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We'll Be The Last Ones Standing Up Strong.

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// You need a reason for the things I do. //

Harry is acting like Louis asked for this. He's acting like he wanted this to happen. Louis doesn't want any of this.

"Why can't you just tell them no?" Harry asks desperately, slamming the hotel door shut. They've just come back from their performance on Good Morning America, where Louis was forced to lie about this whole baby scandal.

You see, it wasn't supposed to get this far. They were just going to ride out the publicity and have it die out with no confirmation. But then some genius at Modest! decided that it would be fucking fantastic if they confirmed it, just to squeeze some more publicity out of it. They need all the headlines they can get after Zayn left. A pregnancy scandal would work perfectly.

Louis agreed for two reasons: he was told if he didn't accept, Harry was going to face more PR and a tighter leash for an indefinite amount of time. The other reason he accepted was because Louis was told they would somehow pull Harry and Louis out of the closet. Someway, somehow, they were going to get to go public after all of this.

"Harry, do you honestly think that I want any of this? Do you think I want to be run into the fucking ground by my management company just because they're homophobic and think that by us saying we're gay it's going to ruin everything?"

"You could have fucking said no. You don't fucking get it."

"Get what, Harry? Explain it to me!"

"You don't fucking get it!" Harry repeats, louder this time as he whips around to face Louis. Louis stops.

"I can't do much about it, H. Why are you taking it out on me? You understood before today." His voice is rough and he's throwing words like they're knives.

"You-" Harry goes to shout, but then pauses and takes a breath. "You just... You don't understand it, you don't get it."

"You could explain it to me, Haz. Instead of doing this. You always do."

"You just don't understand... You don't get how hard this is for me. You don't get it, and you never will."

Louis nods, expression softening a bit. "There you go, baby. Tell me."

"To hear the words come out of your mouth, god," Harry shakes his head. "To hear you admit it."

"You know I had-"

"Wait. You wanted me to explain, so let me. It's one thing to think about this in my head but it's a completely different thing when we're in real-time and I'm fucking living it. To hear my future husband and love of my life confirm the fact that he's going to be a dad. And it's fucking fake, too. And it's not even fucking mine." he says, voice hard. Tears start falling.

"To hear you confirm that you're going to be having a baby, especially after everything we've been discussing lately. There's fucking adoption information in my suitcase, Louis! All the talks we've been having about how close we're getting to all of this being over and us being able to come out. This is supposed to be us, you and I. This is our fucking story. We've been talking about our life together and our babies - I'm supposed to be a Tomlinson," his voice breaks on that last word. Tomlinson.

"Harold." Louis says sternly.

"We were talking big about it, Louis. White picket fences and toys everywhere we look and even a dog and to watch everyone get excited over the fact that there's a little baby Tomlinson."

Louis just stares at Harry, breathless. He doesn't even know what to say.

"I'm supposed to be a Tomlinson," Harry says again. "You and I are supposed to be the ones with the little baby, not you and Briana. But now I'm watching our story play out with someone else, I'm just sitting watching it all unfold with someone other than me on the other side."

"Harry, I had to confirm." Louis says. "You know that."

"You could have fucking said no! You can stand up to them, Louis! How much more damage could be done?"

// I need a miracle to see me through. //

Louis shakes his head. "No, I couldn't have."

"Why the fuck not, Louis? You're always talking about how you're going to stand up to them but you never fucking do!"

"Because if I do, then they're going to give it to you!" Louis shouts right back at Harry.

Harry freezes in going for his items. Up until two seconds ago he just wanted to get out of the fucking room. But now he stops. "What? What're you talking about?"

"When I go in for meeting - ever since we started when I was 18 - they've told me their game plan. It's specific, planned out and strategic. They push the fact that I'm straight in any way they possibly can. Louis Tomlinson takes six girls back to his hotel room. Louis Tomlinson and Briana Jungwirth out clubbing together. Louis this and Louis that. They do whatever they can to make me seem straight, as long as nobody knows that when I leave a club with six girls and take them back to my hotel, they're sleeping in rooms payed for by our management company and I'm going and sleeping with you instead. And I do it for a reason, H. I agreed to this baby bullshit for a reason."

"What reason?" Harry asks softly.

"Are you going to stay if I tell you?"

Harry doesn't say anything.

// I'll give you everything I've got inside, if you just stay here tonight. //

"I'm not going to continue on like this, Harry. We fight and you leave. I'm not doing it anymore."

"Then I'll stay." Harry whispers. He doesn't know if he's telling the truth or not. He hasn't decided yet.

// My hands are tied and I've been rolling the dice. My legs are broken I ain't up for a fight. //

"When they told me that there was a rumor going around I'd gotten Briana pregnant, I just laughed because I knew it wasn't possible. Why would I sleep with anyone but you? You've been it for me since I was eighteen. But they didn't believe me at first. They thought I'd slept with her and been careless and forgotten to use a condom. It took a lot of convincing. When I finally convinced them I didn't -because I really didn't, Haz. You know that. Even though they knew I didn't, they still wanted to ride out the publicity. My name was fucking everywhere, and so was yours. Fans devastated over the loss of Larry Stylinson."

Harry nods, not looking at Louis. He can't.

"But the real fans knew, the real fans know, right? They've always known and they're till not giving up. That's when management saw the opportunity. All these people are talking about you and me now, talking about us in a new light. We were everywhere, and I still don't know if that was because they were asked to talk about us or if they just did it, but I don't think it matters. When Modest! found out about all this talk about us, they sat me down again. That was the day I told you I was going to a label meeting at syco. It wasn't for 78 Productions, it was for this whole baby scandal. That day they told me that since they were talking so much about us, we could be their endgame. I did it because I didn't really have an option, but also because we could come out of this. Literally, babe."

Harry's eyes well up. He didn't know that. "Are you shitting me?"

Louis shakes his head. "No, babe. I don't know how or when it's going to happen but it very well could."

// You'll be the last one picking up the pieces //

"You said," Harry tries, but the words get caught in his throat. Exhaling shakily, he tries again. "You said that you did it because you didn't have a choice. What do you mean?"

Louis sighs. He knew Harry was going to ask that question. "The first time they told me about Eleanor I had to accept. Because they told me that if I didn't, they'd get you a fake girlfriend. You were so young, Haz. You were barely seventeen. I couldn't put you through that. As the PR stunts got more vigorous and involved and drawn out, they kept telling me what they'd do for me and what they'd do for you if I said no. They hold you above my head like some kind of motivation or summat, I don't know. But I take it all because I don't want you to have it. I take the overly-hetero image and the stunts and the headlines and the girls so that you can be... you. I-"

"You don't have to fucking protect me like that, Louis."

"I'm not protecting you, Harry. It's been five years I know damn well I can't keep you from getting hurt because it's bound to happen. I'm not protecting you."

// You'll be the last one making all the right things wrong //

Harry scoffs. "It really seems like that's what you're doing. You take all this shit just so I don't have to do it, because you think I can't fucking take it."

"We started when you were sixteen. You were sixteen and the cutest and the most vocally advanced one out of the group so they pushed you right up to the front. You were forced into the spotlight when you were sixteen. That's when I tried to protect you. When you were sixteen and vulnerable and forced into the spotlight. Over the years I realized I can't protect you from everything. But I can keep you from getting hurt by these stunts."

"Protecting. Me." Harry says harshly.

"Fine, fucking fine. I'm protecting you. Whatever, Harry. But I do it because I know what happens when you're forced into stuff like this. When they made it seem like you were dating Taylor you almost couldn't take it. Every fucking night you'd come home and cry because it's just so much and you just want to come out already. I was there, every single night you were forced to play up your womanizer image. After those nights I promised myself that I wouldn't let that happen ever again. You're too young and too innocent and too fucking good for you to feel any pain. I want to take it all away. So I do. I can take it. You can't."

// I'll shine the way through the darkest night //

Harry doesn't know what to say. Finally, he decides. "So you do it because you don't want me hurt."

"No. I never want you hurt in anyway. I take it so you can be yourself. With your shirts and your hair and the things you say and your outpouring of support for the LGBTQ community-"

"IA." Harry says softly.

"What?"

"LGBTQIA. You forgot intersex and asexual. And it's plus, too. There's more besides lesbian, gay, bi, trans and queer. Intersex and asexual are just the other two that get included in the acronym. LGBTQ plus or LGBTQIA plus because there's actually so many more."

Louis smiles. "See what I mean? You run around with these pride flags and do all these things that mean so much to so many people. If you were taking the publicity, you wouldn't be able to. I have never seen you so happy. I've known you for five years, I've loved you for five years, and I've never seen you as happy as you have been recently."

// I get back up and try to make things right if you just stay here tonight. //

"But this is so extreme, Lou. Especially if you've never even slept with her. It's hurting me anyway."

"I know, love. This is as fucked up as it gets. They've got Briana's family roped into it and my fucking family lying over it and it sucks, I know. If I could stop it, you know I would, they know I would. But they've got too strong of a hold on me for me to do anything about it. The only thing we can do is keep fighting."

// You'll be the last one picking up the pieces//

"It's so hard," Harry says brokenly. "I don't like what this is doing to you. I don't like seeing you getting drunk every night. I don't like having to try to fall asleep when you're not here. I don't like having to lie about being happy over your nonexistent child. We've been lying and running and hiding for five years and I don't know how much longer I can do it."

"I'm fine. Okay? I'm fine. We just have to fucking hold on, okay? We can't let them pull us apart. We have to stay strong, stay together. Don't let them break you, Harry, don't let them break us."

"What if they already have?" Harry whispers.

// As the days go by //

This baby scandal carries on. And on. And on.

But then it dies out.

// We'll be the last ones picking up the pieces, we'll be the last ones standing up strong. //

Louis and Harry both know that it isn't over yet. The scandal will be brought back up. There's already talks of flying Briana out to the London shows just to stir up the rumors again.

When Harry found out that Briana actually IS pregnant, he lost it. He called Louis a liar, saying that he was the one who got her pregnant. Louis had to physically drag Harry to Oli so he could explain that the fucking kid is his, not Louis'.

// We'll be the last ones making all the right things wrong//

When Louis reads Liam's interview with Attitude Magazine, a fight erupts.

"Liam, why the fuck would you say this? Why the fuck would you say any of it?" Louis shouts, throwing the magazine right at Liam.

"I had to, Louis. You-"

Louis has him by the collar. "You really had to say all that shit?" he snaps.

"Knock it off, Louis."

"They're going to fucking believe you now! The fans are going to believe everything you say."

Liam tries to move away from Louis' grasp. "I didn't want to, Louis. It wasn't my choice."

"Then who the fuck did it? Whose choice was it?" he asks, finally releasing his grip on Louis.

"Louis-"

"Tell me, you fucking prick."

"Who do you think? Fucking management, that's who."

"And you just decided to do it? You went along with what they said?"

"they threatened me, Louis. They threatened me like they threaten you."

"Louis!" Harry shouts, coming through the doors the connect the room. "I heard you yelling, what's wrong?"

"It's nothing, baby. Don't worry about it." This article is the last thing Harry should have to deal with right now.

"No, tell me. What's wrong?" Harry sticks his bottom lip out, and fuck, Louis has to tell him now.

"S'just this article Liam had to do. Not-so good things were said in it, but he had to say them. The fans are believing that we're not together-"

"What? They're losing faith?" Harry's lower lip starts to wobble, oh god.

"Some of them are, baby."

"You still love me though, right? You haven't stopped?"

"Haz," Louis whispers, taking a step closer to Harry. "Why are you saying that?"

"Because people are losing faith. I thought you were going to stop fighting, that you'd lost hope too."

Louis envelopes Harry in his arms, burying his face in the boy's neck. "No, hazza. I could never."

"Thank you. Thank you. I thought you were giving up." Harry whispers, gripping Louis tighter. "You have'ta promise me. No matter who stops believing that you won't stop fighting. And when we finally come out and they all hate us," he pauses, gripping Louis' face in his hands and kissing him, murmuring against his lips. "Promise you won't leave."

"Never, baby. I promise."

"I don't care about the articles. I know Liam wouldn't do anything to hurt us," he murmurs. "The only thing that hurt like hell was watching you confirm that."

"I'm sorry, Haz. I'm so sorry."

"I have you. There's gotta be a light at the end of this fucking tunnel we're stuck in, Louis."

"There is, I promise."

"Find the silver lining to this," harry mumbles. "We're gonna be okay."

Louis nods, lips brushing against Harry's. "Yeah, we're gonna be okay."