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Louis doesn’t have a habit of thinking about Harry’s dick.

That would be weird, seeing as they’re best mates, and they share a flat, and they’ve spent holidays at each other’s family homes. Their friendship hasn’t ever risen to a point where Louis should want to see his mate’s dick, and he’s happy to keep it that way.

Except, all that Louis can think about is exactly that.

The size of it. The shape. The amount of people it’s been in.

Maybe it’s the tequila talking, or the fact that Louis’ just recently walked in to an eyeful of Harry taking turns on some slags that he’s never seen before, but. Louis’ mind can’t stop obsessing over the idea.

It’d been like opening the floodgate. Sure, Harry’s always been one to speak openly about his sex life. Thing is, Louis has never quite believed him. For so long, there was no way that Harry could actually be some sexual magician, pulling any and every bird that would breathe the same air as him.

Now that Louis’ seen it in action, though.

“I mean, it doesn’t make sense,” Louis says, slapping the table.

Liam’s across from him, and he sighs into his drink, rather rudely. Niall just cackles, because he must like that Louis’ been going on about this for nearly an hour with no intention of stopping. Zayn’s still ignoring the conversation, the lad.

“It’s Harry, for fuck’s sake. He can’t even walk in a straight line,” Louis continues, egging himself on. “Like. He can’t even speak to a girl without stepping on his own tongue.” Louis looks around, meeting an array of amused and irritated eyes, and shakes his head. “I don’t get it.”

“Louis,” Liam says, eyelids drooping. “Why is this such a surprise to you? Everyone knows that Harry, like, gets around.”

That does very little to change Louis’ bewilderment. “He’s Harry! How was I supposed to believe he could get with so many people?” The image of Harry on his knees, bare ass aimed high for the heavens to see as he went to town on some poor girl, filters through Louis’ mind. He shudders, involuntarily. “There were genuinely at least five girls there. Five.”

He’s about to start off on another tangent of rhetoric questions when his phone pings for the tenth time, drawing all eyes to it. Louis refuses to answer.

“Just talk to him if it bothers you that much,” Zayn interrupts, his first time adding to the conversation.

Louis has to groan at that. “It doesn’t bother me,” he informs, convincingly. “It just. Shocked me.” He reaches into his pocket and snatches his phone out. “Why does he keep calling? Isn’t he busy entertaining?”

Niall’s cackle is much too loud for the occasion.

On another groan, Louis tosses his phone onto the table and lifts his beer to his mouth, taking three long swigs. He isn’t nearly drunk enough, only one shot and one beer already down.

“Seems like it bothers you a bit,” Liam chimes, reaching out to flick Louis’ phone. It twirls across the wooden surface, screen lit up with frog boy – Missed Call (6) on display.

That’s a bit rich coming from Liam, who’s spent days at a time moping around at the news that Chris Evans would be leaving the Avengers. He legitimately refused to admit that he was upset, even though his crying could be heard from across town.

“Can’t I just be shocked?” Louis asks, slapping Liam’s hand.

Immediately, Liam hisses and squints at him. “Hey, rude!” While he nurses his nonexistent wound, gripping his hand to his chest, he adds, “Shocked people don’t rant for an hour straight. Bothered people do.”

“Shut the fuck up, Liam,” Louis tells him, a smile on his face. “I’m not bothered.” He looks to Zayn, whose eyebrow is raised, impolitely. “Look. If I am bothered, it’s only because that—” he clears his throat, “—girl, he was. Uhm. Dealing with. Asked if I wanted to join, like it was no big deal.”

“Oh, shit!” Niall hoots. People at the next table shoot them a glare, and, even though he’s usually the first one to cause a scene, Louis’ initial response is to reach over and clap a hand over Niall’s mouth.

There’s tongue involved, followed by laughter when Louis jerks back and starts to gag. “You filthy fucker.”

“Stop! Keep talking,” Liam says, eyes boring into Louis. “What happened after that?”

Louis sighs, wiping his spit covered hand across his jeans. He gives Niall a dirty look, but starts back up. “Like, all of them looked at me, waiting for an answer, and Harry just. Sat up. Then, all nervous, went, ‘Hey, Lou,’ as if he wasn’t fornicating on our living room floor.”

Silence falls over their table as all of the boys look to Louis, eyes waiting.

Niall says, “So, like. Then what?”

“Then nothing.” Louis finishes off his beer, downing it in one go. “I turned right back around, left the flat, and came straight here.”

“Wait,” Niall says, jaw slack. “You’re saying you were invited to an orgy, and you said no?”

Louis gawks. What the fuck. That’s what they took from the story?

“I. What.” He glances around, and all three of them have the same look of disbelief. Even Zayn—smart, sound Zayn—is looking at him as though he’s just admitted to murder.

“Why would you pass that up?” Liam asks. He sounds almost offended.

“I’m. Wait,” Louis says, blinking a few times. “Are you seriously wondering why I didn’t want to have an orgy with my best mate?”

They all nod in unison. Louis really, really can’t believe what’s happening.

“The fact that you all think it’s fine to do that is so disturbing to me.” He pauses for a bit, and then, repulsed, asks, “Does that mean you’d all be willing to see my cock if it meant sleeping with five girls?”

“Yes,” Niall says, deadpan.

“Yes,” Liam adds.

“Probably.”

Louis wrinkles his nose, especially in Zayn’s direction. He can ardently say that he would never put himself in a situation where he’d have to see any of his friends’ cocks, even if it meant laying a hundred birds. That’s the most uncomfortable thing he’s ever heard.

And, now he knows that his mates would willingly look at his cock.

“Why the hell would you boys want to see my—nevermind.” Louis has to wave his hands in the air for relief. “Just. The point is, I didn’t want to see Harry’s penis. I don’t want to know anything about his sex life. I’m just shocked that he’s so… fruitful.”

“One Harry is outnumbered by five girls, Louis,” Niall says, sounding genuinely upset. “You wouldn’t have even had to look at Harry. Think of the tits.”

Louis doesn’t think of the tits. He thinks of how far off track this conversation has gone.

Plus, they’re all making him feel like a freak. It’s normal to turn down an orgy offer if that means you’ll have to see your mate’s dick. Perfectly normal.

“Can we just stop talking about this?” Louis pushes, rising to his feet. “I want more beer and less nonsense from you lot.”

Liam’s about to object, but Louis raises a hand to silence him and turns on his heel, headed up to the bar.

What a bunch of knobheads.

. . .

The first thing Louis does when he gets back to his flat is glance around the carpet for any staining. It’s not an in-depth look, where he’s got his nose digging through each and every spot that he can see or a blacklight held up for further inspection, but he makes sure to give the entire area a good once over.

While doing so, he purposefully avoids visualizing any of the sights that he received earlier. One shot of Harry’s ass and balls is more than enough for Louis. He already isn’t sure that he’ll get the visual of some random girl’s O face out of his brain, so. Louis really doesn’t want to suffer any more than he has to.

The lights are all off, and the flat is relatively silent, other than the sound of the heating unit pumping. And, Louis isn’t going to lie—he’s pretty hammered.

Five shots, a traumatizing memory, and uncomfortable conversation tends to do that to a person.

Louis hiccups as he drops his keys onto the coffee table. He kicks off his shoes, leaving them haphazardly in the middle of the room, and starts to stumble toward his bedroom, holding his breath and walking on his tip-toes.

His attempt at silence doesn’t work. As he’s only a few steps down the hall, about to pass Harry’s door, the ground creaks. Immediately, Louis huffs, irritated at himself, and the flat, and the last shot of tequila he downed.

Harry’s footsteps are audible before the door opens. Louis doesn’t even have time to think about making a run for it.

Light floods the corridor as Harry peeks his head out. His hair is all fluffy, standing up in different directions as though he’s been laying down. Louis tries his hardest not to think of why else it looks like that.

“Hey, Lou,” Harry says, raspy and slow. It sounds like more of a shout to Louis’ drunken ears, and an accidental blush rises to his cheekbones at the sound of Harry’s voice, at the sight of him. His lips are all red, and his eyes seem so dark in the shadows.

With no control over it, Louis can’t stop himself from picturing everything again. The smooth expanse of Harry’s back glowing with sweat, the top of his head bobbing, his hands spreading up over the girl’s chest, long fingers pressing into skin.

The way he’d looked back at Louis, with flushed cheeks and hooded eyes. It was so obvious, just how turned on Harry was. The air stunk like sex and sweat, like Harry after a drunken night out, or a game of footie, or wrestling with Louis on the couch.

“Uhm,” Louis whispers, clearing his throat. He curls his fingers into a fist, staring at Harry’s eyes and nowhere else. The tequila swims in his head, making his thoughts jumble. “Hey, H. What’s up?”

The space between them is tense. Maybe Louis is imagining it, but. He feels woozy, eyes blinking slow and body coming to a standstill.

“You okay?” Harry asks, taking a step closer to him, putting them in arm’s length of one another. His hand raises, gripping the doorway’s frame, causing the bottom hem of his shirt to lift. The V of his hips draws Louis’ eyes.

The V that had been grinding against the floor.

Louis gulps, unintentionally. “Yeah.” He sounds embarrassed, even to his own ears. “I’m good. Just. Going to bed.”

Harry wets his lips, and Louis feels ashamed at how he can’t help but follow every movement Harry makes. The soft pink of his tongue, just a flash of motion, makes Louis’ eyes narrow and focus.

“You ignored my calls,” Harry says, uncertain.

Whether it’s the dark making Harry oblivious to Louis’ reactions, or Louis’ own imagination exaggerating what’s going on, it doesn’t matter. Louis’ thankful that Harry doesn’t show any kind of emotion.

“I was. Uhm. The boys.” Louis gently waves a hand, blinking slow. “Bar.” He inhales quick, and a heavy sigh falls from his mouth just as fast.

He’s overwhelmed. As hard as he tries, Louis can’t stop the raunchy, exposed feeling that overcomes him under Harry’s watchful eye. His apparently experienced watchful eye.

“Oh,” Harry murmurs, nodding. He bites at his bottom lip, and stares at Louis for a second, waiting.

Louis is too drunk for this. His mind is making him think such horrible things, making his blood flow too far south at just the sight of Harry. It isn’t even like Harry’s trying to elicit some response from Louis. He’s just standing there, with bedhead, looking doubtful and self-conscious.  

“I’m gonna,” Louis starts, throwing his thumb toward the end of the hall toward his own room. He makes the mistake of glancing down at Harry’s bare feet, and his mouth instantly goes drier. Those feet had been digging into the carpet, toes curled. “Bed.”

Harry chuckles at Louis’ disorientation. “You’re drunk drunk, huh?”

Louis’ tongue is heavy in his mouth. “Two for one special tonight.” He takes a step toward his room and away from Harry. “Night.”

“Wait,” Harry says, reaching out to grab Louis’ arm.

The way that his fingers press in, and his touch feels so gentle, and his skin warms Louis’ own, makes everything spin for a second. Louis has to resist the urge to pull way—or press into it—and sucks on his teeth. “Huh?”

“I wanted to talk,” Harry says, soft. “About earlier, I mean.”

Louis really can’t help the, “fuck,” that slips off his tongue. It only makes him blush harder. “Can we do it tomorrow? I’m.” He sighs, at a loss for words. “Tired.”

For a minute, they’re at a standoff. Harry’s fingers stay pressing into Louis’ skin, so tender and calm. Louis’ heart is beating in his throat, making his head throb with the weight of it. Time seems like it’s moving in slow motion. Louis’ body, and its’ reactions, don’t feel like his own.

“Uhm, sure,” Harry says, eventually. He releases his grip, making Louis stumble for a second, and purses his lips. “Yeah.”

Louis nods, breathing in deep. He takes a step back. “Okay.”

“Goodnight,” Harry says, mouth forming an easy smile.

In a split second, Louis’ turning around and making for his room on heavy feet. By the time his door is shut, and he’s enclosed in the darkness around him, there’s no air left in his lungs.

He feels weighed down, like a bag of sand. It’s impossible to scrub the images of Harry out of his head, even though Louis tries, his palms digging into his eyelids hard enough to see stars.

All Louis can see is sweat, and skin, and Harry’s fucking mouth. His slick back. His prick. The soft curves of his feet, and ankles, and hips.

Louis drops onto his mattress, not bothering to tug off his jeans.

The spot on his arm where Harry touched him continues to burn as Louis shoves his head into one of his pillows.

As he forces himself to breathe evenly, he can’t ignore the way that the front of his jeans feel tight, the way his cock is pressing heavy and hard against the zipper.

The last thought that runs through Louis’ mind before he finally drifts off is what the fuck, on loop.

. . .

There isn’t a single remedy that actually works to cure a tequila hangover, Louis has found.

When he opens his eyes to the sounds of construction outside his bedroom window, the pounding in his head is so intense that he nearly cries. There’s sweat covering his entire body, his jeans clinging, hot and damp, to his arse and thighs.

Louis spends a solid five minutes just burying his head in the sheets before he bothers moving. Or thinking, really.

Remembering his own thoughts, all the dirty imagery that had burned into his retinas last night, makes Louis’ stomach churn. Falling asleep to those images, and dreaming of them, and. Getting hard at the sight of Harry.

The worst part of it is that thinking over it again, reliving those thoughts in an attempt to recollect the whole story, makes Louis’ blood run warmer, makes his dick perk up, even with the headache he’s sporting.

Louis dry heaves into the air. He clambers out of bed on sore muscles and scrambles to the bathroom faster than he thought possible. He makes it just in time to hit the toilet bowl.

In a matter of seconds, there’s a slight rapping on the wall outside the door. When Louis looks up, there’s Harry, making Louis’ heart stammer, because of fucking course.

Another rise of bile climbs up his throat.

“You okay?” Harry asks, stepping into the bathroom without permission.

As Louis wretches, Harry starts to wet a cloth under the tap. The disgusted sound that he lets out only makes it worse for Louis.

Once he’s emptied his last night’s dinner, Louis says, “All good,” and spits. He reaches up and tugs at the handle, flushing with his face still near the bowl, and takes the towel from Harry’s hands without bothering to look up.

“Thanks,” Louis tells him, swiping at his lips. His stomach gurgles.

“I told you, Lou,” Harry starts, sounding smug. “Beer before liquor, never been sicker. Liquor before beer, you’re in the clear.”

“You didn’t tell me shit,” Louis bites.

He isn’t meaning to be short, or rude, or cold. But, there’s a lot on his mind. Like how he popped a boner while visualizing his best mate having sex and is continuing to feel those feelings. That’ll do someone’s head in, Louis figures. He’s allowed poor manners for a little while.

Harry doesn’t pay it any mind. He just snorts, watches as Louis slowly climbs to his feet. “I made brekkie. There’s a plate for you in the kitchen.”

Hearing that makes Louis stomach flutter. Not in a hangover way, but in an oh way. Which is disconcerting, because Harry’s made him breakfast every day for the past couple of years, and he’s never thought oh.

Louis wants to slap himself in the face, to ask what the fuck do you think you’re doing, to walk into oncoming traffic. He settles for pulling his lips into a tight smile and staring at the space between Harry’s eyebrows, rather than his eyes. “Thanks, mate. I’ll be out in a minute.”

Without another word, Harry nods and turns around, leaving Louis all to himself.

Louis makes sure to flick the lock on the door and moves to stare at himself in the mirror. He looks exactly the same as any other day, but it’s like his mind has been completely replaced, all at the fault of some drinks. Of accidentally walking in on something he shouldn’t have.

He’s never been turned on by Harry before. Or, never been turned on enough to think anything of it. Whatever. The point is, it doesn’t make sense that seeing Harry ass naked in a sexual setting has suddenly caused his dick to do its own thing.

They’ve seen one another naked hundreds of times. That happens when two people live together. They’ve also been strictly mates for twice as long. The latter should take precedent to whatever his dick wants.

Everything in Louis’ head is confusing him. The more he thinks about it, the more he realizes that he’s looked at Harry before. Really, really looked at him.

And, he’s thought about Harry before. Albeit, not with such severity or long enough to do as much damage as last night, but. He’s thought about Harry before.

About the expanse of his broad shoulders. The curve of his cupid’s bow. The swell of his pecs and darkening of his nipples. Louis’ thought a lot about Harry’s hands, because he’s always putting them someplace they shouldn’t be.

In Louis’ armpits, and on his waist, and at the back of his neck. Harry constantly has his hands wherever they can reach. Louis normally brushes it off and doesn’t think very hard on it, but now it’s all that he can think about.

Those hands that’d been sliding on skin, reaching for more, more, more. They’ve been on Louis’ body before.

Fuck, Louis wishes his prick didn’t like that so much. Even more so, he wishes his brain didn’t even entertain those ideas.

“We’re mates,” Louis whispers to himself. Then, down at where he’s getting the most excited, dick fattening up as the seconds pass and his thoughts swell, “We’re bloody mates. We are not going there.”

He reaches out to the sink and turns the knob on cold, cupping it in his hands to splash at his face. On top of the horrible burning in his gut from all the alcohol, Louis’ plenty disgusted with himself.

Whatever. It’ll pass. Louis’ just been keyed up for a while, currently on a break from dating and sleeping around. The second he fucks with someone new, his dick will calm down.

Without letting himself get more riled up, Louis slaps his cheeks in quick succession and grits his teeth. He’s fine. It’s all fine.

He makes quick work of changing into some pajamas before hustling to the kitchen. The sooner he eats and gets this conversation out of the way, the sooner Louis can get over this uncomfortable feeling in his gut. Without brushing his hair, he marches right up to the table and drops down into the seat opposite Harry.

The smell of grease makes Louis’ mouth water, but he can’t help the way that he tries to come across as nonchalant.

“Thanks,” Louis says, not waiting for Harry before he’s piling bacon on his plate.

With his nose buried in his phone, clearly focused on something enthralling, Harry makes a distracted noise and nods. Louis catches his hand moving in his peripheral and watches Harry slowly push two spare paracetamols toward him.

That makes Louis’ cheeks flush, because he’s being taken care of, and he can’t help but wrinkle his nose. Still, he silently picks them up and downs them with a swig of orange juice.

Things are silent for a while, with Louis shoving breakfast in his mouth with no mercy and Harry staring intently at his phone. Louis tries not to think about what or who he’s messaging, because that would do very little to settle Louis’ nerves, so he chooses to sit in the discomfort of hearing his own chewing sounds and not much else.

When Harry does finally speak up, it’s startling enough to have Louis inhaling too soon, coughing up against the harsh drag of food in his throat.

“What?” Louis asks, hitting his fist against his own chest in search of relief.

Harry laughs, and sets his phone against the table. He grabs a fork and starts filling up his own plate, repeating, “I asked if you want to talk about it now?”

It’s unintentional, the way that Louis tightens up. But, he shrugs, and stares down at his plate. “We don’t have to.”

“I mean. I feel like we kind of have to.”

Louis’ cheeks burn with Harry’s waiting eyes on him. Looking up is a mistake, because Harry’s got such a genuine and desperate look on his face, like if he doesn’t clear the air, he’ll never be the same. And, like, Louis’ never been good at not giving Harry what he wants.

“Ugh, fine.” Louis reaches up to fix his fringe. “What’d’ya want to say about it?”

Harry sets his fork down. “I’m sorry. That you had to see that.” He takes a steadying breath. “And that I didn’t tell you I was having people over.”

“People,” Louis echoes, not realizing that he’s speaking until it’s too late.

“Yeah,” Harry repeats. “People.” He bites his bottom lip, and Louis’ eyes draw down to the movement.

“It’s, uhm. It’s okay. Fine.” Louis shakes his head, focusing back on his plate, even though he’s lost his appetite. God, he wishes this weren’t happening. “I don’t tell you when I’ve got company over, either.”

Harry makes a noise, pushing air from his nose in a snort. “Yeah, but you’re not as. Well. I don’t normally like to bring people back here, because I know I can get rowdy, I guess.”

Louis doesn’t even try to stop his reaction this time. “Oh my God.” Harry’s shameless. Not only is he rubbing it in Louis’ face that he’s a slag, but he’s pointing out Louis’ incomparable and incompetent sex life. How wonderful.

“What?” Harry asks, looking genuinely confused.

Louis pushes his plate away and squints toward Harry, still flushing much more than he’d like to acknowledge but more frustrated than anything. “I don’t want to know the details, Harry.” His stomach turns over.

“We’ve talked about it before,” Harry says, a bit of an offended twinge on his words. He pulls his brows tight, leaning in the same as Louis. “Why is it a problem now?”

Louis huffs. “We haven’t talked about it before, mate. I think I’d remember.”

This isn’t going the way that Louis had imagined. Harry’s getting visibly upset. Louis is working himself up. The table between them seems so small with how they’re both closing in.

Fuck, Louis’ getting even redder. He’s so flustered, it’s fucking humiliating.

Harry’s tilts his head, parting his lips in disbelief. “I literally told you about two separate birds I got with just last week, and how their roommate nearly called the police from how loud we got.”

Louis’ eyes burn. Holy fuck, Harry had been serious. He’d been fucking serious. Something about that has Louis’ fingers twitching, his thighs going tense.   

“I don’t. That’s not.” Louis has to swallow the spit in his mouth. Harry’s looking at him with this face, and it’s making it that much harder to get his thoughts together.

Like, he’d known Harry got around. Except, he really, really hadn’t known.

“I guess I’m just. In shock.” Louis waves a hand and has to look anywhere but at Harry. “Like, you’re my best mate who can’t walk and chew gum at the same time. How was I supposed to know that—”

“That I was serious about getting with so many people?”

Louis inhales hard and fast, grinding his teeth for purchase. “Yeah.”

A moment passes, silence flooding around them as they hold each other’s gazes. Harry’s lips quirk up in the slightest, a smirk that reads far too much cockiness than he deserves. Louis knows that he’s blushing up to his temples, all down his neck and chest, can feel how hot his skin is.

The sound of their breathing is too much. It’s too tense, with something unreadable hanging in the air, but Louis doesn’t know what to say. What he can say, really.

Something about the look in Harry’s eyes has Louis feeling raw and exposed, like all of his inner thoughts are being broadcast out loud. Like Harry can see the way his brain is throwing together images of his naked body, trying to remember all the people he’s talked about getting with.

Harry leans back, slow, his chin tilted up as he tuts his tongue, pompous. “Well, I do.” He grabs his fork, still watching Louis. He clarifies, “Get with that many people.”

Louis swallows. Fuck.

He’s never nervous around Harry. He’s never been hard at the breakfast table before.

“Okay.”

Harry nods once, twice. Then, still eyeing Louis, he stabs some of the eggs on his plate. “You okay?”

Louis blinks a few times before he looks down. No, he’s not fucking okay. He’s sweating, all down the back of his fresh shirt, and his skin is prickly and hot and uncomfortable. He’s thinking about Harry and those girls from last night, thinking about Harry’s well experienced cock.

“I’m great.” Louis lifts his glass with shaky fingers and chugs the rest of his juice, trying not to focus on the bob of his own Adam’s apple under Harry’s eyes.

Louis doesn’t look up again. He nudges the food around on his plate, and tries to breathe evenly, and wonders how soon is too soon to bolt for his room.

“Anyways,” Harry says eventually, much too late in the conversation. “I’m sorry you had to see that.”

Louis is sorry, too. For very different reasons.

“It’s all good, mate,” Louis says, clearing his throat. “Just give a warning next time, maybe.” His prick is still hard.

Harry chuckles, soft and warm. “Yeah, alright.”

Then, after a beat, right as Louis starts to feel his burning ears cool, Harry opens his mouth again. “Uhm. So, like, do you have any questions?”

What the fuck.

Louis splutters on air, eyebrows scrunching up as he slaps his hands down. “Harry, what the hell? I just said I don’t want details!”

There’s fire in Louis’ lungs, spreading all through him. It’s humiliating, how dramatic he’s being, how incapable he is of taming his reactions.

“Okay, okay!” Harry says, throwing his hands up in defense. There’s amusement in his eyes, though, and Louis really wants to punch him. “Just. It seems like you might have questions!”

“Why would I have questions?” Louis asks, incredulous.

Harry scrunches his nose, smiling. “You’re just. Flustered.”

That’s enough of that. Louis shoves his plate away and purses his lips. He mentally thanks himself for wearing joggers, because somehow the tenting of his crotch is hidden when he stands.

Hidden enough to play off as awkward positioning, at least.

“I’m not flustered,” Louis states, matter-of-factly. It sounds like a lie even to his own ears, and is clearly a lie to Harry, who just raises an eyebrow in blatant delight.

Harry’s stupid face only makes Louis that much more flustered. Without another word, he turns around and stomps toward his room.

Faintly, he can hear Harry’s voice calling out, “You’re a bit flustered,” still sounding so full of himself. Louis slams the door extra hard.

. . .

Things die down for a while.

Harry has the decency to drop the topic, because every time that he tries to bring it up Louis ends up huffing through his nose and going pink in the cheeks. And, Louis is grateful that Harry doesn’t press the it anymore, because he truly isn’t sure that he could survive it.

Louis’ already having a hard time surviving with the knowledge of just how much of a slag Harry is without having to talk to him about it.

It’s really all that he can think about.

He figured that after a few days of awkward silence it’d pass, as most things do. Of course, that isn’t Louis’ luck.

In the shower, or when he’s at work, or when he’s scrolling through Instagram, Louis will remember the wet glimmer of Harry’s lips, or the sharp draw of his dark and hungry eyes, or the harsh way that he’d swallowed the spit in his mouth when he’d looked up at Louis from the girl’s cunt.

Louis thinks about Harry’s body, and the glimpse he’d gotten of his hard cock. It was so big, all drippy at the head and bumping up against his stomach when Harry had turned to look at Louis.

It isn’t that Louis’ afraid of being not straight. He’s well into his late twenties, and he’s explored all of his options in life. Like, the gay aspect of it all isn’t what tears him up.

It’s the Harry part.

Harry, his best mate for years.

Harry—the boy who cries during romcoms, and has asthma, and spills fingernail polish on the carpet but blames Louis (even though Louis’ never so much as touched Harry’s fingernail polish collection). Harry, who’s been nothing more than a best mate in Louis’ eyes for so long.

They’re only a few years apart in age, but. Louis’ never really consciously seen Harry as this fully-grown man with muscles, and a dirty mouth, and a big prick.

The realization has left him startled, to say the least.

Startled, and really fucking frustrated, on all realms. Frustrated with himself. Frustrated with Harry. Frustrated with his own dick.

Louis knows that he needs to move on, because it’s clear that Harry has moved on, and the world is still turning. For some reason, Louis’ brain can’t seem to hop on the bandwagon.

It’s a Tuesday evening, only a few days since the incident, and Louis is meant to be wiping down tables when everything comes to a standstill.

There’s a guy at the bar, whispering in some girl’s ear with enough charm to have her giggling into her drink. From behind, he looks too similar to Harry for Louis’ liking. His shirt pulls and stretches with the movement of his back muscles, and the broadness of his shoulders draw Louis’ eyes.

Glancing at the man turns into staring, and before Louis knows it he’s imagining himself as the girl, and Harry as the man, and Harry’s hands pressing into his waist in the same way that the man’s hands are pressing into the girl’s.

They’re going to fuck, Louis knows. Having worked at a bar for so long, he can tell when two people’s intentions line up, and these two are clearly on the same path with the same goal. And, like, Louis thinking about them fucking leads to him thinking about he and Harry fucking.

He imagines such horrible things.

Harry’s deep voice lulling in his ear, filthily praising him while Louis writhes against the press of his big hands against his arse. Harry’s fingers slipping under the waistband of his joggers, teasing with harsh presses against his pelvis. Harry taking hold of his dick, hand too dry and grip too hard, just holding him for a while as Louis loses his bloody mind.

It’s a snowball effect, really, that has Louis chubbing up in his jeans and getting hot under his jumper.

Without so much as a word, or an attempt to stifle the ever-growing arousal inside of him, Louis drops the cleaning supplies at the bar and heads straight for the employee bathroom. He flicks the lock, pulls out his phone, and dials one of the three numbers that he’s got memorized after all these years.

Zayn picks up on the seventh ring, sounding annoyed. “What’d’ya want?”

Louis keeps his hands well above his waist, and bites at his bottom lip. “We have a serious problem.”

“Hm?” Zayn sounds far too disinterested, seeing as Louis’ having a crisis.

Louis doesn’t answer for a beat, hesitant. Once the words are out, there’s no way to reel them back in. Even though Zayn would never use it against him, saying it aloud makes it real. But, like, Louis’ not sure what else to do.

Zayn says a drawn out, “Whaaat?” and Louis huffs angrily.

“Remember the other night?” Louis swallows once and lets his eyes drop to the doorknob when someone wiggles it, giving up once they realize it’s locked. Zayn hums on the line. “Remember how I told you about walking in on H with his friends?”

Zayn scoffs, and repeats, “Friends,” but doesn’t interrupt further.

“Yes,” Louis tells him. “His friends.” Something too close to jealousy revs inside of Louis at the acknowledgement that they were definitely more than just friends to Harry.

Louis blinks the thought away. “Anyways. Since then, things have been. Weird.”

“How so?” Zayn asks.

“I keep.” Louis sighs. “Well. Like. I saw a lot. And, like, I can’t stop thinking about it.” Louis’ fingers curl into a fist, and he purses his lips, frustrated. 

“Okay,” Zayn says.

What the hell?

“Okay?” Louis asks.

“Okay.”

Louis leans back against the wall and scrunches his brows. “What do you mean okay?”

Zayn lets out an irritated noise. “I mean, okay. What else am I supposed to say?”

Louis wants to punch him. He’s having a meltdown, and his dick is hard because of his best mate, and his other best mate doesn’t have the decency to tell him what to do about it.

“Zayn, I need your philosophical guidance. How do I stop thinking about it?”

Zayn makes a noise. “Lou, you’re giving me very little context. You saw him having sex and can’t stop thinking about it. I’d say that’s pretty normal.”

It’s not normal. It’s very far from normal. Louis isn’t just thinking about it. He’s dwelling on it, and physically responding to it, and losing his bloody mind over it.

“I’m not just thinking about it,” Louis says, voice low.

His cheeks heat up at just the thought of speaking it out loud, but he knows that he’s got to. This isn’t an issue he can fix on his own. Zayn is the smarter one between them when it comes to cocks.

Louis takes a deep breath. “I am. I keep.” He shuts his eyes. “I think I want to fuck Harry, now.”

There’s silence over the line. Louis can hear the muffled noises from the other side of the bathroom door and can hear his own heartbeat against his eardrums. He can hear the bloody world turning, and the drop of a pen.

A moment passes, and Louis still can’t hear Zayn.

“Hello?” Louis asks, fingers shaking against his phone. His knuckles have gone white with how tight his grip is.

Across the line, Zayn finally speaks up, coughing awkwardly. Slowly, like he’s still processing the words, Zayn repeats, “You want to fuck Harry.”

Louis’ face heats even more. “Don’t say it like that!”

“How else am I supposed to say it? You want to fuck your best friend. The one you live with. The one you’ve known for nearly ten years.”

Louis groans. He should have just kept it inside.

Flustered, Louis slaps his free hand against his thigh. At least his stiffy is flagging, and rather fast at that.

“Yes, I want to fuck Harry. I think I Pavlov’ed my dick. I’ve seen him in a sexual setting once, and now any time that I think of him, or see him, or speak to him, I just imagine him being sexual and want to get on him.”

Although Louis cannot see it, he knows that Zayn is blinking in shock. The lack of a reply for a hefty amount of time is telling.

“Have you talked to Harry about this?” Is the first thing that Zayn says.

Honestly, where Louis got off thinking that Zayn was the person to bring this to is asinine.

“Of course I haven’t talked to Harry about this!” Louis resists the urge to stomp his feet, and presses his weight against the wall so that he can slide down to the floor. “Why the fuck would I tell my best mate that I want to shag him?”

“Well,” Zayn says. That’s all that he says, as if Louis’ just asked a rhetorical question. As if him telling Harry that he’d like a quick fuck isn’t absolutely insane.

“You’re horrible,” Louis says, honestly. “The worst person I know. I hate you.”

“Louis, if you really want to fuck Harry, then just talk to him.”

“I don’t want to fuck him, Zayn! He’s my friend. He’s my friend, whom I live with. There’s too much history, and too many reasons not to, and there are boundaries that can’t be crossed.” Louis purses his lips. “Harry’s a slag, sure, but we’re best mates. That isn’t happening.”

For a moment, Louis thinks that Zayn will hang up on him. Instead, he begins a rampage.

“Harry is your friend, and there are boundaries that shouldn’t be crossed, but you’ve always been more than friends. You live together, and he takes care of you, and you take care of him. You go on dates.”

Zayn pauses for a breath, and Louis opens his mouth to interrupt him, “We do not go on—”

“You do go on dates. You go alone to restaurants and movies. You two take walks together. You two are literally married without the monogamy or sex.”

Louis fish mouths. What the fuck is Zayn even on about?

Yes, he and Harry are close. Closer than most, even. That doesn’t mean that they’re dating.

“Zayn, that’s not. We aren’t. What the fuck?”

Zayn huffs, rudely. “Louis, I love you, but you’re dumb as hell. Use your brain, mate. You guys almost bought a one bedroom flat because neither of you minded sharing a room.”

Louis splutters. “We were thinking of ways to save money, Zayn!”

“Call it what you’d like. I would never share a room with you, though. Normal friends don’t do that.”

Louis’ boner is completely gone. Any type of arousal he could possibly feel is replaced by confusion and a little bit of anger. There are words and feelings being put in Louis’ mouth.

After a beat of silence, Louis licks his lips. “How long have you thought this about us, then?”

“How long have I known you?”

What the absolute fuck?

“Right.” Louis curls his fingers into a fist. “Why haven’t you said anything before?”

“It’s not my place. I believe that all things happen in due time.”

“Why tell me now, then?” Louis asks.

Zayn snorts. “You asked me how to handle this. I’m telling you that it’s due time.”

It’s a lot to comprehend. Mostly because Louis doesn’t want to think that Zayn is making any sense. The thing is, it does make a bit of sense.

He and Harry do things together, privately. They share all of their belongings. Harry is the closest person in Louis’ life and has been for quite some time. Except—

“If Harry and I are practically dating, then why didn’t I know that he got around?”

Zayn lets out a puff of laughter. “You did know, Louis. He’s told you a hundred times. We think you’ve been in denial.”

Louis can’t really help the urge to scream. He doesn’t do it, but he feels the urge to. Zayn shouldn’t be allowed to say things that make sense whenever Louis’ life is involved. Especially if the things that he says will completely ruin Louis’ life.

“Right.”

Zayn hums. “So, are you going to talk to him?”

Louis laughs. “No.”

In his angry voice—one that Louis very rarely has the misfortune of hearing—Zayn asks, “What the hell do you mean?”

Louis suppresses a shudder. “I mean that I’m not going to ruin my life by telling Harry that I’d like to have him inside of me.”

“Do you even listen when I speak?” Zayn asks.

“Yes, I listen. Just because you think that Harry and I are all but together doesn’t mean that we are. We don’t feel that way about one another.”

Louis doesn’t think that they feel that way about one another. Just because everyone else does, and because it makes sense to think that way, doesn’t mean that it’s true.

“Louis,” Zayn says, blandly. “You want to fuck Harry. Harry wants to fuck you. Just go for it already, would you?”

Something unfortunately close to hopeful grows in Louis’ gut. The pounding in his ears grows louder. “What the hell do you mean Harry wants to fuck me?”

“Harry literally tells you once a day how fit you are,” Zayn says, conversationally. “He stares at your bum constantly. He’s touching you more than he’s not.”

Louis opens his mouth, and then closes it again. Zayn isn’t wrong.

Before Louis can speak, Zayn starts up again. “Do you think he goes up to all of the people that he gets with and says, ‘Hey, I want to fuck you,’ before laying them? No. You two have the weirdest and longest running foreplay that I’ve ever seen in my life.”

That makes bile rise in the back of Louis’ throat. What the fuck?

It’s so much to take. Too much to think about. It’s like Louis’ living a lie of a life, and all of the pieces coming together is making his head spin.

“We’re done talking about this,” Louis says. He pulls the phone away from his face and thumbs the end call button with too much desperate fervor. He doesn’t want to hear any more, doesn’t want to.

Harry is his best mate. They’ve been strictly best mates for so many years, despite everything that Zayn’s just told him. Louis isn’t supposed to feel things for Harry that way, and Harry isn’t supposed to feel them back.

Harry doesn’t feel them back, Louis knows.

Actually, Louis doesn’t know what Harry feels. He doesn’t even know what he, himself, feels.

It’s too fucking much.

He drops his head, letting it hang between his shoulders, and whispers, “What the fuck?”

. . .

Seeing Harry through a new light, on top of an already newfound light, is not ideal.

Louis wishes it were as easy as pretending he’d never found out that everyone seems to think they’re perfect for one another, but things rarely work out the way that Louis wishes.

Just a few weeks ago, Louis’ life was simple. Normal. As average as it should be.

Now, though, he’s stuck on the idea that maybe he’s in love with his best mate. He definitely has the hots for him, if that counts for anything. And, apparently, everyone on the bloody planet is aware of all of this, despite Louis having only just found out himself.

It’s a thought that he can’t shake—loving Harry.

They’ll be at breakfast, and Louis just sees it all so clearly. Sitting together, and co-existing in one another’s spaces, they’re doing what a couple would do. Harry cooking for him, to take care of him. Louis cleaning up after Harry, to take care of him.

When Harry places a hand on Louis’ back as he rises above him to grab something off the top shelf, or when Harry tries to share a blanket during their nightly binge watch of Black Mirror.

So many little things that add up to a big picture that Louis’ missed for so long.

It’s not like flipping a switch, realizing that his feelings for Harry are more than he thought. It’s slower, more drawn out process. The dots connect the more Louis thinks about it and observes himself.

Louis lays down in bed after a few days, still thinking about Harry’s cock, and starts to think about it more complexly than possible.

He doesn’t just think about Harry’s body, and what all it can do, and who all its touched. He thinks about the man inside of the body. About Harry Styles, his best mate, who he absolutely fucking adores.

Louis imagines the tender moments between them. The soft, forgotten words that they share. He thinks about Harry’s eyelashes, and his cheekbones, and the soft swell of his belly after they’ve had too much to eat and he’s complaining of a stomachache.

It isn’t just his prick that Louis wants, he realizes. It’s his prick, and everything that they have now. Louis wants it all. He wants to be with Harry in every way— past, present, and future—that’s possible.

For the first time, Louis lets himself slip a hand under his boxers. He wraps his cold, shaky fingers around his prick, and doesn’t stifle the thoughts that race through his mind. His cock fattens up in his grip, dry hand tugging slowly as he thinks about the way that Harry watches him when he’s doing laundry, or texting the boys, or having a smoke.

Louis’ orgasm comes faster than necessary for such innocent thoughts. Before he knows it, he’s thinking about Harry’s weeklong knitting obsession. Thinking about how he’d gone on a rant, “Every millennial man needs to know how to knit a scarf, Lou. It’s just practical thinking,” and, “There are so many different techniques and colors to use, so every scarf will be like a snowflake.” It’s enough to set Louis off.

The thought of Harry’s determined and pointed eyes, the nimble bend of his fingers, has Louis’ spilling all over his fist with a hushed moan, body throbbing like a live wire.

By the time he’s snapped out of it, and he’s just laying in the haze of it all, Louis can’t stop it anymore. His brain is muddled, and his dick is only partially placated, and the world is still turning.

Louis realizes that this train of thought isn’t going away any time soon. He’ll have to learn to live with wanting, and loving, his best mate.

. . .

“The lads wanna know if we want to go out tonight.”

Louis’ feet are propped on the arm of the loveseat, his socked toes blocking Harry’s face from where he’s stood over the sink, washing their dinner plates. Some horrible made-for-TV movie is playing on the screen, just background noise for their digestion.

Louis makes a face.

We?

It isn’t that Louis has actively started taking note of all the couple-y things that they do. He simply can’t help but notice.

Being a we, and having Harry call them a we, is one of the things that he notices.

Still, Louis’ slowly learning how to contain his malfunctioned brain. With as much ease as he can muster, Louis brushes it off, and asks, “Where?”

Across the room, Louis can see Harry tapping on his phone. To watch him better, Louis parts his feet at his soles, keeping his heels planted firmly together.

It takes him a moment to respond, to preoccupied texting, but Harry looks up after a beat and says, “Same place as always. Liam got off work early, so they want to do an impromptu boys’ night.”

Any time all five of them get together, it’s bound to be a good time. It’s so rare for everyone to have a free night at the same time, though. Liam’s always at work, or Niall is off on a date. Harry is usually busy, which. Louis knows what with, now.

Louis grits his teeth and lifts his gaze to the ceiling above him. Laying on his back, he watches the rushes of light that wash through the parted curtains of the front room window with each pass of a car.

“Why didn’t they text me?” Louis asks, rather than answering.

His phone is resting on his belly, blatantly void of any calls or messages. It’s rather rude of their friends to not contact Louis with something as important as a group outing that includes all of them.

Harry’s footsteps slap against the wooden floor, and Louis can hear him moving closer. Once Harry is standing right beside him, looking down, Louis stares up at his nose.

There’s a stray nose hair sticking out of his left nostril, and Louis wants to point it out, just because it’ll make Harry flush and pout, but he isn’t given the opportunity.

Harry raises an unamused brow, holding out his phone to let Louis scan over the message chain. It’s Liam’s contact, and there are far too many emojis for Louis to read them all.

“I don’t know,” Harry says, not giving Louis time to even try to read. “They know we’re together. It’s easier to ask one of us rather than both.”

Louis blinks up at him.

Of course they think that. And, obviously Harry sees no issue with them thinking that. He sounds peachy keen, like there’s nothing more delightful in the world than the fact that everyone sees the two of them as one entity, rather than two individuals.

Another couple-y thing to add to the mental notepad, then.

Louis must not reply fast enough for Harry’s liking, because Harry tugs his phone away while Louis thinks and plasters an award-winning smile on his face. “So, what are we thinking?”

He says it as if Louis is the deciding factor here, that’ll make or break if he bothers to go out of all. Louis is tempted to say no, that they don’t want to go, just to see how Harry responds. Would he stay in, too?

Instead, Louis says, “Yeah.” He sits himself upright, and ignores the way that Harry makes no motion to move, despite Louis’ face now being uncomfortably close to his crotch. “I could use a drink.”

Louis could use more than just a drink, but he doesn’t say that.

Harry’s cheers of joy lead them down the hallway, and Louis gets dressed despite Harry’s loud, excited commentary that can be heard through the walls.

. . .

One would think that Louis knows his limits by now.

He’s getting older, and supposedly wiser, so he should know when enough is enough. After a few beers he should stop drinking. When the sun is well past setting and the college aged kids are showing up at the bar, he should head home. If Niall, of all people, is getting too drunk, Louis should call a cab.

The thing is, Louis has never been one for following what the world expects of him.

So, instead of heading home for the night and calling the night quits, Louis is at the bar, ordering another shot. He’s already had quite a few—enough to have his head swimming a little and his legs wobbling under the weight of his body—but nothing sounds more delightful to his already hammered brain than letting loose.

Looser than he already is, anyways. Which is pretty loose, considering that he’s already accosted Liam twice for trying to slow him down (“Louis, get off my back, you bloody tit! Fucking—Niall, help me!”), and stolen a pack of cigarettes from a random man’s coat pocket when he wasn’t looking.

Also, he keeps finding himself at the center of the dancefloor. Louis fucking hates dancing, usually, because he just winds up sweaty and sticky with spilled drinks. He’s more of a sway on the outskirts of the room, with a hint of occasionally jump on his toes to any particularly bass heavy song kind of guy.

It’s rare for him to get this drunk. To want to get this drunk, really. So, he’s going to enjoy it for as long as he’s in the mood.

“Nialler!” Louis shouts, snatching up the full shot glass in front of him and turning to his blonde friend.

Niall’s already staring at him, too close for comfort and glazed over in the eyes. There’s a wide, wicked smile on his face, because Niall already has three or four drinks over on Louis. He looks like a cherub. A drunk, Irish, smelly cherub.

Louis can’t help but laugh at the thought. Niall squints at him but doesn’t stop smiling.

“Niall,” Louis says again, shaking himself conscious. “What shall we toast this round to, Cherub?”

“Cherub?” Niall questions. Still, he lifts his own shot, waiting to drink.

Instead of answering, Louis’ muddled brain can’t help but laugh. He imagines Niall with a pair of wings, swaddled in a cupid-esque toga.

When Louis doesn’t answer after a beat, Niall hums, contemplative.

“Uhm. Let’s toast to…” His eyes wander across the room, like he’s thinking rather hard about this, before settling on a table across the room. His already wide smile morphs into something more maniacal, and Louis follows his line of sight as Niall shouts, “A toast to Harry, and his magic cock!”

Louis’ eyes settle on the scene as soon as Niall starts cheering, and all of the chaos in the room seems to stop.

Across the crowd of people dancing, and under the harsh neon glow from the lights above, Harry is leaning over a table of girls, finishing up a sentence that has them all laughing and angling their bodies toward him. He’s got one hand pressed into the back of some girl’s chair, and his ankles are crossed as he smirks at his own joke.

Even as drunk as he is, Louis can see it all so clearly. The body language that all of the girls are displaying, the proud puff to Harry’s chest—it’s so blatant that whatever could possibly go down is already in the works.

Louis lets his eyes drift over Harry’s form, resisting the urge to clench his fists and roll his eyes at how cocky Harry looks. Even with his shirt a size too big, and the buttons only done halfway up, and the back of his hair standing up wonky as if he’d run his hands through it a touch too much, he’s wooing four different birds at the same time and absolutely reveling in the attention.

“Cheers,” Louis says, voice a touch to snarky as he watches. In time with Niall’s chants of support, Louis throws the glass back, wincing at the burn that settles at the back of his throat when he swallows.

Slow to join, Niall only lifts his own drink to his mouth once Louis has set his back on the counter and started off toward the dancefloor.

He shoves a path through all of the stumbling bodies, more unsolicited and confusing anger bubbling in his head than necessary, and settles himself on the dancefloor once again. There’s some thick, booming song on the speakers, making the floor shake with each pronounced roll of the bass.

Louis wants to get lost in it.

His head is spinning with all sorts of thoughts, and he’s much too drunk to bother comprehending any of it. There’s anger, and frustration, and jealousy. A lot of jealousy.

All of it centers around Harry, which isn’t new, as of late, but still enough to have Louis questioning his sanity.

So, instead of trying to unfurl the mess of emotions going on inside, Louis settles his feet and hips into a roll that times with the music, and he lets the fuck go.

Niall appears beside him, either too drunk to notice the annoyed narrowing of Louis’ eyes or not invested enough to care. The music sweeps him away, and the crowd of people descend on them again, their momentary path destroyed by bodies swaying and grinding again.

Louis’ doesn’t think about anything except for the heat of people brushing against him, and the alcohol induced warmth that spreads from his cheeks to his chest and down to his fingertips. His eyes lull shut against the lights, and it doesn’t take long to forget that he’s angry.

Time becomes a concept, and Louis stops noticing when one song switches to the next. All that he can feel are the joints of his hips, rolling with the beat. He can feel Niall’s body beside his, more gangly than fluid. He can feel hands grabbing at his waist, his arms and hands.

Someone puts a firmer hold on him, hands steadying his hips and pulling him back to reality, and Louis’ eyes flutter open.

“Lou,” Harry says, voice muffled by all of the noise around them.

Harry is standing so close, only getting closer with each shove from the people behind him. His shirt is open wide, his pecs and upper abs on show for the world. The bow of his lips is wet, like he’s just downed a drink and forgotten to wipe his mouth afterwards.

Louis can’t resist the thoughts that flood his mind all of a sudden. Harry just—he’s fucking gorgeous, even sweaty and disheveled. Especially sweaty and disheveled.

It takes him a moment to gather his bearings, to pull his eyes away from where Harry’s chest is glistening with sweat and splotchy red from how worked up he is. Louis meets his eyes and has to blink a few times.

“Lou,” Harry repeats, leaning forward so that he’s speaking into Louis’ ear. His breath is warm when it hits Louis’ cheek, and everything goes hazy for a bit.

Louis has to lean into the warmth of Harry’s body to steady himself. His fingers find the collar of Harry’s shirt, and he tugs on the hem, holding himself upright. “What?”

One of Harry’s hands slips from Louis’ hip to his waist, thumb pressing right at his ribs. It feels so intimate, their bodies pressed close enough to have Louis shuddering. Harry feels so steady, all muscle and strength.

“I’m gonna go,” Harry says, fingers digging into Louis’ back. His lips bump against Louis’ temple, and Louis wants them to bump some more. To feel what those plush, pink lips can do on his body.

Louis’ too drunk to think about it. He just wants more, wants to give into all of the filthy thoughts that’ve been running through his mind for the past week. He wants it all. He wants Harry.

“Don’t you wanna dance with me?” Louis asks, one of his hands climbing higher until he can tug at Harry’s hair, making his head dip back with the force.

Something about the way that Harry’s head falls back, the way that his mouth parts and his eyes flutter a bit, has Louis swallowing thickly. His neck is on show with Louis fisting his hair, and all of the music seems muffled by the moment.

It’s like a force field exists around them, and only Harry and Louis exist.

Louis can’t help the way that he leans into Harry’s body. He can feel Harry’s grip on his waist, how his fingers are pressing into his skin so hard that it hurts a little. Louis can feel the brush of Harry’s thighs against his own, and the warmth that’s seeping between them.

Harry’s eyes flutter for a moment more, before he’s coming back to life, jaw clenching tight as he gathers himself. He glances back in the direction he came from. Louis’ fingers stay tangled in his hair, but he lessens his grip so that he’s not tugging at him, just fingering the sweaty curls.

It’s barely audible, Harry clearing his throat. He leans forward again, but his lips don’t touch Louis when he shouts, “A few girls wanna hang out.” Louis’ eyesight is blocked by the hunch of Harry’s shoulder, but he can imagine them now.

The girls that Harry had wooed with only a few words. They were pretty, all of them. And, now, Harry wants to leave with them.

Them, and Harry, and Harry’s dick. Leaving together.  

Louis’ mouth goes dry, and a pang of something whips through him. The idea of watching Harry’s retreating back as he takes the girls out of the club, knowing what they’re going to do, makes Louis want to scream. He wants to break something, to fight someone.

Instead, Louis drags his fingernails against Harry’s scalp. He tugs Harry against his chest, wrapping an arm around his shoulders to hold him close.

Louis wants to stake his claim.

“Don’t you wanna dance with me, though?” Louis repeats. This time, he starts to bounce on his toes, rocking Harry with each movement. The music comes into focus, and Louis settles into the beat.

“Lou—Louis, hold on,” Harry says, placing a big palm at the center of Louis’ lower back to try and still him.

Louis doesn’t budge. He keeps bopping, and he can see Niall beside them, hitting it off with some girl. Louis’ nose wrinkles, and he turns his face into Harry’s neck.

“Come on, Harry,” Louis says, exasperated.

Harry still isn’t moving along with him, just standing there all wrapped up in Louis’ limbs, stock still.

Louis huffs, and pulls his face back, and. He and Harry are only inches apart, so close that it’s hard to see without going cross-eyed. Louis’ eyes fall sharply on Harry’s lips, just a breath away from his own, before shooting back to Harry’s eyes.

Harry must not notice. Or care, really. He just frowns, and says, “Lou, I wanna dance with you. The girls are waiting on me, though.”

Louis’ heartbeat is in his throat when Harry’s big palm slides up his back and settles on his shoulder. It’s sobering, the downturn of Harry’s lips, the way that he pulls back and his heat vanishes from Louis’ body.

“Oh,” Louis says, because what else is he meant to say.

Fuck, he’s acting like a fool. Louis’ just thrown himself on Harry like a cat in heat.

Harry’s hesitant eyes stay on Louis’ for another moment, like he can’t bring himself to leave.

Louis says, “Okay,” his voice sounding hollow and pitiful to even himself. He needs another shot. He needs to get his mind off of Harry. He needs to go fuck someone that looks nothing like Harry, who will make him forget that he ever wanted to fuck Harry.

That he ever wanted Harry, in general.

“I’m sorry, Lou.”

The thought of Harry feeling bad—feeling bad for Louis—is enough to make Louis shudder. That’s not what he wants, or what he needs.

“Don’t be sorry, mate,” Louis says, nodding along to the music in an attempt at nonchalance. His mouth feels dry, and there’s sweat cooling at the back of his neck. “Go have fun. I’ll see you in the morning.”

Harry opens his mouth, but Louis doesn’t want to hear it. He swallows once, and shoves at Harry’s shoulder softly. “Go!”

And, before Harry has even turned around, Louis feels like he’s suffocating. He has to be the first one to move, to break the tension. Louis can’t stand Harry’s face anymore, can’t bare the soft and humiliating way that Harry is watching him.

Louis turns on his heel and makes to weave through the crowd, toward the bar. He doesn’t need another drink, but his semi-sober thoughts are too daunting and depressing to face right now. Louis’ got his back to where he left Harry standing, but knowing that he’s probably already got his hands on some girls whose names he doesn’t remember but bodies he’ll know soon, has Louis unhinged.

As soon as Louis makes it through the crowd and is placing his palms on the cool bar top, he exhales. He feels shaky on his feet, and fuzzy in his head, and so confused and upset with himself.

He leans forward and presses his elbows on the counter, placing his head in his palms. As he closes his eyes, trying to steady his breath and calm his racing thoughts, someone’s hand slides up his back and settles between his shoulders.

Louis whips his head up, fast enough to leave him dizzy.

“Are you okay?” Harry asks, his brows drawn in tight with concern. He steadies Louis when he stands upright, and those strong hands of his take hold wherever they can grab.

Louis really wants to hit him for making those hands seem so appealing.

With the world still spinning, Louis narrows his eyes and tries to ignore the hand on his hip. “Aren’t those girls waiting for you?”

“You’re upset,” Harry says, like that’s an answer. “What’s wrong?”

Whenever Harry gets like this, when he just wants to take care of Louis as though it’s his place to tell when things are wrong and make them right again, Louis can’t help the warmth that spreads inside. He doesn’t want to feel comforted by Harry. It’ll only make the bittersweet feeling inside burn that much hotter.

Louis knocks Harry’s hands off of him, because that’s the only thing that makes sense, and turns so that his back can press into the bar for leverage. “I’m good. Just feeling it, is all.”

“How much did you drink?”

Louis can’t help but snort. He may not have been with Harry all night, but he’s seen him down more than a few himself. He’s in no position to be questioning Louis’ drinking capabilities.

“I’m fine, Harry,” Louis says, shortly. “Go take them birds somewhere.”

Harry doesn’t budge, and Louis keeps his eyes on the dancefloor where he spots Niall necking the girl that he was dancing with. Louis wants to laugh, because everyone seems to be getting some except for him.

“Lou,” Harry says, bringing his hand back up to press into Louis’ bicep. His fingers curl against Louis’ skin, and it makes everything go hazy.

Louis takes a steadying breath and looks back at him. “What?”

“Do you wanna leave?”

Louis rolls his eyes. “Aren’t you supposed to be leaving with someone else?”

Harry’s jaw tenses visibly, and his nostrils flare a bit. It’s a look that Louis doesn’t see often but knows well. He’s getting frustrated, Harry, in a way that he only does whenever he isn’t getting his way. Drunkenly, Louis can’t help but warm at that.

Having an effect on Harry has an effect on Louis.

And, Louis’ first instinct is to press him some more, to see just how far he can push him because the consequences could be catastrophic. Louis doesn’t do that. Instead, he holds Harry’s gaze, watching the way that his eyes flicker all over Louis’ face, and his lips part a few times like he wants to bite back.

“Fine,” Louis says, nodding after a beat. He gives Niall one more look and tries to spot Liam or Zayn in the crowd. When it fails, he turns his full attention to Harry.

With the girls forgotten, and something heavy weighing in Louis’ chest, and too much booze in his bloodstream, Louis lets Harry put a big hand on his waist and lead him outside.

The cab ride home is enough to lull Louis into an almost thoughtless state. The muted hum of the car’s accelerator is enough. Harry’s warm thigh pressed against his own is enough.

Louis doesn’t think about Harry choosing him over some girls.

Everything that he has is enough.

. . .

Louis opens his eyes to the smell of bacon and sunlight that has the backs of his eyelids burning orange and his head throbbing with his pulse.

Before he bothers opening his eyes, he can tell that he’s not in his own bed. Their couch is a horrible, uncomfortable thing, secondhand and the tiniest bit smelly. Louis’ only slept on it a handful of times, but he’ll never forget the ache that had settled in his joints for nearly a week after that first time.

When he wiggles his body, flipping so that he can lay on his front rather than his back, Louis feels a blanket slip off his thighs. They’re bare, the soft dusting of his leg hair catching on the woolen fabric. He’s in only a sleep shirt and his boxers.

Louis doesn’t remember taking his pants off.

His eyes open slowly and cautiously, a wince filling his face when he sees the curtains drawn and sunlight pouring in across the room. Immediately, his eyes are drawn to the kitchen, where Harry is standing in front of the oven shirtless. With each movement of his arm, the lifting of a spatula as he cooks cluelessly, the muscles of his shoulders and back ripple.

Louis blinks at the sight.

Without having a chance to speak, Harry turns on his heel and smiles at Louis. “Morning.”

The soft roundness to his eyes makes Louis’ stomach churn. He’s glowing, even after a night of drinking. It’s disgustingly attractive.

Louis finds it disgustingly attractive, now, whereas a month ago he wouldn’t have. Wonderful.

With a wave of his hand, Louis drops his head and shuts his eyes. “Morning.”

“So,” Harry starts, not at all bothered by the loud timbre of his voice. He turns back to the stove. “You had a rough one last night, didn’t you?”

The acknowledgment of his behavior makes the world tilt. A rush of humiliation floods through him, and Louis has to bite the insides of his cheeks. Heat floods his body, and Louis can feel the way that his ears start to burn.

“Uhm,” Louis says, glancing over. He almost wishes he could feign having blacked out. Unfortunately, it’s all there. He remembers it all. “Yeah. Bit rough, that one. I tried keeping up with Niall and had a bit too much to drink.”

Harry makes a noncommitted noise, fully focused on cooking. Louis tries his hardest not to read into it. Maybe he hadn’t acted as foolishly as he remembers.

Louis rises to his feet, wobbling a bit under his weight. “How’d I get on the couch?”

“Oh,” Harry says, glancing over his shoulder. “I put you there. You could hardly walk up the steps, and I was too far gone to carry you to bed.”

Oh. Louis lifts a hand to scratch at the back of his neck. He doesn’t really remember that bit. Softly, and not sure what else to say, Louis tells him, “Thanks.”

“Yeah, ‘course,” Harry replies, turning back to the stove. “Food’s almost ready.”

Louis nods. “Okay.” He glances down at his bare feet, at the nakedness of his thighs. It’s all so intimate, for some reason—being vulnerable like this with Harry, exposed, even after he’d been tucked in by him. “I’m gonna shower first.”

Harry hums, waving a hand in the air.

Without another word, Louis toes down the hall, heads straight for the bathroom, and stops in front of the sink. Inside their medicine cabinet sits some paracetamol, and Louis throws too back, using the faucet water as a chaser.

Looking himself in the eyes seems a little too shameful, so Louis doesn’t stare at the darkness under his eyes for too long. The crick in his neck is killing him, and an uncomfortable swell sits heavy in his gut. Louis just wants to wash it all away.

As he climbs under the hot water, and lets himself drown for a moment, Louis decides that he’s not even going to sweat it. There’s no point to it.

It isn’t as though he’d confessed his feelings. Sure, it was rather embarrassing for him to cling onto Harry like he had. It had been a bit humiliating to beg him to dance, to stay. Though, it’s nothing that can’t be played off as drunken horseplay.

Louis’ not going to let it bother him. Harry seems normal.

Plus, Louis’ not good at thinking when he’s hungover. There’s no reason to make his morning that much more painful.

Because he knows that Harry will complain, and the food will get cold, Louis rushes to wash his hair. He scrubs the grime and sweat off his skin without thinking about how much of it came from Harry.

By the time he’s back at the table, his medicine has slowly started kicked in, and there’s cool trickles of water dripping from his hair onto his cheek.

“Feel any better?” Harry asks. He sets a plate in front of Louis.

Harry’s shorts are a size too small, and his fingers are bare without his clumpy rings taking residence. Louis glances up and takes note that Harry’s hair is getting a bit long as of late, soft curls dancing over the shell of his ears.

Louis pulls one knee up to his chest, foot resting on the seat against his bum. “A bit,” Louis tells him, flushing. “I hate drinking like that. It just makes me feel disgusting afterwards.”

Harry hums, without adding a response, and Louis momentarily forgets his reprieve of not letting last night bother him. Harry always has something to say. He’s being awfully coy.

Still, Louis’ not going to acknowledge it. Acknowledging it would lead to talking about it, because Harry absolutely loves to dissect any uncomfortable feelings—thanks to the advice of a self-help book, no less—and Louis’ not in the mood to make up some lie about why he’d acted as he had.

Silence lounges over them while Harry brings breakfast to the table. It stays while Louis loads up his plate, and Harry pours their juice. Even once Harry sits down across from Louis, the silence sits heavy.

Louis has to swallow the spit in his mouth. He can’t tell if he’s imagining the tension, or if it’s blatantly heavy to Harry, as well. It’s being caused by Harry, really.

“Can you pass the—”

Harry interrupts, accidentally. “So, Zayn called this morning.”

Louis’ eyes narrow, and the hair on the back of his neck rises. That isn’t. That’s.

Harry passes the syrup, raising a brow in question. Louis nods, and takes it, suspiciously.

“He said that you left your jacket at the bar. It’s at his flat.”

In the middle of Louis’ exhale of relief, Harry cuts him off again. “He also texted you last night.” There’s an unreadable expression on his face, and when Louis doesn’t respond, he continues. “I saw it when I was plugging your phone in.”

That isn’t good. That isn’t what Louis needs right now. Louis’ not hungry anymore.

“Hm,” Louis hums, aiming for nonchalance. “What’d he say?”

Harry sets his own fork down, and he rolls his bottom lip between his teeth for a moment. It looks as though he’s trying to catch Louis’ eyes, to make this an entire serious conversation. His previous bright demeanor has changed into something more hesitant.

Louis wants to bolt. There’s no way that this is about to happen.

“He, uhm,” Harry starts, bringing his hands up to fold his fingers. “He said, ‘saw you leave with Harry. Are you gonna tell him?’”

Louis’ stomach falls. What the absolute fuck? That sounds so ambiguous, and so out of context. It could mean anything to Harry, and Louis’ pulse quickens at the thought of what’s going on in Harry’s head.

When Louis doesn’t respond for a moment, stuck with his jaw slack and eyes wide, Harry speaks. “I know I should’ve ignored it, because it’s your phone, but. The message popped up for me to see. So, I asked Z about it when he called.” He takes a breath, and Louis’ frozen. “I asked what he’d meant, because you didn’t tell me anything. He got all clammy, which, y’know, is really weird for Zayn.”

Everything is falling apart. Louis isn’t even sure how to react, or what to say, or what to do. Harry talks so slow, and he’s got such an unreadable look on his face. Louis wants to know what the fuck he’s thinking, but he also doesn’t think he can bare where this all is leading.

Fuck, he wants to floor to swallow him whole. Louis drops his foot from its perch on his chair, and he closes his mouth.

Harry scans Louis’ face, eye movements so visible. “He just said that I should talk to you. That it’s not his place to tell me your business.” Harry pauses, and wets his lips. “What is it, Lou?”

The door is only a few feet away. Louis’ not wearing any shoes, and he hasn’t got enough clothes on for the weather outside, but he considers making a run for it. If he gets far enough with enough of a head start, Harry would never catch him. Louis could change his name, move to some small village far away, and never be heard from again.

Louis can’t do that. He can’t tell the truth, either, though.

“It’s. Like.” Louis inhales and tries not to melt under Harry’s focused gaze. “Honestly, mate. It’s nothing important.”

He isn’t sure what to say. That isn’t going to cut it, though. Fuck. Zayn deserves a slap. Lots of slaps, actually. Lots of verbal abuse.

Harry says, “Lou, c’mon. Talk to me.”

“There’s nothing, Harry.” Louis sounds desperate, can hear it in his own voice.

Harry frowns. “You’ve been so weird, lately. You don’t talk to me, and you’re acting shy, and. Something is up. I just want to be here for you, babe.”

Babe.

It makes Louis sick to his stomach, the way Harry sounds so worried—looks so worried. He hates that he’s been so obvious.

“Harry, I’m fine. It’s fine,” Louis says. He curls his fingers into a fist and tries to swallow the lump in his throat. “It’s not a big thing. Honestly, I don’t even know what Zayn is on about.”

Harry just blinks. “Right. We’re doing this, then.”

Louis’ blood goes cold. Harry’s look of worry turns into something more harsh and less caring. It’s like a switch has been flipped.

Before Louis can even think to argue, Harry pulls his eyes away and stares at his food, grabbing his fork so that he can stab at it, angrily.

“What?” Louis asks, brows scrunching. “What the hell is that supposed to mean?”

Harry drops his fork, clearly ready for an argument. “It means that you’ve been avoiding me for quite some time now, and you’re just going to keep doing it. Even though I’ve opened the doors for communication, you clearly don’t want to share whatever is wrong.”

“That’s not even it, Harry.” Louis shakes his head, bewildered. This isn’t right. This isn’t how things between them are meant to go.

Here Louis was, thinking that he could handle it all. Of course, he was sorely wrong. Harry knows that something is up, and Louis’ making him feel horrible for no reason.

Blaming Zayn would be so much easier than taking responsibility.

He can’t do that. Louis says, “It doesn’t even have anything to do with you, mate. I promise."

Harry scoffs. “Even if it had nothing to do with me, which I know that it does, then you should still be able to talk to me about your issues. We’re best mates. Does that mean nothing to you?”

It’s like a punch to the face.

“Of course it means something to me, Harry.” Louis leans back in his seat.

This is all wrong.

“Alright.” Harry drops his gaze, but there’s still hurt in his voice. After a beat, where Louis’ just struggling to find the words to say, Harry looks up again. “All of this, just because you walked in on me having sex a few weeks ago.”

Louis’ skin burns with humility. What the fuck? That isn’t—he’s not been.

“That’s not—” Louis tries to backtrack, to let this train of conversation die because it’s not going to lead anywhere but exactly where Louis doesn’t need it. They haven’t even talked about it since right after it happened. “Harry, no.”

“Don’t even argue it, Louis. We were fine until that happened,” Harry says, solemn and hurt eyes meeting Louis’ again. “I apologized, but you can’t even be around me, now. You don’t open up to me, and you’re keeping secrets.” He huffs a breath, and says, “You even stopped me from going home with those girls last night.”

Louis’ eyes go wide. Fuck, this can’t be happening.

“I didn’t stop you.” That isn’t what he meant to say. He doesn’t know what he meant to say, but that’s definitely not it. Louis is supposed to be changing the topic, not engaging in it.

Harry ignores the panic in Louis’ voice. “You literally cockblocked me last night.” And, when Louis fishmouths, incapable of saying anything, Harry continues. “Is that it, then? You realized I’m a slag, and hate it so much that you don’t trust me anymore?”

Louis should stop this. He should tell Harry a lie that’ll change his train of thought. He should clear the air and stop making Harry feel like shit for something that isn’t true.

That’s not what Louis does. “I didn’t cockblock you. I don’t care who you sleep with.”

He’s fixating on the conversation when he should be stopping it. Oh, fuck.

Harry leans back and crosses his arms. Louis has fucked it all up. They’re going to talk about it now. There’s no way to stop it.

“Louis,” Harry says. “You literally wouldn’t let me go home with anyone.”

Louis shudders. “Harry. I tried telling you to go home with those girls.”

As if he’s just been prodded with a hot iron, Harry shoots forward, elbows digging into the table. “Yeah, you did. Before that, though, you were practically begging me to stay with you. And, you know that I’m not going to leave you when you’re upset.” He swallows thickly. “You were visibly upset when I tried to leave.”

Fuck, this is making Louis’ skin so hot. He feels like he’s under a microscope, like he’s just a character on a screen and the world is watching his life crumble. Louis doesn’t know how to get out of this, how to make it stop. How to save what he has with Harry before the truth comes out.

He’s still hungover, for fuck’s sake.

Louis opens his mouth and closes it again. “That’s not. You can’t blame that on me. You—”

“Why are you avoiding this? It’s clear that who I sleep with is bothering you. Just be open with me.”

Louis shuts his eyes. His heart is hammering in his chest, and Harry is staring him down. Louis usually loves confrontation, gets a kick out of the thrill of arguing, even—not like this, though. Not when everything is about to be turned upside down.

“I’m not doing this.”

Louis can’t help it. He rises to his feet, leaving the food forgotten. The cool wooden floors send a chill up Louis’ legs, and the way that his sweater pulls against his skin makes Louis’ skin feel prickly. He turns on his heel, ready to make for his room, but Harry’s hand catches his own.

The space between them vanishes. Harry is up on his feet, closing in. There’s no oxygen in the room, and Harry’s grip on Louis keeps him grounded.

“Louis, fucking talk to me,” Harry says, face so close to his own.

Harry looks so big like this, so much taller and leaner. Louis has to look up from under his lashes, and.

This is what got Louis here in the first place. Harry’s beauty, his strength shrouded in softness. There’s a soft glow to his skin, and even with how hurt and confused he looks, Louis can’t help but trace the curves of his cheeks with his eyes.

Slowly, and a little out of breath, Louis pulls his hand from Harry’s grasp. “I can’t talk to you, Harry.”

Harry’s face falls more than it already has. His shoulders are hunched, and there’s so much in his eyes—sadness, confusion, hurt. Louis wants to kiss him, to fill the inches until he can press his lips against Harry’s in an answer to all of this.

A beat passes, and Louis takes a step back.

“Why not?” Harry asks, hands at his side in wait.

Louis swallows. It’s so much bigger than Louis, now. Harry’s afraid that it’s him who has ruined things, that it’s his own behavior that’s forced Louis away. It’s so far from the truth.

Louis is ashamed. “It’s.” He inhales. Harry can’t think it’s his own fault. “It’s complicated, Harry. It isn’t you, okay? It’s my own bullshit.”

Harry takes a step forward, filling the space that Louis created. His eyes go soft, and his plush, pink lips part. “C’mon, Louis. I love you. You can tell me anything.”

I love you.

Louis huffs. It’s infuriating. “I can’t put it all on you, Harry. You don’t deserve it. Just. Trust me.”

“Lou,” Harry pleads.

This isn’t going away any time soon. Louis knows Harry, knows that he’ll never get over this unless something is said. Even if Louis were to walk away, things would be different forever. Harry would never see their relationship the same, and there would always be something between them—a secret that Louis hadn’t trusted Harry enough to share.

If only Louis could go back in time, stay out of the flat. He wouldn’t have seen Harry in that light. They would still be mates, and Louis would be clueless.

The truth has to come out, now, though. Louis can’t leave Harry to wonder, to think that he’s fucked it all up.

Louis closes his eyes.

“I was jealous,” Louis says, throat tightening. His fingers shake, and his lip trembles in the slightest. He’s laying himself bare, his chest open and heart on display.

Without seeing him, getting to read his reaction, Louis feels the humility reign over him. Harry doesn’t respond, but Louis can feel the heat of his body, even through the distance.

Silence hangs above, and Harry doesn’t speak for a long pause. When he finally does, just a small, baffled, “Jealous?” Louis’ eyes open slowly.

“Jealous,” Louis repeats, willing his voice to stay steady. “Of the girls, I mean. Last night.” He feels nauseous, both from the hangover and his own honesty. “Before, too.”

Harry’s eyes are so heavy on his own, visibly shooting across Louis’ face, searching for meaning behind his words. Louis wants to know what Harry is thinking, needs to know. There’s a part of him that’s afraid, too.

Harry could turn around, could shout in disgust. He could walk away and never look at Louis the same. The thing is, Louis knows Harry. He’ll let Louis down gently, tell him that he loves him, but not in that way.

Honestly, Louis would rather be called disgusting.

It takes a moment for Harry to say anything again. His brows pull in confusion, and his mouth opens a few times, like he’s processing. He finally says, “Lou—”

Louis interrupts. The pounding in his chest is too much, and he can’t handle whatever Harry wants to say.

“I don’t need things to be awkward, or for you to let me down gently, or for you to start acting weird.” Louis stares at Harry’s nose, at his cheeks. Anywhere but his eyes. “I don’t want anything to change between us, or for you to feel uncomfortable around me. I just. After I walked in on you the other night, and saw you getting it on with so many people, something dislodged in my brain and gave me all these feelings and a massive hard-on for you. I didn’t mean for it to happen.”

The words tumble out before Louis can stop them. It’s like the filter between his heart and brain and mouth has malfunctioned. So much that he’s kept locked up for so long now just comes to the surface, bombarding Harry as though he’s a diary. Louis doesn’t mean for it to happen.

Again, Louis cuts Harry off before he can open his mouth. “We can pretend this never happened. I’ll get over it, and we can go back to normal.”

It’s just hopeful thinking, Louis knows. Things could never be the same. He just wants to make Harry stop looking at him like that, though.

And, Harry is looking at him…

His lips are parted in shock, and his eyes are trained on Louis’, and his brows are strung up tight. Harry doesn’t look angry anymore, just out of it, like he’s taken Louis’ words and stepped away—dissociated from here and now to process it all.

It’s terrifying to Louis, not knowing what Harry is thinking of him.

“You.” Harry tilts his head, blinking away the fog. Louis’ gut twists. “You have feelings for me? Like. Feelings?”

Oh, God.

Louis huffs, turning away from Harry so that he’s facing the wall. “It was an accident.” Honesty, it was. Louis lifts his hands to run through his damp hair, scrubbing his palms over his eyes. “I just kept thinking about you like I saw you that night, and then I couldn’t stop. Then Zayn got in my head, saying all this shit about how we’re practically a couple, and. I’m sorry.”

For a moment, Louis just breathes. He’s never been this humiliated in his life. Never been this open.

Out of nowhere, and shocking enough to have Louis jumping, one of Harry’s hands lands on his shoulder. Louis gasps, and Harry turns him back around, forcing their eyes to meet.

“Don’t be sorry, Lou,” Harry says, voice barely a whisper.

Their bodies, their faces, are so close all of a sudden. Louis feels a wave of panic wash through him when Harry’s eyes land on his lips. On instinct, despite all of the anxiety inside of him, Louis wets his lips.

Harry glances up one, before looking down at his mouth again. “How long?” He asks. Then, he clarifies, “Have you had feelings?”

His hand stays on Louis’ shoulder, fingers pressing in ever so lightly. Louis can feel himself burning up inside. He’s so confused, all of a sudden. What is Harry doing?

Louis clears his throat. “I don’t know. I thought it was, uhm. Just recently, I guess. Probably longer, though.”

Harry just nods.

Louis blinks. “Are you upset?”

“Why would I be upset?” Harry asks.

What the fuck?

Louis makes a noise without meaning to, and he shrugs out of Harry’s grip. “I’ve just ruined everything because of my stupid cock and brain, and you aren’t saying anything.” Louis doesn’t know how he wants Harry to respond. Silence isn’t it.

“I’m just.” Harry inhales through his nose, nostrils flaring. “I’m shocked, I guess.”

Shocked. Right.

“Good to know,” Louis says, a little too shortly. He clenches his jaw. “I’m going to go, now. We can forget about this.”

As he turns, ready to make for his room, Harry grabs him again. Tighter this time. “No, don’t leave. Just.”

Louis meets his eyes, and Harry looks so conflicted. Louis understands the feeling.

“Can.” Harry opens his mouth, then closes it again. He takes a step closer, and suddenly he’s in Louis’ personal space, so close that his breath is landing on Louis’ cheeks. It sends a shock through Louis’ nerves, makes his fingers shake that much more. “Can I kiss you?”

What the fuck?

Louis head spins, and his eyes bulge wide. With Harry so close, with their mouths only inches apart, Louis freezes where he stands. He can feel Harry’s hands on him, at his waist and his shoulder, and can smell the mint toothpaste that Harry had used this morning.

Nothing is even happening, but Louis feels like there’s chaos all around. It’s moving too fast. Not even an hour ago he had been asleep.

“Harry, what the fuck?” Louis asks, startled. He wants to shove away, to run far. It isn’t possible for him to unglue his feet from the floor, though.

“I asked if I could kiss you,” Harry says, eyes soft and tone so light that it leaves Louis lightheaded. “Can I?”

Fuck, Louis feels weak.

“Harry, I just told you that I have bloody feelings for you.”

Harry nods, and his fingers tighten against the fabric of Louis’ shirt. “Yeah, you did. Is that a no?”

“No, Harry, what the fuck?” Louis puts his hands up, pressing against Harry’s bare chest. He doesn’t budge. “We’re best mates. I have feelings. We can’t. You can’t.” Louis takes a breath, infuriated when Harry’s eyes never leave his mouth. “I can’t be one of your flings, Harry.”

At that, Harry does take a step back. Not far—only enough so that he can meet Louis’ eyes without strain. His brows pull in tight, almost offended, and Louis’ cheeks burn at the admission.

“Louis,” Harry says, voice suddenly much darker than it had been. “If you think that you could ever be a fling, you’re sorely mistaken.”

Louis blinks and has to swallow the spit in his mouth. “What, then? You want to kiss me out of pity?” Louis grits his teeth.

Suddenly, Harry grabs Louis’ by the biceps and walks them backward, fast enough to leave Louis dizzy. He’s being pushed against the wall before he realizes it, and Harry cages him in, surrounding him on all sides.

Fuck, Louis can’t breathe. Just the idea of this happening has gotten Louis hard before. With Harry all up on him, with his hands and lips and eyes so close, Louis can’t keep up.

“You’re so fucking stupid,” Harry hisses, thigh bumping against Louis’ hip. “You’re the smartest man I know, but you’re really fucking stupid.”

“Harry, what—”

Harry cuts him off. “I could never pity you, Louis.” He takes a breath, and Louis lets his head fall back, no fight in him to shove away. “I don’t know what to say other than if you haven’t noticed the way that I feel about you, after all these years together, then you’re dense.”

“What?” Louis asks.

No hangover has ever given him hallucinations. There’s a first time for everything, Louis supposes. This can’t be real, can’t be happening. Harry can’t. They aren’t.

“For years, you’ve been the center of my fucking world.” Harry presses into him further, his weight making Louis hiss. “I take care of you when you’re sick, and I take care of you when you’re not. I make you breakfast every morning, and I do your laundry.” Harry takes a slow breath, and Louis’ shaking in his grip. “I don’t know how else to make it clear to you. You’re it for me, Lou. Always have been.”

And, Louis can’t think. He can’t breathe, and he can’t think, and he can’t fathom what Harry is saying. Fuck, he’s so clueless, so full of himself.

Except. “But, you get with—”

Harry shakes his head and talks over Louis. “Yeah, I may be a bit of a whore. What else am I supposed to do when the one person I want doesn’t give me a second glance?”

Holy fucking shit. Louis wets his lips, and he scans Harry’s face for any hint of a lie. Had he been so dense? Had he really missed it all?

Is Harry being genuine?

Louis doesn’t get the chance to question it any longer.

One of Harry’s hands slides from his shoulder, up to his jaw. So gently, and the complete opposite of Harry’s words filled with bafflement, his palm stops to cradle Louis’ face. It’s such a tender and intimate touch, and Louis’ leaning into it without meaning to. His heart is running a mile a minute.

“I don’t know what to say, Harry,” Louis whispers, breath hitting Harry’s lips.

Harry nods, and swallows visibly. “Here you are, Louis, telling me that you feel even a hint of what I feel for you. I’ll ask one more time.” He swipes his thumb across Louis’ cheekbone. “Can I kiss you?”

Louis should say no. There’s so much to talk about, so many different ways that this could go wrong. Except, every nerve in Louis’ body in urging him to give in. Every thought in his head is hyperfocused on the soft look of Harry’s lips, on the desperate way that he’s staring into Louis.

This is all that he could ever want.

Louis must not be moving fast enough. Harry shakes his head and starts to lean in, the distance vanishing. He says, “Actually, I’m done waiting.”

Before Louis can process it, their worlds collide.

Harry’s minty mouth presses right up on his own, soft pink of his lips taking Louis by surprise and getting him high up in the sky. Sparks fizzle through Louis’ body, and he lets Harry lead their mouths together.

The feeling of Harry’s palm against his jaw, his cheek, keeps Louis on the ground. The soft glide of their wet lips is interrupted when Louis inhales sharply, making a noise in the back of his throat.

All of his limbs feel strung tight, like he’s about to snap. When Harry pulls back after a moment, and his eyes look blown out, Louis thinks that he just might.

“Harry, you,” Louis whispers, only to be cut off by Harry’s mouth again.

He’s just as unprepared as a moment ago, but he accepts it, nonetheless. Harry’s lips are so full against his own, so persistent and experienced. His tongue peeks out, wetting Louis’ mouth in his path, and Louis doesn’t want to do anything but let Harry work him as he pleases.

Louis parts his lips, and Harry’s suddenly taking up space there, licking into his mouth all hot and wet.

The full body shiver that Louis feels can’t be tamed, and he finds himself gripping at Harry’s naked back, pulling him closer.

Harry’s taste, his warmth and smell, fills Louis up. All of his senses are focused in on this, on Harry and what he’s supplying.

Louis lets himself be explored, lets Harry get his hands up under the hem of his shirt, feeling for skin. It makes Louis’ dick fatten up, makes his head spin with how hot he is all of a sudden. Harry’s pretty mouth doesn’t relent as Harry feels for more, as one of his hands slides down Louis’ neck and the other tugs the bottom hem of Louis’ shirt.

“Fuck, Harry,” Louis whimpers, pulling away with a wet smack, their lips parting in a spitty mess.

The burn on his chin from Harry’s stubble makes Louis delirious. In all of his imaginations, he’d never thought of the reality of kissing Harry.

Panting fills the air between them, and Louis meets Harry’s eyes with a dazed expression, so out of it. This is so much more than Louis could have ever dreamed. Harry is real, all palpable and warm under his hands. He doesn’t resist the urge to dig his fingers into Harry’s back.

“Lou, you’re—” Harry inhales sharply, and licks the spit from his lips. It’s Louis’ spit. Fuck. “You’re so.”

“I’m sorry,” Louis says, out of breath. He leans in, pecking at Harry’s mouth again, only for a moment. He can’t resist. “I’m sorry if I kept you waiting. I’m.”

Harry cuts him off by pulling him in again, and their mouths collide much too hard and much too fast. It still makes Louis whimper, makes his head fill with smoke from the fires that they’re starting within.

Their mouths move in synchronicity, and Louis wraps his arms around Harry’s shoulders to hold him, afraid to let go. He wants it all. He wants everything. Mostly, he wants to make Harry forget that he ever had someone else to fill Louis’ place.

Against Louis’ lips, Harry whispers, “Don’t be sorry.” He kisses him harder, and brings his hands up to Louis’ waist, dragging him off the wall. “I’d wait for you forever.”

Louis pulls away for good this time, and he shoves his face into the curve of Harry’s shoulder and neck to catch his breath. Just like that, they’re hugging, closer than ever before. Louis can feel Harry’s pulse against his own, can taste him on his tongue and feel the way his chest puffs with how hard he’s breathing.

“I want,” Louis starts, swallowing. “I want it all with you, Harry.”

Harry nods, and his fingers pull tight at Louis’ shirt, at his ribs. “Let me give you it all, then.”

Fuck, that has Louis’ dick fucking throbbing. He’s so hard up for him, for Harry’s words and his touch. Louis can feel where Harry’s already hard in his sleep pants, pressed right up against Louis’ belly but making no move to press.

“I want it,” Louis repeats, voice muffled by Harry’s shirt. “There’s so much. We need to.” Louis whimpers when Harry’s teeth nip at his neck, tongue licking over him. “We need to talk, don’t we?”

Harry groans, pressing Louis against the wall again. He leaves a kiss against Louis’ skin, and pulls back, just a bit. “We do,” Harry says, nostrils flaring on a breath. “But. Can we? I just. I want to feel you, more. Want to make up for so much lost time.”

Louis’ going to come. Fuck. The idea of Harry getting in him, feeling him up so much more and doing any and everything with him, turning into reality—Louis’ not going to survive.

“We.” Louis swallows. “I want you. So fucking much. There’s so much to say, though. We can’t just.”

Harry shakes his head, and he rolls his hips up into Louis’ out of nowhere, making the world go white. Louis’ heads slams back against the wall, and he inhales shakily, prick throbbing in his joggers.

“We’ll have plenty of time to talk, Lou,” Harry says, eyes dark. “I want you. You want me. It’s been a long time coming.” Harry rolls his hips again, jaw clenching and eyes fluttering shut at the feeling. “Just. Let me take care of you for a while.”

Louis doesn’t think he could resist if he tried.

“O—Okay, but,” Louis says.

Harry’s lips turn up in a mischievous smirk, and he doesn’t let Louis finish. His hands slide down Louis’ arms, leaving a trail of goosebumps in his wake, and he grabs at Louis’ hands until he’s backing away and pulling Louis with him.

When they get to Louis’ door, Louis catches the door frame with his elbow. “Fuck, Harry,” Louis hisses, laughter bubbling in his chest. “Slow down!”

Harry grabs his arm and presses a gentle kiss to it, holding Louis’ gaze as they move. It’s much sexier than it has any right to be. “I’m not slowing down,” Harry says, dragging Louis to the bed. There’s a giddy look in his eyes. “You should catch up.”

“Oh, my God,” Louis huffs, laughing when Harry shoves him down onto his own mattress.

He lands on a bounce, back hitting first. Harry doesn’t give Louis a chance to prepare, or to gather his wits, before he’s climbing up his body and settling them into a hot, searing kiss.

Louis’ lips part for him immediately, letting Harry lick into his mouth. Suddenly, there are hands pressing everywhere.

“I wanna get my mouth on you,” Harry says, voice hot against Louis’ lips. “Wanna taste you all over, leave marks anywhere you’ll let me. Fuck, you’re so bloody hot.”

Louis can’t stop the moan that falls from his lips, and he doesn’t hide the way that his hips roll up, cock catching on Harry’s through their clothes. He’s so hard, so ready for everything. Harry’s taste is enough to get him off—his smell, and his voice, and the strong feeling of his hands.

That isn’t what Louis wants. It isn’t what Louis has been daydreaming about for weeks, now. There’s only one thing on Louis’ mind, and he’d do anything to get it right now.

“I want,” Louis gasps, rolling his hips again. “I want you to fuck me, H.”

Harry grinds down against him even harder than before, and his eyes flutter shut, clothed cock catching on the hem of Louis’ joggers. There’s a blush on Harry’s cheeks, streaking down his neck and chest.

“Yeah, I can do that,” Harry whispers, kissing Louis again, hard and wet.

That’s all that Louis wants, all that he’ll ever want, he thinks. Harry’s big prick inside of him, all hard, rubbing him in the right places. God, Harry’s been with so many people. He knows just what to do, and when to do it, and how to make Louis bloody wet at the tip with it.

Harry kisses him some more, almost like he can’t bring himself to stop. Louis’ shivering underneath him with how much he wants it, with how turned on he is. The head of his cock is leaking, and Louis’ head is swimming.

With one final lick into Louis’ mouth, Harry rolls off without a word. For a moment, Louis’ ready to protest, to beg Harry to come back because he’s going to die if his cock isn’t rubbed some more in the next few seconds. Then, though, Harry dives for Louis’ nightstand, jerking the top drawer open with shaky hands.

“Come on, H,” Louis whimpers, sitting up.

While Harry digs through, and grabs what he’s looking for, Louis reaches down to drag the hem of his sweater up. In one quick movement, Louis’ pulling the whole thing off, exposing his bare chest and belly.

It doesn’t hit him until Harry looks back at him, bottle of astroglide and condom wrapper in one hand, that Louis feels exposed.

His cheeks heat with the look that he’s given, and Louis’ ears burn with it. Harry looks at him so hungry, his mouth parting as he takes in the expanse of Louis’ skin before him. It’s like Harry’s never seen him before, and at this first look he’s deciding that he never wants to see anything else.

“You’re so,” Harry mutters, crawling back over. “Fucking gorgeous.” Harry’s fingers find Louis’ jaw again, pulling him in for another kiss. “God, you’re everything.”

Louis whimpers, lips sucking Harry’s as he’s shoved onto his back again.

After a moment of just panting into each other’s mouths, of Louis’ cock begging for mercy and Harry’s strong grip holding him down, Louis turns his head to suck in a breath. “God, H,” Louis hisses. “Come on. Touch me.”

“Yes,” Harry says, dumbly.

Louis watches as he drops the lube and condom, and brings both of his hands down to Louis’ chest, thumbs immediately swiping at the hard points of his nipples. Louis hisses at the sharp feeling of it, and he smacks Harry’s hands away, nose scrunching. “Not there, idiot!”

“You sensitive?” Harry asks. His eyes are so hungry, so dark and testing.

It’s obvious, Louis wanting to laugh at him. Horny like this, with no wits about him, Harry’s acting like a bloody barbarian. It isn’t funny, though, because when Harry drags his thumb over Louis’ right nipple again, testing the waters, everything goes hot.

Louis’ dick leaks some more, wetting up the inside of his boxers. His head lulls back against his pillow, and his eyes flutter shut. One of his hands is still wrapped around Harry’s wrist. “Harry, please.”

“I’ll fuck you, baby,” Harry says, groping Louis’ peck some more.

His other hand drags down Louis’ belly until he’s cupping Louis’ cock. It’s so much after so little, and Louis whimpers into the air, hips rolling up against the hard pressure of Harry’s palm.

“You’re so pretty, Lou,” Harry says, leaning down for a kiss.

Their wet lips slide together, and Louis bites at Harry’s bottom one when Harry jerks Louis’ clothed cock once, long and limber fingers wrapping around him as much as they can with the fabric in the way.

“You’re so slow, Harry,” Louis whispers, huffing into Harry’s mouth. “’Dunno how you lay so many birds. You probably can’t even find their—”

Harry kisses him again, just to shut him up. The words leave Louis’ mouth on Harry’s next upstroke, and his nipple gets caught between Harry’s fingers, making a gasp erupt from his lips.

Barely pulling back, just giving himself enough space to speak, Harry says, “I found yours well enough.” And, yeah. Louis gets it now, how Harry has pulled so many people.

It makes jealousy burn throughout him, but Louis gets it.

“You’re making me wait,” Louis tells him, voice ragged. “I’ve been thinking about your cock for weeks, and you’re making me wait for it.”

Harry’s lips tug down, and the hand that he’s got on Louis’ prick disappears for a moment, only to wind up at the top of Louis’ joggers, his fingers sliding up underneath. He says, “I’ve been waiting a little longer than a few weeks to have at you,” as he pulls them down, and Louis lifts his bum to help, when Harry tacks on, “Let me take my time.”

Once his joggers are down to his knees, and Harry’s standing up so that he can pull them the rest of the way down, Louis looks up at him with hooded, horny eyes, and shoves his boxers down with them, his cock laying hard and leaking against his pelvis.

Harry’s eyes immediately fall to it, and he makes quick work of completely undressing Louis before he gives any attention to it. “Baby, you. You’re so perfect.” Harry yanks Louis’ boxers over the curve of his ankles, and Louis can’t help but shudder at his words, fully exposed.

This is his best mate. It’s Louis’ best mate, and the fuel for his wet dreams, and everything holy in the world—personified into one man. That man is staring at Louis’ prick like it’s the last good thing on the planet.

Louis drops one hand to his cock and wraps his fingers around it, tugging gently and hissing at the friction, while Harry stands at the foot of the bed in awe, watching in awe.

“Are you real?” Harry asks, bringing one hand to cup himself.

Harry’s fingers tighten on his cock, and Louis stares at the thick bulge of it. Just the thought of seeing it again, getting that massive thing up inside of him, or in his hand, or in his mouth, makes Louis’ own prick dribble with precome.

Louis licks at his lips, and glances up to Harry’s face, only to find him already staring at him. “Take your pants off,” Louis says, dragging his fist up and whimpering at the feel. “Wanna see you.”

In no rush to protest, Harry does as he’s told. With one final press of his heel to his groin, Harry’s fingers slide under the hem of his own pants and drag them down in one swift motion. His hard cock bounces without restraint, and Louis’ mouth waters at the sight.

It’s massive, Harry’s prick, all long and thick. So much better than Louis’ fleeting memory supplies, it’s an amazing cock. Probably the best cock that Louis’ seen in his life.

“I see the appeal,” Louis says, blandly, still tugging his own dick.

Harry snorts, and kicks his pants the rest of the way off. All of a sudden, the two of them are stark naked, and there’s nothing to stop their bodies from colliding as mother earth intended them.

Without wasting another moment, Harry crawls up the mattress to where Louis’ got a fist pumping himself. Harry smacks his hand away and takes Louis’ cock into his own fist. The feeling of it makes Louis hiss, too dry for comfort, but the look that Harry gives him while he tugs makes Louis forget the discomfort.

“Don’t, Harry,” Louis tells him, lifting one leg to tap at his belly. “I’ll come too soon.”

Still jerking him, Harry gives a daring smile. “What if I want you to come now? What if I want to taste?”

Louis grabs the lube and throws it at his face, laughing when Harry barely catches it at the last second, dropping Louis’ cock in the process.

“We’ve got time for all your weird fetishes, Haz.” Louis spreads his legs so that Harry’s sat between them. The cold air hitting his exposed hole makes Louis shudder, makes his prick twitch. “Right now, babe, I want some part of you inside of me.”  

That must kick Harry into gear. He pops the cap of the lube and smears some of it over his fingers, dribbling some of it down onto Louis’ cock as he does. “I’ll get inside you, don’t you worry.”

Louis rolls his eyes and lifts his arms to cross his arms under his head. “Will you, though?”

“You talk an awful lot of shit in bed, you know that?” Harry asks, dragging one wet finger over Louis’ prick.

It’s instinctual, shuddering at the feeling. Before he can snark back, Harry brings his finger down, between Louis’ legs, and lets it swipe between his cheeks, running right over his hole.

Louis swallows thickly, and spreads his legs some more, bending his knees. “You should give me a reason to stop talking, then.”

Harry smirks, and spreads the lube around him for another moment. Then, not offering a warning, he wiggles his index finger up inside, making Louis’ eye twitch.

“You’ve got big fingers,” Louis comments. One of the arms tucked under his head delves down to his own prick again, and he tugs at himself while Harry rubs him inside, finger slowly riding in, and in, and in.

“Big hands. Big feet. Big…” Harry’s words die off on a chuckle, and Louis rolls his eyes.

“Small cock, though.”

Harry crooks his finger in Louis’ arse, making a gasp fall from Louis’ lips. “You literally see my cock, Lou,” Harry says, sounding full of himself. “Don’t try to tell me it’s small.”

That finger inside of him starts to pump faster, and Louis inhales through his nose, gripping himself a little tighter. “It may look one way but feel another. You haven’t given me a feel yet. Could be a smoke and mirrors trick.”

Harry doesn’t warn him before pressing another finger in beside the first. It’s much too soon, and Louis scrunches his nose up, hand falling from his prick as he grabs at the bed sheets. “Ah, fuck.” Louis throws his head back at Harry’s quick pace, but his cock doesn’t flag. “It’s been a long time. I’m not as limber as you, H.”

“Sorry,” Harry says, not sounding it. He still doesn’t slow down. Harry pumps his fingers in time with Louis’ heartbeat, fucking him steady and eager.

Louis glances between his own legs, past his cock and Harry’s flexed wrist, and looks at Harry’s prick again. The massive feeling of Harry’s fingers, how they rub him just right inside, even when it’s hurting, has him worrying.

“You—” Louis sighs when Harry tugs his fingers at Louis’ rim, fingers curling real nice. The burn of the stretch warms him up, his cock twitching with it. “You. Uhm. It’s been a while, H. Since I last.”

Harry hums, eyebrow raising as he scissors his fingers apart and fucks them in. His free hand comes up to slide against Louis’ thigh, comforting and tender. “Yeah?”  

“Just,” Louis says, groaning when Harry presses another finger in.

Words leave Louis’ mind, everything inside of his head focusing on the stretch of his body around Harry. It’s such a nice feeling, Harry’s long fingers getting deep in him. They’re rubbing everywhere that Louis wants them, and he can feel his body stretching. It’s nice.

After a moment of wriggling on his hand, of pressing down onto the steady pressure that Harry’s giving him, Louis huffs and slaps his hands against the mattress. “Just go easy on me, okay?”

Harry laughs, and brings the hand that’s on Louis’ thigh up to his prick. He grips it, and tugs it a few times, leaning down to kiss Louis’ knee. “I’ll treat you real nice, okay?”

Louis wants to kick him, but he whimpers instead, because Harry angles his fingers up toward Louis’ pelvis and snags right on his spot, unintentionally. Louis’ body locks up, and his eyes flutter shut.

“God, get in me,” Louis hisses, squeezing down on Harry’s fingers. “Get in me, right now.”

Harry doesn’t move to do anything other than fuck Louis with his fingers some more, trying for his spot again but missing each time. Louis groans, both from how nice it feels to be opened up, and because he’s ready for more.

He doesn’t let Harry decide. Louis reaches beside himself and grabs the condom that Harry had stolen from his nightstand. He rips it open with shaky hands, and he sits up without warning. Suddenly, Harry’s face is right up close to his own, and Louis takes the opportunity to kiss him softly.

“Mm, baby,” Harry hums, tugging his fingers out. Louis winces at it but kisses him some more.

Then, after Louis’ had enough of his sweet mouth, Louis reaches between his legs and grabs at his prick.

“Oh,” Harry sighs, head falling against Louis’ shoulder.

Louis snorts and tugs at him for a moment, before shoving Harry back so that he can slide the condom on him.

“Can we hurry this along, love?” Louis asks. The back of his neck is sweaty, and his body feels like it’s on fire. “As much as I love kissing you…”

Harry laughs and pushes Louis down, following him up the bed until he’s hovering over him, their chests pressed right against one another. Louis brings his thighs up to either side of Harry’s waist, and presses his hands into Harry’s ribs.

They kiss some more, and Louis tried to rock his hips up into Harry’s for motivation, his arse feeling wholly empty at the loss of his fingers.

“I’m coming, I’m coming,” Harry whispers, laughing as he pulls away.

With one elbow holding him up, Harry grabs the lube from beside their hips and spills some onto Louis’ belly.

Louis’ just about to complain when Harry drops the bottle and runs his fingers through the mess, scooping it up so that he can lather his cock. That massive prick, all wet and hard for Louis.

“Have I told you that you’re pretty, Lou?” Harry asks, leaning back in for a kiss as he lines himself up, tip nudging Louis’ hole.

Everything kind of falters for a moment, Louis’ breath coming out fast when Harry starts to push in, slow and steady. “M—Maybe. Only a few times.”

Harry laughs, but cuts off halfway through, eyes rolling up once he’s pushed through Louis’ rim and his cock is just sliding up inside. Louis just as far gone as him, whimpering at the burning stretch of Harry’s big knob, pressing into him so hot and constant.

“Fuck, fuck,” Louis sobs, fingernails digging into the skin of Harry’s sides. Without intending to, he clenches down on Harry’s prick, pulling a moan from his lips.

“You’re so fucking—nng—tight, Lou.” Harry rolls his hips against Louis’ arse, fucking in deeper, pushing the air out of Louis’ lungs with each inch that he sinks down in him.

Louis gasps when Harry finally fucks fully inside. It’s so much, filling him up to the brim and then some. Louis’ lungs are on fire, and his hole is stretched wide, and Harry’s just pressing into him with an almost pained expression.

“You,” Louis hisses, sliding his hands up to Harry’s back, pulling him down. “God, you’re massive.”

Harry laughs, and Louis does to, and then Harry’s dragging his cock out, just barely, before rolling his hips in again. Louis sees stars at it, and Harry does it again when Louis’ lips fall silent.

Between one breath and the next, Harry’s pulling out, only to fuck in again, feeling so much deeper than the thrust before. Louis’ eyes screw shut when Harry starts up a steady pace, fucking him well and thorough, and the world goes silent around them.

“Baby,” Harry says, rolling up into him, his cock rocking Louis so hard that he forgets to breathe. “Baby, kiss me.”

And, Louis can’t think about much else than Harry’s massive cock, and how it’s hitting him in all the right places, but he kisses Harry. Their wet lips slide together, all plush warmth.

While Harry fucks up into him, going hard and speeding up, Louis keeps sucking on his bottom lip. He sneaks a hand between their bellies, right to where his own prick is leaking, almost painful with how hard he is, and grabs hold of himself, despite the tight fit.

“Get off for me,” Harry says.

Yeah, Louis thinks. He wants to.

It’s hot, and Louis feels so fucking full, and he’s never been this close to Harry. This is so much more surreal than any scenario he could’ve thought up, so much more satisfying.

Harry’s smell, and the sounds that he makes, and his taste, and the way that he angles his hips up with each stroke inside, makes Louis tremble. Everything that he is, in this moment, is in Harry’s hands. He’s existing for this, for right here and right now.

Louis speeds up his grip on his cock, shouting out when Harry starts fucking him in earnest, hips pistoning against his arse as his prick drags up inside Louis.

Before Louis can even comprehend it, so lost in the feel of Harry, his orgasm is right there, just over the horizon. Louis stares up at Harry, at the sweaty pull of his brow and hungry narrowing of his eyes. They’re looking right at one another, right into one another.

Harry’s thrusting so hard, chasing to give Louis what he wants and needs, and to get some for himself.

“You gonna come, baby?” Harry asks, not slowing down.

Louis strips his cock harder, out of breath and at a loss for words. It’s easiest to just nod, panting hard and fast. Harry fucks up harder, and Louis’ vision whites out.

It hits him without warning. Louis’ ears ring with the force of it, his prick spilling all over his tummy, getting on Harry in the process. His jaw falls slack and a moan erupts, much louder than intended.

It feels like coming home, clenching down on Harry’s cock. Everything pieces together, and Louis’ not sure that he’ll be able to come the same ever again.

Still shaking with it, and trying to catch his breath, Louis looks up at Harry and whines at the sight.

Harry doesn’t slow down, still fucking in hard and fast, and he shakes his head. “So fucking pretty,” Harry whimpers between gritted teeth.

Then, without warning, he kisses Louis hard, no coordination to it as he tries to catch up with Louis. With their lips connected, and Louis’ cheeks warm from the attention, Harry sends Louis rocking up the bed, thrusting like he’ll never get another chance.

Out of nowhere, Harry gives one final roll of his hips before he’s groaning into Louis’ mouth, hips jutting up against his arse, as close as he can get. Louis can feel it in the way he stiffens, how his lips go tense against his own.

It’s magnificent.

Even fucked out, and covered in jizz, and feeling the burn of Harry in his arse, Louis revels in watching Harry come undone.

“You’re amazing,” Louis whispers, curling his fingers around Harry’s shoulder blade as he comes down, eyes fluttering open. “Gorgeous.”

Harry’s cheeks go pink, and his eyes go soft, and Louis clenches down on his prick again, just to watch his lips part in a sigh.

“Fuck,” Harry whimpers, reaching down to grab Louis’ hip.

Still hard, Harry drags himself out of Louis’ arse, making them both hiss at the feeling. Louis can’t help but grit his teeth at the sudden emptiness.

“Are you okay?” Harry asks, breathing hard as he drops beside Louis. He drags one hand up to his belly, running his fingers through the mess of lube and come. Louis wrinkles his nose.

“I’m good,” Louis says, willing himself not to flush at the attention.

Sobered up, it’s all that much more surreal. Without the haze of horniness to distract him, Louis’ got to lay naked under Harry’s watchful eye. It’s a lot to handle, all of a sudden.

“Are you okay?” Louis reciprocates, blinking a few times.

Harry smiles at him, before reaching down to tug the condom off, tying it with practiced ease. “I’m more than okay.”

Then, they’re kissing again, more soft and tender than expected.

For a while, that’s all they do. Coming down from it all, and living in the moment, their lips press together in a gentle glide, wet and warm and lush. Louis doesn’t fight it, doesn’t let his thoughts drive him wild.

For the first time in a long time, Louis is happy to let things be. Harry with him, giving him everything, is more than Louis could have ever asked for.

“You’re my best mate,” Harry says eventually, out of nowhere, right against Louis’ lips. “You’re my best mate, and you make me so happy.”

Louis’ ears burn. He pulls back from Harry, and smiles, genuine. “You make me happy, too.”

Harry nods, and slowly sits himself up, groaning with the condom still in his grip. “Good. Now that that’s sorted, I believe we have some food waiting for us.”

Oh, God. Louis jerks upright, wincing when his are twinges at the sudden movement, and slaps at Harry’s chest. “You fucking arsehole. We were having a moment.”

Harry laughs, and grabs Louis’ hand, bringing it up to his mouth so that he can kiss his knuckles.

“Let’s have another moment in the kitchen,” Harry says, softly. Then, “And another in the shower, after.”

Louis wants to argue, just because it’ll make Harry pout, but he wants that. Now that he’s had a taste, Louis wants all of the moments, everywhere. Anywhere. All of the time.

. . .

When Louis wakes, there’s a warmth pressed to his chest.

The feeling of Harry in his arms, pulled so close that their heartbeats have synced to one pulse, has Louis’ head spinning. It’s not something he’d ever imagined he’d have, but he’s so fucking full of love from it.

There are noises of construction outside his window, and the sun is still shining through his curtains with a purpose.

For the first time in a long time, Louis breathes in relief. He doesn’t feel guilt, or shame, or delusional for the thoughts in his head. Harry is here with him, snoring softly against Louis’ pillow—looking so peaceful and beautiful where he lays.

Louis wants to revel in it. To let himself feel the love, and to return it. He’d been so blind, he realizes, for so bloody long.

For a while, Louis just watches Harry. He watches the peaceful rise and fall of his chest, the soft rise of his eyelids as his eyes wander in his sleep. Louis watches, and he wonders if this is his forever. He really fucking hopes it is, because it’s the most amazing thing that he’s ever seen in the world.

Without thinking much about it, after a little while of letting himself feel free, and happy, and in love, Louis reaches to the nightstand behind him.

He brings up Zayn’s contact, and types out a message.

u were right

There’ll be a lot of explaining later. Louis feels that even if things have turned out okay, Zayn still deserves a slap. The other boys too, because there’s no doubt that they’ve been thinking it as well.

Louis will deal with it later.

For now, he hits send, and drops his phone.

When he turns back to Harry, he smiles down at him, and inhales softly. And, until Harry wakes up some time later, Louis lets himself dream of forever with this boy.

Forever full of soft morning cuddles, and miscommunications that lead to fights, and breakfast with his love. Forever with Harry, and Harry’s stupid laugh, and his silly jokes, and his nail polish collection that is forever growing.

Louis wraps Harry up again, and noses against the back of his neck with a smile. Harry hums at him, and his hands lift to tighten against Louis’ arms.

“Hm. You up?” Harry asks, voice groggy with sleep.

Louis nods. “Yeah. You snore cute.”

Harry chuckles, and it’s the most amazing sound that Louis has ever heard.

When Harry doesn’t respond after a beat, probably dozing again, Louis sighs. “I love you.”

It startles him when Harry’s raspy voice, all soft and warm, says, “I love you, too.” Louis smiles.

Yeah. Forever like this sounds nice.

Unexpected, but nice.