spend the three nights( they get today to rehearse) in a five-star hotel.
Once they've settled on room arrangements, everybody disappears to their rooms. Harry has his own room and it's beautiful- he has a view of the entire city of Milan and his room itself is so lovely, but-
But he's got an arranged date in less than four hours so he can't concentrate on anything. He got the details of the date this morning- he's to meet her at his hotel, leave together, make sure to get papped, go out to eat, make sure to get papped, drop her off, make sure to get papped.
Conveniently, there's going to be three different paps.
Three hours later when Lou had done his hair and picked out his clothes, a black and red button down with the first few buttons undone and black skinny jeans, he gets a call from the front desk.
"Mr.Styles, there's Miss Sasha Graziani here for you," A thick Italian accent rings through at the other end of the line.
Harry sighs, "Tell her I'll be right down."
"Will do, Sir."
Harry quickly checks himself in the mirror, making sure he's dressed well enough for how he knows management will like it, before making his way to the elevator and down to the lobby.
What greets him there unexpected. It's not Sasha - She's quite beautiful. Her lips are full and pink, her honey colored hair in a neat braid, her blue eyes are covered with light mascara and she's only wearing a little makeup. She's in black jeans that clung to her skinny legs like a second skin, and the top she's wearing is covering everything important. - that surprises him though.
It's Niall. Who's standing two feet away from Sasha and glaring at her with a deadly expression and saying something Harry can't hear. If looks could kill, Harry's sure Sasha would be six feet under. The girl spots him, and the look he gives him is a pleading one before she looks back at Niall. When Harry gets close he can hear Niall's words, "- he doesn't belong with anybody else except Louis. You got me?"
Harry sighs and makes his presence known to the blonde boy,"Niall, what are you doing?"
Niall quickly turns around to face him before plastering a -fake- smile on his face, "I was just having a nice little chat with our buddy Sasha here!" He throws his arm around her neck before directing his next question to her. "Isn't that right, buddy?"
Sasha looks at Niall, then Harry and back to Niall before nodding, "Yes."
Her accent is thick and her voice is lovely. Harry only raises his eyebrows. "Okay. Well, I think it's time to go now Sasha. Goodbye, Niall."
Niall removes his arm from the girl's neck before pressing his lips to her ear and whispers loud enough so Harry can hear, "And remember, I'm watching you."
He quickly rushes past Harry to the elevator but before stepping into it he looks back to Sasha, lips presses into a thin line and eyebrows furrowed. He lifts two fingers up to his eyes firmly and then points them at Sasha. She actually looks scared.
Harry clears his throat before addressing the girl for the first time since stepping into the lobby. "I'm sorry about Niall. He's...weird."
Sasha shakes her head before speaking, her accent sounding as smooth as chocolate. "It's fine."
"Right. Okay, shall we go?"
She nods, and then Harry takes her hand. He's sure management would just absolutely love that.
When they're seated in the car, it's still a bit awkward. So Harry decides to try to make conversation. After all, he's going to be spending the rest of his night with her, "So, why are you doing this?"
A confused expression settles on her beautiful face. "Excuse me?"
"I mean, what are you getting out of going on a date with me?"
"Oh," she looks down and blushes before speaking after a few seconds of silence again, "Well, I guess I'll get my name out there? That's what your management told me."
Harry snorts and turns his head to look out of the window, watching as they pass the buildings. "You do realize that you're going to get an endless amount of hate from my fans, right?"
She looks down, adverting her eyes to her lap. "No. I didn't know that."
Harry looks to her. Just like himself, she, too, was manipulated into this. Except, she actually had a choice.
Harry lifts his hands up to his hair as sweeps it through his shoulder length hair. "Hey, I'm sorry. I didn't mean to sound rude."
She looks to him and flashes him a smile, it's not a soft smile like the ones he gets when he's with Louis.
When they get to the restaurant and exit the car, Harry spots the pap and takes Sasha's hand in his.
He can already tell that it's going to be a long night.
When he gets back from the 'date' it's past midnight. He kicks off his shoes and flops down onto the bed, already relaxing when his face hits the pillow.
The date had gone had gone well - turns out Sasha is quite funny, he had made him laugh through the entire meal and she even threw a breadstick at a rich looking broke- until they had to leave the restaurant. Somebody had tipped them off and when leaving, they had been mobbed. Hundreds of fans were there and Harry had to hold Sasha's hand for comfort because she wasn't used to it. Harry's glad he's become immune to getting mobbed by now.
He had dropped Sasha off at her apartment before returning to the hotel. He hadn't realized what time it was.
Before drifting off to sleep, Harry sees the city light outside his window. The brightness of the light reminds him of Louis.
When they've done they're shows and they're back on the tour bus, Harry goes to the kitchen after two in the morning.
He's reading the article about him and Sasha over for the hundredth time. Apparently they've been ' texting for awhile ' a close source reviels. He rolls his eyes at that.
He's scrolling through twitter when Louis enters the kitchen, a smirk evident of his face. "You knew, I wasn't serious when I asked if these meetings were gonna become a thing."
Harry logs out of twitter and puts his phone on the counter before shrugging. "Maybe I was."
When they were in Milan, Louis and him had grew closer. Louis had comforted him when the article had come out and was there behind the curtain at the concerts pulling funny faces at him.
Although Louis still won't tell him what happened to him, or why he's so sad even though he acts happy, Harry can tell that if they continue like this, they'll be great friends.
Louis takes the seat opposite him and smiles. "Okay."
And just like that, it becomes a thing.