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Our First Year Together.

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Niall had never thought it would have come to this. Sitting across from two old women, his mother beside him trying to get him to pay attention. Really it was hard enough to be here without wanting to run , couldn't she see that this was embarrassing.

Matchmakers is what they where even if they looked like just regular old grans, nothing special about them. And it wasn't like it wasn't common, a lot of people went to them for an arrangement. They had a few sheets of paper writing down his answers and humming gently to each other as if they were speaking a different language that only they could understand.

Niall had really thought he could have avoided this, it wasn't what he had expected. He was suppose to be with his ex forever, not dumped a month after their 3rd year anniversary. They were young but he had hoped it was going to last. That was till he found out the man was captivated by another and it hurt.

It was just shy of being two years that he had had his heart broken and of course he had tried dating it just never seemed to work out, no one was him. Everything had ended up hopeless or not worth his time. Followed by some odd jobs to get himself through music collage then getting into a university program. All that wrapped in one didn’t make Niall feel like much of a catch.

With a swat from his mother once again this time in the back of his head he finally finished up with the grans and thanked them. Standing up, as they were already humming about and smiling sweetly. Really this was a joke, it had to be, no way this was going work. They guaranteed their marriages but Niall was skeptical to say the least.

“Mum, why did we do this again? What if i hate who im matched with… I have to live with
them for the rest of my life.” Groaning as they left his mother just smiled happily, probably glad to see her son at least open to the option.

“Well you won’t be alone will ya?” She let out a laugh, amused by her own wit, leaving to get lunch as per Niall’s stomach growling.

----

 

One month was how long it took before he got a call from his mother, he had actually forgotten all about the matchmakers. It came while he was sitting on the floor of his apartment guitar in hand as he composed a few pieces of music for a class,

“Yeah, hey mum. I-Im kind of busy with scho-” Niall frowned as he was interrupted.

“Darling, i know you’re working hard. But listen. I heard back.” Niall had already put down his guitar and stood heading for the kitchen walking right into a chair on his way swearing under his breath.

“Fuck… “ Getting a ‘watch your mouth’. “Sorry mum, what did you hear from? what are you on about?” accent thick, as he reached the fridge pulling out a carton of orange juice and placed it to his lips.

“The Matchmakers! they’ve found you a husband.”

Juice went flying from his mouth as he sprayed, shit right the marriage how had he forgotten. “What…? M-me.. they found me a husband?” Making a gross face as he looked down at himself covered in juice and same with the outside of his fridge. Frowning as he went to grab a towel.

“Yes darling, aren't you listening.” He hadn’t been. as he told his mother to tell him again. “So they’re family name is Styles. And I have an informal coffee chat with them tomorrow, you know really have them tell me about their son.”

“Mum.. really this is so weird!” He threw the cloth back on the counter and sighed leaning against the counter. “What is this is just a joke. what if they are weird!”

Hearing her tsk on the phone he could just imagine her face. “Niall James Horan, I put a lot of money down on this to help find you a husband. So you will act elated that someone was chosen for you at all. “

Sighing one more time as he nodded. “Ok, ok.. but tell them good things about me. Maybe this will actually work. But what if they don’t agree.. what if they do?”

“Then my darling, you’ll be married off. I hope they are nice, you need someone nice in your life. Not like that last boy.” She talked on for a bit, finally letting him off half an hour later. He sat down and tried to focus on the music but it wasn’t flowing anymore, now he was getting nervous.

----

The next night his mother had come over, a gush of words of how nice they had been. Very lovely, and polite. And they were very well put together she mentioned something about an expensive purse. Making Niall pull a face, he didn’t care if there was money involved he had made it this far. “Mum, they don;t have to be rich you know. “ She just shushed him saying it was all part of the fun. It was very strange to hear his mother talk like this, they hadn’t had much growing up. She was a single mum and did everything she could, even moving the last few years of high school to london in the hopes it would better his chances with music.

He moved to sit beside her pulling his feet up on his small couch. “So.. 24 hours.. that’s how long they have to accept or deny.” Fidgeting, he hadn’t stopped moving since the night before, how was he expected to with this much going on. Getting up to pace, reaching down to pick up a sheet of music blue eyes scanning over scribbles of notes.

“Darling, don’t be so nervous.. It’s only been a few hours they have had to consider. Why are you getting so worked up. I really wish you would smile again, it’s been so long.” The look on her face read sad, as she reached out to still her youngest boy.

“Not this again mum, I-I do smile. I’m just worked up from uni and now this. It’s a lot.” He tried to force a smile even if it was small it was for his mother. Niall never use to be this quiet, normally with his friends or family he was loud and always ready to laugh. That had changed after the ex causing him to be more aware of how he came across. He shook his head to get thoughts of the man out of his head.

“Mum.. I-I’m just nervous that I don’t get to even meet him before hand. We are just thrown together.. maybe this wasn’t a great idea. I mean how much do you know about me now! What if they don’t realize there son snores, or only listens to death metal?” Not that he had anything against it it just would get annoying.

“Niall, I wouldn’t agree to this if I didn’t think it would be good for you. To grow with someone. Sometimes love can cloud your judgement. And he doesn’t listen to death metal. whatever that is.” She looked quite confused at the reference as she pulled the boy down to her side. “All we can do is wait. This is what you need, even if you don’t think you do.”

Niall moved to rest against her side, never too old to have a quick cuddle with his mother. Maybe this would work, maybe it would end up being awesome and just what he needed. But there was that small pull at the back of his head saying he was making a mistake, and it wouldn’t work. Divorce didn’t sound great neither did being unhappy for the rest of time.

 

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Giving up his room for his mother, as he took the couch. Pulling the blanket over his head, his mind running over what was all about to happen. It wouldn’t stop. Next step they accept him, or not. Then they would plan a very small civil union ceremony just their parents and maybe family to join. And finally on that big day, they would finally meet.

What if he snored, or had a strange voice. Maybe the man was being forced into this, and wasn’t just sad and lonely. Or those old granny’s were just taking the piss and had found him the worst match possible.

He had finally fallen into a restless sleep his blankets tangled up from constant tossing and turning. No dreams just the constant anxious feeling of being trapped. That all too familiar panic feeling building up. Waking up with a start as he heard his mother calling for him.

“Niall!” She excitedly came into the living room, dressed and ready for the day. “Ni.. Nial! wake up. Come on, exciting news!” She moved over to the couch tugging at the sheets. “Come on, breakfast is on me, let’s get up. “

With a whimper for the lost feeling of finally being asleep and the sudden cold on his bare chest he sat up yanking at the tangled blanket to try to get it off of him. “W-what is it? what news?” Looking up as he rubbed his eyes, “Mum, tell me now please, I can’t wait till breakfast.” He rubbed his bed head and didn’t bother trying to sort it out he was to tired to try and pretend he had the same energy.

“Niall.. Sweetheart.” Her voice was calming down as she sat beside him patting his hair down. “They called this morning.”
That got his attention as he lifted his head, feeling a weird mix of excitement and nervous, with a dash of worry. “A-and?”

“They said yes.” She smiled so happily, it was so infectious. Causing the corners of his lips turn up too it wasn’t a full smile yet but it was close enough.

“Re-really.. they actually think I’ll be a good match for their son.. o-oh god.. Im getting married.” His eyes went wide, it had been such a strange 24 hours that this was a lot to take in all of a sudden. He was going to be someones husband.

“You’re getting married!” She was so elated, he definitely got his personality and joy from her thankfully. As he tried to hid his smile by biting his bottom lip. “So celebratory breakfast? Your treat mum?” Letting out a surprised laugh as he jumped up trying to get away without receiving a smack on his backside. Leaving to get ready for the day with his mind occupied with how bonkers this whole thing was and if he was really ready for any of this.

Chapter Text

After the day of the call, things had moved quickly. Neither set of parents seemed to worried about the timeline. They had worked together to set the day for them. And in two weeks they were getting ready for the big day.

Niall had found out that his future husbands name was Harry, and that he was 24 a year younger then Naill. And was a promising lawyer, or so said his parents. Since they had finally been able to meet each other’s parents separately of course. Carefully set so the two young men would never run into each other. The man’s mother and stepfather, were quite well off. Pulling the bill for the wedding, thankfully not seeming quite as stuck up as he would have thought. Actually they were really nice and funny, which surprised Niall a lot, maybe there son would be normal. But how normal could you be if you had to use the matchmakers to find someone.

The morning of, he had packed away the last box in his rented apartment. Being told that Harry’s parents had bought them a new flat for them to move into. Stating that “For a new beginning you need a new place to call home.” It had been too much already, but they had insisted. Like they had insisted on paying for the wedding and the fancy new suit that hung up on the back of the door. He had finally put a weak foot down when they had asked if he wanted a hotel room to stay in for the night before.

The buzzer went off, making Niall get up as he ran a hand through messy dyed blond hair, taking one last look around his apartment. The movers arriving right at 9am to start collecting his things, as he handed over the keys to the man with the clipboard. “Please be super careful with the guitar cases.. I mean what’s in them.. I mean.. Thank you.” Grabbing a duffel bag and the long suit bag taking one last look at his rental flat and headed out into the early spring morning.

This was it, as he climbed into the back of the black car waiting for him, also another add on he didn’t need or want. Though once on the inside it was nice, he had to give it to them for sending for him with such a nice car. He had no idea what to expect, he had heard that Harry was a bit reserved that he wasn’t outwardly rambunctious with new people and he was very serious about his work. That sounded nothing like the old Naill but maybe it was a bit closer to how he was now. There was probably a lot about both guys that their parents didn’t know about.

“woah..” Niall hadn’t noticed till they were only a few seconds from pulling into the swanky countryside hotel. It was gorgeous, the main building being quite large and formal. And then branching off into the trees and bushes where sets of independent mini houses. Modern looking cottages if he was more observant. This was insane, taking out his phone to snap a few pictures.

Pulling up to the main building, his door pulled open for him. “Welcome Mr. Horan. “ Niall just gave the man a weird look, very confused as to how he had known his name. As he nodded his head slowly. “Hello.” Getting out as his bag’s were taken for him and he was asked to follow a woman in a skirted suit and a clipboard.

“Mr. Horan, it’s so lovely to meet you. Your Mum is such a lovely woman, she will be so excited to see you.” She lead the way down the path. “You’ll be getting ready in her room. We will move your belongings to your respective room once you’re off. What a wonderful day isn’t it?”

Still a bit confused as he blinked a few times before looking at her. “Ah, yeah. right wonderful day. Glad its not raining…” He just walked up beside her to keep up, as he smiled awkwardly. This was so strange, they hadn’t shared any details. Up until now he had expected this to happen at the city hall in London. Not this beautiful escape. Shaking his head one more time and having to reach a hand up to pinch himself. Today he was getting married and he had better be ready for it.

Leaving him at the door of his mother’s room he knocked then waited. She was dressed so lovely that Niall had to cave and smile for her as he hugged her. “You look lovely, ma. A right stunner.” She shushed him and let him in, telling the man where to place his bags. “mum, isn’t this all a bit much?” He asked as he looked around the room, it was nicer than anything he’d ever stayed in, of course the styles would do this. Having made it seem like they were going to doing something so small, but then pulling this from up there sleeve.

“Its your wedding day,and it’s not to much. You’re here only a night with your new husband then it’s back to London. You’ll have to wait for a honeymoon, that’s something they won’t cover. “ She hummed, he could tell she was having a great time. Getting a treatment worthy of such a hard working single mum. Just looking at her and decided that he couldn’t over analyze everything, he’d just have to get over it and enjoy it while it lasted.

It was getting closer to 1pm. And Niall had showered and shaved, even if he didn’t have much to shave. Fixing his hair into a quiff, finally pulling on his suit pants, dark blue that matched. White dress shirt, and a skinny tie. Finally all put together he looked at his reflection in the bathroom and breathed out shakily. He had never seen himself so done up, the dark blue just emphasizing his blue eyes.

His mother had fussed over him when he finally came out, she had even shed a small tear saying her young man was so handsome. Making Niall laugh as he did a turn for her. “Clean up well, huh?” She moved to fix his hair and nodded. A nice pair of dress shoes where beside the table, finally putting them on and grinning he felt like James Bond. Even striking a pose for his mum making her laugh. She had really taken to being his best friend, after he had been left without many friends a few years ago. This was for her as much as it was for him, making her proud by getting married.

With only 5 minutes to go, the woman with the clipboard had called on them again. All smiles as she lead them back toward the main building. Talking facts about the hotel and the room he was going to be married in.

The sun was warm on the spring day. It was early May, flowers starting to bloom, and birds flying about happily. Nail walked through the main building towards the back where they had a few halls. There his mother took the lead, moving into a smaller room with huge arching windows, overlooking the grassy back courtyard. The room was just like the rest of the building beautiful and regal looking. Being lead up to a large wooden table where an older man was standing.

Everything felt like it was on pins and needles. It hadn’t felt real until this second, until he was about to actually meet Harry. Not knowing what to expect but it wasn’t what he got. The young man walked in, taller than both his parents who stood on either side of him. He was dressed in a fitted black suit, his hair was longer than expected, maybe to his chin, but it curled in such a lovely way. He had a straight face, but smiled at something his mother had said, something Niall couldn’t hear. But his dimples were outstanding. His knees were already pretty shit but seeing who he was about to be united for life with made them even more wobbly.

Both parents stepped back to either side of the boys, as they both raked there eyes over each other. Niall felt a bit bad, Harry had probably been wanting someone different, not a regular looking bloke. Once he made a scan over his chest again and looked back up at the taller, meeting his gaze as he blushed a bit and looked away. “U-um..Hi.. I'm Nail” He spoke without looking up to the curly haired boy his accent in full swing with his nerves getting the best of him..

“Hi. Niall. I'm Harry” Niall hadn’t been expecting the hand that caught his attention at the corner of his eye, holding out for Niall to place his hand with his. “I think now’s a good time than any to get married. Don’t you think?” The blond could feel the eyes on him from the brunette man taking his hand, he couldn’t stop the shy feeling bubbling up, this was so weird. Nodding as they both took a step forward toward the table and older man, who said a few words about the bond of a civil union, and how this was a joy to start a life together.

Harry's hand was soft, and warm. Better than his own rough calloused hand, that showed the years of plucking at strings and piano keys. He was also a bit tanner, not that he could look at his face, still just looking straight ahead. It was all over so quickly, the sound of a camera going off, and the old man asking them to place on the new wedding bands on each other. Harry’s Stepdad moving up to hand over the two silver bands. Niall fumbled a bit with shaky hands to place the silver ring onto the man’s long ring finger. His face was so red when the man did the same to him. Looking up the few inches to meet his eye as he nodded his head gently. As they were asked to sign the certificate of the union and announced legally married.

Niall let out a breath he didn’t know he was holding and fully turned to Harry. The man stood still for what felt like an awkwardly long second, before Niall found the courage to lean up and peck the dark rose lips. “s-sorry.” He mumbled softly as he stepped back. Feeling long arms move around him to give him a hug, hugging back as Harry moved to talk quietly into his ear. “Don’t be sorry, Judging by our mum’s sobs you’re doing good.” The smile that played on the brunette's lips was teasing but gentle as Niall just half smiled and nodded his head looking back to his side to see his mum so happy wiping away tears.

Niall had always thought of himself as a touchy person, but with a stranger it was different, they weren't even drunk. So when they left the room, toward where they would finally be getting lunch his stomach making noises. He was surprised to feel the taller's larger hand press into his lower back, guiding him a bit which wasn’t necessary.

Lunch had been only slightly awkward the two men just sitting beside each other not really speaking unless talked to directly from their parents. Niall tapped his thigh to a beat as he started to get restless, not that he wanted anything he just didn't know how to sit still maybe he would come off as rude but he had finished his food first as their parents were caught up talking about boring stuff.

With a hug to the younger boy’s parents he nodded his head to them, making sure to smile nicely to them since they had just married off their son to them. Who didn't seem younger than him. They took there time walking there, taking in the fresh air and greenery. Niall pulled out his phone and slowed a bit letting harry walk further ahead and taking a picture. Jogging to catch up.

“Did you drop something?” Harry looked back only noticing the man had moved from his side when he caught back up.

Waving his phone a bit as he shook his head. “Oh no, just wanted to take a photo. It's cheesy.” shrugging as he was about to pocket his phone.

“No its not..do you wanna take a picture of us together… I mean we are dressed up..?” Giving a curious look down at the blond. Making Niall pause before pulling his phone back out and nodding. “Sure.”

They bumped up a bit against each other fumbling to find a good pose making Niall laugh a bit as they stood face to face getting in the frame taking one failed photo before Harry's larger hand pulled it from Niall's hand and extended it further. “ready?” nodding as he smiled at the screen. “thanks”

“should we do one more?” His hand was already positioning to take the photo as he turned his body closer and pressed a kiss to Niall's temple, his own expression surprised as he blushed taking the phone. “alright alight.” shaking his head with a soft chuckle. “let's go get changed I'm starting to feel stuffy.” Grinning over his shoulder back at the taller as he took the lead even if he didn't know the way.

“Do I need to hold your hand so you don't get lost.” His voice was soft but low, a hint of playfulness in it as he had started walking the other path of a split route. Making Niall's pale cheeks blush red as he shook his head.

“Hey don't offer what you can't deliver.” Being taken off guard when the tan hand takes his for the second time that day, glancing down at their linked hands.

“Cheeky.” His voice wasn't scolding or condescending. Falling in step beside. Coming to a stop right in front of a numbered cottage.

Harry had the key of course he did,taking the lead in and toed off his shoes. The blonde following as he did the same slightly embarrassed since the younger had coordinated his socks to his outfit and here he was making a joke of himself with his bright coloured socks. But at least he had found a matching set.

Spotting his bags at the side of the bed he hoisted them up, searching through pulling out a shirt and some jeans, looking up and over to rake his eyes over his new husband. Blue eyes snapping back and down quickly as he was caught staring cheeks burning slightly. Grabbing his close as he left to change not wanting to undress in front of Harry. Not that he had anything to hide but it was yet again that self doubt nagging at him.

Coming back to see Harry had changed his pants into a pair of black skinny jeans very similar to his own dark washed ones. And was in the middle of unbuttoning his shirt. Not being able to stop his gaze he was shocked to see the few tattoos on the man's chest raising a brow. Not expecting that, eyes following the material as it left his arms revealing trim and muscular arms not overly so with one arm covered with tattoos. Only patches of skin peeking between ink.

“Oh wow.” The blond couldn’t have stopped it if he tried drawing attention. Damn now he was really embarrassing himself, but he couldn't help smile at the small grin he got back. Not sure if that was a good response to this all. With a shared look Niall moved over to the bed sitting up on the pillows on the headboard, feeling a bit anxious to be the first to start talking.

“Do you have any?” Harry's voice was soft and low, as if nothing was ever a rush.

Shaking his head he kept an eye on the man now placing on a gray shirt fixing his sleeves, before pulling out a laptop onto the table.

“Nope. Never thought they where for me, but there have been a few drunken close calls.” That seemed to break the ice enough in the room, as Harry chuckled softly and sat down, both of them keeping there distance.

It took them a few awkward questions later before they were on a roll. Niall found out Harry had graduate early from high school and had finished his undergrad then finished at law school Last year, after he had turned 23. And now he was working with a firm but only on small cases slowly moving his way up. He liked reading a lot, and if he wasn’t working he was reading, and he was shamelessly a health nut.

“No seriously! it really isn’t bad, don’t pull that face until you try it.” Niall had made a face at the sound of a wheatgrass shot. Shrugging his shoulders he’d have to at least indulge the younger. Also finding out that he was a self proclaimed great cook. Making Niall laugh hoping it was true since he didn’t have much of a variety in the kitchen.

 

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Harry hadn’t known what to expect that morning, he was just hoping he hadn’t made a mistake jumping into this so quickly, a brash decision. His first glimpse of his future husband had been very revealing, in his blue suit he was more than what he had hoped for, blue eyes and fake blond hair, slightly shorter. The first few hours of just being married and eating hadn’t even scratched the surface of knowing who the Irishman was Even walking back to there room was interesting, taking pictures and being so bold to take the paler man's hand had been so out of character.

Deciding it would have been a bad idea to draw attention to multi coloured socks that didn’t match the mans wonderful suit. But seeing Niall changed in his normal day to day wear was so refreshing, not that he was worried but he seemed to come out of his shell a bit. Make this moment more comfortable.

The concept of just ‘clicking’, had never truly happened to him before. This blond was for sure changing that quickly. They hadn’t stumbled over anything else after the first few questions. Finding that Niall was funny, and very open to talk about anything even if he kept glancing away every time they made eye contact was a welcomed surprise. To tell the boy things so quickly he had never been so open about so fast was refreshing and unnerving.

Maybe the fact of being married took the pressure off in weird and strange way, making the usually reserved man so much more easy going. Nothing he could say would really change how the man saw him, at least that's how his thinking was.

There was already a few things that Harry would happily spend the rest of their days together doing, and that was listening to how excited Niall got talking about something. Or that infectious laugh. Even making himself laugh out as well. It was bizarre how easy they had connected and how quickly Niall was able to just influence him with his brightness.

The passion of the older had was inspiring, after finding out he had his bachelors in music studies and was working towards his masters was amazing. Though he didn’t quite catch the type of music he was excited to find out. It was great finding out he had taken a gap year before collage and had done 6 Months through Europe and then 5 in South america. His mum had raised him alone and he had taken on some odd jobs to pay for a few years of school before his scholarship. When pressed he wouldn't say what jobs, hopefully he could pry it out of him another night.

Harry hadn't meant to say it so off hand now trying to cover it up with a small cough. “Should we go for a walk before dinner? Room service?” Trying to dodged the question as he handed over the menu not making contact with stunning blue eyes.

“You can’t not explain this one… You haven’t had any time off..?!” His voice sounded so shocked but he couldn't help it, he hadn’t meant to spend the last few years working hard and interning in law offices on his holidays that it had just happened.

“I mean.. well.. I’ve taken like a few days off throughout the years. But yeah.. this is my first real time off. I took this whole week off. The day before this and then till next week.” He put his hand up under his own chin and shrugged his shoulders. “We can set up the apartment and get to know each other.”

“Not saying that isn’t a great idea.. Really good. But I want to know how you haven’t had time off since you were 16! Harry how are you so relaxed about this.. “ Nails eyes were filled with shock and concerned making Harry laugh and shake his head.

“I Never thought of that, I mean.. I have it now. I just went with it. And maybe that's why I did this instead of finding someone..” He said the last part quietly as he moved to his bag messing up his hair and looking for his sweater as the sun was starting to set.

Watching as the shorter tapped the menu pointing out multiple things on the menu, as his stomach growled loudly. “Harry, we must have been matched to keep you from going bonkers.” He smiled up from where he sat on the bed with the menu, his cheeks reddening at the noise of his stomach causing harry to shake his head and laugh.

“Yeah that must be why.. I mean I’m usually more uptight than this, says my family.” He picked up the room phone and ordered what the man had pointed out and more, it wasn’t a big deal.

“H-Harry you didn’t have to order all that..”

Harry put a hand up stopping the boy from feeling bad about ordering. “I wanted to, ok? This is all for us whatever we want. So come on and grab a sweater, I need to stretch my legs”

Niall swatted the hand away as he smiled shyly, getting off the bed and grabbing a zippered hoodie and putting on his sneakers.

“Alright.. only because its ‘our’ day..” Harry did the same sliding on a pair of old brown boots as he followed Niall out deciding on going for a walk along the river bank. There voices mixed well over the noise of the water, laughs and slightly obvious bumping of shoulders. As the hour passed making there way back he couldn't stop himself after bumping knuckles for the millionth time with Niall, finally taking his hand not lacing fingers but it felt warm if not slightly rough. Musicians hands. Deciding not to put to much thought into this.

-----

Niall had tried, with a lot of restraint, to eat like a normal person actually stop to chew as his mother would say. But really I couldn't have been pretty but he was glad harry hadn't noticed at least if he did he didn't say anything.

The sense of time had gone out the window as they had spent hours just talking or rambling. Taking the situation and actually making it very positive.

Both changed and setting into the large bed keeping to their respective sides. “should we.. consummate our marriage?” Harry's awkward and confused tone causing Naill to laugh as he laid down turning over to look at the younger.

“when you put it like that…” He gave him a cheesy smile but then shook his head cheeks reddening. “So.. I have this super weird thing. But even the idea of having sex in a hotel creeps me out..” Giving a shudder. That was rewarded with a very confused looking Harry. As he blinked a few times.

“Well… I was almost expecting you to say you had a tail or something. But what? That's... weird.” If the smile on his face had been anything to go by Niall at least hadn't offended the younger. Causing both to laugh, Niall had grabbed the comforter pulling it over his head.

“It's just so weird! I'm not a germaphobe or anything. But like…. Other people have left their… juices” Voice muffled from the sheets. “I mean yes they wash the sheets but like…” Giving another visible shudder.

“juices… that's the word you're gonna use.” Harry's laugh was so joyful at the thought.

“Yes. Juices! When it's in your own bed with your own juices it's fine.” His protest was halfhearted as he realizing how weird he must have come off.

“Well now that you've grossed me out guess not tonight then.” Still grinning as he moved to turn off the lamp and settle in turning to face the older.

“Sorry if I ruined tonight..” Niall's voice was small from his side of the bed looking back at Harry it was so strange to be here there first night together and he may have already goofed it up.

“Don't worry. I mean it's strange but will just wait till tomorrow right?...unless you don't want to.” The frown in his voice made the older shake his head and sigh.

“No. God no, I really do. Tomorrow. Promise” It only sinking in now that they were casually chatting about sex.

Harry had agreed and turned onto his back stretching his arms out and yawning. “Well with that out in the open. I should confess something too… I hate sleeping with clothes on, but since you so courageously confessed your fear of hotel sex I'll be nice and keep them on. Just for tonight.”

The blond laughed at that shaking his head. “fine I'll guess I'll just have to live with that, unbelievable.” They had settled down just soft breathing between them. It wasn't till both men were seconds from sleeping did Niall finally speak. “Sorry if I get to close.. I sleep cuddle.” He was already drifting off to sleep not catching the smile on the younger's lips.

Chapter Text

Sunlight streamed through the rooms large windows drenching the walls with a warm glow. A body shifted in a mess of blankets, tangling bodies even closer.

Warmth pressed against his back and slow warm breaths along his shoulder. Harry hadn't expected to wake up this way, not that he hadn't been warned. An arm wrapped over his hip as he tried to shift without waking the blond. The slightest movement seemed to do the exact opposite as he felt the body behind him stirring, a low grown at the loss of sleep. Feeling soft hair press into his back.

“Morning.” His own voice still raspy from sleep and a dry throat but he couldn't help but smile at what he would call a whine in reply. “I think you drooled on me..” Moving his own hands up to rub his face and push curls away from his cheeks.

Unable to keep it together when he felt the hand pull from his hip to his back and in a lazy motion drag from shoulder down, grimacing at the feeling as he started laughing. “Did you just wipe your drool on me.”

The delayed reaction was worth the wait as Niall had pulled away, turning himself over to watch the boy wipe his mouth squeezing his eyes shut. “Ohmygod, so embarrassing.” His low groan and the kick of feet cheeks burning red.

“So disgusting.” Harry teased he really actually didn’t care about it, as he nudged the boy’s side. An excited look flashing in his eyes when the other flinched away with it trying to hide a chuckle, blue eyes peaking between slitted fingers.

“I’m sorry!.” But it was too late Harry was already moving in reaching out his hand to test the few sections of exposed skin. “No. N-no! I said sorry!” It took only a few passes of moving fingers to have the older laughing hard and trying to grab at Harry’s wrists. Finding that his new husbands ticklish spots closer to his under arms. Up on his knees taking the advantage point.

“H-Harry! Please I'm gonna wee!” He finally took his hands off as he sat back and couldn't stop chuckling at him. Watching him jump up and run off as he flopped back. “I hadn’t thought you were actually serious..” Hands running up lazily over his chest to see niall come back out. On the receiving end of a half hearted glare.

“So mean..” Shaking his head, Harry’s eyes followed as the older walked over to his bag digging through it and pulling out the days change of clothing as he sat up slowly getting off the bed to do the same.

“Ready to head back to london?” Grabbing his few things as he set himself up to get ready.

“Yeah, pretty excited to see the apartment… its going to be great. Already kinda worried about unpacking..” Harry pulled his clothing up and pointed to the bathroom, leaving for a shower.

---

The drive back to london had been quick, Harry had taken his own car to drive them back. As they pulled in towards 4 story building, pretty similar to Niall’s old apartment. It was close enough to walk to the tube in the morning and a very quick distance to school from there. So it wasn’t a huge issue. “Woah.” It was definitely a nice neighbourhood.

“Yeah.. i guess this is the place. Said it has an elevator but the walkup is quick.. And apparently there’s a gym.. “ Turning to watch the other as he nodded he wasn’t against that idea, the younger did seem in really good shape.

“Do you go to the gym often?”

Harry found their parking spot outside and nodded. “Yeah, I have a personal trainer who i see a few times a week.” He said it so casually making Niall grin and shook his head. Of course the man would have that, but not that it bothered him, not having to pay for a gym would be nice. And maybe being able to watch the other wasn’t a bad perk as well.

Getting up to the 3rd floor and walking down the hall with bags in tow. “Why doesn’t the stairs go up to the 4th floor?” It was just an afterthought as they walked up to there door smiling at the silly welcome mat, stopping a bit behind to snap a quick picture with his phone and then moving to stand shoulder to shoulder as Harry unlocked the door.

“Oh..” The entrance was standard, walking down to a small washroom next to an open kitchen, beside living room. The corner flat had large windows. Just off the kitchen was a room that held all of Nialls guitars and equipment all packed in boxes. “Nice...” the small word left his lips as they kept walked towards the living room passing a set of stairs. Guessing the last room on the floor was Harry’s study.

 

“I guess this is yours..” Harry had stopped behind him peeking in, his hands moving to rest on the shorters shoulders.

“Is it just me or does it feel like we shouldn’t touch anything..” Niall looked back pulling his own hands up against his chest pulling a nervous smile.

“That’s exactly how it feels.” Laughing as the other copied the face in a mocking style, as he nudged into him moving him out of the study. “So where do we sleep?..”

“Should we check upstairs..” Blue eyes watching as the taller walk towards the stairs and stick his head behind the wall. Pulling back with wide green eyes, before grinning stupidly. “I can’t see a thing. Lets go.” Starting to take the stairs two at a time. “First one there gets to pick their side of the bed!” Calling out.

Niall yelled up after him, as he raced up trying his best to catch up but the other was all legs it wasn’t a fair race. Catching up at the top of the landing and noticing the two open doors. One to the bathroom but the other leading into their large bedroom.

“This is sick.. like actually amazing.” The room seemed large without the unpacked furniture like the rest of the house but it was still exciting. Boxes labeled “clothes” in hand writing sat side by side in front of the walk in closet. Niall moved to sit where they would put the bed and laid back hands behind the back of his head. “Ah..i want this spot.” Grinning over once the younger had moved to lay down beside him. “Good because i wanted to be closer to the window.”

“I know everything was going to change. but this is actually so unreal... “ Staring up at the ceiling as he heard shuffling beside him causing the younger to grab his attention.

“Yeah.. but like a good change right?” Reaching his arm out when the brunette moved closer and let him rest his head on his arm and smiled at the quick snuggle, nodding his head.

“I mean.. theres still time to fuck something up. “ Causing Harry to laugh and nod his head.

“Yeah your right.. either way, I kinda wanna sleep in a bed tonight. so maybe we should get to unpacking.” A few hours in and they had made pretty quick work at setting up the bedroom. Frame and mattress in place. Side tables set up and clothes boxes opened but only sifted through on the hunt for linens.

Moving there way to the kitchen to unpack the few sets of things they had, mainly Harry’s since Niall only had a few mugs and a couple of bowls and plates shrugging when the younger had laughed at him. Saying he hadn’t even thought of that. Stopping to order takeout, food boxes tossed in the sink after. Tackling the living room, which was quick just moving the couch around, and setting up the entertainment unit. Harry’s tv was giant, and combined they had a pretty great movie collection.

---

Niall had decided it was to late to work on his work space, and followed Harry to help set up his study. His desk was already there solid with dark wood and a rolling chair, getting the shelving up, surprised at how easy it was to find a good working pace. Though all day he couldn’t lie he had kept sneaking glances at the taller.

“You have way too many books.” Niall had stopped putting them out 5 minutes ago to sit on the large desk swinging his feet. Book open in his lap, skimming over the pages about a russian war, if he was honest he really wasn’t even paying much attention to the words.

“Yes, but that’s why this is a collection. And I plan to read them all.” Moving up from his spot on the floor and over to stand beside Niall, looking at the book in his hands before taking it from him gently and setting it down.

“I don’t doubt that.” Looking up from where he sat nudging the younger with his foot as he kept moving his legs. Large hands left the book and moved to still the older’s swings.

“I may have to work around a distraction.” Green eyes baring into blues that had lifted up to meet his.

“Oh.. and what's going to be distracting you.. huh?” Pale hands reaching up to hold onto Harry's forearms, gripping onto him gently.

“You know.. “ Leaning into the olders ear. “A blond distraction.” Niall had been hoping for some kind of contact since that morning, even if he had had to run off, the need to see where Harry would take this, his quiet wishes finally was being fulfilled. Not able to help himself as he reached one hand up from the youngers strong arm to the back of his neck. Pulling back to catch the others eye one more time before pushing his lips up against soft dark rose lips.

Niall felt strong hands move from his thighs slipping down to cup his ass pulling him against the older who stood in between his legs. There lips moved ferociously against one another. It wasn’t long before tongues were invading desperately testing how far they could take it. Niall’s hands threaded into Harry's wild hair keeping him close even when they pulled away for quick breaths, bring him back for another deep needy kiss. He couldn’t help it, it had been months since he had even been on a date with someone let alone kiss them.

Pressing of their hips had them panting with the realization that there actions where mutual. With cheeks flushed he looked up at to see Harry just gave a devilish smirk. “As much as i want to fuck you against this desk… maybe we should head upstairs?”

“Whimp.” Niall had nudged him away but laughed nodding. “Yeah sounds good.. d-do you mind if i shower first?” Still slightly panting as he slipped from the desk.

“Sure that's fine..” Giving him a bit of an odd look but nodded as he moved to follow, hand coming up to smack his ass as they hurried up the stairs making Niall squack. “Hey!”

Feeling a muscular arm wrap around him from behind as he was lifted, feet kicking a bit as he gripped at the arm. “Holy shit, Harry don’t drop me!” Laughing from the shock of how strong he was, damn that wasn’t helping the situation.

Feet finally making contact with the ground he turned in the arm being met with lips hot against his. “Hurry up, ok?” Pulling away with a ‘don’t worry’ over his shoulder and disappearing into the bathroom.

--

Niall moved to the doorway of the bedroom, looking over at the younger who was laying on the bed shamelessly displayed. Standing still eyes raking over the very impressive body of his husband and grinned moving into the room.

“Hey..”

“Finally… I thought you forgot or something.” Moving to sit up and patting beside him on the bed, a light smile played on his lips.

“Sorry..” An airy laugh as he moved to the edge of the bed dropping his towel and tossing it to the lone chair by the closet door. Blushing lightly, not that he was embarrassed or anything he had nothing to hide as he moved onto the bed. Boldly moving right over to Harry’s lap and straddle his hips.

“Hopefully i can make up for lost time.” Tattooed arms warping around his waist pulling him closer as he stared up at him. Sinking slowly to rest on strong thighs. It became intimate quickly, lips colliding against each other as the tension of the lasts 24 hours had finally accelerated to hands grasping the others body and mouths moving to take turns marking each others skin. The room filled with pants and gasps.

Niall laid against Harry's chest knees still high up against the man’s sides. Ass exposed for the wandering hand that had finally made its way down, tensing with a hitched breath as a the roaming hand finally slid down a finger pressing against a puckered hole. Finger not having to press hard before slipping in. Harry pulled back from the bruise he was making on Niall’s neck as he stilled his finger.

“D-did you?”

Niall blushed hotly. “Yeah.. ?” The longhaired brunette looked up in such a confused manner.

“That’s what took so long?” A second finger already positioned.

“Yeah.. was I not suppose to?” Niall tilted his own head in confusion, not stopping himself from pushing down on the fingers, biting his lip to muffle a whine.

“I mean, no that's ok. Just I don’t mind helping.. I actually really enjoy it. “ His hand holding Niall's slim hip still.

Niall bit his lip looking away. “O-oh.. sorry, just a habit from a previous boyfriend. He hated doing it.” Shrugging, as he pushed himself to sit up wondering if maybe he had crossed a line speaking about an ex, suddenly feeling the body under him move up following.

“Fuck’em.. I really don’t mind at all.” Nipping at Niall's collarbone, as he pushed two fingers in easily making the smaller body arch back into them.

“Fuck’em.. sure.. “ Breath already speeding up as he reached down between them to give the olive skinned man’s cock a few strokes. “But, please.. fuck me.” Eyes dark with lust, he couldn’t take any more teasing prep, that’s why he had taken care of it all. Listening to the others sudden hiss at being touched fondling him in his palm.

“o-ok, point taken.” Hand was gone from his ass now fumbling round as he reached back for a condom and lube already set out. Niall’s eyes couldn’t unlock from the sight of the younger pumping himself a few times, growing to his full length. .

Wrapped and slicked he laid back, Niall bit his lip keeping his eyes down cast where he kneeled taking the warm cock in his hand and keeping it still as he lowered himself down. Taking his time to adjust to the width, as he finally seated himself fully down.

“ok?” The words were deep and throaty as he finally looked up, nodding his head. “yeah.. gimmie a second and i’ll move.” Hands roamed over his hips as he lifted himself slightly before pushing back, testingly.

It didn’t take long before Niall had set a pretty quick pace moving his hips up and down, head dropped forward in pleasure. Moans spilling from kissed swollen lips. large hands were guiding his hips down hard, being met with thrusts. Trembles went through the shorters body as his prostate was assaulted, hands gripping tightly to hard shoulders of the man under him. The pace that was set was mind blowing but becoming too uncomfortable, sending small shocks of pain through his knee. Hissing softly as he finally pulled his hips up off the man's length.
“O-ow fuck.” Panting hard, fringe sticking to his forehead with sweat as he blue eyes found worried green.

“You ok?” Harry was sitting up against Niall arms wrapping around looking up at him with slightly concern. “did I hurt you?” Niall shook his head, arms wrapping around the larger mans shoulders.

“No.. God no.. Just can we change positions.. my knees starting to hurt.” Giving him an apologetic smile, it wasn’t even long enough to process as he was lifted so easily up into the man's arms. Turning them over so he was finally on his back.

“Course.. Anytime.” Niall laughed, wiggling himself into a good spot, easily being filled again. Changing the spot seemingly making the access to his prostate so much more accessible. Arching his back off the mattress as he threw his head back.

“O-oh fuck, Harry… Right there.” Hand threading up into the said man's hair and pulling him down for a hot kiss, moaning into his mouth.

“My name sounds good like that.” When there mouths finally detached, his lips hot against Niall's cheek, only able to reply with a louder moan, and a shaky rendition of his name. His free hand trying to find anything to hold onto.

“I'm getting close.” Harry thrust his hand down between their bodies and grabbed Niall's own hard cock. Fisting it quickly, only using the pre-cum to slick his shaft well enough to cause friction. Moan becoming louder as he was being pulled closer and closer.

“You're so loud.. has anyone told you that?” Harry's voice was strained but amused, as he got a playful smack on his chest.

“Shutthefuck up! I'm so close.” Biting his lip thinking the man was making a more criticizing comment. His hand moving up from where it gripped the sheets up to bite the back of his hand, stifling a few more loud moans.

“No.. fuck that.. didn’t mean stop.” Harry's hand grabbing the older's lacing them together and pinning it above his head, slamming his hips hard against the paler mans. “Want our neighbors to hear.. you sound like a porn.”

Making a sweet whine when his hand was pulled away and pushing back to keep himself from being fucked into the headboard. A few choice swears leaving his mouth as he forwent trying to be quiet, crying out his husband's name as he came, coating the man's hand and his own chest. Tightening down on the offending member, as he rode out his orgasm, feeling the man's hips start to stutter in their pace slamming deep inside as he felt the younger moan against his collarbone.

The room became quiet just a mix of slowly steadying breaths and the last few groans. As the blonde felt the man slip from his body, and unpeeled himself from their sweat slicked chests.

It was a couple more minutes, Niall felt the soft feeling of a tissue against his chest and a half hearted wiping motion, making him chuckle lightly and take the tissue from the younger and clean himself off.

“That was actually so good.” He was up heading to the small garbage can not expecting the words till they hit him.

“I mean.. it wasn’t sex with my ex. But it wasn’t bad.”

Chapter Text

Harry hadn’t meant for it to come out sounding like that, that was where he had fucked up. It had actually been really good, but not being over your ex fully was a pain in the ass. Especially when he saw the sudden tightness in the olders back his own eyes wide.

“Shit.. Niall I didn't mean to say that out loud..”

“That doesn’t make it any better.” The blond was already moving away from the bed and toward the closet. He could hear the slight mumble of. ‘seriously.’ and ‘fuck not again.’ His chest tightened as he sat up watching the other come out standing at the door with a pair of boxers on. His bottom lip was bit between two rows of straight teeth, maybe he thought it was going to hide the quiver, but green eyes noticed right away.

“Niall. Come back to bed.”

“know what, I'm really getting sick of being compared to someone else.” The words hadn’t been harsh or mad, they had cut deeper because they sounded so defeated. He watched him disappear back into the closet, slight rustling he was back out in a sweater and tracky bottoms.

“Niall.. “

He could hear the small sniff as he felt a bit too shocked to move, not realizing what he had actually caused in the older. “Niall.. what are you doing? Are you going somewhere?”

“I don’t know Harry.” His voice was a bit hoarse but that could have been easily from the loud act they had just completed. “Maybe i wanna see the gym. Your parents put a lot of money into this fucking place.”

The words were shaky at best and he wouldn’t turn to face him again as he was putting on a pair of socks, and was already out the door. Once he was gone he could hear the steps leaving the apartment and the door closing. Cursing to himself as he rubbed a frustrated hand over his face and into his hair.

He wasn’t expecting that, expecting the words to leave his mouth. Niall hadn’t done anything wrong, he was actually stunning and filled with a confidence that Harry had admired. Espcially how he had taken control. The red in his cheeks that seemed to spread down his chest, and the way he was so responsive to ever touch. He was kicking himself and cursing his ex for fucking something else up for him. Sighing, and making the choice to not pursue Niall just yet, letting the blond cool down, as he went to jump in the shower, not wanting to wash off the smell of them, but try get rid of the feeling of guilt and self loathing that was building up.

1 am turned into 2 am, before harry sent him his first text. His hands holding his phone tightly. After hitting send he sat on the edge of the bed and waited.

To Niall
Come back, please.
01:59am

From Niall
In a bit.
02:05

Sighing in frustration, waiting for the text felt like hours instead of minutes. As he sat and waited trying to be patient for the older to come back. But when he still hadn’t returned 20 minutes later he was up and dressed heading down the stairs and grabbing his key on the way out.

It had just turned 2:30 when Harry had found his way to the buildings gym, it was nice but he could admire it at a different time. Heading over to the older who was just getting off the treadmill, turning but all too quickly letting his blue eyed gaze fall. Harry unable to catch it but it still didn’t stop him from seeing how tired the man looked. That his eyes were slightly puffy, and cheeks tear stained causing his heart to drop a bit. “Hey..”

“Hey.”

Niall's voice was still hoarse as Harry walked forward. “Come back up.. please? I’m really really sorry.” He had reached out and was only slightly hurt when the other had pulled away a bit, not far enough that he wouldn't reach . Hand resting on the olders arm. Feeling the need to make contact, as if it was his duty to bring the blond back.

“Was just about to.”

Harry’s hand slid down the jacketed arm and took the man’s hand gently, not bothering saying anything more and lead the way back up. The grip on his hand got a bit tighter as they walked up the stairs. Near the top of the walk up he could hear the change in breath, turning his attention beside him.

“You ok?”

At the top of the stairs keeping an overly observant eye on how the other was now favoring one leg over the other. But still dismissed the inquiry.

“Fine.”

Making it back to their place and up to the bedroom, Niall's hand had detached as he left for the bathroom hearing the taps turn on but only for a few minutes. Coming back just in boxes leaving his clothes in the hamper and moving to crawl into bed.

He had stayed on his side turning his body away from harry so it was just his back that he was staring at. His hand reaching out, he couldn’t drop this not now, not there first night together. Pressing his fingertips gently to the man's shoulder blade.

“Ni.. Please don't ignore me. I know what i did was really fucking shitty. i'm sorry.” His own voice wavering a bit, he didn’t normally mind people being mad at him, but this was someone he should mind. “Mum always said, never go to bed angry…” Trying to sound small, just as young as his years.

“Its ok Harry.. “ His voice was distant. “I should be use to this by now.. Your mum is right. But maybe we should put on the breaks... “ Harry moved closer trying to not startle the other as he ran his hand down his arm.

“I know it’s not ok.. What do you mean.. by now?” watching the blond shake his head and sigh out.

“its nothing harry, i shouldn’t have said anything.” Harry moved right up against the smaller framed man, reversing their position from the night before his forehead resting gently against the back of Niall’s.

“I agree.. maybe we went to fast. But can this still be ok.. I don’t want to already stop this..” He felt the body press back against him relaxing its tense pose. “Let’s talk in the morning.. ok” Hearing a tired ‘ok’ back as he tightened his grip a bit wondering if the older knew how sorry he was just from his embrace, still not fully understanding the effect of his own words. It took Harry longer to fall asleep, making sure that Niall had been asleep before he could no longer try to put the pieces together in his own head.

--

Waking up the next morning was such a struggle, but Niall had pulled himself out of the warm grasp of the younger. Quietly getting dressed and heading his way downstairs. They didn’t have much food in the kitchen, empty fridge and only a few things in the pantry and cereal that was no good to them without milk.

Cleaning up the boxes in the sink from last night he made his way into his work space. Moving the standing piano round(on wheels) and went to setting up the room. Desk with an old soundboard and his laptop now set up, and connecting his speakers up. He was sitting on the piano bench putting together a few stands for a few of his guitars to rest, when he heard a three short raps on the door.

Turning to see a comfortably dressed Harry, his curls messy and wild. He was leaning against the frame as if he had been standing there a while. “I’ve never slept in that long..”

Moving to set up the few stands nodding his head as he pulled the first case from the far wall of the room, kneeling down and popping open the case, not watching the shuffle of feet as the younger sat down on the now empty bench.

“It’s what vacations are for, so you’re doing it right. “ Niall set it up on the stand, looking over the body making sure there was no dings on the acoustic. Getting up and doing it with 2 other guitars and one electric.

“Guess so.” Harry’s words were quiet where he sat, His fingers tapping the edge of the bench as Niall stood up finally. “Are those three the same?”

“They look pretty similar but they're different.. These two are a more common acoustics nothing special just the body looks different, they make a slightly different noise because of the type of wood they're made of. The dark wood is a more clean vs. the black bodied one is a bit more rough. And the last one is a classical guitar, think more spanish influences, it has more of a whole feeling to it.” Niall turned from the guitars as he bite his lip. “Sorry I totally music nerded out.”

“No you're fine.. that's really cool. I've always thought about learning to play. But just never had the time.” Harry shrugged his shoulders. “Can we talk now?”

Niall didn’t want to, he had made a fool of himself, becoming so emotional at the aspects of being with someone forever. It never crossed his mind that the other would have his own issues, making him feel very selfish for his reaction.

“Yeah ok. But maybe not in here?” Nodding his head out as he lead them out of the room. Making his way into the living room grabbing a pillow as he folded his leg in and sat down putting the pillow on his lap holding onto it. Fiddling with the seam of the pillow eyes watching Harry sat at the other side of the couch.

“So… I ruined last night pretty bad huh..” It wasn’t a question and the look on Harry’s face read all the things he was feeling. Niall just nodded, mumbling. ‘it wasn’t great.’

“I’m so sorry.. I’ve only been single for like 3 months. I can’t explain why I even said it. Really maybe I was trying to make a joke and it came out horribly horribly wrong.” Hearing the sigh and watching the hand rake through messy curls as he sighed. He looked as if he was struggling.

“It sucked.. thats for sure. But I’m normally not that.. dramatic i guess. “ Niall kept his eyes down now not wanting to meet Harry’s while he explained himself. “I just.. Old me wouldn’t have found it such a big deal, been a bit hurt but laughed it off… I mean, it's been over a year and a half and Im still feeling stuck.” Rubbing his cheek with his hand, this was going to scare Harry away for sure.

“I was with my Ex for 3 years.. and even before that we were best friends. And then he broke up with me for someone else.. “ Shaking his head, it still brought up a small pang of sadness if he really thought about it. “they had actually been sleeping together before he dumped me..” Letting out a long breath really unsure of this all. “He was in the same program as me, just a year ahead, and i had to still see him.. and all our friends chose him.. and I was the one who had to move out..” He bit the inside of his cheek. “Sorry.. i’ve never really told anyone why we split. And you probably think I’m some weirdo though.”

Keeping his eyes down, he could only feel the couch dip slightly when harry moved from his spot forward his hand moving up to take the smaller hand giving it a squeeze. “Hey, thanks for telling me..” Moving to wrap his arm around him. “He sounds like a dick.. and I'm not him I promise. “

Niall moved to rest his head on Harrys shoulder. “Let me know what i can do to help getting you over your ex.”

“Same.. And Ni.. I want to be your friend.. well no i want to be your husband. But first i want to be your friend. So anything at all we can talk..”

Niall felt very mature unlike how he felt last night, he didn’t feel as stupid talking about it like he had always thought he would have. He did have friends, but none of them were ever as close as his old circle. Maybe Harry could help him.

“Well.. that was the most dramatic 48 hours as I've ever had.” The words caused Niall to laugh as he pulled away nodding his head.

“Now that it’s done.. Can we go buy groceries.. I’m starving.” Niall’s stomach growled in unison with Harry’s causing both of them to fall into a fit of giggles.

“Alright alright, let’s go get food.”

Chapter Text

They had fallen into an easy pattern. There first week together after the boil over of being matched together the stress from the first fight had all but flown away. Having spent so much time together so suddenly it felt weird to have Harry go back to work the following week.

Monday morning he was up early, even with the slight whine and the soft ask to stay in bed longer. Having gotten use to waking up a bit later, then gym, then everything else. Leisurely paced days, followed by relaxed evening.

Niall had looked up from the pillow and voice filled with sleep. “woah… You look really nice.” at the sight of Harry in one of his work suits his hair fixed nicely not his usual mess of curls and head band. The brunettes face was contemplative almost unrecognizable before it broke into a goofy grin leaning over the bed and ruffling Niall's hair making the blond chuckle and swat away the hand. “have a good day at work.” The younger was already heading out the door calling over his shoulder ‘you too.’

The same day after a sleep in, Niall was off and back to campus to start teaching guitar lessons, just something he did to pay the bills a few days a week he was booked. Young kids to fellow students wanting to tune up their skill. It was his favorite, then he would be home to work on a few tracks for some classmates or compose. Harry finally being home to make dinner, since over their holiday his husband found out he really didn’t know much in the kitchen.

That became there few week routine, spending weekdays working and weekends exploring their new neighborhood the end of may turned into June quickly, time seemed to be flying.

Niall was getting use to what he would call his Harry, because there never seemed to be a lack of conversation, or even any uncomfortable silences. It wasn’t till he started meeting him a few times a week after work. He would come out of the elevator with a few others all dressed in fancy suits, and they would all say goodbye to each other, talking loudly. Harry usually hanging back and not being so involved just nodding a farewell.

Niall had been waiting in the lobby on a late afternoon guess it was a slow work day today since he got the text saying Harry would leave work early if he wanted to meet up.

Looking up from his phone the older pulled his headphones off seeing the taller walking at the back of a group. Waving his hand a bit as the younger moved around the group in a quick goofy shuffle. Coming over and in seconds already had his arms around him, causing Niall to laugh out trying not to draw too much attention his hand up and petting the mans hair that had too much product in it for his liking.

“Tough day?”

Feeling the others head nod against his neck he had made himself quite small to fit into Niall's arms. Laughing softly as he patted his back.

“Styles” The voice was low as he felt Harry pull away standing up taller and tense. Niall slipping his headphones away and put his hand into Harry's. Looking at the older man maybe in his early 30’s taller with gray hair already spotting the sides of his head. “Yes?” Harry's own voice was suddenly more serious and the frow in his brow showed as if he was really concentrating.

“I know you'll say no, but we are meeting up at the usual pub spot tonight. Be there around 10. Table in the back, bring your…” Pointing with an open hand in the shorter’s direction.

“Oh. Niall. Husband.” Raising his own hand and smiling as he nudged Harry who looked at his side narrowing his eyes, clearly this wasn't something Harry wanted to do but why not.

“Maybe.” Harry looked over back at his coworker.

“We'll see, but I don't see why not..” The blond got a hard squeeze in his hand as he tried to stiffen a laugh by biting his lip. Getting a strange look for the older man. Saying something like see you tonight before he left.

With a groan Harry turned to Niall. “Why would you do that. “

“What do you mean?” Leading him out of the lobby and toward the carport. “You don't want to go?”

“I've never gone. They stopped officially asking me after my 3rd month here.” falling in step. “I mean they ask me it's just on the day of and I just don't see the point of having to hang out with stuffy people I work with all day.” The echo of the car as it unlocked while they approached detaching from each other.

“You don't have many friends at work do you?” Amused as the shorter took the passenger side faulting when the other locked the door so he couldn't actually get in dangling his keys.

“Your right. But you’re also driving home tonight.” Hand on his hip as he held out the keys making as if he was going to toss them.

“Harry please no. You know how I feel about driving in the city! And your work is a maze to get out from…” cheeks already paling as his heart rate already climbing. Dodging the set of keys that were tossed over hand to him. “No!”

“Ni! Come on. How are you going to get over it… at least toss them back.” Huffing Niall turned to get the keys coming back after unlocking the door and passing the keys back.

Throwing one nice work case and one very tattered backpack into the back seat. “Are you done sulking. Because I'm still annoyed you implied we were going tonight.. which we not.” Voice coming from his side, as he looked over from his spot in the passengers watching green eyes focused on the road.

“I’m not sulking… It just makes me anxious. And we are going, just because you're stroppy.” Niall fired back keeping his eye on the tanner reaching over to push a loose curl behind his ear. ‘if your not sulking I'm not in a strop’ the argument was quiet his attention on the road as he took the turn out of the mass of large buildings. It made Niall laugh as he shook his head, pulling his hand away as the younger changed gears.

“Lets just go.. I wouldn't mind meeting your coworkers, and you were just saying last night that this week's been a long one. Why not enjoy a drink with coworkers it will be fun to see them let loose maybe they aren't as stuffy as you claim.”

---

Dressed in tight skinny jeans was the only piece of clothing they matched, where Niall had leather lace ups Harry had his usual beat up brown boots. The late spring night so close to summer was warm so his button up short sleeve was all he needed. Harry in a long sleeve thin cotton in black was unbuttoned along his chest exposing his smooth chest and flaunted his tattoos, being a thin see through the fabric.

“You look good.” Niall reached over in the back seat of the cab to take Harry's hand the other had that look of concentration like he was deep in thought. “Don't be nervous… if you actually hate it we can leave ok.”

It took a small squeeze to get the brunette's attention as he finally looked back over. “I know. “ If it was one thing Niall had learned in their short time married was that the younger became very quiet when he nervous. Giving him a reassuring smile before turning to look where they had stopped he had never heard of the pub before but it did take him off guard.

“Harry this isn't the kind of pub I thought we were going to.” Sure it had the elements of a bar some old wooden tables around but the decor was beautiful. As if it was a library of a lumberjack. Very dark trims and dim expensive lighting.

Niall felt Harry’s hand on his back as they said what group they were with and lead to the back. The hostess was stunning everyone, working here looked as if they were cut out of a magazine. They got to the back of the bar to the reserved area it was a large group already sitting and standing around chatting drinks in hand and a few with meals. A few heads turned looking surprised as they were definitely one of the youngest couples there most of the older men had young wives/girlfriends.

Watching Harry say hi to a few of the people closest to them. Niall broke away quickly to find the waitress ordering a pint. Walking back over watching his husband having a very strange nod fest with an older man. He had his concentrated face on and just kept nodding his head barely speaking. It was adorable to Niall not realizing Harry was so socially awkward. Moving to stand near by his drink brought to him in minutes as he took a sip if the cold drink noticing green eyes on it.

They broke away from the older man and Niall held out the glass. “You want some..?” The taller hardly had to nod before taking the frosted glass. “I thought you didn't like drinking.” he'd only ever see Harry drink one beer the last month and he had nursed it there whole dinner and had only drank quarter of a glass.

“Tonight feels like I need to.” His voice sounded serious and pained but he had the glass to his lips and drank long and hearty of the brew. Almost finishing it in a go causing the blond to shake his head and laugh as they ordered two more beers when the waitress came by and got pulled into another conversation.

Around beer 2 Niall had been talking his favorite teams with a couple of the guys. His husband had gone off and had his original been talking to a few of the younger ladies who had been complementing his outfit. Getting small glimpses of each other between groups Niall always giving a head nod to make sure the other was doing OK. He seemed to have loosened up a bit.

4 beers later Niall was pulled into a conversation with a very energetic short balding man talking about rhythms once he learned Niall was a musician. Slowly getting himself away so he could grab a water his throat dry from talking and shouting over the loud crowed. Standing off to the side he watched as Harry sauntered his way over cutely moving his hips and shoulders. The blond raised a brow as the man came right up to him, large hands moving to his hips, not that he was trying to keep count he was just more concerned for his lightweight husband but he must have finished drink 4.

“Having fun?” He didn't feel too drunk just buzzed and happy even if his accent was more pronounced and his cheeks were flushed. Looking up the slight incline to the taller watching him nod slowly still bopping slowly to the song that was hard to hear.

“mmhmm. So much.. but I keep getting pulled away from you.” The cute scrunch in the younger's face as he moved in for a few short pecks. “I didn't say earlier but you look really great tonight.”

The complement made him blush, a small laugh leaving his lips as he received a couple more kisses. “thank you..you feeling good?” watching the other nod again making him chuckle a bit harder.

“Niall!...Harry can we steal your husband.” The beautiful group of women who were the wives of the men from Harry's office standing off to the side. As Harry gave Niall one last kiss and pulled back as Niall slipped slowly out of his arms. “Sorry babe.” Harry just shrugged and pointed his fingers to the side to find someone else to talk To. Glade the younger didn't seem to intoxicated he held himself well.

They had only wanted to talk about Harry, about what he was like at home and a few other things. Nothing that was overly exciting as he kept his eye out. Drink 5 for harry had been another beer and his own was the same. Stick in a conversation when they heard the shouts of a couple of them calling out ‘shots’ his eyes watched as his husband was part of the group getting shots brought to them deciding it was time to head home.

“Sorry ladies have to go get my husband.” waving to them quickly before getting up to Harry's side. He had grabbed a water a few minutes back so it was full as he stood up beside the taller holding the shot glass.

“Is that for me?” The blonds asked up against Harry's ear. As the other pulled back with a raised brow and a smile.

“of course love. “ Handing the shot over as Niall smiled. “let's trade, drink this.” taking the shot before seeing Harry's put off face as he pulled from the drink.

“Ni.. this is just water.”

Niall couldn't help his laugh it was adorable seeing the other so confused and intoxicated. Reaching his hand up to stroke a few curls over his ear. “It is, finish it so we can go home.” He watched the other debate in his head the option of staying or going home. The clear winner being going home as Harry finished the water and smacked it down on the table. A few of the lads cheering not knowing it has been nonalcoholic drink.

Harry had his arm wrapped around Niall's shoulders and his own arm wrapping around the man's waist more to keep him balanced. They said a few goodbyes a couple of the guys saying they’d have to join then again sometime. Harry purposefully steering away from a few people they hadn't talked to all night.

 

In the cab Niall had been pulled in to sit against Harry as the younger had his hand up on his cheek and they spent the ride with locked lips, happy drunk giggles if they bumped teeth or missed each others mouth all together.

Blue eyes had won over glazed over green when they had been faced with the 3 floor walk up. But the elevator had been a good choice, being pulled in and into strong arms as he closed his eyes nuzzling into his neck.

On their level Niall turned to get arms around him not letting go as he laughed leading up to their door. A chin hooked over his shoulder resting against him. “how are you not this drunk.” The slurr in his voice wasn't that noticeable as the got them inside.

“Cuz it's in me Irish blood” speaking in a thick accent as Harry scoffed and toed off his boots. They stumbled upstairs to the bedroom. Niall groaned at how warm it was upstairs heading to the room to open the windows. Thankful for the slight breeze still cool with spring air.

Turning round to see Harry making his way over resuming their cuddle position from the elevator. Tan arms wrapping around his waist as light arms wrapped around taller shoulders. Hands moving into his hair and bringing him in for a kiss. Fingers stroking through product stuck hair making Niall fingers tangle into it as he pulled back. “I don't like the junk I'm your hair.” Pulling his fingers lower to play with a few untangled curls.

“Agreed… Maybe we should go shower.” His voice was low and silky with a hint of a grin in his words.

Niall just laughed and nodded flattening his palms on the man's broad chest and pushed him a bit. Giving himself enough room to slip from the younger and walk backward unbuttoning his shirt and throwing it towards there hamper probably missing. Stopping as Harry almost walked into him helping him free himself from the lightweight shirt and tossed it in the same direction.

After the struggle of getting into the tub which erupted in giggles and snorts as they clung to each other trying to keep balance. Finally pressed chest to chest the spray hitting Niall's back as they kissed gently between lathers and hands running over familiar skin.

Harry's hand out holding himself steady his other hand rinsing the blonds hair free of soap. While Niall's palms pushed suds over Harry's hard chest and onto his slight tummy. Over his sides and up his back exploring the smooth olive toned skin. Shuffling around a bit so Niall had the chance to wash Harry's hair smiling at how long it was and the low groan he got when he massaged his scalp.

“What if you get soap in my eyes while you're rinsing!” light skinned wrists being clutched above there heads Niall laughing as he shook his head.

“I won't. Promise. Let-let me!” struggling against the others stronger grip. Before he was pulled in for another kiss. “Harry let me.” Getting a few more pecks. “You can't silence me by kissing me!”

Feeling Harry's laugh against his lips before he finally put his head back. Niall tipping up to wash the hair clean. Once the shampoo was gone he leaned into the exposed neck suckling under the man's Adam's apple.

A few sways later and awkward steps knocking over a couple bottles before they stepped out, passing over a towel as he dried off following after longer legs. Watching the man's form in the dim light from the lamp watching him throw up his hair in the towel while it dried. Niall was standing by the bed checking the time how it became 1 am was beyond him. As he yawned stretching getting sleep but also that growing feeling in his stomach.

“I'm hungry….”

Announcing out as Harry finally turned from where he has been lotioning or something that smelt nice.

“Cereal?” His eyes were still glossy but also as if he was fighting off sleep. Though the suggestion made Niall smile and nod.

“Great idea…” He was on his way downstairs hearing the pads of the younger man's feet hitting the hardwood as he followed. Catching up and putting hands on his shoulders directing him. His voice babbling about why orange was his favorite colour, causing Niall to laugh his cheeks starting to ache from the amount of smiling he was doing.

Reaching the cupboard to grab a bowl he felt hands pushing him away gently. “I got this. Sit” Pointing away as Niall shook his head and laughed hopping up on the counter and sitting keeping the towel around his waist. eyes watching as the man handle the bowl and spoon more abruptly than he normally would have. Grabbing the milk and box of cocoapuffs and poured a decently mess free bowl. Watching him carry it over the bowl carefully and stand in his full naked glory between Niall's own towel clad legs. Holding the bowl between them as blue eyes watched the scooping of a generous spoonful of sugary goodness. Leaning forward accepting the utensil in between soft pink lips and trying not to laugh at the others swaying hand. Bringing his own hand up to steady the brunette's slight sway.

Trying not to choke at the others snicker, as they set on eating the bowl of sweet chocolate cereal. Leaning in over the bowl every couple bites to bump into harrys nose and get a few sweet kisses. The younger talking quietly about how they get the cocoa into the pops. Between silly grins and mouthfuls, the blond receiving most of the scoops, legs wrapped around bare thighs keeping him close in the v of his legs. Taking the bowl from his giggly husband and clinking it down, pulling in the strong jawed man for a deep kiss tasting like chocolate and the hint of sweet milk. Not minding the slightly sloppy mix of lips.

Finally detaching, Harry moving off to put away the bowl and pull his hair free from the wrapped towel. “Water?” Niall asked walking to the fridge to grab a few bottles and following the other who was already up the stairs admiring the very lovely view of his naked partner.

Once in the bedroom he laughed at the other sprawled on the comforter taking up a lot of it. Handing over the water as he sat up. “I don't want to sleep yet.. “ Even if his voice was quite tired sounding from his previous drank that night taking a few sips from the bottle and put it back. Niall climbed onto the bed and sat down right in front of Harry.

“Let's not sleep then..” Shrugging as he took a sip from the offered bottle. Stretching out his legs so he could put them onto Harry's and wiggled closer hands running over the man's pronounced collar bone. Watching the tanned man tilt a head full of messy wet curls and the half lidded green eyes as hands ran up his own pale thighs.

“Ni.. play me your favorite songs..” the request was quiet from dreamy lips as he nodded happily and leaned back to grab his phone. putting on his most recent playlist. Letting the speakers be enough to carry the sound. Putting his phone beside him. Pulling himself up, feeling the hands wrap from his thighs to his back pulling him flush against him.

They were a mess of tipsy smiles and pressing of lips. Every song causing them to change their temp. To slow and deep soft, and quick pecks with giggles and lip bites. Niall getting into a few songs and mouthing the words against dark red lips causing the younger to laugh everytime. Finger playing over smooth skin, and against damp curls.

Staying like this for what seemed forever till they found themselves laying down on the bed, music still lightly playing in the background. Harry’s head on a pale chest and talking about whatever came to mind. Niall pointing out a few tattoos on his wrist asking when he got them. Smiling as it seemed like they were all things that were so opposite of who this man was. He was so put together and professional but had these tattoos that if he thought hard of was a more true Harry then even the younger knew. But really this could be all sleepy drunk thoughts .

They stayed awake just listening to Harry chatting about all topics from houseplants to the stars, or about his favorite authors. Either making Niall laugh or seriously ponder the topics. Hands going from air dried curls to strong shoulders. Till he felt the soft ramble come to an end and looking down to the younger now fast asleep on his chest trying to be quiet when he turned off the music and flicked off the light. Seeing that it was almost 4:30 as he texted harry’s trainer saying the wouldn’t see him in the morning and wrapped his arms back around and was asleep in an instant.

---

The sun was bright and filled the room, open windows letting in a slight breeze chilling his bare ass as he sighed deeply burying his face into a warm shoulder. Taking all his might to lift his head up from the comfortable position. With a quick scan of the man under him and the bedroom, he noticed a two things. First they were very naked which filled him with the pleasant memory from a few hours ago. Second it was very late in the morning. Reaching out to grab his phone frowning as he felt the man stir under him waking up with a very adorable stretch and arms pulling him back.

“Sorry.” He whispered gently kissing into his nook of his neck keeping still for a few more seconds before reaching for his phone. As he raised his eyes it was 11am. Raising a brow as he had only one text from his trainer.

“Ni.. why is my trainer saying that he’s going to make us pay for this morning.” Even though he knew the answer already, he couldn’t help but eternally hate tomorrow already. As he heard the very familiar laugh and felt the shake of the older under him.

“You laugh too much.” His voice still low with sleep as his hands moved down to tickle his husband's pale sides. He didn’t mind spending the day like this.

Chapter Text

The text had come while Harry leaving the office it has been an early Friday everyone was on edge from a case swamping them that they finally had to call it a day it was the weekend and he was really thankful for the time off. Slinging his suit jacket over his arm.

From: Hubby.
2:45 pm
“Paris this weekend?”

It had made him fault in his step as he took off his suit jacket in the hot afternoon day in July. Frowning his brows together his husband had been off at a studio all that morning to help lay a few tracks for his friend. So it must have ended early.

To: Hubby.
2:48 pm
“sure? But why? How?”

The short walk to his car had him feeling very puzzled, not usually the type to just jump into anything. But what had even resembled his usual cautious self since he got married. As he looked down his phone lighting up quickly.

From. Hubby.
2.49 pm
“tell you later hands full. Get ready. I home 30.”

Harry had himself home in half the normal time since the traffic wasn't to bad. Bounding up the stairs he still had 15 minutes till Niall was home. As he got up to their bedroom. Getting changed into Jean shorts and a white t shirt. As he stood in the closet he pulled a very expensive travel bag. Frowning as he pulled a few things and putting them on the bed. He had no idea where they were staying what they were going to be doing. As he cupped his own chin and glared at the array of clothes he had pull out.

“Shit.” He was so lost in what to bring.

---

Niall ran up the stairs of their apartment. Being met with a very confused looking husband. As he tried not to snort at the clothes all laid out shaking his head as he really tried his best not to laugh.

“Hun.. your not serious are you?”

Watching the man's beautiful green eyes look up startled clearly having zoned out.

“Hey… I've never been on an impromptu trip before.” He sounded a bit dejected, as Niall moved up to the other side of the bed and smiled at him brightly.

“That's why you've got me. Ok… so.” Reaching out after looking over his clothes. “You don't need those…” Pointing to a few pairs of really dressy shoes. “sensible shoes Harry.” He left heading to grab another pair of black ripped up jeans already wearing a pair of teal shorts cuffed above the knee and a stripped white and black shirt.

Coming back in with just a few things like clean underpants and a few clean shirts for the both of them. “Just pack light...N-no only like a pair of pants.. one nice shirt sure.” folding his stuff up as he looked up. “ok maybe the hat..” Laughing as the man now had his fingers up pointing at him showing off the hat. “Stop it, you're good looking. Stop pointing.” Watching the younger mans huge grin and keeping the full brimmed hat on.

Backpack packed and ready as he sat on the bed waiting for harry to hurry up. Taking out his phone to make sure he had their tickets on there and smiled over at him. “Ready?” as he laughed seeing Harry still packing his bag as he jumped up grabbing their toothbrushes and wondered back in the room. packing up the last few items and shouldering his pack.

Eyeing his husband who seemed to be making sure he had everything before looking up and smiling. “Yes. Lets go.”

The cab to St. Pancras took forever since harry insisted that it was the fastest way, and it wasn’t. Rushing into the station and getting past check in quickly already up on the platform for the Eurostar. Right before boarding Harry had a coffee in his hand and Niall was furiously typing on his phone, so distracted that he was startled when the man was guiding him onto the train already.

Grabbing seats he was still on his phone Harry finally moving from where he sat beside him to look at the screen. “Whose writing you a novel..” Frowning his brows as he leaned in close to look. Niall pulling away and laughing.

“No its from the friend whose house we are staying at.” He went back to looking at his phone before he moved forward turning himself around. “Holy shit, I forgot to even tell you why we are going.” Laughing at himself unable to believe he had forgotten. “Very impressive that you went along.”

Reaching out and playing with a wild curl behind harry’s ear just under the hat he had on. “Ok.. so my friend who I've known for ages he use to work in London. but moved to Paris some time ago. anyway not important. So he is in Germany for two weeks. and he can’t find anyone to come and watch/feed his cat this weekend. So he said he'd pay for the Eurostar and I asked if I could bring you along. And done.” He watched Harry's face as he nodded along trying to keep up.

“So we are staying at his place. To watch his cat… And that's it?” Nodding as beautiful tanned hands moving to set on his knee, emerald eyes looking like he was going to call Niall crazy but that infamous silly grin spilled over his lips as he laughed.

“Yeah.. I mean, he has this amazing guitar that he wants me to record on while he's gone. And so that's also part of it.” Smiling showing his teeth so harry hopefully would know that it wasn’t a big deal he wouldn’t spend all day recording.

“Ok.. but we'll spend time together right?” The hand squeezed his thigh looking overly dramatic with wide eyes.

Niall really couldn't stop himself as he leaned in and gave Harry what was meant to be a quick kiss but turned into a proper make out session. Guess that was setting the tone as they were on there way into the city of love. Well if not love then mutual liking.

The first 30 minutes if the trip has been coffee tasting kisses and sharing of headphones. His mobile tucked away he wouldn't have service soon anyway. Niall fell asleep against Harry's shoulder while under the channel.

“I totally drooled, didn't I. “ It was a statement as he lifted his hand up to check and pulling a wet hand away as he sat up looking to Harry. The man who was now more tan that it was hot and sunny out. Of course he was just sitting there book in hand and shaking his head with that same amused look on his face. Thankfully no drool on his shirt.

Settling back down and trying to go back to sleep for a few more minutes but it was hopeless they were so close, and he got excited.

---

They had gotten to the apartment building in a small art district that was harder to find if you had never been there before. Luckily Niall had and as he rang the bell for Julian’s neighbor a very old woman by the sounds of it who buzzed them up the gated door. Leading Harry up the stairs to the top floor and found the key hiding under the rug.

Smiling as he held up the key and opened it up.”Bonjour, Gibson.” Calling out in a really bad accent. Both toeing off shoes at the door. Taking in the decent sized flat, eccentrically put together with walls decorated with photos of the owner of the apartment. Loud busy pieces of art and posters. Niall was already down the hall already knowing the direction to the bedroom as he tossed his bag on the bed seeing the large orange cat sprawled in the last few sun rays from the window.

“Gibs.” Sitting down beside the cat giving her a few quick pets before hearing Harry's voice. “IS THIS YOU?” Jumping up as he laughed heading back down to the living room, looking at his husband pointing at a picture of him. He was younger, blonder with a large drink in his hands and an older man with dark long hair standing at his side. Both in white football jerseys.

“Oh man, that's embarrassing.” Laughing as he looked closer picture him was super smashed. It was part of a huge cluster of photos with so many people some really famous musicians but he didn't expect Harry to know who they were. As he looked over the photos. Looking at where Harry had stopped and was pointing to a photo.

Two photos from the same night. Of arms around each other one where they were laughing at something and the next had them in a kiss. “Niall, not to sound scandalized. But he isn't your ex.. the ex?”

Shaking his head grinning. “Nah, but we did date for a few months. After that whole thing.” Shrugging Julian had been a rebound.

“So you've taken your now husband to spend a weekend at your ex’s place.” Harry had a calculated strain in his voice as if he was trying to not sound annoyed.

“Well yeah, I mean I helped him find it. And spent a month here before going back to london.” Biting his lip and chancing a look over it was hard not to laugh at the put off face Harry was pulling. As he turned moving to slot up against him. “Are you jealous?” The thought was delightful more than he should have admitted.

“Don't be ridiculous…” Narrowing his eyes in a glare at the photo. Locking his arms around Niall's shoulders.

“You see… Julian is great, really nice guy and all. Super talented.” Looking at the slightly taller and gave him a wicked smile. “But there was no sexual tension.”

Harry's well groomed eyebrow raised as he narrowed his green eyes. Smaller body pressing against Harry's as he moved his hand up to cup the side of his husband's neck. Thumb running the now familiar course of the man's ear and jaw. “But I think you and I know a thing or two about sexual tension…”

“Maybe a little.” His voice held the words as if casted out carelessly like an afterthought.

Niall leaned in close to Harry's ear as his other hand between their bodies fingertips inching under his loose shirt. “How fast can you get hard, babe?” Noticing how tarty his voice became as he hoped this would be enough to work up the man.

“Trick question.” Harry's face turned toward Niall's on ear. “I'm always hard.” The words were low and husky in his voice and even if it sent a shiver down his spine. It also made him smile hard as he pulled back just slightly looking at Harry before pecking his lips quickly. A disjointed response when the man didn't want to take it further. Instead dipping out of Harry's arms and dropping to his knees.

Looking up to see Harry's startled look. “W-wait. ..Ni.. here?” It was all half hearted since he could feel the large hand running up the back of his head through smooth hair.

Tossing up a delighted smile as he let his fingers work on unzipping his pants and fondling him through the soft material of his briefs. Hearing the groan as encouragement. Keeping his eyes forward to watch the man steadily hardening, running skilled fingers up and down the growing shaft.

The encouraging groan had him eager to release the man's trapped boner. Finally pulling it free his mouth watering at how it sprung free. Licking his lips as he stroked it fully with an easy grip. The low sighs coming from above him as he stuck out his tongue and looked up catching green eyes. Leaning forward letting the man's tip touch his hot wet muscle and wrap his lips around suckling just on the head. Making a perfect o as he started to bob his head down every down pump he pushed it further. Breaking eye contact to close his eyes and moan around the man's hard length. Hearing an echoed moan from above him.

It didn't take long to have him deep throating. Gaging a few times, the man's grip softened and waited for him to be ready to continue. Cheeks hollowed and lips red, as he sucked and pumped along the man feeling him start to thrust his hips in need. Preparing himself to take the the load as he listened to the others moans and curses.

“Ni, look at me.” He command low and husky and Niall's blues snapped up looking up at the man whose mouth was slacked open breathing hard. Eyed locked watching him, the grip on his nape tightening. Watching the man's face screw up as he came deep in the back of his throat with a groan. Niall pulled off with a smile as he swallowed every drop.

Getting a hand up as he wabbled slightly and laughed. “That was fun.” The taller slumped into his shoulder, as he nuzzled into the crook of Niall’s neck. ‘amazing’ Niall shook his head as he patted his back, feeling strong hands wrap around and squeeze his ass.

Squawking out of surprise of the hands, pulling back. “Woah.. That was just for you.” Winking as he pulled back. .”Ok.. lets go out and explore. There's this amazing jazz club nearby who have this noodle house-hole in the wall that I dream about.” His stomach totally getting the best of him, as he made sure to ask Julian if everything was still around. Nodding toward the bedroom. “Go get changed into your pants and I'm going to feed Gibson and let's head out.” Tipping up to kiss Harry quickly grinning with the taste of him still on his tongue he was sure his lips were still plump and red.

“So bossy.” His voice teased but shorter was under the impression that he would go along with anything. Jumping into action after another quick kiss, Harry heading off like he was told and Niall finding his way around the familiar kitchen. Even if they hadn't been together very long. He did come over often to work on stuff and help the older man record. As he found kibble and measured it into the bowl and grabbed fresh water. Smiling as the cat purred loudly around his feet waiting for the bowls to make contact with the floor.

Hurrying into the bedroom to see Harry in his skinny jeans and a button down open all the way and hanging loose around his ribs and sides. Cheeks raising in heat though really he hadn't needed to especially after what he had just done. But sometimes it caught him off guard how good looking the man was.

Hiding his cheeks by dipping his head down as he lent down to his own bag grabbing his ripped up jeans and quickly changed on the spot. Pulling the pants on his slim hips and wiggling a few times to get some of the ripped parts over his thighs and left them undone as he grabbed his own shirt. A plain white t and cuffed sleeves. Looking over to see a set of gem coloured eyes watching him as he buttoned his pants fixing his shirt and flashed him two thumbs up. “Ready.”

The owner of the look finishing his top button as he went from neutral to grinning like an idiot nodding. “me too.. am I too fancy though?”

Niall shook his head as he quickly dropped down to his bag one more time grabbing there toothbrushes and ran off to brush his teeth ‘wait not ready’. There was something about how he could catch Harry in his very neutral concentrated face and go right into silly grins and smiles. Keeping that for himself since he'd never seen anyone else do that to Harry.

----

They had spent the next few hours down the side streets of their weekend home. Hand in hand, finally getting to the noodle house where he had ordered a giant bowl of soup and a few other sides even though Harry looked skeptical about the amount of food. ‘I'm just saying I don't know where you store it all.’ His voice was more in amazement after eating.

It was maybe 12 am now, with the gain if an hour. Thankful that this district was still busy and bustling with streets lined with light from bars and restaurants. Street lamps giving the area a yellow glow. Leading them into the the club that was mainly older people a few younger than 30 sprinkled around the room. Being led to a table and ordering a drink Harry doing the same, it was something mixed. Settling in to watch as an older woman with rich skin took the stage, followed by a band of men with graying hair and sunglasses.

The room filled with the noise of testing instruments before settling down into the light tap of a base and then the drum lightly hitting the snare. As the room hushed and the woman started singing a deep full voice that steadily picked up pace. Accompanied by a sax and a trumpet player it was hard to pull his eyes away as he tapped along against his cup.

Feeling movement beside him as Harry had slid his chair closer his hand going onto Niall's thigh giving him a small smile as he started to pet at the exposed skin of the high thigh rip. Grinning as he turned back to watch the performer.

Sitting enjoying the ambiance of the woman's silky voice, the soft feeling of fingers on skin. Having to drop his hand down every once in awhile to smack Harry's hand if he pinched or tried to tickle. Keeping his bottom lip between his teeth to stop himself from chuckling too loudly.

With a break in her set Niall checked the time and nodded his head toward the exit. Even if he wanted to stay all night it was late. And they had been going since early that morning.

Out in the warm summer night, it was perfect warm with a few people still wondering the streets the warm feeling the tallers hand in his as he lead down the path back. Soft banter as they walked pointing out a few shops that Harry wanted to go back to in the morning or before they left. If they had time.

“I'd be so lost…” Harry said looking up at a street sign trying to decide where he was, as Niall dragged him along.

“Your lucky I have a great sense of direction.” Niall straightened fully and puffed out his chest.

“Ni… You got lost in a multi leveled parking lot and had a panic attack.” Even if Harry's voice had been soft and teasing in his dumb matter of fact way.

“Harry. I had been driving! It was terrifying. I swear I was going to die.” slowing and swinging their hands. “I mean.. shut up.” bumping into the tallers arm knocking him of step.

“I wouldn't have let you die.” Harry stumbled but came back easily and let go for Niall's hand and then wrapped an arm around his shoulders. “I also don't see how driving is so scary but you can jump on a train at a seconds notice and be in a whole new city and not be fazed.” It was hard to see his face as he looked over resting his head on his shoulder for a second as he put his own arm around the man's hips. Pointing up the last street to get them back.

“Easy. This is fun. Cars terrifying. Simple.” silence fell over them as they got in, quiet up the stairs and back inside where Gibson was running to the door tail swishing as she mowed.

“Gibs.” Giving her a quick pet before locking up and kicking off his shoes. Not bothering turning on all the lights and heading toward the bedroom. Harry had stopped and picked the orange cat up and was petting away at the purring tank.

Pulling off his shirt and down his pants leaving them in a pool by his bag he layed on the bed. Watching as Gibson was released onto the bed from the Tattooed arms. And flopped onto her side. Nialls eyes shifting between the cat and the now almost naked man.

“I really want to get naked…”

The comment had Niall covering his eyes and trying not to giggle to hard. “what's stopping you?” Looking over his hands in mock shock since his husband spent an unusual amount of time naked.

“see, nothing is stopping me. But..” The shrug he gave came with a face to match as he moved long limbs onto the bed and crawls around the cat to lay on top of niall. Causing the older to groan exaggeratedly at the weight. But his arms wrapping around him to keep him close. “its kinda weird right?”

Niall tilted his head to the side to see a very up close to his husband's ear. Leaning in to peck it quickly and trying shake his head. “Only if you think about it too hard, like you're doing now. I thought that was my job.” Hand moving to push Harry's hair off his forehead and back, stoking it gently. A yawn from the younger causing the older to mimic.

---

Shifting over to an empty side of the bed, eyes squinting open in search of the usual warm body, and shock of blond hair. Slow realization that he was alone in the room making him look around and take in the foreign bedroom. Rolling onto his stomach to get closer to the bedside table, digital clock reading just after 8 am.

Blinking the sleep away quickly since this wasn’t a usual occurrence of the older being out of bed before him. A folded paper on top of his phone finally catching his eye once his vision cleared from sleep. 'On the roof ;)' Scrunching it up once as he put it back down, and groaned stretching, and kicking himself free from the loose sheet around his waist. The room already getting steadily warm in the early morning.

Even if intrigue had been sparked from the note, it was hard not to want to flop back onto the bed and go right back to sleep. Scooping down to grab a muscle top from the top of Niall's bag, he pulled it on and grabbed his sunglasses, already sure that it was going to be bright once he left the curtained room.

The entrance of the roof had not been in the bedroom like he had been hoping, looking around the slowly brightening apartment, coming face to face with a huge open window that led to a small deck. Something he had overlooked the night before, though there was not much he was looking at in the state the blond had him in.

Stepping out into the deck a pair of steel stairs littered with plants laid along the bars as he moved to climb them trying to peek up further then what was there. Once at the top looking around at the very lovely view, sun already making its way in the sky.

The rooftop was a small oasis, potted plants scattered the wooden floor, and plant boxes taking up space around the perimeter. A few benches set up with a fabric shade sail above them. Of course that's where he’d find Niall with a laptop open, guitar on his lap and a peek of black boxers on. He had his back towards Harry, as he saw Gibson already taking up a spot beside him. The city noise wasn’t to noticeable for the time of day. The sound of plucking cords held in long notes, and the soft hum along to notes.

“See.. like that, that's why i need you to do this. It just works better when you play it.”

Wandering over as he smiled watching Niall nodding and responding ‘yeah. I get it.’ His fingers moving over the neck again strumming something out, on a very shiny guitar very different from the ones at home.

Not bothering on announcing himself, as he moved to another bench outside the shot of what he saw was a skype call. Smiling once Niall looked up at him grinning. He waved his own tanned hand, watching the blond enthusiastically point at a plate of pastries, and a takeaway cup of warm coffee.

“Ok, but Ju-..” Shaking his head as the dark haired man was trying to speak over top of him. “No. shut up. Julia.. That part is fine I'll have that done and recorded in 10 minutes. Its nothing. No.. No Julian, its that second to last rift. It makes no sense.”

It went on like that for a while, as Harry had taken a bite from a croissant and a few sips of coffee, before he left to go back inside grabbing a book from his bag. And by the time he was back, the guitar was being played again, this time without as many protests from his blond, or the man he assumed was the owner of Gibson, who was now wondering around finding a sunny spot away from the shade.

An hour later, his coffee gone and his book was less exciting glancing up every few minutes to see Niall with the pick between his lips trying to talk around it and tilting the laptop to point to his fingers in cord positions. It was more amusing to see how frustrated he was getting, how he went from sighing in annoyance to laughing in seconds flat. It gave him a weird pull in his stomach the same one he had had the night before seeing the blond frozen in a picture lips locked with the man he was talking to now.

Though the feeling of steel blue’s on him as he glanced up from where he had been watching, grinning at being caught staring.

“Morning.” There was that bright smile from the blond, as if there were two suns out. Finally taking a break the younger was getting up and moving close, leaning over the guitar ignoring the video call. And giving Niall a kiss, the blond tipping his his chin up to meet him. His familiar hand still clutching the pick was up against his cheek. Pulling back but he rested his head against the hand.

“Morning.” Unable to stop the smiling down at the other, trying not to get distracted from the man on the computer. ‘Hello… hey.. Niall… Come on man.’ Looking down at the screen he just gave a smile, hoping it came off as sorry. But really he didn’t care. Putting his hands up and backing away.

“Julian. You’ve had me up since 7. Im taking a break then I'll set up and record this.” His hands were up like he was trying to calm down the situation. Harry was about to turn when he got Niall up and press against him, giving him a longer kiss. “Sorry, I didn't want to wake you up so early.”

“S’k.. Nice surprise to find you up here.” Pecking him back a few more times before they were getting excessive gags from the screen. Laughing as Niall flipped the man off. Getting one last kiss before the blond finally huffed and nodded his head to the plates.

“Can you take the plates in. I'm going to get down and give him what he wants so we can go explore.” watching the older scowl at the computer, clearly this was their relationship. Banter mixed with small comments of each other being a legend. As he took the plates and then grabbed the laptop from Niall since the man looked like he was going to fall down the stairs with just the guitar in hand.

All set up in the living room, in what harry would have called a closet, was a tight room black soundproofing, similar to their own. But very intense looking mics and just outside the room was a table that had all the plugs soundboard and computer newer in there look.

“Ok, the door is still busted. you think lover boy can handle keeping it closed and hitting record for you?” It wasn’t in malice that the old brunette had said it but harry couldn't help the ‘Hey.’ that left his lips as he looked at the laptop confused.

“Yeah I can handle that.” Shaking his head as Niall was already laughing his usual self as he set up the room turning on a light. And moving from inside and outside setting up a large computer and turning on the soundboard. He pointed at a few things for Harry to press, it was all basic things nothing that he really had to do.

It was something that he had gotten use to, the sound of guitars or piano filling their London home. And sometimes the odd few notes, that the other would close the door and make sure harry couldn't hear if he realized he was listening. He stood beside the laptop that was still on call. And did as he was told as Niall recorded the song, a few times. Coming out every time to make sure the settings were ok. Getting and giving feedback. He couldn’t keep his eyes off him, it really should have been boring but not with the blond musician it was captivating.

“Harry..” Niall had turned on his last recording and smiled shyly, finally putting the steel guitar away. Grabbing the other and finally gave him a real job. After some quick explaining that he had to play the track back and Niall would be just doing some vocal things.

“Really. In front of me? I get to hear you.” Unable to stop the smug grin, as Niall just shook his head. ‘Shut up.’

the whole recording didn't take long. As he listened to the chores being sung by this husband and he couldn’t help the surprised look. “Hes pretty great right?” The voice had startled him as he looked over at Julian just nodding his head.

“Yeah.. He doesn’t sing in front of me. Ever.” Hearing the laugh come from the laptop he frowned.

“Don't stress it. He doesn’t believe he's actually good.” That did not take the frown away as he nodded turning back and watched as the computer kept recording as blond finally stepped out and moved to turn off the recording equipment saving everything and sighed.

“I think we got everything.” There was a triumphant smile on his lips as the man just clapped his hand a few times on screen.

“Yeah, that sounded great. Ill send you the finished track when I'm back home. And if I need you to fix anything I'll drag your ass back out.”

There was a few shuffles and a couple clicks. “Ok kids. Go have fun.” He didn't even wait to say goodbye before he had hung up.

Once they were more or less alone again. Harry didn't have enough time to process the quick turn of the other, arms around his waist. That infectious smile gleaming up causing him to smile back.

“You look really good in my shirt.” The words were playful and smooth as he looked down at the white muscle top it was quite large on Niall so of course it would fit him.

“Do I now?” Eyes racking up the flat stomach and bare chest. Stopping at the crook of his neck and couldn't stop himself he didn't know what was getting into him,he had drunk from the fountain of Niall and couldn't get enough. As he nuzzled into the bare skin and peppered kisses along his shoulder. Hearing the soft ‘mmhmm’.

Hands rough on his hips from the guitar, his personal favorite hands. Pulling to his hips so they met, hands moving up along his back hiking up the shirt as they rested on his shoulder blades kneeling the hard muscles.

He couldn't stop himself from leaving kisses along the blonds skin working his way up to his neck then to his jaw. It wasn't till he got a whine instead of a sweet sigh, feeling the other body pull back.

“Harry. Don't get me wrong I want to.. but we should go explore!”

Harry couldn't stop his own groan as he pushed his face back into the now furthers shoulder and nodded.

“Your right. But… my body doesn't know that.” That laugh ringing in his ear as he tried to suppress his own and shook his head pressing in harder into the soft skin before standing up. Fingertips raking down his back till he was out of the warm embrace standing up fully and sighed.

“Ok. Let's go.. or else I'm keeping you here all day.” His voice low and serious he wasn't joking about.

---

They had been too late to line up for the museums and art gallerys. So that would have to be for next time, but still taking the tourist route Niall taking Harry around to all the big landmarks and enjoying food more often than they should have.

It was near the end of the hot day, Niall had colour on his cheeks and nose from the sun. They had decided to walk through a few high-end streets. Harry's sudden stop and big eyes lit up like Christmas day. Niall looked around confused at first as they came face to face with a ysl store.

“Can we just look?”

Wasn't like he would say no, he didn't see the harm but he would gladly avoid expensive clothing since he was still a student. Putting on a very hard thinking face as he stroking his chin in a mocking of his husband's favorite pose. Unable to stop his own laugh at how pained Harry looked while he waited. Nodding his head as he pointed ahead. Practically being dragged in.

Blue eyes skimmed over a few tops, loud prints and floral designs. Reaching out to touch the fabric before pulling away his hand in a second thought. Maybe he shouldn't. Looking over to where the man had a few tops in his hands all neutral colours as he seemed to keep going back to a floral print.

“Try it on.”

He said peeking over the man's shoulder as he watched the man poking his bottom lip a pensive gaze.

“You think so?”

Niall just nodded reaching around and pulling out the top and held it in front of harry. “Yes. So go try it on.”

Harry finally took it after a seconds hesitation. And left to change, Niall taking a seat near the change rooms feeling like he stuck out like a sore thumb. Not that it bothered him, but he wondered if it bothered Harry. If he hadn’t said anything yet then maybe he was fussing about nothing. The thought pushed out of his mind as he saw his husband coming out in the first black top with a very nice silky fabric. Nodding his head as the other posed, not stopping the grin on his lips.

Watching his fleeting back, keeping his eyes on the curtain giving a wolf whistle watching the younger's face light up in a shy grin. By the second to last shirt he was doing very funny poses and weird dance move he was pretty sure was called the sprinkler. The next one took a bit longer.

“Don't laugh.”

The voice piped over the cutrine. “Harry.. i always laugh.” The stomp of his foot causing Niall to laugh as he covered his mouth. “Come on.. Show me please. I wanna see.” Keeping his hand up but only to rest his chin on as he watched the other peek his head out first and look around. Guessing to check if anyone was watching, there wasn’t many people in the store either way.

Nodding his head at his younger husband and raised his brows, the shirt actually looked really nice, the bold pattern wasn’t washing him out or over powering him. He was for sure not overshadowed by it.

“Woah.” Giving him a thumbs up. “You should get it.”

Harry moving to the mirror to admire the fabric running his hands along it. Still looking skeptical as he looked over his shoulder “Really?” His brows furrowed.

“Yes. please you're doing that shirt a favor.” Though he didn’t really know what it meant but he thought it was fitting. Seeing the man trying to hid a small smile, it made him laugh. “Please. you look great.”

Hoping the encouraging words would help with the decision. it really was great looking on him. as he watched the other nod. ‘Ok.’ And head into the change room. keeping only a few of the shirts and the floral one.

Standing at the till the bill coming up making Nialls eyes go wide. “Harry.. your only buying 3 shirts.” His voice was quiet and the man shrugged his shoulders and handed over a card. Niall looked around in disbelief no one else really seeing that this was ridiculous. He was for sure sticking out now, as he stood there awkwardly till Harry's arm was around his shoulders leading him out.

“Harry… that was insane..” Maybe he never noticed it but raising his hands up when the other looked like he was going to say something. “Not that I'm judging, just. Your basically my sugar baby… since you're younger than me. You can’t be a daddy.”

The loud laugh was startling but he joined, as he stopped to double over. “no way your never calling me that.” Ignoring the stares as they finally settled down and back on there way hand in hand, swinging them playful. Stopping at a light waiting for the walk sign, as Harry moved in behind Niall and presses his lips to his ear. “Id get you to call me daddy.” Getting a nudge to walk as the signal turned on.

His cheeks where on fire as he walked away, he had to admit that was pretty hot. But he just shook his head. “Never. Wont even consider it.”

--

They had spent there evening getting back to the apartment feeding Gibson, and Niall persuading Harry that they needed to go check out a band playing that night. Fairly similar to the night before, only one drink each and an amazing walk home with street lights causing a warm hue on the old city buildings.

A night in Paris was really getting to them, falling into each other. Harry’s having his way with his loud husband getting a heavy knock on the wall causing them to fall into laughter and try to be quieter. Not realizing how thin the walls were.

The morning came too soon, with the mix of getting organized and feeding the cat. Finding a place to eat since Niall wanted something sweet and packed with sugar, stopping when harry pointed at him. ‘When we get home. Nothing but healthy smoothies for breakfast this week.’ It had made Niall groan.

It was worth it, as they got back the blond in a food comma as he flopped down on the couch Gibson already up beside him. “I'm going to be sad to leave you Gibs..” Patting the soft fluffy head.

“Come on Ni.. we gotta hide the key then head out..But yeah.. she kinda grew on me.” He was walking back into the room with there bags in hand and putting them by the door.

“Your a liar, you love her. You cuddled her any chance you got.” Tsking then yawning. “I dont want to go.. cant we nap first. Train doesn't leave till 1!” Even if it was already cutting it close time wise. His husband coming over and grabbing his hands and pulling him up. Nodding towards the door. Both patting the cat one more time and calling out a good bye.

Placing the key back under the mat as they shouldered their bags, it was down the hall that an older woman reached the floor carrying grocery bags. As she spotted them and started tsking at them and shaking her head speaking quickly in french.

Harry had his hands up quickly. “Oh its the neighbor.” Stepping over to the side as she walked by and waved cane at them. “We are so sorry! Thin walls. Sorry!” Both trying to get away. It wasn’t till they were at the bottom of the stairs and laughing hard.

“H-Harry.. that was nuts.. she was going to hit you.” Grabbing the man from the back of his head and pulled him into a kiss. Both still laughing against each other's lips. Finally breaking away when they were taken over by giggles.

The trip back to London had been easy, Niall slept crashing from his sugar rush that morning and Harry had his book. Ending the very successful trip to Paris. Both wishing they could go back already.

Chapter Text

Niall had his bare legs over the lap of his younger husband. The T.V played a movie they had watched so many times over. Harry trailing his fingers of one hand over Niall's pale thighs and other holding a book. Going between the screen and paper.

His own head propped up on a cushion, phone in hand eyes darting to the screen every few minutes to see where it was. Wearing one of harry's shirts, loose fitting and bunching up over his flat stomach. It wasn’t a very interesting day, they had spent their Saturday out in the park reading and playing with a few of the regular dogs. It was to hot to really want to move in the last few weeks of July and it was only going to get hotter.

Almost dropping his phone when he got the text, faltering for a second before peeking over it at Harry who was just lifting his green eyes to look at the screen.

“Harry..” Watching green meet blue as he put his phone down. “So.. not sure how you feel about this. But I just got asked if we wanted tickets to a club for pride night. Don”t know if you would want to or not.. I know the place it’s pretty cool.” He was already starting to talk with his hands nervously fidgeting. Night clubs not being their type of thing, it was more Niall dragging the other to random concerts.

“Pride. I've never gone out for it. It's the first weekend in August right?” A very short pause. “like the parade and rainbows.. everything?”

“We don't have to go for it all, just that night?” Sitting up and grinning hoping that would get him. “Rainbows everywhere! Topless men and glitter… also short shorts.” Niall poked at Harry's side watching the man thinking.

“Topless you say.. guess we're gonna have to step it up at the gym if we're going.” His hand being captured and he was being pushed back wrestled into having an exposed stomach.

“Is that a yes?” Looking up hopeful in the damn exposing pose. Both hands trapped above his head.

“Yes. Pride it is.” the youngers free hand moving down his arm towards his exposed stomach causing him to try and wiggle free. ‘no Harry. .no!’

“But we should start working on our ripped bods..” Niall glared at the stupid grin on the others face.

“What does that have to do with tickling me?..Harry stop looking so smug!” Trying to buck his hips to move the heavier man who was now on his hips keeping them pinned down.

“Ni, I've been told it's a great ab workout. I'm doing this for your health.” His fingers had been working there way down his chest and over to one of his ribs. Drumming the pads against his side. Niall flinching with a mock crying.

“nonono.. don’t do it!” Niall was a mess of gasps and laughs thrashing around. Trying to fight against the arms but he couldn’t escape. He finally being released as he pushed away. Panting hard and shaking his head. “You’re the worst husband.” Moving away to plop himself on the other end of the L shaped couch. He wasn’t really annoyed but he wanted Harry to feel slightly bad for tormenting him with his favorite pass time.

He thought he had been safe focusing on the TV. Until he was pounced on from behind warms locking around him and face nuzzling his neck. “Nialler.” Pushing up his shoulder trying to get the other away.

“Go away.. Your so mean.” An overly dramatic voice as he tried without much will to pull away. Feeling the man shift around, turning his head right before getting a pair of rosy lips planted on his. Quickly turning away hoping to hid his smile.

“Oh! did you just smile!” Hands grabbed his hips while he tried to turn away, pulling him round and toward the edge. Looking up into green eyes as he tried to suppress his smile, since he did really like it when the younger was more aggressive with his intentions. Feeling the warm breath and how close he had gotten, being pushed backwards, not fighting it this time. Unable to move any further his back coming into contact with the cushion. As lips finally met his in a deep kiss. Hands pushing into dark curls pulling him deeper into the kiss. Spending the rest of the hot Sunday afternoon in a mess of limbs and kisses. Parting to watch the movie or get something to eat. Before pouncing on each other.

---

Summer so far had been good to Niall he was in great shape thanks to Harry, the last few weeks leading up to this weekend had be tough but worth it. The healthy juices and meals had been annoying but as he stood in the mirror admiring himself quickly, pushing down his shirt once he heard familiar footsteps bounding up the stairs.

The sound of rushing feet into the bedroom and in a blink he was being lifted off the ground. Thrown over the younger's shoulder finding himself seeing everything upside down as he was quickly grasped onto Harry’s sides. “Shit!” A laugh ringing out as he turned them around.

“Harry!” Gripping hard into tan toned sides as was spun. “Oh fuck!” Moving his feet around but not daring moving to much.

“What should I wear tonight?” His voice showed no strain of the weight of the paler man on his shoulder. Stopping his slow turns and smacked the man’s ass heading towards the bed. In a graceless manner he was tossed onto the bed.

“Harry! I’m not a sack of potatoes.” Keeping his knees up as he put his bare feet onto harry’s shoulders trying to push him back from where he laid, the younger trying to climb onto the bed.

“You’re my potato.” Both laughing hands now grasping his ankles and pushing them apart as he dipped down finally on the bed and leaning in for a kiss. Niall wrapped his legs around the tanned mans waist hands cupping his cheeks. Opening his eyes once they separated, taking the time to roam his eyes over the man’s face. Fingers along the man's cheeks smiling suddenly.

“Get off me so we can start getting ready.”

“But what if i wanted to keep you here.” Harry’s voice was low and his hand slipped under Niall's hip pushing himself flush against him.

“You could.. I wouldn’t mind. But I mean.” Wiggling his body side to side to an imaginary beat. “dancing.” Smiling raising his hands above his head and kept moving,

“Hm.. You’re right that does sound good.” His dimpled grin huge as he pushed away and was up and doing a dance.

“Oh is that how you are dancing tonight?” He man was moving in weird tempos very reminiscent of a dorky dad. “Think I’d rather stay here then.” Laughing as he moved to the end of the bed.

“Oh you wait and see. It’s going to be great.” Niall watched him still dancing around as he shook his head. “Anything for dinner?”

“Right that’s why I came up here. Dinners on the table. Then we can head out?”

 

--

 

A pair of very short black shorts slung on his husband’s slim hips, watching him pull on the baggy muscle top. Eyeing the fleeting glimpse of flesh of the man’s trim stomach. There was a small cloth backpack that he was slinging over his shoulder.

“You’re wearing those shoes?”

Not able to stop himself more amused than serious. He liked winding the older up it was always fun to see his reactions. It was something Harry couldn't stop longing for, the next way to make him smile or laugh. Or catch him staring and making him blush, he wore his emotions so openly. Something internally he hoped he could too.

A hands went out. “sensible shoes!” his eyes glaring at the taller. “Yes of course. We are going to be dancing and no one's looking at my shoes.”

“Yeah because they are going to be to busy looking at your ass.” Not knowing where the sudden possessive feeling came from but the idea of other men ogling his husband had him unusually jealous.

“I mean.. it does look good. Guess I'm just going to have to dance with you against me.” That glint in his eyes teasing and delighted. Making Harry stepforward and groan into his neck.

“You better.” Though he had actually never seen Niall dance before, well nothing but weird dance moves that looked like flailing spaz of limbs. Or old man dance moves that they would do in shops or on walks to embarrass the other.

His own apparel wasn't as revealing as he wore a similar muscle top with a cut sleeved plaid cover. And short white shorts. Wearing a similar pair of shoes to his husband. Even if he wanted to live his weekend life in sandals. Niall had convinced him that sneakers were the best way to go.

----

Getting out of the taxi a few blocks away on the shutdown street. Getting a few odd looks but what ever. The sun was setting on the clear skyed August evening. People still packing the streets the closer they got to the bar. More and more rainbows and scantily clad people filled the streets.

Niall leading Harry along the crowd since he knew where they were going. It was insane so many people barely dressed looking as if they spent all day in the sun. Or drag Queens in elaborate makeup chatting loudly with people on the sides of the roads. Happy for the break off the sidewalk the roads being closed off for pedestrians.

Niall pointed a few things out and smiled so brightly. Saying they were close to the club.

“Is that the line?” It wrapped around the side of the block and Niall just waved his hand.

“But Ni.. the line ends here.” Niall just turned and smiled walking backwards and pulling Harry along.

“Its fine. Come on.” Their was a bounce in his step the mix of different music's from open patios and bars all with small lines nothing like this club.

Walking past the people waiting a few ‘heys’ either in a cat call or people realizing they were heading towards the door velvet ropes blocking people from the entrance two large bouncers. Harry was for sure they would get turned away and told to wait at the back. Already feeling slightly embarrassed with no faith in his husband.

“Hey. Mate were going to have to ask you to go to -” The large man was pointing before he really took in the blonds appearance. “Niall. Shit your looking good.” His hand was dropped and watched his blond get pulled into a one armed hug. Standing awkwardly to the side as the blond hugged the other tall man laughing.

“Frankie said you were coming, she'll be excited to see ya. You and your fella.” Harry took an awkward step forward. Niall moving back and grabbing his hand pulling him closer.

“Thanks Raj! This is Harry.” The way he smiled at him like it was the most proud man ever. Making him melt a bit stand a bit more relaxed at his side and smiling back.

“Hi. Nice to meet you.”

Niall was let in as a few people grumbled closest the front of on the line. As they were let in. The club already pumping loud music out the doors as they stepped in, I.D’d by someone it seemed Niall didn't know. Watching the blond already bopping his head along to music. Letting himself be led down to the large bar.

They were standing there only seconds when a very handsome man came up tanned skin dark hair, where harry was tall this man was short. Smoldering dark eyes lined with a touch of liner. He stood there watching as the blond was talking so quickly with the man he wasn’t catching anything. Looking so puzzled between the two of them, was it even English.

Someone on the left side of him stepping up beside and propped himself up against the bar. “Hes such talented bastard, isn’t he?”

Startled but another voice cut in. “Our talented son.. “ The person to his right looking dolled up in a neon pink wig and heavy makeup. With a dress and heels to match, how they were still standing was beyond him. To his left a shirtless man stood, in very revealing booty shorts. With glitter all over their arms and chests.

“What?” He tried to speak up over the music feeling like from the looks they were giving him he looked just as confused as he felt. “Is he speaking Spanish?”

“Of course he is, how else would he talk to Eddie.” The look on his face was as if Harry didn’t know who he was with, or why he wouldn’t be just speaking in Spanish.

Still trying to take it all in as Niall had moved back up to them a drink in his hands for the pair of them. Blue eyes going wide as he hugged the pink haired other, and then the man beside harry. Handing over the drink and grabbing Harry’s hand as they were both being led off the floor and behind the bar past the bathrooms to a small change room with a few lockers on one side of the room. The door closing and muffling the beat from following them in.

“Can I leave my bag in here?” Niall was talking to the barely clothed man they started to talk quickly and excitedly, the man showing him where to put the bag.

“Not if you plan on wearing that shirt all night.” Shaking his head as Niall laughed pulling it off and packing it away.

“And you.” A long painted nail pointed at him voice lower than expected. “Your shirt too.”

Looking for the pair of blue eyes who were just watching him with amusement. Sending Niall a glare.

“Can I keep my flannel on” there was a huge sigh from the teased pink haired one. Who was now dramatically tapping her heeled foot.

“Darling we don't see you in over year. And you bring this man home to us.” Harry had his shirt off feeling the pressure but he kept his sleeveless flannel and tossed the shirt at Niall.

“Hey.. this man is my husband. And if I didn’t think you'd embarrass me I would have brought him sooner.” Harry just watched pretty sure he was going to be told everything soon anyways. But watched as the other man in the room had a container of something.
“Luke.. I don't want.. any.” watching the sigh as gold glitter was put on his shoulder. “glitter..” sounding so defeated. “You know it's going to be everywhere now.”

It seemed the pink haired one had enough of eyeing harry, moving to assist on glittering Niall. Laughing at the sudden. ‘idiot’ and the smack the pink haired one gave to the other man. Moving slightly to see between the two noticing the light dusting was now gold sparkles everywhere. Hands moving to brush some of them off. only making them cascade down.

It had him grinning so hard, the annoyed face Niall gave him as he took in the sight of himself. The way flipped his hands at them to go away. Niall was stepping away from them and moving to Harry with a pouty face.

“look what they did... “

Dramatic gasps coming from the pair now behind Niall. Unable to help himself he reached out grabbing Niall just above the elbow. The sight was to much it made him pretty happy. As he tilted the older’s chin and kissed his pouting lips.

“You look great.”

Feeling the man's lips press up against his and that familiar feeling of a smile. It was like there kisses always seemed to be part kiss part smile.

“Enough you two! Let's get out there. Darling, we'll have some regulars that will be shitting themselves you’re home.” Being able to hear Luke’s voice thick with a northern accent.

“Regulars?” Pulling back and looking at a very red Niall, hearing the grumble in his voice. ‘not this.’

“of course this. You’re missed. Oh our darling was the most talented!” Frankie cut over top of Niall. Who was still mumbling ‘hardly’. Scoffing.

“What am I missing… talented with regulars.” His own face screwed up in confusion as he looked from everyone Niall still looking embarrassed and shifting nervously.

“He hasn't told you? He was a gogo dancer here. And best there ever was!” She fixed her teased wig in the mirror and stood up straight at a frightening pace. “Drinks! It's time to dance! Out out!”

“Niall.. A dancer?” His voice was hushed and close to his husband's ear. What else was he going to learn about his husband it was starting to paint and even brighter painting of who he was.

Niall just gave him a shrug. “Lies.. I tell you. Chatty Queens and their lies.” Though he sounded as if he was trying to cover up the actual truth.

‘ohhh. He's rude.’ A chorus of the two in front of them was the last they heard over the music. Following out of the room where there stuff was locked away and back out down the hall to the floor. Getting in a full looking at the place, it was massive a large projection over a DJ on a stage. Laser lights bouncing off disco balls with rainbow flags done all the way up the stairs to a top balcony. Projections were actually all over the place showing of couples making out.

It was overwhelming the atmosphere assaulting his senses. Breaking out of his trance with a tug at his arm a hand slipping in, lips pressed at his jaw. “You good?” The voice was close as he tilted his head to the side closer to the man beside him and nodded smiling at him. “It’s just a lot to take in..”

There was a few seconds of loud beat before he moved back in grabbing Niall by the waist to stop him from getting away. “Tell me about how you know every one here?” Lips brushing over the shell of Niall’s ear.

“Not this Harry. Not now it's so embarrassing!” Though he had tried at getting out of his grip, he kept him close with a hug.

“Oh were embarrassing you now. Our son. We raised you poorly.” Handing over two full drinks reminiscent of their forgotten ones in the staff room. “What is embarrassing hmm tell us.”

Harry leaned away from Niall taking the drink offered. “He won't tell me about the dancing!” shouting over the music to the two who leaned in close.

“Oh! Love he was brilliant! The best we had ever seen.” Unable to tell who's voice was who's. Niall beside them. ‘hardly. I didn't know what I was doing!’ the voice yelling beside them, chancing a glance over at the blushing embarrassed blond. His own face stuck in concentration as he looked back at the two.

“Here let us tell you about our rising star.” Niall had finished his drink quickly and pulled away. ‘I'm getting another drink.’ he seemed to be in an actual mood but harry didn't feel too guilty he wanted to hear. Leaning in close as the club had really started to fill up. Following the two to snag a few spots on the bench along the wall.

“He came to us a young lad wanting work as a busboy. And he had this glint in his eye that really would have caused anyone to go weak in the knees. So he wasn't a busboy for long.”

Taking a drink as he tried to picture it and was having a bit of a struggle.

“Just imagine this baby faced fake blond with braces.” The way they described Niall was actually funnier than he had expected as he laughed at the thought. “And one day he comes in, all smiles and no braces. Gosh he was a stunner wasn’t he.” Looking between the two honestly he was having a hard time figuring out who was talking.

Harry caught the speck of blond hair coming toward them. The part in the crowd seeing his husband talking with a couple of people, smiling and patting their shoulders. His usual happy go lucky self. Watching him depart and come closer.

“So he was a good dancer? The way you were talking him up?”

“Gods no! Terrible. But he was a quick learner.. And really who could resist that.”

Just then niall was in front of them. “What lies are they telling you.. it’s all lies. don’t believe a word of it.” Harry unable to resist reaching forward and fixing the band of his shorts. it really wasn’t messed up but he wanted to touch what was his. Niall’s hand swatting him away, grinning as he grabbed it and held his fingers playing with the man’s matching ring, watching the blond take a drink from his half finished beer.

“I know I can’t.” He said more for the two then for his husband. Keeping his eyes trained on blue eyes and a blushing face. “I’m not to sure.. I think I want him to show me these apparent dance moves..” Niall finally meeting his eyes and nodded.

“Better do. Cuz they well only tell you more embarrassing things. And can’t have them scare you away.” Feeling the pull of the man’s hand following it up wards Leaving their drinks with the two and moving into the large group of dancing people.

He pulled the leading blond back against him moving with the heavy beat of the music. The blond’s hips moved back against him as they went with the pulse. It wasn’t hard to get lost in the music filling the room. Letting it take hold of his body and keeping the pace with his counterpart. Hands in always contact with the slim waist, turning the dancing body round, watching as pale arms wrapped up against his shoulders. A slow roll of his hips against his own, had him growl, leaning down to take his lips.

The lack of control is what caught harry by surprise the most. With his husband he had found it easy to ignore the world on his biggest worries. Not once worried about how anyone else would take them together. Not just in the club where he was shamelessly gripping his husbands ass as they moved tightly against each other. But in the outside world the one he use to be worried about being judged. Judged for being with a man. A sudden sense of freedom had him still where he was against the blond’s neck stopping his lips from kissing and just smiling mainly to himself.

“Let’s get a drink?” Niall seemingly unaware of what was going on in Harry’s head, feeling his hot breath against his ear. Nodding, as he was released from the hot embrace. Hands linked together above the crowd Niall taking the lead back to the bar.

After a few drinks, Niall had become more confident even showing off of his old moves. Making Harry laugh, but couldn’t help but be hypnotized by the way he swayed his hips, or the way the glitter caught the lights it now having fallen lower down his body.

The club air was sticky, with the mix of bodies moving. Finding there way out of the tight group. Slotting up by the bar, Niall’s friends finding them again. Yet now Luke had lipstick
messy on his lips a match to Frankies. Moving upstairs to steal a spot to sit. The music was still loud but they were actually able to hear over it without having to be right against the person’s ear.

They had been off the subject of Niall’s past and had been in a very lively conversation on who the DJ was and if they had seen him before. Niall swearing they saw him at a gig they went to a few weeks back.

“Ok! ok. Please tell me its killing me!” Harry’s attention now on Frankie.

“Go oh darling. “ Her hand up patting his arm. The long Claw shape nails painted black with gold studs.

“How come Niall stopped dancing. I feel like this something he would still be doing?” Looking at them all, Niall throwing his hands up his beer tipping a bit losing a drink on the floor beside him. His face nonchalant.

“Oh! My love, it was tragic!” Luke wiped a fake tear from his cheek as he nodded. Niall still just shaking his head. “Our sweet sweet boy from Ireland. He suffered!” Of course in what he assumed was a Frankie fashion which was dramatic. Glittery hand holding her chest as if it was hard to talk about.

“Suffered?” Harry’s face was amused more than shocked. “Tell me. I need to know.” Saying in his own dramatic tone, hand out on Frankie’s bare knee. Trying to imitate the others drama.

“You see. Out poor poor boy.. Suffers..” Feeling his personal space invaded. “...Wobbly knee.” Voice low and filled with horror.

“Wobbly knee?” Looking up from Frankie who had pretended to faint against the upholstery of the booth. Luke reaching out and holding Niall’s hand patting it sympathetically. Niall trying to pull back his hand shaking his head. “Sounds awful!.. But what does it mean?” Looking to Luke then back to Frankie who was pulling up the low cut dress higher on a flat chest.

“Well we don’t really know.” Taking a long drink. Harry starting to think hot pink lips would speak again. Startling him from his own sip of his drink. “Well. He won’t tell us. He came in one day it was a sad day. Turned in his booty shorts and bowtie. Hobbled himself out on crutches.”

Harry just nodded his head, looking to Niall who was doing anything but making eye contact. “I see..” He polished off his drink, the last round of drinks starting to settle in his system. “I need to dance with my husband now.”

Moving himself away and putting his arms around Niall’s shoulders. Pressing his lips into his husband’s slightly pink ears, he was still trying to avoid Harry. Slowly pulling away seemingly still slightly annoyed.

“Come on Ni.. Dance with me.” Breath hot even as it left his own lips, making him grin as he saw the shiver run through the blonds body. Leaning in resting his weight, feeling the slight scratch of glitter. ’Fine’ Pulling back when the blond finished off his drink. Standing in front of him, warm pale hand grabbing his and he took the lead down the stairs and back on the floor.

Pulling his husband along till they were deep in the group of moving bodies. The quick tempo had him moving his shoulders and nodding his head. Turning as the blond moved to stand flush against him. Hands threading into sweat damp curls, being pulled down. Lips pressing against each others as the shorter moved without much rhythm but that wasn’t anything he was thinking about now.

A mess of hot hands running over sweat glistened skin. Raking up and over tight muscles, and lips colliding every time they were facing. The beat had slowed enough to get a very hard provocative grind. Foreheads pressed together, as hips moved in time.

All sense of time had been lost. It wasn’t till Niall had leaned into his ear that he even bothered to notice anything around them. “Pretty sure we have a creeper.” His voice sounded breathy feeling hot against his ear.

“Hope they’re enjoying the show.” Not even wanting to seek out who was watching. Feeling the blond slow his hips and pull back only slightly.

“Let me turn babe.. I wanna get a good look.” His voice was excited and it made Harry raise a brow. Loosening his grip as he let the other turn, not minding the pressure of two round mounds cradling his semi arousal. It had been a battle not to get full hard, with all the grinding.

A few seconds of slow grinding before Niall dropped his head back onto a broad shoulder. “Holy shit.. I think it’s a footballer!” His voice was excited, but it caused Harry’s eyes to snap up looking in the direction.

“Fuck. Thats my ex.” He felt Niall’s hips falter before he quickly turned back to face, blue eyes looking up at green in shock and awe.

Lips were back against his ear. “Fuck off! That’s Tommo. Harry do you know who that is!” It was a statement but he just nodded.

“Yes.. I know.”

Niall clearly not over this as he kept dancing, moving his arms tighter around his waist and pulled the distracted blond into a hot kiss. Not knowing what was taking over him, he didn’t bother check to see if they were still being watched. He just kept his lips harsh against the pink lips.

Niall's arms locked around his shoulders back in their spot in his hair. His own hands locked on Niall's ass holding it in a tight grip. They kept their bodies locked in a bone breaking grip, panting hard against parted lips. Warm mouth pressing up to his ear. “babe.. Gotta wee.” His voice was breathy and of course it was the least romantic thing for him to say. Causing him to laugh and press his face against his ear.

“Fine.. Go. Hurry back.” Watching the blond stick out his tongue and wink at him. Giving him a flirty sway of his hips as he walked off disappearing into the wave of people.

Standing alone in the group of people he just kept dancing with himself a bopping along. Actually forgetting that they had had a spectator. Till he felt a body knock into him causing him to spin round.

“Who the fuck was that?” A shorter man in a white shirt, drink in hand voice loud enough for him to hear. But he had to lean in further.

“Fuck off Louis.” Harry could already feel the anger rising in his chest.

“You already found someone. Huh?” It was clear as day that the feathered brunette had been drinking. Looking down and seeing the cut-off jeans.

“Louis. I don’t have to explain myself to you.” Taking a step back trying to see a sign of his blond.

“Look. Hazza.” There was a grab at his arm trying to pull him back. “I still bloody miss you.” Leaning in he felt that ping in his chest, like he was being dragged out of his happy little bubble. “I still think about you.”

Sighing as he ran a hand through his messy wet hair. shaking his head. “You don’t get to fucking say that Louis! You broke up with me. Remember!”

“And you ran off and found yourself fucking fake blond. Mate that's shit!” The man’s breath was heavy with alcohol. Pointing the bottle at him.

“Shut up! You know nothing about him. Besides what are you even doing here. Thought this would be bad for your image.” Glaring at him sideways as the was now leaning in quite close trying to make sure he didn’t miss a word.

“Doing what you’re doing.” Lifting his arms up. “Living the fucking life! Being out and proud.”

Sea blue eyes darted over his shoulder, causing Harry to break his glare looking back. Spotting the rainbowed paper fan first. Distracting him momentarily before watching the way Niall moved his body. Clearly not as disturbed by the site of Harry and Louis arguing. Then that cheeky wink, causing harry to shake his head waving him over the last few steps.

The pale man’s left hand holding the fan shameless flaunting his wedding band.

“Oh. So you’re fucking a married man. Good job!” Sarcasm dripping from the man’s words. Harry could feel his body stiffen as he took Niall's free hand bringing it up to kiss the back of it. Taking the opportunity to flaunt his own wedding band.

“Good thing he’s married to me!” Shouting over the music. Niall moving in close and looking between the two smiling with a blissful shine on his cheeks.

“Your a great footie player.” Niall shouted out as he smiled between the two. Moving to fan Harry leaning into his ear. “Babe. I literally have gold EVERYWHERE!” His hands moving erratically as he motioned lower. A laugh left his lips as he shook his head, grabbing at slender waist feeling the older’s breath against his ear. “Come on. Let’s dance, then you can take me home.”

Harry gladly ignoring the glares that were baring into his back. As he nodded smiling at his gold covered husband. If anything at least he came at a good point. Thankful the other had pretty bad timing.

“Shouldn’t we say goodbye to him?” question right in his ear.

“Fuck’em. I’m here with you.” Even if he wanted to say that seeing Louis was totally fucking with his head and he wanted to still be arguing with short brunet. The blond leaned around his shoulder.

“Happy pride!” It hurt Harry a bit at how genuinely nice Niall was being, but knowing it was part of the man’s character. Grabbing his waist and lifting him up easily as the other laughed out warping his arms around him and legs.

“HARRY!”

With the sudden height given to the blond. Dipping his head down and kissed Harry. Stuck in there typical lip lock of kisses and laughs. It was a distraction to try and keep the feeling of the nagging brunette out of his mind.

It wasn’t till he had Niall back on the floor, the blond staying stuck to him. Kissing his way back to his ear. “He’s still staring and he looks pissed. Should we give him a show?”

“Not a show if I can’t get enough of you.” They moved slowly Niall still holding onto the fan as harry pulled the hand around and looked at it. “Where did you get a fan?”

The blond just shrugged, tossing it carelessly over his shoulder. “They’re being handed out everywhere. “ Shaking his head as he watched it leave his hand and flicker to the ground.

His golden speckled husband moved his hips rolling them so he was turned back around, back pressed against Harry’s chest. Hot and slightly sticky, he was sure from how much contact they had had, he had to have gold all over him.

“Your mine.” Low voice against the red ear, as the shorter had stepped it up. Rolling his hips and body against Harry, Focusing his attention on rubbing his perky ass fully on Harry. To say he was hard was an understatement. His own hands holding onto the dip of his hips. Niall’s head had fallen back against Harry’s shoulder. His own lips hot against a pale neck. Every bite, and kiss along his neck and jaw being followed by harry claiming him like a possession. ‘mine. mine.’

Niall’s own echo of “Yours.” Going between biting his lip or going slack jawed and panting. The teasing was becoming too much. Niall turning himself hands sliding between their bodies and giving Harry a rub through his pants. “Take me home. And fuck me...”

His voice was a sweet whine at the end, even if the chaos of the club was still all around them, he couldn’t miss that for anything. Feeling the heat all on his cock, it didn’t help the hand stroking him shamelessly. Pulling away but putting the blond in front of him to hide his boner, and to cheekily thrust it against him when he had to stop for someone in front of them.

They made a quick goodbye to Luke who was standing around chatting. After asking nicely he ran off grabbing the backpack. Taking the second to adjust himself, ready to be home and have the blond all to himself. Trying to ignore that pull at the pit of his stomach.

--

The whole night had felt like blur of colours smashing into each other, and the itch of glitter. Hot mix of bodies and mouths attached. The pressure of hips and hands against. Glimpses of conversation and drinks. Thankful that Harry was more distracted by the fact that Niall could dance. The man’s ex had been a surprise but really, he was going to be going home a winner in his mind.

Racing to hail a taxi. The feeling of warm night air and hot hands against his skin. It was the perfect night. Climbing into the cab first moving all the way in against the window surprised when Harry moved in a sat right against him. His hand moving behind them. It wasn’t till they had settled in for the ride did he feel the sudden movement, hand behind his back. Moving down and pushing past the waistband of his shorts. Fingers kneading downwards in search and he could already tell where this was heading.

Blushing hotly as he looked to harry, feeling the shock in his own face. Damning his husband for looking so calm and relaxed, even keeping up a conversation with the driver. As his hand moved down, a single finger moving up and against now prodding his puckered hole. Even just the motion of it caused Niall to close his eyes tight. Bitting his lips together to stop himself from making any noise. As he took a shaky breath feeling the finger pushing in slowly.

A mix of pressure of resting and waiting and then pushing in, or pulling out and waiting. It needed something more. The man’s hands even hesitating every so often and pulling out gently only to be right back against.

He was a trembling mess as they got to their flat. Paying the man, Niall keeping his head down and cursing his husband as he got out of the cab blushing hotly. Shoving Harry’s arm as they bounded up the stairs.

The apartment door closed with a click as his bag hit the floor, he hadn't even taken off his shoes when he was pushed against the door. Hands gripping his hips, pulling so he had to step back. Bending feeling the tight shorts pulled exposing his bare ass. Head thrown back in a moan, Harry's hands parting his cheeks and mouth attacking his needy entrance.

“H-Harry!” Hands flat on the door making a straight line to his hips, legs parting as far as he could. Pent up sexual frustration finally being addressed as he mewed needily. His usual protest gone and he was eagerly pushing back against the hot wet tongue now slicking him.

Hand reaching back to grab a handful of curly hair needing more of the delicious feeling. Arching as a finger pushed in wiggling and stretching, the sharp bite of teeth against his ass cheek. Causing a whimper to pull from the back of his throat. The man clearly reading his mind as he had started second finger it, the sting of just spit as lube driving him insane. Small spill of moans asking for ‘more.’

Strong hand keeping him exposed as the hand had worked to loosen him. Fingers finally pulling out causing a defeated whimper. The hand making contact with a strike against ass, not minding the rougher treatment as he stood being turned. Picked up into strong arms lifted off the ground unsure if it was adrenaline or strength. Both still clothed but eager push to slip Harry out of the confines of his shorts. Giving Niall a press of the man's hard tip against his loosened hole. Crushing his lips down in seek of dark rosy lips tasting himself moaning against Harry’s mouth.

The teasing of just the head pushing in and pulling out making him whimper and beg for the other to keep going. Harry’s breath was ragged and laced with short amused noises and groans. Like the man was finding more pleasure in torturing.

The man fell from his puckered hole. Leaving him wanting. Turning his attention along the brunette's neck. Sucking and Nipping, followed by small chores of ‘please Harry. I need you.’ Locking his ankles around the man's waist being carried up the stairs.

“Ok.. Ok. Where's the damn lube.” Harry’s muttered words as he tried to speed up so they could get to the good stuff faster. Kneeling on the bed and Niall finally detaching but ran his hands up pushing off the man’s shirt as he was trying to reach over to the table to grab it. ‘shit.’

“Whats up?”

“no condoms here.. think their down stairs.” The frown in his voice as he looked down in the dim room hand holding just a bottle of clear liquid.

“Don’t care.. Harry wasn’t kidding I need you.” Reaching down and stroking his husband length hard listening to the sharp intake of air. Clearly the man thinking it over before he nodded. ‘yeah. ok’

The man pulled away to push off his shorts and kick off his shoes and Niall was trying to do the same. Harry being faster quickly helped throw the shorts and pulled off his shoes and socks. ‘fuck get rid of this shit.’ Clearly getting frustrated that they weren’t closer yet. Niall grinning as he sat up to throw off his own shirt.

Fumbling with the bottle uncapping it as he felt Harry move back onto the bed and push him back flat on his back. As he poured on his hand and moved between their body’s. Gripping at the man’s only slightly less than hard cock. Giving it a few strokes slicking him fully. Listening to the hitching breath above him.

Using whatever was left on himself once his legs were being pushed up and open. Harry sitting up and back, as Niall stroked himself slowly biting his lip waiting to feel the hard pressure. “You really do have gold everywhere..” The joke was breathy and and low but still followed by a chuckle. Causing niall to mimic the chuckle but keep his lips closed.

Free hand gripping the tanned mans strong bicep. The slow push followed by the sting of objecting muscles. Niall gasping and dropping his head back onto the bed. A lustful moan filled the quiet air of the room, as the man pushed till he was fully sheltered deep inside. A tremble already ripping through Niall’s gold dusted body.

Adjusting around the man’s arms as he laid down on top, lips pressed hotly against his jaw. The slow tantalizing draw of the man’s hips outwards followed by a paused beat and a full thrust back in. A choke of a moan falling from Niall's mouth, as he tried to swallow before another moan spilling from his lips.

It didn’t help that Harry was now running a hand down Niall’s sides, pinning his hip still so he couldn’t buck up. The man’s voice was low in a predatory growl of ‘your mine’ against his ear. Causing the blonds heart to race and hand to adjust his grip and clutch him tighter. Nodding his head with an eager moan.

Forceful thrusts keeping Niall stuck in place, unable to move against the strength. The milky noise between them as the man slipped in and out. Their bodies glistened with sweat and the room filled with crude mix of moans and groans.

A greedy moan escaped the blond, when he was suddenly left empty. The brunette pulling back and sitting up. Hands holding the blond still from trying to edge back closer to him.

“Turn over.” Not that he had a choice, being turned and taking a few seconds to right his legs, now up on all fours. Looking back wondering if he looked just as starved as Harry did. His blond head falling forward as he was ruthlessly slammed into again. Launching him gracelessly forward. Thankful that Harry was holding his hips up, his arms having lost the strength to stay up. A hot cheek pressed into the mattress and ass in the air for harry to do with as he pleased.

Niall let out a string of sobbing moans, as Harry set a vicious pace. Pale hands going white at how hard he was gripping the sheets to keep himself in place also for something to hold. Staggered groans coming from behind him, as if he was forget to breath every so often.

It made Niall’s head rush hearing Harry every so often, say he was his. But it wasn’t till Harry had grunted out in between thrust. ‘who. do you. belong to.” That it really got to him. A catch in his breath as he was shocked at the words. Letting out a hasty string of words. ‘You.. You Harry.’

“Who’s?” HIs voice sounded mischievous as he laid in a few bone crushing thrusts.

“F-FUCK!” Screaming out taking in sharp breaths as he shook from how close he was getting and the non stop torment. “I-Im yours! All yours Harry.” The second part wasn’t as loud and lustful, more pinning speaking the actual truth. Almost to say I’m yours if you want me.

His moans where raw sounding, to the point of nothing but soundless noise leaving his throat. Begging for release. Lifting himself enough onto his elbow to keep his head dipped down and hand easily accessing his hard arousal. “H-Harry I’m close.. Don’t stop” Though it sounded ragged from the back of his throat. Bodies in a layer of sweat and hair sticking to his forehead. Pretty sure it was the same for the man behind him.

That pull from the bottom of his stomach familiar and warm. Feeling himself tighten around the offending member still hammering deep inside never missing its mark. Maybe it was from shouting all night, or the nonstop moans of their session. But his voice was hoarse as he cried out Harry’s name. Gripping himself as he covered the comforter and his hand with his own seed.

“Fuck.” It could have been Harry’s hope that Niall would have screamed his name, as if he was knocking down walls. And the final slap of their bodies as he was filled with the man’s juices deep inside. But it didn’t cover the last bit of name that left Harry’s mouth. “Off. Louis.”

The shock of the names fell heavy into the air. Niall pulled himself forward laying on the mess he had made. Not daring to move, feeling so conflicted. If he stood he knew his legs would give out. Hand slowly unclenching its vice grip on the sheets. Wanting the shaking of his limbs to stop. To stop the feeling of being blissfully fucked to go away.

When he felt the weight of the man against his side, the hand going up to stroke his hair. Niall recoiling from his touch. Taking a few more long breaths trying to calm his heartbeat. “Mind getting off of me?” He couldn’t even recognize his own voice. It had been shaky and strained, but that wasn’t unusual after mind blowing sex.

“Course, love. You good?”

Clearly harry hadn’t thought he was heard. As he felt the weight off his side. Trying hard after keeping his eyes shut. The room finally stopping its spin. Sitting up and moving to stand off the bed. He could feel the uncomfortable slippery feeling deep inside. Being so quickly pulled out of the moment had his skin crawl wanting to feel clean.

“Hey.. Ni… Niall you ok? was I to rough?” The genuine concern in Harry’s voice had Niall push the heels of his palms against his eyes from where he stood. Leaning against the bed trying to steady his legs.

“So you do know my name.” Clearing his throat as he pulled his hands down and thankful that the feeling of tears had gone away momentarily. Wrapping his arms around himself.

As he looked down seeing the confused look, then the sudden dawn of realization on Harry’s face. “H-holy shit. Ni-”

“You really love fucking up moments.” He stepped from away bed. That familiar sinking deep in his chest.

“Niall.” Not that Harry seemed to want to argue that point. “What are you doing.. Let’s talk about this. Like we said we would?”

“No. Sorry I have to go wash off glitter and disappointment. Also cum out of my ass.” He didn’t care if it was vulgar hoping it sounded just as rough as he felt. Leaving for bathroom. Not checking the time, not caring that he stood under hot water forever frustratingly pushing away the few tears spilling over.

Finally feeling clean enough, there tub actually not holding onto as many sparkles as he though. Wrapped up in a fluffy towel it finally set in how tired he was. Not bothering checking his reflection he didn’t need the confirmation of red eyes and love marks on his neck.

Trying to ignore the man sitting on the bed, who had clearly been waiting for him. Moving into their walk in and throwing on the closest hoodie to him only slightly annoyed that it was Harry’s. And pulling on a clean pair of boxes. As he grabbed the spare blanket from the top shelf and pulled it down.

Padding out of the closet and towards the bed. Trying avoid the green eyes following him. Grabbing his pillow from his side of the bed, not wanting to look up to see the man’s face.

“Where are you going?”

It seemed so reminiscent of their first night together in the flat. As Niall just turned back toward the door swallowing the thick sick feeling. “Gunna sleep on the couch.”

“Niall. Please don’t. Stay. Talk to me.” The sadness and desperation in Harry’s voice had been crushing. Making him fight so hard to not want to turn around and yell at harry and tell him how stupid he was for making him feel this way again. Hearing the small sniff behind him, making him want to cry. But this wasn’t something he could forgive so easily. It was going to be hard to stop that feeling of once again not being enough. The walk to the livingroom couch had been the saddest but he couldn’t stay in their bed. Sleep didn't come easy.

Chapter Text

Sunday morning was rough. Niall felt like he’ only just fallen asleep and he was already waking back up. Pulling the covers over his head trying to avoid the early morning sun filling the room. Cursing the huge windows.

Even if he wanted to just lay on the couch all day and avoid a certain someone who was making noise in the kitchen. Throwing off the cover and his arms up in a stretch. His eyes were sore to blink, but it was the least of his aches. His body stiff and tense like he had forgotten to stretch after a heavy workout.

Taking his time to finally pull himself up. That same ache in his backside, all reminders of the man in the kitchen. As he wandered over unable to deny his stomach, even if his heart ached being in the same room.

It turned into the quietest mornings they had ever shared together. Harry had tried to ask him something and he couldn't be bothered to respond or listen. Taking his tea and plate of eggs on toast. ‘thanks.’ Not daring to make eye contact as he moved into his studio. Deciding the best way to handle it would be the most childish. No talking or sharing the same space.

Niall was hurt, who could blame him. Just making him breakfast didn't magically make things better. His mind unable to get the night out of his head. Maybe he was a joke to Harry. With that thought it was bring back his feeling he dealt with before.

Still stuck on this mindset unable to think of it outside himself. Maybe Harry really was sorry or maybe he realized that Niall isn't who he wants. Either way it pushed Niall back into how he was before Harry, distant and quiet. Polar opposite of carefree.

The next week was spent in a constant awkward silence, passing Harry in their own apartment not giving any recognition was weird. Strange not to tell him about his day, or to see him before bed. Taking residency in the living room not bothering to be upstairs if Harry was in the house. Flipping his own schedule so he slept in late to avoid Harry in the morning. And worked late in the studio after teaching in the afternoons.

By the weekend Harry had stopped asking if he wanted to sleep upstairs, switch for the night. And even if by night 2 his body was achy from the uncomfortable couch he would just shake his head. ‘s’ok’ was all he would let him know.

The weekend Harry had stopped trying to message him or let him know where he was off to. Leaving the house for errands without a word. That night no food was ready when Niall had come home from a late practice with a group he was working with. Finally deciding on a bowl of cereal and hiding in his studio. Feeling as if he was just floating and foggy.

Monday had been a breaking point. It was clear that Harry had had enough of it all. He had been in the kitchen right when Niall was coming out of his room, they had seen each other. Both acting like deer's in headlights.

“Sorry.” Harry had coughed grabbing his bottle of water. About to leave the room for his study when he stopped. “No actually. I'm not sorry. I'm actually sick of being sorry and having nothing but a blank fucking wall to talk to.”

The words had crashed into him hard he wanted to cave and agree but really he was stubborn both of them where. The anger that had been simmering for a whole week finally bubbling up.“Your sick. Right because it’s all my fault this happened! I'm the fucking problem.” Niall's voice raising he was louder.

“Who the hell is saying that? I haven't, but your suppose to be the one who's all mature wanting to talk.” Watching the man’s body tense.

“Yeah well clearly not gonna happen.” Still unable to meet the man’s eyes so raising his voice and glaring at his shoulder was going to have to do. “That was before I realized this is probably all just a fucking joke. You having a laugh?”

“Niall I'm not like that. I'm not your fucking ex.” Pushing the balled fist against his forehead in exasperation.

“Really? Cuz you’re acting just like him.” It was low and dirty and he knew that. Yet in the moment he wasn’t thinking.

“Stop this I'm not him. Clearly this is eating at you the same it is me. Your being so selfish right now Ni. Not wanting to talk, avoiding me. You’re being stupid.” His first unwrapping and pushing into his hair.

Of course in his red hot mood all he heard was that he was stupid and selfish. “Great I'm a terrible person. If I'm so awful why don't you just divorce me!” The words came out faster than he had time to think. When really he wasn't thinking, feeling that sudden drop in the room like he had taken this too far. The silence was so abrupt it jolted them both. Awkwardly standing there faces hot.

“Right.” There was no fight left in Harry’s voice he just turned and headed back to his study. Niall doing the same forgetting all about food. Not able to concentrate he put on the headphones and tried to ignore that nagging feeling that he went too far.

-

The next few days had been the same amount of annoyance now. Harry now asking Niall to pick things up when he was out. On Wednesday Niall was leaving the house to pick up new guitar strings after snapping two that morning. Harry had sent him a text from the study. Asking him to get his dry cleaning. As he pulled out the ticket from the man's jacket.

“Need anything else?” yelling down the hall. Seeing the brunette head poking out a few seconds later.

“Yeah actually.” He went off on a list of things that he needed a few things from the grocery store and a package from the post office. The list had a few more things but Niall suddenly snapped.

“I'm not your secretary.” Glaring it had run his patience thin.

“I'm well aware of that. Thanks I think that's everything.” turning himself back into the room. Niall shaking his head as he left. Unable to stop the frown he understood why he was getting attitude back since he wasn't really helping the situation. Even if he didn't want to have to understand the mans side. Just glad that they hadn't brought up the D word again.

It wasn't until he was half way through picking everything up. Not bothering at the grocery store since it was getting too late, having to be at a meeting in the morning, then booked for most of the day on campus.

His knee had been bugging him, but when did it not. Not realizing how low the step was going to be as he had taken a bad step off a curb. Thankfully catching himself but moving his knee slightly to get the pressure to relax, deciding that it was definitely time to head home. Even opting to use the lift then walk the stairs. Harry's dry cleaning was immensely heavy in the large zipper cloth bags.

“Hey. I couldn't make it to the grocery store.” Calling out as he toed off his shoes leaving his own stuff by the studio door. Leaving the package on the table and bringing Harry's stuff upstairs not hearing anything back he must have been in the study.

Hanging up the man's dry cleaning bags, change into his comfy sleepwear. Trying his best not to forget his knee brace for the next day. Grabbing his clothes and stopped to look at his side of the bed. His back was sore from the damn couch but he was stubborn enough to not complain. Just like he would never complain about his knee.

The sound of a door opening pulled him out of his longing look at the lonely side of the bed missing his pillow. “Oh.”

Turning to leave getting an eye full of naked Harry a towel pushed up to dry his wet curls as he walked. Watching green eyes lift from behind the towel and land on him. “ah-hi” He sounded adorable in his bewilderment.

“I-I was just leaving.” Niall was already stepping around Harry and heading towards the stairs with his change of clothing for the next day. “Your suits are hanging up. Didn't make it to the grocery store. I'll go tomorrow.” Calling over his shoulder as he tried to shake the excited fog surrounding his brain. Of course Harry was in the shower still naked and gorgeous.

“Beautiful bastard. “ Grumbling to himself as he settled into the living room. For another restless night seeking sleep.

--

The morning had been a blur of waking up late his alarm not sounding throwing him into a mad dash to get dressed. “Shit.” Being repeated as he couldn't find his damn brace. And shaking his head he didn't have enough time to go upstairs and Harry was probably just waking up.

“Fuck it.”

Running out with his guitar case, and backpack. The early morning was already getting warm, he was for sure regretting grabbing the black skinny jeans now. Since it had been muggy and overcast the day before.

Too early in the morning to be off on the way to the other side of the city. Sure he could have asked Harry for a ride but really he couldn't. If he talked first Harry won. What he won he didn't know but now it was just his pride keeping him from his husband. He spent the tube ride trying not to knock into people with his guitar case.

The meeting being set up by Julia just something small. To do with composing a few things for a show or something he wasn't to sure it didn't sound like something he was fully qualified to do but he'd give it a try. Thankful that he had restrung his guitar the night before.

Getting there was a mess of following people and waiting and following another person and waiting. Basically wasting an hour of his time, antsy and annoyed. Wishing his husband had been there even if they were not speaking full sentences he kept him calm.

Fiddling with his phone trying not to just dial Harry and tell him why he was out of the house so early but then he would have to tell him why he didn't ask him to come.

It had been a mess. He had really not gone in on his best game. Just shaking their hands and cursing himself for being so distracted.

It weighed heavy on his mind as he got to campus after stopping at the dumb healthy expensive grocery store. Heading to the first tutor session all the way by the main library. A young student struggling with reading music. They sat out in the sun strumming notes and writing them done. Doing anything to make it easier.

The campus was lacking the movement of students it usually had. A few summer programs of kids running around in groups. Tours if the school for people deciding if they wanted to go being the only activity.

Niall had ran into a fellow music student who said he was off to the same music Hall rooms. Chatting a bit he wasn't fully invested in the conversation just doing a few small nods and a smile. The other talking excitedly about an addition for a well known orchestra.

His knee was aching the longer they walked, why did they put the music building so far from the main library. And on a slope the campus was built on so of course it was stairs going either direction.

Nearing the last few set of steps down he hadn't thought anything off it. But that telltale feeling of his knee shifting just slightly out of place. Falling forward thankful to be on the last few stairs but landing hard down on his left knee. His right hand trying to grab the railing but only catching it with his finger tips. Not even trying to catch himself with his left hand, stopping it from skidding on the paved stairs. The bag of Harry's groceries being squashed under the sudden weight.

“Oi, mate you ok?”

Choking back a grunt as he tried to cover up the hiss with a cough. Pulling his good right leg forward off the step. Moving to take the pressure off his aching knee cap. In that movement he felt the searing pain that erupted.

“I'm fine..”

He wasn't fine. He could already tell that but he didn't want to give in. His stupid thick head not letting it sink in, he had to get to the session.

“Hey think you could go ahead with my case and let my session know I'm gonna be a second behind you.” Standing but without applying any pressure to his leg as he grabbed the railing. Looking down to see the rip in his jeans and the red skin. It wasn't enough to let him see if he was bleeding or not.

“Yeah. You sure?”

Forcing a smile and nodding. “Yeah. Just like, you know. My bad knee.” Patting his thigh of said knee it wasn’t the first time he would be limping around campus.

“Ok. I mean I could call someone if you need?”

Shaking his head till the guy finally left with his bag and guitar. Holding back any kind of whimper at trying to stretch it forward. Gripping the railing determined not to keep the paying student waiting. He hobbled himself down and ten minutes later making his way to the music Hall.

Apologizing endlessly for being late as he finally noticed his palm had a few scraps on the heel. Not wanting to be rude he just wiped his hand on his jeans and hoped for the best.

The rest of the day had gone by so slowly. Why had he booked himself up so late. Cursing his damn self for wanting a way out of the house. It being the only place he wanted to be now, dreaming of icing his angry knee. Thankful that he spent most of it sitting in the work space.

8 pm came and went with the last of his students. Deciding that it hurt to much to walk home just yet. Really he was putting the attempt off. Deciding to work on a few neglected things. But even in the empty building he couldn't focus. Either the hard throb of his knee or his mind just going back to his home life.

10 finally crept closer. Deciding he would get his stuff ready. Putting the small grocery bag of smushed buns and dates. Grabbing his guitar case and putting it over his back as well. Using the wall to steady himself on the slow walk to the entrance. If he had enough energy to hop down the hallway it was zapped hours ago.

By the time he got to the door he was doubled over in pain. Hobbling himself to the stairs at the entrance taking the few steps down and sat. Looking down the street in the direction he had to go to get to the tube. It was to far even for him to attempt. Looking in his wallet of course his bank card wasn’t there. Must have been on the kitchen table only having a few quid to his name. Using the last of his cash on the ruined groceries.

Phone out in his hand, weighing his options. It was either taxi home and get his bank card from upstairs and come back down. Or call harry. Nether seemed appealing at that moment. He didn't want to need Harry's help. Minutes ticked by and finally unable to sit there any longer. Pressing call on “hubby”.

“Hello?” The voice was confused sounding as if he was wondering if he was being pocket dialed.

“Hey, Harry.” Really hoping he didn’t sound as exhausted as he felt.

“Niall. What’s up?” The voice sounded calculated.

“I know it’s late. But I was wondering if you could pick me up from school?” He could feel himself holding his breath. Harry didn’t owe him anything he could easily just dismiss him. Especially after the week they had had.

“Sure. Let me just get my keys. I can be there soon.” There wasn’t any hesitation.

Causing Niall to breath out thankfully. “Thank you.” He listened to the man moving around and the sound of keys jingling.

“Ok. I’m going to jump into the car in a second. I’ll be there soon. Don’t go wandering.”

He could hear the light tone like the man was making a joke. As he just nodded. “Yeah.” waiting till the call was disconnected. “Not like I could.” Thankful the air was a bit cooler that night, the break in the late summer heat.

Looking down at his knees. Even in the tight jeans he could see the swelling in the confined fabric. In comparison to his right which was normal sized, it wasn’t doing so well. Leaning closer in to look at the ripped fabric. Damn he didn’t want to explain.

Straightening up when he saw Harry walking down the sidewalk. Trying to grab his things trying to carry them all but standing up had taken a bit more then he had. As he just sat back down waiting for the man to get closer.

“Hey... “ The man faulted in his pace before taking longer strides to get closer. Niall attempting one more time to stand up. Using his guitar to stand up against. Harry quickly stepping up to steady him. “What happened?” His voice instantly filled with worry.

“Just took a spill. S’nother.” Though his own body betrayed him, as he grabbed the man’s arm for support. “Are you ok carrying my bags? I mean I can try.”

Reaching to grab the strap of his case. Harry just reaching forward and taking it. “It’s fine Ni. I got it.” Adjusting the straps and grabbing the backpack. Holding it in his other hand in an L for Niall to hold onto. At first Niall refused to keep holding on but a few seconds later his couldn’t not hold onto harry. Limping beside him. Still unable to extend his leg fully or put much pressure down on it.

----

“Let me go get the car. Please?” They had made it down the block towards the closest parking lot. Harry couldn’t stop his own worry in his voice. Wanting to smack the man on the back of his thick head. ‘No it’s fine. Really.’ But every slow step was torture. Finally putting his arm around Niall’s waist. The blond protested but his grip moved to a broad shoulder. Feeling the squeeze of the hand through his shirt. Making the process a bit faster.

The two minute walk took longer. But thankfully the finally reached the car. Harry opening the door for Niall and let him get in as he put his stuff in the back. Running around to jump into the car. Glancing over at every light. Every time Niall stayed in the same position glaring at his leg. It made Harry worry even more. Even if they were fighting this seemed to out of character. Even if he had asked if they should go to the ER, Niall had convinced him that he just needed to ice it. He could easily be over reacting since the other was hardly reacting at all.

Getting up to the apartment wasn’t as painfully long, Niall accepting the helping hand around his waist again. “Did you want to go upstairs to the bedroom?” Glancing over to see the strained and tired face long enough to watch him nod. ‘please.’

Of course at first there was a protest, the blond claiming he could do it without help. Harry leaving his bags on the side of the stairs and followed behind. Half way up Niall looked up, then down at Harry. He had actually made it look easy hopping up quickly. Wiped of energy so suddenly.

Taking the few steps up to be back at his side, taking the position around his waist the pale arm wrapping around his shoulder and leaning heavily. As he got him the rest of the way up. Getting him to the bed. “Want me to grab your pillow?” Niall looked exhausted, but he was sure the dark circles under his eyes were not from just today. ‘thanks.’

He was almost out of the room. When he heard the voice a bit louder now.

“Harry!’

Turning back to step into the door. “Whats up? I’ll get you an ice pack.”

“Thanks, not just that. In my backpack is a bag.. I got your shopping stuff this morning. But I squashed those whole oat grain non wheat quinoa bun things you like.. Sorry.”

“No don’t worry, you didn’t have to stop. I should have just picked it up myself.” Offering a small smile. “Thank you.” Heading down the stairs. Picking the blonds pillow back up and taking out the shopping from his backpack. The few items he had asked for and it made him pretty bummed that Niall still went out of his way to get them even after the way he had talked to him. Pushing back the thought wanting to take care of him, really make him feel better. Grabbing a pack of unused frozen peas. Wrapping them in a cloth. Looking in a few cupboards and grabbing a snack to bring up as well.

“Ok. I got your pillow, and peas. As well as a snack just in case you were hungry. Don’t know the last time you a- Oh shit, sorry.” Turning around since Niall was in the middle of taking off his shirt. And really he had wanted to keep watching but maybe that was to inappropriate.

“Its ok.. Only got my shirt off. And my pants undone.. “ There was a groan of effort behind him, causing him to peek to see what was going on. “I just can’t get to my sock.” Watching the blond trying to avoid his knee but still bent over his clothed legs.

“Can I help?” Eyes trained on the blond as he walked forward dropping the stuff on the bed. Getting the nod he kneeled down pulling off one patterned sock then the next. “Do you need a hand with the pants?”

“I want to say no. But I don’t think I can get them down all the way.” Even his voice sounded apprehensive, watching Niall grab the waistband and push them down adjusting himself. And getting it down his thighs before stopping. Reaching out and holding the pant leg still for him to slip off his right leg.

“So you pick your tightest jeans.” Watching the blond just smile with a shrug.

“You know me.. Always making things difficult.” Though the smile was short lived and turned into a very squished face. Adding the soft whimper as Harry slowly peeled the jeans down the very angry knee. His own face in concentrated worry. Pulling the tight jeans down fully and getting them off his thin ankle. Keeping his hand under it as he examined, there was a tiny scrape that had clotted a while ago. But around it was a harsh purple and red. Compared to the other knee it was as if it belonged to someone else. Looking up the blond was basically in tears.

“Hey. Ni it’s going to be ok. Will get you to the doctors in the morning.” Rubbing the back of his ankle and along his calf. “Let me go grab something to clean that scrape. Don’t want it to make it worse.”

“Ok. C-can I ask you to do one last thing?” Niall looked down at him his eyes filled with a mix of pain and worry.

“Cours.”

“Can you get me a shirt… you know to sleep in?” The words caused Harry to nod with a smile. Getting up and leaving to grab him a shirt and also to get there first aid kit. They needed one since this wasn’t the first time Niall needed to bandage, being his usual clumsy self.

“Anywhere else?” Asking after he had cleaned up using the least amount of pressure. Watching the blond hold out his left hand. A few small scrapes from where he caught himself. “This isn’t as big of a deal.”

“Probably still hurt.” Making sure the few scrapes were clean. Having to hold himself back from wanting to kiss his hand. The surge of wanting to make it all better right away. Moving around the room to put away the kit and grabbing a few rolled towels and grabbing a spare pillow from the closet.

“Thanks.” The voice was small and tired sounding. “How-how was your day?” Grabbing the towel from Harry's hand watching pale hands shift around to get comfy, knee bent over the makeshift bolster.

“was fine. Do you want the extra pillow?” holding it out and watching. “nothing exciting just paper work.” Shrugging he didn't really feel like talking about boring work. The pillow pulled from his hand. Shifting a bit more before heading to his side and sitting so he was facing the fair skinned man.

“I can go sleep downstairs if you want?” crossing his legs and grabbing the wrapped peas. Handing them over when Niall reached for them.

“I mean.. I might need something. Might be best if you stayed up here.” Looking up in search of blue eyes that still wouldn’t meet his. “besides the couch sucks.”

“Sure.” spending the time quietly as Niall finally took the snack bar. And they sat in silence. Harry pulling out his phone until Niall shifted a bit still propped up on two pillows and turned off his lamp. Harry taking the cue to do the same. Setting his phone down.

“How was your day.. I mean before you fell. You were gone before I got downstairs.” Turning onto his side pulling at the blankets. Keeping space between them and just studied the man's silhouette.

“Oh. Um Julian got me an interview with this production team thing… it was embarrassing, i was the exact opposite of what they wanted.” Niall still sounded distant like he didn't want to be talking. But Harry couldn't stop himself, he had missed his voice. The house had been so empty with the lack of chatter.

“That sucks..I’m sorry to hear that.”

“Yeah… I mean it's fine good to go into things like that.” Yawning cutting him off.

Laying back in silence it was a few minutes later. “Hey Ni.” But the relaxed breathing told him the older had fallen asleep. Reaching out to barely touch the man's hand just millimeters from the warmth. He had never missed something so bad that was literally right beside him. Drifting to sleep didn't take long maybe the weight of another body in bed or the way he would breath all together too calming.

---

Waking up in the slightly awkward position he had fallen asleep in was still the best sleep he had had in over a week. Taken by the surprise by an arm over his waist and the body lying along him but not touching anywhere else. His own arm laying relaxed on familiar olive skin. Taking a second away from their fight to just trace his fingers along the man’s. His hand resting on top of a relaxed one running his fingertips along the smooth metal of his ring. Studying the ridge of his knuckles along the thin long fingers.

Maybe he was taking things too far after the damn week of not talking. But really it still stung to think of that night. Would it be bad for him to keep letting it fester inside and hold resentment. It didn't matter as he felt movement and decided to relax and pretend to still be sleeping.

The usual charm of Harry's alarm sounding. a low groan and sudden realization of the arm. Niall had to really try hard not to smile as the very slow withdrawal of a warm arm. Deciding he might as well move once the man was turned to his alarm. Hands down and shifting himself up the ache back full force. Really it felt useless to move as he looked closer the packet of peas on the floor now. It wasn't as swollen but still angry in the bruise and puffiness.

“Sorry didn't mean to wake you.” Harry's voice was thick with sleep as he stretched.

“It’s fine.” Reaching down and trying to apply some pressure on the angry skin. Making a weird grunt noise in the back of his throat. It wasn't any less tender and sore.

“I'll call the doctors now and get you an appointment for today.. maybe you should stay home today?”

Sitting back and reaching for his phone only two kids booked today. “I guess. BUT it's not like I can't do it.. I just can't get there. You're probably at work all day.”

But the man was already on the phone sounding more alert than just a few minutes ago. “early afternoon. We’ll be there.” putting his phone down and standing. “I'll take the afternoon off and go with you.”

“You don't have to..”

“Don't worry like you said you need to be able to get there and back. But I don't really want you up on your knee till we go to the doctors.. please stay home. “ Though his voice sounded serious and worried.

“ok.” Keeping his eyes on the other as he started to get ready leaving for the washroom. Something Niall would attempt once Harry finished. Closing his eyes for a few minutes till Harry was back in the room the top of his hair tied back and a band in place. He must have just washed his face. He was in the closet for a few minutes coming out in a suit and tie hanging loose leaving the jacket on the side of the bed.

“Ah, Harry.” He was trying to tie his tie eyes looking up from where he stood at the edge of the bed. “hairband” Pointing up to his own head taping before the man just nodded giving an awkward smile and pulled it off and let his hair down. ‘thanks’

Pointing downstairs to start his usual morning of smoothie and checking his email. Niall taking his time to get up get to the bathroom. Settling back down on the bed and pulling the blankets back up as he grabbed his phone making a few calls to cancel his sessions.

Harry was back up a smoothie in hand putting it on Niall’s side. “ok. So call me if anything I don't care. And I'll home at noon and we can have lunch and go.”

He hid his smile and just played with the comforter. “got it. Thank you. “ Finally looking up Harry making it seem for a second that he was going to leaning for a kiss. And Niall really wanted it. But both realizing and shying away. “have a good day at work.”

Falling back asleep after the smoothie the room was just peaceful. But it didn't take him long to wake up, becoming restless. The slow climb of getting up and finding something to wear. All in hops. Yesterday he had been to exhausted to hop around.

Changed successfully, the stairs had been easier going down than going up them the day before. His mind anywhere but the angry knee he wasn't going to think about it till the examination.

Harry had gotten home they had an awkwardly quiet meal together. Their first in a while. Shoes had been a weird conversation.

“Harry. I think I need two shoes..”

“But you’re on one leg right now?”

“True but what if I have to put my foot down. I would like a shoe..”

“What about a sandal. Won’t they give you like.. a crutch or something.”

“Harry my second shoe please. I'll take it off when they give me a crutch ok.” Waiting a second before muttering. “Maybe they will give me two crutches.” Both sharing a slight chuck before going back to pretending they weren't really talking.

---

Harry had Niall in the doctor's office well before their appointment since getting him from place to car had taken a while. So he sat there tapping his fingers or bouncing his knee slightly. Fidgety, there was a reason he kept himself healthy. He wasn't the most fond of doctors or even dentists. It made it worse that it was for Niall that they were here he had been worried, his mind just going back maybe it was nothing but an awkward fall though he wasn't to sure. Niall hadn't really addressed it.

Niall’s hand reached over to still his knee. “Stop.” His voice wasn't mad no hint of annoyance. His usual kind voice. Looking over from where he had been playing with his lip with his thumb and pointer finger. Very mindless common habit. ‘right’

It was worse in the examination room waiting. Niall up on the weird table. Harry just sat on the side, eyes going round in the room trying to take it in, even if it was really standard.

“Harry. Breath.” Looking up niall had that pointed look of stop being a dick head. As he nodded. Letting out a breath to be like, see still breathing. Just as the doctor came in and really he couldn't think of anything else to do let alone breath. Just eyes set on him examining Niall.

There wasn’t much talking just asking if this hurt. And a lot of the time it did. With asking him to apply pressure and try to straighten. Pulling and prodding some ‘uhhs’. Niall’s face scrunched in concentration. ‘pain here?’ ‘yeah.’ over and over till he got closer to the end ‘here?’ ‘no’. There was a hum of the doctor before he stood up.

He had said something about sending him for x rays. And if they could be around for a bit longer he could have them reviewed pretty quick. Writing him a prescription for anti inflammatories and telling him he was to be on crutches for the next few weeks. For now and he was going to review his medical folder.

Harry was up and at Niall side. Taking the papers so blond didnt have to. Heading down a floor to get the x ray. Then down to the pharmacy on the street level filling the prescription grabbing the crutches Niall making it seem quite easy to move around now. Though still worried about his clumsy husband.

More waiting. Finally back in the doctor’s office wanting to get into an examining room to finish this day. Following Niall in and sitting down in the same spot as before. The doctor coming in minutes later with the x rays. Honestly he didn't know what he was looking at when the room went dark and the doctor started pointing things out. Something to do with tendons and ligaments not being there or stretched or something. But the look on Niall's face said it all. Calm and aware.

The lights came back on. “Have you been to physio recently?”

“No. Wasn't making a difference. “

“and your brace?” A folder in his hand as he wrote down the answers quickly Harry just watching the exchange wanting to know what was going on.

“only at the gym.. “

“Your papers says you've known for years. You never went for the surgery earlier?”

Harry's eyes snapped to Niall who just shook his head.

“No, they told me I had a few more years. Maybe 5 on the left knee.”

“Looks to me that wasn't accurate. Maybe with physio and the brace constantly. But now I think will need an mri and I'm going to have to send you to a specialist think the surgery is going to be more complicated than previously diagnosed. That's going to have to be with the specialist. “

Harry couldn’t take his eyes off Niall. Surprised that the man didn’t react devastated.

“Once the swelling is down. Its brace daily if possible. Now just setting up for the specialist. Unless there’s anything else, go home and relax. Stay off the leg.”

Harry nodded his head in thanks as he got up. This was a lot for him to take in but Niall didn’t seem to bothered by it. Just hopping down grabbing the crutches. Clearly ready to go but Harry couldn’t stop himself from just stepping forward when the blond moved by, reaching out and touching his back. Not saying anything, he didn't know what to say.

A few things with the receptionist to have Niall’s folder sent over to the next doctor and they were out and on the way back home.

Keeping his attention on the road he had almost missed the comment. With so much on his mind to say it was the least of his concerns.

“I wouldn't blame you if you wanted out.”

“What? “ Harry had to stop himself from taking his eyes off the road, feeling that pressure build up in his chest. If they hadn’t been fighting would he be saying the same thing.

“I mean… if you wanted out of this… us. Whatever it is. I get it” Niall’s voice was so dismissive as if he could be talking about the weather or what to have for dinner.

“Niall what are you even talking ab-” Hands gripping the steering wheel, wondering if there was an open spot he could just pull over. Yet hearing the blonds sad voice as if he was trying to convince himself of his own words.

“No one wants a broken husband. It's going to be expensive and recovery could take a long time. I'm just saying if this is too much I won't be mad.”

The car went quiet just the hum of the gearbox being switched down as they came to a red light. Reaching over and putting his hand on Niall's good knee easy enough to reach. Sitting not to far from his hand. And looking from the road to the downcast face of the blond.

“I was serious when I said through sickness and in health. I don't care what's going on between us. I'm here for the long haul. And I'm not that kind of guy.” there was a honk behind them and harry had to drive off taking his hand away and back on the gearshift. Face serious he didn't know what else he could do to convince Niall he was going to get be there no matter what even if he was the one who kept fucked things up.

The rest of the car ride was quiet nothing playing on the radio no Niall trying to make him listen to something he'd never heard before. He was starting to loose hope to get that back. This olds laugh or the way he would reach over to play with his curls.

--

Officially two weeks of saying nothing much else beside a few days ago. Niall was still on the crutches and his knee wasn't to bad less swollen but still hard to put pressure down. The past few days gave Niall enough time to think trying to process what was going on. He hadn't been surprised at the doctor’s office and they would be going in to see a specialist by the end of the week. He really couldn't put much thought into it, he hadn't done himself a favor ignoring the issue.

Only thing that took him by surprise was how Harry had acted. He seemed genuinely concerned and maybe that defrosted his heart just slightly. Seeing how worried he was even if Niall was trying to hold himself to not speaking with the curly haired man. Thing is he hadn't really talked to anyone. Sure he talked in his sessions but it was the usual politeness you would expect. Not deep in depth conversations that after you felt weightless and excited.

Finally to himself he was admitting he missed Harry a lot more then he even thought. And it was getting harder and harder to ignore the poor puppy dog face he'd give him if he saw him reach for something without asking for help or carry something heavy that Harry could have an easier time of lifting. It wasn't that he was weak or incapable but it was clear that his husband wanted to take care of him. And maybe that was speaking louder than words. In a weird twisted way maybe Niall wanted to see if Harry would just give up on him. But he was already trying to sort out the day to get him to his appointment. Would try to remind him to take his anti inflammatories. He even went out and bought a proper ice pack because they were losing too many frozen things from the freezer.
He was being childish finally coming to that conclusion but if Harry had told him days before that he was, he would have found another reason to be mad at brunette. The words from that night in the car still repeating. But really now he was getting too lonely without talking to Harry. And maybe he missed being tickled.

Leaving in the morning needing to get away after being uninspired to write or play anything lately. The park between his place and the grocery store had been alive with dogs out for there Sunday morning walks. Dashing around off leash. Seeing one of his favorite neighbors from a few buildings away approaching but not before his hilarious Boston Sparks came speeding toward him.

“sparkssss” putting down the fresh squeezed juice that Harry annoyingly had him addicted to. The dog coming up and barreling into his good leg wiggling onto his back. The blond doing his best to reach down for the scratch.

“Hey mate. That looks rough.” The older man jogging over to catch up, he had been getting it a lot since it was a very obvious injury.

“Yeah, more annoying than anything. How's it going?” Watching the black and white dog kick his small legs up at him from where he was laying, pink tongue lopped out..

“Right suppose it would be. It's been really good. Just heading off to the studios in a bit. Need to get you in there.” He stood there, red leash slung over a shoulder. Peppered hair lit up by the bright sunshine.

“nah, don't mix business with your dog sitter.” Niall just smiling up and waving his hand dismissively.

“Speaking of, the Mrs was saying we still hadn't had you and Harry over for dinner yet. Say thanks for taking on our big guy last month. And maybe ask to take him again in September. “

“You don't have to. Really it's a pleasure. It means I can slowly convince Harry we need a dog.” Talking like this had him all but forget that they were fighting, that life went on around them.

“You know her, she’ll probably want you to come over anytime she gets.” His smile was so genuine.

“Where are you heading this time?” Straightening up to meet the dogs owners gaze.

“Cali, just some scouting stuff. Real boring leg work. But maybe I'll get lucky.” A careless hand flung effortlessly. “If you ever let me listen to your stuff I’m pretty sure I wouldn’t have to keep looking.” It was lighthearted banter, Niall couldn't take the man up on the offer.

“I mean you’re pretty lucky with Sparks.” Pointing at the dog who was just laying in his good foot.

“You’re not wrong.” Watching the man skuff his foot to get the small dog’s attention but of course it wasn’t obtainable. “Where's your other half I don’t think I have ever see you two apart.”

“Oh, some conference call or something. Honestly I'm just as lost at what he does as he is to reading music.” Eyes going back to the red collared dog as he barked and righted himself quickly bug eyes alert on a new dog entering the park.

“Sounds about the same for us.” It seemed like he was going to keep talking but Sparks barked and was off like a little white and black blur along the path then green grass. The man turning to watch the small rocket. “Sparks! Get back.”

Laughing watching the man making a step away.“I’m gonna keep going but let us know when you’re free.” Waving him off as he stepped away properly. ‘Cheers!’ Calling back as he went after the funny little dog.

Getting back home he got off his shoes calling out kind of deciding that he was going to talk to harry. “Stupid organic hipsters and their dumb mason jars. Why does everything need to be jarred.” Picking up the bag to get to the kitchen. Harry must have heard him come in because he was walking over.

“Let me get that.” Grabbing the bag from him and looking in at the two juices. “If you had waited I would have gone with you.”

“Don’t worry about it. You sounded busy and I needed to get out of the house.” Following after the man into the kitchen. Hearing chattering coming from the study. “Aren't you missing your call.”

“Not really. Pretty boring honestly. It's to boring for the weekend.” Pulling out two glasses and pouring the jarred juice.

“I saw Sparks. And Jim wanted to invite us over before they head to cali.. he asked if we could watch the pup again.”

“Oh nice.. yeah could do.” That weird pause again. “I should get back in there.” pointing to the study.

“Sure. Can you carry my cup to the living room. Gonna watch the highlights.”The man not even saying anything just carrying it in for him. As he settled down. Finally building up enough courage. “When you’re done. Want to come and chill… we could watch a movie.”

“Ok.” The look was apprehensive at best. But Niall finally looked up to meet green eyes. Offering him a small smile and slight shrug. Watching the other slightly grin and left to go back into his study. Shutting his door just a bit as he got pulled into the call again.

---

Niall was still sitting there watching the highlights of the matches the night before. Seeing the damn team Harry's ex played for and quickly switched the channel he didn't want to see his dumb face.

The door finally opened and Harry walked out. He looked comfortable in a soft jumper and short joggers showing off his thighs and the art that decorated one. Watching him get to the couch and flop down face in the cushions.

“Everything ok?” Resisting the urge to reach over and pet his hair from far side of the L shaped couch.

“Yeah just lawyer junk it’s so tedious .”

Niall nodded sympathetically adjusting around a bit the man’s voice sounding tired. He wanted to talk but he didn't know how to bring it up. Naturally not like he had thought about this for hours going over what could happen. Even if he really had been stewing the thoughts in his head, he wanted this resolved. Needed it fixed.

“I talked to my mum the other day.” His voice still muffled and not as lighthearted.

Guess he didn't have to worry about bringing things up. But instead of his recent stunt of not wanting to listen or talk, he was ready to pay attention. “What did she say?”

“That I'm being a dick head. Her actual words.” Finally lifting his head and turning so Niall could see him.

A small smile over his lips. “She's right.”

“True. But she's kind of my only friend next to you.” Harry finally shifting to sit up looking over finally green locking with blue. “I mean… she's great and really my best friend. But maybe I realized you're kind of my best friend too.. “

“That's why you talked to her. Because you couldn’t talk with me.” Ok that kind of melted his icy heart. “Ok.. Push this husband stuff aside. Talk to me best friend to best friend. Is that reasonable?”

That usual glint in Harry’s eye as he nodded. “Yeah I think that sounds good.”

“Ok. So start talking..bro.” Clearing his throat as he set in to listen to him. Even if it was his suggestion he felt a bit odd calling his husband bro.

“So I fucked up. Bro.” Pointing at him when he said bro but it sounded so weird out of Harry's mouth. Trying to just nod instead of smile this was silly. “I had one of the best nights ever and I royally fucked up.”

“I see. How’d you do that.” Still trying to put on his best lad type voice.

“I… You know how.” Harry's voice was strained with an embarrassed look on his face. But Niall gave him a pointed stare.”I said someone else's name..During” He made a weird gesture imply what he couldn’t say quickly dropping the silly act.

“Why’d you say it… were you actually thinking of that person…” He wasn't sure if he wanted the answer but there was no turning back now.

“No. Oh god no.” Watching the shake of his head, making curls bounce back into place when he stopped.

“Then why? Why his name…” That pound in his chest as he started to fill with that pressure. Not wanting to hear what he had been dreading.

“This.. This is weird.” Harry looked down not holding Niall’s gaze.

Really wishing the words didn’t come out so quiet. “I need to know.” But couldn't keep letting it eat him up.

“seeing him again messed with my head..is the only way I can explain it. Why couldn't he have done that with me…”

“Done what?” It was feeling so weird to hear him say that about someone else. Maybe it was jealousy that was starting to dig at him. Even if he was trying his best to just listen.

“‘Come out’ for me. Like there he was all calm and cool like it was nothing. But even being seen in public together we couldn't look like anything more than just lads hanging out.” Niall could hear how hurt the man felt and maybe it was because his ex had made him feel ashamed. Something he hadn’t dealt with in a very long time.“I don't get why I said it. I just wanted any image of him or of the old us to just fuck off. Like it wouldn't leave me alone.”

Niall looked at the other who wouldn't look up to meet his eyes. It was odd to see his very composed husband looking so fractured. “Was he your first boyfriend?”

“no.. not really.”There was a pause, and the thought of his husband having multiple boyfriends or even lovers before him made him unrightly jealous. “But he was the first man I've ever said I love you to.” That felt worse, so much more worse but he couldn’t do anything but nod sympathetically to the brunette. Maybe he never realized that. That Harry had loved someone before and that he didn't love him, even if he didn't want him to love him, not at this moment. That would be weird. “I'm sorry.. “

Harry looked up brows furrowed voice so serious. “Niall you have nothing to be sorry for .. this is my shit I should have dealt with.”

“I know that… I just mean I'm sorry you had to go through that. Falling in love is great it's the best. But getting over someone especially a first love. I get it. It makes you do dumb things.”

“Dumb maybe, utterly shameful things probably more likely.” Harry just leaned back looking back up. “Seeing him brought a lot of things back… So weird how it felt negative, I never realized before that the thrill I felt at the time, being a secret. Looking back it was really shitty. I want it all to get out of my head.”

Niall breathed out and stood up guess he could get it.. being a mess for a year and for Harry it hadn't been that long and he had done something dramatic to get over him.

“I’m sorry if I'm acting like a cover up… I'm the worst kind of rebound huh?” Harry looked up like he was going to protest it but Niall just smiled small and unsure. “You know.. The married kind of rebound.” Hopping the few steps over and sitting beside Harry. Putting his hand on his leg.

“You’re not the worst… If anything you made me realize that he wasn’t that great. He could be different, now that he's out but I wouldn't really want to know him now.” A tanned hand inching forward his own fingertips lifting pale fingers slowly pushing into the comfort of warm hands.

“What do you mean? I'm just boring old Niall. And he's a posh footie player..” Walking his own fingers against Harry’s feeling the slight tingle from the contact.

“Niall you are far from boring. But what I mean is, you've never really apologized for being who you are. Your out and you make it seem like it's the best thing ever to introduce me to everyone. Unashamed. “ Harry took Niall's hand properly. “I'm kind of realizing now how good I've had this.. how good you are for me.”

Only slightly above a whisper, a side thought. “I'm falling for an idiot.” Really he knew he couldn’t get away from saying it quietly enough. Not implying it in a mean way.

“You’re falling for me?” The younger’s voice was sweetly cute, even with his deeper voice it came out with so much joy. Watching sideways green eyes flick up to his own.

“Hmm… Let me think about it… no. nope..” Shaking his head playful, the thrill of realizing he really did want this, want Harry.

“Good. Because I'm falling for you too.” Harry's own silly grin pulled at his lips. "Even if I fuck it all up."

Feeling a warm hand pressed up against his cheek, keeping his eyes locked. Wanting to fully immerse himself in a sea of green. “For someone so smart you’re kinda clueless.” Voice dropping to a small whisper as the man invaded his personal space and he couldn’t ask for anything else.

“I know.” Leaning in to put his forehead against Niall’s, unlinking their hands the older felt the second hand on his cheeks holding him. "I must just be a very slow learner." His own slender fingers wrapping around his bare husbands forearms. Gripping to keep him close.

“I’m still mad at you.” The mix of breaths between them. A sense of baring himself for Harry to have. Not wanting to hold back.

Hearing the way he swallowed and how his forehead moved in a nod. “I’m ok with that.” Giving him no doubt in his mind the younger was honest.

“Don’t ever say his name again.” It could have easily been taking as a joke, but there was no amusement, just a feeling of being raw and exposed.

“I can’t even remember what it is..” A spark of warmth in his chest, the sweet pressure of Harry’s thumbs caressing his cheeks. The size of the man’s hands comforting in the ease of how he slipped them down along his neck easily touching his hairline on the back of his neck.

Niall trying steady his short breaths. “Good answer.” Closing the gap between them, pressing light pink against rose lips. Not caring that his were slightly chapped, only relishing in the moment.

It was easy to mesh into a sweet push of lips and whispers of ‘I missed you.’ Gentle pull backs between breaths. Niall taking a break between kisses and nudging his nose against Harry’s. “I missed this.”

Without warning Harry was in a fit of chuckles nodding his head. “Me too.” The air suddenly seemed clearer and filled with colour. Leaning himself forward in the slightly awkward position and sheltering his face into the inviting skin of Harry’s neck. Wrapping his arms around his husband's fit waist. Feeling the longed for strong arms around his body pressed against his younger husband. Letting out a sigh in hopes to finally have this behind them. Even if it would take a bit more time to settle into their version of normal.

Chapter Text

With the end of summer bringing more clarity to their marriage. Niall had taken the last few weeks before september cautiously. Signed up for school was the easy part, being a TA for the Fall. Lining things up with more doctor visits and making appointments. Things his husband was worrying over even if he still wanted to ignore the details.

Even if things had become lighter between them, Niall had taken time to warm back up to Harry. It became pretty obvious that Harry could sense it. There wasn’t as much effortless closeness. And maybe that would drive them apart, it had him worried on the way home from the man’s law office on a sunny afternoon.

“Hey.. you ok?” Trying his best to sound calm and relaxed not as nervous. Maybe it was the way the man had been quiet when meeting him in the lobby. Or how they couldn't hold hands while walking due to the very annoying crutches. There really wouldn't be any reason for him to get anxious yet when Harry didn't respond right away that fueled his nerves. Not sure he should, so he went for it. Reaching out and tucking a stray curl behind his ear. Admiring how long his hair was getting. Long enough to do a proper top bun and the front not slipping out.

That seemed to get his attention. Niall keeping his eyes on his husband's body language he seemed pretty tense. “uh, fine. Just … You know..”

When the man didn't elaborate all the blond could do was frown gently and slip his hand from Harry's shoulder. Turning a bit in his seat hand up now at his own lips to play with his bottom lip. Not realizing his own frown stuck facial expression. Just patiently waiting to get some kind of other response. Reaching out to change the song on the stereo. “Harry. You just missed our turn.” Feeling more curious now to what was going on as he sat himself back.

“Oh was that our turn?” Looking back over finally seeing the man's eye glance at him and his stone face cracking into his usual ‘I don't want to say’ grin.

“Tell me where we’re going.” Watching the man's hand reach out blindly for him. Pushing his hand into his lacing their fingers. The younger pulling the hand into his own space. Resting it against his lips. Feeling a blush creep up on his cheeks. “You’re so cheesy.” As sweet the kiss was it was quickly replaced by teeth biting down. “Ah. Hey.” Trying to pull his hand back and just laughed. Looked like they were heading out of the city.

Driving for almost an hour. Something he had never told Harry was that it was one of his favorite things to do, admire him driving. Normally he would be a bustle of words and ideas. Anything that popped in his head. But the quiet in the car was very off tempo. Slightly unnerving even if Niall was trying not to look to much into it.

Looking up confused once they had pulled off the main road. Seeing more green than houses as they got closer to water.“Is that the River Thames?”

Harry still not replying as he drove a bit longer looking around at signs and concentrating hard. Niall unsure what to look at but the nice view of the water. Finally stopping in a small parking lot at a small restaurant that had a few cars parked by it.

Looking around trying to get some kind of marker of what the place they were at was called. A hand on his arm making him turn back around. “Niall Horan-Styles.”

“Yes. Harry Horan-Styles.” Watching the silly grin on his face. And the way his eyes lit up.

“Will you. Go on a date with me?”

It took him by surprise, as he raised an eyebrow giving his husband a crooked smile. “Harry.. we’re already married.”

“We are. True.” His thoughtful way he pointed with agreement. “But I’ve realized we have never actually gone on an official date.”

Niall felt his own lips tug into a brighter smile. “Sure. Let’s go on a date.” Moving to get out of the car. Grabbing the awful crutches from the back sorting himself out. “Harry. Is this why you were so quiet.?”Looking over at the man still dressed in his suit pants. But had his jacket tossed in the back seat of the car, and was in the middle of rolling his sleeves above his elbows. The tie soon joining the jacket, tanned hands working on unbuttoning the top buttons. Not able to stop his own noise of delight, he had a very handsome husband.

The taller pulling a pair of sunglasses from the top of his head and placed them on looking quite bashful. “I actually didn’t want to get us lost.” Pulling his own sunglasses and smiled when the man came up to him giving him a quick kiss.

The dinner had been nice, placed on the patio Harry coming alive with chatter. That was the ease he wanted. How natural they fell into easy jokes and goofing around even with the few pointed glances of people around them.

Food long since gone, Niall's pale hand stretched over to table to lace with Harry's. It all felt so cheesy but really nice to have romance, different from how casually they would mess around. “Thanks for taking me on a proper date. It was quite romantic once I realized you weren't driving me to the middle of nowhere and leaving me.”

It got a laugh out of the younger as he shook his head. “Your welcome.” That sweet warm feeling of having his hand being played with. “I know it’s going to get busy the next few months. And I just wanted to spend some time with you before we’re stressed.”

“Such a sap.” Blue eyes keeping a lock on that man's sweet face. Really liking that he was sentimental and worried about their new schedules.”If you’re trying to get laid. S’not happening.” Getting another laugh as he waited till they were outside to thank him again.

--

Spending the last fleeting days before school came back in session, late summer heat keeping the city in a stale state. Spending the weekend in the park where everyone seemed to be enjoying the same passing hours.

Niall had even been able to get off the damn crutches and walking close to normal enough. Really it gave him enough reason to hold Harry's hand. Even if they pulled apart sweaty palmed, it didn't bug him in the slightest. It felt like the summer had just started and it was already ending.

With the first day back to school happening to be the same day Harry had a dentist appointment. We're they stood in the bedroom at a stalemate. “I'm not driving you downtown.” Pulling on his knee brace from where he sat dressed for the day. “And missed your last appointment because you couldn't find parking. No if I'm coming with you we aren't driving.”

“Niall let's just drive then you can tube to school then back. Right, why can't that work. “ Harry may not have been listening, since Niall had just said why not. Trying to find another reason why they shouldn’t drive.

“Why can't we tube! Let's go it's going to be nothing but bumper to bumper all the way. Mr I can only go to the dentist in central London.” Brace on he was growing frustrated with this, without a proper reason.

“I just don't want to take the tube. I don't like it.” The man’s hands on his hips as he stood at his side dressed and just fixing his tie.

Niall kept watching him as he pocketed his phone.“Why? What's wrong with the tube.”

“its just so… common.” The look on Harry’s face as he realized what he had said. “wait no! I used the wrong word!” His hands pushing onto his face to cover it hearing the loud groan.

“Common! Hold on let me call the Buckingham and let them know I've got the prince!” He really couldn‘t believe what he said it really starting to sink in.

“Shut up. I’ll take the damn tube.” Harry wasn’t looking at him making this all the more wonderful.Niall laughed so hard, doubling over from the face Harry had made making him finally leave the room to compose himself. As he waited at the bottom of the stairs with guitar bag on his shoulder.

“Come on prince. Let's hurry it up.” Calling up the stairs as he looked at his watch basically having to go with harry to his appointment so he wouldn't chicken out. Watching him get to the door and get his shoes one. Looking all dressed up for work after his early morning appointment.

They were off in a weird change of rolls. Niall taking the lead, Harry's hand in his. Leading him to the tube even if he wasn't as fast at walking it was a relief to not have to use the awkward crutches.

He couldn't drop the teasing as the man grumbled about his pass for the day. “This means I have to tube to work too.”

“Poor prince. Guess I'll just have to pick you up from work too.” Tapping into the gate with his card and heading toward the platform.

“Stop calling me prince.” His arms crossed over his chest. Leather side bag hanging low off his shoulder. An adorable annoyed face that Niall found more amusing then he should.

He was use to the busy morning commute but with it being the first day of school became more obvious as huge crowds of people piled in at every stop. Not able to get a sit they stood facing each other. Niall;s guitar resting on the pole beside them. Thing is they hadn't been the same, not as close as they had been pre fight even with the adorable date night harry had planned. So as the crowds moved it pushed them together really making them be in each others space.

Niall was fine really the closeness didn't bother him. It was the slowing and stopping before they had arrived to the stop that started to freak him out. “Why did we stop.” He had said it more to himself looking around the train everyone was squished in and it felt like there was no air. Trying not to freak out by closed his eyes.

“Hey. It's ok.” The soft touch of Harry's hand on the back of his head stroking at slightly scruffy blond hair. Shaking his head he didn't feel like it was OK. He rarely panicked, but over crowded places stopped underground. It was starting to feel all too much as he took faster breaths. “Ni.”

There was an arm wrapped around his waist. Since the train wasn't moving he felt Harry pull him all the last few centimeters to be right against him. The hand stroking his head and the other holding his waist close. “Just breath.”

Resting his head in the man’s neck. Keeping his eyes closed as he let his husband hold him. Tilting his head up to talk quietly. “Why won’t it move.” Glad he had him at this moment.

“Ni it’s going to move soon. I got you.” And soon the delay that had them held up was fixed. Train moving to the next station. Multiple students getting off. Taking a very deep shaky breath keeping his head on his husbands shoulder. “Hey, you did way better then the parking garage.”

“Shut up. It’s embarrassing.” Pulling back only enough to look up at the kind face of Harry’s the man shaking his head.

“It’s not. But we should have taken the car.” His hand cupping the side of his cheek, resting his head against the warm palm.

“Nope because we are still going to get there with a lot of time to spare.” Watching the man scrunch his face as he frowned. Niall feeling a small pull on his lips in a little smile. “Nice try though.”

The ride had gotten better no more delays between stations. As they stayed close even without the mass of people. Harry’s hand still around his waist as his other held onto the beam keeping them steady.

Few stops later Niall felt the man tense a bit. “God this is the the worst commute” Looking up to see the man staring down the carriage.

Unsure of what was going on but maybe he was getting annoyed with all the people.“What’s up.” Glancing around quickly there was a younger guy maybe late 20’s walking toward them.

 

Becoming overly obvious that Harry wasn't comfortable. “Just a prick from work.”

“Alright styles. Never seen you tube it.” His accent was heavy maybe northern.

Niall narrowed his eyes as Harry pointed at the man. “This is Randall. Randall this is my husband Niall.”

“Oh this is yer Mrs. It's nice to meet ya.”

Raising a brow as he cleared his throat. “It Mr. Not a woman chap “

“Ohhh she's feisty isn't she.” putting emphasis on calling him the wrong gender.

“Stop being a dick head.” Harry warned it was quite hot seeing him talk back.

“Ohhh you talking back. That's new.” The man laughed he seemed like such an idiot. Niall sighed slowly this man was ridiculous. They were standing close when the man thought it would be a riot to keep talking. “Oh seems like if I stick around too long I might have a go at your lady. Might catch the gay am I right.” His laugh was annoying and booming. Nothing about that was funny.

Niall could feel how Harry tensed, it really wouldn't shock him if the younger punched the man. But maybe it was Harry still coming out of his shell still since he stayed a quiet clearly in a simmer of anger.

“Your right you might catch it Especially if I'm about to kiss my husband, me being a man and all. Kindly fuck off.”

The man was all smiles and trying to laugh it off. Niall was for sure not kidding as he pulled his slightly taller husband down by the neck. Tipping his head up to make sure to meet lips. Harry faulting just for a second before pushing back against his lips.

Harry's coworker seemingly caught off guard. “ugh, disgusting.” But he could hear the shuffle of feet walking away.

The last few weeks he had kept there kisses sweet and quick. Nothing heavy or backing away if it got to heated. But even now he couldn't stop himself. The train forgotten as he properly kissed his husband. There act of pda probably a bit to much for how early it was. He liked the way the man didn't hold back to kiss him in public. Or how he tasted minty. It was something he hadn't realized he was craving.

Pulling back when they were a stop away wearing stupid smiles as Niall had Harry's face in his neck. Getting a glimpse of blushing cheeks. Petting his hair a few times before nudging him to stand back up. Grinning as the man stepped back, taking his hand again and leading him out. Even with his limp the man didn't seem to unnerved by it.

----

Keeping a slower pace so his blond husband could keep up his slight lead. Glancing over every so often not to check up on him, maybe just a bit but also to admire him. Dark shorts cut above the knee, left knee with a black brace. Plain white t on making him envious of the older's summer wear still and annoyed at his own stuff suit.

If Niall hadn't been holding his hand the entire way to the dentist office he might have found another reason to leave. But if Niall was able to get over his mini panic attack quick enough to still get him there in time it was all he could do to repay him.

Breathing out a deep sigh getting a laugh from the blond when he stood still at the door being pulled into the office. Checking in and sitting down, he couldn't stop nervously touching his face or peeking up his eyebrows at the sound of mini drills going.

“Stop touching your face.” Glad the blond was there to catch him. Moving his hand from his face to quickly run his fingers through curly hair and push it back. Feeling rough fingers grabbing his hand and pulling it into his lap. “Such a big baby.”

Niall clearly joking, stopping himself before commenting. Humming low before going back to tapping his other hand on his thigh. His name called and he sat up taller. God's he hated the dentist. Leaning over and getting a kiss from his smiling partner shaking his head.

“Go ahead babe. I shouldn't been at campus long. I'll be back to train with you to work.”

“See you soon.” Fluffing his hair one last time before nodding and following the man who called his name. Looking back to see Niall still standing there watching,flashing him a smile and ok sign. Then he walked down the hall unable to see the blond anymore giving a small cough.

His husband had said something about going to campus quickly to grab note sheets from a fellow classmate something about piano. He wasn't quite sure but that seemed like a better place them this.

It was all small idol chitchat about the filling he was getting. Pulling out his phone when he had the damn bib on texting a picture to Niall. Getting a response right away.

From hubby.
9:13 am.
Hot stuff!

Smiling as he put his phone away. Feeling pretty lucky that Niall would even bother making sure he went to something as silly as a dentist appointment. It went by quickly once he was frozen up. Even if the drills grinding noise made him feel slightly sick. Trying to put it to the back of his mind already deep in thought over work. The case they had been working in for the past few months finally heading to court. It was going to be length and span hopefully under a few months. It was on fraud with a major company.

It had taken up late nights and sometimes weekends. It was a slow dawn on him that he wasn't sure this is what he wanted. Really he was more captivated by his blond distraction. Everything seemed easy going even when talking about the serious things like school or work even the possible upcoming surgery.

Harry's mind floated over a lot of topics as he sat in the dentist's chair staring up at the screen of a morning talk show. But really they kept going back to Niall, maybe he was becoming more comfortable with the fact he was fully devoted to the musician. Maybe it was unfathomable to think he could switch so quickly from thoughts of his ex to wanting to do nothing but make his husband happy. Even the noticeable affection from the morning, something he had been hoping would respark ever since pride night. Trying to shake his thoughts as he tried to stop thinking so heavily on the topic so early instead trying to go back to thinking about work.

Finally finishing up being told how long he would be frozen for and not to drink or eat anything hot for an hour. Thanking him and leaving for the front desk seeing Niall sitting in a different spot now, guitar case beside him with a pencil tucked above his ear focusing on it with his fingers moving like they would over piano keys.

Adjusting his coat and bag a bit as he walked up keeping his eyes on his blond. “Very important work there?”

“Of the utmost importance.” That smiling face beaming up at him as he moved to put the notes away and get his case back on his back. Feeling his own grin lopsided from the freezing. Getting the older man suddenly quite close to his face and getting a few pecks on his frozen side. Laughing at how it felt.

“look what you've done to me.” Harry mock grumbled as he put an arm around the blond.

“What do you mean i did to you!” Niall's face less than serious more like that silly happy face.

“because you bought those damn candies at the cinema last month.” since he had had a clean record for years before his sugar addicted husband.

“Oh I thought it was from eating my ass.” Niall's smirk was devilish as he pressed the lift call. Harry turning his head to Niall so fast he could have given himself whiplash. Eyes wide feeling very shocked in a delighted way. Watching the man fall into a fit of laughs. Pulling back his arm and crossing them, being pulled into the lift by an elbow.

Niall moving to the corner in a very odd turn as he felt the man's smaller hands grab his hips and pull him close. Letting himself be pulled biting the inside of his cheek. Bending his knees ever so slightly to fit right into the man's arms and rest his head on his neck. Unlocking his arms and putting them on the bare arms of the t shirted man.

It was quiet and even a very nice moment between them but he really couldn't stop himself.“You’re fowl.” Getting another laugh as his ass was squeezed causing him to pick up his head his eyebrows raising.

Happy for the time they could spend together before work. Joking around about the advertising on the train. Or even referencing movies and inside jokes they had, like they had known eachother for years.

Having walked together, the older insisting on walking him to work from the train. Just listening to him babble about exciting note changes, and what he was working on today. Who he was working with and the new mass of tempos. It all sounded so strange to listen to him but he really couldn’t think of anything else he wanted to be doing. The freezing almost gone. Even if he wanted to wait till later in the day to go back, walking up the the giant building had been the least appealing thing.

“Guess I should head to work.” Harry’s low voice as he cleared his throat. Niall’s usual smile on as he just nodded and pulled him in. Stepping into the shorters space Getting an arm around his waist. “what’s gotten into you?” Talking against the man’s lips, but kissing even if his mouth was still slightly frozen. It had been weird maybe that morning made him feel more in control but he wasn’t going to complain.

“Nothing.” That grin on his face was playful and light as Harry tried to pull away before the grip on his hand tugged him back, making him laugh and go back. Kissing the man cupping his cheek.

“I gotta go babe.” Saying against his lips one more time before pulling back. Leaving Niall outside his office building had been hard, finally letting his hand slip from the pailers. Giving him a wink before turning around and heading inside. Already longing to be back with the blond, spending the fleeting summer days with him instead of the stuffy office.

---

Spending the day at a recording studio with someone Julian had hooked him up to work with. It had gone by so quickly and he was already checking his phone to see it was early evening. Heading back home as quickly as possible.

He had been thinking about this since he left Harry at his work, getting back to the flat and tidying up. Sighing as he looked in the fridge but shut it fast not having an appetite. Finally making it into his studio waiting for the man to text him back from where he sat pressing on a few keys of the piano. Screen finally lightening up with a chime.

From: Prince 7:17 pm
If you want to meet me I wouldn't mind. Should be done by 8.

 

Niall didn't bother texting back as he could already feel his heart start pounding. Harry was probably tired from being tortured at the dentist and having to transit home. Not something anyone would want to do.

Finishing up some cleaning, throwing in a load of laundry. Really anything to keep his mind busy as it got closer. Checking the clock before pulling on a hoodie keeping on the loose track shorts he wasn't planning on getting out. Eyeing the shiny set of keys. It was really hard not to just say fuck it and cab to his husband's work. Reaching out for them then pulling his hand back.

“Dammit.” This was ridiculous not really sure where the worry came from since he was a great driver and highways and small city driving didn't freak him out. Actually he knew why, he didn't want someone else in the car if someone did something stupid. It was people around him he wasn't sure of. “I can travel anywhere in the world without being scared but driving in the city. Get yourself together man.” Scolding himself as he finally just grabbed the keys and locked the door.

Harry's car was very nice, nicer than anything he had driven before. Driving it only a few times in the past few months despite Harry putting his name being on the insurance papers. Getting up to the sleek black car unlocking and going to the passengers side before shaking his head thankfully no one was around.

Pulling the door close as he adjusted the seat and mirrors glad he gave himself enough time to mess around a bit. Thankful for the light from the late sunset. Driving in it alone was less pressure if he had to drive with Harry in it he wouldn't be as relaxed.

The drive wasn't to long or even that hard on the usually backed up streets. Stuck in only a few sections of traffic. Pulling up to the side of the building and with a successful parallel parking job. His grip was so hard on the steering wheel as he pried his white knuckles off. Wiggling his fingers to get feeling back into them.

Parked with the window open and engine off. As he waited a few minutes after 8 getting a call. “Hey. “

“Hey babe, where are you?” Harry’s voice at the other end sounding tired.

“Just on the side of the building. Can you see me?” Even as he was talking Harry was turning the corner and looking around with a very adorable pout.

“No. Are you sure you came to the right building.”

“That was a very easy mistake.” Grumbling at the still clueless brunette who was walking down the street closer to the car. “I can see you. Can you not see me?”

There was frustrated sigh as the man looked down the block not even bothering to look at the cars as he walked straight past the car.

Niall hanging up and hung out the window enough Harry staring at the screen of the ended call. “Oi! Sexy!” Putting on his best English bloke voice. Causing Harry to look back at first slightly disgusted, he had never seen someone's face change so quickly into shocked delight.

“Holy shit!” Harry turned throwing his arms out. “No way!”

“Yes way. But you're driving back”

Niall pulled himself in as Harry laughed and rushed around the back of the car and opened the passenger's. Kneeling in a and leaning over the middle compartment, Niall looking over as the man reached out and pulled him to meet his lips.

“No I’m not.” capturing Niall in a very hot kiss. Lips a hot red when they parted Harry still smiling as he settled down into the seat and pulled the door closed. “You look hot.”

The blond ducked his head hoping it helped with the warming on his cheeks. “Shut up.” Turning to start the car. “I know.”

Harry's laugh was loud and joyful as he took off his suit jacket and tossed it into the back unbuttoning the cuff and rolling it back. Niall’s eyes unable to shift back to the front of the car. Watching as he roughed up his curls before looking over. “Are you going to stare at me or drive?”

Laughing putting his hands on the wheel. “I'll drive. But if i don't talk it's because I'm focused.”

Concentrating on getting them home was already making him way more nervous and anxious. It must have shown because at a red light, one where Niall usually would reach out and touch Harry's hair. Harry now did the same reaching over, soft finger running over the outside of his ear then dipping down to his airline and soothingly stroking his hair there. “your doing great.” He couldn't turn his head but he leaned it into the touch of his husband but was trying to be super focused on the road.

Pulling into their parking spot and turning off the car with a sigh folding forward to rest his head on the steering wheel. That was exhausting the hand was back stroking through his hair.

“You didn't even cry this time.” The comment had him groan and sit back up as he shook his head getting ready to jump out of the car.

“it only happened once!” Getting out of the car with only a slight wobble. ‘I'm only teasing.’ Harry called from where he was grabbing his coat and bag closing the door. Coming over to him arm immediately around his waist his own going around slightly taller shoulders.

There evening had been making sandwiches and sitting in the livingroom to watch the game highlights for the day. Niall yawning from where he sat. Hand running along the man's hair where his head rested in his lap clearly not focused on anything but reading something on his phone.

Not realizing he had fallen asleep till Harry had nuzzled him awake, saying something softly against his ear. Nodded following him upstairs. Teeth brushed and faces washed Niall heading straight to bed pulling off his clothes leaving his boxers on as he got into bed. Watching Harry in all his naked glory putting a few things away and then coming up on his side crawling into bed and over to Niall. Reaching over him to turn off his side lamp, causing the blond to chuckle and look up, the man's hair falling forward. Reaching up to push the smooth locks off his face fingers tangling into curls and pulling him in for a kiss.

The Tattooed body of the younger laying down against his side. Lips mixing against each other kissing deeply more lazy from Niall’s side since he had just been fighting to keep his eyes open.

Kissing till Niall was almost asleep hand loosening its grip the other hand slowing it's slow strokes along Harry's side. Finally both just sharing the same pillow Harry dropping from Niall’s lips to rest his chin on his shoulder and draping his arm along a pale chest. Niall still pressing sporadic kisses to the man's forehead. So peaceful and calm.

“Hey babe?” He could hear his own sleep filled voice and he didn't know why this was popping into his head. The younger not even moving just humming in response. “would you ever let me..-” a yawn breaking his sentence as he shifted slightly to get his arm under the man's neck properly. “top you?” He had almost forgotten to finish his thought but it was out and the man at his side didn't even take longer than a beat to think about it. ’yes.’ He could hear his quiet voice unsure if he was falling asleep but he couldn't help but smiling as he drifted off.

---

Nothing had come of it maybe even forgotten about the question as the week went by. Niall would leave campus late and head to Harry's office. Sometimes he was ready to go and some days he went all the way up to his seating area of the office and wait homework in hand. Waiting so he could drive them back home.

The first week of Niall back at school and harry working over time had been rough with only seeing each other after a long day. Closer to the end of the week Harry had just clung to Niall as soon as they got home. In the kitchen he kept his arms around him head on his shoulder but would walk around with him. Making Niall laugh as he tripped or would lean back for a kiss. ‘so needy’ Niall tsking but keep the man close.

Falling asleep in each others arms and not untangling. Only parting when the annoying melody of an alarm sounded. Harry sitting up at the edge of the bed Niall reaching out and pulling him back. “5 more minutes.”

Friday night Niall had driven home stopping for take out for dinner talking about their days. Cleaning up quickly both agreeing that it was such a long week that they were to tired to watch a movie or play a video game.

Crawling into bed before 10 pm was very odd to be in bed so early. Harry taking his usual spot against the blond. Lights out and the soft breathing of Harry clearly too relaxed. “I don't want to move at all tomorrow.” Breath hitting Niall's chest and making him shiver as he chuckled. “I'm not moving at all.”

“That sounds great. But you have trainer in the morning. Mr, I only gym early in the morning.” The man’s groan as he pressed into the blond’s shoulder.

“shit. Right. Totally forgot, can you join? maybe just some arm stuff and some stretching.” His hand raking over his side causing the blond to jerk and try not to laugh at the ticklish spots grazed.

“Can’t, already have a few assignments due. Have to work on some composition and a paper already due.” Hand out trying to catch and still the others from tickling him. Moving from grabbing his hand Harry turning it around into sizing their hands against each other.

“Papers already.. they don't waste a second.” Feeling the lacing of the longer fingers in his leaning his head down giving him a kiss on the top of his head. “Yeah. But I'll work on it while you’re at the gym. And when you get back i’ll probably need a break.”

Feeling the nod of the man against him laughing “Of course you will.” The last of any conversation before they fell asleep.

--

Niall had just been sitting at his desk headphones in eyes glued to the computer screen. Playing back a recording from the piano trying to get down a part in a composition. It wasn’t where it needed to be but he was his toughest critic. The sudden pressure of something warm around his shoulders. Pulling off his headphones. “Hey. how was i-ahhgg.” The man’s sweaty face against his ear.

“Hey.” The man had a delighted chuckle. “It was great. Going up to take a shower.Want to join me for a nap after?”

Niall laughed as he turned his head to look at the man resting against his shoulder. “Nap? You sound like me.” Getting a grin. “Must be rubbing off on you.” Pushing forward and kissing him quickly. “Go shower, I’ll meet you up there.”

“I don't think its that bad. Think I’m good.” His voice playful as he winked.

“You stink. Go, get out" Pushing his chest away but not before getting one last kiss making a face when he pulled away. “So gross.”

“It’s manly.” He laughed and pulled away heading back towards the door. Pulling his headphones back on once he heard the shower running. Knowing how long the man took, as he finally left the room for a break from the music and headed up the stairs. Harry coming out of the bathroom right on time, drying his hair with the towel.

Standing beside the bed as he put his phone away biting his lip nervously before finally trying to sound more assertive. “Babe come over here.” A raise of the younger man’s groomed brow as he came over. As soon as he was close enough Niall reached out and grabbed him by the hips pulling him closer. “You smell nice.”

“Oh? do I..” An amused glint in his eye as the older pulled him closer against him.
“Yeah.. really nice.” Leaning in and kissing his neck. Feeling the youngers chuckle.

“Are you trying to seduce me?” Even if the man had started laughing, the shorter tried his best not to laugh along.

“I’m trying to be dominating and assertive.” Hands holding the man’s hips running his thumb over the dip.

“Babe, your the most demanding bottom I’ve ever been with..”

Niall swallowed as he moved his hands over his husband's narrow hips and down to grab his lovely shaped ass. “I was hoping to switch it up.” Pulling back to lock eyes with him, watching Harry nod arms up looping onto Niall's shoulders.

“Are you just not wanting me to..” There was a slight hurt in the man’s eyes as he studied him, keeping his hands on him and keeping the brunette close.

“No.. I’m just not ready..” Trying to make it better really they hadn’t been that intimate since that night and this felt like he had more control over it if he called the shots. “If that’s ok?”

“Yeah, course.” Being pulled into a deep slow kiss. “Anything you want.” Was whispered against his lips feeling the pressure of having to confess he wasn’t ready yet. But this felt exciting and different, wanting to take control and really give Harry a good fucking. How wrong he had pictured this in his head.

Moving pale fingers to knead at firm muscle of the tallers ass. Feeling the sudden hunger in the kiss really wanting to take control. Harry pulling back to stop there kiss. “Wait.. I..”

Moving his hands from the firm ass and running them up his back gently maybe he wasn’t in the mood. “Whats up?”

With a sigh from the tall brunette acting slightly embarrassed. “I’ve just.. only ever done this a few times..” Not use to seeing an apprehensive Harry.

Niall brows relaxed as he gave him a small smile. “That’s ok. We’ll just go slow.” The look of relief in the the brunette's face was worth it. “I mean, I don’t do it often.” Both of them exchanging nervous chuckle.

The quick switch from hot and hungry to slow and sweet had been easy, as he ran his hands down over a very defined back. Kissing him in slow sweeps against the tallers lip. Hands grabbing his hips as he pulled back. “Turn for me.”

Watching the lean body turn Harry looking back, it was an intoxicating look feeling his own eyes eating him up. His own hands quickly shedding the layers of cloths.

Pressing himself forward against Harry, slotting his hips against the taller's amused at the height difference in their hips. His hands moving over very impressive thighs running along the man's darker skin listening to the way his sighed. The way his back moved while he kissed his way across shoulders. A deep inhale of breath once his hand took hold stroking him slowly with one hand, pressing his own growing erection against his ass.

Free hand moving up to seek a dark toned pec. Feeling the man's sharp intake of breath covering up a groan with a cough. “Kneel on the bed.” Even if he wanted to get down on his knees he really was trying to make this good for Harry and mindful of his damn knee.

The man’s body was amazing as he gave him a push to go on all fours having access to his firm ass. Reaching for untouched lube on the bedside table and grabbing a condom from the draw putting down the shiny wrapped package. Uncapping and pouring it out, stepping forward holding him apart. Rolling his fingertips against the puckered hole the man tensed.

“Relax babe.” With a slow rub till the man relaxed. ‘trying.’ Letting out a quiet hiss as he pressed a finger in giving a gentle wiggle. Working his way ever so slowly to work him open till it became easy moving in an out. Taking his time spreading him open, as he added a second finger the man tensing again a shaky breath. Niall leaning forward to kiss his back. “You look so good like this.”

Getting a quiet chuckle as the man shifted a bit and the blond continue. working his way to a third finger and finally pulling them out. Watching the man relax a bit as he looked back to watch. Niall ripping open the package with one hand and his teeth, his other hand stroking himself back to full length.

“Stand off the edge of the bed again.” The man nodding doing as he was told but standing up to get a kiss, slow and sweet. As the man turned grabbing the condom from him and helping him roll it on. Giving him a few more strokes Niall unable to stop himself from thrusting himself into his hand. Kissing him back before grinning and pulling back pointing. “Back on your hands .”

“So demanding.” Both laughing maybe to relax and calm nerves. This was so silly they had had sex before but Niall couldn’t help but worry about making sure it was good and that the man would be comfortable.

Looking down as he placed himself behind Harry’s perfect shaped globes and nudged him to dip down slightly as he tried to tip up to make sure they were even. Holding himself against the puckered entrance and slowly pushed in. A hand reaching back to stop his hips. “slow.”

“ok” Niall reassuring him as he kept himself still. Taking his hip in hand to hold him steady trying again this time slower inching in at an aching rate. His husband was so tight it was making him delirious, being swallowed by the warmth. Finally sheltered in, taking in the look of the man how his back slowly relaxed as tension left his body. Glad he wasn’t as big as Harry or else he would be making his husband really uncomfortable.

Starting his slow move of his hips pulling almost out and pushing back in. That slow tempo, every push in was met with less resistance. “K-keep it slow.” Harry turning to side eye over his shoulder cheeks flushed and eyes glazed.

“Only really have a few speeds.” Causing the younger to laugh quietly ‘lucky me.’ Stop laughs becoming sighs, a major difference from Niall usually noisy self, Harry now trading places with pants and a mew of a moan. Enough to be heard but timid sounding in the way he moaned like it was all new to him.

Working up a slight speed really it wasn’t the rough slamming he wanted to do, but he didn’t mind the slow deep thrusts. It really was a miracle he hadn’t just cum the second they had started.

“N-ni.” Harry’s voice straining as he took in a deep breath.

“yeah?” His own rasp of breath, feeling heavy in his chest.

“Can I turn. I want to see you.” Niall blushed as he nodded, even if the man couldn't see. Sliding out and watching him shift around to settle on his back, hair dried in messy curls and his chest rising and falling quickly. He looked really good like this with his eet on the mattress and knees pointing up. Grabbing a pillow and getting it under the trim hips to prop him slightly higher as he moved to position himself. Taking a hold of his leg and pushed his knee forward against his chest. Pushing himself in as he leaned over and kissed the man, not enough space to be fully against him as Harry crunched up to kiss him back. Groaning at the new position clearly Harry liked the switch a lot as well. Pulling back from the kiss, throwing his head back against the mattress eyes closed.

Blue eyes drinking in the sight of the man panting gently eyes finally opening and looking back at him. Standing up and taking his leg with him letting it stretch out against his shoulder. Kissing against his inner leg. Keeping his gaze on the man watching him arch at the new position, breath becoming heavier. Niall locked his fingers on rich skin. Harry reaching out and gripping on Niall's hand. “R-right there.” Even if he wasn’t slamming hard into him or forcefully making his husband a mess. This felt more raw, more exposing. Nodding keeping his pace slow and deep, an abrupt pressure around his length.

“Ni.. Niall please.” The hand loosening its firm grip allowing his own to move between parted legs and stroking him keeping the slow pace, thumb swirling at the head of his arousal. Clearly undoing the younger man, as he was brought slowly to the edge. Watching his face, so different to have him under him, all under his control. Witnessing the sweet captivation of his face.

“F-fuck Niall.” Watching as his husband cum in long spurts over his chest. The sight alone bringing him closer to the edge adding the tightness bearing down on him, vision blurry as he grunted Harry’s name. As he gripped his thigh hand still milking the man for ever drop. Hips stuttering to a stop catching himself from falling forward, tan legs wrapping around his waist and arms pulling him down against his chest.. Lips meeting in a sweet kiss. Their breath steadying as it slowly dawned on him that he had just done something closely resembling ‘love making.’ The thought was only a tad frightening but the feeling of the warm body under him and the thighs on his waist. Even if there positions were reversed he wouldn't want it any other way. And he was wondering if the man was feeling the same.

They had stayed like that, basting in the post orgasm bliss. Feeling slightly embarrassed pulling a few inches away. “want to shower again?” Hoping his cheeks were not holding the heat he felt, leaning down to hid it and kissing the sharp jawline. The nod enough for him, taking in a steadying breath standing up and pulling the man to sitting.

“Thank.” The soft shy smile made him grin in triumph. Leading him into the bathroom.

“Think we should do this again?” Turning on the tap feeling the lanky arms wrap around his waist and chin resting on him.

It wasn’t too long the man pushing his face into his neck talking into his neck.“I think so. But maybe I can ride you next time.” He could feel the proud smile on the mans face as his own lit up with excited shock.

“Oh you think so.” Getting a shy laugh in response and a nod. Laughing as he shook his head, hoping he never lost the feeling of being shocked by his husband. Getting in for a long hot shower not minding the timid glances and playful kisses. It was feeling like yet again they were flipping everything around. The shy why you acted around a new boyfriend or lover. This was exciting and new, maybe Harry was finally his. Startled at how hard that thought made him smile.

Chapter Text

The shift in weather happened as the month came closer to an end. Days spent working apart and evenings being inseparable even more so than before. The excuse to wear more of the larger's hoodies enough for him to actually enjoy the chilly rainy September.

Even a week with Sparks their neighbors Boston terrier had been fun despite wet walks and muddy paws. Laughing hard watching Harry try to catch him to dry off the furry beast. Even if Harry tried to act like he didn't want a full time dog. Really hoping this was good practice for the possibility of having their own dog one day.

Everything had fallen into a normal sense of ease, banter over how to properly wash something or silly things like cleaning up clothes. Harry up to his usual surprise tickle attacks that had Niall on guard every time he saw the stupid telltale grin on the man's face. He even tried using Sparks as a puppy shield having the pup plucked from his hands and tickled till he was in tears. ‘Bastard.’ Finding somewhere in the room away from him. Being apologized to with a blow job and a cuddle.

It was all falling into place truly feeling like a couple finally. The only elephant in the room of course had been his knee and lack of wanting to discuss it.

Sitting in traffic on the rainy afternoon, both taking half a day Harry insisting he was coming with to another doctor's appointment. Niall could feel his gem green eyes baring into him every few seconds. Back in his usual passengers side looking at his phone for distraction.

“Keep your eyes on the road.” Niall unable to stay quiet because this was becoming annoying. More so because he didn't want to get into it.

“Traffic isn't going anywhere.” That voice so cool and smooth being very right since they had just crawled bumper to bumper going 2 blocks in 20 minutes. Wishing they hadn't been stuck together in the car. “and it looks like we are going to be here for a while.”

“If this is you trying to talk about it I'm not.” stubborn as always. Putting on music and turning it up a bit because really he didn't want to keep having the same talk.

“I'm not saying we have to talk about it. Just saying that my family has the money.” It had been the same argument the man kept pushing. And it wasn't helping him make up his mind.

“and I'm saying no. I didn't marry you for your family's money. Or yours I already depend on you more than I should.” Niall finally speaking up because it was embarrassing feeling like he was a well kept husband. Seeing the good side but also the annoying side of him feeling like he wasn't contributing enough.

Harry's frustrated groan his hands leaving the steering wheel just for a second before putting them back down. “I know you didn't. I'm just saying that it's an added perk.”

Niall glared this wasn't a great way to bring up the topic but he was ready to argue this if the man wouldn't drop it. “It's a perk I don't care to have. Taking you or your family up on the offer even if you have provided me with so much already makes me look like a gold digger”

“So you would rather have to wait another 2 years just for your damn pride. You could have it done as soon as late November.” Of course the traffic was on his side and started moving. The shift of the cars as they were being directed to detour around an accident ahead. “Besides that doesn't make you a gold digger.”

He could feel the man's eyes on him again since clearly this was more important. “Harry road!” The suv was in front of them stopping suddenly. The man's arm reaching over as if it would protect him even with the seat belt on. Being jerked forward by the slam of breaks causing the car to stall. “I'm not talking about this anymore.” Watching the younger start the engine and get the clutch going again.

Spending the ride home quiet but hand reaching over when they were at a red. Squeezing his thigh, Huffing but reaching to put his own hand and giving it smack before lacing their fingers even for just a second. He wasn't angry with Harry and he didn't think he was trying to push his money on him it really was a nice offer it just didn't seem right. It didn't seem right to have them take care of something that he didn't think affected them.

They had stayed quiet after the car even after getting home and working on dinner, his stomach growling loudly. Harry was chopping away at something healthy to add to their chicken and rice peeking over the amazing smelling dish. Snatching a piece of yellow pepper on the chopping board munching on it as he walked to sit at the island in the kitchen.

“A couple of years Ni… that's a long time to wait. Plus a possible year recovery.” He actually had pushed the thought back that it took him a few seconds to clue in on what Harry was talking about. He sounded not angry just heavy with concern.

“Would that really be so bad, having to wait not everything has to be instantaneous.” Blue eyes unable to stop his glare this was getting annoying since it was the only thing Harry wanted to talk about. “What if it puts too much strain on us and you realize you want out.” That wasn't really the reason at all.

“I'm not worried about that I've never been worried about that. You know I wouldn't.” Getting a flash of green before the man. Put his head down clearly not able to actually meet his eyes. But the next thing that left his lips was something he hadn't wanted to admit. “What if you're hoping to push it back so you can put it off again. Find another reason to not get it done. First time you were in Brazil… then what, school took priority. I don't want to be the next reason you don't get it done.” Damn Harry. Damn him for actually being his best friend and seeing the pattern.

Of course he wanted to argue against it because it wasn't for Harry to figure out he didn't have to have his knee ripped open. “Why would I do that, yes the first time I made it to the front of the queue I was traveling and I didn't want that to ruin my gap year.” Even to himself he sounded like he was just trying to convince himself of the idea. “ But I also couldn't just take a year off to recover from school. I had gotten a grant to keep attending what if I didn't get that chance again. And work I wouldn't be able to afford to keep living in London and not working.”

“So now you can wait and have a better job and take a year off from it? Unlikely. Niall I get deflecting I've been doing it since I was a teenager. A real job would hardly let you take that much time off and you probably won't drop the I'm a financial burden story.” His words were honest and rough to hear.

“You work really hard for your money. Yeah you haven't stopped working since you were young but you really want to waste your hard earned money on something this much of a gamble.” He was getting too defensive for his own good that he hadn't thought before speaking. “ It doesn't even affect you.”

“Doesn't affect me?” Watching the brunette's little top bun wiggle as he shook his head. “Look at it this way please. I work, I've been working for all this useless money. Without you I would still be making money and not having anything to do with it. We don't owe the bank for our house or our car. Yes my parents bought us the house but without you they would have done the same for just me. So with you I'm making the same amount of money, then without you I probably wouldn't notice if I was overworked or burning myself out.”

Niall couldn't really argue anything since the man seemed to be collecting his thoughts. Biting the inside of this lip trying to concentrate on listening.

“This affects me too. I don't want to spend the next two years worrying it's going to get worse. Even the idea of traveling as much as I would be willing to drop everything if you said let's go. But thinking any step could cause another dislocation. Yeah, you're use to it but I see how uncomfortable it makes you. Don't think I don't notice you’re in pain.”

He didn't want to have this talk because his husband did this for a living he could argue his case and make him see he was right. “I want all that. But I'm shitting myself. This is fucking scary Harry. What if they fuck it up we spend all this damn money and it doesn't work. What if i become more useless then I am now.” He got that damn pout of worry from the man who stopped what he was chopping.

“You’re not useless.” Watching the man leave the counter and walk around to him he didn't even have to wonder what the man was up to, arms wrapped around him. Resting his head into the firm shoulder his own hands clinging at the fabric on Harry’s hips.

“Niall… please. You may not have thought you were going to gain a nosey family but you did. And we all just want to help whatever way we can. No alternative motives, I just want to have this done and spend how ever many years putting your grandpa knee to good use.”

Niall sighed against his shoulder. “Stop lawyering me..” speaking quietly and closed his eyes. He lost, he knew that but he couldn't confess that just yet. “Did you really put your arm out to save me when we were in traffic?”

Feeling the man shake his head. “um.. I can't remember I was to embarrassed the car stalled.” Clinging to him when he tried to pull away. “I gotta check dinner.”

Even if he didn't want to let go his stomach was growling again and so he let him go. “Don't make fun of old trusty he's got me this far.” implying his knee. But the joke fell flat as the man tossed him a look, going back to fixing up the food. “I'll put more thought into it...ok?”

“That's all I want.” Harry’s back turned as Niall got up to get them plates. Setting their spots at the island. And getting their usual beverages he had a lot to think about as he looked around to see what was left. Deciding the place he should be is attached to Harry. Moving behind him and kissed the back of his neck. “smells great babe.” The taller smelled good too. Nudging his nose against the exposed skin above the shirt. Huffing at the few stray curls tickling his nose.

“try.” Lifting a piece of meat in the end of the wooden spoon. Leaning around him to get it blowing only a few times before grabbing it with his lips.

“o-good-sohot”Trying to talk but getting the burnt feeling nodding his head and giving him an ok sign. “its gotta be ready..” Getting a shake of a curly head and a ‘yeah it's ready.’

--

Everything had calmed down, even if Harry wanted the blond to decide that night he wouldn't push him to keep talking about it. It was the most frustrating conversation. The sting of the man who still had some insecurity over their relationship.

Harry had his arm extended and his phone lit with a face. Facetiming his mother was an almost daily habit. And she never wanted to just talk on the phone she had to see her ‘adorable baby boy’ which at first Niall would laugh at him but now it was pretty standard if she didn't get one ‘son’ she would call the other.

Every few seconds he would side eye where Niall was folding laundry holding back a laugh at something Harry’s mother had scolded him about. “Quit looking at him, and get him in in the call then. Least that way you can pretend to look at me in the screen and stare at him.”

Watching Niall finally laugh and sit on the bed beside him waving. “Hi ma'am. Your looking lovely.”

“Oh see Harry, this boy knows how to treat a mum.” Unable to help himself he reached with his free hand and pinched his husband's ticklish side. Trying not to laugh or drop the phone when he got a smack on the hand.

“Right mum.” Speaking with a huge smile, she was right he could see Niall in the small screen and was watching him.

“Niall have you decided yet. We really are worrying you know.” Voice flowing out from the small speaker. Her voice was quite worried sounding, but more similar to your child going out without a coat. A sweet heartfelt nag.

“Mum. We talked about it don't worry please.” His free hand that was trying to tickle was now hooking around Niall’s slim waist.

“I'm sorry it's stressing you.” Feeling Niall's head on his shoulder shifting his gaze between the two images on the screen. “But we might have decided.”

“We have?” Harry whispered giving his husband a side eye.

Niall had this look about him like he was pretending it wasn't a big deal but for Harry it sure was. “I'm think late November after school's done. Or early December.”

“Seriously?” Watching the man smile, as he raised his brows and leaned over, his phone forgotten about as he kissed the man's cheek multiple times. Though the voice on the phone now talking about how amazing this was and how it was really worth it.

“I'm going to have to call your mother i'm surprised she didn't call me and tell me herself.” She sounded like a weight was lifted off her. Glad that she had taken to Niall like a bear to honey, doing this out of caring and not obligation.

“Wait! No, I'll call her. I haven’t told her yet.” Niall had his hand up cupping his cheek trying to push him back. “Harry I have to go tell her before your mum does.” Getting a kiss finally in return he grinned and watched the man scoot off the bed and walk away with his phone.

Deciding to turn back to his own screen, wondering if this was how excited they would be during any other big decisions in their future. Now becoming more relaxed not caring if he had his stupid happy smile on his mother wouldn't stop commenting.

Thankfully they didn't talk for much longer and he could go downstairs to bug Niall who was on the phone with his mother. Sitting with him on the couch.

----

The thing about fall was that it got cold quickly, almost in a blink you could go from wearing shorts to needing jeans and a warm sweater. Thing is he had never seen Harry in fall/winter clothing. And if anything could be said he looked good in all states if dressed and undressed. But he was really liking Harry in long jackets or sweaters anything warm looking. It could be from the lack of prepared he was in some days that it made it easy to steal warmth from him.

He had done a class that morning grading in the afternoon. Already off to meet Harry at work, thankfully it hadn't been raining today but he of course was so cold when getting into the main floor lobby. Knowing Harry was already on his way down. Watching him come out it was such a similar scene that he had been watching since they got married.

Though now Harry was in a conversation with two people smiling politely and actually making eye contact. It maybe was still slightly fidgety but really he looked like he was actually engaging and it was really a cute sight.

Getting greeted by the co-workers walking past getting enveloped into his husband's arms. Hearing him call out a farewell, he was to concentrated on stealing Harry's warm. Pressing his nose into the curve of the warm neck. Moving his hands to push into the dark trench he was wearing and suit jacket. Mostly because he was cold and also because Harry felt like the best kind of comfort. And he changed his Cologne recently to something a bit more woodsy smelling. “Is it cold out.” It was rhetorical but he couldn’t stop his eager nod.

“It’s not so bad but it's getting windy and I forgot my jacket thing in the car this morning.” Feeling the man's fingertips slipping under his sweater in the back a soft press of warm finger pads.

“I saw that when I got here. I have a ton of jackets at home. Why did you not take one of them?” He could feel the movement of Harry talking, warm cheek against the side of Niall’s head.

“I was running behind.. may have struggled a bit with my brace.” Pulling back to give Harry a grin. He loved the warmth but he wanted to get going they had somewhere to be tonight and still had a few stops.

Pulling apart only so they could walk without to much trouble but arms still wrapped around each other’s waist. Harry looking down raising an eyebrow. “So you wore your tightest jeans? That's why it took so long.”

He gave a sheepish smile but he couldn't help it he loved his skinny jeans. The brace resting on top of the tight fabric. “Other jeans feel weird if I wear it under. This is better.”

Walking to the car getting blasted by cold wind, hurry up to the carpark. Declining driving that afternoon only because they weren't going home. Even if they were staying in their neighborhood.

Once the engine started he was lent over turning up all the seat heater and air heat. “If this is how cold you get now I'm not to sure I'll have enough heat for you next month.” The blond laughed as he learned over the center stretching up to get a kiss.

Parking up along some shops. Getting into the liquor store and looking for a fancy wine. Niall knowing nothing but Harry seemed to get by just fine.

Fingers laced as the strolled over to the whole foods of course it was Harry's favorite. Taking there time through the aisles everything was a laugh or some dumb joke. “Do we need flour?”

“I think so. But what have I forgotten?” Niall turned to look in the basket the man was carrying. Listing out the stuff he had. “cheese!” It startled him but he couldn't stop laughing.

“Go. I'll look at flour.” nodding toward the section. Watching Harry debate it in his mind.

“Fine.” Getting a kiss on the cheek and a point of his finger. “Don't miss me.” Rolling his blue eyes but smiling back like a loser. This was dumb to feel this happy, it had to be wrong. He had only taken a few steps and was getting a call. Almost dropping the wine he grabbed it checking the screen, who else would it be.

“Prince?” Since he still refused to change the man’s name on his phone.

“Missing me yet?” Niall could hear the smile in his face, happy that he could catch him off guard.

“Horribly. I'm not to sure I can carry on without you.” His mock voice as he sighed heavily even if he was still smiling.

“Samn babe.” His voice sounded so deep I it bought. “I'll be back I promise I just have to slay some gouda or ohhh maybe a nice aged cheddar or maybe some Brie what about camembert”

“This is why you called me. I should have just went with you.” Getting to the flour and of course there was millions. “pick whatever. You know I'll eat it.”

“But will Jim and his wife eat it.”

“You got me there. Harry you should have just stayed and done this together because there's so many damn flours… do we need it to be gluten free how does garbanzo bean flour sound… what about quinoa isn't that what you put in our salads”
He could hear his husband asking for a weighted amount of cheeses in the background. . It was so domestic, as he waited for the man to talk again. Not able to stop his smile.

“What are you saying about quinoa. Its my spirit seed.”

“I thought it was a grai-” Niall looked down the aisle catching the glimpse of someone walking past. Stopping and walk back turning down toward him. Make that two people walking down. “Shit.”

“Ni, it’s totally a seed. I think.” He still sounded very convinced on talking about the damn seed/grain.

“Harry.” Talking in a very quick hush, trying to get his attention as he looked away for a second toward the flower and then back over. Feeling like a deer in headlights he couldn’t act like he didn’t see them and just walk away could he.

“what's up?” Harry sounding suddenly more worried and confused, like he could see the face he was pulling.

“It’s my ex.. And he’s with ‘the’ boyfriend.” He could already feel himself getting slightly flustered and nervous.

“Seriously?” Glad that harry wasn’t saying useless things like; don’t get worked up.

“Not even kidding and they’re coming this way. fuck. fuck what do I do.” They where for sure coming down now because they saw him. Why did they think it was fine to just come here and interrupt his happy bubble.

Harry sounded annoyingly reassuring, and not cruel.`Stop panicking.” .

“I'm not panicking.” Thinking too soon on his husband telling him to not do the thing he was actually doing.

“Babe i know when you panic.” Damn him again.

“Harry.” He whinned but it was getting too late they were already to close for him to pretend he just wasn’t on the phone. Trying to even his breath.

“Ill be right there, breath.” Hanging up the phone he smiled at the two men approaching him taking a lot of effort to seem like he was normal bottle of wine in his hand looking at flour in whole foods, yeah he was normal..

One man with a very full but short light brown beard. He was a bit taller didn't look much different than before maybe just older. Dressed nicely with nice brown shoes, and dark jeans. Both of them actually were dressed very similar. The other coming up beside him as they got closer. Beautiful tanned skin, and rich dark hair and similar beard shape. “Niall. Fancy meeting you here. How have you been?”

Of course the man he knew as Liam would still be nice and friendly. Even going in for an awkward hug. It felt so weird giving him any contact, turning it to a side hug, nothing touching but their shoulders. “Yeah, super random. I’m great.” Getting a ‘Hey Niall’ Just nodding his head and smiling at the raven haired man. ‘Hey.’ Responding back quietly he couldn’t still be hurt by that whole situation could he.

“How about you, how are you?” Niall directed to them both but really he just wished Harry was not getting dumb fancy cheese.

“Yeah really great. Just came off a really great opportunity for Zayn.” Liam was beaming over at the leather jacketed man. “Really cool producer who lives in this area. A really sweet sit down with him at his home. It was nuts. He listened to Zayn’s demo.. so sick.” He was sure if zayn's dark cheeks could show a blush better, they would be bright red. But he just had a sheepish grin and pushed Liam a bit. “Shut up. Don’t brag.”

“Why not, it was so cool.” Liam sounded annoyingly excited, more so than his counterpart. Wondering if he also felt weird being here.

“That’s really cool, so happy for you. Do you mind if I ask who.” Niall did his best to keep up a smile, they were being a very cute couple but he still felt a bit annoyed especially without harry at his side.

“Yeah do you know Jim Paxton. Legend complete legend.” They were both smiling so hard he was for sure there cheeks would crack..

Maybe he shouldn’t feel so annoyed with them. “Oh -” Hearing a sudden voice behind him. He had came in so easily without making any noise when he walked.

“Love, I honestly don't have a clue what I’m doing.” Shrugging his shoulder making a scrambling motion with his hand. Watching the curly haired man step up beside him.

“Harry.” Looking at the basket and to his Husband now standing right at his side looking up at his very adorable puzzled look. Looking over at the two also giving a confused look but still nice. Trying not to smile to wide when he nodded his head toward the two.

“Babe. This is uh.. My friend Liam, and his boyfriend Zayn.” Niall was just trying to get through this introduction. Maybe that would mean he could go back to spending his life with Harry and not ever seeing these two again. But maybe he was being too sour.

“Oh Niall. Actually, Zayn is my Fiance now.” That boiled Niall's blood as he just smiled and nodded looking between the three. “Thats fantastic” Everyone stopped for a second before Niall finally smiled shaking his head. “Right sorry, this is my Harry.” Harry smiled his now very charming smile and held out his hand shaking each man’s.

“His husband.” Harry speaking up when his and Liam's hand parted. He couldn’t help but love the way they both kinda took in the sight of Harry, not subtle in hiding their shock.

Liam coughing just slightly as he tried to smile back. “Wow, really husband? So you two are married?” Keeping blue eyes over at his husband and just smiled like a moron. “I mean my mum said you're mother posted on facebook about something. But I didn't put two and two.. Married. How long?” This was going better than he expected quickly glancing at him again watching the way his brow furrowed in trying to dissect this.

“Oh, I didn't know your mum was on Facebook.. so weird, neither of us have it.” Looking over at Harry who just shrugged using his hand dismissively. ‘No time to.’

“Babe it’s now.. 6 months about?” Harry using his same hand to now count the months.

“Yeah, just about love.” Nial smiled at them it was getting weird but also great. He might be slightly petty rubbing there already married lives in the others face. “Do you live in the area?”

“No, course not. This area is really expensive isn’t it?” Zayn spoke up finally though he was still quiet when he spoke and had a way of speaking that just made him really cool.

“They were just saying they were working with Sparks’s dad today.” Niall felt like he was watching a tennis match live, the way he kept looking back between everyone but turning to talk to Harry.

“Oh Jim's top isn’t he. Just fantastic chap.” Harry boasted as he nodded between them. “Are you musicians as well?”

“You know Jim…” Zayn looked calculated and his brows pulled together watching them taking a longer second. “Oh yeah I sing.”

“Yeah he's our neighbor, we watch his dog when he's off traveling.” Harry spoke so cool and casual, and he looked so great standing their. In his work clothes, tailored suit pants and jacket, floral dress shirt under, all covered up in that lovely dark trench. His hair slightly wild from the wind but really kept his attention.

Liam looked between them and shook his head. “Wait Neighbor. You live in this area and you know Jim.. Aren't you still in school Niall?”

Niall just smiled shyly and looked away from Harry, feeling his cheeks blushed at his own thoughts of just his husband.. “We are actually just a few blocks away. “ Harry’s voice speaking up so casual.“He is, and he's so close to finishing, one more term. You're both done with school?”

“Yeah, finished last year. Decided to get out there really put music out. We’re just out meeting management teams right now. Hopefully get zayn's career really off the ground.”

“That's really exciting.” Niall smiled at them this was getting easier with Harry at his side.

“Since you know Paxton.. Have you given him your stuff.. That's such a great contact.”

Harry suddenly laughed looking so amused, the couple looking at him like he was the strangest man ever. “Ni would never do that! Even if the man was begging to see his work.” ‘Hey.’ He spoke up giving harry a look. “I don't mean it in a bad way. I mean it in the best way you don’t just use people.” Making him shake his head and blush hotter, maybe it was true but he didn’t want to feel like the man had to say that.

“And what do you do. Harry?” Zayn shifting the conversation since clearly Harry struck a nerve..

“I’m a Lawyer.” Standing slightly taller and holding his head a bit higher.

“Really? You're not that old are you?” Zayn had nudged Liam quite hard in the side as he looked amazingly embarrassed by the light brunettes sudden question.

“I’m not. Younger than Niall actually.”

“He’s brilliant.” Grabbing his hand and swinging it. Harry giving his hand a squeeze losing his balance for a quick second. It wasn’t to bad walking, but standing still for too long his knee felt really stiff and locked up in that all too common feeling. ‘Watch it wobbly knee’ The man keeping him steady but he sounded undeniably adorable.

“You're still in the brace I see. Never got that fixed huh?” Liam’s voice sounded a bit more judgy then Niall would have liked but really what could he expect.

“Not yet. But it’s happening soon.. December 4th” Harry’s lips were against his temple, maybe it was from how nervous he sounded saying it.

“Woah… thats great. Sounds scary.” Zayn came off as the nicer one right now, since he didn’t hold zayn full culprit to Liam’s actions.

“Yeah we’re a bit freaked, but it's going to be great. Hopefully this time next year. He’ll be sprinting around.” Harry’s voice was all he cared for now, checking his phone quickly to see the time.

“Babe, speaking of sprinting around. We should be heading. Sorry or else we would stay and chat more. But, like you know, Jim doesn't like to be kept waiting.” Niall smiled really not trying to rub it in their perfectly groomed faces. But maybe sometimes he wouldn't have to be the nicest guy.

There was a bit more awkward mumbling of them parting before Harry was looking right dead on Liam. “It was really great meeting some more of Niall's friends.”

“Yeah. I mean we have more history than that, don't we Niall.” Niall couldn’t stop the pointed look at Liam for the comment.

“I know exactly the kind of history you have.” Niall could only hear some of the low voice of his husband, quickly covered up with a cheery voice. “cheers boys.” Watching them turn and head back up the aisle.

Getting his brunette to turn to him and the shelf and grabbed the bag of flour. “Did you know I use to be a baker.” Looking over at him with a devilish grin.

Niall bit his lip but they two were already at the end of the aisle. Finally letting out a laugh. “I did know. Did you know that you’re a riot?’ Taller walked into and almost knocking the lite frame over warping his arm around his waist. Grabbing Harrys arm with his free hand keeping himself from tipping to far back. Getting a small laugh from the man..

“That was actually quite fun.” Green eyes filled with mischief.

“Yeah? You were great. When did you become so chatty?” Niall leaning up for a quite few kisses.

“Not sure. Maybe since I got married.” Giving the blond a wink as he pulled stepping backwards before taking the man's hand and walking back down the aisle towards produce. Grabbing some fruit, complaining at the price of grapes. Which got Harry laughing again and shaking his head.

----

Getting to dinner and chatting in the older couples home. The sitting area was gorgeously furnished with huge paintings on the walls. Everything was easy, the small dog racing around to each person for a pet or try to steal a cracker.

Jim's wife Louisa was a very sweet woman. personable personality with a slight accent that made some of her words sound endearing. She ran a small art gallery.

Niall really liked the couple they were older but easy to relate to. And maybe he hadn't thought about it but he hoped Harry and him would be this easy going and sweet at their age. It always caught him off guard thinking about being with Harry forever, not in the bad way he thought it would feel. In the most excited way, maybe it could be one big adventure of still figuring each other out and becoming one big mess of similar dreams.

Catching himself he coughed a bit at dinner playing it off as taking in a bad swallow. Their topic at the table was fun about travel and mishaps with bands. Jim had really lived an exciting life. Louisa coming from Spain and they had traveled the world together. He had slipped his hand under the table and just rested it on Harry’s thigh. Wondering if he wanted the same not just one or two places but the whole world.

The conversation steered away from who the man had seen that day. And they kept it off any clients he was picking up. But he had said he enjoyed California and would be going back later that month. Both jumping at the chance to take Sparks again before December. They had talked about the operation of his knee to the court room where Harry couldn't speak much about but said it was looking positive for them to win the case. But that's all he could say.

Dinner had finished and they were walking toward the sitting room again the place was a massive pent house. Great view of the dark sky and city lights. Looking over at his husband who's hair was so much longer now that when he realized it was so strange. Curls at the nape of his neck as he kept trying to fix if off his face. Hand holding a wine glass, walking up beside him as they took in a photo of a young couple.

“Is this a photo of you two?” Niall called over his shoulder toward the kitchen where the two had insisted they would be a few moments to put the dishes in their and that they were not to lift a finger.

“What one? Let's see.” Louisa Came out leaving a drying cloth on the table and picking up her own glass with long elegant hands.

“Oh that. Yes. This was in Peru.”

“You look so young.” That got Niall a smack from both of them on his shoulders. Trying not to laugh as he looked over at the older woman and gave her a sheepish smile. “You still look so young.” That got him another hit and he couldn't stop his laugh. But the two were smiling.

“We have more pictures over this way. Would you like to see?” Both not having to check that the other was already agreeing as they followed after hearing Jim talking to Sparks in the kitchen.

Never being down this side of their place. Taking in more frames filled with beautiful photos in stunning black and white, and vivid colours. “Is ths Machu Picchu?”

“Yes. Lovely, did you make it?”

“No, knee was acting up. Some of the landmarks I couldn't make it.” He just smiled getting an arm draped around his shoulder. Maybe this means he would get a second chance to go everywhere and not worry about climbing things like mountains. ‘We’ll go one day.’ The man’s low voice against his ear giving him a kiss on the temple and moving to study another photographe.’Did you take these.’ Hearing it in the background.

‘Quite a few.’ Even if it kind of ran a sad ping in his chest. He couldn’t help but love watching Harry admire the photos, asking questions and how it was done. Clearly this was sparking some sort of interest. Walking back along the other wall to see the other side of the photos. Seeing Jim come round the corner waving him over.

As he followed him towards another room. Sparks at his feet, watching him open a heavy looking door. Following him in taking a step room divided into a recording space and a mix room. Eyes going wide. “Holy shit.” It was so nice, with the biggest sound board he had ever seen. “Can I look inside?” Getting a nod from the older man as he took a strange half step up. “Is the floor sound proofed?” The booth was massive holding a full set of drums and set up mics and guitars on stands. It seemed room enough to still move around but tight enough that you knew it was just a home studio.

“Yeah after our first complaint when we moved in we realized it would have to. But I mean, I don’t record in here like i use to.” Reaching out for a stunner acoustic. “This is nuts.”

“You want to play?”

“Are you kidding me.. I couldn’t.” Shaking his head as the older man moved to sit on a stool picking up the closest standard yamaha guitar.

“Sure you can.”

“Id rather the one in your hand.. less expensive.” Laughing when the man strummed a chord. As he sat and finally just caved his little music nerd heart bursting in excitement at the stunning Taylor.

“Just play.”

The rest of the hour had been them jamming and it had been amazing food for his soul. Deciding to just laugh off the man’s offer again to take anything he’d made and listen to it. It was sweet but not the reason he wanted their friendship. Maybe he was being dumb but it didn’t matter. Being coaxed out of the proper full studio by the call of cake and tea.

 

Getting into the cold car, not waiting for the heat to turn on and driving the few blocks to their home. Shivering as he moved into Harry’s body heat as they got up to their floor. Being home never felt so good. Belly’s still warm from a glass of wine, and mind peaceful from the relaxed night. Bed had been the most comfortable spot in the world, Niall taking the moment to just breath in their day. Brunette faced away and him pressed up against his back. Pushing his face into his shoulders breathing in the spicy musk of the man. This was where he wanted to be, his hand being pulled further up the younger's chest listening to the soft sigh, his usual signal that he was almost asleep. Happy to end more days like this.

Chapter Text

Mid October been nothing but stress. Nothing with home life, home life was the only normal thing. TA’ing all day and helping Grade during midterms. It was a very unusual switch to being at school all day and having Harry be the one to pick him up late. It had felt a bit odd when Harry had announced a few days before he had to go. That he was being asked to take a quick overnight stay to meet a client with a few others and it was just going to be a really quick trip.

It really didn’t feel like a big deal when he was helping him pick clothes to impress, being part of representing the law firm was a great opportunity. Helping pick his sharpest shirt and suit. Sitting on the bed packing the man's small toiletry bag.

“You’re just leaving for the night.. so maybe just something to sleep in because hotels are gross.” Smiling when he had a pair of sweatpants tossed at him catching them folding and packing them away. The man finally strolling over with an old t shirt and shoving it in the pack. Niall flopped back once Harry tossed the bag on the ground.

His eyes were already closing, he had been putting in so much time working at school. Not only deadlines on him but to help with teachers and grading and it was just a mess. It was a lot in only a week. And now Harry was leaving tomorrow. Though he kept putting back the thought because it really wasn’t a big deal.

The soft touch of fingers running through his hair as he sighed gently. This was all he wanted he just wanted to stay like this for the rest of the week. And ignore all the things he had lined up and reviews and last few tests, for music it was so competitive and grueling. The feeling of the bed dip and Harry moving to lay beside him. Feeling the man’s body press against his side. Hand stroking his check and down his neck.

“Babe you can’t fall asleep here.. At least move up to the pillows.” He just groaned and shook his head turning into the man’s body his arm pulling him against him fully. Lying along the foot of the bed Harry now laid against the edge.

“No.” Pressing his face into a firm chest and just settling there. A hand pinching his bum as he shifted. “Hey.. no pinching.” Trying to roll away from him. Getting pinned down to the mattress face down. “No tickling either!” Flinching as he whined. “Harry. I’m too tired!”

Kicking his feet only a bit as the man moved off him stopping the slow drag of his fingers. “Ok ok. But get into bed properly. Let’s get a snuggle in.” Receiving fleeting slap on his backside.

Niall never really minded being the big spoon. He actually really preferred it. But as he crawled into bed throwing off his shirt and stripping down, a new habit brought on by his nudist loving husband. Watching him through slitted eyes as he turned off the lights and crawled into bed beside him. Arms pulling him back into the warm chest, being the little spoon wasn’t so bad once in awhile.

 

Alarms went off too early, throwing them into their morning. It felt like he was being ripped away from the weekend and his husband. Usual he was never this dramatic. But moving around in the haze of still being half asleep. Stumbling in the bathroom and into the closet, stubbing his toe on the edge of the bed. Causing that kind of pain that makes you want to get angry and cry at the same time. Sitting on the edge of the bed right leg pulled up so he could cradle his damn foot.

Of course Harry was no help just peeking from around the door in the bathroom and snickered. His face was all milky with foam face wash, blue eyes shooting lasers back at him.

Niall had never been the type to let a few things ruin his day. Normally he would just brush it off and keep on his day. But breakfast was cut short by Niall realizing he had forgotten that he had to meet a classmate first thing. Meaning 8 am. And it being 7.30 he didn't have enough time to get to the tube since he couldn't sprint there. And Harry was just leaving for the office then to airport. “Can I drive you to work and then have the car for the day?”Jumping up from the kitchen island.

As the man was collecting his things. “I'd love it. You sure?” He really should have said no and let the man get a cab. Getting to the main floor holding open his backpack shoving music paper in stopping and looking out being met with heavy fog. The sight spiking fear but he didn't have much time to really think about it.

And at first it was going fine, he was making good time and driving more cautious. But watching the car in front taking the same turn almost get hit by someone running the red had his heart pounding. He must have been breathing quite hard because a hand was on his arm.

“Ni.. it's fine. Let's just wait for the next light.” But of course there were cars behind honking they had places to be as well. Taking in the intersection before taking the turn smoothly. Thankful for the small victory. But that didn't stop him from ranting when he got to the side of Harry's building complaining about fog and London and drivers and buses. “babe i-”

“and the nerve of cyclists! All have death wishes I tell you.” Not stopping when Harry was so clearly trying to get his attention.

Harry had his hand on the back of his neck and was thumbing at his hairline. “Niall, kiss me because I gotta go.”

Huffing as he realized he just used up all the time he had with him to rant. “Shit. Sorry.” Turning to the side to get to him easier. The man being the one to close the distance from the passengers. His belt already unclasped as he was pulled into a quick make out session.

“I'll see you tomorrow night. Don't stress ok?”

“Try my best.” Smiling into the kiss finally parting and looking at the time he had to be there in 10 minutes and get parking. “see you tomorrow. Have a good trip.”

Harry rolled his eyes but laughed in the middle of adjusting his hair and wiping the skin around his red kissed lips. “see you.” Watching him lean in close and get one last kiss before getting out into the fog getting his overnight bag from the back. Waving as he disappeared into the fog for work. Glad to have the work bound man's large sized hoodie on top of his own smaller hoodie.

Driving had been less scary the closer to campus he got the fog lifting in that area. As he found a parking spot and grabbing his Beanie from his bag. Only a couple minutes late getting into the music Hall.

Niall had never had a school day this bad. A second year had come and yelled at him for a grade. Which he had never seen happen to any of his fellow TA’s. Then he had a faculty member in the department get mad at him for something that wasn't his fault. So by the time the last task on his list turned south, it really made him miserable. Having the mentor break down sheet after sheet of music paper, as to why his latest piece was terrible and uninspired that he had to scrap it. Usually it wouldn’t have made him disheartened but the whole day had really taken its toll.

Sitting in the office of the building it was quiet and he could work on more grading. Checking his phone Harry had texted him earlier that day saying he was there and that he would be in meetings for the rest of the day.

12 Hours on campus was way too much school. Driving himself home, thankful that it wasn’t foggy but in such a grumpy mood since it was now very dark out at 8 pm. Getting into the dark home, as he dropped his stuff. Remembering again for the millionth time that Harry wasn’t home. Checking his phone, still no message. Deciding to grab a bowl of cereal and work on rewriting all music he had over the weekend. His phone finally lighting up after 10pm.

From Prince. 10:21pm
Still awake?

To prince. 10.21pm
Barely. How was your day?

Those annoying dots on his phone saying the man was typing.

From Prince. 10.23pm
Busy. So very busy. But they paid for a nice dinner.

Niall was in the middle of replying when he had the phone lit up brighter and play the ringtone set for Harry. “Hey.” Getting up from the piano and covering the keys and walking out turning off the light.

“Hi.. you sound sleepy.” Harry’s voice was so nice and low.

“I am. But so do you. Are you already ready to sleep?” Niall asked as he went up stairs. Still wishing that he wasn’t alone in the house. He could swear it was haunted now that Harry wasn’t around.

“Almost ready. Pretty tired. how was your day?”

“Ugh.. I can’t even talk about it.. just wasn’t great.” Not bothering with the washroom just yet he wanted to crawl into bed first.

“That bad.” Listening to the man yawn on the other end as he tried to stop his own. He felt like he hadn’t properly woken up all day. “Do you want me to let you go so you can sleep?”

“Only if your going to go to sleep too?” His voice was quiet and all he could do was curl up on the bed, He didn’t like not having Harry beside him. It was to weird like the bed was to large without him. But it was one night why was he getting all sappy out of nowhere. There wasn’t a reason to be.

“Yeah I’m probably going to fall asleep really fast.”

“Ok.. Go to sleep hun. I can chat your ear off when your home tomorrow.”

Harry had yawned again but he kept sounding so sleepy. grumbling about his pillow being uncomfortable. It was enough for Niall to smile. And when it came to hanging up on him, all he wanted to do was to say he missed him. But of course he wasn’t sure if that was a good idea. Damning himself for again feeling insecure on his feelings. “Good night.. talk to you in the morning ok?”

Listening to the man’s voice saying. ‘night.’ And maybe he was making this up in his head that he could hear the hesitation in his husbands voice.

Getting ready to for bed had never been this lonely since they had had ‘the’ fight a few months ago. He couldn’t even believe that they had spent that long appart. Even right now he wanted to let Harry know how much he was missing him. Missing him ramble about his day, or the way he would get worked up if Niall had a bad day and join in on the grump fest. Then cuddle him till it was ok again.

Maybe he was to reliant on Harry and that it wasn’t the greatest idea to be so attached. Yet he couldn’t help but feel like trying to hide that from his husband wasn’t the best idea. He really wanted to just call him back and tell him. As he picked up his phone noticing the little dots appear again.

Really at first he thought he was seeing things. It was almost 11 pm. He was tired and grumpy and had had the worst day in months. And maybe he was losing his mind because he had seen them one second then they were gone. As he started to type something maybe it was a bug on his side. But they came back a few seconds later staying up for a minute before disappearing.

To say that they were both idiots some days was the biggest understatement. Spending the next hour laying in bed, trying to fall asleep. Putting his phone away and then picking it back up after a few minutes of tossing and turning. Waiting to see if the dots would show up again, like the man kept trying to write a message and couldn’t send it.

Every time he thought they would be done and he would finally fall asleep he would wait and they would pop back up. He must be losing something. It had crawled into 12.30 and both of them should have been well asleep. The next half hour he was trying to type something. Even wanting to type. “Sleeping?” ANd see if he got a reply. But every time he went to hit send he chickened out would delete it.

He was getting antsy now as the clock hit 1 and the house seemed so much darker and unnerving, he could hear the pipes from their neighbors place. And usually that was something he wouldn’t have ever of noticed.

This was getting ridiculous. Niall finally just glaring at his phone that he had placed on Harry’s pillow and kept trying to close his eyes but then opening them again. “Just Call your damn husband and tell him you miss him.” Scolding himself as he Grabbed at it and checking to see if the dots had come back. A minute later they appeared and he couldn’t stop himself anymore. He had lost all self restraint. Pressing call before he could think about it. It was to late so if the man wasn’t awake it would have woken him up. Ringing once before it was picked up.

“Ni.Hello?” The voice sounded rushed and to awake for the man to have been pulled from sleep. That was a very good sign.

“Imissyou.” His heart was hammering in his chest, like he had just confessed something that was as deep as saying he loved him. How could this be so intense to say. But he couldn’t have just admitted it hours ago. A few beats had passed, then a few more. He was starting to feel nervous like maybe he had gone too far by confessing this.

“Oh thank god.” The man sounded so relieved and it instantly brought a smile to his face rubbing his red face into the pillows he could feel how warm his cheeks were getting. “Ok me too.”

“Really?” Maybe it was dorky but he couldn’t stop how happy and easy it was feeling that pressure off his chest.

“Yes. really.” Harry sounded like he was smiling. “I miss you too. So much, i mean.. It's not weird right?”

“If it's weird for us, it's probably the most normal thing.” Niall chuckled as he sighed. “I actually had the worst day today. And every second i wanted to be home with you. And the house is so empty, and i'm pretty sure it's haunted. AND i can’t sleep without you being here.” He could hear the man’s chuckle on the other end.

“Im sorry i couldn’t be there.But tomorrow i'm home and you're not leaving my side. I mean it, if you go to wee i'm staying at your side.” That made niall laugh maybe it was to much but he liked it, because it was so weird. “What happened, tell me about your day. Because i felt so weird just hanging up on you. I kept trying to text you but didn't know if you were awake.”

“I saw that.. oh this is embarrassing but I was waiting. And then I would try text you…” He could hear that breathy laugh of amusement on the other line.

“Tell me about your day.” His voice was so sweet to his ears even on phone and slightly cracked from sleep.

Getting to finally vent about his day, and it wasn't really a big deal in hindsight these things were bound to happen. So he rationalized it as he spoke saying it was all warranted.

“that's a really shit day. Wish I'd been home to be with you.” He sounded so kind and like if he was here he would have just held him and let him be grumpy.

“ok. Enough of me. How did it go? Did you guys get the new client?” The pressure of the day was off his chest and he just wanted to listen to Harry talk.

Of course Harry couldn't say much but he seemed very excited. Speaking slow about the day breaking it down. Even if anyone else had overheard their conversation would say it was the most boring thing in the world. But it kept his attention. Forgetting about time as he snuggled down blankets fully up by his cheeks.

“Ni… are you falling asleep?” Maybe he had been slowing I'm his reply. Or how his eyes were getting so heavy they had fallen closed.

“Nnno” slurring out as he tried to breath in deeply and stay awake.

“babe..just go to sleep.” He loved that tone.

“No…” He could hear his on whine is his voice. “Pretty sure the house is haunted without you here.”

Listening to the man scoff and chuckle. “fine, I'll stay on till you fall asleep. Also our house isn't haunted.”

“Good. Keep talking.” Niall had moved to put him on speaker, he probably shouldn't have been so bossy since harry had been awake just as long as him. But he got no protest just the man sounding like he was shifting. It wasn't long though after he had told him to keep talking that he had fallen asleep.

----

Waking up in a dark hotel room had been disorienting. After falling asleep to the way Niall sounded over the phone, not the way he talked briefly the way he breathed was enough to coax him to sleep finally. It had been odd to wake up stretching and find an empty spot beside him.

Yet the pure fact he would be seeing the blond by the end of the day was enough to get him up with a spring in his step. Today they would just be going into one last meeting and sent on their way home and contacted later this week with the decision. Who knew it would take this much to talk about representing a company. There was so much he just wanted to tell Niall about the last 24 hours since in the end it would be great for him. But of course he couldn't say anything until it was finalized.

Working his way through the day, but really his mind was already at home. Having spent every time they left a meeting to check his phone. Finally leaving for their very short flight back home. If asked he could not say he remembered a thing about the quickest flight in the world. It was an odd time, Niall would probably just be getting home from school and starting to work on stuff. As he sent out a text saying he had landed and was getting a ride home from a coworker.

Tapping his fingers impatiently as they got closer. Trying to hold up his side of a conversation but really it was becoming harder and harder the closer they got to his house. Looking out the window as he saw the lights on. Of course Niall was home, but seeing the lit up window becoming the best beaker of being home.

“Thanks. See you tomorrow.”

Calling out as he rushed from the car. Waving over his shoulder, and getting in the main doors. Taking the stairs 2 at a time. This was what he had been determined to get into the door, the smell of the house a mix of two colognes his and Niall's. And oddly enough the smell of cooking food.

The music was loud enough to cover up the click of the door closing. Grin spreading over his face as he set down his bag quietly. Keys barely making a noise as he put them down. Slipping his jacket off. Leaving everything in a heap he could put it away later, finishing by toeing off his shoes and walking in. Taking a peek around into the kitchen. The man was standing at the sink singing along washing a cup as something sizzled in a frying pan. He looked quite adorable, in gray sweats and what he assumed was his hoodie looking baggies on the blond, whose hair was fluffy as if he'd just showered.

The smell wasn’t of burning food so that was a good sign. Moving slowly toward the man making sure that he didn't make a sound. Standing right behind his blond husband hands moving up to wrap around his waist. Face pushing into his neck. “Hey you.”

The jump of lilith shoulders knocking into his jaw causing him to laugh at the small amount of chaos. Niall dropping what he had in his hand, hearing it clang in the steel sink. The shorter spun round in his arms feeling the man's own wrap around his neck. As he laughed pulling his head back and looking at him. His blond was nothing but smiles and excited bounces.

“Yourhomeyourhome.” Not given enough time to reply just lips smashed against his. The was a mix of words and kisses. In Between, soft whispers of ‘I am.’ in response.

“Your mine.” The words sounded so right coming from Niall as he tasted his sweet lips. Hands locked around the man's lower waist as he pulled him close loving the way Niall would push against his body, hands weaving into his curls. ‘All yours.’

Detaching wasn’t an option now that he was home and had Niall all to himself. The pure act of being home with him filled him with the most embarrassing amount of joy. There was no way that this was a normal way to feel.

“I thought you were the ghost!” Of course the blond was on about this, finding it so typical Niall.

Rolling his eyes. “Our house isn’t haunted.. I can assure you.” Harry moved his hands up the back of his sweater seeking the feeling of smooth warm skin.

“Yeah because your home. Clearly you’ve scared it away. “ Scoffing at the smiling blond. As he felt that feeling of calm, laughing at how his eyes shined looking at him. Leaning down for one last kiss.

“Whatever you're making smells amazing.” Pulling back when the blond turned.

“Oh shit.” Turning but dragging Harry along, keeping him attached. Keeping himself pressed against his back hands still in contact with the warm skin under the sweater. Leaning his chin on the only slightly lower shoulder looking in at the cooking meat in sauce. Noodles sitting on the side waiting for the sauce to finish.

“It actually looks edible.” Grinning and trying not to laugh when he received an elbow into his side.

“Shut up. I just hope I didn't burn it.” The blond seemed to be inspecting it. This was a nice change of pace, since Niall insisted that cereal in a bowl and toast buttered and poured by him was gourmet eating.

“I bet it's great.” He was never one to feel this excited. To even really feel emotions this clear. Settling into dinner, doing anything to keep contact. Sitting right beside him at the island bar, legs a mess of nudges or kicks. Even just hooking his foot around a pale ankle. Hand reaching over to push away a loose blond hair, admiring how wild it was getting. Only half focused on his food. Wondering if this was the extent of normalcy, this is something he had been missing in any other relationship. Was this how you were suppose to feel about a stranger you were just thrown together with, where you suppose to grow so fond of someone that being separated only a night from him drove you crazy with longing.

That just the mundane motions of having a meal together made you feel light headedly happy and that everything was funny. Making small comments just to annoy him. ‘I see your roots.’ or ‘your hair is getting long.’ all things that he knew meant nothing but would get a reaction.

Even the task of watching Niall working on his laptop in the living room, sitting back enjoying the slight downtime for himself and the blond's legs draped over his lap, set in his favorite spot. Tv on only quietly as he looked through his phone, reading an article or flipping through a website. Boring things like looking up new lines by designers.

It must have been telepathic, since Niall laughed and turned his laptop. On the same site and pointing at a shirt and grinning. “This, you need it.” Showing his phone screen and grinned like an idiot. This was getting spooky but now that he was in it it wasn’t something he wanted to have stop. The slow realization that he was finally feeling something more than just slight attraction to the minimized pull of feelings he kept aside.

Maybe now he was realizing that he had closed himself off to make sure he didn't get to this point with anyone. The fact that he watched his mother move on to someone else, his now step dad who was amazing. Could it be that maybe he felt the fear of that happening to himself stop him from committing to any forever before this. Before he gave himself the option to just be with someone. Sure he thought about not ever wanting someone else or leaving the blond. But that may not have been the truth even a year ago, even with anyone else. Could he really have dropped his walls at any other time. This may have seemed like it was going to fail from the get go. But he couldn’t picture himself doing anything else than being with this one blond. whether it be just sitting in their living room or exploring a city he thought he knew like the back of his hand.

The sound of the laptop closing pulling from his train of thought blinking like he was coming back into the room back into the now. That had been out of nowhere. He was all serious face till blue eyes gave him a curious look. Making him shake his head and fluff back his hair. Snapping and pointing upwards toward their bedroom. Seeing the nod and the man getting up with a stretch arms up in the air. Taking in the sight, drinking it in even in the low light and his soft silhouette from his baggy comfy clothes. It shouldn’t have been as cute or hot as it was. Seeing the peek of skin from his torso where his hoodie had pulled up.

Being pulled out of his own head yet again as the blond turned arms dropping. Hand reaching to him and taking his hand that he hadn’t realized was stroking his chin. Smiling up at the blond, being caught just staring. Lacing their fingers and letting him lead up the stairs.Liking the way the low hanging sweats fell on his backside was worth the view.

They were gross, not even able to brush their teeth with out standing right beside each other. Messy toothpaste kisses. This was the worst, even Harry could feel how terribly mushy they were being but really he couldn’t see not doing this. The way Niall would reach over with one hand sizing their free hands, only slightly different. The way his fingers were only slightly stubby in length but thin and calloused from guitar strings. His own looking long and less worn.

Feeling refreshed and stripped down. Not able to stop the devilish grin he gave Niall as he moved into bed. But even if he had wanted to spend the night finding a way to pleasure his older companion. It was way to hard once his head settled down on the blond's shoulder that he was already almost asleep. Niall talking about something to do with what he was working on and that he was feeling more inspired now. But even his voice was slowing and quieting. He didn't think they had ever fallen asleep so quickly. And that was ok with him.

Chapter Text

The past few weeks had been a blur, of just trying to fit in as much as they could before the surgery. The end midterms meant freedom, even for just a while. Spending time out going to random shows, or bars with Harry’s coworkers. At least a few nights a week saying it was because they wouldn’t be going out much. Neither really making up excuses to drink more than a few pints, sticking to each other’s side like glue.

Niall had only felt slightly bad asking to leave early the night before. It had been an especially rainy night, his boots had been bugging him and the group they went to see had been a bit lackluster. Of course Harry had made fun of him for being a music snob, but he didn’t take any of his jabs seriously. They had only been outside from club to cab from cab to house but both were soaked.

Waking up to the usual sight of the brunette sleeping against his side, an arm draped over his chest. Mind flooded back to coming home drenched and cold, not needing much coaxing to stripping down their clothes in the bathroom and taking a hot shower. Even the thought had him trying to not let all the blood rush else were. It didn’t help having the man digging into his thigh, and the way he shifted to press closer against him. Being reminded of hands running over wet skin, cleaning and touching. Eyes closed he could still feel the heat of the man’s lips on his, and the way a hand had wrapped over him. Working each other up to a hot climax. Eyes fluttering open as he looked down at the tanned shoulder looking at the purple bite mark on his husband.

Running his hand up from his forearm past his elbow. Smooth skin of his biceps feeling a slow stir of his bed mate. Not stopping the push of his fingers up to trace the mark.

“Ouch” The voice came cracked and heavy with sleep. Pressing of limbs against his side as the man stretched and curled back up. Listening to the heavy sigh as the man pushed his face into Niall’s pale chest.

Hand moving from the small bruises to push back the man’s wild curls. “Big baby.” His own throat needing to be cleared as his words came in a croak.

“m'not.” Blue eyes watching as the tattooed man blinked his green eyes open. Taking in the sight of him looking up, lost in the sudden gem tone. Their room was dark from early and cloudy morning. But he could tell the man’s alarm was going to go off since it was another gym morning.

His husband was gorgeous, as he received a morning kiss. Making a face since they both had morning breath, not that it even bothered him. Finally clambering out of bed glad he was able to calm himself down from his earlier train of thought. Though the sight of Harry walking around naked as always didn’t help.

Turning off his husband’s phone alarm as it sounded. Getting changed into gym clothes, baggy shorts and a muscle top. Harrys gym cloths being shorter shorts that showed off his thigh tattoo and a tight fancy gym shirt. The kind that cooled and dried quickly, Niall really wanted one but he didn’t want to say so, so he would just make fun of it instead.

The gym had just become an excuse to for Niall to just watch Harry get sweaty. He couldn’t do many high impact moves because of his knee. And so he was just doing arms which took a quarter of the time. Coming down to do his shorter work out watch for a bit. And then leave back for their place. Harry either working alone or with the trainer.

 

He was still in his gym clothes but had b-lined it to his studio setting into work. Realizing it was well over an hour when a hand was putting down a cup beside him. Pulling his headphones back turning to look at the man. “Hey. Didn't hear you come in, or use the blender.”

“Yeah i kinda got that when you didn't come out. But before you drink that can you come into the kitchen?” Harry's voice had a slight tone of seriousness. Looking up slightly confused as he got up and followed after him.

“what's up?”

“Can you stand right here.” Looking at where Harry was pointing so he did brows furrowed as he waited. Harry looked like he was thinking before he stepped forward turning so he was standing in front of him but sideways. Shoulder pointing at Niall.

“Harry w-” watching him reach out and grab his arm, pulling it over his shoulder and squatting down. “Wait what are you doing?” The man didn’t say a word as he shifted closer. And Niall was being pulled over his shoulder awkwardly trying not to pull back and just let Harry do what he wanted.

“Don't be so stiff.” was all Harry instructed causing Niall to have a scared confused laugh.

Not knowing what was going. “Oh! Fuck Harry don't drop me!” He wasn't sure why his husband had this obsession with picking him up. But he was now trying to fight for balance on top of Harry's shoulders. Being held horizontally in a fireman's lift.

“Why..? You microfiber wearing, organic juice drinking beast man!” Even though he was trying not to sound amused the man under him was shaking with laughter.

“I just need to practice carrying you around.” He said it like it was the most rational thought ever. Stopping his resistance and just relaxing against Harry's shoulders, the man turning to grin at him as he leaned his head forward to get a kiss.

“You're not carrying me around though.” Patting his husband's chest to try get down. Finally being placed back on the floor.

Harry raising a brow “Why would I not carry you around.” Causing Niall to finally laugh as he just shook his head. But the mer thought of the man picking him up in any way was pretty hot. It might have been the fact that he wanted to take care of him. Turning because his cheeks were getting heated at the thought of the man doing a lot more than just picking him up.

“Go shower.” Calling over his shoulder as the started to head back to the small studio. Hands grabbing his hips and stopping him, even now he could tell the man wasn't handling him as rough as he usually would be. But still it caused a shiver as the man's hot breath was against his ear. “Join me.” It was so tempting Niall was inches from agreeing. But he couldn't, not yet.

Biting his lip with a shake of his head, even if he was already resting back against him. “Let me work a bit longer.. then I'm yours for the rest of the day.”

He liked the way the man nudged into the crook of his neck. Huffing quietly before nodding against the conjunction. “ok.” dropping his shoulder as he looked back reaching out and messing up his hair that had fallen from the bun.

“A couple hours at most. Promise.” Pulling free of the arms and shooting the man a grin even if the taller looked dejected.

As he set back to the guitar it was hard to want to stop when he was in a grove. It may have also had to do with the fact that he had been feeling this sort of pressure. Not from Harry but from himself, and time was getting short. He would be bed bound and recovering in a month's time and that wasn't something he would think Harry would find attractive.

He was so overly fond at how his husband was being a gentlemen and letting Niall top. It was more than he could have asked for. But he was starting to get an ache that sweet slow, basically love making wasn't curing.

It made his heart race thinking about their first few months together and how careless and free they had been with each other’s bodies. The only thing standing between them being that way again was himself. So he had a plan, and today was the day. To get his husband to take control and really put the next few weeks to good use.

Spending the next hour getting a few pages of sheet music down. Really his mind wasn’t there, finally getting up walking past the kitchen that had no one in it. Then the living room when he didn't see Harry there but heard him on the phone in his study as he decided not to stop in. Getting up the stairs and stripping down. Showing in the hot water, nervously dropping the body wash. It was lame but he was becoming a mess of nerves and excitement.

Doing most of the work for Harry, really because he wanted to be just tight enough that there would be a sweet string, but because he didn't want to wait for the man to worry about if it was to much to too quick. Wanting to be able to just take the man in full.

Toweling off all the last bit of water, blushing at the feeling left from his prep. As he left his damn brace on the bathroom floor and left downstairs with more caution than usual. With only a towel to keep him covered he patted along the the hardwood floors to the man's office.

His towel wasn't actually wrapped around him with one side drying his wet hair. Walking right into Harry's office and standing along the book shelf. Ignoring his husband, but he could feel the burn of his stare. Listening to how he stopped talking on the phone for a second clearly caught off guard.

Picking through the books he was more doing it to make sure harry got full sight of him. The man hanging up quite quickly after.

“Ni… what you doing?” Niall just pulled a book from the shelf and moved to sit down on the stuffed chair in the corner. Making sure to sit on his towel exposed for green eyes to take in.

“Just wanted to pick this one back up.” Trying to sound unconcerned by the way the man was staring. He wasn't usually the type to walk around naked so he must have been getting his point across.

“Right.” It wasn't long before Niall peeked over the book catching green eyes, there it was that animalistic hunger in his eyes. It really made him look powerful behind the desk. The same desk he had fantasized being fucked against. Actually surprised they had never done it there.

Watching the the man still not breaking his gaze with a raised a arched brow. “Come over here a sec.” Standing as the man pointed at his laptop screen. Walking over leaving the book and his towel behind. Moving around the large oak. Fingertips ghosting over the hard top. Coming to stand unnecessarily close folding forward to put his hands flat on the desk.

“What am I looking at?” Niall looked sideways at the man. As the man had this cool infused look about him, raking in the sight with ice blues going from green and down sharp features. Down to the very obvious erection in loose fitting sweats. The sight had his mouth already watering and has his own arousal making itself known. Eyes flicking back up at the man's.

Leaning in and without thinking. “Put your laptop away.” Watching the man's lips pull into a grin as hurried hands dropped the screen tucking it away in a drawer. Waiting for the man to turn back to him, palming his stirring erection.

Harry was up out of the chair and pulling Niall to him, more force in his grip as he was pinned between the taller and hard oak. Lips finding each other in seconds moving hard to deepen the kiss, his free hand finding its usual place tangled in damp curls. The hand stuck between them now turning attention to his taller lover and rubbing his outline through the fabric. Listening to how he hissed, being pushed into the oak by the buck of opposites hips.

Palming the man’s erection pushing his hand past the waistband. Giving the man’s arousal purposeful strokes. Feeling a moan against his lips as he arched against him in need for the meet in his hand. Pulling for a quick breath. Moving to push the front of his partners pants down. “Harry.” It came out as a tarty moan. His eyes pleading for more as he locked with thirsty eyes. Harry’s hand gripping narrow hips reaching round and groping his ass. It was like reliving the feeling of the man’s large hands on him for the first time. It filled him with a sense of hot pure lust. Nothing else mattered then being fully connected with his husband again, giving him permission to finally make him Harry's again.

Long fingers where prodding at his already loosened hole, tensing suddenly as a finger pushed deep inside without much resistance his entire body shivering at the sensation. Mewing as the man was already working it in and out adding a second then third. Fingers at work inside him, massaging along his walls. Being played like his beloved guitar, every push and pull causing a gasp or moan. Harry’s lips were attached to his collar bone, leaving a red mark as Niall’s fingers gripped the man’s cotton shirt. Dropping his head to the side allowing for more access as the man kissed up along his neck. Hot breath hitting his ear as he gasped sharply. ‘Turn’ It had been the most effortless of words, used in thousands of different ways, but this one way was enough to make Niall’s legs weak and his heart race.

Hands guiding him in his move as he stood there legs nudged apart by Harry's foot, hands flat on the desk looking back over his shoulder as the man was tossing off his shirt and stepping out of his pants. He was to focused on stopping himself from cumming on the spot. The arch in his back and the way he was standing had him exposed for the tattooed man.

Strong hands back on his hips holding him still. “holy fuck.” The voice behind him was low and awestruck. He could feel the heat in his cheeks at the way the man was staring at him. It was stupid how all of his confidence could leave at the thought. ‘shut up.’

Palms pushing up his sides traveling to his chest the man’s hips settling against his ass. The hard member resting between supple cheeks. He was pulled into that hard chest, lips against the shell of his ear. “You are so fucking hot.” The words heavy in his ear, his own lips parting to lick them, chest rising and falling quickly in a hot pant. What more could he have hoped for at this moment pushing his hips back in need rolling them hard back the man groaning against his ear. As Harry shifted his hips and nudged his legs further, hand leaving his chest to position a swollen head against a sensitive entrance.

There wasn’t the usual pause of a sweet question, the taller was already pushing into fully shelter inside. Gasping and making small noises, even with Niall tensing, the man's push of his hips forward had him already shaking and relying on his arms to keep him up. Whimpering between bit closed lips. Not waiting to fully adjust, moving his hips forward and withdrawing them back. “o-oh fuck..Harry.” Closing his eyes in the pleasure while he fucked himself on his husband's hard prick, moaning in response to the man's groans.

Surprised Harry had let him go for as long as he did, hearing the growl and the man pushed pale shoulders forward and pinning his hips down the motion causing him to move to his tiptoes.

”You’re having too much fun.” With a loud staggered cry in response, as the man assaulted his insides and sweet spot. The room going from a soft moans and gasps. To loud cries and begs, hard smacking of hips meeting plump cheeks.

The onslaught of pressure deep inside building as his husband had his way with him. Trying to grab and hold onto anything even though the desk wasn’t going anywhere with the man pounding away on him. Feeling a shift in his body as the man reached forward grabbing an arm fixing it back, trying to look back but unable to catch sight. His other hand being pulled into the same position. Stacked on top of his lower back. Larger ringed hand dragging the hands back and pinning him there. Chest and shoulders raised off the wood, his head falling back crying out Harry’s name, letting his husband position him as he willed.

He was a mess of moans and cries now. The man had not forgotten what made Niall’s head spin. As he kept up a relentless pace, hard and fast. Reaching deep inside making him see stars with every thrust.

The sensation now on his hips against the desk trapped in a pressure towards his groin and untouched length. “Fuckfuckfuck.” Heavy pounds keeping his hips stuck, toes curling in their awkward stance muscles screaming at holding the pose. He couldn’t tell how long he was being harshly fucked could have been 5 minutes could have been an hour, he was lost in that taste of painful bliss.

Niall didn't really know if maybe he really liked pain or really liked how Harry fucked him. But that sudden tightness at the bottom of his stomach the familiar pull of his building release. Eyes squeezing tight trying not to fall into his orgasm too soon. “H-Harry…” His voice pleaded in a staggered cry. “close?” He didn't mean for it to sound so panicked but he couldn't help grasping onto the hand gripping his.

With the mix of being pinned at the hips no access to his leaking erection. And Harry's assault on his prostate. Had him lightheaded and shaky. The man's groan in response had a word Niall couldn't make out. He wasn't able to take it much longer tightening down in the man's cock.

Whimpering out ‘Harry’ on repeat as his orgasm dangled right in front of him. Only taking a few more thrusts for his untouched length to spill his seed in long jets on the floor toes curling with the force. It ripped through him harshly, causing a loud cry being aided by the man's hips stuttering as he was filled with Harry’s hot cum.

Eyes rolled back and mouth slacked open with heavy breathing. White spots clouding his vision, the slowing thrusts of the man milking himself inside his walls. Dropping his cheek to the cool oak. Hands finally being freed taking the last of his energy just to bring them up close to his head. It wasn’t possible to still the trembles that ran through his body.

“Fuck babe.” Harry’s fingers running over tight muscles as he pushed them up to tense shoulders and dragged them back, pulling out of him slowly.”Did you really?” His voice was awestruck. Niall could only muster a shake of his head. “No?” Harry’s voice was worried, then a nod listening to the man chuckled low, he really couldn’t think in the haze of post orgasm.

The sound of the office chair rolling and the man plopping down. Hands making contact back with his hips, massaging his round cheeks and then they were being parted and the wet feeling of a hot tongue pressed against a puckered hole. “nnn” was all he could manage out as he blushed hotly breathing in a deep shaky breath.

Letting the man do as he wanted, if he wanted to eat his ass let him. Blinking a few times and reaching back finally after the minutes of torture, pushing his hand into the brown curly hair. “H-harry.” Trying to pull him off hearing him muffle a few words, maybe it was weird but he wanted to taste that mix of seed and himself on Harry's lips. “Couple more minutes before the next round.” Harry pulled back clearing his throat with an amused noise. He could feel him pull back, probably just watching now from where he sat.

Pushing himself down the desk enough to step on the ground better. Right foot making contact, but the left wobbled so he sighed huffing out as he got proper footing standing up and turning, propping himself on the desk. “I’ve always wanted to do that.” He grinned down at stunning green eyes, the man had a smile on his lips as he stood and pushed between Niall's knees. Dark rose meeting hot pink in a slow deep lip lock. Making out in slow pulls of their lips.

When Harry finally pulled back he took a step away. “Come on. upstairs?” Nodding at the thought of either a nap or a shower sounded good.

As he scooted to get back on his feet, wobbling once again, keeping a firm grip on the desk top. “Ah- Harry..” words sheepish in nature as blues searched for green in the curtain of curly brunette hair the man had pulled forward to push back over the crown of his head.

“Woah.. Hey their wobbly knee.” Harry was back up against him wrapping around and gripping his ass, pale arms looping around broad shoulders helping to hold himself up. But the man’s hands moved down his thighs and picked him up.

“H-harry you don’t have to carry me.” Cursing himself for not keeping his damn brace on but this was worth it.. and maybe it was very hot to have him carrying him.

“Ni. I got you. Not gonna drop you.” As he dipped down a bit pretending like he was going to drop him.

Niall laughed and tried not to be so tickled by the act. “No I’m heavy..” Keeping himself close with an elbow hooking around the back of the man’s neck and his other going through his messy mane to push it back.

“Light as a feather.” Harry scoffed shaking his head. Flashing him another grin, as he made his way toward the stairs. Yes maybe Niall felt troublesome, but this was hot to have the man easily pick him up.

“At least it’s not the fireman's lift.” Teasing as he leaned in sucking on his earlobe as curly hair tickled his cheek.

“Ni.” The voice heavy with warning as Harry started the climb of stairs. Trying his best to shift his hips. As he reached under his own thighs and grabbed the still semi hard man.

“Yes?” Purring against the shell of his ear, taller halting as Niall shifted the cock and rubbed it against his entrance. Hearing the man hiss as he stopped halfway up the stairs and shifted Niall so he could push back into him, the hot sticky mess still coating his walls. Causing him to drop his head down to Harry’s shoulder, moaning softly into firm skin.

“Couldn’t wait could you?” Harry questioning voice was already thick with lust yet again. A thrust forward deeper inside, causing him to bite down against tanned skin.

“n-nope.. Always wanted to do this too.” Between bites along the man’s shoulder. His shoulders touched the the corner of a step. Holding on tight as the man shifted on the step to get a good angle. He could feel him hardening quickly inside as he looked down between their bodies. Pale thighs being held high on tattooed hips, both with a drying shine of sweat. But he was sure they would be sweaty yet again.

It was a slower pace than the first, still hard but with long slow pull outs. Pulling all the way out and pushing back in. He was so sensitive it caused him to moan loudly every time. The tanner had moved to adjust himself but had to catch himself from rocking backwards. Eyes wide as he gripped onto Niall. “B-babe.. Watch it.” His hands holding on tightly to his inked biceps.

“Always wanting dangerous stuff.” Tsking at him as Niall laughed, being pulled back up into his arms, off the uncomfortable step. Carried up the rest of the stairs to the bedroom.

The soft sheets hitting his back as Harry plopped him down. Crawling back on top of him to finish their second round.

They laid sticky with sweat both trying to even their breath. Niall had Harry on his shoulder, his locks now wet again. “should we go again?” The blond heard the man speak quietly though he sounded more sleepy than ready for another go.

Smiling with his eyes still closed as he nodded his head. “Sure.” He had been joking but the man seemed ready to go, pushing up his leg and shifting his hips so they were both still laying. Blushing hotly because he could feel the dripping feeling of the man’s seed running down an ass cheek. “h-har” Having to swallow his hands up covering his red face.

He could hear that soft tone in Harry’s laugh, but the way he spoke against his shoulder had his ears red too. “You’re brimming.” Whimpering in reply because this was so messy but he felt so claimed by his younger lover. The slamming hard pace from the oak desk gone, as it was slow lazy thrusts, angled just right to hit his sweet sport every time. That achingly slow build, lips finding each other in a sweet loving kiss. The only time ever taking it this slow was when he first topped Harry. Feeling his blush creep onto his chest thinking about how this was very close to love making yet again.

It wasn’t to just finish quickly and cum hard. It was to be close and to make the other feel connected. It was dawning on him really quickly that they had taken a left turn somewhere from best friends who had amazing sex. To actual husbands that wanted to be complete each other. His loud eager moans were replaced with gasps and mews.

“Good?” Harry had asked, as blue blinked into focus to lock with green. ‘very’ Nodding and pushing his lips against the mans in the awkward twist. But there was no way he was going to unlock their lips. Staying like this as he was brought to orgasm again for the 3rd time that day. He hadn't meant for the intimate grasp of Harry’s name, barely having anything left to hit his own stomach, hand moving with a slow grip over himself.

Yet harry had done the same low moan and kept himself close and finished a small load inside. Feeling so sticky and warm. Groaning as the taller pulled out, creamy mess following. Closed his eyes slightly embarrassed. “ugh.. So gross!”

Hearing the man chuckle beside him. ‘sorry.’ though his voice sounded unapologetic. “It’s everywhere.” groaning as he looked down but really he was messy in general his own cum on his stomach and the tensing of over worked muscles. The man’s hand ran over his side keeping him down when he wanted to sit up.

“Shower? maybe go again?” Harry spoke with a light joking tone but Niall nodded he could be up for it even if they had nothing left.

“Let’s get clean first before we do anything else…” Pushing the hand away from his side because it was starting to tickle on cooling skin. Sitting up and rolling to the edge of the bed trying not to leave cum all over the bedding but it was already everywhere like he said and sighed. “Told you it’s everywhere.”

Frowning because that meant more laundry. But now it wasn’t that big of an issue then getting to the shower on shaky tired legs. Standing up and gingerly putting pressure down on his left left. But gravity wasn’t his friend as he could feel his husband's seed slipping down his thigh in a slow drip. Shivering and making a face. “Harry.” Looking around back to his ass trying to see as he looked back giving him a pointed look the brunette still relaxed on the bed. Just watching him slowly walk out of the room, Niall kept his head up trying not to feel as embarrassed. Once in the bathroom he could finally take a look at himself, eyelids heavy and cheeks still red, chest still shiny. It wasn’t till his eyes landed on his hips jaw dropping only in shock. “HARRY!” Yelling annoyed as his fingers when down to touch the dark red skin that was sure to bruise quite harshly.

Feet padded along the hardwood in a quick step. Coming around the corner into the bathroom and stopping taking in the sight before laughing. “Did I do that?” Making a shocked smile, and raising his damn brows. He hated the adorable man for making this seem so normal.

“Yes!” It was straight across from his hips just along his pelvis. The man had that dumb boyish look as he made himself smaller and shuffled into to hug him. ‘sorry.’ but he still didn’t sound it. Though it didn't stop Niall from patting his back.

“Come on let me clean you up.” His voice sounded sweet and caring and he couldn’t help but just nod against his shoulder. Getting back into the shower for the second time that day. Arms clinging to each other and being fully pressed against one another even though they had no reason to be other than wanting that sweet contact. Lips lazy in their kisses but constant in their pursuit of the others.

They had spent the rest of the day in a haze of trying to work but getting distracted by the other. Taking long breaks between to fool around or just joke about something dumb. Taking the rest of the day easy and even crashing early both in bed by 9, curled into one another rambling about the new work week or what to do tomorrow, even if they could one day meet their record in one day. Though it ended in the agreement that they were way to exhausted to try for one last round.

 

--

The week had gone by fast it was coming to exams Niall being able to submit things sooner since he would be gone on the last week. Getting reviews early or grading anything he could to help. It was the Wednesday after the relaxing weekend that Niall had gone over to Harry's bag. “Harry! Is that lip balm stuff in your bag? I need some.” He was standing beside it as he reached down and started to unzip the leather bag eyes only catching the sight of white edged papers an a few coloured pages.

“NO!” Harry yelled from the study, Niall quickly pulled his hands away as he turned his head the man was now coming out of the door at the end of the long walk. “Don’t go in there it's a state..” Not sounding as usually calm but anxious.

Niall narrowed his eyes it was unusual since harry was tidy in everything. But if he said it was a mess, shrugging as he stood back up. “Right. So where is it then? My lips are dry.” Reaching to rub his lips really the bag be damned his lips needed moisture.

“In the pocket of my peacoat. Inside breast pocket.” Listening to him as he reached in grabbing the balm and uncapping it with a smile. “put it back, since I know you'll lose it “

“Will not.” Making a face at him as he put it back and stepped away from the bag. “what's for dinner?” Walking over towards Harry who seemed relaxed and was leaning against the door frame.

“Hmm.. Not sure. Left overs fine? Still finishing up a few emails.” Niall was up in front of him now, shrugging he didn't care.

“That's fine.” tipping forward when he got close enough to give the man a kiss with his now slick lips.

Nothing else weird had happened the rest of the week they came home ate worked and spent a few hours working together and then heading to bed. Happy he was keeping busy and not really having the time to be thinking about the operation.

--

It was a Friday night two weeks before he would be in hospital recovering. He was feeling nervous, but trying not to feel so scared. They had had a great dinner something annoyingly healthy but still filling. As he was sitting in his studio pressing away at piano keys pencil tucked. Behind his ear as he stopped every so often to make note changes and erase and rewrite. His phone had lit up a while ago and he hadn't bothered to check the message till he was feeling confident in what he was working on.

Getting up and turning everything off in the room and padded down the hall to Harry's study beside the living room. Standing in the door holding up the phone. “Harry if you wanted me to come here you could have just yelled down the hall.” The man looked up from where he was typing away on something.

“You sounded like you were onto something. So I wanted to wait till you were finished.” He closed his laptop and stood. “You sounded good. But a- can you come in for a second i just gotta talk to you.”

Tilting his head in confusion as he nodded his smile fading slightly as he stepped up and toward the large desk. Even the sight of it filled him with sexual thoughts. “what's up?”

Harry's face wasn't as happy to be standing there and it made Niall's chest tighten in worry.

“Ni.. you know when I was away for work?” Niall looked at him puzzled as he nodded. ‘course’.

“well… I just got news from it. But I have to be honest. I had to see you know who... “ His voice sounded so guilty and sorrowful so if course it had Niall's mind exploding with questions.

But he already knew who he was talking about and he could feel his heart crushing a bit the thought of Harry being alone with the other man. “Louis…?” Niall felt as if he had been slapped.

Chapter Text

“Two weeks! Harry I’m fucking two weeks from this stupid operation and your telling me this now?” It felt as if a hand had grabbed his heart and was squeezing it. ‘..Niall.’ Hearing his name and the inflection in the man's voice like he was confused and worried but how could he be.

This didn't help his insecurities from creeping up, thinking every time it was over and done with. “Did you sleep with him? Why the fuck would you call me after!” Hearing his own panic and hurt in his voice.

That wasn't fair for him to seem so taken back. “No! Of course not!” Hands up in the defense.

“I bet I sounded like an idiot saying I missed you.” He could feel his blue eyes welling up, trying to blink it away. If he never thought he loved this man right now he realized he did because the thought of losing him was dramatically heart breaking.

“Wait. No no.. Niall.” He was rushing around the desk and at his side. “You’re not an idiot. I-I wouldn't cheat on you.” Recoiling from the man’s hand as he side glared him. “Babe..I saw him at the dinner we had with everyone. It was with some of the members of the team and their management. And coaches.”

Niall turned to face him with the most confused look like he wasn't putting two and two together. “What.. his team?”

Harry sighed as he reached out again and Niall didn't pull away this time. “Yes. We went there to try and convince them that our firm would be the best to represent them.”

Niall turned to look at him like all the wind had left his sails. “Oh?” Tilting his head to the side this was confusing and worrying him a bit for flying so quickly off the handle.

“So I found out we got it.” They should have been excited for it since it was a big deal to represent a premier league team. “But it means a few things some great things actually.” Harry had stepped away and moved to grab a flyer from his bag.

“Here this is why I didn't want you in my bag…” Handing over a shiny leaflet of the league team as he took it and looked into it. The man sat at the edge of the desk watching him keeping his expression unreadable.

It was strange it was explaining what they did other than normal team stuff and the facilities they offered. Pulling his eyes away. “I know they have the best sports therapy team. All the greats go there…”

Harry shook his head that telling pull in the corner of his cheeks that he was amused. “Your dense some days.” Niall huffed as a reply looking up from it. ‘am not.’

“You’re going to be going there. In January I'll be there for 7 weeks and you can start your physio stuff their with the pros.” The way Harry sounded so cocky made Niall want to pinch him.

“What.. that's not real.” That made him want to cry again but for a different emotion now. He had been so scared to go through the recovery that it wouldn't heal properly but maybe this would give him the best shot.

Harry was back and wrapping his arms around him. “Are you gonna cry? huh.” His husband said in a calming tone kissing his forehead he could only reply by shaking his head no. “Well don't be to mad… I've already told our parents and my mum may have already rented a place for us all for those two months.. don't hate her she doesn't know how else to help.”

Niall hugged Harry’s middle this was insane now he sees why but it didn't stop him from smacking the man's shoulder with a closed fist. “prick. Why would you open with you seeing fucking Louis.”

“A-ow.” Harry rubbed his arm where he was hit. “I didn’t want to skirt around it and make you upset.”

“You did really great with that.” Nudging him away as he looked back down at the leaflet. “This isn’t real…” He was moving to walk away and out the study in a daze of the whole thing seeming more real. Before turning and marching back up to Harry giving him a fast peck on the cheek. “Congrats. Knew you’d get it.” Even though he hadn’t know what the man was going to get, but glad they had impressed enough.

Walking back out hearing the man behind him. “Hey.. I want to celebrate with you!” Harry following after him like a puppy wanting attention.

“Nah.” Calling over his shoulder a smile breaking over his face as he put the paper down on the island in the kitchen and wandered around.

“Ni, come on. Fancy dinner? not a fancy dinner… what about a kabob? Or a curry..” On his heels as Niall went and grabbed a cup then to the fridge getting the carton of juice. Standing at the counter to pour shrugging his shoulder. ‘eh.’ As he set the carton down spilling a bit off the side of the cup. ‘bugger.’

Stepping around Harry hiding his smile by giving him a disinterested face his hand flicking dismissively. Grabbing the towel when arms around him clinging to him. “Please.” Saying against his ear. “Celebrate.”

Trying not to shiver or break. “I don't know babe.. kinda tired.” Harry let out a sigh he could picture the pout on the younger's lips.

“I guess we can go out maybe tomorrow.. but I think my coworkers wanted to celebrate at the pub… But you and i could just do something.” There it was the man's over thinking and rationalize when he wasn’t acting like a big tough lawyer he was starting to sound similar to Niall.

“Yeah sounds good.” He pulled away to put back to the drink. The brunette frowning as he stayed still watching him. But really it was harmless payback for almost making him cry.

Taller shoulders sagged as he turned away. Niall hooping up on the now dried counter to sit taking the cup in hand eyeing the man take a few steps to leave the U-shaped kitchen.

“Harry.” Calling after him.

“Don't worry we’ll do something later.” Harry sounded so disheartened. Making Niall feel bad now his plan backfiring on him.

“Come back.” Niall put his glass down and when the man turned he had his arm out summoning him back with his hand.

“What?” Gem coloured eyes flicking to meet his. Light pink lips flashing a small smirk when he started to walk back.

“Does this taste alright to you.” Pointing to the glass the man getting closer and picking it up to hand it over. Getting him right where he wanted and hooking an ankle around the man's waist and pulling him close to the counter and between his legs.

Harry seemed to have been amused by it making a hum behind the glass. ‘tastes really good.’ saying into the cup before he finished it. To Niall's disbelief as he was handed back the empty cup.

Narrowing his eyes as he watched Harry wipe his wet lips on the back of his hand. Flashing his white smile. “Seriously?” putting the glass down and frowning. “You drank all my juice..”

“Yeah, course.” Long fingers on tanned hands fell to rest on his thighs, starting a rubbing motion along the side from his knees to his hips.

Giving him a pointed stare and when the man didn't elaborate he huffed. “Why?” Niall trying to pinch his firm pec over the fabric.

“So you wouldn't choke.” He didn't show any of his usual signs of being mischievous.

‘what?’ was all he could manage when he was attacked by the fast moving fingers against his sides. Flinching to one side then the next trying to grab the hands at his sides. Laughing as he attempted to jerk away. The attack was short but he was left out of breath and pushing away at the man's chest. ‘ass.’

Strong arms wrapped around his waist being pulled to the edge of the counter to sit pressed against the man. Hands lifting from muscular biceps slipping his fingers into fluffy hair. Pulling him to his lips.

---

He was wearing a white t-shirt and a pair of black skinny jeans with a scarf pulling on a heavy peacoat on top of his open zipped black hoodie. To say winter clothes suited Harry was an understatement. Pair of worn black boots and his hair pulled into a bun. He looked fucking delicious.

Slipping on his own, but actually Harry's, hoodie then pulling on a weird jacket that had the leather sleeves he had no idea what it was called sure Harry had told him multiple times.

“Are you going to be warm enough?” Harry gave him a look, just as he fished out his beanie from the pocket and pulled it on. Giving him a wink.

“Think I’ll be alright.” But he was for sure bundled up now, with boots on. “Even got me’ warm socks on.” Turning around to head out the door, not waiting for Harry to lock up before heading to the elevator. Looking over his shoulder as he pressed the button the taller walked in long strides. He really did look good, watching him step closer into his personal space and drape an arm around his shoulders, his own finding their way around the man’s waist.

“You look good babe.” Tipping to kiss the man’s cheek quickly stepping into the lift. On their way down to walk through the neighborhood, yes he could have been responsible and been working on the end of term projects. But he wanted to spend time with his god send of a husband. Taking on the cold clear night as they walked toward a the main street.

It was funny to see Harry sitting across from him taking a huge bite of a burger. Opting to just go for something casual nothing fancy. Yet they had still choose a young ‘hip’ burger joint with all the things Harry would insist was important for a good patty. Though he didn’t mind the healthwise younger man.

Sneaking his feet under the table to trap one of Harry’s larger boots between his. Looking uninterested when green eyes snapped to him. Waiting for the man to say something but he didn’t, so he pushed his feet further and hooked behind a thin ankle. Pulling Harry’s leg closer to him. Just smiling and taking a bite of a fry. Licking his lips free of salt. .

His small cup of chips almost tipping when he was suddenly attacked by a flying yam fry. Flicking blue eyes up as the man looked around confused. “So weird. Someone’s just throwing their chips around.”

His straight face only lasted a second before he started laughing and popped the fry into his mouth. “They must think they’re a prince.” Finishing the end of their dinner in light conversation. It felt nice not to have to talk but just exchange dumb smiles and reach over to steal one another's chips.

The night led them to walking around the park by their home. Taking the long way around, with a cup of tea keeping Niall’s hand warm. Though his other was wrapped around Harry’s waist. He wasn’t sure when they became this couple but it would have been annoying if it was anyone else but them. As he rested his head on the man’s shoulder once they stopped near the edge of the park. Receiving a soft kiss as he kept still humming softly against velvet lips.

It was short but sweet, pulling back to resume their pace, tongue swiping over his bottom lip, in the taste of tea from the other man. This was it, this could be the best moment right now, while they strolled just chattering about nothing important. He could say it right now, words that had been stuck behind his teeth. Every time they had a moment like this, just being two regular guys but it seemed more. Like the feeling of being pulled closer to the man. After the events of the afternoon hammered in the feeling, he could now admit to himself he was more then head over heels for this tall; socially awkward, organic grass drinking, dork of a man.

Niall had to admit it to himself, while on a walk after having a common dinner nothing romantic or over the top. He simply had fallen for Harry. Falting a step as the man tightened his grip around his shoulders. “Careful.” Protective green eyes flicking over to check up on Niall. Patting his shoulder reassuringly and nudged him signaling he was fine. The man going back to talking about something to do with a hem on a shirt he wanted. Even that was captivating.

Damn it, he was in love.

---

Harry had never spent this much time away from Niall while living under the same roof. It wasn’t that big of a deal but he missed him. The infectious smile or the way he could make him laugh at a drop of a hat. Spending time with him the day of breaking the great news, in hindsight he really needed to work on how he delivered information.

Getting to see him only on week nights after he had spent most of the day at school then in the studio it was hard to not want to go in there and demand attention. But it was fine, he was keeping up with work, and right now he was standing in front of two suitcases.

They had 4 days left, and his parents had been nice enough to offer a place at theirs. With keywords like, no stairs. And that his mother could be home and Niall wouldn't be left alone. Though it had been a pit of a push to convince him that it would be for the best. Even the idea of Niall alone in their house all day for a month, seemed ridiculous.

Tossing a few pairs of shirts into each case, making sure to grab a few of Niall’s favorite comfy clothes. “You didn’t have to pack for me.” The voice came from behind him startling him out of his pensive stance.

Spinning around and grinning wide. “Sure I did, all I have to put in is clean pants and t-shirts. Throw in comfy sweats and shorts. Done.” Nodding him over, as the man came up and leaned heavy on his side arms around his waist. Head resting on his chest.

“True.. and you already packed my bag for the actual day.” Harry never found it difficult to read Niall, man was like a book. But suddenly he felt like maybe he was doing to much, but he had nothing else to do that night either way. Maybe he himself was starting to get nervous about it all with the day closely approaching.

After going in a few days ago to actually go into detail about what was happening it really started to dawn on him. The blond yawned obnoxiously, causing him to turn to take him in. “Just want to be prepared.”

“I like that. Thank you.” The shorter was slipping out of his hold but a rough hand took his arm. “I'm beat. Come lay down with me?” Taking in the sleepy blue eyes, the lack of lively red in his cheeks making him smile softly. Allowing the older to pull him to bed.

Watching Niall get undressed, reaching over and running his hand down the man's back. Before getting into bed not undressing because his plan was to get back up and finish packing. Eyeing smooth pale skin moving under the covers. Moving around a bit to get under the blankets as with arms already pulling him back against the older’s chest.

Sighing as they laid there listening to the man getting comfy realizing he needed to move. “This won't do. Turning.” Announcing as he shifted himself so he was facing Niall’s blue eyes only showing a slight bit of curiosity but then they closed again. The feeling of a leg sneaking over his thigh and an arm slinging across his waist.

Watching as the blond sighed heavily getting settled, he seemed so wiped. As he moved his hand from the older’s bare thigh up his chest and to his chin. Pushing his fingers along his jaw up to cup the side of his head, thumb easily stroking over Niall’s soft cheek. “Don’t get too comfy.. I need to finish packing.”

All he got was a grunt noise in response and couldn’t stop the smile. Laying there for a while longer, listening to the man breathing evenly. Thumb gently stroking his temple into dark roots admiring his lashes.

Not realizing he had fallen asleep till he woke with a jolt from Niall shift in his sleep. Looking around with blurred vision. Squinting to see the time, it was late as he pulled from Niall’s grasp slowly not to wake him up. Padding out to get ready for bed and came back in turning off the light and climbing back in. He had only been swinging his legs in when the croak of a tired voice broke the silence in the room. “Hey, come back.” The man’s smaller hand patting his bicep in a sleepy attempt to pull him into bed. ‘Go back to sleep.’

Getting back into his usual spot and yawning, the man’s hand was still aimless in his attempt to sooth him. Half hearted pats to the back of his head amused at the sleepy man. Kissing under his stubbly chin. “Goodnight.” Whispering hearing that same gentle hum of a reply and the man was asleep again. His own eyes falling closed and chasing after Niall in the pursuit of sleep.

----

“You’re freaking out.” Niall said as he sat with his feet tucked under Harry’s thigh on the couch. The man had a folder of official hospital forms. The last few that they would have to sign before Friday just a day after tomorrow.

“I’m not, I understand the legality of them. It just feels wrong having you sign it saying you could possibly dunno.. Die.” Harry said from where he was reading through them. Raising a light brown brow amused the man did seem very concerned.

“I'm young and thanks to you in good health. I should do well.” His laptop propped against his thighs keeping them warm. “Just tell me what I have to sign.” Even though he asked Harry to fill out the paperwork saying he had nicer writing but really he was just to lazy and busy. But maybe it hadn't been a good idea.

“Guess so…” watching as gemstones met back with the papers and kept reading through. After a few minutes. “ok. Sign the first three pages at the bottom. “ taking them and quickly signing, handing them back with a nod.

“All done right?” watching the folder in now tanned hands and smiled he didn't feel as worked up as Harry seemed to be getting.

“Nope there's this one, it's for all your information but we can do that day of. Just personal stuff.” deep blues eyeing the way the man messed up his curly soft hair and pushed it back off his face.

“uh.. let’s just do it now I'd rather have to do the least amount of paper junk the day of.” Feeling slightly distracted as he kept typing the few changes he was making to the document.

“Ok. First name.” That got Niall to laugh as he shook his head. ‘easy. Niall. Give me a harder question.’

“middle name?” Harry had a cheeky grin on as he waited. ‘James’

“last name?” Niall stopped and thought about it humming pretending he was trying to remember. “Horan..-Styles?” Grinning up as the man kept asking age and birthday all stuff he knew but he wondered if his husband was trying to make sure he didn't forget. Even if it had him chuckling at the goofy smile on Harry’s face after asking for answers.

“Oh this one is good. Are you pregnant? Or plan to become… pregnant?” Harry looked at him, his own look so serious as he sighed reaching over having to stretch a bit to get to his brunette and pat him awkwardly with his finger tips.

“Yes.” Looking him dead straight nodding his head.

“I knew it.” Though Harry's straight face was already breaking as he laughed. Rolling his eyes and sitting back as he grinned over the screen of the lap top. They went along like this for a while Harry filling it out as he worked on his last paper which he was just rereading once more before mailing it off.

Only flicking up to watch him when he got up stretching and tossing the folder down on the coffee table and walked out of the room for the kitchen.

He only registered the whistle of the a kettle boiling. As he saved and started to attach it to an email. Harry was back setting down two cups of tea and was going back to his stop. “Harry come here. “ Patting beside him but he wiggled himself forward to make space behind him.

The man agreed and moved onto their over sized couch standing on the cushions and getting right behind Niall, sitting down. A long leg pushing him over to get comfy. Moving to rest back pointing at the screen as he felt the weight of his curly haired head on his shoulder. He clicked send and waited a few seconds for it to tell him it sent.

“babe.”

“hmm?”

“I'm done.” Making the motion of dusting his hands off. “Well only sort of. But for the night I'm yours.” Closing the laptop and pulling out of the man's grip only to put the laptop away on the table away from.the warm cups and settled back against his chest. Arms settled back around him as he sighed laying back, his fingers felt tingly from typing and being over the laptop for what seemed forever, as he ran them up and down the man’s clothed legs.

“You sure?” For someone so mature Harry had a ring to his voice that made him seem his age then how he sounded for work. It made him smile as he dropped his head back on the firm shoulder.

Closing his eyes as he sighed. “Yes. I can’t practice any longer, my fingers are going to fall off. Or my brain is going to be so over work I'll blank on the spot and not play a thing..”

The chuckle of the man ran through his ear. “I doubt that.” Harry's had that creamy pull in his voice. Making him talk like he was thinking of each word. It was dumb but maybe he could say it now.

“H-Harry I L-” Niall said out about to open his eyes before he realized what he was going to say. Hearing the man make a questioning noise. “Oh i .. L-L-Left laundry in, I should go change it.” He couldn’t say it first, it had to come from Harry first. He couldn’t answer why, he just wanted to hear him say it first. Pushing to get up but the man’s arms were locked in place and not budging.

He could feel it, the quick movement in fingers as the man started to tickle him. Flinging himself forward to try and get out of his grasp. “Ahh! WHY!” Harry had gotten his way and had his hips pinned down on the couch, chest flat on the cushions as he flailed around. Breathless and cheeks tear stained.

Not able to escape he laid there panting hard and trying to shake Harry off who was now just resting on top of him. “Get off your bleeding warm!” Though he wasn’t to angry as he dropped his hot cheek down, his face hurt from laughing so hard.

“I have to get it out of my system.” The man's voice was breathless with amusement and it made Niall want to smack him.

“I doubt that.”

---

 

From: Prince Harry 4.47pm
15 away.

Niall checked his phone to see the time. It was close to the time of his pick up. He had his guitars he kept at the school on the side in cases. With a heavy school bag. Today had been interesting. He had talked to his teachers and fellow students, had done his review for teachers. Performed what he had been working on all term on. It had gone well, and he wanted the time to celebrate being done one more term. He was so close to finishing his 4 years.

It was a typical rainy day, but that kind of weather that was windy. Down pour one second and the next wind blowing in the next round of dark heavy clouds. He had on nice pants with boots, and a dark dress shirt with mini dots all over it. But now it was covered up with a knitted sweater and a jacket that Harry had picked out weeks ago.

At least it wasn’t soaking in the heavy drops if rainy, as he watched the car pull up to the curb. Harry was stepping out in a handsome peacoat. Bounding up the steps with the biggest smile, damn that smile was beautiful.

“Is this everything.” The man was beside him reaching for the two cases. Since he was leaned over he wasn’t expecting for the man to steal a kiss. ‘If you’re going to kiss me, do it properly.’ Calling after him as the curly haired one was already heading to the car. Shouldering his rucksack and following him through the downpour of december rain. The crisp air threatening snow any day now.

He had gotten his proper kiss once in the car, and they were off back home. To spend their last night alone together. Harry said the trunk was full and had their stuff and he didn't mind putting it all away once they settled. Even if he still felt uneasy Harry of course had made a very good argument as to why they needed to be there. And that his family was more than excited to have them spend more time with them.

“Thanks for getting everything ready.” Niall called out from where he was doing dishes. They had made something quick since he couldn’t eat after a certain time or drink. Thankfully he had Harry to remind him.

“Course.” The taller padded in from the living room with his laptop in hand. He was suppose to be answering emails, as he sat at the island. Feeling eyes on him as he looked back over his shoulder. ‘What?’

“Nothing.” He could hear the typing from the keys stop. “You look good.” That made Niall scoff since he was just in tracky bottoms and a muscle top that was Harry's but now he wore it mostly. Cap on backwards keeping his fluffy hair down.

“Thanks.” Wiping his hands off quickly and heading over waiting a few seconds before tapping the counter. “Maybe a movie?” Getting a nod from Harry as he left his laptop and flopped his lanky body against Niall's back. Swaying while they walked into the living room. Harry flopping down on the couch instead of looking at the movies. “This?” Holding up the dvd. ‘Anything.’ Setting it up and hitting play. Walking over and flopping on top of Harry. Finding a comfy way to lay on top of him head on his chest.

The slow graze of fingers running up and down his back, pushing further down but always easing back up against his shoulders. The combination of the movie and Harry's hands could usually have him asleep in minutes. Yet his mind was trying not to think about the next day keeping him awake.

Halfway through the film he turned his attention to Harry, getting an elbow down on the couch and awkwardly wiggling up on his chest a bit. Completely forgetting the movie as he threaded pale fingers through dark curls. Just running fingertips against his husband's scalp. Giving a very odd style of massage now. Watching the man's eyes close and press into the touch.

Feathering down kiss along a defined jaw. It was all innocent to keep himself occupied. He had moved down his neck to the start of his shoulder. Nipping at the skin and sucking gently leaving the smallest of marks. Pulling back to look at it with a proud smile. “What?”

“Its just so tiny.” But it got him laughing at how weird it was, then it got Harry going. Through the second half of the movie after quieting down and getting in a few kisses. He could feel the man against him. That stir if the muscle making its presence known.

Finally turning off the TV and heading upstairs for the night. Niall already knew he'd miss this, the privacy of their home. The quiet and calm of just living with each other. Standing behind him arms on his hips waiting for him to finish up brushing his teeth. The taller always took longer getting ready for bed.

Getting into bed in the usual lack of clothing, lights off as hands reached for each other. Blankets pushed off to the side in a heap lips meeting in a kiss the type that would set their usual pace. But it could be they were thinking the same thing and pressure pulled off as they got locked in a slowed lip lock. It felt like discovering his lips again how soft they felt, how he mapped every inch.

Niall arched against Harry's chest as the man entered him. To start off on such a slow pace, as he gasped letting his head push into the soft pillows of their bed. Cheeks reddening as he took in a deep breath.

Feeling the way he was filled inch by agonizing inch. Looking up to see curly hair had fallen forward from how his head hung down. Pushing the locks out to get a good view of the man's face. He had a concentrated look on his face as he worked on Niall's tight insides, he had never had such a slow build up. Slow pulls from the man withdrawing from his insides then pushing back in causing the best kind of ache. Making sweet puffs and a quiet moan all noises just for Harry’s ears only.

There was no race to the finish this time. Could have been from them both really understanding that the wouldn't be as physical in the next couple of months. All Niall wanted was to hold onto this moment. They way they both moaned and breath picked up. Any time Niall needed more contact he would pull Harry down to lock their lips.

This felt more intimate than anytime before like they had finally pushed down each others walls they built around one another. Whispers of Harry's name on the end of a moan hooking an ankle pushing the man's hips against him for good measure. His foot trembled with the slow approaching climax.

Free hand between them in slow pumps in time with his husband's thrusts. Having the weight of the man on him had a comfort he couldn't explain. Harry's eyes were intense with lust, the way he looked at him gave him a shiver down his spin.

“O-oh.. fuck.. Harry” Breath hitching in warning as he broke eye contact. Toes curling as he felt lost in the whole body pleasure. Niall really liked the way Harry moaned, it wasn’t overly grunty or had a high pitch. It was like pouring velvet with the added jerks of his hips, lacking his usual rhythm. It could have also been the act of having his husband come undone with him.

His hand was locked in the dry soft curls not going their usual heavy and hard that left them covered in sweat. Thankful for the minimal clean up. Tipping his head up to capture dark rose lips in a slow deep kiss. Missing yet another chance to say it. Even without the words he was still happy. Still nervous but hopeful he could find sleep once he was cleaned and back in Harry’s arms. Letting him be the big spoon for one night. Tomorrow could wait a bit longer.

Chapter Text

There was no bright sun out to wake them yet the alarms went off all the same. The calm of the home quickly fleeting as the bed creaked or a blend of each other groaning at having to be awake. He couldn't tell who slept less, his blond or himself but he was sure their eyes where both red rimmed.

Stretching as he watched messy blond hair leave for the washroom, pulling relaxed clothing for the day. Changing his direction from the closet to the bathroom when he heard the shower go. Inviting himself in without the usual protest of ‘it’s not faster’. The room being unusually quiet, even if the blond wasn't as talkative first thing in the morning.

It made everything stand out more, the quiet of the house and mournful tone. But that could be all in his head. Thankful to muscles moving on there own into usual habit of washing the short hair. “Should have got it cut this week.” Niall's voice was still thick with sleep, as if he was not awake.

The somber tone moved to the kitchen when Niall was looking gutted from lack of breakfast. But it wasn't like he could eat a thing either as nerves started to stand on end. Checking his watch for the millionth time the hour seemed to be going by quickly.

“Hey.” attempting to get his attention stepping into his space wrapping his arms around from behind. Crumpling himself around the lilith frame. Kissing where he could reach on his neck and freshly shaved jaw. “sleepy?” Trying to keep it light because he didn't think he could handle anything heavy or deep at the moment.

“Yeah trying not to fall asleep. Or eat my arm.” A yawn erupting from the man as he made an exaggerated noise. The weight of him resting back made him smile.

“Ni, it's only a 12 hour fasting. I've seen you sleep 12 Hours without waking up for food.” Trying to wiggle his finger tips against the narrow waist getting only a half hearted whine. He needed to see him smile, it gave him energy and maybe it could make him worry less.

“Sometimes I need to hibernate. And you slept too.” The hint of a smile in his voice. “Stop trying to tickle me.” Threatening as he got the man to flinch a couple of times. “Harry, come on. I know something better we could do.”

It sparked his curiosity, pulling back a bit to get a good look. “what's that?” The blond turned his body to get a better angle. :Lips meeting again and again in short sweet pecks. The kisses getting longer and slower till they stayed still against the other. Neither pulling away or breaking contact.

Detaching reluctantly when his cellphone rang. It had to be one of their parents. Only moving as far as he had to reach for his phone. Picking it up but moving back to stand in the now v of the man's legs grazing his cheek and nose the the pad of this thumb fingertip caressing lazy lines against the shell of a pin ear. Keeping his eyes on him catching sea blues and smiling.

His mother just wanting to ask what time they should get there. Finally hanging up and patted Niall's cheek watching it's blush build. “We should leave now. Don't want to get stuck in traffic.”

At the door of the car the backpack filled with a few things from home. Niall had stopped from getting in, Harry insisting on holding it open. “See it’s doing good today.. guess we don't have to go.” Though the smile he flashed looked forced, covering up something else.

“Nice try..” Reaching around and giving him an encouraging pat on his backside and nodding his head towards the seat. Watching him shrug. ‘gave it a go.’ Settling into a steady drive, talking about a building they passed or resturants they wanted to try nothing heavy.

All conversation hulting as he pulled into the multilevel, already chewing on the inside of his lip. Finding parking and then their way through the massive hospital. Thier floor was easy, though the ding of the floor had them falling into silence. Checking in with the nurses and being shown the room. Niall had to change once the woman was gone.

Pushing the seat closer to the side of the bed, turning right in time to watch the man get undressed. Maybe this was an odd time to smile but seeing him in just socks and underpants with the back of the dressing gown open. “Looking good Ni.”

“Right, does it bring out the colour of my eyes?” Niall did a cute head tilt with his hands under his chin fluttering his eyelashes.

“And to think you couldn’t even dress yourself when I met you.” He teased getting an eyeroll and a shake of blond hair. ‘I could.’ The retort wasn’t as defensive or had its usual bite. “Should you take off your pants?”

“Probably.. You just want a look.” Watching as the man shot him an eyebrow raise but turned giving him a cheeky bum shaky. Instantly on his feet shuffling around quickly and giving it a smack. Satisfied with the yelp that the man gave him. Trying to push him away, but Harry's lightning fast reflexes grabbing Niall's wrists and held them still.

Trying to wrestle about beside the bed in the room, but it inevitably turned into a make out session. It was quickly ended by the doctors walking in on them. Going unnoticed until a loud clearing of a throat broke the noises of locked lips.

Parting quickly and moving to take a seat, watching the interaction. It was starting to hit home now, as he played with his bottom lip watching everything that was going on. The main doctor with the american accent had a marker out drawing a few lines on Niall’s knee as indicators.

They left quickly to get ready and Harry sighed in the midst of fixing his hair when a hand reached over and took his. “Stop freaking.”

“I’m not.” Though the pointed look told him he was caught. ‘Your fidgeting.’ Sighing deeply he didn't want to be the one freaking out while Niall seemed to be calm and relaxed now. Still sitting at the edge of his seat keeping his hand in his husband’s ringed one. It was building up his nerves with how close it was to go time.

A nurse was in buzzing around talking quickly as she started getting Niall prepped from what he could tell. Though the only time he noticed the blond show any type of fear was while he was getting ready for a large needle. Meeting a seablue gaze as he watched the man tense holding his hand as he squeezed. The nurse setting it into a vein on his hand.

“Your fine.” Encouraging him even if the nurse was trying to make it seem not that big of a deal. But the blond shook his head. ‘Hate needles.’ “I know.” Watching him grimace and shiver the colour was draining from his face quickly.

She may have said she would be back soon but he wasn’t paying attention. As he ran his hand along the man's forearm as he looked at the now attached drip on the other hand.

Trying to keep the blond's attention though it was becoming more real causing his insides to flip with nerves and scared feelings. Watching as Niall seemed settled laying back on the raised bed. Glad the blond was being the calm one.

“Hey kids.” The usual low voice of his dad as he poked his head into the room. Knocking only after he was looking at them. “Anne they're not being inappropriate. Come on in. “ Of course his dad thought he was funny.

Thankful when his parents arrived either way since Niall's mother wasn't able to come this week with his grandmother becoming ill back in Ireland. “If only you were here 10 minutes ago.” Harry chimed smiling as the man came in.

His loud baritone voice always cheeky “unlucky.” Glad that his dad was here for a bit of comic relief.watching his mother step away from him pretending she didn't know him. It had Niall smiling and that's all that mattered. Keeping an eye on his dad but side glancing Anne standing beside Niall now petting his head.

“How you doing sweetheart.” Her tone was soft as if she was speaking to a sick child not a grown man.

“Yeah fine A- mum. Sorry.” His hand was moist in its grip on Niall's and he couldn't tell who was sweating more. “Just ready to get it over with. You know what I mean.”

“Right you do.” Chiming in were his dad was taking a seat closest to the edge of the room. “Get you back on your feet in no time!”

It may have been selfish to think this but he wanted Niall all to himself right now even if his parents were just trying to boost the mood. “This isn't too bad of a room isn't it darlings? Nice and bright.” Blinking a few times going from his dad to his mum then to Niall, the blond just nodding. “I know you wish your mum was around. I'm sure she's sad she isn't. “

“Thanks but I've got you guys. You're my family too.” The words had him snap back to watching Niall biting his lip holding back a smile why did that make his heart want to sing. He was so happy with those words to know he thought of the his weird family was his too.

“That's right we are. And will be with you the whole way.” Dad cheered from the side letting out a laugh. He could see why Niall fit so well with them, he had a way to make everyone laugh similar to his dad.

Niall started to talk with him. Taking the chance to quickly run to the toilet while they were there. When he got back being left listening to the two talking about the match yesterday. Lightening the mood as his mother took a seat beside Harry so they could talk about how she moved something around in their room. Really he wasn't paying attention he followed sport just as much as Niall but it helped bond him with his dad and that was important.

Another nurse came in to fiddle with things and adjust the drip ‘You’re going to become a bit more relaxed. It's normal.’ She had said before letting them know it was 10 minutes out from taking Niall from the safety of the room. Away from his watchful gaze and he couldn't help the grip he held with.

“Right. Anne our cue to leave them.” Dad was up and walking over giving Niall a ruffle of his hair making him laugh. “See you after kiddo.” He didn't think his husband minded it too much. Anne just offering a squeeze on his shoulder and a kiss on the cheek. ‘Chin up.’ With that they were left alone in the room.

“Sorry if they're a bit much.” Watching after them fondly he shouldn’t be sorry he didn't have much to be since they both had their best in mind.

“No.. no they’re great.” His quiet voice making that sinking feeling. Getting up to sit on the edge of the bed facing the blond. Pushing a ringed hand through messy blond hair letting it rest on the base of his neck tumbling behind his ear.

“How you feeling?” Dropping his voice to a whisper as he searched over creamy features in search of some kind of panic he could calm. Trying his best not to freak out since he didn’t want Niall to know he was ready to burst.

“Might be slightly scared.” There was a waver in his usually boisterous voice. Harry leaned in and half pulled the man against him. Kissing his temple. ‘It’s ok.’ He wanted to keep the older in his arms as he let out a shaky breath. “I know.. B-but what if.. What if they have a freak accident and they do the wrong knee?” Niall didn't’ sound as panicked as Harry would have imagined.

“I don’t think they wou- hold on.” Getting up quickly at the protest of the shorter. Getting to his bag and pulling out a pen. Waving it as he came back over, sitting on the other edge on the good knee side. “Don’t move too much.” Pointing his finger at him to keep him from wiggling like it would help. Clicking the pen open and pushing up the bottom up the hospital gown.”H-harry what.. Ok fine.” Writing slowly and awkwardly. ‘NOT THIS KNEE.’ He didn't know when the hand had started playing with his hair maybe around the first T.

“Now they can’t mess up.” By the time he looked up Niall was leaned back hand still rolling curls around his finger. His eyes had gone half lidded and he seemed far more relaxed. “Thanks.” The smile was goofy and he couldn’t stop himself from leaning in closer giving him a chaste kiss.

“I love you.” The words fell out out like he had no control. Feeling his eyes go wide from his sudden confession. “I-I.. shit.”

Niall was laughing of course he was, it must have been idiotic to say that. But it was out there, the truth. The words he couldn’t say until now. “You have great timing.” His smile was sleepy but beaming with straight teeth.

“I do, don't I?” Though he waited, he kept waiting for Niall to say it back and when he didn't his brows furrowed together. “A-are you going to say it back?” Wishing he didn't sound so self conscious but his voice exposed him.

“Hmm.. not yet. Maybe after.” Pale hand was pulling him in by the front of his shirt. Leaning in for one more kiss.

Pulling back when the Nurse finally came back, they must have been a sight for everyone who kept walking in on them. “Niall… I love you. I'll be here when your done.” That smile must have been the cutiest thing with the way his cheeks had gone red.

Standing up as the bed was being set to be rolled out. “Are you really not saying it?”

That damn shrug and cheeky smile. “Nah.” He got in one last kiss before he was standing back hand slipping from Nialls as he waved, hand immediately going to pull at his lip starting his fidgeting. Walking after to see them roll down the hall. Blond waving one last time before disappearing around a corner.

Not even trying to hold back any of the tears, he was a grown man he should be able to keep his emotions in check. As he walked into the waiting area down the hall in the opposite direction.

“How’s it, sonny boy.” He was trying to brush his hair forward and then push it back, avoiding eye contact with his parents but of course they knew better. Robin's arms were already around him, thankful the man didn’t skip a beat. Holding onto the sturdy man feeling the rub of a third hand on his back, and the smell of his mum’s perfume. He let out a few quiet sobs since the whole thing felt to overwhelming. The man he had just confessed his love to, whom he spent all his time with was now in a situation that he couldn't predict the outcome of. It felt so painful to think that there was the slimmest chance that he wouldn’t see him again. And that was what scared him the most, the idea that even if it was so unlikely it could happen. Not caring if he was over reacting.

It took a while to calm down. He couldn't even bother scolding himself for being so silly. Taking a seat his dad waiting till he was ok before announcing he'd be back in a few hours after receiving a call from his work.

The first hour they spoke little after his dad left. It felt like time was going backwards as they sat there waiting. He had gone from bouncing his knee to spinning the ring on his pointer finger.

“Darling stressing won't do Niall or yourself any good.” The small hand was petting the back of his head nails long and comforting in the way she scratched his hair line.

“I can't help it.” Leaning into the familiar touch. Trying to turn and offer her a smile but it fell flat. “I told him I love him.” Watching close for her expression.

“Thats pretty big. But I already knew you loved him.” Motherly calm easing his tension even for just a moment.

“This was the first time though… what if he thinks I was just saying it because of the setting it was pretty grim in there.” Wishing he understood his own feelings some days, or the awakening of clarity from them.‘Harry you have the biggest heart I know. I'm sure he knows.’

“But he didn't say it back. “ Throat faltering as he spoke quieter. “Just said I had good timing.”

“I said you have a big heart not that your smart.” Anne's tone was amused as he chuckled a bit. Breaking from his standstill with nervousness just for a glimps of a second.

“Hey I'm suppose to be having a moment.” Anne finally able to break him out of his downward spiral of doubt and worry. Never getting this way over anyone else. Glad his mother could see it that way.

The next two hours where better they had been talking about work or what she was doing now. The slight mention of their new room again. Something she seemed so excited. Since his sister and him hadn't lived at home in years.

Harry had been expecting it to be 4 hours from start to Niall waking up, like they had originally said but when it was 10 minutes after he was up pacing. Losing his cool quickly. “What if something's wrong.” Spinning the paper coffee between his hands. Just nursing it since his dad had come back a while ago.

“Harry. Come and sit I'm sure it's nothing to worry about.” That didn't stop him from worrying. As he paced a bit longer he had never felt so out of his mind with worry. “Harry, love.”

Finally listening to his mother long enough to sit between his parents. A pat on his leg and a comforting arm around his shoulders. Trying not to chew his lip raw. “Is there anything we can do.” His mother trying her best to comfort, he’d have to thank them sometime for being so patient.

“Sorry but no. I just really wanna see my husband.” Leaning forward on his elbows pushing the ball of his hand against his eyes. He was giving himself a headache with all the stress.

Time was bad that first hour but the next 20 minutes felt like an eternity. He kept looking at his watch or phone and it felt like they were working against him to go back in time. Every time he heard footsteps near the waiting area he perked up but when it wasn’t the doctors it was the most disappointing.

Standing straight up as soon as he got the glimpse of the doctors turning into the room. Arm against his chest the other holding his chin. They talked briefly, only having run into one complication hanse the extra time. But it went textbook smooth and now the hard part of recovery.

“Can I go see him?” After being told not yet, that he was still waking up from the anesthetic, but soon, the nurse would grab them. “Thank you.” Even if he had to still wait this was better news. Letting out a breath as he slumped down into a chair.

“Good.” A chime from one then the other, he could hear their own relief. “So relieving.” They didn’t say a word about his freak out, just all sitting and relaxing, his dad with the paper and his mother with her phone. At least he could calm down now.

Finally being led in by the nurse being told he may be in and out of sleep and in not very talkative, thanking her as he went in first. It was a hard sight to see. No movement on the bed, just the small beeps of a heart monitor, tubes still set into his hand. Moving around to the same side of the bed as before. It was so quiet in the room. Getting beside him and seeing the slow rise of his chest and how pale his face really was. Lips dry and hair flat. Leg propped up and wrapped.

Not even knowing if he could touch him, as he finally just reached out fingertips grazing across unmoving nuckles. When the hand didn’t flinch at his touch, he pushed his own under the palm letting his fingers settle in between each finger.

Not bothering with trying to wake him up even if he wanted to see the beautiful blues. Having him right here was good enough since he could keep an eye on him. Thankful just be with him while he slept

There was a low groan, his head turning so quickly he could swear he almost gave himself whiplash. Watching blue eyes blink slowly open. Catching his gaze for a second before closing again for a few seconds before opening again. With a longer gaze he could see how much of a sparkle they had lost. Looking drained and on the verge of closing.

His chest rose in a deep breath like he was finally waking up. “Hey babe.” Harry tried not to talk too loudly.

Niall's lips turned up in the corners in a sleepy attempt of a smile. ‘Hey.’ His voice croaked when he tried to speak.

Pale hand pushing fingers into his so they could fully link their hands. Reaching up to push flat blond hair to the side. As he smiled back and leaned up kissing his temple. “Looking good.”

“Whole new face right?” The words came out slow and slurred, like he had had a few too many drinks.

“You got it.” Laughing as he sat back down looking at him. “I’ll be here, so if you need to sleep, sleep.”

“Mmm. Not that tired.” Keeping an eye on him as he started to fall asleep again. The blond may not have thought he was tired but he was still tickled by how quickly he was asleep.

Finally getting up to check his phone and emails. His mother taking over his spot. As he stood in the far corner a bit out of view. Standing away the second time Niall woke up, Anne at his side as he could hear him sounding more chatty but still dreamy. As he shifted closer to listen to the slow ramble. Biting his lip to not laugh at the amount of adorable.

“Ann- Mum.. I haven’t told Harry yet. But.” There was a long pause as if he was falling back asleep. “I love him.” It made his stomach flutter even if the man may have been a drugged up from pain meds and left over anesthetics.

“I know you do, darling.” She had an amused tone in her voice as she gave him her full attention. Despite his accent getting thicker.

“Good. Because he’s perfect. I mean.. No he’s not.” That made Harry want to call out against the comment as he looked at how attentive his mother was as he patted niall's hand gently beaming. “I love his hair.. Anne-mum.. Don’t let him cut it. I want it to be longer.”

Her laugh was sweet and light as she played along. “Of course not. It’s lovely isn’t it.”

There was a pause again, maybe he was falling back asleep. But he pipped up again after getting his thoughts in order. “Yes. I wanna learn to braid it.”

“You want to braid it?” Raising a brow at the same time his mother glanced back at him. He could tell she was loving this, and that Niall may be embarrassed once he was reminded.

“I want to learn how to. So when we have kids I can braid their hair.” That was his cue since they had never discussed kids or future major decisions like adopting. And he didn't want his mother to get any ideas just yet. Leaving his phone on his coat and walking over beside his mother.

“Hey, your awake.” Leaning against the bed and stroking his hair, getting a glimpse of blues.

“Kind of.” His face was quite dopey like he was fighting sleep again. But it was to be expected. Saying goodbye to his parents finally as they left for home saying he’d be home after visiting hours ended. Spending the rest of the evening beside Niall. Every time he woke up he was becoming more alert and less drugged up.

They were short periods of him being awake, apparently his husband was taking a very large advantage of being in recovery. That evening he had stayed awake for long enough to eat something. “I just feel bad for falling asleep. Feel so.. foggy.”

“Don't worry. It's to be expected with the pain stuff they have you on.” Eyeing straight teeth take a healthy bite of a sandwich.

“Hopefully I'll be more awake tomorrow. Hope they change me off these ones.” setting the half down and yawning. Pale hand rubbing tired eyes. “hate feeling so tired and.” Making a hand gesture trying to communicate something.

Harry just smiled and ran a ringed hand over an exposed for arm. “thought you would enjoy this much sleep. “

Nialls laugh was weak as he nodded. “I should. But dunno… can't think straight.” Niall yawned again. Watching him sit back and for minutes they just watched each other. A finger drawing lazy patterns along the peach fuzz skin of the older.

The next time he was awake Harry had his sweater on, back in his spot thumbing the back of his hand. Niall seemed to be more aware now as he frowned. “Do you have to go?”

Harry just sighed and nodded. “Yeah. I asked them to hold on a little longer just so I could say bye. “ the sad face he was pulling had him wanting to fight his way to staying. But he needed a shower and they has said that it was better for Niall to get a full night's rest. ‘ok.’

“But I'm back tomorrow first thing.” The blond refused a kiss saying he felt to gross but didn't object to the kiss on the forehead. “Wouldn't be leaving if they weren't waiting for me to get out of here.” Returning the smile and giving his hand one last squeeze. “Love you.” It came out quiet and honest.

“Harry.” He turned when he was about to leave standing at the door ready to pull it open. “I love you too.” Even if his voice was groggy and he looked as if he was just going to pass back out. It gave him a flutter in his chest as he just nodded his head. ‘Sleep well.’

---

The night had been a far leap from restful. In a new bed with new surrounding, having to fall asleep with the sounds of his parents still cleaning the kitchen from a late dinner. He had been too tired to stay and chat. Yet sleep came and went, every turn he was hoping for the warm body to be laying beside him, just at arm’s reach away. Reaching out more than a few times to feet cold bedding.

Getting up before his alarm, pushing the sleeping pants off and pulling his fingers free of worn metal. Listening to the drop of each ring against the bathroom vanity.Lleaving his wedding band on feeling incomplete without Niall to bug him. Stepping into the hot spray of water and quickening his morning routine to be ready to go and see his missing half.

Quickly getting dressed hair still wet that fell on his shoulders wetting the cotton top. Taking his laptop with him to work on if Niall was going to be sleeping. Packing his side bag and he was out in the kitchen dropping his bag at the side counter and pulling on a sweatshirt. He didn’t care for dressing up, the more time he cut from not dressing up or drying his hair meant he could go and see Niall faster.

Being lost in the huge kitchen opening every cupboard to find the bowls a spoon and hopefully cereal. Trying not to overthink his parents choice in milk, maybe he could lecture them about the poor cows lives of mass produced milk companies when he got back.

The word slamming had never been used in the context of a bow of cereal before in his life. Yet he slammed it down either way walking around fast to close each cupboard and put away the milk. Making sure it wasn’t in too bad of a state when he left choosing to leave the bowl empty on the counter.

15 minutes early as he paced beside the nurse’s station. Even after being told he couldn’t go in early that if they made an exception for him again they would have to for everyone. Trying not to seem to on edge as he held the warm coffee cup in his hand ignoring it for the cuticle on the side of his thumb.

He was so close, it was almost time counting the seconds as he paced advancing closer toward the room every time he walked back and forth. A young nurse with hair pinned back pointing him back towards the waiting room, where he would start his pacing yet again. He wondered if he was making them just as dizzy as he was making himself.

Finally they were letting him past the station, taking the last few steps nearly avoiding a collision of what he assumed was the head nurse. “Sir.” Her hands were up to get him to step back as he tried to peek in the room behind her. Though she kept her body between him and the door waiting for the click of the closing door.

“Just the man I wanted to see.”

“Hi.. Why do you need to see me? Can I not just go right in, I had no problems yesterday.” Brows together in confusion as he kept his hands down playing with the lids rim of his coffee cup almost popping it off.

“I just need to inform you of what’s happened over night.” Barely letting her finish before jumping in. “What? What’s happened is everything ok?” He couldn’t even think to fidget now his was worried and confused about what was going on adding to the lack of sleep. Yeah he had no chill.

“Everything is fine, for the most part.” Her tone was to soothing, like she was going to surprise him with a vaccination. “There was a negative reaction to the pain medication.” A panicked feeling creeping up in his chest waiting for her to continue. “Started early this morning he’s been quite sick. We are waiting on the old medication work its way through his system while we start him on something different. See if that works.” It felt as if he was being talked down to, like she was consoling a small child. It made him feel small and annoyed now that she wouldn’t let him go in now.

Nodding he had really lost his cool waiting. “Let him sleep when your in there.” Wanting to respond to her by telling her he just wanted to be their to watch him sleep. Biting his tongue at how creepy it may have sounded. ‘Thank you.’ Getting in once she had stepped aside.

Suddenly feeling glad for her roadblock. He didn’t know how he would have handled it without any warning. Usually lively pink toned pale skin was gray in tone. A light sheen against his skin blankets still high on his chest but in the same position as yesterday. Propped up eyes shut but not hiding the dark purple bags.

Not able to comprehend how the 24 hours difference could have been. It wasn’t worst case scenario thankfully, but it wasn’t ideal. Feeling guilty as if he had pressured Niall into this and now the blond was suffering from it. Stepping quietly and setting his cup on the side table. The room was lit low. As he carried his chair beside the bed to his spot. Reaching up to run a warm hand over clammy skin of his cheek. Trying not to wake the blond but it had him filled with worry.

The first few times he had woken up was to be sick. It hadn’t been nice sounding, but thankfully he had been well aware enough to point at what he needed. Harry wouldn’t have known what to do. But offering the best he could in the act of an arm rub.

Time had flown by, it could be from the small naps he would take while Niall was asleep. Taking a few more hours for him to stop feeling ill. Parents stopping by hours later with food for the weary two but the blond refused. Blue eyes looked tired and sunken.

The first sight of his knee being unwrapped and dressing changed was jarring. Confused on how that was suppose to heal by January. The eventual scar only looking fresh and inflamed but the longer he stared the less scary it became.

Harry had watched his parents leave and he was left to keep an eye on the older. Laptop out as he worked glancing up to check on the sleeping blond. He didn’t care about being anywhere else, this is where his heart was. Stuck to a bed trying to rest. Hoping to get him home as soon as possible. Longing to lay down beside him.

Not realizing the weight of the day had taken its toll and he had fallen asleep beside the bed, his hand back in Nialls as he rested his temple on the edge of the bed. Being woken up to by the slow combing of fingers through his curls. Turning his head and looked up. “Hey you.” Pale lips moved, chapped from lack of hydration and voice wavered heavy with sleep.

Smiling up his blond looking more alert then any point that day. “Hi.. sorry must have fallen asleep.” The level of worry he had been holding onto the past day had lessened and felt less heavy.

“You’re good.” The hand not stopping its relaxing motion he wanted to stay like this. “Where’s all your rings?” Fingers from their linked hands rubbing the wedding band.

“Took them off when I showered. Guess I forgot.” Smiling as he shrugged.

Leaning up getting a scruffy chin instead of lips. ‘No Harry.’ “Why? Let me kiss you.” The blond shook his head still tangled in curls not letting go of his grip.

“No. I’m so gross.” Niall’s retort was halfhearted at best. ‘I watched you brush your teeth.’

“No i just feel gross. All I taste is hospital.“ Turning it into him giving him kisses on his hand, and talking about just easy things like the match he missed the night before, or if his mother had called.

The end of the night had him regretting having to leave again when niall looked so sad. “Stay?”

“Don’t tempt me.” The thought of staying with Niall for the night seemed like the better idea.
Pulling on his coat as he leaned over the bed giving him a hug. The olders grip on him didn’t let up, as he kissed the shell of his ear. “Im back first thing.” Whispering quietly.

“Okay.” Nialls voice wavered as he loosened his grip slowly. “What if I get sick again and I can’t tell you?” Harry pulled himself back far enough to look at the sad blue’s.

Giving him a grin as he reached into his coat. There were signs posted everywhere saying no phones. But he pulled out the blonds and winked. “Charged and ready. Text me if anything happens. Get some sleep ok?”

A night nurse knocking on the door letting him know he should have left a while ago. “Right sorry!” Kissing the mans forehead and smiling. “Goodnight. Love you.” The blond calling out a goodnight as Harry hurried out getting a stern look from the nurse. Apologizing again and heading back to his parents receiving a text once in the car.

From : Nialler 9:16 pm

Love you too. :)

Chapter Text

The blur of the room slowly coming into focus. Actually being lit by the sunny december day. He would have to take this as some kind of positive sign. Never wanting to leave some were so badly. It wasn't that it was the staff, the nurses had been nothing but nice to him. And the doctors came in once a day to check on how he was feeling.

It could have been the mix of foggy brained thoughts and finding a level of pain meds that would take off the edge of pain without making him feel ill. The night before had been the first meal in days that didn't make him feel instantly sick.

Wanting off meds as soon as possible if he was honest. Sure they helped with the pain but they kept him in that awful state of glazed over eyes and not everything made sense. And to top it off he was grumpy from the lack of quality food.

Tuesday hadn't come quick enough. Finally able to go home. Or at least to his husband's parents house. The thought of his husband gave him a stupid happy smile. Even with how gross he had felt at least he had Harry, he’d been nothing but devoted. Coming in, charming himself in early before work Monday then staying as long as he could that night. Even Tuesday morning he had talked his way in early and was taking his lunch time to pick him up.

Dressed in sweats and a shirt, his husbands having to help him put on two layers of thick socks and his beanie on. Niall could never have thought he'd be so happy when he was being shown how to strap himself into the weird gray cast. Large pieces of velcro locking his knee in place and leg straight out. Sad to see say goodbye to some of his nurses but glad to be leaving.

“Do you want your jacket? Its really cold out their.” Harry’s voice had be only slightly distracted as he tried not to run into anyone with the wheelchair the nurses had sent them out with. ‘It can’t be that cold.. I’ve only been inside for 5 days.” As they wheeled closer to the doors holding the crutches in his hands keeping them from dragging.

“Oh fuck. Jacket!” Shivering as soon as he got a gust of wind coming in from the doors. Harry’s chuckle being heard over the hum of people around the main entrance. Feeling the jacket wrap around him from behind as he pushed his fists into the arms. Being blocked from the cold wind, tilting his head to the side to look back at harry and offer a smile.

It was disorienting to see christmas decorations up. It felt like he hadn’t even realized christmas was coming. Stressing over the operation then the keeping up with holidays. It made his head feel fuzzy again and confused.

To be honest he wasn’t feeling like himself, but that could be from the lack of fresh air and being stuck to the bed forever. He just wanted a hot shower and not just a quick splash of water. Cold air hit as he was pushed toward the carpark clearing his thoughts. He just wanted to be home. Even if it wasn’t there home a place with a flat comfy bed and his pillow with Harry he would take any day over the hospital.

Getting up without too much trouble but it was super awkward trying to get into the car. Climbing in finally and pulling the door closed watching the brunettes back as he ran the chair back inside. Reaching around to look in the car in search of a pair of sunglasses.. Pulling down the sun visor and catching a glimpse of himself. His eyes looked sunken and his skin was still an unflattering gray tone. But there was bits of pink in his cheeks that was comforting at least. Putting on the pair of black Raybans that covered his darks bags, glad for the excuse to wear them.

“Let's get you home.” Harry announced once he was in the car leaning over and giving Niall a kiss on the cheek. Smiling over at him, as he reached out, it felt weird not to be tethered to an I.V. drip. Fingers playing with a stray curl. Feeling the most normal in days.

Being driven to a different part of the city today, taking in the sight of the area. His new home for the next month being at the top of an apartment building. “I think I was kind of under the assumption it was a house we were staying in.” speaking quietly as they parked on the side street.
“Really? This ok with you?” Harry looked over once the car was off.

“Huh? Yeah it's great.” stifling a yawn. ‘ready?’ Nodding in agreement but once Harry was out of the car taking a moment to try and shake off the settling feeling of sleep.

The brunette in the business suit holding his bag and holding the crutches for him to grab. Once sorted they headed into the front of the building to the elevator. Tired eyes sweeping the beautiful wallpapered walls and gold embellishments. Of course it was going to be really nice. Watching the man tap a fob against a pad under the floor numbers.

Pulling his sunglasses off and stepping over to Harry putting his forehead against his shoulder yawning again. “I didn't think just a car ride would make me so sleepy.” The tallers hand was up and stroking the back of his head over the fabric. ‘don't worry.’ His voice was soothing and understanding.

Not even awake enough to comment on the almost top floor living space. Walking in finally detaching from Harry and glancing around it was fairly open space he could see into a living room and the kitchen right from walking in.

“Hi darlings!” Anne’s voice ringing out from the kitchen where she had bags out putting away what he assumed was groceries.

‘hey’ they both replied at the same time causing Naill to chuckle and smiled. “Mum, just going to show Ni the room. Then head back to work.” following after the taller at a slower pace.

The room was a decent sized maybe just smaller than their own at home. As he sat down on the edge of the bed as quickly as he could. Handing over the crutches before rubbing his face finger pressing against his eyes. “Sorry I’m so tired. “

Harry was at his side as he handed over his jacket and his beanie. “Don’t worry babe. All part of it.” Gently sighing as he finally pulled his hands away and looked up. The man just smiling back at him softly the larger hand stroking his hair. ‘Thanks.’ Reciving a quick peck. ‘Do i take this off when i nap? Or do i keep it on.. Do i only wear it at night?’ Babbling as the man shifted down and smiled up at him, laughing gently as he nodded. “Lay down and will get you out of it for naps. But try not to move to much. Elevation right?”

Nodding as he shifted awkwardly up laying down on the usual side of the bed, even if it was a different room altogether but the left side was his side. Hands careful when he unstrapped him. “You going to be ok while I’m out?”

“Got mum. If I need anything I’ll ask. Think I’m gonna nap. Then possible get to the shower..”

“Can you wait till I’m home? J-just you know.. Nervous.” Niall just smiled at his sweet husband as he nodded. ‘Sure. sounds good.’ Not even able to watch him leave before he was asleep.

--

The first night back together in the same bed had been so lovely, Harry had been sweet and careful in the shower, nothing but actually getting clean. He didn’t have much thought for the extra part of their usual shower. Just getting out and getting dried. Cleaning off his knee with the staples still in. It looked quite grim as he watched Harry try not to be to rough wrapping him back up with new dressing.

Dinner was hardly enough to keep him awake as he ate a bit still feeling gross from the pain stuff. They laid down early way earlier then Harry needed to be asleep but nonetheless his husband was against his side propped up on an elbow leaning into him.

Ringed hand on his side resting the arm crossed over his stomach. His own resting to keep him close. The knee propped up and his other being cradled against Harry’s own exposed legs. Of course the man had decided to be proper and keep his shorts on. In a lively chat about his day and work. Everything settling back into an ease. Even if he still felt in the fog it was nice, so nice to actually be back in a normal bed in a normal setting. Sleep came easily and was undisturbed maybe he was taking advantage of extra sleep.

---

The first week he felt like he slept through it. Getting up every morning with Harry just to see him off and have breakfast noting new decorations in the house. Then sleeping, grabbing lunch with Anne then sleeping, and waiting for Harry to get home for a shower and dinner. The week had gone by so fast, with his odd sleeping schedule and the visits from the physio man who came in to work with him. Meaning lots of ice packs and discomfort trying to get him moving a bit.

The mid of December had creeped in quickly. Maybe it was the shift in days being so dark so early and the lack of freedom, feeling like he was stuck. Stuck in the same damn weird fog on the same level of pain meds. It had been enough to start wearing him thin. Glad to be staying awake way longer down to a few naps a day instead of falling asleep almost any point in the day. But now even some of the small sweet things harry was doing was starting to annoy him. And he didn’t get why. Why he was feeling so distant and out of place.

From being so caring and sweet he was finding Harry and his family so overbearing and intrusive. But he had never felt that way before, agitated and mad at himself for these feelings. It was starting to get to him. Frustrating him when he almost lost his usually nonexistent temper. Which was new for him for sure.

Harry had come home the Wednesday before it would hit two weeks since his surgery, he hadn’t been outside that entire time. Anne and Robin had asked if he wanted to go with them to do a few things but he just felt like it would be a burden to be out with them. To have them do more for him then just being at their house. All thing he had refused to tell anyone.

It was early evening and Harry had been in later, and Niall hadn’t meant to wait so long to jump in the shower, maybe it was a new habit but falling asleep later than usual and waking up once he heard the movement of his husband being less than graceful. “Sorry. Did I wake you?”

“‘S fine.” He mumbled and sat up slowly, it was another thing about himself he was finding annoying, short answers starting to become mean and snappy.

“Ah.. “ An awkward pause before the man was pushing a smile again trying to keep the tone light. “Want to go take a shower?” They had still been taking showers together even if some days he knew Harry was just going out of his way to make sure he was ok. And that too of course meant he was being a burden on him.

“Harry.” He had said it quietly of course he was setting this up he even knew it from the get go.

“Ill grab your towel and meet you in there. Just going to get undressed. Then dinner right?” Getting up he was already feeling so angry about that. The man just assuming he would go willingly just jump right in.

Trying to put it across with his tone that the man should stop. “Its fine.” When the man was walking back into the room from the attached bath.

“Come on then. Shower time, best time.” It felt smothering not sweet and sensual like it normally had, and he couldn’t even figure it out. Why he was feeling so suddenly pent up.

He couldn't help the sudden snap coming out angry and quick “Stop it.” When the man had come over to help take his top off. ‘You ok?’ Harry’s voice sounded so confused like he had bopped a puppy on the nose with a newspaper.

“No. I’m not ok. Stop helping for 5 seconds. Seriously.” Niall couldn’t even recognize his own tone, he wasn’t thinking he was just snapping for no reason. ‘W-woah.’ “Can you just fucking let me do something on my own.” ‘N-ni.. I didn’t mean t-’.

“Of course you didn’t, but you hovering isn’t helping. Maybe I just want to be independent for a minute or two.” This wasn’t fair, none of it was. Not to his younger partner. Not to the man he had stopped saying he loved to a few days ago. Crutching past him to head toward the bathroom. He had said too much and been so cruel. Not able to put his finger down on why, why was he snapping at this man he loved and wanted to be always close to.

“Ok” He sounded so dejected and worried. Not going after him just staying back in the room. Feeling eyes following him out.

All of a sudden it felt to late to turn and apologize. As he set himself up which was tricky trying to get undressed and turn on the shower. Doing it all on his own without needing Harry. Maybe he just had to prove it to himself he was capable. But after a few seconds that wasn’t it.

Standing under the hot spray of the shower holding onto the side of the wall. Missing the large hands their to steady him as he reached for shampoo. So confused and lost feeling, not able to pinpoint why he felt so lost all of a sudden. Like a panic attack and overwhelming sadness had just replaced the shower with a rain cloud.

“H-harry.” He croaked out but it hardly made a noise when he felt the tightening in his throat. Maybe it was clearing that feeling, suddenly realizing how scared it was feeling so lost in his own head, so out of control and moody from something that was suppose to be making him feel better was actually making him feel so unlike himself.

“Harry?” Calling out again this time more panic had rising in his chest, wondering if he had just pushed him away to hard now. The worry building up quickly like he couldn’t control anything now. Holding himself upright by pressing against the wall.

“Niall.” The voice was there he could hear it as well as foot steps. ‘Help.’ This must have been so pathetic he couldn’t even shower alone this was awful, not able to pull himself out of his own sudden anxiety. It must have stood clear since Harry was stepping into the shower with his work pants still on, he must have been in middle of changing since his top was off.

The brunette didn't even ask whats wrong, that's what made Harry perfect. He just had his arms around him and was holding onto him. “I’ve got you.” Pale arms gripping tightly onto strong shoulders, he hadn’t even realized he was crying till a calming voice was telling him he was going to be ok. Trying to get him to catch his breath, quickly catching on that he had for sure had a panic attack in the shower. Not able to stop himself just yet as he started to try speak quickly.

“I-I’m sorry.” Breathing quickly between words. “I didn’t mean to yell at you. I’m so sorry.” Still that voice was so caring and gentle ‘It’s ok, it don’t matter.’

“It does matter Harry.” Hiccuping his breath trying to catch a gulp of air. “I’m so scared.” Voice in a tight whisper.

That got his attention quickly the brunette tightened his grip. “Whats got you scared. Ni.. tell me” Large hand spread on his back keeping as much contact as possible.

“This.. me. I-I don’t know. I can’t explain it. I-I hate how I’m feeling. So unlike myself.” He was starting to calm down taking slower breaths as he squeezed his eyes shut. ‘Love, how so?’ Harry’s voice was cautious and worried his head rested against the blonds temple.

“Foggy maybe.. Just so, everything is so scrambled.” Really coming to terms with the fact that it had only started after the surgery he had never felt so confused or lost.

“Ni.. Listen to me. Its ok.. Maybe it could be side effect from your painkillers? Their pretty strong.”

Just nodding as he sniffled still feeling hot tears trace down his cheeks after every blink.
“I-its’ the only thing different.” Trying to find anyway to feel close to why he was this way. “W-what if I feel this way forever.” It could have easily been the panic taking over that he worried about feeling stuck like this.

“Oh.. Nialler.. You won’t I promise.” He was held in such a warm embrace as he kept crying, having a full breakdown in the shower clutching onto his husband like a lifeline. ‘It scares me.’ The way his hands stroked up and down his back but still held him up was so comforting. “Will talk to your doctor as soon as possible? Friday we go in for your stapes... Can you wait that long?”

Fingers pushing into his wet hair and rubbing slow circles, finally getting some control back as breathing slower. “Ok.. I can wait.” Nodding his head since it wouldn't be that hard now that Harry knew how he was feeling. Finally finishing the most intense shower ever and getting settled back down in the bedroom.

If Harry wasn’t leaving his side before, now he was for sure not letting him out of his sight. But kept saying things like. “I know you can do this. But let me.” Finally leaving the house the day after. It wasn't for long but it felt nice. It did feel like being a child having to be warm enough with enough layers and not out for too long since he was still tired most of the time.

Friday couldn't have come quick enough apparently it was common with patients which he wished he had known before feeling like he was the only one. After taking out the staples which for the most part was painless in most spots. They had worked out a way to decrease his meds daily so by mid week they could see if it was to much or not enough. Just in time before the holidays and they wouldn’t be able to go in.

“Are you sure it's OK for you to be missing so much work?” Niall asked as they headed back to the car relieved but now worried for the younger.

“Don't worry about it. They don't mind really I checked.” Sounding really casual about his placement. And not picking up the topic again till they were in the car. “Even if they didn't I don't think they would care at the moment. I'm not taking on as much since we're relocating in January they don't want the group leaving to be swamped with other stuff I guess.” Nodding thoughtfully as he looked out the window at a large buildings.

“That makes sense.” Reaching out as he looked back at Harry and played with his usual loose curl. Twirling it over his finger as he sighed. He was feeling more at ease and less tense. Light chuckle leaving his lips when they stopped a light and the brunette turned his head to press his lips against his hand, making loud kissy noises. “Such a weirdo.” Not pulling his hand away either way, resting it back against the man’s dress shirt. Was it selfish that he wanted one extra full day with Harry even if they were about to spend every moment of the weekend together.

Getting home he was trying to stiffen a few yawns as they got out. Shaking his head to try clear it smiling over at the sharply dressed man. “So tired. I feel like a grandpa”

Harry had him up and back in bed before he left for the rest of the day. Catching his hand before he went. “Stay.” He knew full well how selfish it was to ask but Harry made him happy could it be so wrong to ask.

“Trust me. I want to.” His voice was so serious no jokes or inflection in his voice. Pulling him in for a kiss quick as he laid back. ‘I know. Go I'll see you tonight.”

“You got it.” Getting a wink and a hand wave and he was off.

When he nodded off he wasn't sure, but he was awake in time for his usual lunch with Anne. He felt quite bad for how he had been so distant. Maybe it was because he was sleeping lots but now he felt a bit more awake. ‘good nap?’ sweet mothering voice asked as he entered the kitchen.

“Yeah not too bad. Can I help?”

“Darling don't worry about it. I've got it sorted.” Niall gave her a smile as he moved to sit down. Deciding to be a bit more chatty he was sick of napping and watching through all the shows he had missed the past few years from being busy in school.

They had chatted for a while just small things like what she was doing for the day, or how her plants in the house were. Laughing saying Harry had tried to keep a plant alive a few months back and it had died.

It was nice to just be in someone's company realizing that it may have been so much more work if they had stayed alone. Leaving to just relax but not able to sleep. Waiting for Harry to get home as he finished another season of some doctor show.

Harry and his dad usually arrived home around the same time every night. Just minutes apart as he got into a lively conversation over the show he had just finished with Robin. Dinner had been nice and it was just the two sitting in the living room while Harry helped with dishes. That night he had gone to bed early from the lack of an afternoon nap.

The weekend they had become even more inseparable, every morning becoming easier and his naps shorter and less often. Going out for a few car rides even in the rain, anything to get him out and away from finishing another season of some program. It had become one of the best weekends in december, that feeling of being lost slowly falling away.

--
Monday had come all to quickly though as they woke up early since the long haired curly headed man had to be at work. Picking up his phone for the first time in weeks having ignored so many texts he never realized people had that much interest in how he was doing or how it had went.

Of course he had been keeping in daily contact with his mother. Even seen her once but she was working and tired from taking care of his gran. Maybe he had also been in really crappy mood when she had come in a week ago.

Pocketing his phone when Harry was done getting dressed and got up with him for breakfast which of course was super healthy. Today it actually tasted like dirt and grass being a very dark red colour probably from beets. Groaning outwardly as he thought about it.

“What’s up you ok?”

“No. I’m not ok because I know that this has beets in it. Harry look what you've turned me into!” Grumbling as he shot harry a look but was rewarded with a laugh. Larger hand ruffling up his messy blond. Having breakfast together as he got a kiss goodbye waiting for his husband to leave before pulling out his phone.

“Ok. A-Mum.” Grinning mischievously to her as he started typing back a long message. “I just don't want him to think I’m mad at him. But.. I didn’t realize Christmas was actually next week.”

“He wont be. Just say he needs a night off.” Harry's mother was in the middle of clearing up the counter space in prep to start something for lunch in a slow cooker from the looks of it. It actually surprised him how hands on she was, always cooking or doing her own cleaning. With the money they claimed to have she worked on a lot of stuff in the house herself and still managed to have a social life.

“A night off..” Words catching him off guard because it rang true. “He actually does, but if I’m honest I don’t know what he would do.” Trying to finalize all his plans to get his only gift for his husband. Thankful for the help he was getting on the other end.

“I can take him shopping, or maybe he can grab drinks with work. Did he say they are taking Friday off so they will probably be gone..” Frowning as he passed her his empty glass and leaned heavily onto the table. ‘What if he hates what I get him. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so out of Christmas.’ Deciding next year he would have to make up for it. Then smiling like a goof from already thinking about next year.

“I don’t think you have anything to worry about. It’s going to be great.” Giving her a thumbs up and trying not to sigh to hard. Going back to his phone and glancing up to watch her cook, very similar to how her son cooked.

“Is it bad I’m only just realizing that the house is decorated?” Looking around and feeling like he had went to sleep only hours ago but how weeks had gone by was beyond him. Time was starting to catch up and he as going to have to figure out how to keep up with everything that was happening.

“Well, it happened when you were sleeping. Which thankfully was a lot. So you couldn’t realize how long it took us.” It felt nice to feel more at home now and less sleepy. Now starting to ask her things about Harry as a child, wanting to know more as he watched similar habits between the two.

---

Evening came and dinner was finished deciding to forgo family time in the living room going straight to rest in bed. Harry laid across his chest elbow on one side and legs the other, along the head of the bed. Niall stuck in his usual boring position. Finally feeling something very amusing like a light had been turned back on in Niall. Everything seemed to become more clear and crisp.

Laughing as they kissed between stories or talking about something silly and unimportant. “shh. Your parents will hear us.” Harry just mocked him and turned his attention to his exposed collarbone.

“We’re grown men Nialler.” Pale hand holding onto the back of the curly haired man's head as he huffed.

“I know that! It's just I feel like we are teenagers or something. Doing something wrong like they will walk in on us any second.” That got a laugh from the younger leaving the trail he was kissing.

“Promise you they won't. Probably just think we're sleeping” Fingers rubbing small circles in his hair trying to not get distracted from the feeling of the younger lips.

“Hey.. Harry.” Niall looked down and smiled waiting for the man to look back up at him. “I think you deserve a night off.”

“I don't.” There was a sudden worry in the man's voice. Green eyes where locked on blue in search of something that wasn’t there.

“Don't freak.. it's nothing bad.” Trying to keep his tone calm, it had to work with out Harry feeling to bad.

“Then why do you think I need a night off?” Harry sounded so confused and a bit hurt.

“Because if I need a break from myself, you must too. You've been so supportive and you deserve a night off to go and get a drink with some work friends. And not stress about me.” Petting his head in a soothing motion. Really he was worried the man would burn himself out working and then coming home taking care of him. “I think I even see a grey hair.” Eyes wide in mock horror.

“You don't.” But he did lift a ringed hand up to pat his own head pulling his away and holding it still on his chest. “I like doing this. I want to be with you all the time even if your an ass.”

“I'm never an ass.” Smiling at that of course he felt the same. “I just need out of the house for half a day to be honest. I like going on drives with you but I feel like a Labrador.” That got a tug on his husband's lips as he tapped his chin with his free hand. “I was messaging Jim. And he said Louisa and him will pick me up spend the day with me and drop me off. I'll be safe and you trust them.”

Harry made a frown again though. “But I want to see Jim and Louisa.. and Sparks. That's not fair. I want to go see them and you can go drink with my coworkers.”

Chuckling softly as he shook his head. “a beer sounds good.” His fingertips trying to push up the corners of Harry's lips to get him to smile again. “Please. Just a few hours on Thursday. And you can go out. You have the next day off so we can sleep in. “

“I guess so.” Trying to bite back his smile, since he sounded like his husband was going to dread a night out. Finally laughing it was what he needed if he wanted to actually do something for Christmas. It took a bit more coxing till he had his husbands lips back on his. Feeling like he had just won.

--

Thursday had come so fast and gone by so quickly. It was a wonderful break from Harry’s parents place but it felt weird without his counterpart. The couple had been very relaxed to be around, not overly hovery and even sparks had calmed down once they were in the place. Louisa had been able to help him find the perfect gift for his husband. Feeling strange to be driven back to Harry’s parents and not to his own house which was just blocks away. After playing the guitar a bit feeling rusty from just a few weeks off, it really made him miss his studio and his home life.

He had gotten home had a napped all through Harry getting ready to go out waking up enough for a kiss goodbye. Finally awake enough to watch Anne make dinner. Apologizing again for not being the best of house guests lately which earned him a smack on the back of the head when she went past him.

Already in bed, laptop out watching a program when Harry had finally gotten in closer to midnight. He was all limbs like bambi on ice. Trying to take off his shoes and his jacket at the same time. Scarf sliding off his shoulders. Propping himself up to watch his tall husband trying to be quiet. Holding back a smile when he bumped into the dresser.

“Alright there?” Asking from his spot on the bed. Watching dark greens look like a deer in headlights. The second to realize that he had actually not woken up his partner showed the relief in his face. A lop sided grin on his face as he finished getting undressed.Laughing when the man pointed toward the bathroom and left for a few minutes before coming back hair up in a bun and just in black underpants.

Harry looked good even like that, even with the slight trip up when he walked toothbrush in his mouth, the bathroom light giving him a very lovely silhouette. Getting a good view of his tattoos and the just watching him walk over, still brushing his teeth before reaching his side of the bed and getting a toothpaste tasting peck.

That common pull of laughter leaving his lips when the man tried to talk with a mouth full of toothpaste, dribbling down his chin. Silly gallop when he left for the sink, hearing the water running for a bit longer. Clicks of caps being opened and closed, and the break in the sound of water. Even slightly intoxicated his husband was a creature of habit.

Closing the laptop and waiting for Harry to come back, resting his head back but tilted toward the bathroom door. Watching the figure return and the sudden dark of the lights going off. Feeling the weight of the body climbing onto the bed. “Can you put this down?” Asking when Harry was closer, a hand flopping around playfully trying to find what he was talking about.
“Harrehhh.” Whining when the man finally stopped goofing about and laid over his chest to put the laptop on the ground.

It was really an excuse to get his husband to make more contact with him. Chest to chest, pale arms looping up to wrap around bare shoulders stopping him from moving away. Encouraging him to lean in closer. “Did you have fun tonight?” Asking quietly when the got the man’s forehead against his, a bit of shifting and moving under blankets so he could feel warm skin against his side and weight of the body against his chest.

“Terrible.” The voice sounded low and his breath was hot against his skin, causing his cheeks to blush. Closing his eyes to stop himself for asking for something he wanted but didn’t think would be a great idea.

“How come love?” Asking back quietly, that tingle creeping up from their low voices together. ‘Cuz you weren’t there.’ That got him, as he leaned up to capture his lips. He could taste the man’s mix of toothpaste and lingering alcohol. Not caring of the odd combination, just wanting that slow hot feeling of lips pushing against each other. Their kiss moved in stages, from wanting to be hard and hot unknowing if he could say stop. To a steady slow pace, thankful for the break in intensity but at the mercy of loving kisses. This was maybe his favorite type of intoxicated Harry, the one willing to make out for hours with no need to go feather the way his hands were slightly clammy made it all to pleasing when one moved from his neck to his chest.

 

Feathered kisses mixed in with long periods of resting their lips against one another. ‘I love you.’ The words mixed together between them. Honestly at some point he didn’t know who was talking and who was responding. It was so perfect for him and he couldn’t help but fall more in love with his goofy husband, as warm chest was finally against his side arm wrapped around his chest lips only making a small effort to make contact. Tanned feet wrapped around a pale foot, the only one they had access to. This was all he could ever want as sleep finally took over and he could only think about the was spending the next week with Harry. And maybe his family could have him for a bit.

Chapter Text

Holiday music played from the speakers in the living room, as Niall awkwardly made his way down the hallway. This new sense of clarity really pulling him from his slump. As he walked down toward his husband's parents bedroom. Finally exploring his temporary home.

Voices from the kitchen of everyone getting dinner ready as he checked out the framed photos along the parents hallway. Really liking the look of it, since he had seen it at Jim’s place before. It made the apartment feel more like a home. Looking over the frames as he went down, groups of the family all in funny holiday outfits or sweaters. On vacations with funny haircuts and goofy outfits.

Smiling as he looked over them, admiring how young Harry’s mother looked and how she hadn’t changed much. Or when Robin started making appearances in the family photos. Finding the school pictures of Harry adorable in his uniform.

“Nialler!” Said man could hear the sound of his husband calling for him. ‘Just looking at photos.’ Hoping he was loud enough as he kept looking over the photos depicting every year of his husband's school life. And his older sister, looking back toward the kitchen seeing Harry in search of him.

“You were pretty cute.” Pointing at a couple pictures.

“Still am.” Getting a dimpled smile as Harry came up to him.

“Debatable.” Pointing at a few more pictures, as the man's arm was resting on his shoulder. Smiling since this was a part of Harry he didn't actually know much about or seen many pictures off. “Do you have just what's here?”

“No. These I think are all copies or what mum has at their actual country home. Where I grew up and stuff. So many photos.” Smiling at him as he pulled away from his arm moving down near the end.

“Hold on… This is our wedding photo. We don't even have a copy of this.” Laughing as Harry leaned in and looked at it too. “We look so stiff!” The brunette just agreed and pointed out their silly serious faces.

“We should give them the one from my phone. Or any other damn photo we have taken together since.” Turning to see the others face nodding thoughtfully. Taller on the move again, this time behind him wrapping his arms from behind best he could. The poke of his nose against the crook of his neck.

“Yeah or we could give them the picture from pride night.” Tanner man's voice was playful but Niall couldn't help but wonder if he was actually being serious.

“No way!” Trying to pull forward and get away but it was awkward with the crutches. “I want your family to like me. Not think I'm corrupting you or something.”

“They love you. Sometimes I think more then me.” Niall gave up trying to pull away and just huffed.

“We love you both. So get over here so we can eat.” Robin stood at the end of the hallway, it made Niall blush as he shook Harry off and they made there way down the hall. To the large table set with a huge Christmas feast.

The family was all here, Harry's parents and his sister who came in from overseas where she was working. With added grandparents and a few aunties and uncles the apartment was packed. Meeting so many of his husband’s extended family all at once was a bit overwhelming.

It was so odd to see how they came together wearing paper crowns from the Christmas poppers. Silly toys in each one. The styles were insanely typical, large family. The dynamic was interesting to see and it wasn't long before he was not just a fly on the wall but being included. The entire family was nothing less than inviting. Maybe it was because he had never really been part of a huge family but this was nice. With loud voices trying to speak over one another, making him laugh often, his cheeks were starting to hurt from smiling so hard.

“Hope they aren't too much.” Niall felt the warm breath against his ear as he turned a bit so he could face Harry a bit better, leaning in a bit to get to the man’s ear.

“They’re amazing.” Pulling back to see his husband’s beaming smile. “I love them.. I love you.” Saying quietly even with the noise of the room he knew the younger had heard him. Cupping his olive toned cheek getting a sweet kiss tasting the wine on his husbands lips. Getting a quiet ‘i love you’ back not noticing the sudden quiet around the table. Followed by ‘awe’s’ and groans, maybe they were being very gross in front of the family as he pulled away completely blushing a beet red.

It was a miracle that the large family found its way to the living room. Somehow Niall found himself on Harry's lap, crutches nowhere to be seen. Being told they could only open one gift under the tree which was handed out by Anne. Everyone opening up the packages making the room fill with the sound of rustling paper, pulling out variations of christmas and ugly holiday sweaters. Some had yelled out to put them on and take a group photo. Laughing at the mayhem of everyone trying to get into a picture. Thankfully Harry had them at the edge of the couch where no one could run into his knee.

Everyone from aunties and uncles to grandparents and even Harry had a phone or a camera they wanted to take a photo with. His husband's arms were wrapped securely around him, looking back at his smile and smiled too showing him his photographe smile. “Does this one work?” Turning back when one of the uncles was shouting for them to stop staring at eachother.

Sitting up straighter and tiling his head toward Harry's. Everyone holding it for as long as the could before people started giving each other bunny ears and making silly faces. Maybe this was a very large perk of marrying into a huge family. Photos taken and everyone talking and asking for tea or getting up to mess about with one another.

The blond couldn't stop himself. Playing with the awful Christmas tree sweater his husband was wearing. The silly way it flashed lights and had bells and pompoms glued to it. “Merry Christmas, love.” Blue finding green, not stopping himself from leaning in for a kiss.

Settling back against the younger's side and rested his head back on the man's shoulder. Listening to the stories from his new family. Feverish tales of christmas past that made them all laugh or stories of what it was like when the older group were younger. Making him thankful for what they had.

Near the end of the night he couldn't stop yawn after yawn. Hiding his face in Harry's neck as he tried not to hold one more in. Closing his eyes and not lifting his head back up. He was starting to get too tried to keep his eyes open.

“Ni…” The voice was soft and quiet against his ear. “Nialler...come on, let's get to bed.” Opening an eye just a crack to realize the dim light of the living room and the glow of the Christmas tree that was still on. Not even trying to make words and closing his eye again. ‘No.. I'm awake.’ but maybe it came out less clear than he thought.

That chuckle from harry was the type that shook the man's body and his own as he smiled trying not to find the amusement of him falling asleep after such an overwhelming night. “I think grandpa even stayed awake longer than you.”

Lifting his head a bit to look over at the snoring silver haired man. Glasses slid down his nose his cup half full, looking dangerously loose in his grip. “Shut up.” Sitting up straighter not daring moving his straight leg. Feeling the ache of staying without a brace to long. “Do you have my…” Looking around trying to spot the silver crutches after a bit of Harry’s direction one of his cousins finding them and bringing them back. Thanking them and saying good night, glad they didn’t have to still go home like so many others.

It took all his might not to fall asleep in the bathroom getting ready for bed, but as soon as he was propped up in bed he was awake.”Hey.. love” Watching the man’s shirtless self walk out, grinning at his less firm stomach from eating way too much. And the way he had his hair tied up. Licking his lips catching a green gaze, before realizing there was a reason why he called the man in.

“I know we said no gifts..” Getting a raise of an eyebrow holding up a finger as he turned to leave to finish brushing his teeth. Giving him a break before watching him walk back. “But I got something for you.”

Trying not to smile to hard when the man gave him an annoyed look. “Ni.. Seriously I thought we agreed no presents.” Pouting apologetically as he pointed under the bed.

“I know.. But you’ve been so amazing!” Trying to sound sorry but in his mind that's what he needed to do to show him he appreciated it. “And I really wanted to get you something..” Watching the man still not giving him a nice look as he pulled out the wrapped box from under the bed.’who helped you.’ Biting his lip watching the man pull it out and move around the bed still holding it. “Mum and a few others.”

Watching the man slowly start opening the smaller than a shoe sized box. “I mean you could actually hate it.” Blue’s nervously eyeing Harry’s face not even watching him unwrap but looking at his high cheek bones since he still wasn’t talking.

When Harry didn’t say anything once the wrapping had come undone it got him more than worried so what he would do to fix this is ramble. “If you hate it don’t worry we can return it.. But i did my research and got help from Louisa… she said it’s a really great quality and.. Oh and its really easy to learn on.” His husband’s face was still in a natural look. Turning it over in his hands and then opening the already opened box. Niall had made sure to get two batteries and an extra memory card. “Louisa said that that was her biggest issue was running out of space or power.. So i..” Swallowing thickly. “So I got an extra set.”

“I don’t know what to say..” The low voice of the englishman as he finally spoke, making Niall wish he had actually stayed quiet. Now he was worried he had picked a shitty present for him.

“Dont worry.. We can return it. I think.” Trying to lean forward and take the box holding the camera from the mans hands as he was smacked away. Frowning as he looked at him.

“I dont hate it.. Just why a camera?” Gem greens catching his eyes as he let his hands drop in his lap.

“Because I thought it would be something that you would enjoy doing. Other than reading and you seem so interested with Louisa when we go visit them. Just kind of an investment in our travels.. “ He was rambling again. “It's something you would have never bought yourself.” Hoping his voice sounded as honest as he was. Really putting a lot of thought into his gift. And really just not wanting to fall flat on his ass.

Eyes shifting down to the man who had the camera in his hands turning it around and popping in one of the batteries. Pressing it on as the screen came to life, Green eyes looking confused and calculated. “I wouldn’t have bought this for myself.”

That feeling of doubt creep back in, maybe he didn’t know his husband as well as he thought. “I know… I-” Maybe he could blame this on the painkillers again but he couldn’t stop that sinking feeling. Feeling pathetic as his eyes started to well up just a bit. Quickly trying to push away any wetness building. “Did I just ruin Christmas.”

His eyes were getting too teary for him to see Harry’s sudden wide eyed look. “What?” The bed dipped as Harry moved in, feeling the arm loop around his waist hand rubbing his arm. “Ni.. You Didn’t.” Just feeling so embarrassed that this was what was getting to him. But he had tried his best.

“I just was taken by surprise.” He couldn’t take the frown off his face though as he listened to the man. “Don’t be upset. It’s a great present. “

“But?” Niall had to add it in had to hear why this wasn’t the present the man wanted, yet again being pushed back by his own self doubt. It was something that over time felt more crippling than his knee was.

“But nothing Niall. I just keep being shocked by you.”

“What?” Turning his head up to him quickly trying to see if he was meaning this in a condescending way or in a nice way. Sometimes it was very confusing when Harry talked slow giving each word purpose.

“What I mean is. I still throws me off knowing you pick up on small things and you notice things that even I don’t.”

“If you don’t think I notice you. “ Watching the man shrug, as if they were talking about anything but their own relationship. “I mean you’re the only thing I notice.”

“It’s just.. I’m not use to this.” Pushing away a few wet spots under his eyes as he looked at the man’s downcast eyes. “You just fit.. And I don’t get it. Every day you’re finding new ways to impress me.” There was a pause like the man was going to continue but nothing else came out.

“I don’t do anything impressive. I’m just trying to keep up with you.” Smiling as the man moved to nudge into his chest, wrapping his arms around and untying the band from the curls letting them fall. Running his fingers into it. “So do you like it?” Switching to teasing know since it may have become obvious that the man liked it.

“Love it. I’m going to read the manual front to back.” That made the blond laugh. Pushing the man’s hair out of his way and kissed his forehead.

“Can we go to sleep now. You can read it tomorrow.” Since they had to still have breakfast with who ever stayed over in Harry’s family and then go to have dinner with Niall’s mum it was already making him sleepy as he stiffened a yawn.

It took a bit of movement till they were both in bed. Niall couldn’t wait till he could move again getting really sick of not being able to feel comfortable in one spot.

---

 

The marker for the end of the year was counted down on the glow of a t.v., lighting up the two sleeping forms on the couch. Not in a large dancing group, or at a party in fancy dress. Stripped of silly hats and noise makers. Just the low cheering from the speakers and the flash of fireworks out the window lighting the room with an array of colours. Neither shifted to welcome the New Year.

Green eyes shifted into focus at the noise of two people trying to ‘shh’ themselves as they entered. Looking down at the wall mounted clock to see it was past 2 in the morning. Watching them try to sneak past the living room and down the hall towards the bedroom. The thought of calling out to them to pretend to be an angry parent had crossed his mind. Letting them be as he waited to hear the door close.

Attention turning to the sleeping blond against his chest. Wiggling his toes on the leg trapped between the warm body and the couch. Trying to get it to stop the pins and needles. Eyes running up the figure under a small knitted blanket and head dropped to the side exposing the space on his neck. Leaving a path with his lips up along the narrow shoulder, passing cotton to skin up along the line towards his ear. “Love.” Whispering quietly against the back of his ear. Leaving a few more kisses once his man shift from his sleep.

“Happy New Year.” Talking quietly as he felt the blond wake up with a low noise of dissatisfaction. Mumbling something incoherent that pulled rose lips into a smile. Maybe it was odd, but that was now becoming one of Harry’s favorite things. The time between Niall sleeping and waking up. Where his eyes wouldn’t open the whole way, how his voice was low and cracked.

“ ‘appy new year.” It came out gruff and slow. The shift of the warm body against him, but not to get up but to get deeper against him. Chuckling quietly, running his hands along the man’s arms and up his hips. Trying not to laugh when he got a flinch for touching sensitive sides. “Nnnhh.” In effort to not keep up the touch he settled them back on his hips.

“Let’s move to bed ok?” There was a nod but no movement, Niall had found a way to fall asleep again just while he was talking. “Or i’ll tickle you.” That got a groan and he finally shifted forward leaving cool air between them.

“What time is it?” His blond sounded still half asleep as he shifted a bit but didn’t get up. It was enough though for him to move out behind him where he had been trapped by the arm of the couch and his husband’s body. Moving to grab his crutches quickly and stood beside him stretching.

“Just after 2.” They were in such a low glow from the tv, but it was enough for him to meet the shorters gaze. ‘Shit.. we slept right through the countdown.’ “Yeah.” Only just watching the other sort himself and get up. Following into bedroom after him. Turning off the tv as they went and then heading straight to bed.

 

Morning came quicker than he had wanted. Wide awake before anyone else in the house, it had been a struggle to pull himself from his bedmate so early. But New Year, new goals as he spent the morning working out then back up to shower and get breakfast made. It was strange to be the only one up, usually his parents were up around the same time. And Niall normally getting up with him but the blond was still tucked in bed from trying to stay up later than 10.

It gave him time to reflect, it felt like in the past month he hadn’t had much time to think about anything. From Niall being in hospital to work, and then moving in with his parents. It was strange like they had taken a huge step forward and then jumped back now living with his family. But there was no way he would have any peice of mind if they had stayed alone.

The holidays had snuck up on him so when it came time he really wasn’t ready. Having to grab a bit of help from his mum for presents and even then he hadn’t gotten Niall anything since the man had said no presents. As he sat at the table with the said present manul in his hands. Always the type to sit down and make sure he understood it before jumping into it. Very unlike his spontaneous husband, who had had a hard time at first. So much so that actually scared Harry a lot. Feeling like he had pressured the man into something that he had been so scared of. But that had blown over so quickly now that he was just thinking of how well Niall had fit with his family and kept up with everyone and the chaos that came with his family

His mind was in deep throught as he tried to focus on the last few pages of the camera's manual. Not hearing the soft clicks of crutches so it caught him off guard when his husband's hand was touching against the nape of his neck. Harrys hair tied back in a bun leaving his neck exposed for cool fingers. Shivering as he dropped the booklet and looked up at the sleepy man’s messy blond hair. “Hey.” His eyes were dreamy as fingers rubbed his ear.

“Morning sleepy head. Want breakfast?” His husband just nodded his head and moved away abandoning his contact. Watching him sit down and yawn loudly.

“Can’t believe we fell asleep like old men. Harry.. Are we getting old?” It made him laugh as started warming up a pan.

“Niall we aren’t even close to 30. We’re not old, just tired.” Which even with all the sleep they both had been getting this past month it felt like they both needed a change of pace. “I think the move is going to be really good.”

“Yeah, should be nice to get out of the city. Really just focus on recovery.” Even with the twice a week visits from the Physio It seemed not to be doing as much as maybe every day could. With really limited movement he could see the man getting more frustrated after each session.

“I think if I come home and I can do stairs without to much help after two months it will be so worth being away from our bed.. “ The rest of the morning had gone that way, quietly talking and getting more and more excited to leave the hub of London.

--

Their suitcases had been packed, and they had loaded up the car quickly only taking a few things like pillows and warm jackets with Harry’s nice suites. It had been exciting, with Niall in charge of music and Harry running into the shops to grab some road snacks. All ready for a day of driving toward the smaller city their new home for the next 2 months.

And for the first few hours it had gone smoothly, passing a few places and stopping for a wee and to fill the tank. Easy driving down the highway, Harry could feel the blonds hand in its usual spot every now and then. Thanking him for being the one to drive the entire way.

Harry had just pulled into the petrol station for their last scheduled pit stop, making good time and hitting light traffic. So they at the most had an hour left in the drive, as he stood filling the tank shivering in the cold the only thing between his skin and the outside being a hoodie. The small town they stopped in as cute but quiet. As he looked around at the midday sky. Climbing in and handing over a bag of cadbury chocolate buttons to the blond who smiled cheekily.

“I bet you couldn’t do the rest of the drive without the satnav.”

It took him by surprise as he puffed his chest. “Nialler, there’s nothing I can’t do.” Not yet attempting to turn on the car as he watched the blue eyed man get a challenging smile.

“I bet you.. One blowjob, that you will get utterly lost without it.” With odds like that even if he did win it worked out for him either way. As he winked getting out of the car again and running back in toward the shelf filled with maps of the country. Grabbing one that seemed like the right one. Paying and heading back out for the second time, as he jumped into the drivers.

“If we are doing this you are directing me i can’t drive and read the map.” Tossing the map at him as he started up the car and turned off the navigation system. Yet what he thought and what actually was happening where two different things. Even if he liked the idea of throwing caution into the wind, his overly prepared sense of self starting to nag at him.

They had made it back onto the M6 with no issues, but once on the highway that was the only smooth part. Construction had backed up traffic. “There has to be a faster way.”

“Dont worry I got the map. Let’s give it a look.” Looking over to watch the man struggle with opening it up and that should have been his first clue the man wasn’t sure. Getting the map pushed his way to show him what way they were going. “See will just go around this and head to the other side of the city, not enter in this way. Doesn’t even look like will lose any time.”

It didn’t take long for this strange worried feeling to start. “You sure this is the right way?” Speaking up as they had driven for about 30 minutes once off the highway. Looking around desperately trying to figure out where they were. Looking over at Niall once they hit a stop sign.

“Yeah pretty sure. Just keep driving the next turn we make will lead us up past a few more small towns and will be back up on a main road.” Looking down at his husband’s hand that squeezed his leg. “I got you babes.”

Harry had to stop himself from rolling his eyes as he breathed out and kept driving down. After taking the turn his blond had insisted was the right one he was starting to get frustrated. With the pain in his ass from sitting and the stop go of the car from having to drive along the backroads of the countryside. To say it was starting to get to him was an understatement and it really took a lot for him to get this frazzled.

“Niall. Are you sure we are heading the right way. Seriously please tell me so we can backtrack before the sun goes down.” There was a strain in his voice that even he could hear, a tension that he never really had in front of Niall.

“Love. Calm down, seriously I know what I’m doing. We are almost to the last turn, minutes really, and it will take us through this small town and up into the M53 and right into the other side of the city.” Minutes to Niall must have been different for Harry as he gripped the steering wheel and scanned the road around them there was nothing but farmland and a few barns. No turning intersection that he could remember in the past 20 minutes they kept going down. Lush greenery along the sides of the road slowly building up the longer they drove, giving the road a darker then actual appearance, having to turn on his lights. There quick detour of half and hour had turned into a mess of driving for well over an hour.

“Ok. Fuck! Niall where are we? There hasn’t been this magical turn you said I’d be taking.” His hand was up off the wheel to point out at the vast nothingness but the winding road and trees. Rustling of the paper map and the low mumble of Niall talking the route out to himself.
“Come on Ni. Its starting to get fucking dark out.” Even with that he could already feel his usually calm head building in a temper. Not having taken a tone like this since they had spent two weeks in the most awful stalemate of a fight.

“I have eyes Harry. More than well aware of the light.” The blond had snapped back, he had actually been shocked by how angry it was making him. The impact of their situation sending him into a stressful state, not knowing if they were going to be lost now in the middle of actual nowhere. But the idea of turning back and going all that way back to the M6 was the most heart dropping feeling. Brunette not knowing what was the worst of the two options now.

“Great. Look where you’ve gotten us. At a bloody damn dead end!” It actually wasn’t, it had become a 3 way. But the turn left had been up along a low river. Not even giving the blond a second to figure it out as he snapped. “Is that a river? Where are we Niall can you not figure this out?”

“Yelling isn’t going to help me find the route! So calm down.” It wasn’t till the blond was raising his voice did he realize he had been getting loud. Pulling up along the side of the road now running along the river and put the car in park.

“Give me the map. Since you can’t manage a map.” His anger and creeping feeling that he was so lost and had no way of knowing where they actually could be. Lost in some country side county that he couldn’t have possible known, not even his usual prepped self could figure this out.

“Why are you being such a dick?! Just leave it for a second let me find where we are.” Turning to watch the blond who’s cheeks were now super red and his brows furrowed together. Light blues looking dark in the low light. ‘Give it here.’ Impatient now that he wasn’t getting the result he wanted, he didn’t know what was coming over him. “Harry if you’re going to freak, turn on the damn satnav.”

Not caring about their damn bet now as he moved to start the system. With the voice of the box repeating. “Calculating.” By the 5th time, he pulled out his phone and checked. Running a frustrated hand over his face as he hucked his phone into the back seat. “Do you have any signal.”

Turning to see the fair skinned man pull out his phone pressing it on and giving him this look of sudden defeat. “Mines got nothing.” Not wanting to accept the man’s apologetic look as he just shook his head trying to grab the map being met with resistance. “Harry.” He couldn’t stop himself from just yanking the paper from his husbands hands and trying to make sense of it, though his eyes couldn’t even deturm where they were and it in his frustrated state is just made him more angry.

“How could you have gotten us this lost! Actually so fucking backwards and lost!” That wasn’t fair of him and he could already feel it.

“I was doing the best I could.. This is suppose to be fun.” Hearing the hurt in the olders voice and taking in the confused and angry expression hoping it wasn’t a mirroring of his own.

“Useless is what this is.” Barking it out before throwing open the door angrily trying to unbuckle himself.

“What are you doing?” Niall’s voice sounded worried and lost like this was the stupidest reason to get angry about.

“Stretching my damn legs. Maybe I’ll avoid getting lost.” Pushing himself out of the car, Hearing the man yell out ‘PRICK’ just before his door slammed, which had him more pissed since he didn’t get in the last word. Stomping off in a strop trying to release the pressure in his chest. Kicking a shrub letting out a frustrated shout.

--

The word left his mouth without him even thinking about it as he felt the cold from outside hit him while the door was slammed shut. Watching his husband storm off. The sudden freak out had caught him off guard, his feelings only a touch hurt that the man was so angry with getting lost. Really not understanding what had caused it but too shocked to be upset .

Only hearing a muffled version of him letting out a loud yell, he had a weird husband. Deciding this wasn't the time to freak out and get upset with how Harry had yelled at him. Taking back the map and smoothing it out. This was how he earned his keep, by keeping a cool head.

He was a fine with maps, how else had he been able to travel without the aid of them. Tracking back and seeing where he had led them wrong. From the looks of it he had just over shot them nothing for Harry to lose his cool over. As he sat and waited, not able to jump out and help calm down his husband.

Niall waited till Harry was back in the car before only talking about the map. “So I figured where we are. Just keep heading down the road. Should take is to a small town that will lead us to the M53.” Keeping his voice even not bothering to look at Harry who was staring right at him.

“Ni i’m-”

“Just drive Harry.” This may have been cruel but he was still annoyed the man had gotten this angry about getting lost. If the brunette was going to be a jerk so was Niall even if that was petty.

Driving in a defining quiet, for a few minutes. “Can't believe you. Do you really not trust me?” Finally asking as he looked over at the driver's side to Harry whose eyes were on the road.

“That's not it.” Seeing a flash of jade green.

“What is it then? Leaving me in the damn car knowing I can't even run after you. You were acting like a real cunt Harry.” Maybe that was a bit harsh but he was more angry the man had freaked out.

“Yeah I know.” At least the tattooed man wasn’t arguing against him. “I just lost it.. I wasn’t in control of what was going on.”

“So you want control? These was meant to be fun.” Folding the map a bit so he could put it down on his lap.

“But what if something had happened? Huh? What if we got so lost and the car broke down or we ran out of petrol.” The slow realization had started to settle in.

“Harry did you panic?” Trying to hide any kind of amusement since this went from being the most irritating thing to maybe a bit funny. Feeling the the man was in his shoes.

“No. of course not, I just got really worried.” It was enough for Niall since he was well aware of his husband’s need for control. Since he was the carefree one, the one use to just going with it and seeing what happened.

“Right.” Blinking as he realized the car was slowing as he looked at Harry. “What’s up?” Confused but there was hard to read the man’s look as he put the car in park again.

“Well you won.” That confused him as he finally met green eyes.

“Won what?” Feeling confused since that was the farthest thing from his mind. Sitting back as he watched Harry unbuckle and lean over the center. Deep rose lips crashing against his, being caught in a feverish kiss. Gasping against his mouth when the younger's hand started palming him through his pants. This would be a way better apology.

Finally catching his breath as the curly haired man moved his head down, his hand gripping a first full of hair. Whining in protest when the man was trying to slip him out of his pants. Doing his best to shift his hips.

Locking his gaze on the green eyed man as he groaned feeling the run of a hot tongue along the side of his cock. “H-Harry.” All thoughts of them being caught really gone out the window since no care had passed them in quite a few kilometers.

Skilled mouth felt so good bobbing up and down his hard member. Eyes lost on sharp cheekbones and hollowed cheeks, feeling the wet pressure around his cock. It could have been from the lack of intimacy, only having given Harry a few handjobs that past month a very far cry from their usual antics. At least that was what he was going to blame it on since he was already getting close.

“Babe.” Trying to get out the warning, but that seemed to encourage the man further as he felt him pick up his pace, trying to keep himself from bucking up against the mouth as that familiar pull from behind his bellybutton became so intense. Husband working his orgasm out of him as he groaned loudly with a shutter filling his lovers sweet mouth with his seed. Dropping his head back against the headrest and caught his breath. “Fuck. That was worth getting lost for.”

Listening the breathy laugh of the other as he cleared his throat righting himself and started the car back up. Finally looking over to see the dumbest smile on his husbands lips. If they had to fight he was glad this became the outcome.

This had turned into a very calm drive the rest of the way, actually finding their way quickly and getting to their new home away from home. Pulling up to the drive in, with the sky dark. Niall had never been so happy to get out of a car and stretch, even if it was freezing cold outside.

Waiting for Harry to finally get in with their bags, deciding to thank him for driving and doing all the lifting with a long makeout session in their new front hallway. Finding it more amusing than anything. Suddenly with a loud voice calling out ‘I won!’ Against Harry’s lips before pulling away, pumping a fist in the air.

Making his way down the hall trying to see their new place, getting arms around the middle stopping him. “Hey, I’m really sorry about earlier.” Just rolling his blue eyes as he nodded, trying to pat his husband’s head.

“We all have shit days.. Gods know I’ve had my share lately.” Trying to turn his face a bit to catch anywhere he could with his lips. “Like I said, I got's you babe.” Nudging him with his shoulder to get him to move. “Now lets eat, I’m so hungry.”

Chapter Text

The hour was early, too early for someone use to sleeping in. Too early for making oats in the small one level home. Still getting use to where everything was in the kitchen. Pale hands stirring the pot of bubbling mush standing in two layers of pants and claimed hoodie of his partners. The lack of morning sun really making the room cozy in the warm hue of the stove light.

Since Niall didn’t have to be formally dressed he offered to make something, his go to being warm oatmeal. Now regretting this decision as he awkwardly hopped around to grab the bowls. Watching it goop out and lay heavy at the bottom. Groaning as he set the pot back down and moved to carry one bowl at a time to the table. Settling down at the small table to see his husband walk out in a very nice suit and hair out of his face.

“I wish breakfast looked as good as you.” Giving a cheeky smile getting a nervous one back in response and the man sat down across. Not covering his frown very well, getting a peek of green when the man’s eyes lifted to his.

“Not your best, but it’s not burnt?” Offered his younger husband, making him laugh and roll his eyes to look away. As they threw a few things like frozen berries or some honey. Harry being the strange one and putting in protein powder which niall declined instantly. It was going to be a pretty big day, Harry was to be sitting on a board of lawyers from his firm representing the team, listening to a few old and new players and settling on new contracts.

As much as Niall wanted to say he was worried for Harry he wasn’t, he didn’t have to worry about his husband. The man may have been acting like he was nervous but as soon as it came down to working he would do a great job.

It was himself that he was worried about, starting the first day at the training facility thankfully near one another. But while his husband would be dotting i’s and crossing t’s he would be trying to regain his mobility. The hard part of the recovery was still about to come. Hoping beyond hope that this would really fast pace where he wanted to be and get him further faster.

Trying to hurry up and eat so they could leave, even though he wouldn’t be there for the entirety of the day he would actually get to go with Harry for the first time in what seemed like forever. A step closer to normalcy.

The dark morning cold, making him long to be back in the house. Even with the heavy parka it didn’t seem enough to combat the ocean side cities breezy morning. Taking the chance to blast the heat and turn on the seat warmer, visibly shivering as he looked over at the man in the sweater and peacoat. Emerald eyes locked on him, softening when they met keeping contact till they were face to face laughing as he received a few pecks all over his face and not on his waiting lips. Catching deep rose toned lips against his own, feeling the heat from the man filling him up. Resting a cold fingertips on a smooth cheek trying not to chuck to happily when the man shivered on the contact.

Niall had found a way to read his husband now, it was becoming second nature to know when he needed light hearted ramble or silence and this morning felt like the man needed to stay concentrated. Looking over to see the man’s face looking older than he was, maybe looking older than Niall himself. Making him bite his lip, but soon the thought was chased away with a sudden smile. ‘Do I have something on my face?’

Shaking his head before realizing the man was to concentrated on the road. “No” Not stopping himself from reaching out and matching the smile. Loving how the man smiled and the way he would lean into his hand when pale fingers seeked a loose curl. Though the last time they were in a long car ride it had turned into the most useless fight. He wished they could stay like this longer instead of having to park and head inside.

Not needing the taller to walk him in but he took it gladly, the feeling was short lived as the man called out. “Don’t let the other kids pick on you.” Groaning and flipping him two fingers over his shoulder.

Breaking the day into two sections; morning before lunch he had physio which had him stretching which had every part of him moving from his upper body to hips, toes and leg. Not overly so, of course just warming up, slowly making progress.

Not expecting to be in so much pain by the time lunch had hit. Thankful for the break where he sat in a common area eating left overs and icing his now very angry knee. Texting Harry who was on a short meal break before they had to be back, not enough time for him to join him.

Second half of the day would be done with a trainer to help strengthen not only his arms but as much as he could do core wise. As soon as his knee was moving with more flexibility and ease it would be onto leg work like swimming and biking.

Niall had never felt so quiet on there way home, even with Harry trying to cox out anything from him all he could muster was one word answers. So tired with the creeping pain in all his muscles including the stabbing pain in his knee. Getting to their new place, wishing Harry’s parents weren’t away taking in a short vacation. Selfishly wanting them to be making dinner and doing anything around the house and keep his husband all to himself in bed curled up with ice packs everywhere.

Through dinner he was non stop yawns. Feeling exhausted from the day, finally just pushing the last half of his meal away waiting for Harry to finish. Pointing toward the living room. “Want to?” He had asked quietly while he watched the man take another bite and nod, he had that cute crease in his brow as he reached over and ran his thumb between even brows to smooth. Feeling the motion pull at all his angry unused muscles.

Asking if they could just put on something and sit on the couch for an hour or so before doing whatever else they had to do for the night. It was there he sighed heavily, positioned right up against the man’s side head on his shoulder. “I don’t want to go back tomorrow.” Speaking quietly and feeling a sudden sense of hopelessness.

“Why not?” He could even hear the way the man’s brows had furrowed and how he shifted to get a better look at him. Blues looking up in the dim lighting wondering if it showed how scared he was feeling again.

“I’m in so much pain. Just after the first day.. It just hit hard how intense this is going to be.. What if i can’t do it.” Hand reaching over to rest on a trim stomach flat against the fabric.

“You can. I know that already, first day is always going to be rough right?” The larger hand was running over his hair in a smoothing motion. Calming him only enough not to freak out completely.

“But I’ve got so far to go.. They think I’ll be so much further in 3 weeks then I think most can do in 3 months.. That can’t be possible.” Of course it was, he was taking off his last term of school to dedicate every second of the next 2 months to this. They rehabilitated all of the greats back into top form in the off season. Even having players back in the same playing season.

“The pain is good.. You have feeling that’s always the scary part. But they won’t push you farther than what you’re willing to go. So if you say it’s enough it is. I think you’re going to do great.. It’s ok to be worried.” It couldn’t have been the words he used because really he knew everything Harry was saying. But it was the way the man said it, with an ease and confidence like he had all the belief in him. Still feeling bad but maybe not as hopeless. “Enough being quiet, love. You don’t have to talk just when you feel happy. You can tell me anything even if your scared. I can handle this.. Because I know one day you’ll do the same for me if I need you.”

It was enough to get him to realize he was holding too much in again, nothing more to say though then to ask if they could shower and sleep. He liked how the man’s body wrapped around his, how his confidence always grew the more clothes he shed. Thankful for the moments they spent in bed together. Finally realizing he hadn’t really been listening to Harry on the way home. Asking again how his day was and actively listening and feeling relieved the man had had a successful day. Ready to take on the rest of the week as long as he had his curly haired husband at his side.

----

The first week had gone by in a flash hiccups in the days like Niall breaking down from how much pain his knee was in falling asleep trying not to be upset but with Harry watching he couldn’t help but feel his heartbreak at the sound of him trying to even his breath through waves of pain. With very little he could do since the blond had insisted that he wanted to be on the least amount of pain meds.

Work had been easy for the first few days, but that had easily turned into a mess of players lawyers trying to negotiate contracts. Many players wanting one thing and the league wanting something else all together. It was tiring doing individual contacts up and figuring out who was entitled to what.

Work felt like it was wearing him out, and to come home and see his husband so visibly in pain he couldn't bring up how much he was hating this part of his job. Or that he would much rather be spending it helping Niall the best he could. But in the end this was the best he could do for him. The best way to support him.

The weekend had him feeling less tense, even with a stop to the gym the day was getting better and better. But how he found himself in a bar with a few of the trainers was all thankful to his smooth talking blond who wasn’t drinking but talking to a younger woman who worked with both of them that very morning. She had a trim waist and blond hair, and kept darting her eyes at a man standing near Harry.

Taking a sip of his beer just listening to everything around them. Loud voices talking and the sound of music being played over the hum of a match on a flat screen. It was a nice hum of noise, just enough to put his worries away or his doubt in the work he was doing. Looking over to see Niall crutch over to him. Smiling when an arm wrapped around his shoulder and a kiss pressed into his cheek.

“Having fun?” The voice was against his ear and hand against his neck, leaning into the touch and turning to smile. ‘Yeah, it’s nice to get out.’ Having a good time, and actually just enjoying watching his husband interact outside of their home where two different things. Kissing his ear since he was actually quite proud of the work Niall had been putting in, already getting an easier movement in the week then the entire time at home.

Grateful that the man’s worry had lessened, as he let his hand wander up under the jumper he wore and stroked the curve of his lower back. Mischievous grin playing across his lips when the other flinched as his chilled fingers from the cold beer. Even in a room full of people he couldn’t help but have his attention taken by the only blond he cared to look at in the room.

Night air seeping into thick layers only added to the urgency to be home. Happy that the coast city lacked snow but still cold when the wind would pick up. Thankful that they lived only blocks away from the pub, yet even he couldn’t hold back the shiver that went through him. Moving in behind the beanie wearing man wrapping arms around him as he waited for the door to be unlocked. “Comeoncomeon” Teeth chattered getting a laugh in response and a hushed. ‘Okok’

Satisfying click of the door as they shuffled in, trying his best not to knock into a silver crutch. The house was warm and with the door closed behind him it was peaceful, lights being switched on as he pulled off his jacket, hanging up both of their coats looking over to catch wind blown cheeks and a red nose from the cold. Unable to stop the grin as the blond revealed his hair and how it stood up in all sorts of directions from where he sat taking of his shoes.

Honestly he couldn’t stop himself, once his own shoes where off, he took the few steps to stand beside the sitting man. Long fingers pushing into fluffy blond hair, stroking it back not overly focused on taming the puff but to get it off the man’s face.“What do you want.” Irish accent coming off more playful than serious.

Meeting blue eyes when Niall had tipped his head back to look up. Shaking his head with a quiet “nothing.” Taking the chance to still his hand and cup the back of his head and lean in for a kiss. The press of a cold nose against his cheek had him wondering if his felt the same, face warming as they kiss dragged on, slow long pressing of lips.

Harry hadn’t meant for this to turn into a make out session but he wasn’t complaining when they finally parted his cheeks were warm and his smile goofy. Maybe he hated how much the blond made him smile, it was unreal how easy it became to forget everything he was worried about when he was with Niall.

It didn’t take much for Niall to convince him that being in the living room with the fireplace on was the best idea. No other light in the room but from the licks of flames in the hearth. Enjoying there last night fully alone before his mother arrived.

Finding an odd way to stay close to Niall, going from hands pulling one another in for a kiss or to talk quietly. Feeling light with the sound of his husbands voice, serious words about nothing serious and silly laughs of random jokes. It was such a shift of having to plan for work and be thinking steps ahead. Genuinely being captured in the moment of pure happiness and trying to accept that this was his life now seemed to always catch him off guard. Sure they would have there problems and small fights. But they were becoming more rare as he felt fully devoted to his man.

Only embers kept a warm hot hue over the darkening room. Having found themselves again in their favorite place to fall asleep. The house was peaceful and dark by the time they gathered enough energy to head to bed. Settling into his usual spot covers pulled basically over his head where he rested on Niall’s chest, listening to him breathing already back asleep.

--

Rhythmic sounds of feet making contact with the noise of the treadmill motor filling the nearly empty training room. The morning was the same usual cocktail of rain, wind and dark clouds. The sun seemed to be struggling to brighten the dark days of winter. Blue eyes not leaving the sight of runner taking long strides and in one effortless motion his shirt was off and slung over the side. Revealing a shine of sweat and lean muscles tight in the effort to keep good form.

Black mats cool at the touch, leg bent at the knee without much pressure applied it still made it easier to reach forward and tie up the training sneaker. Though the motion was laxed since more attention was being paid to the man in short running shorts. Taking his time getting ready as he slowly moved to the next shoe.

This had taken weeks to get this motion, still unable to put any weight down, but it was getting easier to work around that. Every day was a step closer to being stronger and having more motion. Licking his lips as he watched the man step from the treadmill, turning his body so he got a great view of his back side whilst he picked up the shirt that had fallen to the ground.

Leaning back onto his elbows as he tried to look cool where he sat. “Shame I’m a married man.” Calling out once he saw ear buds dangle from the man's hand. Seeing a brunette head whip over to him, eyes narrowed and the way hips sauntered over to him.

“Such a shame. But did you come with me at this unruly time to help me work out or to drool over me?” The talker's voice was so husky with the need for a deep breath.

“Can I not do both?” Drinking in the site as he wiped his face clean with the towel resting near his now shoe clad feet. Dropping it and pulling on the shirt again. Frowning at the lack of skin he couldn’t see.

“Clearly not. Come on, i need motivation.” Hands free from the headphones and water bottle, raising a brow at the tattooed leg stepping over him, and legs lowered to sit on his hips. Trying to wrap his arms around the sweaty man's waist but was stopped by two strong hands grabbing his wrists.

Pulling himself up just enough to push into the brunettes space and capture his lips, even if his face was sweaty. Laying back, with dark rose’s following soft pink in the attempt to regain contact.

“Your suppose to be helping. Arms?” Voice vibrating against his lips while he just hummed in response and nudged his lips up against the others again wanting more. “Hey, I don't get the luxury of being here all day.” His tone had Niall grinning as he knew that the other didn’t have that much time. But it really didn’t bother him if he got to kiss him before he had to leave.

Trying his best not to smile to bright . “Luxury that’s what we call this. I work very hard.” Trying to pull his hand out of the grasps of the tattooed man.

“Didn’t say you didn’t. Just got a limited time.” Lips were back on his finally letting him go as he nudged the man in the stomach and pulled his lips away. Hearing a degected groan at the finger poking him.

“Do your arms if you must. I'll watch.” Grinning up at the mans messy bun. Hands up on his sides to hold him there trying to push him off.

“i'll just do them here.” Tilting his head up at him confused as the man looked down between them. “Move your legs babe.” Doing as he was told as it slowly dawned on him when the man's legs straightened the best they could around his. And his arms came up beside his shoulders.

“H-harry.” But he was silenced by a peck. And a quiet ‘one.’ Watching him lift up and then come back down getting another peck and joining in by saying “two.” By ten he was laughing to hard to keep counting, this was so weird. Putting his hands up so he could catch the man's hips trying to keep them from going up. Basically he was now working against the man's idea of arm day.

“Don’t think you’re doing it properly.” Commented a trainer on his way to the back room. The second to arrive that morning, making Niall blush hotly. ‘Hi Dave.’ Calling out in unison as the man passed. It was embarrassing but really the trainers had to be use to it by now after almost 4 weeks of training and seeing the two together whenever they could. It wasn’t uncommon to see Niall eye fucking the shit out of Harry. But really it could be from what blow jobs and handys could not satisfy now.

Finally getting out from under his husband, putting a bit of space between them so he could go back to just watching him. It wasn’t long before he was up getting a good bye and a see you after. As he was off to shower and leave for work. Getting up once Harry was gone and getting into his usual day routine, it hadn’t changed much since they got there.

--

Saturday on the end of their 4th week on the coastal city, Niall was sat after a massive lunch made by Harry's mother who had picked what they had on the telly. Nothing to exciting as he took his usual stop, but with Harry's legs over his lap and the laptop out trying to figure out a way back from london.

“Harry you're going to be exhausted.” Chiming in as he looked over from the phone in his hand to see the man still trying to figure out flights.

“Doesn’t really matter does it. I want to be back on friday night.. Its bad enough I’ll be gone, but I’ll be away from everyone on my Birthday.. “ He wasn’t far from the truth, Harry's dad was coming the next day to spend the week while Harry was gone. And his mother would be here as well. So really Harry would be back in london actually staying at there place. Flying out sunday night and looking to find some way to not fly back Saturday but anyway to be here earlier.

“Love, it's fine really. Don’t worry about it, I didn’t even plan anything or buy you a present so it gives me some more time to do both.” Grinning since it was the truth he hadn’t had enough time to since he spent all his free time with Harry.

“You don’t have to. Just would rather spend it with you.” There was the sound of typing and suddenly. “Oh! I'm an idiot. I'm going to take a train then... “

“Harry you won't be home for hours then.” Piping in but it clearly was no use. ‘Booked.’ Patting his legs that were over his lap and shook his head. Going back to whatever they were doing before the man had been so impatient in finding a faster way back. Leaning over dramatically, trying to get the man's attention now, pushing the laptop closed. “Oh you're done.” Grinning as he got the man's attention and his usual raised brow. ‘Looks like it.”

It was early the next morning, too early for a sunday. Anne had just left to pick up Harry's dad, after insisting that they stay home. Deciding to help make breakfast the best he could. Glad that the man would be there to keep Anne company since he felt quite bad that they were gone all day and he couldn’t spend much time with her like he was in December. Somehow though she kept busy and was always out doing her own thing, so he guessed he didn’t have to worry too much.

Both perking up at the sound of Robin's voice at the door when they got back, getting a big hug each. It was really nice to see his husbands step dad again, he was really funny. And really Harry was so fond of the man and he could see why.

Their morning breakfast ended in loud talking, getting excited to watch the football match down at the pub. The league team Harry was working for, the one that the city had its team colours decorated in every shop window. Playing at noon, maybe it had been a bit of a push. But Niall had been the one to suggest that they watch the teams matches and keep up with how they were doing. Just because it seemed like the right thing to do, being in the city of the team. Dressed in red jerseys under heavy coats. Walking down to the closest pub to them.

It still boggled his mind as long as he had lived in England that they had just single team pubs, that you had to be a fan to be in. Trying to ignore the sub culture as they got there already a pack of the trainers from the center. Waving at them as they got in. Everyone settled in, loud voices talking over each other. Having a spot on the side table close enough to hear the announcers but not to close that he wouldn’t be too focused on the match.

Spot beside him filling up once Harry was back with three pints and a water. “I got laughed at for getting that. So you're getting your next one.” The englishman winked at him as he sat down. Putting his arm around the man's waist and laughed. ‘Fine fine.’ Taking his water, he missed the casual act of drinking so badly. Not realizing that he was missing that aspect of being out so much.

Settling down once the team was being shown running out onto the pitch in there away white kits, looking away when they did the zoom of players standing in line during the anthem. Hand going up to tuck a curl behind his ear. Maybe it was dumb but he still got jealous, watching Harry's eyes flick around the pub quickly before leaning in and getting a really quick peck. Since no one was watching, making him have to use all his might to not smile too hard.

It had been quite typical, everyone focused on the match not many voices heard other the announcers and the sound of a beer being set down. Errupting in a roar of cheering following another goal, the match had been very exciting. It may have been a bit hard to admit but number 25 on the defence was playing a great game. They were up by 2 and the team was playing their best of the season. There were shouts of “Get it boys!” Down on the other side of the bar, older fans getting fired up over the chase of another goal. The room was a tizzy watching the blurry white ball soaring through the air, cheers and shouts as it hit the back of the net. Clinking of glasses being tapped and counters being banged on in celebration, it would take a miracle for the team in light blue to catch up even if they got a goal back.

With 10 minutes left and no way they would extend game play, it had everyone already celebrating. Though the boys in blue where putting on the pressure trying to fight there way to at least one goal. The room went silent, and Niall could feel his palms getting sweaty in anticipation. Elbows on the table and hands together chewing on his thumb nail, but everyone seemed to be in the same state. Watching the mess of blue and speckles of white trying to defend their goal. Sudden shouts of “He went down”.” Ya’see that!.” “Common ref!” The ball was back in the white kitted teams possession but as it was driven down to the other side of the pitch clearing the view of a player on the ground. With a few running up beside, the game was stopped when they didn’t get up. Watching the teams lead trainer leaving the bench area.

No one really made a noise but everyone was up on their feet in some illusion it would make them see better. He didn’t need to see the close up on the jersey to know who was down. Large 25 facing upward, with the front being face down.

An eerie quiet settled as they watched the recap, large screens showing from a better angle the players charging and the jockey to get to the ball. “Looks like Tomlinson got the run to meet the ball and was caught by Agüero’s chase here. There you can see them colid.” Watching the way the players collided and how Louis top went forward but his hip the other way. How he just went down to the ground and didn’t make a move to get up just holding his leg face down on the turf.

“Agüero looks like he just shooked it off. Let's go back to real time and check what’s happened.” The scene was unreal, watching them carry the man off the pitch and he was gone. Listening to people genuinely upset and the announcers were back. “And looks like a bad call from the ref not even a yellow card. Replacement running in for the last few minutes of the match.” But now the pub patriants were getting angry at the call. “Poor Call ref.” Like the man could hear them through the tv. Taking the second to acknowledge Harry whose arm was around his shoulder, comforting him. Looking over and talking quietly. “You ok?” Asking his curly haired husband before he could speak first. ‘Yeah, you?’ Maybe he could put past his jealousy because the man was a great player and to see anyone go down that hard and be carried off was a scary thing to see. But it was worse knowing you'd seen him around, maybe he wasn’t the nicest but there wasn’t anything that he should hold a grudge against. “Sure. Just hope he’s ok.”

There hung an odd somber tone since they had won, but with the player being taken off was enough to even sober a seasoned fan. Looking around at the trainers who worked with these guys daily just give a few fist pumps for winning but all worried since they knew every team member. Just hoping with everyone that they would see Louis at the center the next day. Heading back with Harry’s parents back to theirs trying to get any last moment he could with his husband.

Chapter Text

Parting at the airport was sad, deciding to just drop him off rather than park and go in. As Niall got out of the car watching Harry pull his bag out of the boot and leaving it on the sidewalk and stepping over. Trying not to be too awkward staying in one spot waiting taking the short freedome from the crutches. Watching as the man closed the back and came up arms wrapping around his middle, throwing his own around his neck. This was lame but he didn’t want to let go. “It’s 5 days babe.” Pale hand petting the back of a messy curls. Feeling the nod against his neck, but he was really not ready to part.

“I know.”

The whisper was quiet and sweet, as he pulled away just enough to cup the man’s cheeks getting a kiss, then another. “I’ll miss you.” against soft lips and cool noses. Wishing that today had been longer, that they didn’t have to part.

“Come on boys, Harry’s leaving for 5 days! Not going to war. Get a move on.” That got them both laughing, as Niall pouted still and looked up. “Love you. Text me when you land.”

“Your number’s first on my list.” Getting a wink as the man gave him one last hug before pulling away to grab his bag, Niall’s hand already up in a wave thinking that it was time for him to leave. Watching the man come back one last time giving him a long kiss. “Love you to babe.”

Keeping eyes glued on the man till he could no longer see him past the doors of the airport. Trying not to feel like it but already dreading the week without his husband. Getting driven back by Harrys dad at least he had his husband's parents to spend time with. That still didn’t stop him from excusing himself to talk to Harry on the phone till the late hours. Feeling restless without his heater beside him.

 

Waking up to an empty bed and his phone beside him. Trying to open his eyes against the blinding light as he tried to stop the charm of the alarm. Text already up saying good morning. Deciding not bothering with a reply and just hitting call, putting it back down beside him.

“Don't fall back asleep.”

The voice sounded annoyingly awake as he just groaned. His own throat dry “the more I sleep the faster your back.” Turning toward the phone frowning he wanted his husband's annoying voice to be against his ear to wake him up not coming from the speaker on his phone.

“I know the feeling… 4 more nights and I'm back. Did you sleep ok?”

“Not to bad, woke up a few times. How about you?” The blond replied letting his eyes slip closed wanting a few more minutes of sleep.

“about the same, but it was so nice to be in our bed again.”

That made niall huff since if there was one thing he was missing it was his own bed. Big and comfy with there own stuff around the room. “one more month then we are home.” But it may have come off more of a sleepy slur of words together.

“Come on love. Get up.. I have to finish getting ready and head to the office.”

Sighing loudly followed by a yawn as he finally sat up. “Ok ok… I'm up.”

“I don't believe you.”

A sleepy smile on his lips as he rubbed the tired from his eyes. “Really I am… and I really miss you. “

“I miss you too.”

“talk to you tonight. Have a good day at work. Love you.” Getting an ‘Love you.’ back before reaching back and grabbing his phone hanging up. The phone charmed as he received another text.

From: HusbandPrinceHarry 7:38 am.

Stay Awake!

 

It got him trying not to laugh at his dorky husband, and tossed his phone to the side ready to start his morning. Like any other morning it wasn’t particularly special, other than being without his husband to go through their usual morning routine, after a quick wash up it was breakfast with his in-laws. Talk was quiet and more just grunts between the two having to leave the house soon. Envious of his mother in-law who could go back to sleep. But it couldn’t have been his fault for staying up half the night talking to Harry, wanting to know everything about his flight to their neighbourhood and of course their house.

Being dropped off by his father in law, using his crutches less and less every day, only relying on them lightly in the morning after a night off his leg, but afterwards it became to painful to walk freely without them. Progress was progress.

The head receptionist who kept to an office, and answered phones and was on top of all the trainers and their schedules stopped him at the front desk once he checked in. Apparently his physio person would be a bit late that morning, something about a flat tire and he would only be another 15 minutes. And that he was getting a new trainer for the week.

Giving her a smile and just passed it off, it wasn’t that big of a deal or an issue to wait. As he took a spot in the waiting area by the physio rooms, a few set up for multiple players at a time. As he pulled out his phone ready to text his husband or pull out his headphones and tune out the noise of trainers coming in for the day and their clientele.

The darkly dressed figure pulled him out of his focus from his phone where he had been attempting to write something witty and not dumb to his other half. Glancing up to see the man who had gone down the day before, number 25. Trying not to stare but he couldn’t help letting his eyes take in the site. Heavy limp as he came in, his icy blues downcast watching where he was going, eye on the prize of sitting.

The light brunette had his head hanging down like he was trying to keep himself together from how much pain he was actually in. Niall could relate, almost feeling bad for the man since he looked really tired and in pain. That was until he opened his mouth and that feeling flew right out the window.

“See you own a shirt.” Ice blue eyes meeting sea blues, he was caught there was no reason to look away and act like he was innocent, and not just staring down his husband’s first love. There could really have been a time and place to be the better man, but how could he.

“Still don’t, it’s me husband’s.” Giving his best raised eyebrow, in a challange. Yes he may be a stupidly nice guy. The nicest dog at the park, but he still knew a bitch when he saw one. And letting his feelings from how they had ended their summer still surface. Even if it had made them stronger and rebuild their bond. The man sitting near him probably had no clue what role he had played. It also could be he was craby from lack of sleep.

Catching the eye roll and the man taking out his own phone instead of continuing. Which may have been the better idea. Taking as a push to get back to his own phone, deciding not to send the pending text to Harry and just search through an article. Anything to not pay attention to the man.

It felt like the longest fifteen minutes of just sitting in silence. “Hey Niall, sorry gotta a flat.” Looking up to see his physio person come into the waiting area with a sweaty forehead and a clipboard in hand. Getting up and setting his crutches up dismissing the man with a smile. ‘You’re alright.’

“Hey Tommo, didn’t see you there. You know if coach was here he’d send you back home.”

“That doesn’t get me back on the field.” Niall had already stepped toward the room they usually used and turned just to see the two talking. Feeling a bit bad, but he understood the need to want to be back to normal. Waiting till the man was back his way patting him on the shoulder and leading the way into the room.

It never took too long, now taking a bit over an hour of pushing, pulling and stretching everything out that you could imagine. To the point he thought his knee was sure to snap since it was further then the day before that he was taking it or holding it in a position for longer. It was strange to have to put your trust into someone you didn’t know. Looking up at the ceiling really hoping they were almost finished by the end of it. Not registering the man till he had already been speaking. “Huh? Biking?”

“Yes, I’m clearing you for biking. Low impact get some more strength in the muscles around.” Blinking a bit before nodding excitedly. “See you tomorrow.”

“Yeah.” Getting up and out of the room, on an excited cloud since he had been waiting for this step. A giant step forward for his recovery. Almost out of the waiting area toward the section with tables and chairs when he heard two people arguing once the door opened to another physio room.

“Go home Louis. One more day of ice packs and rest. You deserve it mate.” Niall really wasn’t trying to stare as he moved forward a bit but looking back at how defeated the player looked.

“I don’t need to go home, I need to get better so I can play.”

“Then come back tomorrow and will start. My orders go home.”

Feeling more than awkward now since the two had looked over at him. Receiving a very nasty glare from the footie player, quickly leaving the area and back towards his usual spot where he could ice and wait for the second half of his day.

Meeting his new trainer for the week, after finding out his usual one was away sick. The man was huge, height and muscle whise. He’d seen him around but never crossed paths. Finding out really quick that he wasn’t the most pleasant a far cry from his usual trainer. Feeling exhausted by the end of his day.

Coming back to the house had been fine, trying to be ok with the slight independance he was given. They could do this, be away from each other for more than a day. It could be fine, but the blond couldn’t help but anxiously wait for his phone to charm from a text or for the man to call him once he was done work.

As he gave his In-laws a sheepish smile as he left the room. It had him feeling like a teenager again, going to bed early just to text with a friend or talk to a boy. Though his husbands dad find humour in teasing Niall. ‘Go on, talk to lover boy.’ All in good fun as he groaned in reply.

Even just sitting on the bed with the lamp on, laptop on his lap. Screen lit with a Video chat, the glow of his husband’s face filling most of it. As much as he missed the man’s voice, he really just missed him. They way he would laugh randomly, or how quiet he got when he was reading something of interest. Even the way he was just around. Not having to look far for his counterpart.

Longing pinged in his chest as he watched the man snuggled down into bed blankets pulled up and laptop on his side of the bed. Only enough light to really see the comforter and the set of curly hair. Listening to him slowly ramble on about why he disliked the tube, exhausted from a day of work. Wanting to be wrapped in those blankets with him, holding the younger and kissing his bare shoulders.

Getting a muffled voice of Harry wanting to turn off the laptop. So he did the same pouting softly when they were no longer talking, barely saying good bye. Getting himself all settled in bed when his phone rang. Confused by the collar I.D of the man he just finished talking to. “Thought you were going to bed?”

“Nah, I’d sleep worse if I couldn’t hear you falling asleep.”

“Sap.” But the blond was more than relieved to hear his lover’s voice, to listen to the soft breathing and the way he sounded heavier and deeper the more tired he became.The night went on the same as it had the night before, as it would probably repeat for the whole week.

 

Tuesday morning had come all to soon and with the same lack of sleep he was dreading the morning of physio, wanting to lay back down and sleep for a few more hours. But the other side of the bed was cold and Harry’s pillow wasn’t really doing the trick.

It turned into another morning of awkwardly sitting and waiting in the same space as the footballer from the day before. Though he moved a bit easier it wasn’t by much, he still looked like he was in a lot of pain. Choosing to ignore him this time, with the lack of sleep over two days he wasn’t up for slanging words at one another.

Dropping down into a chair leg up on the chair beside him with the icepack in its usual spot, glad it was quiet in the area of tables since he really was hoping to take a small nap before lunch. Eyes closed with headphones on but not turned up loud enough to cover the sudden.

“I got it, I got it.”

Curiosity had him peek an eye open from where he was propped up by his arm on the table. Watching the same shorter man from before limp past him to another table. Finding ease in lowering himself to the chair, donning a matching icepack wrapped up in a towel. Realizing all too soon that he wouldn’t find any sleep. Every player and trainer who walked past would say something to ‘Tommo’. As they went by, turning his peaceful downtime into an annoying ongoing conversation with the other man in the room and everyone else.

Nearing the end of the hour, it had been an annoying hour but hopefully the man would leave and head up stairs or head back to his place or wherever the players lived. Taking the chance to look over at him, to catch his downcasted look and slumped shoulders. The niceness coming back out even if he wished it wouldn’t.

“We saw you go down on Sunday… Ref made a shit call if you ask me.” Trying his best to not sound like he was pandering to the man, since he and Harry had really been shaken by it. Shocked to see the defensemen down.

“Wasn’t asking you.” The olders gaze came up to narrow at him in a half hearted glare. Niall could understand that feeling though, he would have had the same face on if he met Louis anytime after pride other than now.

“I know, just saying.. Was rough to see you go down.. Everyone at the pub we were at where just gutted.” Doing his best to offer the man the most honest thing he could say, maybe it could help the man seem less sad or mad maybe.

“Cheers, that will help me tones to get back into playing form.” Niall just frowned, the man sounded so bitter and annoyed with him. Shrugging it was the best he could do, falling back into silence as he looked at his phone catching the time and sorting himself out. Getting up to the door “Thanks.” Was all he heard as he left nodding his head but not turning back since he had to to see his trainer a bit earlier, and that was a man he didn’t want to make angry. It didn’t add to the stress he was feeling trying to put a few things together.

---

After a long day at the office, with added time from the tube the suited man was more than just a bit annoyed. Loosening his tie, and looking around the apartment. Quiet with the only light coming from the hallway light. No sounds of music or laughing. No smell of cooking food or a begg to cook with him.

Now disliking the silence that came with an empty house, a ghost of of who he use to be. Before being matched with a goofy ray of sunshine. Never could he have imagined longing for the sounds of chaos and loud laughs. Always the type to want his solitude to be left with his books and let that be that. To fear spending more than a few days with anyone in case he got sick of there company.

But that night more than ever he craved for a feeling he still had to wait days to receive. And maybe the feeling was becoming evidently mutual. Tossing his house keys on the entrance table and toeing off his shoes, not bothering putting them away. As he freed himself of his bag and jacket wishing for his heat thefting other half. Pulling out his phone that had been in his pants pocket between a suit jacket and a heavy winter jacket. Hitting dial as soon as he got the text asking for him to call. Taking the steps two at a time while he waited for the blond to answer.

The phone was answered with a heavy sigh and then a shaky breath. “Ni, you ok? What's up?” Keeping it light, yet his brows betrayed his attempt at being calm and cool as they pinched together in concern.

“I-I had it all sorted out and it’s ruined.”

“What are you talking about? What’s ruined?” That got him worried now, unsure of what the other was talking about and not being able to be there to console him from sounding so close to tears.

 

“Your birthday. I had it planned and was set to make sure it was going to be brilliant for you. And I can’t even make it. Im such a dickhead.”

“Birthday? What did you have planned…” Blinking in confusion as he made it into his closet to undress and throw on comfier clothes, dropping himself down onto the comforter stretching out onto the bed.

“I have this huge surprise birthday dinner for you, and invited some of your co workers and the paxtons quite a few others to celebrate. And forgot to book a train ticket and they are all sold out and no flights will get me back home for the right time.. And back here for thursday morning.. I didn’t want you to be alone on your birthday“

Even if he wanted to he couldn’t stop the smile over his lips as he covered his face with his arm. Biting his lip to stop himself from laughing, since that would be very bad for a distraught husband. He sounded so frustrated and upset, he could practically see him pacing in a huff with his hand out talking exaggeratedly.

“Harry say something.” A sweet whine at the end of the line, the sweetest thing he could ever hear.

“I love you. Thats amazing.. But you know I wouldn’t have wanted you here if it meant missing a day there.” Trying to calm his fretful lover.

“But it would have been for your birthday.”

Thankful for the man’s actions but just glad the man had put in the effort to do something even like this. To make sure he got to celebrate his birthday. “Thank you.. It’s going to be great, and I want you to be here I always do… but you see this thing about birthdays is that we get them yearly.”

“You don’t say.”

“It’s true, I promise you that.. And since we can’t be together for my birthday this one year, we have many more that we can count together.. “ He could hear the smile in his husband’s voice, and the now calm he had. Even if he seemed a bit more somber that he wouldn’t be there in the morning it was enough for him to know Niall had done anything at all.

Staying on the phone for the rest of the evening, through his dinner, even listening to his parents talk on speaker while Niall helped tidy after their own meal. It was nice to listen to them all, missing his family. Even the teasing from his dad about how much they had acted like he would be gone a year.

It was easier spending his nights feeling less alone with the sound of Niall finally falling asleep on the other end of the line. No other noise but the random sigh. Finding himself staying awake longer to listen and hope this week would hurry up. Another few days and his husband would be his again.

--

Wednesday morning had been bitter sweet, calling his husband right away to be first to wish him a happy birthday. Spending to long talking so they were both in the boat of being behind.

Niall really hated making people wait if he was late. Apologizing but fairly ok with not having to have another standoff with the footie player. Time from then on felt like it was going backwards. His appointment dragging on for what he thought was days and it hardly hit an hour.

It could have been the mix of lack of sleep and knee pain. But having Louis in the same room as him just like yesterday was even more irritating. As the man noisily went from his phone to talking to who ever walked by.

By the looks of it he seemed more chatty and in a better mood which should have been fine but it really drove Niall's slowly building bad mood. Really not wanting to be there today, not wanting to listen to the annoying laugh of the other.

The sudden rumble of his phone on the table quickly pulling him from his mind set. Reaching for his phone quickly unplugging his unused headphones and all to violently had it up against his ear.

Maybe seeing the flash of his husband’s name had him to egear or the fact he wouldn't have to listen to the other in the room who had convinced another person to come in and chat with him.

“Hey birthday boy.” Down casting his eyes away from the person walking past. Trying his best to ignore the others loud voices.

Nodding against the phone listening to his husband being asked a few questions but he couldn't hear him very well since the men in the room seemed to be just shouting at eachother now. Loud booming laughs causing the blond to miss what the man said, he was on the subject of the dinner that night.

“sorry? Didn't quite catch that.”

“Love, I'm going to let you go it sounds really loud over there.”

The phone call had left a bad taste in his mouth only because he couldn't have more time to talk. Shooting a glare over at the other side once he hung up, shaking his head as he pulled his headphones back on and turning up the volume.

Taking that mindset into his work out. Easily becoming frustrated when pressure was being put on him to go faster; ‘dig deeper’ ‘Get it, come on.’ It was pulling at every nerve of his body. A build of lack of sleep and the usual ache of his knee feeling 10 times worse, as his posture became sloppy near the end of each rep.

“Where’s your head did you leave it at home?” Gritting his teeth as he tried to get back into the work out. Into the strength training. Pulling out of a rep short getting a frustrated trainer clearly annoyed that Niall wasn’t pushing harder. “Why’d you come today? To waste my time?” The words cut through him a small part of him holding on a bit longer. ‘No. m‘here to work.’ Out of breath, he needed to get his head back into the moment.

It took a few more half hearted squats that he pulled out of shaking his head. Never seeing a trainer so angry. “This is a fucking joke. I thought you were dedicated to this.” Leaning forward and resting his hands on his thighs.

“It’s not.” Wiping the sweat from his brow, never seeing someone get so worked up. The new trainer really was unpredictable. Fueling his own anger.

“Really? Looks like you’re fucking around right now. Stop wasting my time.” Huffing through his nose as he righted himself.

“It fucking hurts. Is that alright?” Not meaning to snap back at the man but that was the wrong way to take it. He could feel eyes on them as he couldn’t stop his fuse from going off.

“Bullshit!” Watching the man walk up a bit closer to him, maybe it was an attempt to intimidate him but it wasn’t going to work. Standing up to his full stance even if his knee protested.“Need to take the rest of the day?” It was said with malice, dripping with a heavy mocking tone the taller stepping right into his face. “Is your knee really hurting that much, doubtful to busy pansying around.”

“Fuck off.” Putting his hands up to push the larger, fitter man’s very firm chest. He didn’t even make the man stumble back, but it was enough for a few of the other trainers to come running over stepping between them.

“Niall take a mat. Trevor walk it off.”

Limping away and over toward the mats were he dropped down to them. No one really said anything as he watched them still trying to calm down the other man leaving the gym completely. Taking a few seconds to catch his breath not sure how he had gotten so heated.

It took him by surprise when the injured player was sitting down beside him hand stretched out with water. “Don’t take it to heart. One of our first sessions he punched me.” Taking the offered bottle and sighing heavily. “If that makes you feel any better.”

Taking the lid off and nodding. “Yeah.. that does make me feel better.” A sip later he was looking off away from the brunette at his side.

“Really good athlete shit trainer.” Niall couldn't respond as he just nodded wanting to keep tight lipped. “Hey, yesterday you were the most annoyingly carefree guy. What's changed?” still no reply, running a frustrated hand through his hair. “Harry troubles?”

“Don't talk about my husband.”

“Oh you can talk. You own a shirt and you speak how charming. Can see the appeal now.” Louis voice was rude filled with condescending tones.

“Really not in the mood for you. Can you leave.” Getting short with the older, not really thinking clearly or wanting to calm down all he wanted to do was go home and not be here.

“Yeah can see that. You’re not in the mood for anything. Tried to get yourself squished by that guy.” The man didn’t leave if anything he got more comfortable.

“I shouldn't even be here. Suppose to be in London.” It was eating at him, why was he stuck here not on on a plane or train back home.

“Whats happening in London then?” Turning to watch the man lay back still facing him. Looking bored but if he asked maybe he wanted to know just a tiny bit.

“Harry's birthday party, that I planned and like an idiot didn't get a way there in time.” Tensing as he picked at his shoelace. “Everyone Harry included said I needed to be here though.” That feeling of it being a bit odd talking about his husband to his ex trying not to think to hard.

“You're a bit thick.. you'd get into a fight with that goliath of a man. You looked like a mouse trying to fight a lion.”

Niall had to try his best to not chuckle to obviously since the image was entertaining. “So that's how you got punched?”

There was a laugh as he looked back at the man nodding. “Yeah but I didn't back down nor did anyone try come break us up.”

Finally joining in and laughing at the thought of seeing the man try to go against the trainer.

Another training coming up to him to take over the session, but the thought of having to see the man again tomorrow was a bit daunting. Thanking Louis the best he could even if it sounded awkward at least he didn't leave the gym angry.

 

Set up in the living room, after finally getting back to the house and finishing dinner. Getting a picture of Harry in what he was wearing and he looked amazing. Dressed in dark colours, and keeping his hair down. Even liking the barely noticeable stubble on his usually shaved face.

Now getting a few texts throughout the night, some from their friends who were enjoying their time saying they missed him. Getting a few from Harry saying he missed him and sending a few back telling his husband to enjoy the night and stop texting.

Happy that the man seemed to be enjoying his night. Wishing he was by his side instead of sulking in the living room with his in-laws watching some old movie he wasn't paying attention to.

“Think I'm going to go get ready for bed.” Announcing as he got up wanting to get ready for bed and maybe sleep or watch something to keep his mind from thinking about the day or who would take care of Harry if he drank too much.

Stepping from the shower, finding it easier to not need his crutches for a few steps around the bedroom. At least it was coming along quickly not feeling as heated then he had during the day.

Pulling on a pair of briefs and hanging up the towel. Reaching for Harry's black hoodie with a large logo on it. Turning off the main room light as he made his way back to his phone and to the bed, sitting back against the headboard he took the time to check his phone. Looking at the few texts that came in. Looking at the time just past 11:30 when his phone went off to the set charm for Harry.

“Hello.” Phone to his ear not even being given a second before the man sounded slightly out of breath possibly from being intoxicated.

“I miss you so damn much.”

That gave him such a big smile as he sighed. “Miss you too. Did you have fun?” He really couldn’t help the image of his husband, hair probably messier then he would normally have it, and shirt unbuttoned fairly deep. Looking a bit like bambi learning to walk.

“Had such a great time. Hold on babe.”

Nodding against the phone as he closed his eyes, in the low light of the lamp beside him. Wishing he was home. Listening to the sounds of a door closing and a bit of chatter before a ruffle against the mic and the man was back.

“Sorry. Just got into a cab.. It was great, almost perfect.”

That had him bite his lip. “Almost? Guess i'll have to make it bigger next year.” Though he should have been better than fishing for it but he couldn’t stop himself. Loving the sweet way the man would say it, never being sick of him telling him he missed him.

“I mean yeah, and a different cake flavour next time.”

Niall blinked a couple times before he laughed and shook his head. “You got it babe.”

“I’m only kidding, it was really unexpected and great. Only thing that could have made it really perfect would be you.”

“I'm just happy you had a good time. Tell me all about it.” Pushing the neat blankets out from under him as he got more comfortable listening to the man explaining the evening. Sounding exactly how he had asked it to be. Friends that they had actually made together, and coworkers that were always so nice to them when they went out. With a few of his school friends that he thought would have a good time and he had expected he could talk with before his plans had changed to him having to stay at the coastal city.

Really he had wanted the friend count to be high so that Harry had lots of people to celebrate with him. Relieved that it had gone over really well and that they had drank a lot and late into the night. Even surprised the man was leaving so early.

Laying down as he listened to the man leave the taxi and sound so casual while walking up the stairs. Turning over onto his stomach propped up on Harry's pillow. Loving the smell of it and listening to his brunettes low voice. The blond was unsure when the topic had changed to his ass, but maybe it was that the man was starting to feel some of the alcohol kick in more. “Harry, I’m not sending you a photo of my ass.” Amusement dripping from his lips as he had pushed his face into the man's pillow glad he couldn’t see him or how red his face was getting.

“Please babe.. I need to see it. This is urgent.”

“And why would that be?” Trying not to laugh into the pillow as he listened to how dreamy Harry had sounded.

“Come on, Ni.. What are you wearing?”

“Harry.. A-ah, actually just a pair of briefs and your hoodie. Why?” Sounding skeptical now, slowly clueing in to what was on the man's mind.

“Thats really hot… Show me, send me something.”

“No way.. Why do you need to see? I'm not lying.” It was taking all his might not to laugh, this was so bizarre but maybe this was something you were suppose to do when you were away from each other long enough.

“Because.” Harry's voice sounded exasperated like this was taking something he had been needing for ever. “Im the birthday boy, I think I get whatever I want?”

“That’s really not how it works. But I guess…” Sighing as he finally caved. “Give me a second.”

There was a way to excited noise coming from the other side of the phone as he, tried his best to position himself where he was lying. The front facing camera not amazingly taking in his backside in the low light. As he caught a bit of his face, shoulder and then a clear view of the base of the sweater hitting just the spot before his ass stuck out in a bubble. A small peak of pale legs, and he would be lying if he didn’t try a few times before sending one that looked at least a bit decent. “Ok, it's sending… Dont laugh.”

There was a bit more chatter of the man moving around the bedroom he assumed and the sound of rustling, which could be the covers. Hearing the sudden groan on the other end, making him look around confused.

“Thats pretty fucking hot…”

Not being ready for that response as he blushed. “It's a grainy photo of my ass.. Babe it can’t be that great.”

“I mean it's got my attention.”

He could hear the man’s voice become low and husky the way it got when he was getting turned on. “Are you.. Getting off on it?” Feeling so complexed he hadn’t had much practice with sexy photos and phone sex but he couldn’t help but think that's where this was heading.

“Yes.”

Well that sorted that. As he blushed letting out a whimpered laugh. “Babe.. I can’t do that your parents are in the other room.”

“I think you’ve done enough. I could let you go, if you don’t want to listen to me having a wank.”

“I mean, feel like I should give you something better to wank over..” Not sure where it had come from but he was sure not backing down. And with a few encouraging noises from the other side he was up and in the bathroom. Pulling his shorts down backing himself up against the counter so that the cool slab of granite was supporting his ass up. Lifting the side of the sweater and looking back over his shoulder.

“Babe, what would you do if I was with you?” Asking on a whim as he waited for the photo to send. Making his way back to bed and laying back down. This time turning off the light, listening to the man’s breathing as it quickened.

“I’d have you face down, legs spread and be eating your ass..” The way he spoke was so calm and dominating. Causing Niall to shiver, a soft gasp leave his lips. Yes he was pent up and the idea of his husband stroking himself to his picture was overwhelmingly flattering.

“Fuck, babe.. I want that.. Are you a-a.. Have you already started?” At that moment he wished he wasn’t so timid sounding, he had done some pretty sexual things with his husband. But listening to him actually touching himself seemed so exciting.

“Have been since you sent that photo. You should do it too.. I want you to cum with me.”

Heart skipping a beat as he nodded against the phone. “Ok. ho-hold on babe. I need to get something for.. You know.” Why couldn’t he just tell Harry he was going to get lube so he didn’t have to dry fist himself. Grabbing the bottle and setting the phone down so he could get the lid open, pouring it into his hand.

“Holy shit Niall.”

The voice muffled from being on his still hooded body as he settled back in grabbing the phone. “What? What did i miss?” Sounding like he had just come back from a break during a football game.

“Im such a lucky man.”

Confused for a second stopping his hands downward pump. “Oh, did you get the other one?” Blushing even hotter as he mewed softly into the phone finishing his stroking back up to the tip.

“Wasn’t expecting a second. But god damn..”

He could hear the marvel in the man’s voice and really it was all he could have asked for as he moaned softly for the man to hear, trying his best not to be noticed from outside. “Tell me what you're thinking about.. Please.”

“Thinking about how good it would feel to have your ass, watching you fuck yourself on my cock.”

Asked and Harry delivered, never knowing how sexy it could be to hear the man wanting him. Needing him so shamelessly, unapologetic on his desire. Gasping into the phone, he could picture it so well wanting that familiar ache deep inside himself.

Low voice with all its deep groans, it was a surprise he lasted as long as he had. Covering his mouth to stop himself from moaning too loudly as he tensed coating his hand listening to his husband's climax.

Tiding up still on the phone both catching their breath. Letting out an embarrassed giggle as he finally crawled into bed indefinitely. Not taking long to fall asleep to the sound of Harry talking quietly in his adorably tipsy state.

 

Waking up to knock on his door, groaning as he pulled the covers over his head. Hoping the knocking would go away. “Niall, Get up. We got 20 minutes.” Another knock, but that had him awake as he sat up hair standing up pointing in different angles. Trying to find his phone and opting just to look at the time on the bedside table.
“Shit.. Yeah! Coming.” Pushing the sheets off his legs finding his phone buried near the foot of the bed, dead from driaing the power. Just giving himself enough time to plug it in and head to get ready for the day. Long running pants and any kind of muscle top would do. Really becoming sick of workout clothes as comfortable as they were.

Just enough time to turn on his phone and send off a message letting Harry know that he wouldn’t have his phone on him. And he’d text him when he got home. Leaving the room grabbing the silver crutches that only aided him slightly now with all the strength he was actually building.

Robin gave him a look as he came into the kitchen. “You good?” Voice sounded amused which made him blush harshly, really hoping beyond hope that they hadn’t heard anything from the night before. His in-laws would be leaving the next day for a weekend away, which meant that his husband better be prepared for their alone time.

“Yeah, sorry phone died last night.”

“I bet it did.” Was all Robin said as he laughed causing Niall to groan. Making his way through the kitchen to get a travel mug of coffee. “Eat in the car, we should get going now.” Agreeing as they got out to the car Robin had Niall’s bowl of hot cereal and was carrying both of their mugs of coffee. Tossing his own packed lunch into the back of the car, thankful for Anne’s help that entire week making sure he had something to bring. Slightly feeling like he was back in highschool, but they had offered and he found it hard to refuse any of the styles. Finishing his bowl and leaving it on the seat and putting the mug in his bag that had his lunch, water and headphones.

The morning was still dark, but there had been a retreat in the dark mornings making way for lighter grey sky's. Still needing a thick coat keeping on his beanie and sweater once he was in and his stuff was away. Realizing all too late that he didn’t have anything to plug his headphones into, guess he’d have to make due.

Making his way toward the waiting area for his same morning routine. Not surprised now that Louis was already there. Nodding his head at him as he walked past the man giving a half hearted hand raise.

Nothing being said about the day before, sitting in silence the noises from trainers and players alike arriving for their morning sessions. This was painful, the quiet creeping over them making Niall feel a strange sense of awkwardness. Deciding just to try and speak up since the man had taken the time to talk him out of his funk yesterday.

“Hey, thanks for yesterday.” Looking over to see the man look up from his phone more than disinterested. “I mean, for helping me from just walking out.” Still getting nothing, but he guessed he deserved that he hadn’t been very kind to the man.

“You’re alright.” Was all he said as his called in for his session. Leaving Niall there to watch the man limp out of the waiting area and into a small room the door closing between them. Feeling at least slightly better as he got up next to get to his own.

It had gone the same as it usually goes, nothing extra or really that different. Working on strengthening and stretching. Crutching into the tabled rooms, following the motions of his routine. Seeing one of the tables already taken up by Louis, of course he must have finished before him. Matching ice pack as he nodded his head when Niall had come in.

“Hey.” Saying softly as he moved to take a seat at his usual table. Propping up his leg on another chair and set the pack down. 5 minutes going by in an the same unsettling quiet as they both shifted or coughed, Niall not having his music or his phone to distract himself from the man.

“So, no call to lover boy then?” There wasn’t the same snide tone to his voice as he looked over from where he was just picking through his bag pulling out his lunch.

“Not today. Phone’s home charging, so I guess i'm stuck to listen to your shit conversations.” Looking up with a grin on his lips, hoping his joking tone came across.

“Well at least I’m glad to see you’re not trying to pick a fight with the biggest guy in the gym.” That got them both chuckling as the man got up and limped his way over to Niall’s table. Inviting himself to sit down.

“I could have taken him.” Joking since there was no way he couldn’t not be flattened by the man if he really had wanted to take a swing at him. “How long do they say you have to be out for?”

“Another 2 weeks if I’m smart about my training.” He sounded so professional, making Niall raise a brow and nod.

“So you must be gutted, you have that charity match next week.”

That really got them talking. Niall really feeling inclined to sympathise with how hard the man actually worked. And even Louis seemed taken aback by how much the blond knew about his career and his work. Having to then confess that he looked him up a bit when he found out he was Harry's Ex. Admitting that he had been the one to start them back on watching their matches because he thought it would be better to support the team now that they were in the area. Feeling weird that he was explaining it all to the man.

“Fuck your nice.”

Niall hadn’t been expecting it since he was in the middle of sharing his lunch with the man. Laughing as he sat back shaking his head. “Nah.”

“No really… I can see why Harry picked you.” The man's words took him by surprise as he straightened in his chair. It threw their chat into an award moment of not knowing what to do with his hands or any part of him

“uh… thanks.” Doing his best not to laugh as he looked at the clock mounted on the wall. “Guess I should head to meet Trevor.”

“Sure, see you around.”

Leaving to put away his stuff and head into the gym. Heading toward his trainer being stopped by a friendly redhead. “Hey, Niall you're with me today.”

Taking the second to look over toward his assigned trainer the giant man with a very small looking Louis beside him both laughing about something. “wasn't I?” Pointing toward the two.

“Yeah Louis asked to switch. Come on I'm going to kick your ass today.” Not sure if he should be worried or not now. But passing Louis in the gym giving him a nod in thanks since he hadn't been looking forward to seeing the trainer again.

 

Keys were seconds from falling from his hands as he tried his best to fight against the lock. It was Anne’s hand that reached around and unlocked the door. “Thanks mum.” Smiling at her sheepishly as he made his way in, b-lining straight for the bedroom. Putting his crutches against the wall beside the bed. Sitting down and taking his phone, watching the screen come alive with light, and vibrate furiously in his hand. Swiping it open to check the mass of texts mainly from Harry.

From: PrinceHusbandHarry. 7:16 AM
Ok, have a great day! Don't try to fight your trainer.
From: PrinceHusbandHarry. 7:17 AM
Love you.
From: PrinceHusbandHarry. 8:31 AM
I miss you, and I hate taking the tube.

From: PrinceHusbandHarry. 12:10 PM
Why did you forget your phone, I actually get a lunch break today.

From: PrinceHusbandHarry. 1:36 PM
This meeting is boring, thankfully I have a picture of you to keep me company. ;)

From: PrinceHusbandHarry. 1:46 PM
Nevermind, I don’t want to find out how awkward it is to have a boner in a meeting.

From: PrinceHusbandHarry. 3.15 PM
Skype tonight?

All the texts had Niall grinning like a giddy school girl. His husband was such a loser but he couldn’t help but think this was quite tame for the man. Fingers quickly sending off the next text as he pocketed his phone and went to change his pants into sweats.

To: PrinceHusbandHarry. 3: 54 PM
All of this was worth not having my phone with me all day. Miss you too, home now! Let’s skype soon? Or after dinner, are you home yet? You can leave London now 4 days way too long.

 

With dinner and helping clean he wasn’t able to steal a second away from the family. Still being teased by Robin well into the evening as he tried not to act so embarrassed but his ears were turning bright red as well as his cheeks.

“Babe, hold on.” Talking quickly as he accepted the call but not activating the camera. Heading back to the kitchen for a cup of water and was back turning off the bright overhead light and keeping on the night stands lamps, more than enough light. He could make out his husband's silhouette from where he was on the side of the bed. Reaching to the laptop to turn the camera on and climbing into bed, for some reason he felt suddenly so shy to look at the man with the gem coloured eyes.

“Hey.”

Moving himself out of view. “Hey.” blushing already, what was wrong with him.

“Babe, I wanna see you.”

“Why would you want that.” Peeking into the screen a bit, his eyes never leaving the sight of the brunette, breaking into a smile as he pulled up the collar of the hoodie to cover half of his face.

“Why are you hiding.. You’re so cute.”

“Am not...Are you wearing my sweater?” Pulling his face free of the collar blush and all. But now his curiosity was sparked.

“N-no way! Why would I do that?”

There was a bashful look on the man's face but it made Niall laugh as he looked at it. “Does it fit ok?”

“Not really.” Watching him stand up and point the laptop toward him off the bed. “See the arms are too short but just an inch so i pushed them up.. And the waist is so much shorter.. I think you look better in my hoodies then I look in yours.”

Niall couldn’t help the laughs as he watched him, it did look a bit tight but not awful. “I think it still looks great. You look very cool.” His smile not leaving his lips as he watched the man climb back onto the bed. Reaching out toward the image of his olive toned beauty, sighing softly. “I miss you.”

“I miss you too.. But 25 hours and you’re mine.” This was the best kind of countdown, to the moment he would see his love and feel him in his arms. Spending the night laughing with him and listening to him talk about his day.

---

There was a loud chime of an alarm, disrupting his sleep from where he was laying on the others side of the bed. Laptop open but the screen dark as he reached forward and pulled it shut. Yawning loudly as he rolled over to find the alarm.

Blinking away the night’s sleep from his eyes, trying to focus, but the thought popped into his head when he had layed back down causing his lips to pull in a smile. Confirming the time, and in twelve hours he would be only an hour away from seeing his blond sweater stealer. He wasn’t going to have an overly productive day if that’s all he could think about.

The morning had crawled along, taking the tube to work had become the most annoying part of his morning. Large crowds pushing against each other to stand for space, annoying students with their backpacks on unapologetically bumping into people. He wasn’t adding to the chaos with his larger over night bag filled and ready to head to the train station after work. It might have not been so bad if he had had Niall to stand at his side and tease him for acting like a ‘prince’.

It was enough to disrupt his happy mood even for the full commute. Sending off a text to Niall explaining why he would never be taking the tube ever again. And really hoping the other was having a good trip to the doctors that morning.

Relief passed over him as he left the station and headed toward the office building, with others dressed in suits shoes hitting the pavement. The walk was quick and in the lobby he bumped into a few of his coworkers. Giving him a reason to not take out his phone, still feeling slightly awkward but conversation was easy now. Lawyers in his opinion were boring and all too serious unless they were drinking, and some days he wondered if that was how he came off.

Having nothing but all the time to reflect on himself, it had been jarring to be home alone and every night sleep in his own bed all alone. Acting as if it was only Niall who couldn’t sleep without the other, but he struggled just as much. Taking any chance to hear the man’s voice.

Dark London morning, no rain that day just heavy clouds threatening a rainy night. Harry was starting to miss the sunshine, and he had never noticed how dark it got until meeting Niall. It felt even more ominous without his personal ray of sunshine. His office wasn’t anything overly special but he could see the city from his window, and any or all work ethic he had was nowhere to be seen.

Lunch had finally come in a crawl but a call had kept him in his office, the receptionist peeking her head in. “Harry you have a call from Niall.” His eyes lit up as he waited for her to close his door. Putting the phone on speaker. “H-”

“I can’t wait to one day drop to my knees and suck your beautiful cock.”

Harrys eyes went wide as he coughed at that, raising his brows in shock but he was quick deciding to fuck with his husband. “Ni.. Love, I’m not alone.” There was no noise coming from the other line till there was a muffled. ‘Ohmygod’

Laughing as he picked the phone up off the desk taking it off speaker. “I’m only playing, what were you saying about my cock?”

“Ass.” Hearing the man on the other side, but any put off feelings he had were gone in a flash. “Guess who gets to pick you up from the train station. And gets to have a pint on sunday during the match.”

“Really?!.. So you’re more excited for that pint then?” Teasing hearing the man protest on the other end that he was more ecstatic to pick him up. Talking for a bit longer, though he had to go eat and head to more meetings. Hanging up after Niall had said they had 8 hours left. He could make it, 8 hours wasn’t anything now.

Meetings made the time feel like was at a standstill. As he tapped his pen, hardly listening to what he should have been, and not taking notes. Leaving the meeting with nothing but an eagerness to head toward the train station. It may have been too early, but the 6 o’clock train was the only thing in his mind. As he took the tube for the last time, being that jerk who bumped into people crowding on to make it to their rightful trains. Not being the only one working the long week and heading out of the city.

His mood improving heaps and bounds by the time he got onto the train and put his headphones in, listening to what ever Niall had decided to put onto this phone. Thinking maybe he could sleep on the long train ride. Everytime he closed his eyes they’d be closed for a minute and he would get antsy and sit back up looking out the window.

Feeling bad for the person beside him because he couldn’t sit still now. Looking out the window or checking his phone. Bouncing his knee or tapping his toe. He was getting excited to see his husband, and he was the calm one if he was reacting this way he wondered how the blond was doing.

Sending off a text as he all but sprinted to the exit of the train, a few people grumbling at him for being so careless and knocking their bag. Offering a sorry but really he wasn’t that apologetic, they had said to meet by the pick up area. As he stood outside the station near the parking lot. Seeing the car pull up to the curb, waiting till it was in park before throwing his bag in the back getting it out of the way so he could get in. “Hey babe.”

Opening the passenger's side, getting the sight of his husband. Comfortable dressed all wrapped up in layers since the night was cold. “Hi.” Blue eyes shining like the brightest stars as he kneeled on the seat moving over the center being met with warm hands cupping his cheeks and lips pressing against his.

Pushing to get a deeper kiss against the blonds sweet tasting lips. But a honk had them pull apart, ‘Okok’ the blond huffing as he pulled out. Sitting down and buckling his seatbelt running his fingers on his hair push it out of his face. Turning to watch the older nervously shoulder checking to make a turn. Reaching over and running his hand over the back of his neck, deciding that talking wasn’t going to help the already nervous driver.

Getting a knee squeeze at a red light, brief but enough to fuel his heart. Waiting till they were pulling up into the driveway. Key turning off the ignition, a heavy sigh from the blond keeping his eyes on him drinking in the adorable man.

“Hey.” He sounded out of breath as if just running a marathon.

“Hi.” They both cracked up. “Let's go in. I need more than just one kiss.” Getting out, he was really just doing his best to hold himself back. Stepping around the car to meet Niall at the door, once he had his bag. Moving in right behind him and nuzzling into his neck, the click of the door unlocking as they stepped in. Dropping his bag at the door and kicking off his shoes. The house was warm and smelt sweet, leaving his jacket hanging up beside the shorters.

“No crutches?” Walking after him and wrapping his arms back around him from behind. Feeling the shake of his head and the purr in his voice.

“Didn’t think i’d be walking to much.” Hips pushed back shoulders arched against him, making him realize quite quickly what the blond was hinting at. Turning in his arms as he came face to face with the fair skinned man, his arms moving up against his neck. Reaching forward and picking him up by thighs still trying to restrain himself. Not sure how rough he really could be but even thinking about the man without his clothes was causing him to stirr. His blond didn’t even protest, instead he was treated to the feeling of lips against his neck. “Harry.” There it was the sweet needy way the man said his name. Shivering at the feeling of warm lips against his jaw and as sweet whisper against his head. “I need you.”

Steps quickened to get to the bedroom quicker, anywhere to make it easier. Taking a knee onto the bed and letting the blond down easy as he moved his hands down to grab the hem of Niall’s sweater, pulling it off and freeing the man of the fabric. Revealing his pale chest, looking down as fingers started to work on unbuttoning his work shirt. Breathing slower as he felt lips touch his skin, kissing their way upwards after each button was undone.

Watching rosy cheeks and blue eyes lifting up to him meet his, running fingers into blond hair as hands finished unbuttoning his shirt pushing it free from his shoulders. Leaving it in a heap on the floor as his pants joined soon after. The blonds not following too far after, pointing to the bed for him to sit on, watching him move to the center of the bed.

The way the blond licked his lips, eyes roaming over his naked form. Making the move into the bed grabbing narrow hips and pulling him closer setting his legs apart pushing himself between. Dipping down to rest against a pale chest feeling feet hook behind his thighs.

Loving the sounds of each other breathing as he hovered over, putting weight down on the blond and leaning on an elbows. Savoring the calm before the storm taking time to stroke his hair and map his face with rose tinted lips. Listen to sweet gasps as he pulled back, hand falling between them in search of the man's most private of areas.
Harry enjoyed opening his lover, exploring his body and finding ways to make him beg and gasp. Sweet moans as he worked familiar fingers in slowly. Giving him a wicked smirk when the man was asking for more, asking for him.

That soft sweet beg switching to need with lust and wanting. Lips crashing when the man sat up, feeling a slippery hand stroking him back to full attention coating him thoroughly. Groaning into a hot mouth as he bucked his hips forward needing that full feeling. This was far better then hand jobs and phone sex.

“Careful of you know..” The words were soft and unsure as Harry nodded smiling gently. Taking his leg and resting his calf against an olive toned shoulder. Leaning into the still wrapped knee kissing the soft skin not covered by the brace.

“Always. Just let me know.” Wanting to use his strength to make his lover come undone fast. But the sudden worry of causing him pain made him take it slow and test the waters. Fixing his hips closer stroking the man's thigh. Admiring how he responded to every touch.

Folding the man in half, exposing his full round ass. Handling his cock as he rubbed the swollen tip against a worked loosened hole. Listening to sweet mewing, looking back up to catch the man’s gaze as they became whole again.

Fingers dug into his biceps as he fully sheltered himself in. His own breathing picking up waiting for the man to adjust. Reaching himself down, being met in the middle to exchange soft kisses. Pulling himself almost out listening to the way his husband’s breath caught, gasping on the push forward. Slow thrusts till he found little resistance. Groaning low with the hot tight sensation around his cock.

Eyes glued to the sight of a pale chest arching, how his lips parted in a hot moan. Picking up his pace to get more always wanting more of this. To see his handy work at unraveling the man under him. Raking long fingers over muscular thighs holding tight as he started to slam his hips forward, feeling the thin layer of sweat starting to build. Hair wild falling forward with each thrust.

Trying his best to be mindful, as he pulled off just enough to push the man’s legs to one side giving his exposed cheek a smack being rewarded with a soft cry. The start of a tremble down pale legs. Chuckling softly more for himself, loving every second. As he landed another smack with the same cruse filled cry.

“You look amazing.” Hearing the strain in his voice as he kept the vicious pace, his arm being pulled at complying as he tried his best to keep the rhythm. Keeping himself propped up as fingers pushed into his messy damp curls pulling him in. Lips meeting and not stopping their harsh need. As if both were fighting for dominance. Tongues meeting in a duel of control, winning an exploration of the others mouth and retreating to only meet again.

Feeling his loud moans being choked back by the tongue in his blonds mouth. Lips ripping from his as the man’s head moved to the side panting for air gripping his curls tightly. Taking the sudden exposure of his neck to mark what was his. Maybe it was juvenile but he wanted to mark what was finally his. Leaving it just by the dip of a defined collar bone.

All the signs were there that Niall was going to erupt. The way his hands trembled in the grip and the heavy breathing so similar to hyperventilating. How his body tensed in jumps between shaky legs and the hot pressure bearing down on his greedy need. Craving that look of desperation and want. Something he always hoped he could make the man do. Maybe it had to do with the pace and the hip crushing thrusts. But when he had his blond in this state so close, teetering on the edge of pure pleasure it drove his animalistic needs.

With his body so responsive it still didn’t meet the need in his eyes, the look that felt like if he didn’t give him his all he would be lost. Trusting in every way but that lingering sense of worry he wanted to one day never see again. Craving that look of pure lust that happened right before he was assaulted by his orgasm.

Watching as the man’s eyes went from a slight panic at the build of his pressing need to orgasm. Experiencing the man tighten around him, pale body convulsed and his eyes finally closing as he let out an inaudible moan head thrown back. Hands tense on the back of his neck. It was always more then enough to urge his own forward, never noticing his own deep build until it was seconds from filling the older lover.

All of this was worth it, the slow build and the sound of his name on a horse throat. Moaning into a firm shoulder as he heard whisper of ‘please don’t stop.’ Encouraging to keep assaulting the sensitive entrance. Milking the man for all he had, pale hand finally grabbing a pointed hip and stopping him. Heavy pants between the two as he layed half beside and on the still calming blond. Listening to his slowly evening breath and feeling the body under him relax. “I love you.” His own voice dry sounding from quick breaths.

“Love you too.. Happy brithday.” That got him laughing as the man made a soft amused noise. Humming softly into his shoulder arms wrapping around , keeping himself nestled still deep inside the man. “Thank you.” Letting the moment sink in, that he was finally with his beloved husband. Harry didn’t have to leave the bedroom for days if he didn’t want to. Wanting to stay attached to his blond no matter what, not letting go now that he had him back in his arms.

It look a bit longer he could have easily fallen asleep and woken backup for all he knew. Slow lines of his tattoos being traced from the blond who was curled up against him. “Next month will spend yours together.”

The was a shift and a cough. “What of mine will we spend together?” He couldn’t place the tone, maybe he was sleepy and confused. He had fucked Niall so good he didn’t even know his own birthday.

“Babe, your birthday next month. March right.” Not prepared for the sudden burst of laughter, the man’s body shaking hard.

“What?!”

Harry was massively confused as he looked at Niall as if the man had just grown 3 heads. “Niall, you ok? Your birthday is next month, March 22nd right?” Pushing up onto his elbow studying the man who was still in a fit of laughter. Not able to stop the pull on his lips clearly he hadn’t gotten the memo. “When is it then?”

“September 13th.”

That didn’t sound familiar, where had he gotten it in his head. Blinking as h finally groaned admitting his failure. Chuckling a few times he felt so guilty but the man was still enjoying it. Deciding that this was still what he needed light hearted joking and a bit of teasing. “Why didn’t you say anything?”

“Honestly I forgot till near the end of the month till my nan mailed me a birthday card with 5 pounds in it. But we did do something.” That got him chuckling at his Nans card still feeling lost.

“We didn’t do anything for it?”

“No we did, I asked if we could have take away. And so we had Thai food.” Of course the blond sounded so casual as he sighed leaning down to bite at the man’s sides, getting a ‘no!’ deciding that 5 days was to long not to tickle his husband senseless. Cleaning up they could do after.

“Take your punishment for not telling me it was your birthday.” Palms were trying to push him back and off away from ticklish sides as he laughed fighting back till his husband was a mess of laughs and flailing limbs. Missing nights like this, cheeks rosy and chest gasping for breath trying to keep him away from getting a kiss. This was what he had been craving for laughing against lips, ready to spend the weekend naked with his best friend.

Chapter Text

Rain drops hit heavy against the bedroom window. A perk of living in the oceanside city was that the morning and afternoon could be drastically different. Soft light lit the bedroom in the late morning. It had felt so right to be laying against a tattooed chest. Hand up tracing a lazy finger over the wing of one of the man's sparrows.

Breathing in the scent of last night and early that morning again. He had longed for that smell to come back. Hugging Harry’s pillow at night just so he could get a fleeting scent of him. Loving the mix of sweat, cologne and a distinctness that was uniquely Harry.

Warm body he could actually lay half on top of, his poorly knee nestled protectively between his husband’s. Savoring the feeling of bodies sheltered from the rain outside, naked and hidden from the saturday morning buzz in the city.

A rumble in his stomach, burning calories like a heavy workout finally stirring him into getting up. Pulling himself from the embrace smiling at the groan he got and the hand that tiredly gripped at his forearm.

“Stay.” It came out sleepy and barely audible from his sleeping parenter, his grip proving he wasn’t fully awake. Moving to pull the covers up onto Harry's chest.

“Sleep.” Getting a half hearted groan before the man was back asleep. Grinning as he reached over to the floor of the bed, sliding on the knee brace, leaving the bed toward the bathroom. Trying his best to not make a lot of noise as he left the bedroom donning the youngers sweater and that was all.

Paying attention the last few months and wasn’t completely terrible in the kitchen now. As he took a few steps around opening cupboards pulling out bowls to mix eggs in grabbing everything he’d need for a scramble and sausage. Noises of sizzling meat with the low music playing from the speakers docking his phone.

Head down, focused on not getting hit by hot grease, since he had his pan on too high, that he didn’t hear the man walk into the room until and arm was warping around him pulling him back a bit and a hand reaching over to turn down the heat. “I like your thighs the way they are.” The voice still sounded sleepy as he took a few steps away from the stove being lead backwards by the man.

Pulled back against a warm chest, messy hair tickling the side of his cheek where Harry Had pushed his face into his neck. It took a second to clue into it but the man’s length at full attention now resting between perky twin globes. Instinctively pushing his hips back letting out a sweet sigh. “See your awake.”

Move of hips asking for permission. “Wasn’t till I came out here. Got a brilliant view.” There was less sleep in his voice taking its place that lovely low velvet lure.

“Where you being pervy?” Raising his light brown brow as he tried to turn to get even the slightest view.

“A bit.” Slow movement from Harry’s hips had him biting his lips trying not to fall for that tempting ache.

“Babe, there's no way I have anything left.”

“That's ok.” He sounded so assuring and sweet but steps away from the stove had him bent over by the sink. Exposed waist down to the now kneeling man. “I just need a taste..” Blushing heavily already as firm gripping hands spread milky cheeks exposing the recently abused entrance. Breath hitching in a low mew, as the hot wet muscle licked circles, causing Niall to push his hips back wanting more. Wanting contact so badly, and even with his empty tank he was started to get hard again. “H-Harr-y” The whimper getting caught in his throat as he was given one single lick.

It drove his need, all thoughts of breakfast had fallen away. Wanting more of that sweet hot pressure pressing to enter. Hands gripped the edge of the stainless steal sink as he threw his head back in a moan. “F-u-ck.” A sweet chroas leaving his lips as he arched his back wanting more of the intruding tongue fucking himself against his lover's mouth.

A sudden pressure wrapped around his aching need, holding him with constant pressure. The torture being in the lack of movement on his cock and the wet muscle making a map of his sensitive entrance. Falling forward in the need to support himself better, head dropping forward as glazed eyes looked down, the man's hand wrapped around his pulsing cock, and the other jerking himself off. The sight was intoxicating, filling his head with thoughts of the man getting off from just eating his ass as he moaned again eyes closing.

It wasn’t taking long, how could it with his husband working on his cock while eating his ass. His own cock hardly being touched in the grip as he flexed. “Please move, -lease..” Begging for more but changing his tune quickly. It was confusing to him but the man's hand started lazy slow pulls of his cock. “I-its to much.”

Eyes closed it felt like he was swimming in a sea of jello, his body ached for another release he wasn’t sure he had left. “P-please i-i can’t cum again.. H-ha-r-.. I-I Can-t” A mess of tightening limbs and a bucking hips he was surprising even himself with his lack of movement. If he dared to move it might break this hypnotic grip he was in. Crying out loudly as he pulled his hips forward, orgasm making a mess of him as he convulsed with his release. Gripping as tight as he could knuckles turning white with the pressure on the counter. Hands holding his hips up as he sunk slowly down into the awaiting lap. “I got you.” Voice behind him low but trusting.

Legs out toes curled on unsteady, trembling legs. Eyes closed as he dropped his head back breathing slowly evening. A muscular arm holding him against a firm chest, the other stroking up and down his calming thigh. “Hate you.” He whispered half heartedly because if it was anyone who could turn him into a bowl of goo it was Harry.
“You really had nothing left huh.” The voice sounded smug against his ear as he tried to stop the last aftershock from pulling through his body. Staying in that position until the world felt less unsteady and he wasn’t seeing white stars.

“One day I’m going to pass out because of you.”

“Do you think that could happen?” The question caused him to laugh as he knew now his husband had another goal to make, it wasn’t enough that he had him in tears from the intensity but now he wanted to fuck him senseless.

“Shit, I think something burning.” The words snapped him back away as he was left on the floor just as the fire alarm went off, smoke coming from the frying pan with the sausages. “Shitshitshit.” Niall got up after the man the best he could, trying to move as quick as he could grabbing a dish cloth to fan the angry alarm.

Everything had calmed down as quickly as it had erupted, as he limped over to Harry's side holding onto him examining the darkened meat. “Bother.” Sighing as he looked to Harry who had the stupidest grin on his face, shoving the brunette away who was starting to laugh. It felt right to laugh over something so typical them, as he rolled his eyes and leaned against the man. Getting a few quick kisses “Yeah i'm not remaking breakfast. Your turn.” He had missed his husband's cooking anyway.

The shower had been long but needed, relaxing over worked muscles. And giving him closeness to the taller man without the hunger of needing to show each other just how much they missed one another. Fingers mimicking the look of dried prunes as they sat on the couch Niall taking back up his usual stop, legs over the man’s thighs. The man seemed occupied with what was going on the t.v. as he blindly reached out, surprising Niall when the curly haired man’s hand grabbed his and just held it. Blinking a few times before laughing more to himself and laced their fingers. Not minding the smaller couch, giving all the more reason to sit closer.

Spending the entire day practically attached to the other, only taking small breaks when one had to grab something from the kitchen or head to the washroom. Maybe it was the short breaks between kisses, or the soft hum from Harry’s lips when Niall whispered against his ear. Fueling every nerve in his body. That craving for more of his husband, even if he had thoroughly been satisfied. Really hoping he could calm himself down for the next day.

Not leaving the house in favor of staying in and fooling around, avoiding any kind of real life responsibilities. When it came to realizing that the day had gone by in a blink and it was already well past midnight. Yawning loudly when the man finally got him up off the revisited spot on the couch. A proper vegging out day, as he stood up stretching. Reaching out to grab the fleeting man’s arm, maybe he could get away with it again as he hammed up a hobble. ‘Ow.’ That got a laugh from the younger and he nodded, stepping back becoming face to face.

If there was one thing he craved the most was the feeling of the man’s strong hands as he was picked up. Wrapping his arms around the man's neck and kissing at his ear. “Love you.” As he was carried back to the bedroom, placed down and crawled on top of, opting for a cuddle before waking up halfway through the night to fool around.

Morning felt like he had to recover from the past 36 hours. Night going into day spending it with the tattooed man who had unquenchable thirst. It seemed that their marathon had ended. Laying still in bed curled up into each other, every touch not needing a sexual response just comfort and ease. Light hearted morning banter that had Niall finally leave bed to shower and get ready.

Having said they would actually go to the match that day another away game being played all over the city but the pub of choice becoming their regular spot. Domestic activities had taken twice as long yesterday, laundry had left them naked on a heap of laundry.

Even if he had been so delightfully exhausted it didn't stop him from noticing the few new items Harry had bought in London. As he fished them out of the draw and pulled on the very soft briefs. Not overly tight sitting in a comfy fit.

“How are you already in my new boxers.. I just bought those.” The voice came from the heap of blankets, Harry hanging out the side trying to reach his phone that hadn't made it to the night stand. Sounding more tired than annoyed.

“What's yours is mine, Prince. “ Looking over his shoulder from where he was pulling out a pair of skinny light wash jeans.

“You have a point.” calm realization over the man's voice that it was right. Limping his way back to the bed to put the pants on. Sitting on the edge the man seemed to forget his phone and moved to wrap sleep heavy arms around a thin pale waist. “and you showered with out me.”

Blue eyes fell to bed messy curls, ignoring the clothing he was about to pull on instead focusing on playing with a loose ringlet. “m’knees hurting. Didn't want to be standing for too long.”

“That because of me?” Gem coloured eyes Meeting blue filled with concern, brows pinching together in the most adorable worry.

“Yes. It's all because of you.” smirking as he pet the man's worried head. “Don't be thick. Everything else hurts because of you. But think I may have pushed the walking.”

Brows relaxed only slightly as the soft feeling of warm lips started kissing his stomach right underneath his belly button. At first it was sweet but turned into tickling raspberries, laughing out loud trying to push away the man's face from his sensitive sides. “Harry. S-stop.”

There was a mock echo from said man as he emerged from the blankets. On the tickle assault.

“I hate when you tickle me.” It came out in gasps and attempts to fight against hands on his sides.

“I hate when you wear clothes.”

Grabbing the man's hand because he had been in a small attempt not to yell too loudly from a particular ticklish spot. “Wait. . You hate when I wear your clothes.”

There was a growl from the younger as he came up kissing at his neck. “No. I hate you wearing any clothes.” lips made a slow climb up to the shell of his ear causing him to shiver at the sensation. “ I love it when you wear my stuff. Know why?”

Shaking his head no as he moved arms up and along the man's bare sides up to his back, running fingers down from his shoulder slow drag of nails. “Why?”

“I love seeing you wrapped in everything that is mine to show everyone you belong to me.” Heavy breath leaving his lips trying to keep his head on straight or else this would lead to something they didn't really have much time for.

“belong to you?” Trying his best to sound calculated and critical, but coming off opposite.

“completely, with your entirety is all mine.” Another shiver rippled through his body as he dug his nails in deeper.

Liking this side of Harry, how he could go from sleepy eyed to burning with passion. “Hey.” Trying to catch the man’s attention, freeing his hand to grab the man’s chin roughly. “Its reciprocal.” Leaning up to capture Harry’s deep rose lips.

He hadn’t meant for it to turn into deep hot kisses, as he finally pulled away pushing Harry away by the cheek. “Ok ok, we don't have time babe. Go get ready.” Grinning as the man groaned and pushed his face into his shoulder shaking his head.

“Let's just stay home and do what we did yesterday.” His husbands voice muffled as teeth grazed over warm skin.

“No way.. I’m lucky to barely be walking today. Everything hurts!” Sounding dramatic as the man peeked up, perfectly groomed brow arching.

“Isn’t it like an early morning hang over, you gotta have that hair of the dog to make it better.” That telltail grin plastered over the man's face as Niall tried his best to shake his head and wiggle away.

“Don’t think that’s how it works.. Please no tickles.. Get ready or will be late.” Since the last two nights had been staying up late and waking up very late. Any reason to stay wrapped in each other’s arms.

After only having to suffer a very short tickling he was able to toss his shirt on and put on his socks. Watching the curly haired man pick out clothing and head to the shower alone.

Harry could call him a baby all he wanted, with his thermal shirt on then a regular shirt of course a sweater then a supporting home Jersey with the coat as a cherry on top. As he situated himself against the crutches making his way out the door heading into the cold clear day. Realizing all too late that he hadn’t put on a pair of gloves and with his hands exposed they were freezing once they got to the closest pub. The same one they had visited the week before, with the usual group of trainers give or take a few.

Crutches cold to the touch as they found a seat near the side of the pub still in sight of the match being aired. Waiting till Harry was back with two pints, grinning as he moved closer on the bench fingers inching closer to their target. Pushing under the man’s sweater, like heat seeking missiles knowing he hit his mark when the man jumped at the cold fingers. Harry's whipped his head to the side, tattooed mans hands moving on top of his separated by a layer of cloth. “Holy shit, you’re freezing.”

“I'll be warm soon enough.” Leaning in and getting a quick peck, no one was paying attention to them. As he ran his fingers over warm sides and adorably small tummy. Ignoring his beer for most of the match in favour of his favorite heater. Maybe he was distracted but it wasn’t till the second half that he finally started paying attention, taking a sip of the beer. It tasted like over 2 months of not drinking, it was heaven. Voices teasing him as they mentioned his use of the crutches that day, how Harry must have shown him how much he missed him. That got them both blushing and trying to laugh behind glasses.

It was near the end of the match a clear winner taken again by their team. Glad they had been on a streak, as they group stayed behind to celebrate a bit. Niall still nursing the beer as he felt hot lips against his ear before any words. “I can’t wait to make love to you tonight.” The words had been left him with a shiver and a quiet. ‘Okay’ in response as he looked back over as the man played it off as him saying the most carefree thing in the world. Really hoping he wasn’t blushing as hard as he was predicting.

It should have been enough the past day together spending it in all forms of clothed and unclothed. In fast passionful bouts of sex, to the lazy silly kind that had them ending it in a laugh instead of an intense orgasm. To the point where Niall had to beg him not to tickle him when he came. But love making was something that had his heart racing and his palms sweaty feeling shyer as they finally left the pub.

Moving through the afternoon feeling on edge when every they passed with lingering contact. Cooking something easy for dinner while Harry sat at the table laptop out reading over something for work. There was only so long after dinner that he could be patient for the man to finish up work. Stopping to stroke the of the man's neck, before heading towards the living room.

Joined quickly husband smiled as he moved to sit beside him, taking only second to snuggle up right beside him, turning to face the brunette man.

“I was wondering if I was going to get you back.” Grinning as he moved against Harry's chest recieving sweet kisses as a reply. Smiling against the man's lips pulling away to rest his head on his shoulder. Just enjoying their last quiet night before Harry's parents were back and it was back to work and recovery. Less than 3 week and they would be home back in London where they belonged.

Really anything could have set him off, feeling on edge at the threat of being made love too. Trying his best not to be to excited, but after an episode of some show was more than enough for him to sit and wait. Turning to get access to the man's olive toned neck, leaning in and kissing at the skin softly. “Babe?” Keeping quiet as he pushed his hand up the man's leg gripping at his upper inner thigh. Squeezing, like a cat kneading asking for attention.

“Hmm?” He could feel green eyes on him, lit up in there usual mischievous way. “Something you want?”

There was no way he could resist not going straight to the point as he shifted his angle kissing up the man's slim neck to his ear. “You.” It was a far cry from being romantic but after waiting since the match ended to now had been long enough. The shiver from the other man against him feeling a strong hand come down and grab a handful of his ass. Pushing himself further onto the man's lap, hand now clear in its intention to grab the man's steadily rising cock.

Being with Harry like this was more then just rapid motion till they both climaxed. It was an agonizingly slow build up, being teased forward and told not yet. Masterfully played by someone who knew every inch of his body and enjoyed coxing him closer and pulling him back. Lips that begged and arms that clung. Hips arched and playful smiles lit up in between whines with breathless gasps.

It could be the fire in the fireplace keeping them warm or the movement of bodies against each other. Crackle of fire mixing in with the sweet melody of moans. Fingers raking down leaving long red lines in the glow of dim lighting. When he was finally able to orgasm it felt overwhelming in most satisfying way like reaching the summit of the highest mountain.

Making it into bed just in time to hear the front door unlock, just barely missing his in-laws catching them. Eyes wide and lips sealed tight in the attempt to muffle surprised laughs, falling into each other in a heap seeking comfort.

---

If there was one thing he could never tire of listening to was the infectious laugh, matched with wide excited blue eyes. That feeling that had him come alive when he heard it, no matter the time. So having it on the rainy Monday morning was better than coffee, better than a full night's rest really.

Not knowing how it had come to this, innocently at first offering to help his husband stretch. The gym was usually this quiet so early in the morning, making loud laughs even louder. As he had his blond flat on his back on the dark mats. Leg up on his shoulder pushing his weight down to give the man a great stretch. “Babe! This is not helping.” The pose closely resembling something from the night before.

“What are you talking about, it's perfect.” Delightful laughs coming from the man pinned underneath, hands trying to push his shoulders away, smirking down at the older. Dropping his hips down so that he was just resting himself on the scissor man stuck in the stretch.

“H-harry! Now you're just resting your dick on me.” Bursting into laughter as he looked down and he was doing pretty much that, maybe they should have been more ashamed of the pda. But he wanted to keep making the man laugh. “Your litterly not doing anythign..” The blonds voice broken up with laugher, a hand coming up to stop him from leaning in for a kiss.

“I mean you're so flexible, Ni. I'm really just helping.” entranced by vibrant blue as the man threw his head back it was surprising no one had told them off. But maybe he thought too soon.

“You'd think you two would have had enough of eachother over the weekend.” A voice loud and snide. Tearing his attention from the man on the floor to the one standing by the entrance.

Who else could it have been, standing in long shorts donning a branded sweater and wateerbottle in his opinion the man looked link a walking poster board. The ex standing with a raised brow, looking back at the bright red blush on his husband's cheeks.

“Get off.” It should have sounded more rude but it came out as another giggle more embarrassed. “Hey Louis.” The smaller called out as Harry reluctantly lifted himself off freeing the blonds braced knee.

“Surprised they didn't kick you out for assaulting our eyes with your weird sex moves.” It was only slightly embarrassing as he laughed and helped the blond up to sitting, propping himself back on his ankles. Not to enthused to enjoy a conversation with the footie player.

“Shut up. You liked the view.” Raising his brow at the blond not realizing the two where so chummy giving the man a confused eyebrow raise getting a hand on his cheek. Heaving the scoff and ‘fuck off.’

“What?” speaking quietly, the blond just smiled his usual happy smile.

“I love you “ saying quietly and leaning in to kiss him. “Can you help me up?” Nodding as he got up himself and took the blonde's hands pulling him up.

The air was slightly awkward but of course Niall couldn't see it, he could swear the man loved the tension. “I-I should got shower.” annoyed with the stutter in his voice clearly amusing the blond was enough that he wore a cheeky smile.

Nod confirming that that was the right choice. Cupping the back of his neck and pulling him into a deep kiss, hoping it was enough to show the man who he himself belonged to. “Have a good day at work babe.” Voice quiet as he finally pulled back and sighed nodding. The thought at the back of his head wanting to stay and keep an eye on him even if he was in very safe hands. The feeling could stem from the lack of trust he had in the footie player who didn't really make contact with him as he walked pasted heading for the showers. Hearing Niall as they picked up like that wasn't the oddest interaction ever.

Chapter Text

“I didn’t think you and Louis were.. Friends.”

Niall looked over to the side of the car where the voice came from, for once being the driver then the passenger. The facial expression he dorned was curious with undertones of skeptical.

Rolling his eyes in response, looking back to the road. “It's not even a thing Harry.. we are definitely not friends.” Taking one last look over before focusing back on the road. “Can we wait till I'm not driving.”

‘fine.’

Niall could have been hearing things but it sounded like the man could be jealous. Parking the car on their street rubbing nervous palms on his pant legs. Leaps and bounds a better driver now, less scared of the cars around him.

“I just feel kinda bad for him.” Finally speaking up once the car was behind them as they headed in. The blonds only goal was to ice and watch the highlights.

“Why? Because it seems more than just sympathy.” Harry’s voice was annoyed and calculated the same when he was trying not to show confusion.

“Are you jealous?...” Shooting him a look because really this could easily take a turn, was the man jealous of Niall talking to Louis or the other way around. “He's your ex not mine. I didn't sleep with him. “ Just trying his best to get his point across.

“Yeah I know… I mean I'm kinda jealous, but it's because I want to keep you to myself… oh shit, that sounds bad.” Wearing his usual pinched brows making Niall laughed he didn't mind the idea of being all Harry's. Awkwardly turning back to him from the fridge the man thankfully not to far from him to get into contact with him. Leaving his crutches beside the counter and wrapping arms around his waist.

“Its fine.” Lips pressing into the man's cheek a few times. “ I’m all yours.” Smiling as he reached his hand up to rub between the man's brow with a light touch of his thumb. Pulling back to admire the man, his angle’s mixing well with kind eyes and pouty lips.

“I know. Can you at least explain it a tiny bit for me…”

“Sure… I guess I feel like we have to stick together even if he doesn't see that way. How hard must it be babe.” Taking a step back and heading back to the fridge to grab something, anything really to snack on before dinner. “Like how hard has it got to be, being out and all?” face deep in the fridge trying to find the hummus for the veggie sticks already cut up waiting to be eaten.

“I mean, you have me and we could conquer the world together. Who does he have?” Finding the dip in the back, still unable to stop himself as he grabbed a carrot stick from the package and popped it into his mouth talking around the veggie. “Its gotta be hard being seen only as the gay guy in sport, not the guy who helped raise half a million at a charity match for sickly children.” Straightening back up as he looked over at Harry who was staring right back at him adorable pout still on. “What?”

Biting off the orange stick quizzingly looking up at the taller as the man’s personal space was invaded in one easy step. “You’re too perfect. Stop it, quick do something daft so I can make fun of you.” Blinking off the shock trying to chew and getting lips against his was a bit much so it made cough against dark roses, trying not to choke on carrot pieces.

“Gross, Harry go away.” Doing his best to reach up and push the man’s firm chest away, attempting this best not to spit anything on the man’s lips as he pulled away to finish his bite. Sudden laugh from the taller as arms wrapped around him again as he moved to settle against him finishing his piece of carrot. Looping his own full hands around the man's waist and patting it with the container of dip.

“Can you two pack it in.” The usual sound of Robins loud voice , lifting up his head from Harry's shoulder and watched the two coming in with shopping bags. ‘And don’t eat those, they’ll spoil your appetite.’ A sweet hum of Anne’s voice coming from behind, everyone stopped to look at her before laughing. ‘Alright, enough. Out of the kitchen at least.’

Since it was a well known fact that Niall could not only eat a snack before dinner and then put away a full serving but then be hungry an hour later. ‘Like having bloody teenagers all over again.’ Grabbing his crutches from the counter handing off his snacks to the younger as they left before they could be asked to stay and help. Deciding another evening resting on the couch with an icepack and his husband would be the best way to spend the monday evening.

--

Skin hot and slick from the constant repeat of motion. Low groans of effort in between heavy pants for breath. Quiet breathless encouragements of ‘come on Ni.’ Added with the tremble of over worked muscles straining to push harder. ‘you got it.’

Hardly acknowledging the clang of machines being used or weights being dropped. Noisy from a busy weekend. A step from their usual agenda of spending weekends together. But the mer thought of there finally week happening had the tattooed man watching his husband push harder then ever a new flame lit under him.

So close to the end of their stay, the start to a finally week. Leaving both excited but sad to leave new friends in a small city not as hectic or fast paced as London. It seemed to all be happening so quickly as the bunned man stood admiring the strength in the other, trying to push back thoughts of packing and leaving and keeping in the present.

“Get it, babe.” Cheering him on from the sideline as he watched the trainer and Niall pushing hard. Thankful the woman had said he'd help and pull an extra day with them. It was evident the hard work he had been putting in. Non stop for two months straight was paying off now. Evident in the muscles he was straining to use, a lovely peek of impressive back muscles when he would adjust the long armedholed muscle top.

Blond hair flat with sweat, cheeks delightfully rosy and lips parted in a snarl as he pulled himself up again on a chin up.

“You came to gock, or you actually going to do anything styles?” Flicking green eyes over to rich hazel, smiling big since he was caught.

“Think I’m good. The views really nice where I am.” Clearly the wrong answer.

“Alright, get up there with’em.” Moving up beside the blond as his eyes bounced up and down with the view. Before squaring his shoulders and legs and hopping up to grab the bar and fell into step with the blue eyed man. Feeling slightly out of pace, the man was getting so strong and tough it was hard to keep up with all the arm and back work.

 

With the workout over and a short drive back to the rental house, it was becoming overly daunting having to be ready to leave. Raking eyes over the living room where they had made themselves at home. Blanket from their bedroom still tossed haphazardly over the couch from when Niall had wrapped himself around it and made a makeshift bed their. Leaving Harry cold and exposed in the bedroom. Guess it had been a very successful wake up, not really caring for his parents to walk in on him naked ass up.

“Everything hurts.. Every inch of my body.” The older's face buried under a scarf and large beanie. Though it wasn’t covered enough to not see the look he was shot by blue eyes, lips tugging in a cocky smile as he lifted his shoulder in a shrug. Was it his fault that Niall had kept telling him ‘harder’.

“Can’t help that I was working all day yesterday that I needed to show you how much I was thinking about you.” Pulling up the blanket from the couch and heading toward the bedroom, loud enough scoff as he left the blond to unwrap himself from the million layers of warm clothing. Making the bed and looking over his shoulder to watch the man crutch his way in, only relying on them lightly now. “You looked really strong today.” Speaking quietly as he sorted through two layers of laundry.

“Thanks.. I’m sure you could really see the improvement.” Soft clicks from the silver supports as he glanced over to watch the man take a seat on the bed.

“Sure did.” Winking as he started separating the clothes for laundry. Not noticing the first sock that came flying his way into the dark pile. Or the next one for that matter, it wasn’t till a pair of long workout pants came flying into the side of his head that his attention was finally brought back to the now naked blond. Raised light brown brow face filled with amusement.

“Think you got a second to shower?” Never one to say no, as he stood up in one full swoop his shirt was off and on the ground. Letting the blond lead as he pushed down pants following after the retreating milky backside.

Water was warm with the right amount of pressure, hands mapping their own way over tight muscles of his lovers back. Pale in contrast to his tan tones, leaving relaxed pressure as he went. Soft groans from clam lips, his partners head fallen forward resting on his chest. The spray of the water keeping them in the comfort of the heat. “Can’t wait for our own shower.. And bed.”

Words barely audible from tired lips, nodding his agreement not trusting his own voice to crack from lack of use. Savoring this moment, a moment he wanted to keep sharing throughout their life together. It was times like this, rightfully exposed to each other. Nowhere to hide any sense of embarrassment or modesty. This is where they littirally stipped everything down for the other. Standing there like this made Harry realize he couldn’t picture himself being anywhere else. As he sighed leaving soft kisses along the man’s temple. This could stay the same forever for all he cared, even if everything around them was hectic filled with chaos he only cared that this was his safe space.

It could be the end of the contract approaching soon, slowly putting everything in perspective. Spending day after day stuck in an office ‘fighting’ it out with plays who made claims to needing more money, then paid into over paying lawyers like himself. Maybe it could be his perspective changing but every day he put on a suit it felt heavier, it felt like actual work.

“Babe.” The voice was pained and tired, a tell the man was getting to sore to keep standing. Smoothing hands over the relaxed back and to slender hips holding tight with a confident grip. Taking the lead as they headed out of the shower. He was too excited for their own shower, for their home that would smell solely of Niall and himself. Of the home where he had realized he had fallen in love with the fiery musician, where he could listen to the play of music while he worked.

He missed home, but mainly he missed being home with his husband. Spending the rest of the sunday attempting to help his mother in the kitchen and really just eating whatever she left behind if he could. And passing off pieces off to Niall who was working on the laptop this time, helping the best he could from where he was with a track sent by Julian. Even if the blond had taken off the last 3 months it was more than evident that was feeling pent up from the lack of music. Only playing a few times since the surgery, messing about on his computer a few more times than that but never anything Harry was aloud to listen to.

Moving in behind the soapy smelling older man, draping himself on his built shoulders and blinking to look at the screen. Lines of music editing software that he couldn’t understand unless he took a few months of classes to understand. Startled when an earplug was being pushed into his ear the blond unceremoniously jabbing it in till he was satisfied. Adjusting as he finally fixed it and shot Niall an odd look as he settled back down against him and closed his eyes and listened.

At first it didn’t seem like anything Niall had played before as he listened to the gentle melody and a sweet voice from a woman light and fluttery. It wasn’t till the chorus, different from the recording from Paris but the voice sounded so familiar.

Eyes wide with excitement but he dare not say anything since he was so excited. Looking over at the blond switching looks for once as he looked calculatedly critical. Blue eyes catching green, watching the older bring a hand up and press his pointer finger toward his lips. This was his husband singing the chorus and it was just another proud moment he could add to his list.

Nodding to not speaking as he pressed a kiss into blushing cheeks, it was over so quickly that he couldn’t help but want more. This wasn’t something Niall was usually up to sharing as he pulled back even if he wanted to ask him to play it again. “When?” Asking quietly so his parents didn’t get nosey.

“Just one of the pieces I was helping Julian with during November.” Smiling at that as he locked his arms tighter around the man kissing his neck. ‘It was so great.’ whispering against the soft skin of his neck.

“Shh.” All he got back as he just smiled and nodded into his neck. That day had been nothing but Niall showing him how far he had come from, not only physically but confidence wise as well and nothing could make him less proud.

 

--

 

“Cup of tea?”

Asking quietly where they laid tangled into each other, trying to keep heavy lids from closing. The thursday evening had approached quickly and they were not as far packed as he would have liked. The urgency to be ready like they had in december was gone, falling into a lazy comfort. No rush to pack up and leave. Finally pulling his arm free from under a comfortable blond after getting just a nod in response.

There wasn’t that much to pack, they just needed a couple outfits for their last friday and for the drive home. But it seemed endless in the amount of cleaning. As he walked into the kitchen that had half the pantry in a box’s that his mother was insisting they take. Pulling open a few cupboards while the kettle boiled. Making up two cups and leaving back for the bedroom, setting the cups down on the dresser as he looked over at the man sitting up rubbing his face.

“Come on sleepy head. Just the suitcases.” Watching him nod and get up stretching with a loud yawn. Eyeing him as he walked over, hand stroking along his arm as he walked by smiling softly at the contact. Making quick work of the clothes, even after exchanging some quick words about why they shouldn’t just throw it all in and sit on the case as per Niall.

Niall hadn’t even given him the time to close the pack before grabbing his hand. “Enough, bed time now.” Knowing not to argue as he got up and followed after turning off the lights as they went. Getting into bed, back to their usual spot. A groan waking him back up from almost falling asleep. “Turn over.” A sigh turned into a yawn as he turned from the man’s chest over toward the window, warm body pressing up behind him. Arm slinging over his waist as eyes started to fall asleep again without any hesitation. Only thing he remembered before drifting off was the nuzzle of a man’s forehead against his shoulders.

--

A burn was lighting up in tense muscles, pushing himself hard for his last session with the team he had been working with. It felt like he was stuck in the middle of an endless race, sweat dripping down his neck as he breathed heavy. Legs on fire from the fast pace he was setting on the bike, a feat that he never thought he would get. Moving with a motion he worried he’d never get back.

Being freed from the sprint as he slowed and finally dismounted, it was on jello feeling legs that he made it to the black mats laying back arm over his sweaty forehead trying to even his breath. Compared to most of the others in the gym he wasn’t going as hard as them but he was working with such a disadvantage. Even if most of the frequenters were in their own space training with different trainers. The sound of someone sitting down beside him he didn’t even need to look over to know who it was.

“Looking good. Does it hurt?” Voice that use to hold a very snid tone had now turned more joking and kind. Something Niall never thought he would hear.

“Like a bitch.” Finally calming his raising chest as he sat up looking over to get a better look at the man beside him. “You’re coming tonight right?” Since it was there last day in the city the trainers and team they had made friends with over the last two months were going to a nice dinner and drinks. Blow off steam and say good bye. It made him want to reconsider just moving to the coast and staying with this group of people. But his home was in London and so was Harry’s main work and their life had been there being put on hold for too long.

“Positive. Just.. Trevor said he’d go with me, like a kind of confirmation were together. But how do I tell him I don't want that. Like its not that serious.” Niall smiled over at the small brunette liking that the man was becoming more comfortable talking about actual ‘gay’ things together now. Freely joking about men that were fit on other teams, like Harry he had seen the man slowly come out of his shell. Of course it meant some awkward conversations but now it seemed easy and light hearted.

“So there is a sort of thing..” Raising his brow at the man who seemed embarrassed but shrugged his shoulder with a toss of his hand.

“Not to sure.. Don’t think I’m ready just yet. Since if someone from the journals got word even a photo… I’d be making him come out to the whole world.” Talking quietly as he dipped his head down a bit as if it could shelter them from everyone in the room. Even if no one was paying them any attention.

“That makes sense.. Besides how many questions would you get.. Like the how do you two do it, size wise.” Niall teased looking at him with wide eyes. “It’s like The Rock and a.. Mouse, it’s just hard to picture.”

That got him a punch on the arm as he laughed so hard. “I think people would just be proud of you, like.. There goes Tommo, he fought a goliath.” The older beside him laughing as well, as he half heartedly hit him again.

“Dickhead… But I mean, I do deserve a medal or something. A plaque maybe.” It had both of them chuckling, he’d actually miss the man a bit. Even if he was his husband’s ex he was a nice guy if you sifted through his bitchy exterior. Glad they had exchanged numbers just in case he had any questions. Since the man had almost no gay friends.

The man in question was walking into the gym all overbearingly giant with huge arms. “I can’t believe you… He’s massive.” Muttering under his breath.

“Can’t help it.. Throws me around like a fucking rag doll and I like it.” Niall couldn’t help the gagging noises he made as he pretended to be sick.

“You’re so gross.. Get out of here before I’m actually sick.” As he nudged the man away, watching him shoot a devilish grin and get up. With the most inconspicuous sway of his hips walked up to the man said something and walked away. Watching the clueless man just eye the footie player as he walked out of the gym toward the showers.

Nodding his head in greeting when the man walked past him, even if he got the worst side eye. Trevor the trainer was one of the most intimidating men he had ever met and yet somehow Louis had the balls to take him on. His usual trainer a chatty blond was at his side finally helping him stretch after the massive taxing work out.

Getting himself layered back up saying good bye to the staff who wasn’t going to dinner. Then heading to the car where Harry was already waiting, right on time. Sorting himself in the warmed car as he shivered but smiled brightly, leaning over to get a kiss from the man. “I’m so over cold weather.”

Reaching out to settle his hand on the back of the curly haired mans neck. Feeling the vibration of laughter as the man drove them out of the parking lot. “How was your last workout?” Loving the feeling of the man talking, finally pulling his hand back when they reached the main road.

“Oh god, she kicked my ass actually. I was worried my legs had stopped working alltogether.” Avoiding looking at the street as he looked at the line of the man’s nose and smiled when the man smiled. How simple where things that a ride home could make him this happy.

Avoiding most talk about Louis from the gym but mentioning he may show up with or without someone. But that seemed to get no response from Harry, though having the two not really speak to each other wasn’t anything that bothered him. Getting back to the house, b-lining for the shower saying a brief greeting to Anne.

His mother-in-law had been nothing but amazing the entire time. Helping them clean up the rental and pack everything up. Robin had already left at the beginning of the week. And she was going to be driving the next day the same time as them. So they could keep an eye on one another during the 4 hour drive.

 

The night had gone over really well in Niall’s opinion. Everyone seemed to enjoy themselves and even the initial path crossing of Harry and Louis had only been slightly awkward. Louis clearly taking a big chance by introducing Trevor to Niall’s husband who just nodded his head and smiled nicely. Maybe he could finally let go of his fear of the two, since he was sure the ex’s would never be best friends but he liked Louis now. And for the two to be in the same room without him freaking out it was all he could ask for. Giving a thumbs up for encouragement. Spending the night talking with new friends that he was sad the wouldn't get to see as often. Though his main group of trainers had said that one another were going to take turns staying at his place and kicking his ass in the gym.

Drinks clinking and loud talking over music. As he moved his way back to the man who had been nursing the same beer all night. The plan had been cab home since the two were going to be drinking. But last minute he had taken a painkiller for the throbbing pain building that he didn’t want to make worse.

“You can drink if you want to.” Leaning into the man’s ear once he finally reached him.

“Not feeling it.. How’s you?” Catching the glance down towards his leg as he shifted himself on the crutches and just smiled.

“It’s fine, better than earlier.” Receiving a long kiss which got a few ‘oi oi’s’ from the group, making the blond laugh and pull away smiling up at him. Maybe this is what a reception could have felt like with a group of friends happy for them.

The group had gotten rowdier the later the night had gone on. Finally deciding it was time to go, going around and saying good bye and that at some point they would all have to visit one another. A few of the group looking very close to tears. Promising to stay in contact as he waved to Louis who had promised him tickets every time the team played in London and he was for sure taking him up on that.

Standing on the curb arms around his husband's waist with the man’s arm around his own waist and the other holding up the pair of crutches. Waiting for their cab as he leaned up and kissed the man’s jaw. Finally pulling back to see the blissful face smiling at him, that tipsy feeling but coming from just being able to share a night with him. The feelings making him chuckle to himself since neither of them had drank, and the thought of his husband even drinking had him just speaking freely. “Harry Styles.. You strange, strange man.. I love you.”

The talker making face a rendition of a mock offense. “What did I do to deserve being called strange.” He was about to reply but the cab had arrived and they were a mess of trying to untangle and get crutches in the right hands. Laughing as they finally made their way in, glad the driver hadn’t said much to them.

It would have been nice to fall into bed naked and in the heat of passion. And that had been the initial intention but Niall sat on the bed after leaving his clothes in a heap and laid back waiting for the man but in the two minutes it took for the man to come back he was already fast asleep. Not noticing the arms that pulled the blankets out or the dip in the bed of the man climbing in making himself comfortable.

--

The drive had been nothing special, after a morning of packing up the cars and handing over the keys to the owner and it was all done. They had had such a great time in the coastal city a time he didn’t think he would forget. As they left, Niall in the passengers after losing the argument that he should drive half way. A couple trips to the grocery store and to the gym were not enough since the man was still sore from the last day at the gym.

Pit stops to fill up in cheaper small towns, a mound of snacks opened and on the olders lap. Making it easy for Harry to reach over and feel around for something to pop in his mouth. Though there were a few times that he had found himself cheekily feeling up his husband. Getting a whine for Harry to stop or he would have to find a way to deal with it. Which had almost resulted in a mid drive handjob, but Niall hard refused. Cloud covered day, only seeing a few breaks in the sky as they kept heading home.

Loving the distraction from the overly boring drive back toward London. Traffic getting backed up every now and then adding an extra hour to the entire drive. Though the breaks to laugh and really enjoy his alone time with Niall had been in between something that kept his mind busy. Something he should have asked Niall that night but he had fallen asleep and it was confusing him.
The thought that he was strange was bizarre to him. If anything he thought he was just boringly predictable. Maybe it was eating at him more then it should have. Could it be a negative being strange, but if that was the case Niall was stranger than him, maybe he wasn’t the right kind of strange. Seeing the city limits was enough for him to put the thought away and focus on the now insane mid day traffic.

Separating ways from the black SUV of his mother's, heading back toward their neck of the woods. Familiar buildings and parks, everything unchanged and inviting. Their same market and park standing where they had left them. “I’m so excited.”

Smiling over once he had parked. “Ready?” Getting an eager nod as the grabbed a few things, going to have to come back a few times to grab the boxes filled with food. As they headed up Harry pulling along both suitcases and Niall crutching after him with a backpack on.

“Our lobby.” The man’s reminiscent voice as they pressed the call lift button. Walking in and letting it do the work instead of making Niall do stairs. “Our lift.” Lips against his speaking softly. “Can’t wait to see our door.” Pushing his lips back, soft loving pressing.

Pulling back to head out onto their floor, everything looked the same. As they got up to the door unlocking and walking in. It smelt a bit of still air and slightly of Niall's mothers perfum who had been by every week to water their plants.

“I feel like there are more plants in here…” Niall mused as he checked out each room, it felt like seeing his home again. Exciting yet familiar, as he followed after taking the left up a set of stairs to the bedroom. Leaving the cases, jogging back to make a few more rounds while they still had daylight.

After a climb of the stairs before bed. Finding himself in a sweet lip lock with the shorter blond. “So happy to be home with you.” Words that filled his heart and brought a calm bliss.

--

It took only a couple days to settle back in, but with work it felt like it had taken almost all of March. They had been home for weeks now, Niall had been hard at work in the studio. Most days he could be found their listening or talking to Julian. Actually sharing his work with the tattooed man and playing clips for him. Now that he was home in the studio it was time to work and Harry admired that a lot. His blond seemed to be enjoying his time with music again balancing it with trips physio and the gym.

Though it felt opposite for him, now that he was home he didn’t find as much joy pulling on the sharp suit and lavish shirts. He wanted to be home reading watching Niall work. Wanting to not feel like a 45 year old man. Since he fell in the habit of early to work early to leave not staying after unless asked. Chatting more with co workers listening to the same things. Something was changing for sure and he couldn’t put his nose to it. Just that his focus had shifted and there was no telling if it would go back to normal.

It was on one of those nights just teetering on April. They had come in from a night at the pub with his work colleagues and it was starting to feel boring seeing the same people he held no interest with at work now for a night out. Not like the friends they had actually made on the coast, trainers their age with stories of sporadic trips with hardly any money. Not lavish trips to the spa or a new golf course which seemed to put him to sleep now.

Lying wrapped together after the night out, calming down from ragging chest and sweat glistened bodies. Maybe he had let it eat at him to long, such a simple word but it was starting to make him worried. “Ni.”

His voice coming out pensive, seeing blue eyes look nervously at him. “Yeah? Did I hurt you?” That was impossible, though a hand was questioningly stroking his back side that was still tender from his ride on the olders cock.

Shaking his head in response as he fixed his head back down onto the man’s chest, resting his weight down. “No.. just, can I ask you something?”

“Of course babe, anything.” The pale man’s hand that freed his hair from the bun and was playing with the curly strands.

“Am I strange?” Peeking up to see the blue eyed man’s expression. Watching as his face went from concern to amusement.

“Yes. You're the weirdest person I know.” Rumble of a chuckle making his cheek bounce on the man’s chest. It relaxed quickly once he realized that Harry wasn’t laughing as well. “Whats wrong babe…. Why are you so worried about being strange?”

“Because I don’t feel normal..” Propping himself up on his arm looking down at the man whose hand ever missed a beat and kept tangled in his hair. “Why am I weird?”

“Harry, I don’t mean it in a bad way.. I just mean that, your strange in comparison to my friends and people I work with.. in the sense that they are a mess. You’ve just been an adult since you were 16 and that's so very delightfully strange since I still feel like I haven’t matured at all.” His words came off kind and calm but it just helped to confuse him.

Maybe this was a mid life crises since he had never really had terrible teenage years or that his studies had been the only thing he focused on. “You’re mature.. And you work a room like no ones buisness, Im just stuck to the wall trying not to make a fool of myself.”

“Harry you're not a wallflower, since we’ve been together you’ve really come out of your shell. I think you’re amazing and it just takes time to find your groove.” Reassuring but still he felt like there was something missing, missing from his perfect life that he couldn’t get from where he was now.

“But I don’t bring anything to things like tonight, in their eyes I’m just a dumb kid to them who has no social interaction skills… I have no stories to tell.” Harry was down playing himself he was sure of it, usually so cool and slightly socially awkward he wasn’t as terrible as he had been last year but it was feeling worse since he had no connection realizing that he was just working with old people to help rich men keep their money and nothing with any other kind of substance. There was a lot going on in his mind that he was to nervous to tell Niall, maybe from the fear of the man not wanting to be with him since he didn’t know why he was doing this for other than it was what was expected of him.

“Love, if its stories you’re wanting then maybe we should actually try and make young friends. Put in effort to meet people... “ A shiver ran through the older laying under him, as he gave him a confused look setting himself back down on his chest. “Just the thought is terrifying but exciting. Let’s make stories… we will have so many, my knee is getting there and then I can do so much more I promise.”

Nodding in agreement the thought did sound exciting. To actually make friends their own age not old stuffy lawyer's who flaunted their money shamelessly. “I know we will.. Just focus on getting better. Don’t worry ok?”

Long silence fell over the room, thinking maybe the blond had fallen asleep but his voice finally stirred him from his thoughts. “Talk to me, any time about anything… I love you endlessly, no matter what.” Sometimes it felt hard to put his feelings into words as he pushed himself up the warm body graze lips against the man’s. ‘Thank you.’ whispered words against parted lips feeling like he never wanted the safe feeling of his lover’s body against his to end. Knowing that if it really came down to it he could actually tell him everything that weighed down his mind. The time was coming to make some choices, understand what he really wanted to be doing.

Chapter Text

Mid April a year before he was thinking about anything other than the match making. Lonesome with his only enjoyment coming from studying music, not knowing he was about to live one of his most exciting and trying years of his life.

It was sparked with such a simple comment. “This time last year I didn't know I was going to be marrying the most amazing man.” Grabbing the attention of his younger husband. Stripping down after their usual Sunday workout. Falling into a predictable schedule, but the date had reminded him it was just a month away from their one year anniversary.

“I wouldn't say most amazing… maybe most intelligent and breathtakingly gorgeous.” The comment coming from the man who was stripping out of the layer of sweaty clothing.

“Fuck off.” Niall nudged the man with his shoulder as he walked by, eyes bright with delight. Of course it had led to an all out tickle match just out of the shower. Niall trying his best to avoid the long arms. But to no avail he found himself turned around and against Harry's tattooed chest.

Ragged breath against his ear and it could have been from watching an action movie the night before but when Harry spoke it was deep and growl. “If you know what's best for you, you'd get in the shower.” Reminiscent of a terrible batman voice, from the movie they had watched the night before.
It had him biting his lips trying not to laugh. “Yes sir.” Even as the words left his mouth he was already laugh quite hard as he walked into the shower.

“I think you mean ‘daddy’.” Rolling sea blue eyes as he fixed the taps on and stood back up, turning.

“I’m not calling you that.” Trying to keep his foot down and firm on the subject. Warm body came up against his, intruding on his personal space. Being pushed back against the tiled walls lips colliding harshly as he flinched gasping from the cold contact. Lips parting enough for the dominating tongue to claim the inside of his mouth.

Bent over as feverish hips pushing against one another, tight grip locked on the blond's slim hips. Moans loud as his hands steadied against the cool tiles. Water splashing everywhere with a mind of its own. Niall's head falling forward as he let out a cry at a particularly mind blowing angle.

“Right there..ha-again.. please” Rambling a string of desperate pleas. Opening eyes to watch the man change his footing, one up around the rim of the tub. The angle was definitely doing it for him as he gasped hard. Whimpering as the man thrusts started abusing the spot with a wicked force from his hips.

“got it..just gimme…”The man had be trying to adjust his footing on the rim of the tub. A fault in step, going from earth shattering speed to being left empty ‘Ahh’. Looking back at the man stumbling back just in time to watch the tattooed man catch himself awkwardly enough green eyes wide..

“are you ok!?” The blond trying now to rush to his side, yet not to quickly and have the same thing happen. “how didya?”

“I’m fine. Really it’s ok.” Harry spoke as he sorted himself out, but the face he had pulled taking a step didn’t seem alright. Though he had insisted on finishing.

It wasn't ok, after they had finished Harry had limped himself out of the bathroom complaining about his foot. When Niall had tried to touch it to make sure it wasn't seriously injured the younger had yelled quite loudly and smacked his hand away.

That's how they found themselves waiting in the emergency room for hours, and leaving with Harry in an air cast. Niall really should have been more sensitive but every time he got a glimpse of the limping man he would fall into a fit of laughter.

Holding his sides tightly as they got to the car. Looking back at the pathetic looking man with the large boot on, but he really couldn't help it.

“Niall, fuck off.” The surly toned man grumbled as he finally made it to the car. Niall in charge of driving now that his knee was functioning better every day enough to use the clutch when changing gears.

“I’m sorry love. Really… but who does that happen to?” It got him laughing again as he sat behind the wheel not turning on the car just yet. Looking to the side at the annoyed looking man. Of course it was their luck that it had happened in the most ridiculous way. “and you finished before we came.”

“Ni. Seriously cut it. It's not that funny.” The corners of the man's lips though exposed the slight amusement.

“Come on… it's a great story.” Reaching over to stoke the man's pulled back hair petting the stays back.

“No one's hearing this story.” Harry's expression went back to being embarrassed and generally bummed. Leaning his best over the center to kiss the man's slumped shoulder he seemed so young sitting with a pout.

“Ok love. No more teasing.. but we are quite a pair we could share my crutches. Show up to dinner next week with one apiece.” sitting back and leaving the soft strands to take the man's hand kissing the back of it once the man had only nodded his head. “Cheer up babe. It's 3 weeks and you don't need to wear it all the time just when you're walking.”

“Just in time for our 1 year anniversary dinner which is lucky. But not for the grad dinner for your friends.” Driving them home with a stroppy husband in tow. Guess he had been too amused but it still made him chuckle hopefully Harry would see the humor in that day.

--

The boot had become a burden. It had made him more aware of the attention he received in it. And had led to a few arguments between Niall and himself. One he found himself in over the phone after receiving a photo of just the boot lone beside the entrance door. No text with the message or silly angry looking emoji face. Maybe he had pushed it by ‘forgetting’ It on work days but really he was already feeling different at work. The boot wasn't helping with Harry's confidence. Phone against his ear as he just waited. “Are you going to say anything.”

“No.. We’ll have words when you get home.” The line was quiet he didn’t know why he bothered calling he knew this was going to lead into a fight. But really their fights were rare and short lived so he didn’t feel too bad sighing into the phone. ‘Fine. Talk to you when I get home tonight.” Trying to keep himself neutral since a part of him wanted a fight, since this wasn’t something common in their day to day life.

Hanging up in a bit of a huff, he really didn’t understand why it was that big of an issue. Niall didn’t always use his crutches why would he have to use his damn air cast. It was clunky and annoying, making him walk funny. Even if now he walked with a limp in the fancy uncomfortable dress shoes.

No other word from Niall as it came closer to the end of the day, and he had let it stew in that annoying feeling that he hadn’t really felt since they had their fight in the car just days after the new year. Now feeling hot headed ready to go off, becoming snappy to some of his co workers when they approached him with questions of his weekend.

Glad the car ride home had been quick, something that he shouldn’t have really been doing but who cared now. As he made his way up to the apartment bag on his shoulder, his fire only being fueled by the pain every time he stepped down. Walking into their home, dull sound of the t.v on in the livingroom. Closing the door with barely a noise so when the man didn’t appear he opened it back up and closed it louder. Trying to grab the attention of the blond as he sat down his bag and took off his jacket rolling up his sleeves. .

Spotting him at the entrance of the living room beside his study door. Doing his best not to stand down and grovel for forgiveness since the thought had crossed his mind. But he puffed out his chest and pushed the thought away. Eyeing the man as took the aircast from beside the door and started to place it on. He hadn’t thought that part threw as he attempted his best walk. “Happy now?” Even in his head he felt like a jackass.

“Was that necessary.” Niall’s voice held so much annoyance and was dripping of frustration. Hands on his hips, eyes slitted in a glare. He looked fucking amazing with hair tousled from air drying after the rain they had had that day, legs covered by a pair of skinny jeans and a oversized jumper probably to keep him warm after the storm. Wanting more to wrap him up in a blanket and keep him warm for the evening. But now wasn’t the time to think of what could have been the night’s events.

“Yeah, are you happy now? Wearing it just like you wanted.” He could feel how rediculously this had to look from an outside perspective. Waiting for a comeback just so he could say something anything to really get his point across, hand moving exaggeratedly.

“Clearly, I’m having a fucking laugh. Your such prick!” Niall wasn’t having any fun from Harry’s point of view. Watching the tense man with daggers shooting from his beautiful blue eyes. Arms crossed over the jumper covered chest.

“I’m the prick? You had to fucking send me such a passive agressive fucking text message. What is that even!?” Harry’s voice was rising every so slowly. “Then saying nothing on the phone. ‘We’re going to have words.’ Well I’m home. Go on give me your words.” He could even feel how awful he was sounding as he tried to push back his conscience and give it to Niall.

“Mate I wasn’t being passive aggressive, I was being aggressive. You tool. Your suppose to being wearing your boot when out of the house, not prancing around to work all day in your dumb fancy shoes.”

“Well excuse me for wanting to look nice, and not wanting to fucking look like an idiot stomping around in this stupid thing.” Pointing down at his foot. “Not like I can just stay at home in my comfy jams all day.” That wasn’t fair as soon as he had said it since Niall hadn’t really had a choice after the surgery. But his rational brain had stopped working. And to be fair his blond had actually started dressing up a lot more now that he wasn’t training every day.

“I’m going to ignore that.” The growl came out low and angry as the man breathed in sharply. “You worry so much about what others think of you. What you should be worried about is how you look to me, I’m the one you have to live with.”

“It’s not even like that, I have to look put together in my line of work. I look irresponsible with this damn thing on.” Still all gestures as he shook his hands at the damn cast. “Besides you were laughing so hard at me the day I had it on, of course I don’t want to wear it if you’re going to laugh.”

“I was only laughing because it happened in the damn shower and you still wanted to finish. I don’t see how you don’t see that it’s really funny because you were not more seriously hurt!” Maybe he could see how looking back it, it could have been funny since he wasn’t hurt to badly. The man’s tone of voice changed, going quiet and hurt. “I would have been seriously gutted if you had gotten hurt... But now..”

The pause was longer than he had wanted to wait for as he watched the man who was so easy to read, his emotions all out there for the world to read. “But now what Ni?” Doing his best to take off the edge in his voice.

“Now you’re being a jackass, and now.. Now you’re going to have to wear that bloody thing at our anniversary! I was hoping only one of us wouldn’t look stupid and since it’s already going to be me with this damn brace, it's also going to be you too.” Taking a step forward since it clearly was more of an issue then Niall had played up. “You were suppose to look like the smart one.”

Getting an eyesight of the man’s back side as he turned around shaking his head. Guess it did affect Niall more then he had wanted to believe in. Moving in, behind him reaching out to grab his slumped shoulders being pulled away from. “Ni..”

“Go away Harry, I’m really ticked off.” Backward glance showed him that the man still had a scowl on his face and wasn’t all that pleased with the younger.

“Well so am I.” Keeping his voice low as he put his hands on the man’s hips.

“Then what should we do.” The words were out of Niall’s mouth and it hardly gave him a second to think before spinning the shorter around to face him again. Reaching down and hoisting the man up and into his arms, legs wrapped around around trim waist instantly.

“Harry your foot..”

“Damn my foot.” Lips hovering just high enough that he couldn’t reach at his angle looking up at the man, with his arms locked around his neck. Lips finally crashing down on his, like the break of a wave. There was a hunger as they gripped for each others clothing. Harry carrying the shorter out of the living room and into the waiting room of the office. Cleared desk seemed just the right spot to show him just how angry and pent up he had been all day. Fingers against his chest working on the buttons as tanned hands roamed over firm thighs. “Hurry up.” Growl low and hungry, impatiently waiting to be freed from the shirt.

“Prick.” The words against his lips, he could almost taste the anger. As rushed hands frustrated with at the end of the row of buttons gripped each side of the shirt and yanked it open the last few buttons popping off. Not bothering to stop and inspect the work on his shirt. Pulling it from his body and tossing it to the side, skilled pale hands had his pants undone in seconds. Lips never leaving one another, bruising with the force.

Hard and raging to be inside needy blond. Finally detaching and pushing him back on the desk, ass over the edge just enough to pull his jeans halfway up his thighs. Trapping the shorter man’s legs in the fabric, feet in the air resting against Harry’s shoulder. Looking down to work on his cock, eyes flicking over to the panting man, lost in the oversized hoodie with eyes clouded with lust. Only part of his body exposed being the man’s creamy round backside and the tops of his thighs. Hungrily eating up the site of Niall’s saliva soaked finger prep himself just enough.

A hiss and a groan mixed at the ill prepared entrance was entered. Hot and tight, not moving as smoothly with just a spit covered cock. It wasn’t enough to stop them, though by the grimace on Niall’s face he was sure it wasn’t the most pleasant feeling. Only seconds out of their hot speed before blond was asking for more.

Rough hard rhythm, had the blond moaned loudly from where he laid on his back, sweater pushed up exposing the tight muscles of his stomach. Loving the red in the man’s cheeks as sleeve cover hand worked on his cock and the other gripped the side of the desk.

Fast and loud had been the tone of the day, their fight had hardly lasted that long but the sex after had mirrored that. Though both were left satisfied if not a bit sore. It was over quickly, with sweat covered bodies and ragged breaths. Lips finally meeting again for soft kisses and tender apologize. All wind had blown from their sails leaving the two back at their usual state of calm.

--

Looking over at exposing ripped jeans with a black and white stripped shirt. As pale guitar worked fingers styled short blond hairs. Gold wedding band catching the light of the bathroom lights. Admiring the man who would more then gladly show him off at dinner that night. A gathering of his friends who were about graduating. Except for the blond who had missed his last term and would be going back over the summer.

Casual affair meaning he could throw on a pair of skinny jeans and a loose button down with the buttons open a few from the top. Warn boot to clash with the black cast and a brown jacket for warmth in the mild April evening.

There had been so much circulating in his mind still, as he still found himself confused in where he was. But tonight wasn’t a night to debate these things, it was to have a good time and see some friends they wouldn’t be able to see much since they wouldn’t be in class with Niall anymore.

Eyes flicking over to watch his husband who left the bathroom, leaving him with all the space. Fixing long curls and pushing them back off his face. Quickly making his way after the blond catching him slipping on the brace over top the skin tight jeans.

“I’m almost ready. Promis” Looking up from the knee to the blond who had caught him watching going from slacked observing face to a full force smile. ‘No worries.’ They had been in this weird state after their fight, now making sweet faces and long lingering touches again.

----

They had been there for an hour maybe, and all anyone wanted to talk to Harry about was the aircast he had been rocking. Niall could see the annoyance on his face every time someone would ask about the cast. And all his husband would say back was, “clumsy moment”.

Food was only now coming out after a round of drinks, a hand on his thigh playing with the exposed skin from the rips in his jeans. Warm fingertips as he leaned in to say something into his ear.

“Hey Liam, Zayn! Over here “

Attention ripped from his husband as he looked around to catch the sight of the two walking over to the large group. Getting a raised eyebrow in question as he shrugged his shoulders. Not having a clue that the two would be coming. Annoyingly late of course.

“Sorry we’re late, had a great meeting go over.” Announced the annoying light haired brunette who again had a matching hair cut to the other. “You know how it is.”

Niall tried not to laugh when Harry just rolled his eyes, though he agreed. The man seemed to have a habit of showing off. It had become overwhelmingly Liam and Zayn centric at the table. Every question directed at the pair, as Niall just got into eating instead of paying to much attention.

Harry’s hand was on his leg still even as they ate. Stopping every so often to share a bite with the man. Even if his younger husband had his own plate he should have started eating long ago, he wasn’t going to argue the hand that had moved from the top of his thigh to the innerside. Talking quietly to one another, since the blond could care less if they were going to be heading to LA for a few months in the summer. Or that their wedding was going to be in the winter after Zayn’s first official record was happening.

“Does he ever shut up?” His tattooed partner asked against his ear making him shake his head and laughed quietly. It had been the Liam and Zayn show as soon as they sat down, stating multiple times they couldn’t stay for dinner but just a few drinks. Well a few drinks had lasted them the amount of time for everyone to eat and order another round of drinks and desserts. Liam clearly not having his fill since a couple turned into far more.

Stiffening a yawn as they chatted quietly with a few of the people beside them. Not wanting to take away from the two late comers, as Liam seemed to want to keep talking about himself or talking about ‘Z’ as if the raven haired man wasn’t just sitting right beside him smiling shyly nodding his head politely with the shameless brags.

Leaning into Harry as he ran his fingers up and down the muscular thigh, reaching his knee and pushing his finger tips down it in the attempt to tickle him. Getting the curly haired man to flinch and jerk his leg away. Finally just leaning into his ear. “Ready?” Pulling back to see candle bathed green eyes nod. The low lit evening had turned dark and the restaurant lights had dimmed. Making the atmosphere quiet and dark, making him quite sleepy if he was honest.

Everyone else seemed to be following their example as Niall stood putting on his jacket, a few of the group near their end of the table doing the same all nodding about having to do things in the morning. The whole table turning their attention down toward their end, people now wanting to talk ‘aweing’ once they realized no one had been talking much once the graduated couple had shown up.

Huffing as he sat back down, one of his friends actually stopping to talk to Harry. Niall just sharing a laugh with the piano player beside him. Glancing over to see the man looking frustrated and nodding his head.

“Ok, We we’re having shower sex! Now everyone can stop asking!” Niall’s hand reached up to cover his smile but it couldn’t hide his laugh or the blush on his cheeks. Maybe his husband had had a drink to many. But it had to be the funniest thing, as he caught Harry’s gaze throwing his hands up in question at the taller. Watching the boyish dumb smile he got when he was embarrassed, looking as if he had been caught with his hand in the cookie jar.

Everyone was either shocked or confused as to how it happened, as Niall glanced over to the other end of the table where Liam did not look to pleased with the attention off of them. Looking back at his husband away from the cold side of the table. Chatting with the same blush on his cheeks with the friends beside him a few minutes longer before Harry finally came back.

Arms draping around him from behind, feeling the weight against his shoulders. Turning his head to look at him. “What happened?”

“Straw.. Camel's back.” A scrambling motion with his hand as he stood back up. “Let’s go before I say anything else embarrassing.” Everyone at the table was taking it more or less as a cue it was time to pay and go. Taking his husband's hand as he got up finally, glad to not have the annoying crutches with him. The last thing he wanted was to walk past the couple who had shown up late.

Hand in hand, as they walked past the long table saying quick goodbyes, inevitably they were at the end where Zayn and Liam were stationed. Standing putting on leather jackets.

“Looking a bit rough, mate?” The comment clearly pointed at Harry, as the shorter just shook his head at his ex. Already feeling the annoyance build just at the sound of his voice.

“Funny.” Blue eyes looked over at not amused green, he really didn’t want to linger too long since he wasn’t sure how Liam was going to be drunk. Since it could go a few ways, funny and nice to mean and rude.

A gesture toward the ground toward him. “Chicken out again?” Realizing all too quickly the man was talking about the brace. Zayn at his side saying something quiet that Niall couldn’t hear but clearly Liam wasn’t having it.

“No actually, in recovery.” Keeping his tone quiet and his grip on his husband’s hand tight. Since really he wasn’t sure how the man was going to react and he didn’t need two drunk guys getting in a fight, seemed the tattooed musician beside Liam had the same thought arm wrapping around his waist. A very unbelieving ‘Really?’ left the bearded drunk man’s lips.

“He’s got the scar to prove it.” Looking at a glaring Harry as he sighed nodding in agreement. Really not prepared for the tallers next words. “What are you even doing here. Didn’t you graduate last year?”

“I’m here to inspire. This is where they could be if they worked hard. Unlike someone.” Liam was like a bull puffing air from his nose ready to charge them down. Going below the belt to comment on Niall for who he married. “You’re here, and you have nothing to do with these guys.”

“I'm here with my husband. You know the one who has gone through school with them.”

“I went to school with every one here. So did Zayn we’re more welcome then you.” Liam looked like he was waiting for a fight as Zayn tried to get the man's attention.“Liam stop.”

Niall shook his head. “Harry let's just go. Let's not ruin a good night.” Reaching over to stroke the man's chest. Though it seemed as if Zayn was having a harder time calming Liam who was all geared up.

“Fuck off Niall. If Harry has anything left to say then he should. Go on, mate.” Feeling the tense grip and stiff arm. The blond wouldn't put it past Harry to have a go at the man. As he tried to tug the man out of his glare.

Niall could feel how tense the curly haired man was, ready to get in the drunken man's face. But it was the quiet one that spoke up. “Are you kidding me. Liam your so fucking embarrassing.” Attention turned to him as was detaching from the older and zipping up his jacket.

Taken aback as the raven haired man grabbed the older’s attention. Using that as a distraction as the couple started fighting with each other. Grabbing his husband trying to head toward the door, met with resistance. “Harry please, let’s go. You don’t need to get into a fight.” Getting his husband’s attention finally, leading the man out onto the street. “What was that?” Watching as the man pushed back his curls, fixing them back into place with a tight lipped ‘dunno’. Sure that if he left go of his hand he would be pacing. “Hey, calm down. Its ok..”

“Its not ok, Ni. I should have said something.. Or punched him.” Niall could see the anger still simmering away as he reached his hand up. Pushing back a few strands of hair.

“I’m glad you didn’t, you’re better then that. We are better than that.. Ok? Let it go.. He’s not our problem.” Trying his best to calm down the taller, seeing the fiery green eyes. Finally coxing him enough to get closer to the curb and wave down a cab. Happy to be away from the scene causing ex, and feeling a bit bad for Zayn.

 

---

 

It had taken awhile that night of the dinner to calm down. It could have been the red hot rage or the feeling of actually wanting to fight. Show the man that he wasn’t all that and should have been more humble. Wanting to protect his blond from the obnoxious drunk man. It had taken a shower and a good long cuddle to finally feel like himself.

Never in his years had he ever thought he would be the type to want to stick up and fight for the person he loved. And maybe that also lead him towards the night. Days before their anniversary dinner, and just a day after having take the boot off for good.

Harry looked in Niall's eyes as the laid beside each other in their usual fashion. Presented to one another like the other was the only one that could cherish them. “I-I’ve been really unhappy.”

Realizing that he was still terrible at starting up serious conversations, as blue eyes flicked from being half closed to wide with the most heartbreakingly worried look. “With me?”

“No! Ah, god I’m really bad at this…” There was no laugh in response as he tried to lighten the blow. Deciding quickly that he should just get as much out as he could before he chickened out. “No I’ve realized your the only part of my life that brings me boundless joy.. That without you I would just be living to work.. I’m starting to figure out that I don’t think I enjoy my job.”

Thankful the blonds face relaxed and let out a deep sigh. The body beside him moving closer, tangling their legs. “What about it makes you unhappy?” Quiet voice, feeling like a warm hug with its warm tone.

“It’s.. It just seems like there’s so much more out there. That I-I don’t actually know anything past books and what I see here.” Closing his eyes tightly as he rubbed his eye with his palm. “Feel like I’m not explaining it well.”

“It’s ok.” A warm hand took his, pulling back his hand. Blinking to look at the worried man. “Love, what do you want? Ignore work, and how you feel you need to be for your family. Push away all that from your head.. What are you missing?”

The question had taken him by surprise since he wasn’t all that sure what he had wanted. Thinking back to the things he wished he had done and could be doing. Taking a long time to reply, as he just pondered it all. Every time he pulled late nights for work, all the pressure he placed on himself without sharing the strain. Trying to think of any time before Niall that he had actually been this genuinely happy and excited. To the times he spent tucked away studying and learning from pages on a book over real life experiences.

Not realizing he had closed his eyes while he was thinking, looking up to see blue eyes still on him. Thankful the man hadn’t fallen asleep, but he laid their leg thrown over Harry’s slim hip stroking at a loose curl. Harboring a curious look, like he wanted to help find the right answer. “I want.. This. Us of course.” Gesturing between their bodies, laying his hand down on the man’s waist. “But maybe I’m ready to go.. I know I always said if you said the word we would go.. But I think I’m actually just ready and waiting now.”

A deep breath ghosted along his skin as he watched the man where he laid head on the pillow, hand holding his and other in his hair. Watching his head move up and down in a nod. “Ok.” Shocked when he felt his own eyes go wide, not sure why he had felt so worried. “But one condition. Can you give me time..?”

“Wha- Yeah of course… I don’t mean tomorrow.” Making his worse sorry face as he pulled the blond close as if it could ease the worry from him.

“Good, because I want this. I just.. Give me till September, I’ll be officially done school and my knee will be better.. Can you wait for me?” Of course he could wait for him, that’s all he could ask for it was just all he had been thinking about that he had to get off his chest. Pushing his hand up from the man’s waist to hold onto the side of his neck. Thumb running gently down the stubbly jaw.

“Yes. I’ll wait.. I mean september is close.. So close.” It was already daunting on him how serious this choice was going to be. The idea of leaving his work, and leaving his comfort zone of their London life. “Yes. That should.. Woah.”

It felt like the biggest weight had been lifted from his chest, mind and back. Every part of his body that could be held down by the thought of wanting something so different from anything he’d really known. Day after day imagining being back on a train, on another adventure. All thanks to the man beside him. “You’re the worst at breaking news!.” Receiving a shove and a glare. All aiding in his own joy as he cracked a smile and jumped on the man, attacking his sides sending Niall into a fit of laughter. This was what he needed, everything else meant nothing without him.

---

The weather had been unseasonably warm for the mid May afternoon. Warm sunshine lighting the patio filled with talking and laughter. Celebrating their first Anniversary surrounded by close friends and family. Getting glimpses of a smartly dressed blond in gray suit amongst the crowed. It had taken most of the afternoon, and into the setting sun of the evening to finally get a second alone with him.

Standing on the side, with the city as their backdrops and warm lanterns coming to light in the dusk. Music played while everyone had been eating, just enjoying time together. Waving his handsome husband over. Trying to stay quiet as he buzzed excitedly with a touch of nervousness. Asking quietly when they should announce their adventurous departure. Getting a playful ‘soon’ and a quick kiss. As voices from the table called them back, a few teases of them always needing to be locked at the lips.

Drinks were had between their meal and desserts. The curly haired man finally standing, taking the time as the best he could possibly have. Every ones attention turning to him, swallowing thickly as he tried not to sit back down and pretend he had nothing to say. As he thanked them for coming, Niall of course joining in as he stood. Taking the man’s hand as he smiled. “So we wanted to tell you all. Since you all have been the best support we could have. And that we hope you will understand our next choice.”

It got the attention of the larger group, looking to his side at the bashfully smiling blond. Clearly holding back his excitement as he broke into a smile. This wasn’t the hard part just standing proudly with the man he loved holding his hand. The next few words they said could really receive two different kinds of receptions.

Clearing his throat as he squeezed the blond’s hand for courage. Glancing at him again before getting a loud. ‘Get on with it.’ Of course from his stepfather who had to be the funny one.

“And we really hope will have your support this september when we leave to travel for two years..” A quick ‘maybe three.. We aren’t finalized yet.’ breaking in as he looked around at the group. Biting his lip, feeling his hand warm and sweaty in the warn hands of the artist beside him.

“I thought you were going to say grand babies!” The comment came from Niall mother who sat beside Anne, both nodding their shared thought of grandchildren. Looking back to his beaming husband who’s cheeks were bright red.

“Some day.. Just not yet.” The Irishman announced beside him as he nudged him. Of course that got a few gasps from their family clearly delighted with the thought. As they received nothing but positive comment about their plans to travel. As he watched the blond make his way around the table.

Of course they had talked children, actually more than just that in the past few days. But really talked about what they wanted now that they had survived their first year. And it was looking brighter. Keeping his eye on Niall as the man was pulled into a hug by his mother, watching as she wiped a tear from the side of her eye. Close enough just to hear her thanking him, and all he could do was agree with her words. Niall had actually changed him for the better, he wasn’t the same person he was a year ago. If this was how much his life had been enriched and changed for the better in just this short of time, he was more than excited to see what their new chapter together would bring.

Chapter Text

Their second summer together had gone by quick as they packed large backpacks and finalized visas. Finding renters for their home while they would be away traveling. As school finished up and Harry’s last week at work came to an end.

Maybe it had been more emotional then Niall had admitted to but he got a bit choked up the day Harry had gone to the barbers to get his hair cut. The curly haired man claiming it was going to be easier to handle while they backpacked through hot climates. Long on top but short on the sides, he had almost cried seeing it short. Since all he had only ever known Harry with long hair. Though it did make him look his age if not younger.

Leaving in the dark of night on the eve of Nialls birthday. Left at the airport by his In-laws and maybe they had only cried a little bit. The act of leaving for two years had been so thrilling that he had never thought of not seeing Their parents for a few years, but they had phones and laptops it would be worth it.

To say that it had gone off without a hitch would have been a fairy tale ending. It had given his young husband a few crisis’s of ‘was this whole thing was the right thing to be doing.’ Giving up years of hard work to go on a trip exploring every corner of the world. The first few weeks spent reassuring Harry that ‘yes they had done the right thing.’ And that ‘yes this would all be worth it.’ After a bit of a rocky start with a partner inexperienced in any aspect of the word adventure.

Countries blurred, in the tropical start to their travels. It became second nature to not understand the language and to carry around their trusted maps. Detaching from anything that had rooted them in their London life. Feeling the rush of overnight buses sunny days exploring small towns and evenings finding some sleep but mainly meeting new people. Just to do it again a few days later.

Calls back home had been more difficult than expected, with poor service or time zone issues. Yet it still felt like a sting being away from the now close knit family. Though it didn’t make him want to stop. Seeing how Harry had become so comfortable in his skin, excited twinkle in his eye as he found something to take a picture of or finding the pure joy in experiencing a different culture.

Of course there had been fights, a few times they had spent up to a week doing the bare minimum of communication. Just enough to not get lost, or to get lost and have another reason to fight. It had felt good though, to be stuck to one another. Dependent on the other to keep going, and in the end resolve any issue they had and to keep going. Making them truly stronger as a couple.

Holidays spent in different hostels, few spent out with young groups of travelers wanting to party with locals. But his favorite nights would always be hot nights on beaches, stuck together on a hammock. Watching stars and making up stories with the sound of waves crashing. Laughing about lobster tans that had Niall’s fair skin angry, and how annoying it was that Harry tanned like a god.

It had become inevitable, as they got closer to the end of two years that they weren’t ready to return home and go back to normal day to day life. So two years had turned to three, with short holiday meet ups with parents.

Giving them more time to stay longer, squeezing every last dime they could from the trip. It hadn’t been first class flights and five star hotels. But the all out sprints in airports to get to a gate calling its last boarding that left them thanking their lucky stars they had made it. Thin walled hostels that left nothing to the imaginations, causing stiffened laughter and a need to be closer.

From hot busy city nights where they spent the night wondering markets in search for something yummy, to cold mountain mornings feeling like the only ones left chasing the fluffy white snow.

--

Spending three solid years in constant motion, it had felt like a relief landing back in London. Their home ready for them to return to, and excited parents jealous of tans. Niall had never taken such a long shower before in his life. Just standing in the hot spray, hair shaggy in need of a cut. Matching messy curls that had grown. and cut back only to grown again. To the point where his husband hadn’t bothered and lived the past 6 months in variations of buns and braids.

After the time away, something he hadn’t realized he would miss was his bed as much as he had. Falling asleep almost instantly with a wet haired brunette in their usual spot. Using the excuse they were not accustomed to a bigger bed anymore. Never having slept so long before, almost a full 24 hours not even waking for meals. Just going between states of attached and unattached to his husband. Sweet kisses and soft whispers between yawns and heavy lids.

Falling back into regular day life, Niall was spending a lot of time in the small home made studio. Rusty at first but like riding a bike his fingers remembered every button on the soundboard, and the practice on different guitars had kept his skills sharp.

It had started small, a few tracks back and forth with recording friends. And Harry realizing he wanted to be doing more good than bad, turning down the offer to go back to his original firm. Taking a pay cut to start working for an environmental based law firm targeted in conservation and taking down the bigger man. The rest of that year was spent working hard, back up to the top. Winning cases for the lawyer, and finding new contracts for the musician.

Taking countless all nighters and huge confidence boosts from his devoted partner that Niall finally had a strong enough repertoire to give to the couples producer friend. Jim had welcomed the blond with open arms, starting his career with one of the best in the business.

Harry finding his true calling, taking down the bad guys and giving back to the needing communities. Really he had truly become a man for the people. Making Niall smile every time he thought of how he had be so scared to take on the change in career paths.
--

It had been coming up on their fifth year anniversary, and it was boggling his mind how long they had been together. And if there was one thing that Niall had always hoped they could do and it had never happened with their travels and job dedication, was becoming pet owners. He had been dreaming of it ever since they had taken on their family friends dog every so often. Who still made trips to their house frequently.

This is how he had been caught by Harry. Legs out on the couch laptop on his lap, and back against the armrest. Arms crossing over his chest as he hit play on yet another dog adoption video, he had spent the last half an hour clicking video after video. And maybe he had been a bit overworked and emotional but he would never not admit to tearing up at the sight of people meeting their new pet. Or soldiers coming home to their four legged best friends, and maybe he did click on a few drunk people being surprised by puppies.

“Babe, are you crying?” The voice had come from behind him, when the brunette had gotten their he couldn’t have known what he was watching. As he quickly stopped the video and wiped away a few tears.

Niall could say no, really there was no reason to admit to it. “Yes.” Of course he couldn’t lie to Harry, he had never been very good at keeping anything from the tattooed lawyer.

“What’s wrong?” Keeping himself faced away as he listened to approaching pads of feet hitting the hardwood. And the dip behind him as the taller sat on the arm rest. Warms wrapping around him from behind as the blond pressed play again on the video.

“Look at how many puppies need homes..” This was really getting embarrassing since he was starting to tear up at the facts being brought up about how many dogs don’t get adopted every year in Britain.

“Your weeping over videos of dogs.” The voice held no malice just confusion as a warm cheek pressed against his ear.

All he could do was nod, lacing fingers with the offered hands. Breathing in with quick sniffles.
“Harry, a dog needs us.” There was no response as he waited for the younger to say something. Movement caught his eye as he watched the man’s hand detach, and reach forward to click the link to a local rescue. ‘We’ll take a look. But it’s not a forsure thing.’ Nodding as he kept eyes glued to the screen as it lit up with the rescue's page.

There she was, blond with big brown eyes. Tongue flopped out with an adorable bandana tied around her neck. The sun catching her shinny coat as he could swear his heart stopped. Never in his life had he ever made up his mind so quickly. “She’s our dog.”

It had taken a bit of convincing to look past the picture of the adorable retriever. It had been as if the planets had aligned since her backstory had been crushing but very relatable. After needing a surgery on her knee, her original owners had to give her up to the rescue from lack of funds and time to care for her. Feeling the tenseness behind him a telling sign that Harry had read it the same time as him. Turning with the most sadness in his voice. “She has a bad knee, I have a bad knee... Harry.”

Not long after that where they sitting side by side filling out an application to meet the team at the rescue to see if they could even be considered. After hitting send, blue eyes looked over at green. “I came in hoping to order take away and now we’re getting a dog.” But no matter what the man had said it was worth it as he snuggled into the outstretched arm. It had been a long time coming.

 

Walking into the rescue, feet excited with clammy nervous hands rubbing together. Niall had never been so excited, eyes wide in Harry's direction at the sound of a few dogs barking. This was the moment he had been waiting for and judging by the youngers fidgeting of his ringed fingers he had to be feeling the same.

Moving down passing pens holding one dog each, near the end of the walk. Taking the turn at the marked kennel. He was practically jumping out of his shoes he was so excited, thankful to the hand on his shoulder if it hadn’t been there he was sure to fly away. ‘This is Lilly on your right.’ Seeing the sunny blond head first, as the went from standing with a small wags of her tail. To a massive full body wiggle, tongue lolling out in a toothy smile. “Holy shit, Harry.” Looking back with the most excited face as blue eyes left green back to large brown eyes.

A couple barks as the handlers opened the pen, taking the first step inside to greet the dog. “Whos that?” The voice of his husband behind him caught his attention as he looked at him and he pointed at far corner where there were blankets bunched up in a wooden styled mini house.

“Wh-oh.” Noticing the small face, as he kneeled down to pet the overly excited golden retriever. Peeking around her to get a better look inside the home. Looking up when Harry was at his side bent down to pet the happy dog.

“Thats Fox, she’s still a bit shy.” Niall looked at Harry before looking back at the puppy who was still trying to decide if she wanted to come out or not. “Why don’t we take Lilly and head on a walk, see if you guys vibe well.” Nodding at the handlers as he got up slowly and watched them leash up the silky dog. Seeing the dark red face peeking out more curiously, he could see why she was called fox. ‘Ok.’

Moving out of the kennel with her lead in hand all seemed well till she stopped at the kennel door and looked back. Barking loudly not budging against the pull of her leash. “Sorry, they’re a bit attached to each other.”

“Can we take fox on the walk too?” Harry’s voice sounded cautious since they knew nothing about the younger dog. As their guides agreed it would be fine. After a bit of coxing they got the red duck toller mix out. She was cute, timid with them but once she was outside she was all tail wiggles and nose sniffling everything. Where Lily was older around 6, Fox was young about 10 months or so, found a few weeks prior to that day. Rescued from terrible owners who weren’t taking care of her.

Niall had the golden since she didn’t want to pull as hard as the red pup, in the nearby park they had watched them play and really he didn’t want to separate the two after finding out they had bonded. It was becoming more clear why the larger dog had refused to go for a walk with out her mini companion. It felt great to be outside just with the group and Harry watching the two play, bounding back and forth around them and chasing a slobbery ball.

They were nearing the end of the walk, and he could admit it right there he had fallen head over heals for their choice dog Lily. But there was that growing feeling of wanting the red pup as he kept glancing over at Harry to get some kind of an idea if the man wanted her or not too.

Handing them over with the group they had walked with and Niall had to take Harry to the side this was getting worrisome. As he grabbed his hand and pulled him off to the side of the entrance of the building. “Babe.. your lawyer look is the hardest thing to read.”

Fingers laced into his as they stood close, searching green eyes for the answer he wanted. There it was that boyish grin the man had never lost, watching him struggle trying to turn it downwards like he wasn’t about to say the exact thing Niall wanted to hear. “Ah, love I already know what you’re thinking.”

“And it’s a yes right?” Wiggling closer into his taller husband, trying his best to not beg but really it was hard. He wanted the dogs so badly. “Please.” Getting a quick squeeze and a bigger smile.

“Course.Cant say not to you.. But aren’t you worried it would be a bit to much?”

“Stop being so rational, it will be good practice to work and have the two dogs just in case..” He wiggled his eyebrows as a not so subtle hint at the idea at the back of his head. If they could own a dog, now two dogs and take great care of them. Then maybe they could be ready for an even bigger step. As they gave the two rescued dogs a forever home, the drive home had never been so exciting and whole feeling.

 

The first 5 years together had been a nonstop adventure. From getting married, to traveling the world. And finally making it back home to start working and owning their very first pets. Niall was pretty sure as the year came to an end that the next few years would hold an even bigger adventure.

Chapter Text

Feet made contact on the hot pavement, the sound of cars going and the jingle of dog tags clinking. All dulled out from the sound of music flowing through earbuds. Sweat dripped down off a chiseled jaw, dropping down on the microfiber shirt. Hair tied back, as every step in the hot sun felt like his feet were actually made of led.

As the legs slowed to stop at the changing of a light, no shade found under high palmtrees. Green eyes watching a couple, young and similarly shaped. From what he could tell, laughing and nudging each other. Watching as one jumped on the others back and was carried away. Wondering if that was what he had, that pure feeling of joy of being with someone. Had they looked like that once upon a time, young and wild.

Looking down once his arm was being pulled, blinking out of his state as the red dog pulled on its lead that’s handle was around Harry’s bicep. “Ok, Fox. If I’m this hot, you’ve gots to be baking.” As he took off with the light, keeping his pace steady even if his lungs hurt and his legs ached. Running down the street, passing the playful young boys that reminded him so much of his husband and himself.

Taking the last hill up the California suburb’s. Away from the waterfront homes to the decent sized family home. As he opened the front door pulling out the earbuds and taking off the armband with music and leaving it at the entrance side table. “Go find everyone. Its breakfast time.” Petting the red dogs back and moving away from the door, stepping over the child proof gate leading to the entrance of the house. As he wiped the sweat from his face and looked around the empty kitchen, stray toys left on the island or near the breakfast nook by the window. Quickly going to work as he threw together some eggs in a pan and started on multiple pieces of toast.

Pulling hair from the bun, taking the moment of quiet to bend down and tidy up the toys before they became chews for the dogs. Glancing up as something pink then blond went padding past him. As he straightened back up pushing sweaty locks away from his face and looked down at the once gold faced dog. Now white with age, wearing bright pink hair pins and tootoo around her neck with a pink cape. “Oh, love.” Talking quietly as he crouched back down to help free her from the fabric and hair clips. “Where is everyone? Huh? It’s almost breakfast.”

Pulling himself back up and leaving to wash his face quickly, before walking back into the kitchen where a small girl with the green school uniform had made herself more the comfortable in a chair at the breakfast nook. Long usually messy curly brown hair divided into two french braids, showing off the little gold studs decorated her ear lobes. “Your hair looks lovely, Frankie.” Walking over and petting down one of her braids.

“Thanks, Daddy did them.” She beamed up from the picture she had been drawing with a missing tooth smile. Grinning back as he pointed at her drawing. “Breakfast is almost ready, can you go get your brother.” As he walked back over to the stove to fix the eggs and get back to the now browned toast. “Can you also tell him to stop dressing up Lily, she’s old. She’s like your nan’s old.”

“Is that old?” Eyeing the very independent 6 year old get off the chair and start heading down toward the stairs. “ELLIS!” Just as he was about to tell her not to yell, just shaking his head since he knew who the kids got that from. Thinking of him, he was surprised he hadn’t seen them yet. Setting up plates, as he followed after his eldest. Glancing at the family photos, when years ago it had just been Niall, himself and the dogs. Photos had shown the passing of time as their family had grown, and grown quickly.

It all happened so quickly, quicker than both of them had imagined. After their sixth year anniversary they had sat down and talked for a long time about if it was realistic. But in the end they decided that they had the family to help them and stable jobs. The weren’t getting any younger, at the ages 30 and 29. It had been hard to decide whether they wanted to try for a biological baby using a surrogate, but at the end their only option they could really get behind was adoption. Getting the little girl at the age of 2, all parties scared but it had been instant love.

The sound of feet hitting the hardwood suddenly being run into by not only one small child but another, as he laughed as arms wrapped around his leg .”DAD!”

“Good morning!” Enthusiastic as he stroked the boy’s hair and laughed at the overly excited smile of his preschooler. “Lily is a PRINCESS!” Excited hands flew out as the boy started again down the way towards the kitchen.

With two he was wondering where the other’s where. “Frank’s, where’s Daddy?” Stopping the girl quickly who was about to leave his side to chase after her younger brother.

“Upstairs with Luca, he’s not wearing clothes again.” Sighing as he just shook his head smiling down at the girl who just sounded very defeated for a six year old.

“Thank you, now go make sure Ellis doesn’t eat only toast, I’ll go grab those two.”

“Good luck.” Still sounding exasperated as he laughed at his first born and just let her walk off to go keep an eye on her little brother.

Stepping over the gate at the bottom of the stairs, bounding up the steps taking two at a time. He could already hear the ‘No’ coming from their toddlers mouth. And the calm “Well, we all have to wear clothes.”

Opening the matching gate at the top, stepping onto the second floor landing. Taking a turn heading down toward the nursery. Getting an eye full of a diaper clad baby holding the stuffed seahorse, with his blond husband walking slowly closer with a held out shirt. Stopping and just crossing his arm over his chest and propping up his chin with his fist. Entertained by the older trying to approach the toddler, getting close enough to almost get the shirt around his head before getting a smack with the stuffed sea life. “No! No daddy.”

By the looks of it, it had not been the first time judging by Niall’s messy hair. “Woah, woah Luca. Do we hit in this house?” Stepping in, getting an excited look from the small child and an annoyed one from the blond. A shrill of a ‘no!’ as he just laughed walking forward to scoop up their youngest.

“You can get your son dressed.” Grumbled the blond as he handed over the shirt, clearly in a bit of a mood from being challenged by the tot.

Following after his shorter blond and wrapping his arm around his waist to stop the older. “Hey, wait up.” There was only a bit of resistance, as the other had a sulk after having to lose against their son.

Harry pulled the stroppy blond closer, the small child reaching out for Nialls cheeks. “I know who he takes after.” Pale hand with the matching ring reached out to stroke baby soft wild curls, leaning in and kissing the man’s temple. He was great with the kids, they both where as hands on as they could be. “You stink.” Looking at the blond who pulled a face but didn’t back away, green eyes watching the the blond made a silly face. “Tell daddy he stinks. Pe-ew”

Laughing as he got a funny stinky face from his youngest receiving a few pats with the toy. “Alright alright, you gotta get changed Mr.” Gleeful shrieking as he detached from his partner and bounced the laughing child.

“We’re having a girl next time.” The voice was already heading down the stairs, calling over a tshirted shoulder. Turning back around to catch the top of the blond head disappear down to check on the two in the kitchen.

“Did you hear that sonny boy? A baby sister. Do you want a sister?” Getting the toddler’s favorite word ‘no’ and more laughing as the finally got him dressed and quickly changed his own shirt.

How it happened most mornings with just one of them around was a fet. Fridays where his favorite since they both had the day more or less off and they could tag team getting the household ready. All kids feed, one wearing most of his food in his high chair. The other two with backpacks on getting ready for school and preschool carpools. It was a mad dash to have them out and ready, lunches packed and parents thanked for taking them.

The morning spent after a shower, with a cup of coffee in the backyard watching the youngest spend his time playing or chasing after the dogs. Niall going between working on his lap top and out playing on the grass with them. Enjoying the warm morning tiring out their rambunctious toddler.

Nap time always great when he would voluntarily climb onto whoever was closest to him. Today it had been Harry, as the small one with curiously sticky little fingers poked at the ‘drawings’ on his arms, eyes slipping closed quickly. As he motioned to Niall he was going upstairs. It was all part of the routine, the youngest napped in time to wake up and get Ellis from preschool halfway through the day.

As he set the boy down, the thought was still running through his head as he quietly left the room and headed back down the stairs. Moving into the kitchen just to stop at the threshold to watch the man doing dishes, humming something he was probably producing at the moment for work.

Taking the time just to soak in the moment, one they didn’t have many of with the house filled with 3 children and 2 dogs. It was rare to find pure stillness that wasn’t at midnight. Soaking in the sight of the sun lighting up the open kitchen, and a muscular arm set down a plate in the drying rack.

Waiting for the right second before he walked in, a lazy smile on his lips as he got closer breathing in that sweet smell that was truly Niall. Waiting for his hands to be free before moving into his personal space and hugging the shorter from behind. “Babe.”

‘Hmm?’ Sounding curious, as the curly haired man pushed his face into the nook of his husband’s milky neck.

“Were you serious?” Asking quietly as he closed his eyes, feeling any tension in the body wrapped in his arms relax back. Left hand coming up and pushing into his dark hair, keeping him from pulling away. ‘Bout?’ his voice was in a soft whisper.

“About wanting another?” Trying not to keep his voice to hopeful, since really it could have been him just saying it in passing.

‘Yes.’

Niall’s voice was hardly audible, as he pressed his lips against the soft skin. “We’re already a busy house love.” Wondering if the blond had already put thought into it.

’I know.’

“That’s one more college tuition, Ni… and a bigger car maybe even a bigger house.” There was just a thoughtful hum before blond in question just nodded. ‘Yeah. I’m aware.’ He wasn’t that much in thought himself, it was all to make sure the already stretched blond would be willing to do it all again.

Waiting till he could feel the vibration off his neck when he started talking finally. “We might need a bigger car, or to make the boys share a room… but we still have so much love to give. And maybe I was looking through Frankie's toddler clothes and I just... We can make it work.” Sighing as he just nodded and looked forward trying to imagine life with one more, and it really didn’t seem that much different.

“I don’t disagree, Ni. It’s just a lot without our parents not around to help like they did with the others.” Feeling the sudden hesitation, as he pulled back waiting to come face to face with the rosy cheeked man. Arms wrapped around one another’s waist, as he took the step forward to lean into the man. They had been in California only a year.

“Well.. I was thinking.” That got an eyebrow raise out of the brunette as he eyed him wondering what he would say next. “Maybe we could have a second place back in england. Doesn’t have to be right in London, but a bigger place with more areas for the kids to run. Live there half the year and come back here?” There was that smile of unsure but this was at least a plan that could use a bit of work. “We could be closer to their grandparents. And I’m sure your parents would love to start another college fund for another baby. I know they miss us and the kids. I can work anywhere, and we could come back here if you needed it for work?”

Trying to stew it all over, since having another child would keep them very busy. But the actual thought of moving back to his home, into a place like he had been raised as a child made his heart ache to be back. To show his children that their life in California wasn’t all there was. And he could still work from England, or find another firm to work under.

“I mean.. You could always focus more on your photography. Louisa says you’ve really got a talent.” Listening to his husband talk as if he had been speaking to the artist behind his back but really he did love it. But just as a hobby, as a part of his work he could use it only lightly. Really he didn’t know what he should do since he still wanted to make sure his children still had clean places to live. Narrowing his eyes as he breathed out ‘maybe’. Since he would consider it but he wasn’t finished with his lawyer work just yet.

“And, with everyone coming over for our anniversary we could tell them then, about the baby.. And about the move. They would be over the moon Harry.” Backing the blond up against the counter, as he eyed the older’s face. Now with a few stress lines creased in his forehead and around his eyes, from years of laughing. As he looked in deep blue, trying to draw out the blonds impatiens.

“But where were you thinking?... South America like Frankie and Luca.. or a draw of a hat like Ellis?” Watching blue eyes twinkle and a the crack of a smile slowing pulling bigger.

“I was thinking, somewhere in Asia..?” Nodding his head as he thought about it. That did sound like a good idea since it had been one of their favorite places to travel through.

Dropping his head down to rest his forehead on his shorter husband, keeping him pinned in place. His tone dropping low in a husky whisper. “Guess we should practice making babies as well.”

“Harry.” Niall’s voice rang out like he was trying not to laugh as he felt soft lips pushing up against his. Deciding that they could kiss any time, but he had his mind set on something else. As fingers inched their way up, attacking ticklish sides. “N-H-arr-y.” There was a laugh and a nudge, of the man trying to push him off. “S-stop, don’t wake up the baby.” His wrists caught in the musician's hands as he laughed nodding. “You’re dealing with crabby pants. You’re still such a jerk, even after all these years.” Getting a nudge as he stepped back, freeing Niall only for a second before pulling him back in his arms and giving him a proper kiss. 'I love you's' Whispered against the other both riding high in the clouds at the thought of adding to their family.

If the years had gone by this smoothly, he was excited to see what would happen. The excitement back at the idea of heading back home to be closer to family. And the idea of having another baby seemed overwhelmingly heart warming.

As their tenth year together came to an end, Harry was more than excited to see what would happen. Moving back to Harry’s home country, but now into a large home just outside of the massive city. And just before Niall’s birthday, they found out that they had been approved for another adoption of a month old baby girl.

Almost eleven years together and Harry would not change a thing. He had the large family he had never realized he had wanted, and the most amazing husband who still made him feel like he was that same 20-something year old scared and excited all at once. Never knowing this could have been the outcome when they had gotten married as strangers. This is what people meant when they said ‘this was the life.’