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DEFENCE // LARRY STYLINSON // LOUIS TOMLINSON

Chapter Text

"Tomlinson! I understand you're the star player lad, but do you wanna learn how to pass the ball every now and again?!"

"Tomlinson! I understand you're the star player lad, but do you wanna learn how to pass the ball every now and again?!"

I hear his raspy voice screaming from the other side of the field. He really needs to relax a little, it's only training after all and I scored the damn goal, I don't understand what his issue is at the moment.

Well, I guess I do understand the issue, but he shouldn't let it affect his game, we promised each other we would keep our private lives seperate to our game play.

In his defence, we only broke up an hour before practice, so I am guessing he is still learning the rules, he had a hard enough time of following them during our relationship, so I can't say I'm surprised that he's struggling.

"Relax Styles" I shout back to him, side stepping back into position for continued play.

I feel his presence getting closer out the corner of my eye, I had a funny feeling this wasn't over with yet. Always got to have the last word this boy does. At least that is one thing that never changes.

"What'd you say to me!" He bellows as his chest is thrusted against my shoulder knocking me slightly sideways, but not enough to knock me down. "What happened to leaving private life off the field" he continues, pushing hard against me again.

I abruptly turn to face him with my hands aggressively connecting with his chest, forcing his increased distance from me. "Say's you!" I shout back at him. "You're the one crying over not having the ball, I scored dickhead, what's your problem?"

He moves his body over me, towering completely, looking down at me with those emerald green eyes, "You're my problem Louis" his voice deepens to attempt to intimidate me. But oh how he doesn't realise that he use to use this towering over behaviour and slow sensual voice to dominate me in the bedroom, or at least attempt to, so as he tries to use it as a form of intimidation now, is just funny to me, and I can't help but crack a smile.

"You so want to fuck me again!" I whisper up against his face, brushing my nose just past his, catching him slightly off guard. Unsure where this side confidence is coming from. I was never like this with Harry, but the new sense of freedom I had pulsating around my body was obviously clouding my better judgement.

"I-uh-wh-fuck off Louis!" he stutters, reconnecting his hands with my chest and recreating the distance between us.

I give him a cheeky wink before running back over to my side of the field, keeping a sneaky eye on him watching him attempt to gather himself, not being able to contain the sly smirk that has presented itself on my face knowing I successfully made Harry flustered.

I can't though, however, ignore the slight ache in the very pit of my stomach, as I said before, Harry and I only broke up an hour before training, and although it was my doing, it doesn't make the process any easier, especially not when my reasons for leaving him had nothing to do with my love dissolving for him, it was the fact that he couldn't even bother to be honest with me, about anything.

The remainder of the training session flooded by like a blur to me, although I technically won the fight with Harry that time, I was successful in keeping his flustered the remainder of the session, I had also managed to distract myself from training. That saying that Harry wanted to sleep with me again sparked a nerve in me, because I still longed for him. Even though everything in me knew I shouldn't.

I made a conscious effort in not holding onto the ball for lengthy periods of time for the remainder of the session, passing to anyone but Harry, but at least he wouldn't be able to call me out again on that. To be fair, he wasn't even paying any attention to what was happening in the field of play to care after our interaction.

"Tomlinson, a word before you go!" Coach Baker summons me as the remainder of the team hit the showers.

I give him an acknowledging nod, throwing me pads into my duffle and taking a large gulp of water, tossing the remainder of the bottle over my head and shaking out the dreads, causing a cooling sensation to flow down my back, very satisfying after being all sweaty.

"What's up coach?" I ask as I sling the bag over my shoulder.

"Do I need to worry about you and Styles?" He asks in a serious tone leaving a puzzled look on my face. "Do I need to remind you how close finals are?"

I shake my head at him, swallowing the lump gathered in my throat. As it was so recent, we hadn't actually had time to tell anyone. So, with coach now asking, this was going to have to be the first time I would be admitting that something had happened. I wasn't ready for that conversation.

"Nothing to worry about coach!" I reply in my most convincing tone.

Wasn't exactly a lie; I planned on there being nothing to worry about, but I didn't know what the next few days of Harry and I were going to look like and finals were next weekend.

The last thing we wanted was to let our arguments come between the team, I needed to talk to Harry again, the fight that led to our breakup was full of emotions and we didn't get the chance to discuss it fully.

We'd been together for over 2 years, it was going to take longer than a 5 minute blowout to sort out how to be civil enough around each other for the teams sake.

Coach gives me an unconvinced smirk and gestures his head toward the locker room. I let go of a breath I wasn't aware I was holding until I felt the tight pinch in my chest.

I ran up to the locker rooms to shower up before heading home, today had been such a long day and I just couldn't believe it was only Monday! I could already feel that this week was going to go by slowly, really drag out it's mocking in how shitty the Monday had been.

I throw my bag down onto the bench seat and waste no time in stripping down to my jocks turning on the water to just below boiling. It's the way I liked it. Just that right amount of burn to apply a small tingle to my skin.

The rest of the boys had already vacated the locker room by the time I had gotten there, which I was quietly glad about. I needed the alone time right now.

After discarding the remainder of my clothes I step under the water and let it run across my face and down my body. I let the water cascade down me for a bit before covering my face with the palms of my hands to rub the dirt and sweat off from the day.

As I run my fingers back through my hair, the sudden tight grip on my length from behind me startled me.

"Not so full of words now are you?" His raspy voice echoes through my body as he whispers in my ear. My entire body tenses, frozen in the moment.

As his hand begins to work over the length of my cock, his body pushes hard against mine causing me to stumble forward, quickly using my own hands as a barrier between me and the wall. "What's wrong Louis, got nothing to say?"

I pinch my eyes shut and use my tongue to wet the surfaces of my lips, "Harry what are you—"

"No, no. No talking little bug, this is the part where you listen" he cuts me off before I can finish. I'm disappointed in myself for complying to his orders. I told myself when I left him that I wouldn't let him control me like this anymore. But here I am, pinned to the bathroom wall, with his hand securely fastened around my now throbbing erection, feeling my body surrender to Harry's commands.

"Am I making myself clear?" He pushes again, I feel his large body up against my fragile one, trying to hide the trembles. I nod my head frantically. "No, no. Little bug. You know the rules." He urges. Following rules. That's rich coming from him.

"Yes Harry" I breath out like the pathetic little obedient soul I am.

The impressed breathed laugh falls from his nostrils, enjoying the fact that he has me back to being submissive to him.

"Good bug, now, I didn't like what you implied earlier. Saying that I would still fuck you, but look at what happens when the tables are turned." He coos, tightening the grip around my cock and pressing a lazed kiss to my shoulder line. "Got you trembling beneath me like always. I knew you didn't mean what you said today. All that nonsense about leaving me. You'll never leave me Louis. I know you. And you want to know why that is little bug"

I suck in a tight breathe as I feel his teeth sink into my neck. "Why Harry?" I give in to his little game, trying my best to ignore the best that's building up in the pit of my stomach from his continued stroking on my penis.

"Because I'll never let you leave me" his words shudder through me the moment they leave his lips. I pinch my eyes closed and pray that the water droplets from the shower head are enough to disguise themselves in my tears.

"You're mine Louis, it was cute thinking you could leave me, but you know that's not going to happen. Over my dead body" the irony behind that statement. As much as I hated to admit it, I knew for a Long time that my only way out was for Harry's heart to stop beating. But my freedom was never worth taking his life from him. For the heart that I loved more than anything, I couldn't even comprehend it ever stop beating.

I nod my head against better judgment knowing that he always preferred words. But surprisingly this time, my silence was enough for him. He pumped his hand unforgivably a few more times, knowingly sending me absolutely over the edge as he did so, planting a lasting kiss to my neck before ghosting away.

I was left standing in the shower feeling confused, betrayed, frightened and fucking horny, all from this man.

His words echoing in my mind as the sound of turn locker room door slamming shut signally my loneliness.

I'll never let you leave me.

Oh how I knew that Harry. I knew you'd never let me leave, it's the constant fight I've had with my heart and mind these last 2 years. I knew you'd never let me leave you, and the stupidity in me never wanted to leave.

You're a dangerous drug Harry, and I think it's safe to say...

I'm an addict.

 

Chapter Text

So now I was proper confused, had I split up with Harry or not?

So now I was proper confused, had I split up with Harry or not?

I thought I was pretty clear during our conversation in the halls before practise, I'm sure I used the words I'm done, we are over. But with him mocking my statement, saying he thought it was cute that I thought I could leave, does that mean we are still together?

This is part of my reasons for ending things with him, I never got a clear answer from him in regards to anything. He was always happy to leave me guessing, leave me hanging, leaving me to answer them all in my head. 

After I cleaned myself off in the shower, and by cleaned off, I mean finished myself off. That damn boy left me so irritated and horny I didn't have a choice. I threw my sweat shirt on and a pair of loose shorts, I was only going home and off to bed anyway so I didn't really care what I was wearing. 

I glided across the parking lot heading toward my car, I assumed it would be the only one left in the lot anyway, but as I approached closer, I couldn't help but notice that there was something off about it, my tyre. WHAT THE FUCK! My tyre had been punctured and was completely flat. 

To make matters worse, I didn't even have a spare on me as I had been meaning to get it fixed after getting a screw punctured in it. 

The light mist of the night's rain begun to fall upon me. Fuck sake, I couldn't even walk home either. I fish my hand inside my duffle to retrieve my phone, surely mum would be able to come give me a lift, I'll sort out the tyre tomorrow afternoon. As I tap the screen, I'm welcomed with a stubborn blank screen from the battery dying out. You've got to be kidding me.  

Who the hell did I murder in a past life to deserve this shit.

I throw the phone back into the duffle and throw my hood on over my hair, as if it were going to in any way protect me from being further drenched. 

"Having car trouble?" I'm stunned by his sudden voice coming up behind me in the lot. Of course! How didn't I see this before. 

"It was YOU! You did this to my tyre didn't you?" I bellowed pointing my finger up close to his face as he closed the space between us. 

He looks up at me through his eyebrows as he runs his finger across his lips, looking the upmost unimpressed with my accusation. "You think I did this to your car?" he mutters through his fingers that were still place on the corner of his lip. 

"I wouldn't put it past you Harry!" I throw back, no matter how much this man intimidated me, I never really felt scared

"I wouldn't put it past you Harry!" I throw back, no matter how much this man intimidated me, I never really felt scared. I knew I was submissive to him, but I quietly enjoyed that. 

"Took your time in there, busy were you?" he mocks changing the subject, along with his tone. 

I couldn't contain my jaw from dropping as well as the embarrassment washing across my face. I stutter out a jumble of words before he folds the corners of his mouth up into a smirk. "Hey, if I knew I got you that raddled up, I would have stayed and finished the job" he coos. 

I roll my eyes at him and shake my head. Which I instantly regret as I feel his body push hard up against me pinning me between him and my car. 

I look up at him and catch my breath, holding my immediate inhale tight in my lungs. 

"You know what you do to me when you roll your eyes at me like that Louis" his voice changes to a silent rumble as he closes in and places his lips up against my ear. "But I prefer it when they are rolling back in lust of my lips around that perfect cock of yours" 

My eyes quickly dart off to the side and I swallow harshly at his words, pinching my thighs together as my core sure as hell responded to his statement. 

"Harry, I - erm," Great use of words there Louis, good to see you got a set of balls on you when it comes to standing up to this man. 

I'm made speechless as the lips that were once whispering in my ear are now wrapped around the lobe of my ear applying a small sucking motion as his hand slips around the curve of my waist pulling me against him. 

I refuse to let my eyes close at the sensation his lips are bringing to my sensitive areas, but I'm struggling. "You what Louis?" I hear his simple question rattle the entirety of my body.

Damn you Harry!

"I want, ergh, Har, I want" I moan out, attempting to get the words out of me as his teasing tongue traces the alphabet across the sensitivity of my neck, in all my favourite places. I clench my eyes and swallow every vulnerability in me. "I want you to drive me home, please" I say in a concrete tone, showing absolutely no lust in my voice what so ever. 

His lips pause on my neck and he immediately pulls his eyes back to see how serious mine have become. 

"What'd you just say to me?" he hisses between his teeth as I watch his jawline tighten. 

I smirk at him seductively. "I did say please, Harry" I mumble, snaking my own hands around the base of his black shirt. This man may know how to play on my wants, but I know just as much how to play on his. "You do like it when I use my manners don't you?"  I whisper to him as I pull tight on his shirt so our bodies are pressed together firmly. 

His eyes dart between both of mine and I see his Adams apple dance as he swallows, and I can't help but feel pride as I know I've got him flustered yet again. No matter how much he dominates me in this 'relationship'. I know that I can always get him worked up just as much. 

"Get in the car Louis" he orders giving my hip a tight squeeze before removing his hand from my skin and pulls away from me as he starts to walk back to where his car was parked. 

My body remains frozen for a moment, attempting to wrap my head around the situation that I've gotten myself in somehow. 

I just can't seem to stay away from this boy. 

I follow him after making sure my car was locked, and hop into the passenger seat throwing my duffle bag into the back seat. 

Our ride back to my house was in complete silence, which I both appreciated and was irritated by. He focuses solely on the road and my attention went between looking at him and also out my window, starring back at my own reflection, wondering how I could be so stupid. 

I keep telling him that he's hurting me, I keep telling him that what he does is destroying me, but it's like he just ignores it, he doesn't seem to care what he does to me, it's as if he knows I'm always going to continue to come back. I don't know how many times in the last 2 years I have told him that we were done, but I always just find myself falling back to him. 

What he said was right, he would never let me leave, but stupid me never have the courage to stay away. 

I think there's a vulnerability in me that always knows that I'll only ever love him, whatever the hold he has on me, whatever it is, it's strong and I know I can't even work out how to break free from his restraint. I guess I could if I really wanted to, but every time I say I'm leaving, I leave a piece of me behind knowing I'll come back. 

But this time, I really thought I was done, I really thought I had built up the courage and finally freed myself from his grip, but how could I be so stupid, of course I hadn't. This boy has captive every single last piece of me. I'm never getting out of this alive and I don't even mind. 

I can't even say that we would be better as friends, I know that no matter what, as long as this boy is breathing, I want to be inhaling the same toxic oxygen, he is my chaos and I don't even know how to erase him, he's not the antidote, he's the poison. 

As the car pulls to a stop out the front of my house, I run my finger back through my hair fighting with the decision to invite him in or send him on his way. Not that he ever waits for the invitation anyway. 

"Thanks"  I choke out, still not catching his glance, his eyes are dead on the empty road ahead. 

I shake my head in frustration and grab my bag from the back seat and open my door to get out. 

"We aren't done, right Lou?" I'm interrupted by his question, which takes me back as it almost sounds urgent, like he is afraid of my answer. 

I place my hand on the top of the car and lean my head down to him, his eyes finally meeting mine. "I wish I could tell you we are Harry, but something tells me, you and I will never be done" I admit, to both Harry and to myself. He only replies with a slow nod before flicking his eyes to me, "I'll be back later, I need to take care of something first"

I find myself rolling my eyes at him again and letting out a staggered breath. Nothings changed, he's always got somewhere to be, something to take care of, but never enlightens me with any of the details. "I'm wasting my breath if I ask you where aren't I?" I sarcastically remark. 

His face furrows up to fury as he purses his lips at me. "Louis, seriously don't" he warns. I shake my head and slam the door on him before his tyres tear down the road. 

I seriously don't even have the first idea of what he does when he goes, my mind has come up with a colourful array of stories, but I can never land my finger on one solid idea. 

As I enter the house and throw my bag down on the bench seat near the door, I'm welcomed by my younger sisters Hollie and Piper at the door. "It's late, why are you two not asleep?" I ask as I scruff my fingers through the tops of both their heads. My sisters were twins, 8 years old and full of absolute sass. I walk them both up to their room as they climb into their shared bed. They had been this way since they were little, they always slept together. 

"Is Harry coming back? We saw his car?" Hollie asks me. They were totally obsessed with Harry. The dominate, intimidating anger filled man that I knew was always completely contrasted when he was around Hollie and Pip, I even caught him once having a tea party with them in their room. I knew he had a soft side, but my sisters were the only 2 people in this world who ever saw that side of him. 

"He's coming later, you two need to go to sleep though, he'll see you in the morning okay!" I inform them, I hoped Harry would still be here in the morning, but nothing with him was every predictable. 

Piper, the more sassy one out of the two makes a 'chatterbox' motion with her hand. "You always say he'll be here in the morning,  but he never is" she taunts me. 

I do fell bad for them, they do love him and sometimes they cop the brunt of his anger issues, he doesn't mean to hurt them, I know that, but he can't help it sometimes

I do fell bad for them, they do love him and sometimes they cop the brunt of his anger issues, he doesn't mean to hurt them, I know that, but he can't help it sometimes. 

"Come on Pip" I urge as I run my fingers through the back of my hair where it joins to my neck. 

"Just don't annoy him Lou, and he will stay" Hollie speaks up and I can't help but laugh at her statement as I pull the blanket up over the two of them. 

"I'll try not too" I admit as I give them both a kiss on the tops of their heads and flick the lamp off by their bed. "Now, sleep! I'll see you in the morning" they don't respond to me as I slowly close the door, leaving it open only a fraction to let the light from the hall seep through. 

I retreat down to my room, kicking off my shoes and slumping back into my bed, pinching my thumb and index finger on either side of my nose as I clench my eyes tight shut. 

I had no idea what I was going to do about Harry. 

 

Chapter Text

"Louis, wake up!" I'm startled by his presence right in my eye line as I flicker my eyes open at his abrupt statement

"Louis, wake up!" I'm startled by his presence right in my eye line as I flicker my eyes open at his abrupt statement. 

"Jesus Christ Harry!" I shriek, pushing his shoulder away with my top arm as I lay stunned on my side. 

"I told you I was coming back, why are you asleep?" He asks as if there should be some obvious answer. I lift my head up to gaze at the clock on my side table. 

"Harry, its fucking 2am, why the hell do you think I'm asleep?" I reply with irritation. Rolling onto my back clenching my eyes tightly shut before opening them abruptly again. "Hang on, where the hell have you been until 2am!" I whisper shout, lifting myself up onto my elbows as he is still sitting on his knees next to the floor of my bed. It wasn't until I was fully sat up that I see his ripped shirt, blood on his hands and busted lip. 

"Harry, what the fuck?" I gasp, sitting myself up out of bed and placing my hand on his chin so I can move his head to either side to get a look at him before he swats my hand away. 

"Leave it Louis, it doesn't matter" an obvious answer that I get from him. I shouldn't even ask anymore. 

"Harry, I respect your fucking boundaries more than I should, but this is ridiculous, there is literal blood on your hands, is it yours?" I return my grip to his chin but he moves his head away before I can connect.  

"It is none of your business Louis what I do and don't do. I don't have to answer to you." he bellows. 

"If you're gonna keep showing up to my house and God knows what our with blood on your hands ripped shirt look at you. You at least owe me some answers as to how this happened."  I fight back, how can he possible think that me seeing him like this was okay and that I wouldn't ask questions. 

He gets up from his knelt position at my bed, running his hands through the his hair, brushing it out of his face. "I don't owe you shit Louis".

I'm at my breaking point. I can't contain my anger any longer. "Then go! Get out! I'm not gonna sit here and watch you fall to pieces in front of me and not let me help you".

"Who said I'm falling to pieces Louis? This is the strongest I've felt in a long time." he almost chuckles, which made this whole situation a lot more terrifying. 

"I really don't care any more Harry" well thats a lie. "If you aren't gonna answer my questions then you can go. And I mean it." He and I both know that I don't mean it, but the cranky little chihuahua in me can't help my outbursts. 

"Do you want me to go? Fine! Have it your way! This doesn't mean we're done Louis but I'm happy to leave you alone" he calls my bluff, knowing full well I'd never let him leave. 

He exits my room quicker than I'm able to reply to him. 

Harry has turned up to my house at obsurd hours before but never in this state. This has to be where I draw the line this time. I understood what he meant, it really didn't mean that we were done but I'm glad that he left.

But of course, against my better judgement. I can't let him leave like this. If the blood is his own then he obviously needs help, his busted lip alone needs my attention. "Harry wait!" I call out as I get myself out of bed and race down the hallway.

I reach him at the bottom of the stairs placing both my hands on his shoulder to turn him around. Surprised, shocked and speechless when I see that he's got tears welled up in his eyes "hey what the hell is going on?" I ask him.

"Did you not hear me before?" he screams "none of your goddamn business Louis".

"Harry look at you! I love you, God only knows fucking why, but I do. Let me help you. You don't have to tell me how you got these but at least let me make them better." I say rubbing my thumb across his freshly cut lip.

His eyes flutter shut as he hesitantly nods his head in agreement. I take his hand in mine and lead him back up to my bedroom. Placing him on the bed as I quickly run to the bathroom and grab a damped cloth to clean up some of the blood.

As I dab it gently up against his lip I use my other hand to cup his jaw in my palm, stroking my thumb back-and-forth across his cheek. "Does it hurt?" I ask him, his eyes that are piercing into mine as he doesn't answer me just shakes his head.

"Doesn't look like it needs any stitches" I comment "but it's gonna leave you a nice bruise for awhile. We can tell everyone I gave it to you" I joke noticing the smallest of smirks curl up in the corner of his lip.

"Thank you Louis" he mumbles as he pinches his eyes shut.

"Of course Harry. Does it hurt anywhere else? Do you have any other injuries?" He just shakes his head and I nod in acknowledgement. There was no point pressing him for any information, he wasn't gonna give it to me anyway.

"Lay down I'll go get you some Panadol and some water might help with the pain in your lip. I'll be back in a minute."

As I reach the bottom of the stairs and head towards the kitchen I pass the lounge room to see my drunken father passed out on the couch. I guess it explains why the girls weren't in bed before. I'll begin to wonder if that even had dinner because I they didn't shower as they were still in the day clothes I put them in this morning.

Mum had died during childbirth with the girls due to complications. My father after that became a drunk, very depressed man. Mum was the love of his life. It's like he gave up every will to live once she died. So I took on responsibility and I've been raising these girls since birth. He barely goes to work, he doesn't clean anything, he wouldn't know how to cook to save his life. Sometimes I wonder what's actually holding him onto this earth.

I collect two Panadol's from medicine cabinet and a glass of water heading back up to Harry. 

When I returned the room he is underneath the covers with his clothes disposed on the floor. It always made me giggle that Harry like to sleep in the nude. Always worried me that the girls would come in early morning and his blanket would be off. But he was always positioned against the wall with me in front so I was able to hide anything if it did slip.

I give the medicine and drink to him which he gladly takes, throwing them back down with the water. "Thank you" he mumbles. 

"You're welcome Harry. Are you tired do you want to sleep now?" He nods and pulls the cover back to gesture for me to get in. 

"Only if I can snuggle you" he teases.

I let out of breath of chuckle "yeah yeah don't you always?".

As I lay in bed and push my back up against him, he wraps his arms around my waist and holds me close. It's in these moments that I feel like everything is normal. But I know for a fact that Harry and my relationship is far from normal. 

He nuzzles his nose into the back of my neck and places delicate kisses on the nape. Squeezing me tighter holding me as close as he can. It's like being skin to skin at the moment isn't close enough for him.

"Louis" he mumbles up against my back, all I can respond with is a mhmm as I'm already nodding off to sleep. "I'm sorry for hurting you".

I'm taken back by his apology. Apologies are not something that Harry gave out. Especially to me. Whatever happened tonight has rocked him. But I couldn't press for any information and it was useless anyway. Harry is the type of person that would only speak if he wants to and pushing him only makes him mad and creates a distance between us that I hate.

I don't respond I just shuffle back a little bit further letting his face deep into the corner of my neck and place my hand upon his giving it a light squeeze acknowledging that I heard him. Only because the words it's okay would be a lie. 

And I can't lie to Harry.

 

Chapter Text

Of course, by no surprise, Harry was gone in the morning. I don't know why it still affects me as much as it does, but I can't help but feel hurt when I wake up to the blank space in my bed.

I've been laying here in bed since my alarm went off 20 minutes ago, I haven't been able to pull myself out of bed today, I was just feeling deflated, after everything, I just needed time to breathe. I declared even last night before Harry arrived that I wouldn't be going to school today, I needed a day away from everything, and ideally, I needed a day away from Harry.

I forced myself out of bed so I could get the twins ready for school. I've already has Mrs Sassy Pants Piper yell at me this morning when Harry wasn't here like I promised, but I think, sadly, she was use it by now, as was I.

I prepped their lunches and did my best attempt at a ponytail in each of their hair, I must say, over the years, I've really started to nail this.

Looking after two girls isn't the easiest of jobs and especially when they are as sassy as these girls

Looking after two girls isn't the easiest of jobs and especially when they are as sassy as these girls. They have mums personality, so as much as they drive me mental, it's like her spirit is living alive in them, and thats the part of them I adore the most.

I drop them off to their school and head straight back for home, surprised that dad actually went off to work today, I'm sure his employees will be just as surprised. Dad is a financial advisor at his own firm, so he has the ability to come and go as he pleases. As much as he is off the rails these past 8 years, he is very good at his job and always manages to bring in enough to support the household, financially that is.

I was glad that I could have the house to myself for the day, I hadn't had a day off school in the longest time, so I knew my grades wouldn't suffer just by having one day off. The rain had been heavier throughout the night and continued through to today forcing coach to call off training, but we were all ordered to meet him at the local gym at 5pm tonight for a make-up session.

With finals so close, no-one could afford to have any time off, I sure as hell wouldn't be so I'm glad that couch felt the same and ordered everyone to the gym. Gave me all day to relax.

I flop myself down onto my bed, starring up at the ceiling before flicking my TV on to a re-run of Animal Kingdom, a show that Harry had gotten me onto, which sparked way more scenarios in my head than what is probably realistic. Was I dating Pope?

I hadn't even realised that I had dozed off when I was woken by my phone messages signally a notification relentlessly.

Where are you?

Louis, why aren't you at school?

Louis, what is going on?

Where are you?

Geez Harry, calm down, your timestamps are literally only a minute apart. And rich coming from him, expecting to answer the questions about my whereabouts.

I'm fine, just having a day off, wasn't feeling the best

I reply throwing my phone to the end of my bed, not even wanting to speak to him at this point, considering he's the poison that's over taking my body constantly, it could have only been so long before it finally look it's toll and overdosed me.

I barely had time to close my eyes again before Harry came bursting through my bedroom door, a look in his eyes of fury mixed with worry.

"Harry what the hell? I literally just messaged you back." I announce, confused as I could still feel the coolness on my thumb from pressing send on the glass screening of my phone.

"I was outside, I knew you'd be home" he explains looking slightly embarrassed at how strange it sounds.

I can't help but not even be shocked at this behaviour. He was what you could call, possessive, but I was so use to it, that I didn't even take note of the magnitude of his actions now.

"What's wrong?" he asks as he welcomes himself on the edge of my bed, kicking off his shoes and sitting crossed legged, facing me.

I run my finger over my lip, the same way in which he had done to me yesterday

I run my finger over my lip, the same way in which he had done to me yesterday. I couldn't help but be slightly annoyed with his forwardness.

"I just needed a day, to myself" I explain. "Need to get my head around a few things"

He nods his head like he was understanding how I was feeling, which would surely be a first for him.

"Alright then" he acknowledges however lowering himself down to his side and propping his head up underneath his elbow, making himself comfortable. Did he not hear the part where I said I wanted to be alone?

"Harry?" I ask with a concerned tone, as if to say what the hell are you still doing here?

He doesn't response with any words, he just raises his eyebrows in a dumbfound way. This boy is the smartest but most thick man I've ever met.

"I said, to myself, meaning I want to be alone" I restate, as if I wasn't clear the first time.

He looks over all of my features in attempt to analyse my thoughts. "Do you want some company whilst you have alone time?" he teases. I can't help but chuckle at him. He full well knows how much I can't resist him. Any chance I had today of straightening out my head and working out what to do about Harry completely vanished as he shows me his smug toothy grin.

"You're impossible!" I poke.

"Oh come on little bug" he coos. "You know you love me"

I let out an exhaled breath, shaking my head and turning my eyes serious. "That seems to be my biggest downfall Harry".

He gives me a sympathetic pout as he crawls up next to me in the bed, resting his head on my chest as I automatically run my fingers through his hair. It still shocks me how toxic this relationship is, yet it works so well. I really couldn't see being with anyone else but Harry.

"So what's on your mind little bug" he mumbles as he draws circles around my legs that he slowly sending to sleep.

"I still don't know why you call me that!" I hiss, he's called me little bug since we first met and I don't know why.

He chuckles "You've always been my little bug" he teases, I'm guessing he may have forgotten the reasoning behind it too. "But, I don't know, I guess it's just a name"

"There is a reason behind everything you do Harry" I acknowledge.

I hear him chuckle again under his breath. "Of course there is little bug, you just don't need to worry about it"

I roll my eyes again in safety knowing that he can't see me this time.

"Okay Harry" I mumble in defeat.

He sits up abruptly making concerned eye contact with me. His eyes sharpening at me like he's trying to read my thoughts again.

"What's going on in that head of yours Lou?" He asks as he cups the side of my face in his hand.

He makes it so incredibly easy to open up to him. Everything about him always drew me in. Even though the twins were the only ones to see his soft side, every now and again I got the 'caring' part of Harry.

Even though majority of the time Im just here to serve his ultra ego, surely in two years he has developed some type of care for me, in his own way I'm sure.

But I can't stop myself from falling for him. I really don't know how he does it. I know he's no good for me, I know he's toxic, I know he causes me more pain than anything, so why can't I let go? Why can't I get myself out of this situation with him?

What a crazy thing love is isn't it?

"Never mind that pretty head of yours" I tease but in all seriousness, he never answers my questions, so perhaps I need to start giving him a taste of his own medicine.

 

Chapter Text

"Say one word Tomlinson, and I promise you, I will make you regret it" his raspy voice breathing hot air down my spine as I'm pinned to the locker room shower wall gives me flashbacks to so many times before.

His hand becomes present on my right hip, causing my eye sight to drop immediately to it before having a large hand press up against the back of my head, forcing me to look back to the wall. "Did I say you could move?" he warns again, keeping a firm hold against my head and pinning it to the wall so my forehead met the cool tiles.

I swallow the nervous lump that was present in my throat, and attempt the smallest shake of my head that I can.

His lips graze the side of my right ear as I feel his body rest up against mine "Words little bug" he encourages into my ear. "You know I like to hear words".

"But you also said if I say one word, I'll regret it" I remind him of his previous statement.

As soon as I finish the sentence, I'm stunned with being flipped around so my head smacks harshly into the wall as he brings his face right up to mine whilst keeping a firm hold on my hip.

"Going to be smart with me now little bug?" I can't help but smirk, no matter how intimidating he is right now, but how utterly turned on I am.

Finals are starting in just under an hour, Harry and I have arrived at the locker rooms a little earlier to have our pregame ritual bang

Finals are starting in just under an hour, Harry and I have arrived at the locker rooms a little earlier to have our pregame ritual bang. Call it a good luck charm, I don't care, we always seem to do well if Harry and I fool around before the game, who knows if that has anything to do with what we are doing, but I'm not willing to test it.

The past week has been normal with Harry, still toxic, but normal. He actually managed to stay one night which made it up to the twins, he was helping them make pancakes for breakfast when I walked downstairs. It was always sweet to see them, and I think his connection with the girls is part of the reason why I could never leave.

I couldn't do that to them.

With a cheeky smirk across my face, I shake my head but remember his confusing words. "No Harry" I whisper.

He can't help himself but pop a grin at me, "That's what I like to hear" he coos.

The moment that his lips touched mine I knew it was end game. Any time that Harry's lips touch mine it absolutely melted me. It's like the moment our skin was joined he took control over my entire body. The annoying thing was is that he knew this too.

As his hand kept a firm grasp on my hip, I let my fingers in tangle themselves through the base of his neck where his curly locks danced across the top of his shoulders. I liked this longer hair on Harry. It gave me more of him to grasp. That's always a good thing.

The way in which his tongue gently and delicately brushed across my bottom lip it gave the perfect contrast to the firm and dominant group he had on the rest of my body. This contrast sent shivers down my spine.

I allowed him access the moment I felt his tongue asking permission, and let him explore the depth of my mouth as I was further lost in him.

As his hand made its way to the lining of my pants whilst the other one was pressed firmly to the wall beside my head, my entire body was by this stage begging for him. I needed release from the tension that had been built up. The moment that his firm grasp engulfed my length, my eyes flickered shut and I let out a breath to signal that release.

The pumping of his hands against my cock mirrored that of his rapid breathing. His lips made their way to my neck nipping and sucking on all the right nerves. I love the way that this boy knows my body. My group and his hair only gets tighter the closer I get to my climax.

"I want you Louis" he mumbles up against my neck. The words I like kryptonite and I surrender to them immediately.

Without hesitation I take my hands out from his neck and to the lining of his own shorts yanking them down to reveal what I was after. The realisation of just how hard he was, shows that not only was he teasing me but he was testing his own limits at the same time.

Drop drop straight to my knees as he takes his fingers through my hair, encouraging but also begging for me to release the tension that had been built-up in him. Taking the base of his erection in my hand, I waste no time in rubbing my tongue down the length of him meeting my lips around The base as I get as deep as I can before gagging. The moan that leaves the depths of his throat are enough of encouragement for me to begin moving and letting the tip of his penis knocked the back of my throat where I knew he enjoyed the most.

The tighter his grip got in my hair the more I knew I was doing something right. I kept a consistent rhythm of both bobbing and stillness in depth to which each time I did I would feel him suck in a breath that would be released once I started moving again. Just as this man knew my body, I knew his as well.

As I draw my tongue to the tip of his penis and let it swell around the top spreading out the pre-come that had begun to seep from him, I used my hand that was already around the base of his erection to begin pumping again feeling his legs jitter beneath him. I could tell he was close and that I only needed a few more moments of depth to really push him over the edge. But apparently Harry had other plans.

I was yanked to my feet and flipped around to the wall quicker than I was able to realise what was happening. Harry guiding one of my legs up onto the bench seat that was next to us as he dropped my pants to allow him access. A quick few rotations around my rim before I felt the tip of his penis being teased on my entrance. Once I begin to feel the sensation of him entering me, the tension only grew in me. I was practically begging for him at this point. My body was begging for him.

Although he was a dominant person, he was always so careful and gentle when it came to penetrating me. He allowed my body the time to adjust to him knowing that we would both get pleasure in the end. The moment his hips met my backside, I knew he was fully in. I felt full. He gave me a moment to adjust before offering a questionable moan to the side of my neck as his tongue laps across the nerves. A quick nod is all he needed to signal that I was okay for him to start.

His thrusts begin hard and fast. They were urgent, persistent, forceful, but so overly enjoyable and exactly what I needed. I had to lock my arms straight on the wall to stop me from hitting it as he thrusts into me. He's got one hand rest on my shoulder and the other one in a tight grip on my hip to allow him the most control.

"Feel good baby?" He staggers out between breaths.

"So good Harry, please don't stop" I beg as I can feel myself on the brink.

"I need you to touch yourself for me Louis" he orders in a raspy tone. I immediately comply to his orders and reach one hand down between my body and the wall, latching my fist around my hardened length to help myself through my approaching orgasm. 

I can't contain at this point the sounds that are escaping my lips, pleasure mixed with pain as he violently assaults my entrance. 

As his thrusts become fragment and out of sync, both grips on my hip and shoulder tightened as he freezes the end of a thrust inside of me letting out a heightened moan as he releases. At the same time I give one last tug to my pulsating cock to tumble over the ledge of my climax. 

I let my head fall backwards so it lands on the awaiting sweaty shoulder of Harry behind me, who makes immediate contact with my cheek with his wet lips. 

"You ready to go win this thing?" he teases, pressing a lasting kiss onto my neck. 

Pre-game ritual done! Now lets go kick some arse now that mines been completely fucked. 

 

Chapter Text

Well we did it, we actually won our finals, we are off to the grand final in 2 weeks time. I guess that pre-game ritual is still working its magic. God damn Harry and his lucky penis. 

One of our team mates Niall is throwing the after party at his house. His stepdad is stupid rich so his family lives inside a palace, so anytime we are having hangouts, we automatically assume that Niall will be hosting. Regardless if he knows it or not. 

"Oi, Tommo, Styles, you kids coming tonight?" his quirky little Irish accent calls out from the opposite side of the car park. 

"Of course!" I shout back before instantly feeling a dominate hand being placed around my waist, holding me close and pulling tightly up against his muscular body. As his breathe dances across my ear, the knot in my stomach tightens and I feel myself catch my breath.

"Did I say you could go to a party little bug?" his harsh tone almost sounds angry, but I knew Harry well enough by now, that he only ever craved control. And what I loved the most, was testing his patience on it. 

"Sorry, I guess I missed the part where I needed your permission" I tease, slightly moving my hips so my arse connects against the hardness that was evidently growing. 

A playful, yet terrifying chuckle falls from his lips. "You just love testing me don't you" his hand that was held tightly around my waist, drops as his palm brushes along the outside of pants where my penis immediately reacts to his touch. This instantaneous feeling causing my head to fall to the side, allowing him full access to my neck as he firmly attaches his lips to my nerves. My eyes feathering shut the moment they connect. 

A defiant moan leaves my lips as he teases the most sensitive parts of me. His lips will most certainly be the death of me. I know it. I look forward to reading the inscription on my gravestone. 

"You sure you still want to go to that party?" he mumbles so close to my neck that as each letter falls from his lips that purses them, reconnect with my skin. 

I exhale a breath of courage and quickly pull myself away from his firm grasp, whipping myself around to face him before planting a quick peck to his lips before pulling back and giving him a cheeky smirk "Oh, yeah I'm still going" I inform him as I spin around oh my heel and slump myself down into the passenger seat of Harry's car. 

I don't dare make eye contact with him again, it took already enough courage for me to stand up to him, even after all these years, I do challenge him quite a bit, but it really never settles the nerves. 

He finally decides to join me in the car after what seems to be the longest amount of time. I'm trying so desperately hard to display the smugness I feel right now. 

He starts the car and doesn't say a word, the entire drive back to my place was absolutely silent, which terrified me more. I was use to comfortable silence with him, but it was this awkward tension that was making me kind of uncomfortable. 

As he pulls up to the curb out the front of my house, he leaves the engine running. I turn to him in hesitation "Are you not coming in?" I ask almost silently. 

"No, I'll wait here, just go get changed" he informs me with his eyes dead forward on the road. 

It was so hard to ignore the pit in my stomach. It's making me feel really nauseous. 

I don't question him either further, I just quickly rush inside, throwing my bag down at the door and quickly saying hi to the twins who are playing in their room. I could hear dad in the kitchen, so I just prayed he was actually getting them some sort of dinner. 

I chose a simple pair of black skinny jeans as well as a white shirt and denim jacket. I scrunched my hair up a little, it was gross, considering it styled itself on plain sweat alone, no product was needed. 

I hurried back out to the car where Harry was flicking through something on his phone, my presence of sitting back in the car, and putting on my seat belt didn't seem to phase him into moving. 

I sat there awkwardly waiting for him to start driving again, but nothing was happening. "Harry?" I asked him, trying to break the ice. 

He doesn't respond really, he doesn't answer me back, he expression doesn't change. All he does is click his phone locked, place it in the space between the seats and pulls away from the curb. I'm confused when he doesn't make the left turn to head towards his place, instead he goes straight in the direction of Niall's. 

I glance at him quickly, with worry across my face, is this his way of punishing me for testing him before. I didn't know what to say to him. 

He pulls up behind the row of cars at Niall's and you can hear the music pumping from where we are. The engine however, doesn't get turned off. He just picks up his phone again and starts to play with it again. 

"What time do you want me to get you?" He asks in a stern monotone, like he was bored or annoyed. 

"You aren't coming?" I reply with my own question instead of answering his. 

He shakes his head. "No, I have somewhere to be" I can't help but roll my eyes and shake my head, figures. 

I'm lucky he didn't see it though, I'm guessing whatever mood he is in at the moment, seeing me do that may have tipped him over the edge. 

"I'll find a way home, don't even worry about it" I say in my own annoyed tone, getting out of the car and slamming the door before I even give him a chance to respond to me. 

I know I've tested him though at the way his tyres sped off down the street and I'm left standing out the front of the most banging party of the year, with my team mates celebrating our win, but feeling like all I want to do is cry. 

He always has a way of draining me of all other emotion whilst completely filling me with an overwhelming admiration for him. 

I don't know how he is able to do both. 

I take a deep breath and suck back all my negative feelings. I deserved to enjoy tonight. I can deal with Harry later. 

 

Chapter Text

HARRY P

HARRY P.O.V

"Hey, how is she?" I ask as Kasey opens the door.

She gives me a warming smile and opens the door wider to let me in. I give her a comforting smile and a hug hello. I was thankful that after everything, Kasey and I were able to continue to be civil with each other, some may even call us friends.

I wasn't planning on coming back here tonight, I thought I would be spending the night with Louis, but once he dogged me to go to Niall's party, the only other place I wanted to be was here with them.

"She's good, she isn't asleep yet, she's just laying in her room." she responds to me as I walk through the threshold of the door. "I'm sure she would love to see you" she adds quickly as I slip my jacket off.

I nod my head and make my way down the hallway to where I knew her room was. I had spent a lot of time in here talking with her.

"Hey muffin" I say as soon as I peep through the open door to see her laying on her bed playing with her little gameboy.

She glances over to me as soon as she hears my voice

She glances over to me as soon as she hears my voice.

"Daddy!" she shouts, climbing straight up off the bed and running to me.

"How's my favourite girl?" I ask as I hug her back whilst she clings onto me like a little koala.

"She's good!" she answers back in her high pitch squeal.

I place her back down to the bed and tuck her in. I understand its late and the last thing I wanted to do was to hype her up and make the night difficult for Kasey.

After I finally managed to get her back to sleep, after ready Three Little Pigs way too many times, she finally drifted off.

I placed a soft kiss to the top of her head and closed her door holding a gaze on her as long as I could.

I walk back down the hallway to where Kasey was sat on the lounge and invite myself to sit on the other end of the couch, letting out a loud exhaled breath and pinching my index finger and thumb onto the bridge of my nose.

"You okay Harry?" she asks me. Taking another sip from her tea. 

"Yeah yeah" I breathe out "just a rough night. Just a little tired is all, sorry

"Did you when your game?" she asks. I forget she knows so much about me sometimes. 

"Yeah we we did actually, played really well. Got the grand finals in two weeks" I informed her.

"That's really good Harry, congratulations!" She's always been so supportive, she literally sees the absolute beauty and good in everyone around her, I guess that's what drew me to her that night.

"Was Willow excited to see you?" she asks.

I let my hand down from my nose and look at her with a smile. Just hearing Willow's name bring such joy to me. I love that little girl so much it's insane. 

"Yeah she was jumped on me like a little koala." I chuckle, remembering how her tiny body jumped off the bed and straight into my arms. 

"She's always happy to see you Harry. You have to try and come round more." I know she wasn't trying to guilt trip me but it sure did hit hard. 

"Yeah I know, I get here as often as I can." I admit, I probably would be able to come around more, but life just gets in the way sometimes, especially when its a whole side of you that no-one knows about.

Also makes it hard when you have a daughter and the one person who means just as much to you in the world doesn't know about her. 

Three years ago, before Lou and I got together, Kasey and I met at a party. Obviously one thing led to another and a couple of weeks later she told me we were going to be expecting a child. 

Both Kasey and I weren't ready for a baby, nor were we ready for a relationship together. But there was no way Kasey was gonna abort that child. So there were,  two 16-year-olds with a child on the way together.

Kaseys mother was actually fantastic about the whole thing. Given that may have been because she gave birth to Kasey at the same age so she understood the situation. But she's been there to help Kasey ever since. 

Kasey never pressured me to be there 100% of the time, knowing that her and I weren't going to work together in a relationship sense. But she's always let me have access to Willow whenever I wanted. 

In the beginning, I admit, I wasn't around as much as I should've been. I was scared to admit that if I let myself get attached to Willow, it would change everything. Wreck my future plans. When the truth of it is, is that as long as Willow's in the picture my future looks as bright as ever.

"I know. Soon as finals are done, I'm not going to college or anything you know, that's not me, I'll be able to spend a lot more time with her. How are your studies going?" I ask her. 

Since giving birth to Willow, Kasey has been doing her studies at home. 

She's been able to keep up perfect grades, whilst raising a  child on her own. I really had to hand it to her, she was amazing woman. Perfect mother for Willow. We were both lucky to have her in our lives.

"Yeah good, got a big assessment due, need to get done though, it's due tomorrow and I haven't been able to get started. Hoping to go to smash it out tomorrow and get it submitted by midnight tomorrow." I could see that she was trying to sound like she had it all together for me, but I could hear the strain in her voice. 

"Did you want me to have Willow for the day?" As the word slipped out of my mouth, I couldn't even comprehend them. I never had Willow on my own before, I don't know what urged me to insist I took her. The look of shock on her face mirrored that on mine. 

We both couldn't believe the question I just asked. But her shock wasn't one of surprise she almost looked pleased. "I think Willow would love that Harry."

Nerves quickly said in about what I was about to do. 

Willow was older now, she would be three at the end of this year. Not like taking care of a newborn. And she was already toilet trained so I wouldn't have to worry about doing any of that business. But also just the plain idea of having to look after her for an extended period time, that wasn't just playing with her in a bedroom, kind of freaked me out a little bit. 

But I had to for Kasey. I also owed to Willow to at least try. You could say I owed it to myself as well.

"How's things with Louis?" She asks. 

Although romantically it never worked out between us, you know it never stopped us from being the closest friends. 

She was a great person and even better when it came to relationship advice. 

"He's okay. He's at Niall's at the moment for the after party. I wasn't really in the partying mood, thought I'd pop over and say hi to you both." I admit to her. 

She knew that my relationship with Louis was a confusing one. She knew I loved him, everyone knew I loved him, we never try to keep our relationship a secret. But I don't know what it was that didn't allow me to completely settle into the idea of a relationship with Louis. 

Not your typical boy meets boy fall in love type scenario. I crave dominance. I crave him being submissive. 

Was more of a cat and mouse type relationship we had going on rather than a partnership. 

Kasey always said it was because I had such a poor relationship with my parents, I don't know how to feel that bond that closeness. That throughout school, I branded myself as a playboy, excepting attention from both male and female through the entirety of school. 

Wasn't til Louis that I focus my attention in on one person. I never cheated on him, that was never an issue, but I could never allow myself to admit that I was whipped by him completely. Probably even hadn't admitted it to myself to be fair.

"You know we're always happy to see you Harry. You're welcome here any time. Have you told Louis yet, about Willow?" She asks. I think she knew the answer and it wasn't really a question to get an answer out of. I think it was her way of me asking myself the question as to whether it was time to tell him or not. 

I don't know why I never told him, I don't know why I never told anyone. My parents didn't even know they had a grandchild. To be fair, I think I forgot they had a son majority of the time too. 

I shake my head at her and bite down on my bottom lip "No he doesn't."

"You know Harry, I think Louis would absolutely love Willow. And I think Willow would love him. And his sisters and Willow would get along so well. You know I don't have a problem with you telling him, right? I know the relationship between the three of us could get a little bit complicated but as long as Louis with you, he's part of this family too. And you are always part of this family Harry."

I don't really answer her I don't know why, no real reason in particular but I guess it's because I didn't know what to say back. 

Kasey was such a genuine soul, so soft and so beautiful, she always knew how to make me feel better. Seem like she knew me better than I knew myself most days. 

"I'll come round about 9 o'clock in the morning to collect Willow. Take it to the park or something."  I inform her as I get up and collect my jacket, slinging it around my shoulders and darting my arms through the sleeves. 

"Sounds good Harry. I'll make sure I've got a bag of all of her she'll be so excited when I tell her."

^^ Kasey ^^

 

Chapter Text

I didn't hear from Harry for the entire party or all of Saturday, he was completely mute, not returning my messages or phone calls. He does this so often, he just disappears without a word and then will return again like nothing is wrong, like nothing happened. 

And stupid me, every single time, forgives him. 

Niall's party was absolutely banging though, I've never seen that many people at his house before, the little shit even invited the boys from the opposition over and to be fair, they were decent lads, they were down for fun and could keep up with us the in liquor department. 

I didn't even want to ask Harry for a lift home, when I walked out around 1am, I saw that his car was parked on the other side of the road, but there were a group of guys lads who all lived in the same direction, a few from my team, Zayn and Liam, and a few boys from the opposition who went to school on the other side of town, so we all decided to walk together. 

Zayn was an interesting character out of our group, even though he was an absolute killer on the field, he was so different to the rest of us in all other aspects, when you look at how he tears up the football field, you would consider him to be this big headed, meat brained jock, when he is the furthest thing from it. 

His mum made him join the football team so he could engage in social activities with his fellow classmates because Zayn liked to spend majority of his time in the art rooms during free period  sketching and stuff

I've seen a bit of his work, he is amazing. The school even had him go nuts on the side of the library building, said it needed some life to it. So Zayn took it in his stride and painted this massive abstract artwork that actually looks kinda sick. 

He was actually dating Liam, one of the other guys on our team. They seemed to be the first 'gay couple' to come out at our school, they'd been together since like preschool, well obviously not that far back but it may have well as been. 

Liam was polar opposite to Zayn though, he was a theatre bug. You'd always catch him as the lead in any of the musicals and he was always fucking singing on the field too. You couldn't shut him up to be fair. He did have a killer of a voice though so it wasn't too bad, but I guess dating Zayn worked in his favour because he always had someone to paint the sets for whatever up and coming musical, production he was putting on. 

I hoped Harry hadn't seen me completely ignore him when I chose to walk away with the boys. My glance on his car was so quick that I was hoping he wasn't aware, but this is also Harry that I'm talking about, one way or another, that boys seems to know everything. 

Throughout Saturday I had sent him over 10 messages and all of them were not responded. So you could understand my surprise when I woke up on Sunday morning and staggered my way downstairs to see him standing in my kitchen, pouring a bowl of coco pops for each of the girls. 

"Harry?" I ask in surprise as soon as I get to the doorway of the kitchen. 

He looks up at me as he steady's the pouring of the milk into Pipers bowl. "Morning" he responds but turns his attention right back to pouring. 

"When did you get here?" I ask as I shift myself onto the empty stool next to where Hollie was sat. 

Hollie however, seems to have the answer. "Last night, but you were too sleepy to realise, so Harry slept in our room on the princess bed" she informs me in a sassy tone. 

The Princess Bed as they liked to call it, was mums old day bed that use to be in the sunroom. The bed held every single teddy bear that the girls had ever owned and they called it a Princess Bed because they said that because mum use to sit on it, it was a bed made for queens and they would be her princesses. 

I raised my eyebrows at Harry in mockery, picturing him laying between all of the teddybears. "Is that so?" I tease. 

He looks up at me and shakes his head as if to say drop it. I chuckle quietly to myself as I silently feared the ramifications if I didn't. 

"Can I have a word?" he pipes up as he slides the ready-made bowls of cereal to each of the twins. 

I nod at him and start to walk back up the stairs to my room where I could hear him following me from behind. I almost felt nervous, like I wasn't too sure where this was going, but from the sounds of his tone, it wasn't going to be good. 

We file into my room and he shuts the door behind us, I hear it click as he turns the lock to trap us inside. 

"Harry what's going..." I begin to ask but my breath is immediately robbed from me as he violently attaches his lips to mine, snaking his hands around my back to pull me close, I am a lot shorter than him already, but the added urgency being forced into my back is making me arch against him. 

The moment he pulls his lips back from mine, I open my eyes to be surprised that his are clamped tightly shut, like he was in pain. The creases in his forehead were more evident as the tension in his face heightened. 

"Harry, are you okay?" I ask him, cupping his jaw in my hands and forcing him to look up at me.  

He opens his eyes abruptly at me and his entire demeanour changes, the hurt and pain that I saw in his eyes has completely gone and he's back to being rock hard again. Pulling away from me emotionally. 

He lets out a forced chuckle. "I'm fine Louis, why would you think anything would be wrong?" he says in a sharp tone that almost sounds condescending. 

It's becoming near impossible to continue to let Harry pull himself away from me, in these two years it's like I only know half of him and I'm still not learning how to be okay with that. I use to pretend that it didn't bother me. I was okay with letting him live this seperate life. But he's coming home now bashed up, and taking off for the day, not answering my phone calls and then he expects me to be okay when he decided to rock back up into my life. 

"There are a lot of things wrong here Harry, and I think its about time you and I acknowledge that we aren't good for each other. And I know you keep saying that you'll never let me leave and that it's only ever over when you say it is, but I really, really can't do this anymore. You are physically killing me, and I don't know how much more I can take." I let it all out in one breath, fearful that if I gave myself a chance to think about it, I wouldn't say it. 

Complete shock washed across his face, we had the relationship is over talk multiple times, but his features looked different during this conversation, like my words were actually taking hold. 

I don't give him a chance to rebut, I can't have him putting his sly spin on it and making me question my decision. 

"Harry, you and I are toxic for each other, I care about you and I love you more than I ever felt possible with another person, but I can't do this anymore. I'm tired. I'm so fucking tired that it's hurting. It's hurting to be around you, it's hurting to be close with you, it's hurting to look at you. I do not want to be in this relationship anymore. I do not want to be with you anymore. So, I'm begging you, please let me go. Please" My words whimper at the end as I get choked upon the reality of what I was asking. 

"You want me to let you go?" he replies in a low monotone that one could almost confuse as hurt. 

I keep my eyes dead on the floor, knowing that just the sight of him could make me question my decision. "Yes Harry, I need you, I need you to let me go" I rephrase my statement. I didn't just want him to let me go, I needed it. 

Without word, without even a single breath being shared in our space, he turns on his heel, unlocks the door and exits my sight. A tidal wave of relief mixed with complete heartbreak washes over me, completely drowning me. 

This was the right decision wasn't it. 

It had to be. 

 

Chapter Text

Harry hadn't been at school all of last week.

It's been 7 days since our breakup and this time was so different, the longest we had ever been separated was an hour, and then he would always Manage to wiggle his way back in. It seemed like before l, I had no self control when it came to Harry. But this time, he heard me. The first time he's ever heard me.

He hasn't come to any of our football practices, our grand final was next weekend. The promise of never letting our personal life get in the way of the sport seem to not exist any more.

Coach had pulled me aside after last nights practice and told me that I need to fix it. He knew that whatever was going on between Harry and I was the reason he wasn't a practice. It was my job is co-captain to fix it.

I haven't seen Harry since the break up, and the first time I do, I'm about to just be ordering him back to practice. I knew that if he didn't want to be at practice he wasn't going to be, so there's a reason for his absence. Anyway, he owed me nothing so I feared how this conversation was going to go.

Standing on the outside of Harry's house for what seems like ages, the neighbours must think I'm some weird stalker. Lonely boy standing on the front lawn staring up to house not moving. Must've been here 20 minutes already.

Can't bring myself to go to the front door though. I don't even know what to say. Hi? How are you? Why the hell have you been dogging practice? Do I apologize? If I apologise for hurting him that's me assuming that I had any effect on his emotions at all.

I have to do it, for the sake of the team. We had seven days left til the biggest match of our lives, and the last one for most of us who are graduating this year. It would be selfish if I left my personal problems with him get in the way of a win. The boys worked so hard all season, they didn't deserve to be punished because of my love life.

I inhaled an extra piece of courage and go up to knock on the door. My hand trembling at every knock, my hand is so tense that every knock actually hurt. Like when the weather is that cold that when you accidentally knock into something feels 10 times worse. It's like feeling that feeling in the middle of summer, it's confusingly painful.

Wasn't long before the door swung open in front of me but I was surprised at what I saw. "Kasey?" I ask as soon as I see her.

Kasey Winters was in the same year as us but she left school a few years ago. Rumour had it that she had a baby to some guy upstate. 

People just assumed she moved up to live with him. 

I wondered why she was here with Harry? I knew they had a past, I heard they hooked up at a few parties but I didn't think they were actually friends. Harry doesn't really have friends. That would require him to open up to people and that is something he does not do.

She looks like she's seen a ghost, shock washes over her face almost immediately the minute she saw me. 

"Oh shit" she whispers underneath her breath and calls out to Harry. I hear his foot steps come up to the door and she exits back into where the living room is. He doesn't invite me in, rather he stepped outside and close the door behind him. 

"What are you doing here?" he asks with urgency.

"Why is Kasey here?" I return the question rather than answering. 

"It's not your business Louis. Who I am and aren't friends with is nothing to do with you. At least not any more anyway" he adds almost sarcastically.

"Why haven't you been at football training? Do you know we have our grand final next weekend yeah? Can't punish the boys for whatever is going on here" I gesture between the two of us feeling slightly rejected that I can't even enter his house any more. Big chaperoned outside like a delivery boy.

"I'll be at the grand final" he replies in a monotone "you don't need me at practice I know what I meant to be doing" he says in a harsh tone.

I can't help it roll my eyes and shake my head at him, I should've known his stubbornness was going to get me nowhere. Regardless, if I don't know what's going on with Harry his stubbornness is something that I know very well, unfortunately.

"So you're not planning on turning onto practice this week then?" I breathe out.

"No. I'll see you Saturday for the big game." He opens his front door and close it behind him fast I'm able to process what's going on. Leaving me outside by myself staring at the white door that was just slammed my face. 

Two years of feeling like I  have a knew half of his life and I've never felt more far away from him than I do right now.

I'm still confused as to why Kasey was there though. Were they dating or something now? Did she have that child? Does Harry know that she's possibly a mother? That is something Harry would not want to get involved in. So maybe the rumours weren't true. Or is he simply just entertaining the idea to keep himself distracted. Check off a bucket list if he will.

I return back to my car and sit with the engine turned on but not moving for a while. Flicking my glance back towards Harry's house and on the road in front of me, deciding whether to drive away or try harder.

Could had made it my responsibility to make sure I wasn't gonna let down the team. 

Do I take his word for that he'll be at the game next week? 

Do I need to assert my dominance and get him to come to practice?

 We train together as a team, he needs to be there. 

But I figured if I pushed it, he wouldn't show up to the game either.

I made the decision to drive away. I'll text him later on tonight, maybe try establish some sort of friendship with him. 

We can't be together romantically, but we can't ignore the fact that we did get along, maybe we can be friends?

 

Chapter Text

Is this Louis?

The unknown ID of the text message had me wondering who could possibly be messaging me at midnight.

Yeah? I reply. Who is this?

It's Kasey. Are you able to meet me quickly? I'd like to talk to you about Harry.

What could she possibly have to talk to me about regarding Harry? Was it about what they were? Was she going to be telling me that those two were together and I needed to butt out? I had some questions for her to I wonder if she was in the mood for possibly sharing?

After I agreed to meet with her she gives me the address of her house and I quickly drive over which wasn't too far from where I lived.

She was sitting on her driveway when I pulled up. She approached the car before I turn off the engine and hopped into the passenger seat.

"Can we talk on here? It's cold outside." She asks whilst wrapping the jacket she had on tighter around her.

I'm nod my head in agreement and turn off the engine. Dim the lights so I didn't bring any attention to us from the street.

"So? What's up?" I was confused already as to why I was here, I didn't need to prolong this any further.

"I know seeing me at Harry's house yesterday would have come to you as a shock. I didn't like that I didn't get a chance to explain why and when Harry told me he didn't either, I didn't want you to think there was anything going on between us" she quickly spurts out. It did bring me relief hearing that they weren't together. But unfortunately, I think it raised a few more questions.

I chose Not to answer, or ask anything. I want her to continue, and she takes my silence as her que to continue.

"I understand you and Harry are going through a rough patch at the moment.."

I instantly cut her off.

"It's not a rough patch Kasey, we broke up. It's done" I correct her.

I'm so sick of everyone around me not thinking I can end things with Harry.

I can.

And I will.

"Louis, what's upsetting you most about Harry? Why did you leave him?" She asks and it's taking everything in me not to be sarcastic with her and Remark that she should know shouldn't she? The fact she's been spending all this time with him.

"Don't know why you care Kasey? What's it to you anyway? Reply back in a tasteless tone. I didn't really have anything against her to be fair, but at this current time she was the enemy. In every break up, the relationship splits in two, people are forced to choose a side. Seeing her with Harry, now coming to defend on his behalf, she chose his.

She exhales a long breath closing her eyes, like she's trying defeat whatever is holding her back. "I care about Harry, care about his well-being, he's a good person. He always has been. I've been with him every day this past week, I don't think you realise how much is hurting Louis."

I can't even pretend to admit that knowing Harry is hurting doesn't give me some sort of relief. A large part of me to had convinced myself that he didn't care. That me leaving him would've only irritated him as he no longer had control, not that he would be emotionally upset by it, hurt even.

"I didn't, I didn't want to hurt him Kasey. I've never cared about anyone like the way I care about him. I just couldn't do it any more. The lies, the deception, the arrogance, half of his life to me is a stranger." I admit.

A look of guilt washes over her face. She loses her eye contact with me and stares down at her lap, fiddling with the edging of her jacket.

She knew something.

"Whatever he has or hasn't told you Louis, I'm sure there's a good reason for it, he's only ever wanted to protect you" she mumbles almost completely underneath her breath.

"You know what he's hiding don't you!" I bellow towards her, struggling to contain the anger I feel right now. From my understanding, her and Harry were just friendly years ago, and since then, nothing, why is it that she knows more about Harry than what I do? I've spent years with this boy, and she had all of five minutes.

"It isn't my place to say Louis, I didn't bring you here so I could deceit Harry. I just, I've been with him this past week after what happened, and I don't think you understand how much he cares for you. I know he holds this strong persona around everyone, including you, but he adores you Louis, he needs you" the sincerity in her voice was unexpected, she, in a way, sounded upset. For Harry.

I shake my head and let my head drop into my hands. I was so confused, why was she telling me all of this? Why was she bothering? What was she hoping to get out of all of this?

"Louis? Are you in love with Harry? I'm not asking you if you love Harry, I'm asking you are you in love with him?" She asks unexpectedly. When she asked me this she returns her gaze on me. Like She's trying to read my expression or something.

I think for only a moment, every fibre of my body had an answer to that question before my mouth did. "I do" I breathe out "I'm so in love with him it's crazy." I let out a chuckled breath to myself, "I'm so in love with him Kase you don't understand."

"Then I suggest you trust him. What you think he's keeping from you isn't as bad as you think, he just need some time. If you really do love him, in the way that I think you do Louis, just be patient with him."

We hold each other's gaze for just a moment. Like we're both understanding the severity of the situation we are in. That she knows what I don't.

"I don't know if I can any more. It's hurting too much." I admit, but the realisation causing tears to form in my eyes. Harry doesn't understand that he's hurting me. For two years I have understood his boundaries, how much he has kept from me, how much he hides, but I don't think he knows that it hurts. It's hurting so much Harry.

She gives me a slow understanding nod. "He never wanted to hurt you Louis"

She goes to get out of the car knowing that there isn't much more she can say. But I get the sudden urge to let her in on something. "Do you know he's never said he loves me?"

She stops her movement as soon as her feet hit the ground. One hand still in the car door. She doesn't look back at me, but I know she's listening.

"I've told him, so many times but he only ever had a sly comment of 'of course you do' or 'I know' but he's never said it back. Two years Kasey, two full years and he's never said it. I don't think he cares about me as much as you think he does, or he's spilling you a whole bunch of bullshit so you feel sorry for him."

I hear her swallow before she continues her original motion of getting out of the car. Before she closes the door she puts her hand down on the top of the door and leans down to make eye contact again.

"Do you really need to hear it though to know it?" She cocks her head sideways.

My lips part to say something but nothing comes out.

She closes the door and disappears back up into her house.

I like her.

 

Chapter Text

Harry P.O.V

What the fuck!

I roll myself over in bed to glance at the clock to see it's 1:30am. Who the hell is banging on my door at 1:30 in the morning?

I rub the knuckle of my index finger into my right eye to try and wake myself up a little more.

Bang bang bang bang

"Alright, alright already" I call out to my unknown visitor. Soon as I get to the door and unhitch the lock, pulling it open, I'm starting to see a very drunk Louis standing in front of me.

"Louis what the fuck? It's 130 in the morning" I say with croaky voice.

He laughs at me taking another mouthful of the whiskey bottle he was holding his hand. "You can talk, how many times we rocked up to my house at this hour? I'm just returning the favour."

I let out a frustrated exasperation and open the door further, stepping aside letting him in. 

He stumbled into my apartment, finding himself a seat on the couch in the lounge room, kicking his feet up onto my coffee table, knocking over the empty coffee cup I had from before I went to bed. Watching it smash on the floor, but expression Louis's face didn't change at all.

He keeps his gaze on me, almost dumbfounded, like he's disappointed in me, staring up at me through the creases of his eyebrows. I make my way around the couch and sit on the one opposite him. The coffee table separating us. I watch him as he takes numerous amounts of mouthfuls of the alcohol. The bottle was almost empty, I wonder if it was full when he began?

"How can I help you Louis?" I asked annoyed tone. The nerve he had showing up here after everything he did. And yes I understand irony in that comment.

He chuckles loudly, holding his whiskey bottle to the sky like he was saluting someone, "how can you help me Mr Harry styles. That is the age old question isn't it. What can the Harry styles do for Louis Tomlinson?"

I don't answer him. I can see he's too drunk and too aggravated to deal with any of my sly comments right now. At this moment, he needs me to be quiet. He's obviously got a lot on his mind and he needs to get it out.

"Do you want to know something?" He asked me the small grin on his face what the answer was somehow amusing to him.

"What's that Louis?"

"You don't even love me. Two years of my life I have spent dealing with your shit, complying to your rules. And I told myself I did it all because I loved you. Which is true, I do. I love you more than I should have and more than you deserve. But I never realised how ridiculous I was, the person that I loved, never love me back."

You can hear the sadness in his voice as he comes to his own realisations through the sentences. He's obviously thought about this but I guess is all he hasn't said aloud yet. Because at the time he got to never loved me back was like the words were hurting to come out.

I still don't say anything. I don't know what to say in the situation to be fair. I just let out of breath sit back into the chair cross my legs one on top of the other on the coffee table mimicking his position "why do you think that Louis?"

"I don't just think of Harry. I know it. I've said it to you so many times, so many times. You never said it back. Then I got to thinking is maybe something you don't say, maybe something you show. I know the hard exterior you hold does not let people in, so maybe admitting to a emotion for someone, is something you don't do. But I thought about it, nothing you did showed me that you loved me either. That you cared for me, that you wanted me. Well wanted for something other than pleasure. You don't love me Harry, you never did. So why the hell am I so love with you?"

His voice returns to a whisper as he finishes his sentence, taking another big drink from the whiskey, finishing the bottle this time. He launches the bottle over his head and it smashes on the island bench in the kitchen behind him, I don't even look at it. I can understand his frustrations in this moment. And the shattered bottle in my kitchen doesn't even begin to explain the shattered mess that is sitting in front of me.

"I care about you Louis." I admit.

I do care about it of course I do. But he is right, I never did tell him if I love him or not. 

Truth is I don't know. 

What does love mean? To love someone? It's a waste for word if you asked me, an entrapment word, it's like the moment you say it, it's meant to fix everything. Love is a scapegoat for stupid behaviour, gives people rose coloured glasses, they find themselves altering their morals, wants and needs for the sole purpose of being able to say, I love someone. Seems like a stupid idea to me.

"You got a liquor?" He asked as he stands up and starts to walk towards the bar.

He knew I had liquor, when did I not. 

Louis' definitely had enough to drink tonight but, he's masking something. This is the way he needs to deal with emotions, at least he's safe here with me. For making him angry, he's only gonna go out and you could hurt him self, or someone else, least I can keep it on him. That's care isn't it?

He walks back in with one of my bottles of whiskey, at least he's not mixing. 

"What else you say to me Louis?" I asked as he sits back down on the couch. Returning to his usual position on the couch. 

Tosses a bottle of whiskey up so that it is poured down his throat, pulls it back down and wipes corner of his mouth looking at me with amusement in his eyes 

"You my therapist?" He breathes out staring at me directly in the face. I've known Louis for a long time, never seen this side of him though.

"Furthest thing from your therapist Louis, can't see me getting any sort of degree for that. The devil isn't meant to give advice, but I can sit here and listen to whatever it is is going on in that head of yours little bug. You don't tell me enough what you're thinking"

"Because what I thought never mattered." he shoots straight back. 

I furrow my eyebrows,  giving him a really look. "What you think matters Louis. Of course it does".

He lets out a chuckled breath through his nose and tilt his head back on the couch so he's looking up at the ceiling. But his eyes close, I can see that he about to pass out any minute. 

He takes another swig of the whiskey and places it on the coffee table in front of him moving his body over so he lays down on the couch, feet extended to the other end. His eyes are closed but I can tell that his brain is still ticking away.

"What made you get this drunk Louis?"

He doesn't open his eyes, but shifts his position a little. "It was hurting too much Harry. I just needed it to go away."

He turned his lips inside his mouth before letting them back open, his hand falls weightless on the couch. I think he's asleep.

I remove myself off my couch and kneel down in front of him, pushing back the hair from out of his eyes. Although he was asleep, most people are peaceful whilst they are sleeping but written all over his face was pain. What have I done?

"I'm so sorry little bug" I whisper to his unconscious body. "I hope wherever your mind takes you tonight, it's somewhere far away from me."

 

Chapter Text

Ergh, my head is thumping. 

 

I've woken this morning, at least I think it's morning, but I've woken absolutely hungover. I haven't felt this bad in such a long time, the last thing I remember is leaving Kasey's house and stopping off at the liquor store. Everything after that is a total blur. 

 

But as I woke in my own bed, I was slightly confused, as I have a feeling this isn't where I fell asleep. But I'm here, in my bed, but in last nights clothes. 

 

I clear my throat and wrap my hands through my oily hair, I really need to wash it. I left my head fall to my left to catch the time but my attention is focused on the glass of water and 2 Advil on the bedside table. 

 

I know me, and that's definitely not me, I am not that responsible to get myself pain killers before going to bed knowing I would need them in the morning. It just made this morning that much more confusing. 

 

I shuffle myself up to sit against the headboard, and throw the two pills back and swallow with a mouthful of water. 

 

My conversation with Kasey last night was needed, she is a little different from what I remember at school, she was quite the party girl back then. She had been head cheerleader, popular and came from wealth, but now, she seems to be settled. But I didn't see any evidence of the rumours, so I think the whole child thing was completely that, a rumour. 

 

I felt comfortable knowing that there was nothing going on between Kasey and Harry, she was generally just a friend to him, but that made me jealous, Harry doesn't have 'friends'. And from what she was saying, it sounds as if he had been opening up to her, something he never did with me. 

 

Today is Monday, and I'm meant to be going to school but this hangover is going to ruin me. I know I shouldn't have gotten that wasted on a Sunday night, but I just needed to forget things for a while, and it worked, I don't remember a thing about last night. 

 

I roll myself out of bed and throw on some new clothes after a quick shower, I was already going to be late for school, so I was definitely going to freshen up. 

 

I finally pull into the parking lot at school, English had already begun so I knew I was going to have to unfortunately walk in late. I walk up into main building, pulling the hood of my jacket over my head and leaving one of the headphones in as I walk through the threshold of the cult they call education. 

 

As I push open the door, the age of the building shows as it creaks loudly the further I get, causing all students and Miss Olsen to stare in my direction. Shit. 

 

I give her a polite nod and continue to my seat at the back, earning some smart arse comments from Niall and Liam in the row in front of me, to which I roll my eyes at their teasing. My head was still pounding and the nausea in my stomach from the hangover was churning.  

 

"Tardiness won't be tolerated Mr Tomlinson, you'll have to stay back after school" Miss Olsen, to my knowledge, hasn't had sex in years, hence the moodiness. 

 

"I can't, I have training"I shout back at her. 

 

"Yeah, there is no way you can get him missing training miss, we have grand final " Niall attempts to stand up for me before Olsen cuts him off. 

 

"Well, you can keep him company in detention as well Mr Horan" she quickly adds. 

 

"Wha-!" Liam cuts in. 

 

"Would you like to join them Mr Payne?" Geez, Olsen was on fire today. Liam quickly shuts his mouth.

 

Niall rolls his eyes at me referring to tight arse, I nod my head and chuckle in agreement. We really need to find her someone to release some of her stresses.  

 

The rest of lessons went by as per usual, I made an effort not to show up late to any of my other ones, I couldn't afford missing anymore than one practice.  I caught up with coach Baker at lunch and told him I would run some drills after detention on my own. 

 

Niall was hilarious in detention, asking her subtle questions about her sex life referring to it as fruit. Asking her if she liked to pick her own berries, that he enjoyed to pick his own fruit and she should try it. Poor thing had no idea what he was on about, but she was answering the questions honestly, which was sending Niall into fits of laughter. Which in turn was encouraging him way too much.

 

I went across to the empty field when I was finally finished with detention. I had to admit that I kind of was excited about the aspect of having the field to myself for a while. Gave me the opportunity to practice my shots. Work out a few different techniques. 

 

After working up a sweat running laps of the oval as a warmup, I set up a line of eight balls in a row, and practised target shooting at the net from all different angles.

 

After getting the last seven in, I lined up the eighth ball, keeping an eye on the goal. I paste myself back the four steps I needed to ensure a good run up, and just as I got there, about to connect my right foot with the ball, I was interrupted.

 

"Don't miss!" The loud bellowing came from behind me, causing me to miss step and punt the ball off to the right, missing the goal. 

 

I turn around to see his curly locks bouncing away as he jogged to me. 

 

"What are you doing here Harry" I roll my eyes as I turn around to gather all the balls up from the net, and one from far off right where I'd missed. 

 

"Niall said you were coming down here to practice, thought I should be here too, seeing as though we are both captain and all." He teases as if it were an obvious answer. 

 

I chose not to answer, I simply lightly kick all the balls back to the same area I was at before to line them back up. Harry gracefully helping set them into a line, using his foot as the guide. 

 

"How's the hangover?" He asks out of no where. 

 

Oh my god. Of course. 

 

"It was you!" I shout "you set the pain killers and water this morning didn't you?" I ask him, but well aware of the answer. 

 

He just holds his hands above his head like proving his innocence and shrugged. 

 

I shake my head in frustration before retrieving the last ball with my hands and walking back into place. 

 

"Why were you at my house Harry?" I query. 

 

"Could ask you the same thing" He immediately responds. 

 

 "What?" I ask with a puzzled look. 

 

"You came to my house Louis, I simply just took you home" there's a certain soreness to his tone, almost like he's embarrassed. 

 

I get almost immediate flashbacks to last night, the whisky, the poor me act, the whining. Dammit. 

 

"Oh, umm, I was drunk Harry, don't take anything I said personally, I bet I was just spilling a lot of shit" I quickly feel remorse. I'm getting flashbacks to my behaviour, not so much the dialogue. But I remember sounding pathetic. 

 

Harry slightly chuckles as he runs his hands back through his hair. "Don't worry about it Louis" he reassures in an unconvincing tone.

 

He takes a few running steps forward and connects with the first ball sending it straight into the net. 

 

“According to you, apparently nothing you say matters to me anyway” he mumbles before sending the second ball after the first, gaining another perfect shot. 

 

I look up at him with wide eyes. That’s something I definitely thought before but never said to him, unless that’s one of the things that came out last night. 

 

“Oh, Harry, I um-“ I stumble out like a moron. 

 

Harry toe punts the third ball sending it high into the air before scissor kicking his legs and with great force watching the ball fly forcefully thought the air and into the top left corner. 

 

“Goodnight Louis” he announces just after the ball makes it into the net and he starts jogging back away from the goals and where we were standing. 

 

I watch as he jogs casually away. Wondering why he came down in the first place. 

 

“And for the record. What you think matters to me more than anyone” I hear him shout as he reaches the top of the hill off to the side of the field. 

 

I whip my head around to see him standing there; almost in complete silhouette, before he turns and disappears out of sight, barely allowing my jaw time to pick itself up off the floor. 

Chapter Text

Harry P.O.V

"What do you mean there's nothing they can do? Kasey! There has to be something?" I gasp out in horror as I shift myself up closer to her on the couch.

She looks at me with a mixture of heartbreak and empathy, like she was feeling for us both in this moment.

"It's just too late Harry, I'm sorry, I didn't know until it was too late" she attempts to explain through her body consuming her in emotion

"It's just too late Harry, I'm sorry, I didn't know until it was too late" she attempts to explain through her body consuming her in emotion.

She had thought it was just a flu, something Willow had brought home from daycare, but when her cough didn't go away after 3 weeks, the persistent ache in her chest and then the final straw coughing up blood at work last week, she finally went in for testing to find out she was in stage 3 lung cancer. The same thing her grandmother had passed from only a few years before.

"How long?" I whisper almost completely under my breath.

"Harry, I'm going to be trying this new form of chemotherapy because the doctor said that surgery was -"

"HOW LONG?!" I cut her off and shout in frustration, realising that I have skipped from hurt to angry incredibly fast.

"HOW LONG?!"  I cut her off and shout in frustration, realising that I have skipped from hurt to angry incredibly fast

"Harry please, please don't be mad at me" her voice echoing the hurt I'm feeling as well.

I'm not angry at her. That's insane. I was angry at the world. She was the most selfless person I knew, this couldn't happen to her.

"The expectancy is up to five years but based on my condition and how my symptoms seem to be rapidly increasing; Doctor Lin thinks 12 months."

I can barely contain myself now. Twelve months? That's all I had left? That's all Willow had left with her mother? There was so much that Kasey would miss; going to big school, first boyfriends, graduation, wedding, grandchildren. All of it. The person who deserved to see it the most would miss it.

Life is so cruel.

"You need to be there for Willow, Harry. You can't let her down. She will need you now, you have to; you can't give up on her, for me, please you need to be here" she quickly rambles off her chest without taking a breath. Desperation in her eyes.

"Hey, hey" I attempt to sooth, positioning myself right next to her now, wrapping an arm around her shoulder and pulling her down towards me so her head burrows onto my chest as she sobs out. "It will all be okay Kase, it has to be, I'll make sure it is. I'll be here, for both of you" I reassure.

Neither of us say anything for a few moments. There's nothing to say. Both of us know what is coming, whether we want it to or not. But neither of us knew how to approach this in the right way. I don't want it to sound like I'm killing her off and she doesn't want to feel unprepared.

"Kasey, you can beat this, you have to beat this, I can't- we can't do this without you. Willow needs you.. I need you. I don't know how to do this without you." I mumble as my check rests on the top of her head. I can feel her tears slowly seeping through my cotton shirt as each moment passes.

"I wish that were the case, but I think you and I both know that surviving this is some abstract reality that we aren't living in" she attempts to add a soft touch to her harsh truth.

I sink further into the couch, letting my head rest of the back of the couch as she shifts in place bringing her head up to my shoulder rather than my stomach. None of this felt real, and I was frightened that it wouldn't ever feel real, it couldn't. Although tears were making their way freely out of my eyes, I was trying my best to regulate my breathing and chest isolations to keep her from seeing my hurt.

"I'm so sorry Kasey" I finally manage to say. I don't know why I felt like an apology was needed, I didn't do this to her, but she definitely didn't deserve this. Lung cancer out of everything, she didn't smoke, she barely drank, sure she did years ago, but name a teen that wasn't. Since finding out she was pregnant with Willow she was practically the spokesperson for healthy living.

"Yeah, me too Harry" she breaths out.

She informed me that she didn't want to tell Willow, that she wouldn't understand anyway. That when the time eventually came she would tell Willow that she was taking a holiday to live on the clouds, and she would get to spend time with Daddy. How do you even explain to your daughter that her mother is dying? There's never a good way to say that.

I respected Kasey's wish and decision to keep it from Willow, for them to enjoy whatever time they had left with one another in the way that Kasey wanted to. She was the absolute best mother to our little girl and that was a role that I was certainly terrified in filling.

"You're going to have to tell Louis you know?" she quickly adds in, forcing her chin up to look at me with her head still on my shoulder.

I breath out heavily. "I will eventually" I admit.

"Harry, you've given me that same answer since the day the strip turned pink" she advises with humour.

"Yeah I know, give me a break" I tease.

"You're on the clock this time Harry, just remember that" I knew she was right, tell me a time that she isn't.

Louis would be understanding of this situation, not son much of me hiding the past few years, but definitely the having to take care of children part. He took on the exact role of his siblings when his mother died, so he would have a heap of experience, but I don't know if he would actually forgive me for keeping this from him.

Besides Kasey, he is one of the most understanding people I know, but I worry this may be too much for even him.

"Kasey, can I ask you something?" I whisper.

She takes her head off her shoulder and turns around, gripping both my heads inside of her. "Of course Harry, anything"

"What if I tell him, and he never forgives me?" I breath out without making eye contact. I wasn't really ever a person who spoke about feelings, but if there was one person I was most comfortable around, it was Kasey.

"Harry" she exhales "Louis loves you. He has loved you for years, despite everything. He knows your hiding things from him, yet he loves you anyway" she surprisingly admits. How does she know what Louis feels?

She must have realised my confusion as she quickly adds. "Harry, I need to tell you something but you can't get mad"

I don't answer, I just raise my eyebrows at her giving her the go ahead look.

"I asked Louis to come and see me the other night, don't worry he didn't see Willow, I met him outside, but I did talk to him" she admits.

It answers a lot of questions about Louis drunk visit to me. To be fair, I wasn't mad, I knew she would have done it for reasons that were coming from a decent place, she isn't the malicious type.

"And what'd he say?" I ask out of curiosity.

"Nothing really, just that he didn't want to hurt you, but he was sick of the lies, I asked if he was in love with you and he said yes. He also said that you've never said it back to him, which didn't really surprise me, but I was sad for him" she quickly rambles a summary of the conversation.

I nod slowly at her admission.

"So, in answer to your question, I think he would forgive you. You just need to respect him enough with the truth, and he will reward you with his forgiveness"

But what if your wrong Kasey? I couldn't bare to burst her little hopeful bubble she was in right now, plus, she says we still have 12 months, I have a whole year to figure all of this out. Its surely got to give me more clarity as time goes on.

I pull her in for another hug, I normally wasn't someone who enjoyed being embraced by another person, unless it was Willow, but that was different, but something about tonight, made me want to be close with Kasey. Not romantically or anything, but she with her. As close as I could be. I cared for this woman, I loved her, in a way that she was the mother of my child, I think I would even go as far to say that she was my best friend.

How the hell am I going to lose her?

How the hell am I going to lose her?

 

Chapter Text

It's Friday, grand final is tomorrow and Harry has been so different all week, he's been walking around here as if the lights are on but no one is home. He has this distance in his eyes and he seems to be distancing himself from everyone.

He's been turning up to all of his classes, and coming to rehearsal, but he just I don't know, he's different. I can't quite put my finger on it, but he's just different.

I've been sitting here in my bed contemplating calling Harry, I've also been contemplating calling Kasey, she seems to be close enough to him after our last chat, I wonder if he had been confiding in her this past week.

Someone needs to make sure he has his head screwed on right for tomorrows game, but it's about more than that, I need to make sure he's okay, just for his sake. I don't like it when he is like this.

I turn suddenly when I hear my door opening to see Hollie standing there looking almost terrified.

"Hey kiddo, you alright?" I ask her, gesturing her to come sit with me.

She walks up holding her blanket tight in her hand and sucking on her thumb. "I miss mummy" she whimpers.

I let out a long exaggerated breath. I didn't know how to fix that one for her. I wish I could, more than anything I wish I could bring our mum back to them right now. With everything going on, and graduating high school this year, I found myself not making any plans for my future, these girls are my future. I didn't trust them with dad, to make sure they would be okay, to have everything they need. But I also don't want to build up any resentment towards them.

"Oh honey, I miss her too. I miss her more than anything." It was strange though, she died in childbirth so I didn't know how to comfort the girls when they missed her. As it wasn't a physical person they were missing, rather the idea of a mother. Every little girl needs her mum.

"Tell me again what she was like?" She asked me on a low voice. The story that her and Pip heard many times before, one they never got tired of hearing, one I never got tired of telling.

A smile gently crept its way across my face as 1000 memories come flooding back through my mind. "Well she was exactly like you, beautiful, smart, caring, gave the best cuddles just like you, she was an amazing mum, and she was so excited for you and Pip to be born. I found her often talking to you. Should sit in the Princess Bed that's in your room, she would tell you stories that all the things you would be, she loves you both so much."

"Is it my fault she's dead?" Her question caught me off guard. 

"Why would you say something like that?" I gasp at her.

"They say mummy died giving birth to us. Does that mean if I wasn't born, mummy would still be alive.?" she asks in a saddened tone. 

How long earth do you answer a question like that? The logical behind it is, yeah that's true they were complications during birth that were out of everyone's control but I also know mum, she would've willingly given up her life for those two girls, for any of us three, it's just the type of person she was.

"Was never your fault Hollie, don't think that. It wasn't because you were born that she died. That was just the last thing she wanted to do before it was her time. She wanted more than anything for you and Pip to live, so it was the last thing she made sure she did before she joined Nanny and Poppy up in heaven."

"Do you think she watches us?" My smile got a little bit wider, only because it's something I think about often.

"Cause she does! She's always watching, she would be so proud of you and Pip. She's always with us Hollie, even when we can't see her, just close your eyes and she'll be there."

I feel her nod against my chest from where she was cuddling into me, but I could feel her body going limb. "Come on now, let's get you back into bed" 

I replace one hand on the lower of her back and another one below her knees lifting her up and carrying her cradle style back into her room placing her down on the bed next to Pip. They snuggle close together with their foreheads almost touching, a position the two of them had been in since they were born. They slept like this is newborns, and continue to do so. I'm glad they had each other.

I shut the door quietly, leaving just a little gap to let the light flooding from the hallway. Go back to my room gather my jacket, I've decided to head over to Harry's place. Whatever is going on, he is different. I don't know what's going on between he and I at the moment, but that's nothing new, I never know. But I do know he needs me right now.

So I pull up out the front of Harry's house and I can see that his light is on in his room but for the rest of the house is in darkness. There is a tree beside Harry's house that leads up onto the balcony in front of his room. Harry had often snuck me up there earlier on in our relationship when we want to late night visits.

I hoist myself up onto the different branches until finally reaching the top, climbing over the railing of the balcony, landing 2 feet softly on the wooden palings below. I can see Harry sitting on his bed, his back up against the headboard, reading a book. I never saw Harry read, its something that I thought he didn't enjoy.

I use the very tip of my index finger to place two quick taps into the glass door. Causing his head to immediately turn in my direction. I give a shy little wave and force a small smirk to come across my face, even though I know he's probably confused to see me. 

"What are you doing here Louis?" He questioned as he opens the door

"Just thought we could have a chat. Haven't spoken to you all week." I quietly say as I enter his room following him in and sitting on the edge of his bed as he returns to his seat going straight back to the position in his book, ignoring my presence.

"I'm going to be at the game tomorrow if that's what you're worried about" he says in a sarcastic demeanour.

"I wasn't, wasn't worried about that. I was worried about you."

He doesn't look up at me, "worried about me?" He lets out a light chuckle that I know is so forced, "nothing to worry about here little bug. I'm just dapper."

"You said, you said what I think matters to you Harry. Did you mean that?" I ask him out of the blue. This time he does make eye contact with me, closing his book and placing it down next to him, shuffling his body to move closer to me. I can't help but feel the tightening in my lower stomach as he gets closer. Even when he's sad and he looks weak, he still has his hold over me.

"Yeah, I meant it"

"Goes both ways Harry. What you think, matters to me. So if there's something on your mind, something it's making you down, I want to help." I confess in a low tone. 

There's a certain softness that comes across Harry's eyes. If I didn't know any better I'd say he was about to cry. But that's not the Harry that I know. But he does look like he's opening up to me, which is confusing me. I'm caught up when he reaches his hand over to mine which are placed in my lap. "Do you really mean that?" He asked me almost as low as a whisper.

"Of course I do Harry. I care about you, more than anyone, I want to help you." I reassure him turning my hand so I'm able to entangle our fingers together. Rubbing the course of my thumb up and down his palm.

He opens his mouth to speak but we were interrupted by headlights shining through his window. Harry's face drops as if he seen a ghost. He quickly runs out to the balcony to see who is here. Shit I hear him curse underneath his breath.

"Shit shit shit shit", he repeats as he comes back into the room pacing around quickly snatching his phone from the bedside table pushing through but for your buttons and hold it up to his ear. "Kasey stay there! Don't come out yet! Louis is here!"

He quickly hangs up and throws phone back down onto the bed "Louis you need to go." he almost shouts at me. 

My mouth drops open at him "What do you mean I have to go? Why is Kasey here?"

"Louis, I can't explain, please, I just I need you to go, please."  There's so much desperation in his voice. Something, something else going on here, something to do with Kasey.

"Harry, I don't understand." I lunge myself forward grabbing either side of his face and brushing my lips up against his "stop pushing me away" I whisper.

His eyes clench shut tightly. "Louis" he mumbles under his breath, "please I just need you to go I'm okay. Thank you for coming over, I really appreciate it. I mean it when I say I need you to go. Please, please, just go."

I let my hand slowly down from the sides of his face letting them fall between us. We only made eye contact for only a moment and we both look as hurt as each other. I don't know what it is, but looking at his face is like he doesn't want me to leave. It's like he needs me to leave.

"If that's what you want Harry. I'll go."

I walk back out to the balcony, climbing down the tree that I'd come up. I don't even go near Kasey's car. I felt like she was playing some game with me. To call me over to say that Harry cared about me and all the other bullshit she was feeding me and then to come to his house so late at night. It's like she was setting me up to fail. But she wanted to watch me get hurt.

Instead, I run across the other side the lawn back towards the direction of my house. Can't do this whiplash emotion any more. 

Something needs to give.

 

Chapter Text

"Tommo down the left" Liam calls out from down the edge of the side line. 

 

I quickly flash my gaze down to him to see that he's open and take the opportunity to dart around the 2 opposing players coming in my direction. 

 

The ball glides effortlessly parallel along the side line and reaches Liam's awaiting foot. 

 

"Go Payno!" I scream as he immediately changes directions and runs full belt down toward our goal. Harry and Zayn are running with him to offer support. 

 

There's only 10 minutes remaining in the final match of the year, the final match of my entire high school life, and to be honest, I didn't know whether I would ever play again. We were currently down by 2, so we really needed a miracle in these next 10 minutes. If this was going to be the last game I ever played, I was sure as hell going to win it. 

 

There were another three guys chasing Liam down and Niall immediately caught my gaze, both of sharing the same worry in our eyes. 

 

"HARRY! behind you on the left!" Niall calls out to warn him. 

 

Harry immediately stops following Liam and goes directly to mark one of the players. 

 

Liam picks up his speed and is only meters away from the goal when he decides to take the shot. We all hold our breath in anticipation as he uses all his force to boot for the top right corner of the net. 

 

The goalie dives in the direction of the ball and it clips off his fingertips and pushes it back out of the goal, I suck in another breath but widen my vision when I see Zayn connecting his foot with the rebounded ball and hurling it into the bottom left corner.

 

Going straight in. 

 

YES!!! 

 

The entire team go sprinting toward Zayn as Harry and Liam take him down, crash tackling him to the ground. We all jump on top of the human pile that’s being formed next to the goals! 

 

Now we are only 1 point behind with 7 minutes on the clock. 

 

We can do this! 

 

I finally reach the stack and jump on top, landing on a random body and cheering with my mates, my hand comes in contact with one of the team mates, I glance over to see my fingers held in between Harry’s grasp. 

 

I look at him as he looks at me and there’s a moment of almost awkwardness between us. 

 

He lets go the moment he realises who’s hand he’s trapped and offers a awkward smile. The teams cheering is drowned out by our momentary tension. He always had the ability to do this. Make himself the focus in my eye whatever room we were in. Bombs could be going off and I would ever see is him. 

 

The team regathers their positions and we all know the mission at hand. One more goal, at least, is needed to tie and then we go to shoot out. 

 

We can do this. 

 

The other team starts and they attempt to get around our strongest defence line. 

 

Harry manages to snag the ball and he’s running full pelt up the middle, Niall and I are racing after him to keep up. Fuck that little shit is fast. 

 

He takes the ball all the way up the field and manages to duck past all of their defence. It’s just he and the goalie now, Niall and I there for numbers. 

 

He flicks the ball up and bicycle kicks it sending it straight through the legs of the goalie. 

 

The goalie stands there looking stunned that just happened. Looking up at Harry with his jaw opened. Harry being Harry just offers him the nice middle finger as well as a sarcastic smile. 

 

Fuck. 

 

That was an amazing run. He did that entire thing by himself. He really was an amazing player!! 

 

Niall and I jump onto his back to congratulate him. 

 

“Fucking hell Styles, what a goal lad!” Niall admires. 

 

“That was sick Harry!” I offer my own support which is received with an appreciative smile. 

 

The rest of the team offer their own pats on the back and we all waste no time getting straight back into position. 

 

Harry looks over to me making eye contact, making circle motions with his hands and then pointing between us and then a ‘chatterbox’ finished with a thumbs up. 

 

I knew exactly what that meant. 

 

I nod in agreement and shout to Niall “Horan! We’re going for a 28 Defence” 

 

Niall nods and runs around the back of Liam into position. 

 

28 Defence was a play that Harry and I had made up in junior year. It’s worked every single time. It would be amazing if we could finish the season on it being successful one more time. 

 

The whistle blows and Harry runs with the ball up a small way before stepping over it and using his heel to send it back to Niall, Harry and myself start our sprint to the other end of the field waiting for Niall to send the ball flying towards us in a strong toe punt. 

 

As planned, it comes flying toward Harry, he uses his chest to bounce it off him before kicking it over to me. As soon as it bounces right in front of me as rehearsed I send it back to Harry immediately. 

 

We watch the opposition play pinball with their heads trying to keep an eye on the ball. 

 

Niall’s made his way up to our end, positioning himself for the next part. 

 

Harry ducks around the defence line and kicks the ball back to Niall. 

 

Niall toe punts the ball up so it hits perfectly on the cross bar of the goals, all rehearsed, and I sprint into position, collecting my head with the ball on its rebound sending it straight into the top right corner. 

 

Goal. 

 

Just as the final whistle sounds. 

 

Oh. 

 

My. 

 

God. 

 

We won!  

 

Harry, Niall and I stand frozen just staring at each other in shock. It fucking worked! 28 Defence fucking worked!!! 

 

Niall’s runs over to me and before I can even comprehend what’s happening his body weight is being flung into my mid section and I’m forced flat on my back. My sight immediately coming blinded by the rest of my team jumping on top! 

 

We fucking did it. 

 

* 

 

Harry’s being spoken to by one of the scouts that were here watching the game. It really doesn’t surprise me. Every single college in the state is going to want him after that. 

 

I leave him to it and head for the showers. I’m secretly jealous that I wasn’t spoken to, but I can’t go anyway, I have to stay here with the girls so I wouldn’t take it even if it was offered. But sometimes it’s good for the ego just to have the option isn’t it. 

 

As the cool water runs over the top of my head, it’s still not sunk in that we actually just won our finals. 

 

“Tomlinson, party at mine. See you there yeah?” I hear Niall call out from the locker room door 

 

“Fucking course! See you there!” I shout back. 

 

I cannot wait to party tonight. I can’t decide which party would be messier, the celebratory one, or the some we drink our sorrows away with if we lost. 

 

But I’m so glad we would be partying with the former. 

 

“Oh sorry; I didn’t think anyone was in here” I use my hands to remove the water droplets from my face, to face the familiar voice from behind me. 

 

“Harry, no that’s okay. I was just finishing up. Good game tonight!” I reply. 

 

I’m still not comfortable with all this awkwardness between us. It’s weird. But it’s the way it has to be. It’s the way it’s always going to be with us. 

 

He rubs his hand across the back of his neck and looks away from my direction “yeah, thanks. You too” 

 

“Got some college offers I’m guessing. You deserve it” I say as I switch off the water, grabbing my towel and wrapping it around my waist. 

 

“Kinda, I’m not going to college though” he replies. 

 

I don’t think my mouth could have dropped any further if I forced it. 

 

“Harry, what the fuck. The last 2 years all you’ve talked about was getting accepted, full scholarship. What do you mean you aren’t going?” I gasp out. 

 

It’s true; as long as I’ve known Harry he always had massive plans to attend college; full ride on a football scholarship. That’s what the goal was. Always had been. 

 

“Yeah, well, things change”  he quickly replies before pushing the locker room door open, hearing it slam against the brick wall behind it makes me jump. 

 

I didn’t understand. 

 

Whatever the fuck is going on with Harry must be pretty serious for him to give up on college. 

 

Chapter Text

Harry P.O.V

"How are you feeling? Are you in any pain?" I ask her, attempting to contain my obviously breaking heart.

We were told 12 months, but it's only been 2 and it seems as if Kasey is fading away faster from me than I can keep up. It's like I'm trying so hard to hold on so tightly to her and she just continues to slip through my fingertips.

She flutters her eyes open, offering me the most undeserved smile and shakes her head. "No, I'm not in any pain Harry. Nothing has changed from the last time you asked me... 2 minutes ago" she teases.

I let out a breath, "Sorry, I just-" I'm cut off by her placing her hand inside of my own and giving it a gentle squeeze.

"Hey, you don't need to apologise Harry, I really appreciate everything you've done for me. What time is it? Willow will be finishing daycare soon" she asks, quickly searching around for her phone.

"It's only 2:15, I'll go get her in an hour. How about you rest? Do you need me to get anything from the store?" I offer, knowing that this cancer has been completely taking over her entire energy source.

Her eyes gaze up to the corner as she thinks. "Yeah, actually could you grab some things to make beef casserole.? Been craving one for ages. If you go now, you can pick up Willow on the way home." She suggests. I can't help but smile, beef casserole is something that I use to make for her whilst she was pregnant, it was her strongest craving, I felt I was doing my 'part' by learning to make it and separating it into containers for her to reheat. I regret not doing more for her through the last few years. 

I agree with her and give her a soft kiss on the top of the head as I leave. As I get into the parked car in the driveway, I take a moment, hands resting on the steering wheel and taking deep breath. I can tell she's at the end. Everything in me knows that Kasey's time is running out. What scares me as a graduate in two months, exams in two weeks. The timing of all this is scaring me. Not for my own inconveniences, that doesn't bother me at all, I'm not a monster. I just really thought that we had more time. Starting to wonder whether or not going back to school is even a good idea at all. Kasey is gonna need me these next couple of weeks and I can't be preoccupied with school.

I wipe away a rebel tear that snuck its way out and back out of the driveway slowly making my way to the store.

Basket in hand, I walk around gathering the necessary items. I've thrown in some extra snacks and treats that I know Willow will like. Re-stocked up on the Tea that Kasey likes so much and grabbed a few beer bottles for myself. 

"Harry?" I hear a familiar voice come from behind me as I'm standing at the fruit section. "Oh hello, Louis."

"Where have you been? I haven't seen you since game day. You've hardly been at school is everything okay?" No matter how badly I treat this boy, he's always been the nicest to me. Just another example of something in my life that is better than I deserve.

"Oh yeah, no I'm good, great game by the way. I'm so glad we won our final." I try and divert the subject away from the attention of my absence from school. My guidance counsellor knows what's going on. Miss Kilpatrick has known the entire time, thank God for student teacher confidentiality hey. When Kasey was giving birth, she helped me get through my studies as well. She's trying her best to get me through my finals but I think she knows that Kasey's condition is only getting worse. And that the possibility of me not being at my finals is becoming more likely, every day that passes.

"Yeah was it was a great game." His eyes keys down to my basket in the contents that are in it. "Having a party? Grandma party by the looks of it" he teases as he picks up the four boxes of teabags that I've collected.

"Yeah my grandmother needed some more. I'm dropping them to the nursing home on my way back." I lie, sad thing was is that every time I divert my life, keeping the two separate, the lies are getting easier and easier to say. Like lying has become a part of my reality. A way of not admitting my truth. But Louis, he says right through it.

"Didn't know you are back in contact with your grandmother? I thought things were still tense after your mother-" 

"Louis it's really none your business okay. I'm not questioning why you've got three bottles of Gatorade, chocolate bars, a loaf of bread and coconut milk in your basket. Those things hardly go together, you don't see me questioning your whereabouts. It was good to see you Louis. Take care."

I quickly cut him off. I couldn't even tell you what is going on in our relationship anymore. I wanted to be with him, I've always wanted to be with him. I could never see myself with anyone else, but I can't do this to him. Knowing that I'll now be here with Willow, taking care of her, she needs my complete attention and I could never ask Louis to give up on his life to come and be stuck in mine. 

I've been trying to push him away for a while, but then we have moments like my house, like the football field after detention, like the locker room. I just can't stay away no matter how hard I try. 

Louis and I have always had this thing with our relationship where I challenge him. I'm the dominate one and Louis is my submissive, he likes to challenge me every now and again, but I've always been the strong one, the one who has his shit together, but this time it's different. Everything in me is different. 

I'm weak, knowing I'm about to lose Kasey, and with that, losing Louis, I'm weak. 

I feel vulnerable and I feel afraid. I need him, I need him and I'll never be able to tell him that. 

I need him to comfort me and tell me what to do. I need him to say it's all going to be okay. I need him to tell me that he loves me and that he'll always be here. I need to be able to fall helplessly into his arms and let him hold my strengths. I need him to save me. 

But he doesn't want that Harry. He wants to be my little bug, and who am I to him if I'm not the person I've been the last 2 years? 

 

Chapter Text

Harry P.O.V

Time, it's a strange thing isn't it? Sometimes we feel like it flies by, and sometimes we feel like it drags on for longer than we want it to.

We take advantage of time; we rush around in our day to day life and not appreciate the smallest of blessings that every morning offers us.

Like warmth from the sun, the simple radiating heat on your skin as the summers air makes its appearance.

Kasey hasn't seen the sun in two weeks. She hasn't been able to get up from bed since the morning after the beef casserole. I opened her curtains to let the light in; but it's warmth couldn't reach where she was in the bed. Perhaps I need to move the room around to allow her to feel it's warmth.

She was trying so hard to stay strong, to stay positive, but we both knew that she was tired. Willow was so innocent to the whole thing, she didn't understand. It was hard to be strong for her all the time though. I knew that she would always have me, she wouldn't be alone, but I know I could never compare to Kasey in her eyes. 

"Harry?" Kasey's weakened voice breaks through her pale lips. I've noticed over the last few days they are slowly losing their colour with the rest of her face as well.

"Yeah Kasey, I'm right here" I offer as I move up beside her on the bed, placing my arm around her shoulders as she falls against my chest. 

It's about 11:30 at night. She's been asleep for almost 8 hours by now. 

"Can you get Willow? Bring her in here with us?" My throat immediately goes dry. I knew what this meant, we had discussed it briefly. I didn't want to fight with her on it, if its what she needed, it meant she was ready. But I didn't know if I was. I didn't know if I was ever going to be. 

I don't reply to her, I couldn't construct the words. I just slip myself out of bed and return momentarily with Willow scooped up in my arms. I place her down gently on the bed next to Kasey and she snuggles her up to the side of her. I walk back around the other side of the bed and jump in behind Kasey. As planned. 

I quickly updated her nurse and she arrived in only a few minutes, I couldn't believe it was time. I couldn't do this. Ever since she told me she was sick, I knew this day was coming. I knew it would be here faster than I ever wanted it to. But now that it was here, now that we are laying here in the position, the position she planned, the one she wanted to take her last breaths in. We were here, as a family, our family, my family. 

As I lay there, with my two girls inside my arms, all I could do was close my eyes and appreciate the sounds of their breath. Willow's breath, Kasey's breath, and mine. All floating around the room, together. Something as simple as a breath, the representation of life. I squeeze my eyes such tighter and appreciate that, that in this moment, we were here together. 

Capturing this moment and knowing that after tonight, it would only be a memory. I needed to save it. 

"Harry?" she whispers, shifting her head so she is now facing the ceiling instead of the back of Willows head. 

I simply just made a noise of recognition. My throat still too dry to answer. 

"In my top drawer of the bedside table, there's letters for Willow. I have written instructions on the front of them. There's one in there for you as well." her instructions were clear but her voice was weak and inaudible. 

I can't hold in my breath any longer or regulate its control. I can no longer control the tears that have made their way to the surface. I nod my head, I know in this situation its important for her to know that whatever she wants is understood. 

"Promise me you'll take care of her Harry. You are all she is going to have now. And I need you to promise me, you'll be there" I can hear in her voice she's getting upset. 

She needs whatever strength I have right now for her. 

"Kasey, I promise you. I won't let either one of you down. And she is going to exactly how beautiful and strong and amazing her mother is. How much she loves her and how proud she is of her. I promise you Kasey, Willow will grow up knowing you, neither one of us will ever forget you. Please don't worry about that" 

It felt wrong to say these things, like I was forcing a goodbye. But I knew it was important for her. 

** 

Time, its a strange thing isn't it. 

In the final hour of Kasey's life, I made promises that I knew I would keep for a lifetime. 

In the final minutes of Kasey's life, I cried more tears with her than I ever felt possible in my life. 

In the final seconds of Kasey's life, I held the two most important people in my arms as tightly as I could as they pronounced her gone. 

I watched as Willow slept through the entire thing, unknowing that her entire world had just fallen from beneath her. I would do my absolute best to keep things as normal as possible for her, but nothing could ever replace Kasey. 

We take advantage of time; we rush around in our day to day life and not appreciate the smallest of blessings that every morning offers us. But in this moment, I didn't want morning to come. The morning that was due to make its appearance in only a small matter of hours would bring about change, it would bring a whole new life, I had new responsibilities. The sun was going to rise regardless of the horror that had come through the night. 

The sun was going to highlight it's warmth over the world when mine was completely shattered. 

It was making it harder to appreciate the little things in life when I just lost the biggest thing in mine, and Willow lost the most important thing to her. 

The funeral home had come and collected the body and I was left pacing around the living room. I didn't know what the next step was. I felt like the last few months I was just preparing for her death and now that she was gone, I didn't know what I was meant to do now. 

What am I meant to do?

I need someone to tell me what to do. 

I held the phone up to my ear, after checking the 3:30am time stamp. I wasn't sure if calling was a good idea or not, but I didn't know what I was meant to do right now, but I knew exactly what I needed. 

"Harry?"

"Hi Lou"

 

Chapter Text

Waking up to Harry's phone call at 3:30 in the morning wasn't completely out of the ordinary. He would do it a lot in the earlier parts of our relationship when he was feeling extra horny in the middle of the night. But when I answered the phone and his soft voice broke through the receiver, I was caught off guard.

"Harry?" I asked as a answered still half asleep.

"Hi Lou"

"Everything okay Haz?" I ask, expecting his usual sexual comments.

"I need you" his voice was broken and drowned out by what sounded like tears.

"I'm coming" I insisted right away.

"Lou, promise me, you'll just be here. Don't ask me any questions please. I just need you" he sounded so broken. Of course I didn't understand what he meant but when do I ever. And for Harry to admit that he needed me; I couldn't walk away.

He asked me to meet him in the park across the road from Kasey's house. I wondered what he was doing there so late at night, early in the morning, whichever way you want to look at it.

As I pulled my car up to the side, letting my lights flood through the deserted park; I see his obvious figure sitting perched on top of the picnic table.

I turn the car off, leaving the headlights on so I don't accidentally smack head first into a tree and make my way swiftly towards Harry.

As soon as I am in his eye line I can see the brokenness I heard on the phone written all across his face. His eyes that were swollen and red were completely full of tears. I lunge myself to stand between his legs and wrap my arms tightly around his neck, causing his body to fall willingly into me.

It only takes a small amount of hesitation before he returns the embrace and wraps his arms around my midsection and burying his face deep into my neck where I can feel him letting out broken sobs.

Harry was hurting.

I have never seen him like this before. But he is completely broken.

We stay in this position for what feels like the longest amount of time.

"I'm here Harry, I'm here. Everything will be okay. I've got you" I attempt to offer the most supportive words I can think of; unsure if they are words he even wants to understand.

Harry's breakdown isn't letting up and watching him completely breakdown in my arms is introducing me to an entirely new side of Harry. The soft, vulnerable side. You've got to laugh at the irony of it, I didn't think he had this side to him. I shouldn't be feeling almost joyful that I now know he contains his side of him whilst his world seems to be completely crumbling.

All I could do was continue to repeat the words to him over and over again. The tension he held on me remained the same and it felt like he was holding onto me as if I could slip away from him at any moment. 

Everything in me wanted to find out what was wrong? What had happened? Had he had a fight with Kasey? Was it about college? Was it not being able to graduate? I heard the rumours at school today that Harry wasn't eligible to graduate due to his attendance and not showing up to his exams. 

But it seemed like more, it seemed like something more than any of those things had happened to cause this response from Harry. This wasn't a normal cry to signify 'I'm hurt', this type of emotion signified 'I'm broken'. 

"Lou?" his sniffled voice mumbles against my neck. 

"What is it Harry?" I ask in the softest voice I can. Not wanting to sound like I was prying for information. 

He doesn't answer me, but I can hear that whatever he is trying to say is sitting right at the tip of his tongue, he's trying so hard to regulate his breathing and choke down all his emotions just so he could talk to me. 

"Louis?" he mumbles again, this time more desperately as his grip around me tightens. 

He's scaring me now. I can't fix what I don't know is broken. 

"I'm right here Harry" I reply. Using the tips of my fingers to stroke through the back of his hair, something I know that he likes. 

"Tell me you'll never leave me." he responds instantly. Desperate. 

I freeze my fingertips inside of his hair. 

He moves his face out of my neck and places our foreheads together, grasping the sides of my jaw firm in his hands. 

"I need you to tell me Louis, tell me you'll never leave me" he repeats again, his tone becoming a little more firm. 

"Harry, I-" I stumble out, unsure of the reasoning behind his request. Our relationship has never been the most stable, but it usually consisted of him laughing at me saying he would never let me leave, but now, it's like he needs my reassurance. 

"Even if you don't mean it Louis, I don't care, but I need you to tell me, I need to hear it. Please little bug, please say you'll never leave me, that I'll never lose you" his cry was heartbreaking in itself to then hear how scared he sounds in his request. 

"Harry, you'll never lose me" and I wasn't lying to him, I wasn't telling him what he needed to hear, I was saying what I felt. "I've tried staying away from you and it never works for me, you'll never lose me, Harry. I'll never be able to lose you either. I don't want that. Whatever it is your going through, I'm here for you. I don't care what you've done or haven't done. I don't care about your secret life, I just need to be apart of one of them."

Our foreheads are still held firmly against each other. He had his eyes closed throughout the entirety of my speech but the stroking of his fingertips on my cheeks let me know that he appreciated what I was saying. 

He doesn't reply to me with words, but moves his head forward slightly to connect our lips together, only slightly. They barely graze past one another, and you could say it wasn't even a kiss. But to be completely fair, it's exactly what I needed and I think it's exactly what he needed as well. 

The kiss didn't represent sexual tension, it wasn't hot and heated, it was something that said, I'm here.  

The moment seemed to have come and gone quicker than I was able to process and Harry was quick to return his original position, pulling me up closely to him. Back to presenting himself as vulnerable. 

I meant what I said about his double life, for as long as I've known Harry I felt I only knew half of him and I absolutely adored that half, I needed to appreciate just him being in my life, regardless of how toxic it is, the truth of the matter is that I cannot live without him. I don't even want to. No matter how bad he may be for me, losing him would be even worse. 

"Louis?" he mumbles against my neck sending a hot breath down the inside of the hoodie I was wearing. I continue to stroke my fingers through his luscious curls whilst I make a small sound to acknowledge that I have heard him. 

"I love you" 

 

Chapter Text

I found it damn near impossible to concentrate at school the next day. 

Harry told me that he loved me!

I couldn't get that through my mind, I didn't even know how to respond. I don't think I even did respond. 

In 2 years he has never once said it to me, he never even let me think that he did.

There's something big going on in Harry's life and its bringing out this entirely new person. One that cries and begs for affection and reassurance, one that admits his feelings and says crazy things like I love you. 

I didn't know this Harry, I kind of liked this Harry. Possibly even better than the original. 

I was pacing through the hallways on my way to the school auditorium ready for my next exam. Today was math, my worst subject, so it was now even worse that my mind was preoccupied elsewhere. 

As I walk up to the doors, I'm a little taken back that there aren't students around, normally the hall is full of students waiting to take the exam, perhaps I got the day wrong. I walk all the way up to the door to get closer to the yellow note stuck to the door. 

All exams postponed

Dates TBA 

What is going on? Can they really postpone our finals. I didn't know that was allowed, or even possible. 

"Oi Niall lad" I call out to where he is at the end of the hall. "Do you know what's going on?" I ask as he finally gets closer. 

"Yeah, did you not hear? They postponed it after Kasey's death last night, I thought you must have known" he offers. 

I have to control my response and try and stop my jaw from dropping. 

Kasey died?

How? When? Why?

Although Kasey wasn't at our school anymore, she was certainly still beloved by many of the people here, people who grew up with her. 

Was that what was wrong with Harry?

He was at her house?

They were friends?

"Oh yeah, I knew"I lie. I most certainly didn't know. Harry never told me. 

But then it hit me. 

Kasey died. 

I saw her not that long ago, she didn't look sick or anything so my guesses were that it was a freak accident. 

"Yeah, pretty fucked up to be fair, everyone here is talking about it." Niall responds whilst running his fingers through his unbrushed and I'm guessing unwashed hair. 

But oh my god, I need to find Harry. I am guessing that's what the problem was last night. I felt for him, I didn't know her that well, it saddened me that she passed, but I can't say I was exactly buddies, I thought she was great, but sadly, I didn't have the opportunity to know her, not like Harry does anyway. 

"Yeah, well, I guess I'll see you round" 

I quickly say goodbye to Niall, I was on a mission now, to find Harry. 

As soon as I got to my car, I could hear the screeching of my tyres as I fled out of the carpark. I wouldn't even know the first place to look. I had a few rough ideas of where he could be, but I thought starting at his house was probably my best place to begin. 

Upon arriving at Harry's house, the entire thing looked to be a ghost town, it looked like there hadn't been life there in years. The yards were overgrown, all the blinds were shut, and Harry's car was nowhere to be seen. So I guess that ruled out here.

Secondly I would try Kasey's house. That's where he was last night, probably a good chance he could still be there. Kasey's place wasn't too far across town. I'm sure I gathered myself a few driving offences on the way over with how reckless I was driving. I was getting use to the honks of car horns and to be honest it was kind of just like white noise. 

I spotted Harry's car parked out the front the moment I entered the street. Unsure as to why, but as soon as I saw it, my stomach dropped and I felt sick. Almost nervous to see him. I didn't know what to say. Many had comforted me in the time that mum died after the twins, I was met with a vast ray of 'thinking of you' and 'I'm here if you need anything'. I first hand knew that none of this worked. None of it made me feel any better in the slightest, so I didn't even know where to start with Harry. Especially this new Harry. 

Old Harry was very just physical. I could have probably fixed this with letting him have his way with me up against a wall somewhere, but something told me that the old Harry isn't really here at the moment, and this new version, the one with feelings, needs to be cared for in different ways. 

As my car slowed down on the opposite side of the road, memories flashed back from the night before, I had parked my car here only a few hours before, and Harry had been the most vulnerable he's ever been. Ironically in this time, it brought a smile to my face in such a dull situation. 

I couldn't even get out of the car right away, I didn't know how to even approach this situation. This was also going to be the first time seeing Harry again after he said he loved me. Did he mean it? Was he going to remember he said it? Or was he so indulged in last nights news to remember what was happening. 

By the time I had finally built up the courage to step out of the car, I spotted another car in the driveway. One that wasn't there last night. And taking another glance around, I saw 3 more cars, parked up on the grass and behind Harry's. There were so many people here. 

Another sight I was familiar with after mum's death. For the first sort of 2 weeks, people are coming around your place like it's grand central station, and then, once the shock of the events have died down, they disappear, and thats when the hurt really sets in. 

My gaze is suddenly broken by the front door of Kasey's house opening and Harry appearing from behind it, eyes set on me. I'm relaxed a little more to see the small smirk on his face, that he almost looked happy to see me. 

"Hey" he mumbles as he walks up closer to me. "I'm guessing you heard?" He adds as any remanence of a smile fades away. 

"I did" I reply in a soft tone, continuing to walk toward Harry as he did I until we are up against one another. 

I'm taken back as his arms snake around me waist and he pulls me in close for a hug. Hugs aren't something I am use to yet with Harry, but I really do like them. I look forward to getting use to them, or perhaps I kind of like the way they feel unusual. I wasn't sure yet. 

"I'm glad your here"  I hear him mumble against my shoulder where he was still holding me tightly. 

"I came as soon as I heard Harry, I wouldn't be anywhere else. What do you need?" I offer, still completely clueless when it came to all of this. I so badly want to be here for him, but telling him that, from experience, I know does no good. 

"I just, I just need-"

"Am I allowed some of the chocolate cake?" a small innocent voice interrupts Harry as a young blonde girl comes rushing out the door. 

My eyes flick between Harry and the young girl. She was holding a small brown bear in her arms, with her hair placed up in a cute little ponytail on the top of her head. She was incredibly cute. 

"Yeah, of course, go on inside, I'll be in soon" Harry quickly rushed her back inside. 

"Who's that?" I ask him as this little girl seem to know Harry but I had never seen her before. She did have familiar eyes though. 

"Kasey's niece" Harry quickly answers. I wasn't aware Kasey had any siblings to be able to have a niece. And why would she ask Harry about the cake, surely her parents were inside, she could have asked them. 

I tried not to think too much of it, I'm sure there is a reasonable explanation and Harry really doesn't need me prying into his information. 

"She's cute, how old is she? What's her name?" I ask out of interest. 

"Her name is Willow, and she's just a little over two. Look Louis, I really appreciate you coming around. Do you mind if I come see you in a little bit, I've just got some stuff to organise here and then I'll come around yeah?" Harry quickly changes the subject. I had to admit, I understood. I knew he was close with Kasey, so I'm guessing there is to be funeral arrangements and what not. And by the looks of things, Kasey's entire family was down, so I didn't want to intrude. 

"yeah, sure. Of course. I'll see you later" I reply. Not wanting to leave but understanding that I have to. 

"Thank you Lou, I love you" Harry quickly gives me a quick kiss on the lips and pulls me in for one last hug. 

He said it again. 

So easily. 

So casually. 

As he goes to pull away I quickly grab the sides of his face so he turns back to face me. I reconnect our lips with a little more urgency this time. Sucking in a quick breath as I do so I'm able to savour the moment. I break away only slightly so our lips are still grazing past each other with every breath. 

"I love you too Harry, always" I whisper up between us. 

My reply brings a genuine smile to his face and he quickly reconnects our lips for only a second before disappearing behind the door. 

A moment where I was able to partly comfort Harry, a civil parting where he wasn't screaming at me to go, he actually explained his feelings and when I could expect to hear from him. There were no orders, no deceit, no shouting, no condescending. Then we parted expressing our love for one another. 

Who is this person and what has he done with my soulmate?

 

Chapter Text

 

 

R.I.P Kasey Winters

 

2003 - 2021

 

It seemed the entire town came out to pay their respects to Kasey. That is the downside of living in a small town sometimes, you know everyone, and when something bad happens to one of us, the entire community is affected.

 

I hadn't told Harry that I would come today. When he came by after I saw him at Kaseys house he told me not worry about coming today. That he would be okay and would catch up with me afterwards. But I couldn't make him do this by himself. 

 

Hundreds of people filed in the back of the funeral hall, it seemed as if every teen from the community had skipped school today to be here. I wondered what the classes looked like today as many of the teachers were here as well. 

 

Word had spread that Kasey had cancer, she didn't look unwell when I saw her, but apparently it was quite aggressive and happened quite suddenly. 

 

I could see Harry down the front with Kaseys mum, he had Kaseys little niece on his hip. Had been that way since I walked in. I couldn't see her parents around but my guess is they weren't far, probably dealing with some arrangement issues. 

 

I couldn't help but smile at how cute Harry was being with that little girl. They seemed to have a really special bond. He was going to make a wonderful father one day when he has his own kids. Our kids. 

 

I stood up the back with Niall, Zayn and Liam, as well as a heap of other kids from our school. Harry hadn't even looked up here to see who was here. 

 

Ms Kilpatrick, our guidance councillor had been speaking with Harry and playing with Willow, I knew she had been helping Harry with a few graduation issues. 

 

As the service unfolded, we got to hear from One of Kaseys cousins and from Harry. I learnt allot of things about their friendship. They were a lot closer than I could have ever imagined. It made my heart break for him more. I didn't realise they were like that for many years. 

 

Kaseys mother went to stand up at the podium to speak, a mixture of photos reeling through the background. A lot with her niece, they must be really close. 

 

"I would personally like to thank everyone for coming here today. Kasey would be overwhelmed with the response and support here. Our families hearts are purely touched by every single one of you. We thank you for your kind words, it's been one of the hardest weeks of my life. A mother should never have to plan their own child's funeral, I wish this pain on absolutely no one. But then I got to thinking, how one would feel growing up without their mother. Especially being a little girl, I know how much I needed my mum growing up and all I can promise you know Kasey is that Willow will grow up knowing you. She will know absolutely everything about you, we will all keep her safe and happy and keep the memory of you alive forever. I can see you in her eyes already, so it's brings me strength seeing your spirit live on in her. You were the most amazing mother to Willow and be all promise to give her the courage to get through this, without you. But for now baby girl, we lay you to rest, we let you go, we remember everything about you, we carry it with us forever, and I love you so much." 

 

As Kaseys mother stood down from the microphone stand whispers filled the back of the hall. Rumours confirmed. 

 

Kasey was a mother. 

 

Willow, the child on Harrys lap, so he said was her niece, was in fact her daughter. 

 

My eyes darted between all the students talking amongst themselves, then down to Harry who was staring back at me in shock. 

 

The colour has drained from his face as his ghost eyes were fixed on me, frozen staring back at him. 

 

My eyes move from his to the little girl sitting on his lap. 

 

Then back to his eyes. 

 

Eyes that right there and then have away every answer to questions I didn't even know I had yet. 

 

My attention was brought back to the screen for when the memory lane photo slideshow began playing. 

 

Showing photographs of her as a little girl, spitting image of the girl sitting with Harry. Photos from school, her pregnant, newborn Willow, but then the photos that rolled through of Kasey, Willow .... And Harry, brought the whispers back up around me. 

 

I stare in disbelief. I didn't want to come to any conclusions. Not yet. Not here. 

 

There could be 100 explanations. Surely. 

 

As the service came to a close and we all started exiting the hall, I couldn't face anyone right now, not the boys, not Willow, not Kaseys mother, not even Harry. I wouldn't know what to say to any of them. 

 

I found a nearby tree and lent my back up against it, taking the cigarette from my pocket and lighting it. 

 

Kasey was a mother. 

Willow was her daughter. 

There's pictures with Harry. 

He was protective over me seeing Kasey. 

He was at Kaseys house. 

Kasey was at his. 

I was never allowed inside. 

He told Kasey to stay in the car when she arrived. 

Willow asked Harry for permission for food. 

Willow had familiar eyes, eyes I have gazed into before. 

 

Harry was Willows father. 

 

I was sure of it. 

 

"Lou?" His raspy voice breaks my train of thought as he approaches from behind me. 

 

"Harry" I reply, taking a long drag of my cigarette, blowing the smoke into air above us. 

 

" Thankyou for coming, I don't know you would -" 

 

"You're a dad" I quickly cut him off addressing the obviously elephant in the room. And I didn’t even ask it as a question. I feel like I knew already that I was right. 

 

He looks me up and down, guilt washing over his entire face. He couldn’t even admit it to me. 

 

I wasn’t hurt or angry, I was in shock. I’m sure the anger for keeping this from me would sink in eventually, but for now, I was just in shock. 

 

“Daddy. I want to go home” a quite little voice comes from behind the two of us making both our heads turn to see Willow walking up from the hall. 

 

Harry takes a hold of her hand and walks her over to me. 

 

“Willow; this is Louis. Louis, this is my daughter, Willow” 

Chapter Text

Time. The indefinite continued progress of existence and events

Harry said he needed time. 

Time to get use to fatherhood. 

Time to grieve the loss of Kasey. 

Time to come to terms with his new life. 

Time apart. 

Indefinite. 

He hadn't returned to the cold-hearted dominate Harry, this Harry was still emotional and understanding, as well as quite delicate with the way he handled different situations. But I also thought that he and I were finally on a good page with one another. 

We were finally able to have genuine discussions on what was going on in our life and what we wanted and I was naive in thinking that we both wanted each other. Maybe that's one section of Harry's character that will never change. I will always need him more than he needs me. 

The day that followed the funeral felt uncomfortably normal. Harry brought Willow around to meet my sisters. She took a nap in the Princess Bed and the three girls seemed to get along really well. Harry seemed to have it all figured out, what he was going to do with Willow and the life he was going to create for the two of them, or the five of us. I wasn't sure. 

But it flipped, it flipped so suddenly, like there was a sudden shift in time and I was brought back to my own cruel reality where I would constantly be hurt by Harry. 

He gathered up Willow and left before dinner and the twins were heartbroken, they had promised Willow a sleepover and ice-cream. But Harry again, snapped. Left without a word and it took over 30 unanswered messaged and phone calls for him to finally ask for what he desired. 

Time. 

That time had gone on for 3 weeks now. 

Three entire weeks of ghost town. I didn't see him anywhere, he wasn't home, he wasn't at Kaseys and her family had all headed back north. Harry and Willow had disappeared into thin air. 

Graduation was around the corner, Harry had promised he would be there to watch me graduate, but I should have learnt from very early on that promises from Harry are not something to hold your breath with. 

Something else that was playing on my mind was how much time was running out. 

I was accepted into Cardiff University on a full football scholarship. I got the news the day of the funeral. I would be required to leave after the summer had ended and I was going to ask Harry and Willow to come with me. Buy a house nearby the university and really make a new life for ourselves. The twins would be able to come up and stay often, get a house big enough for the entire family. 

But the moment Harry asked for space, I didn't know how to bring it up to him and they needed my response soon. I didn't know what to tell them, I was struggling on figuring out what exactly it was that I wanted, what Harry wanted. 

All these events have led me to here, sitting hopelessly on Harry's empty driveway. A driveway that hadn't seen any activity in weeks. I've checked. I've done drive-byes at he most random times and Harry was never here, no one was ever here. 

Part of me was completely conflicted, I couldn't really understand what Harry was going through, but I felt I had a fair idea, mum died and left me with the responsibility of the twins and now Kasey has passed leaving him with Willow. But Harry isn't wired like the rest of us, having empathy for Harry was like searching uncharted waters. You'd drive yourself insane if you ever tried. 

I considered taking the scholarship and moving on, letting Harry go. But the truth is that I would always be waiting for him. No-one else in this world is made for me the way he is and I just presumed that if he and I were meant to be then he would make his way back to me eventually. 

We already proved that we couldn't stay away from each other, so I had faith that he would always come back. But the other halve of me feared that what would happen if I was away too long and he got use to it. He warmed to the idea of not having me in his life and he would no longer need me. 

That feared me the most, that I knew I could never live without him, but I questioned his mutual feelings. 

I've been sat on this driveway for 3 hours now. I didn't have a plan, but I felt like I was needed here, that this would be my evidence when I would scream that 'I tried' when asked why I gave up on him. 

I clench onto the letter I've written in my hand, my goodbye. 

Whatever void Harry was trying to fill in his life, I need to let him. 

I need to let him, let me go. 

The letter took me over 10 attempts to write, either the words weren't being portrayed in the way I needed them too, or I soaked the page to unreadable with my tears. 

If anyone has ever wondered how many ways there is to write I'm always going to love you, but this is my goodbye whilst you find yourself and I'll be here waiting for when your ready. I can honestly say that you can write that in about 4 pages, front and back, small script. And still then I was unsure I had said everything I was wanting to say. 

I neglected to tell him about Cardiff, I didn't think it mattered to his decision. It didn't matter where I was in the world or what I was going, I would be there the moment he said he wanted me. 

The plan was to give it to him in person, maybe even try and steal one final kiss, a kiss that would hopefully linger for the time we are apart, whether that be days, months or even years. 

But as every minute that passed and he was still just a ghost, I knew plan B may be coming into play. Slipping the note under the door. 

But what if he never returns, what if he really has disappeared and he never knows that I'm out there waiting. I go through my entire life waiting for someone who doesn't know I'm there. 

I take one last drag on the cigarette that's been sitting dormant in the corner of my mouth as I pick at a fallen leaf. I use the cement of the driveway to butt the burnt end and toss it across the lawn. 

I need to make the decision now, I need to ever go or stay. And I think my pride has won the battle this time. I stand up and walk to the door of Harry's house, holding the letter tightly in my hand. Any tighter and letter 10 will be unreadable as well. 

I bring the scripted papers up to my lips, pursing them onto the flattened ends. "I'll be right here waiting Harry, forever' I whisper before sending the folded note sliding underneath the door. 

I rise from my crouch at the base of the door, letting my right palm freeze on the blue painted wood and take my first grieving exhale. 

It was time to lose Harry, time to say goodbye, for an indefinite continued length. 

My head drops as I turn on my heel, fumbling down the two concrete steps that led off the front porch back onto the path that led to the driveway. Walking in the opposite direction down the path of where my heart felt at home.

"Louis?" the tired thick accent halted my instantly in my steps. 

I didn't even hear the front door open, I was too consumed in my thoughts. 

I turn my head around to make eye contact with him instantly, not being able to form any words. 

"Good luck at Cardiff"  he adds before slamming the door between us. 

He was in there the entire time, he was on the other side of the door, so close to me, but why has he never felt further away. 

And how does he know about Cardiff?

 

 

Chapter Text

Graduation Day. 

 

A day that I prayed for almost everyday since I first started my schooling at 6 years old. But now that the day was finally here, and I am wishing for just a little more time. 

 

I'm not really sure how I feel about graduating, it's almost feeling like a breakup. I don't know how to say goodbye to this routine, a routine I've been in for the large majority of my life. After today, I'm an adult, I'm going to have like proper responsibilities. I guess I already have a few, more so than the other kids my age, but after today, the excuses of 'I'm just a kid' will no longer apply. 

 

I'm stood in front of the free-standing mirror in the twins room, analysing my red robes that hand loosely from my petite frame. Something I've always been quite self-conscious of, for a man, I feel like I'm quite a tiny build. It's never been completely noticeable, I like to wear baggy hoodies and sweatpants, seems to hide the fact, but standing here in these robes, seems to highlight my small frame. 

 

I can't help but take my mind to Harry, how his tall build would look in these robes. He's a good half a foot taller than me, so where mine bunches up at the base of my legs, his would glide off the floor, sit absolutely perfect across his broad shoulders, hang down the length of him. And also how good he looks in red. I love the colour red in general, but seeing it on him always made my heart skip a few beats, as if two of my favourite things melting together gave me a new found love of each of them. Seeing them compliment each other. 

 

"You look like your wearing a curtain" I hear Pip's soft voice from behind me, spotting her reflection through the mirror I was starring in. 

 

I let out a soft chuckle. "Yeah, yeah I guess I can see that, they kind of do don't they" I agree with her, using my hands to hold out the material of the robe. 

 

"Does this mean your leaving us now Louis? Does granuing today mean your leaving us?" her voice suddenly sounds saddened but I can't help chuckle at her pronunciation. 

 

"It's graduating, and no, of course not Pip. I'd never leave you" I attempt to comfort her putting my arm around her and bringing her close into my side. 

 

Bending my knees, I squat down so I'm at the same height as her. Leaving these girls was my biggest hesitation when considering accepting Cardiff's offer. I had until 5pm tomorrow to accept or they would forfeit my position to another player. 

 

Dad has only been getting worse as time gets on. It seems, if possible, he is becoming more distant with them, and when I mentioned the girls coming to live with me near campus, and that I would take care of them, he got really defensive, saying they were hid children and his final reminders of mum and I wouldn't be taking them. The irony and that. 

 

So now I was even more conflicted, I had gathered the strength to move away from Harry, not on from Harry. I could never more on for Harry, but I would be out there waiting for him whenever he was ready, but I couldn't leave the girls. I wouldn't. 

 

But the selfishness in me, was telling me not to give up on my dream. I could hear mums voice in my head saying that this was my life too. That I had a life as well, and I owed to myself, to her, to the girls, to be the absolute best version of myself that I could be. 

 

So as much as I didn't want graduation to come and go, I definitely didn't want the next 36 hours to come by, to make that decision. Feeling like I had to choose between myself and my family. 

 

"Where are you going to college?" Pip suddenly asks.

 

"What?"  I reply in confusion. 

 

"I saw on a movie, that when people finish high school they have to go to college so they can get a job, where are you going to go to get a job?" the pure innocence of a child's brain is incredible. 

 

 

 

"I'm not entirely sure I'm going to college Pip, there isn't one close enough to our house for me to go. But there are loads of places you can get a job without having to go to college" I attempt to explain to her. 

 

All she does is nod to me before exiting the room, she still seemed upset though, I worried I hadn't explained it right, or possibly even made it worse. She was still only young so I didn't know how much to tell her, there are times in which her innocence completely outweighs everything and then there are other times that I wonder where on earth she learnt certain things from. 

 

Starring back at my reflection in the mirror a simple question popped into my mind. Who am I? I figured that the moment I understood the answer to that question, the minute I would be able to confidently make decisions, am I the boy who takes care of his siblings? Am I the boy who runs across the other side of the country? Am I the boy who stands around waiting for a guy who will probably never want him back? Am I the boy who gives up my entire life for everyone else and gets nothing else in return? 

 

I didn't have any of the answers to any of these questions, but mum would. Mum always knew the answer to everything, although when I asked her she said she was just making everything up as she went along, but she always had a way of making it all sound so convincing and reassuring. I just needed her to tell me now what to do. What the right decision was. Because in all of my scenarios, someone gets her, whether it be the girls, Harry, dad or even me. Someone would be hurt by my choices and the only one I think I'm willing to hurt right now is myself. 

 

"Louis, come down here a minute would you?" I hear my dad's voice calling from the living area. 

 

I unclip the robe that was still sitting dormant on my shoulders and hang it back over the chair, graduation didn't start for another couple of hours, but I had gotten ready incredibly early, whether it was out of nerves or excitement, I wasn't sure. 

 

I head out to the living room and take a seat on the couch that was next to his recliner. A place that you would more often than not find dad.

 

“What’s up?” I ask uncomfortably. We didn’t really have history of ‘chatting’ so I knew there was purpose for this conversation. 

 

“You accepted the offer to Cardiff yet?” Annoyance in his tone. 

 

I shake my head “no, not yet, got until tomorrow” 

 

“What’s the hold up? What the fuck you waiting for boy?” He bellows. 

 

My eyebrows furrow at him. He’s one to talk. The only damn reason I’m being hesitant is because of him. “I’m don’t know, I’m just, I just don’t know how to, I’m worried about the girls” I suddenly blurt out in honesty. 

 

“What do you mean worried about the girls? They are going to be fine. They don’t need you” 

 

I have to physically stop my jaw from dropping. “Are you fucking kidding me? Right so tell me dad, what time does school start? And what day is gymnastics? Pip’s diabetic plan; are you on top of that? And Hollie is attending tutoring, what days?” I couldn’t even begin to unravel just how unsupportive he was of these girls. 

 

My honesty only makes him angrier “I know all that stuff, and they don’t need gymnastics or tutoring so that shit can drop. You need to accept your offer Louis!” The volume of his voice only ever increases through each sentence. 

 

“I can’t leave and have this all fall apart behind me!” I yell, matching his volume and tone. 

 

“Yes you fucking can, and you will” He orders. 

 

“Oh yeah, and why’s that?” 

 

“ because you deserve to make something of yourself kid. Your talented and special and a god damn miracle walking this earth. You deserve more than to be trapped here and wasting your life away. You need to go and fulfill dreams you don’t even know you have yet” 

 

He wipes the escaped tears from under his eyes and slams his recliner in, standing up and marching toward the kitchen. I hear the fridge door open and the endless sound of beer bottles rattling. 

 

“You call them in the morning Louis. You’re going to that God damn school.” He finally adds before returning to his seat, sending the legs of his leg rest flying and turning his sports program back onto loud. 

 

I was sat stunned in the seat, staring at him. 

 

Whatever he just said almost sounded like the tiniest bit of encouragement and support in my future. I wasn’t accustomed to this sort of thing. Not from dad at least. 

 

So I was going to Cardiff. 

 

Shit. 

Chapter Text

Harry P.O.V

Dear Harry, 

These past few weeks, I feel like I have met you again for the very first time except you aren't you. You look the same, the sound the same, the make me feel the way you always have, but you aren't you. I've always found you incredible, but meeting this person has absolutely blown me away. 

I guess I finally felt like we were on the same path, finally. We were where we needed to be at this exact moment in time, standing in front of one another with all our chaos, challenges, insecurities, fears, hopes, dreams and mess of a life standing right with us. We were finally there with each other. 

You told me you loved me for the first time the other day and although I've said the word more times than I can count, hearing you say it made it sound foreign and fragile to me. Which got me to thinking, what exactly does 'love' mean? According to google, love is an intense feeling of deep attraction, and sure, whilst that may be true, it doesn't even come close to the way you make me feel. 

I can't even begin to understand what you are going through at the moment Harry, so I don't even want to try, but it's become obvious that you need some time, to sort all of this out and plan out the rest of your future, but I'm terrified that you don't want me to have a place in it. 

But you don't understand how badly I need you in mine. 

There is no one else like you, there is no-one else that can take your place, no-one that can smile at me the way you do, no-one that can make me laugh the way you do. No-one that can make me mad the way you do or give me the feeling that you do when you touch me. It's your laugh, your temper, your flaws, your hopes, your touch, your heart that I need in my life, and for as long as I live I will feel that way. 

I miss you Harry, and not like a 'I want to see you' or 'I'm sad things have changed' kind of way, just a solid, I miss you. I miss everything about you. It's been three weeks since I last saw you and I have this reoccurring image of you walking out that I can't seem to shake. That can't be the last that I see of you. It can't be. 

I'm going to try and force myself to forget about you, I'll always be waiting for you, but in the mean time, I need to forget about you. Not forget about the way you look, or how your dimples sink in when you smile, but I need to forget how your fingertips felt on my skin, how you breath felt running down my spine. How your lips felt against mine and how the warmth circulated around us when we lay together. I need to forget those things in order to keep my sanity, but I fear that I'm asking for the impossible, it's like your engraved into me, a permanent inking that can't be washed away. 

Tell me how to forget about you when you are so completely me. 

There are a thousand reasons, most likely more if I'm being honest as to why we are no good for each other, I could write down all the reasons. We have plenty of them, but then I ask myself about the reasons why I fell in love with you, why you fell in love with me. And we don't have any. We simply did. It was out of our control and it happened so unwillingly but I welcomed it so whole heartedly. I didn't even know I was falling in love with you, everything in me took over and there was no stopping it, no control it, I simply let it manifest in me until it consumed me. 

Mum always told me from a young age that I would find my perfect person, find my forever, that they were out there waiting for me. I wish she was here more than ever now to tell me how to forget about that person. 

No one told me what to do once I found my soulmate and I was forced to let them go. 

But then it dawned on me, that you never said goodbye. That word never came out. There are a million ways for you to say goodbye, but we chose the one to not say it at all. Is that perhaps that you didn't mean it? You didn't want it to happen? You asked for space and then you left. 

I saw a quote recently, that often we say goodbye to the person we Love without wanting to, and that it doesn't mean that we don't love them anymore, but goodbye is a painful way to say I love you. 

Is that what is happening Harry?

Are you letting me go because you think it's what is best?

Do you think this is what you have to do because of Willow?

Can I tell you something that isn't even going to make sense, it doesn't to me, but I know it's the truth. I loved that little girl the minute I saw her, the second I found out that she belonged to you, she belonged to me too, because you are mine. 

I love her Harry, and I want to love her, if you let me. I want to be there to protect and fight for the both of you, keep you both safe from anymore harm or sadness that comes your way. 

Willow is a creation of you and Kasey, I understand that, but the fact she possesses any of your DNA at all makes her automatically one of my favourite people in this world and I automatically love her. 

If you are doing this because you think she is a burden on me, if you are doing this because you think I don't want this, if you are doing this for any other reason than you don't love me anymore, then you're an idiot. 

If it's because you don't love me, I will heartbreakingly step aside. It's painful to say goodbye to someone you can't let go of, but it would be worse to beg you to stay if you want to leave. 

So I'm going to be out there Harry, somewhere in this crazy world of ours, and I'll always be yours if you want. Even if you chose to fall in love time and time again with strangers on the street, it's going to hurt me, it will damn near kill me, but just always keep in mind that the moment you decide you want me again, I'm there. 

I am that pathetic, maybe I shouldn't even look at it like that, but I know who I love and I know what I want, so lets just look at it as courageous enough to wait for the things I want most. 

I can't even end this letter in a goodbye Harry, I don't want to. Nor are their words developed in the English language that will allow me to express what losing you is going to do to me. 

But just know that I love you. I will always love you. More than I even know how to. 

I'll always be yours. 

Little bug x 

 

Chapter Text

Harry P.O.V 

Three Weeks Earlier

 

I can't exactly explain the way I am feeling right now. I'm going through the worst heartbreak I could ever imagine, but yet I'm feeling the most content I've ever felt. I don't understand it. 

 

I've never once before felt contentment in my life before, I always had this strange guard up inside of me that refused to let anyone in. I knew I was safe. You don't give people the power to destroy you, it's an idiotic move to make. But with everything that was happening with Kasey, it's like something just evaporated inside me. That wall just no longer existed. 

 

But I was not prepared for its fall, and it's like all emotion that I had once run from, overwhelmed me in an instant and I felt, pain. I felt pain like I've never felt before. Losing Kasey, that pained me than I was prepared for. 

 

But with the matching amount of pain I felt, I was experiencing an emotion that was even more overwhelming. An emotion I wasn't aware of, I didn't know about the weight until it came hitting me like a freight train. 

 

That feeling of free falling and enjoying the fall, the feeling of vulnerability and openness, that feeling of total and utter gut wrenching devotion to one person. 

 

Love. 

 

I was totally and completely in love with Louis Tomlinson. I had been from the moment I laid eyes on him. The moment I felt his hand in mine. The moment I saw his smile and heard his laugh. Louis Tomlinson completely engulfed every part of me without my knowing and I can't believe I had this armour and defence up, I wish I had allowed myself to feel this sooner. 

 

Two years of love for Louis Tomlinson has hit me in one day. One moment. And it was the moment his arms wrapped around me as I was unraveling. The moment he held me together whilst I was falling apart. 

 

I knew right then and there how much I needed this man. How much I wanted this man. 

 

I didn't know what I was saying until the words spilled from my lips.

 

We were now here, together, under one roof. As an almost family. Today I brought Willow around to the Tomlinson household to meet Hollie and Pip. I’ve known these girls for a long time, and thought of them as my own sisters from time to time, so I was excited to introduce them to my daughter. My little girl. 

 

The longer we were here, the more normal it feels. The more I feel like this could work. This could be life. I definitely would never get tired of hearing Willow’s laughter from Hollie’s tickling or her squeals as Pip chases her through the house. Or the smile that’s on all three of their faces as they laugh together at the cartoon on the television. 

 

This is the sight of a family that both Louis and I never had. We have the opportunity to give it to these girls. Exactly what they deserve. What we deserve. 

 

I’ve been able to steal a few sneaky kisses with Louis as we hide behind walls or wait til their heads are turned. It’s been a while since I felt like this with Louis. Maybe I’ve never actually felt like this with Louis, submissive to him. I quite liked it. 

 

No wonder he has let me dominate him for so long. 

 

It had been planned that we would stay the night. The first night all together. Possibly the first night of the rest of our lives. 

 

Dinner plans were coming to a head and Louis needed to duck out to the store to gather a few extra supplies. I had opted for the babysitting duty and was happy to watch over the three kids whilst we was out. 

 

The girls were all in the twins room playing with the dolls and I was clearing off the dining table so we could all sit together. 

 

There were a few papers lying around, I just gathered them together and brought them over to the shelf by the buffet. Looks to be a whole bunch of bills and paperwork. 

 

“Shit” I gasp as I let a bunch slip from my hands as they scatter on the floor. 

 

“What does shit mean daddy?” Her little voice catches me off guard. 

 

“Oh Willow honey, sorry daddy said a naughty word he didn’t mean it. Are you okay?” I quickly gather the dropped items. 

 

“I really like Hollie and Pip” she admits with a warming smile on her face. 

 

“I’m glad honey. Now run along, go and play” 

 

I gather the rest of the papers and place them onto the shelf, a certain title catching my eye of an opened letter. 

 

I take the envelope into my hands and read the contents. 

 

Mr Tomlinson, 

It’s with our pleasure to announce your acceptance into Cardiff University on a full scholarship to celebrate your outstanding achievements in your football career. 

 

The word pounded through me. 

 

A mixture of pride and sadness forces itself through me that I can’t control it. Feeling emotion is poison. I can’t believe I would ever feel this is a good idea. 

 

Louis got in. 

 

He got full scholarship. 

 

For football. 

 

I’m so incredibly proud of him. I always knew he had it in him and his game is outstanding. I always loved playing along side of him. Cardiff approached me after our grand final and offered me a full ride too, saying they were looking at two players. I had a feeling it would be Louis. Of course it would be. How could they not. 

 

I had to decline my offer because of Willow. 

 

But then it hit me. I declined my offer because of Willow. Louis hadn’t mentioned this letter to me. The Louis I know would be jumping up and down like an absolute maniac over this offer. 

 

Was Louis declining this offer? 

 

Because of me? 

 

Because of Willow? 

 

I couldn’t allow him to do that. I wouldn’t. 

 

“Willow, honey time to pack up, we have to go” I call out which is welcomed with groans coming from all of them. 

 

I tuck the letter back in amongst the things I had gathered off the floor and wipe a heartbroken tear from my eye. 

 

I couldn’t be the reason Louis loses everything he loves. He deserves so much out of life and I cannot be the reason he doesn’t fulfil everything he deserves. I couldn’t live with that. I won’t. 

 

If I love him, I need to set him free to do this. 

 

I can’t hold him back. 

 

The moment Louis walks through the door, I feel the final shatter of my heart. I don’t want to walk away from him. I can’t even bring myself to say it. I can’t even bring myself to look at him. 

 

I feel like I’ve finally got him. Really got him. And now I have to let him go. 

 

“I got everything, believe me, you haven’t even tried spaghetti Bolognese until you’ve tried -“ he pauses once he sees Willow and I standing at the entrance, Willow housing tears in her eyes as she holds tightly onto Hollie and Pip. 

 

“What’s going on?” He asks, directing his question to me. An awful amount of heartbreak in his eyes. 

 

I can’t bring myself to say anything. I can’t tell him I’m going. I can’t lie to him. I can’t do anything. I just take Willows hand and push myself past him, hopping into my car without saying a word and backing out of the driveway. 

 

I can see Louis standing in the archway on his front door, complete shock of his way. We make eye contact with each other for only a minute, the moon shining down between the two of us making only our eyes visible. 

 

I can’t do this. 

 

But I have to. 

 

For him. 

Chapter Text

Harry P.O.V

 

Present Day 

 

Its been three weeks that I have attempted to stay away from Louis, and thats been the hardest three weeks, I would even go as far as saying it was harder than the last three weeks I had with Kasey. 

 

Kasey meant a lot to me, she always did, and I admired her for everything she did for Willow and for me, she enabled me to have a life, but with Louis, it's different. It's always different. 

 

But these past three weeks have really taken their toll on me and I couldn't help feeling more and more like I had made a bad decision. The wrong decision. 

 

I wanted more than anything to be able to run up to Louis and ask him to compromise his dreams for me, for us. For our family. I wished more than anything I had the courage to ask that of him. But I couldn't. 

 

I stare at him through the lace curtains of my living room, watching him sit dormant on the driveway. He has been here for hours, and so have I. Starring right back at him. 

 

Willow was down for a nap and had been since Louis arrived, I only prayed that when she woke she didn't give away our position. No-one knows we are here, apparently. I have seen Louis drive by at many times during the day but he never stopped, I only presumed he thought we weren't here. 

 

The minute he slips the piece of paper under the door my stomach drops deep into my shoes. I wanted to move but my body had other plans, it remained frozen in place watching him walk away from me. 

 

I stare down at the letter folded on the floor that had been slid underneath the door and quickly ravel through my options. Do I let him stay or do I let him leave? 

 

I take the letter in my hand, unaware of its contents. I wondered if it contained his goodbye, that I had finally pushed him far enough to the Edge that he wanted to walk away as well.

 

I had to say something, anything. I didn’t know what but I need to speak to him. It’s like holding a drink in front of an alcoholic and telling them to just look at it. I needed a taste. I needed the whole damn drink. 

 

“Louis?” I call out the minute I open the blockage between us. My safety net. 

 

I’ve never seen someone spin around as fast as he did to look when I called his name, a look on his face as if he hasn’t heard that sound in forever. 

 

But the minute our eyes locked, I had the stupid, responsible side of me come back. The side that wanted the best for him, which was becoming more clear that it didn’t include me. 

 

“Have fun at Cardiff” the words exited my lips before I could even pull them back. 

 

I shouldn’t have said that. Like that. I heard the sarcastic tone although it was unintentional. But it came out like I couldn’t control it. That it wasn’t me that was saying it. 

 

I panicked. 

 

I slammed the door between us and hit my back up hard against it. 

 

Shit. Shit. Shit. 

 

My legs gave out and I slid down the wood until my bottom made connection with the floor. My head falling into my folded arms over my head. 

 

What have I done? 

 

Warm liquid fell to my cheeks and cascades down into the space between me and my legs, forming a puddle of emotion in front of me. 

 

What have I done? 

 

I’ve lost him. I’ve lost the one person who I didn’t know I could lose. The one person who I thought would be with me regardless of what happened in my life. That he would never leave. He told me he would never leave. He promised. 

 

But now he’s gone. 

 

And the only person to blame is me. 

 

It’s always me. 

 

The minute the door slammed I felt part of me die. I had been missing Louis the past three weeks, of course, but there is something about shutting that door that resembled closing our door. Closing the door on our relationship. On our future. On each other. 

 

The minute the space between us gained the barrier. That was it. He would continue his life on one side and I would begin my downfall on my side. 

 

I lost Louis Tomlinson. 

 

I feel like I need to mourn him. I feel like I need to somehow start the grieving process. But it’s hard, I don’t even know what to do right now. Where do I start? Where do I go from here? How do I continue without him? 

 

Chapter Text

6 months later

 

Life continued on, even when I thought it wouldn’t. Even when I hoped it wouldn’t. Life continued on. 

 

It had been six amazing months at Cardiff. The people here are insanely talented and I’m working harder than I ever felt possible. I’m enjoying my classes, I’m refining my technique and I’ve actually started to find myself. 

 

Even better, dad has straighten himself out a little. He made the move up here to be closer and although I live on campus with the boys, I’m not far from their new family home and I’m able to see the girls quite often. 

 

There are times where he forgets to drive them to school, or I see them in the same clothes over the weekend, but compared to what he use to be, he has come leaps and bounds for those girls. 

 

I’ve made some amazing friends up here. Especially the one that I am bunking with, Saxon. He is from Scotland and is a sensational striker. From the day that he and I met, we clicked like no other and he’s really become someone very close to me. He is the combination of everyone I love back home. He has the personality of Niall, the mature nature of Liam, the mystery of Zayn & the charisma of Harry. Kind of makes missing home a little easier to bare because I seem to have them all here. 

 

Speaking of home, I haven’t heard from Harry in six months. The final thing I heard was him telling me to enjoy my time here, which I certainly am doing. Niall, Liam and Zayn haven’t heard from him either. He sold his house about a month after I left and rumour has it that he moved up north to be closer to Kaseys family so they could see Willow. He deleted all social media and his phone was apparently disconnected. 

 

It helped erasing him. 

 

He was never absent from my thoughts, never. I don’t think it was possible to be, but I did find myself from time to time not wondering what he was doing, not wondering where he was. 

 

I think during my first month here I completely wore Saxons ear off about Harry. It would be a fair assumption to say that he knows absolutely everything there is to know about Harry and our relationship. Felt good talking to someone who was on the outside about it. Saxon also has a boyfriend back home in Edinburgh who he was having issues with. Seemed like a few of our conflicts lined up with one another. Sax, however made the decision to breakup with his boyfriend earlier on in our time here, said it would be easier to focus on life here and his own dreams away from him. 

 

To be honest, the day that Saxon finally let go of his boyfriend he became this entirely different person. It’s like he was.. free. 

 

I wondered what that felt like, to be free of the feeling of being captive to someone. A hostage to their love, prisoner to their existence. 

 

Saxons advice was to rid myself of Harry, for good this time. In every aspect of the word, I was single. But I was never available. I couldn’t be. 

 

I told Harry that no matter what, I would be out there in the world waiting for him. But I did worry. What would happen if he moved on without me and I was left behind? 

 

What would happen if I was just stuck here, in this position in my life forever waiting for someone who was never coming back? 

 

Tonight though is Saxons birthday. I am sat here surrounded in knee deep latex. Tyrell and I had been busy planning a surprise party for Saxon. Tyrell was on our team as well however  He was on an exchange program from Australia, he would only be with us for this season and then he would be heading back. Shame though, he was a great guy. 

 

He and Nicky, who was captain of our team, along with Saxon has been my lifelines whilst I was here. So whilst Nicky took Saxon out to get his hair done, Tyrell and I were hard at work. It seemed the entire campus was coming together for the party we were putting on and matrons were even happy for us to use the mess hall to hold it. 

 

Saxon was much loved around here so it didn’t surprise me that the whole campus was on board. I couldn’t believe that we had managed to keep it a secret for so long, literally everyone on campus BUT Sax knew. He was going to be in for the shock of his life. 

 

“How many balloons are we actually placing on blowing up?” Tyrell asks me as he flings the freshly tied red balloon at my head. 

 

“I dunno?” I reply looking around seeing our floor is actually covered in red balloons. “There is a lot isn’t there?” I chuckle. 

 

I think we have blown up over 100 red balloons. No idea how we would transport them to the mess hall, but I’ll work it out. I had gone a little overboard with the decorations. 

 

Saxons favourite colour is red, so when Tyrell and I were shopping for decorations, literally anything we saw that was red, went into the basket and was bought. 

 

I just really wanted this night to be special for him, so I spared no expense. 

 

“You like him don’t you?” Tyrell comments causing me to completely stop what I was doing, which happened to be half way through blowing up a balloon, which sent it flying across the room making a horrid farting noise as it deflated. 

 

“What?!” I coughed out. 

 

“ I know you’re all hung up on that Harry guy, but you and Saxon are literally made for each other. Everyone can see it” He replies sending another balloon toward my head. 

 

“You’re delusional. I don’t like him like that, we are friends. It’s only ever been just friends.” I bite back in defence. 

 

“Not according to him” said almost completely under his breath but loud enough for me to hear. 

 

I was just about to give him another earful when we were interrupted by Gerard, a Science major on our floor. 

 

“You guys need a hand getting these over?” He offers, letting his eyes dart around the room. 

 

“Sure do!” Tyrell sings out, gathering a handful of balloons and heading out with Gerard. 

 

I stay back in the room, to finish inflating the remaining 4 balloons that are left in the packet, continuously going over what Tyrell had just said. 

 

Saxon and I were friends. 

 

We were really close friends. 

 

Surely he didn’t see it as any more than that? 

 

Surely it wasn’t anything more than that. 

Chapter Text

"Alright shut the fuck up everyone. He's almost here" I shout to the room full of awaiting guests.

As I look around the room, it looks better than I could have ever thought. Everyone really came together to surprise Saxon. It was extremely obvious how much he meant to everyone here.

Everyone in the room gathered around the door so they would be in sight as soon as the doors opened.

"Louis! He's here" Tyrell calls from the window shutter seeing the engine lights arriving.

We all gather in position and wait for the doors to open.

The suspense is absolutely killing me. How long does it bloody take to walk from the car to the door?

"SURPRISE!!!" The entire room sings in tune as soon as Saxon steps foot in the door. And I can see by the look on his face he had absolutely no clue at all. The look of shock he held on his face made the most heartfelt warming grin spread across my face.

I watch him intensely make his way around the room, greeting his guests, thanking them and being offered drink after drink. Being the subject of every toast offering the room had.`

"Did you organise all of this?" he teases as he makes his way finally over to me, pushing his way through the swarms of people. 

"Maybe. Maybe not, I guess you will never know" I reply sarcastically as he wraps his arms tightly around me. 

He smelt good. 

Has he always smelt this good? 

"I heard you cheeky little thing" his fingers dig and wiggle into my side, sending shockwaves through my body. 

"Are you surprised?" I ask. 

He looks over at me with a smile I knew would be captured in my brain for a very long time. "I am Louis"

Throughout the party, I seem to stay in one position by the jukebox, downing beer after beer, finding myself watching Saxon. I found watching him in this environment fascinating and I could help but have Tyrell's comment this morning playing on me. Watching him interact with people and how they react to his jokes and the way he made people laugh, it was really like watching a king work wonders on his kingdom, and something told me that just being the guest of honour had nothing to do with how people were toward him. He seem to have his control over people. But they adored him, they didn't fear him and that sort of leadership I was foreign to. 

I didn't realise I was starring until everything in the room seem to freeze around him the minute our eyes met. Like everything else faded away and all that was left was the two of us. 

Why did he look different? Why was I feeling different? 

Did his hair always fall across his face like that?

I could feel my heart beating against the cavity of my chest. I felt sick, nervous and my stomach turning like I hadn't felt in a long time. 

The image of Saxon was getting closer until I realised my feet were leading me in his direction. I couldn't make sense of what I was doing until I found myself right in front of him. I don't know if this was a mix of the alcohol, poor frame of mind, the environment that we were in or the constant looping of Tyrell telling me that we were perfect, but I was gravitating toward him. In more ways than just physical. 

I see his throat tense up as he swallows hard "Louis" he greets in a shaky, nervous voice. 

"Saxon" I reply, attempting to keep my own voice as collected as I could. 

"Tonight has been unbelievable. Thank you so much."  I was barely able to make out the words as they seemed to be drowned out by my body going into shock as his fingertips traced down the length of my arm. 

The touch sent shivers down my spine but created a trail of warmth following it's path. 

"I, erm, you're welcome. I'm glad your having a good night" I offer the most casual reply I can whilst my brain, heart and stomach were in gymnastics training. 

"It's the best" he adds as his fingertips reach the space where my palm connects with my arm. He lets the pad of his index finger trace small circles around, teasing and tempting my reaction. 

I can't allow my eyes to drift down to the motion at my hand, I don't trust my reaction, instead, I keep my eyes directly on him. Trying to gain recognition of his features, what he is making of this. Did he look confident? Scared? Like it was a game? 

But all I saw on his face was contentment, mixed with a hint of excitement. Something was telling me that he had been wanting to do this for a while, and possibly the alcohol gave him the confidence he needed, but I worried that my efforts into this party gave off the wrong vibe. 

For luck of better judgement, I twitch my hand which apparently was enough of a signal and before I could register his fingers were intertwined with mine as he took a step closer, wrapping my now held hand around my own back bringing us face to face. 

Using his free hand, he pushed the fallen hair out of my eyes but let his hand remain dormant on my cheek, his index finger create a lingering tingle on my face. My eyes feathered closed at the sensation.

"Is this okay?" his whisper begs for my consent for him to continue, but I didn't know how to answer him. I didn't know if it was okay or not. Did I want it? Yes. Did I want it to stop? No. But should I be doing this? I didn't know. 

The moment he touched me, I thought of nothing else, but the minute my eyes closed, all I saw was Harry. 

My hesitation made him pause his soft stroking on my back, removing his hand from mine but keeping it on my lower back. 

As I let my eyes open, he was starring desperately back at me. 

"Sorry, I just-" I felt like I owed him an explanation, but I didn't know where to start. 

The hand that was placed on my cheek slide down to underneath my chin, lifting my head up to his eye line. 

"You don't need to explain Lou, just tell me something yeah?" he asks in a soft tone. 

I nod in agreement. 

"Do you not want this because of me? Or because of him?" the bluntness of his question shocks me. 

"No no, it's because not because of you, no, I think you are.. wonderful, but I just, I don't know"  I can't even work out the words. 

"You need to let him go Louis. He's not coming back" I knew the truth in his statement, the delusion in me would never accept it. 

Deep down I knew Harry was gone. I knew he was never coming back. I had known for a while, but with every day that went by, the reality of my situation became more evident. 

The movement from my chin moved to around the back of my neck, grabbing a tense handful of my hair, the slightest hug causing an aroused groan coming from the back of my throat. 

The sudden connection of his warm, plump lips upon mine followed by the sharp inhale of my breath as it was completely robbed from me. I remain frozen in place, my lips not responding to his, but they weren't denying the connection either. 

He detaches his lips from mine and moves his attention to the vulnerable skin under my right earlobe. My head falling to the side to allow access, my eyes feathered shut from contact. 

"I've wanted this for so long" He whispers into my ear as he detaches for only a moment.

I somehow find the comment funny and open my eyes to look at him. But I could have never been prepared for the subject my eyes attached themselves on when I opened them. 

Was I hallucinating? 

Was this a sign I was doing the wrong thing?

A ghost of my past comes back to either haunt me or resurrect me. 

This was a sight I could have never prepared myself for and I wish I was anywhere but here right now. 

Harry. 

 

Chapter Text

"Harry?" I gasp whilst Saxon is still latched onto my neck, hearing my call causes him to stop. 

"Um, it's Saxon" he corrects with hurt in his voice. 

I quickly snap to look at him, realising that he hadn't seen what I had, and urgently push him away. 

"No, it's Harry, he's..." I look over and point to where Harry was standing to see that he was no longer there. I didn't even bother to finish my sentence before I was lunging myself toward the empty space which led to a door. 

"Harry!" I call out as I race out the door. 

I charge toward the back of him as he is racing away from me, as fast as he can. 

"Harry!" I call out again as I struggle with closing the gap between us. 

I finally catch up to him, colliding my hands with his shoulder to whip him around to face me. 

The moment our eyes connected, I couldn't even describe the amount of regret I felt, the look of hurt that was contained in his eyes was the most gut wrenching feeling I've ever witnessed. 

His eyes fluttered around my face, as if he was trying to work out the stranger standing before him. And I was suddenly lost for words. I didn't know what to say. Where to start. 

"Harry, I, I just, you're here?" I stumble out, fighting back my own tears. 

"I am here Louis, and you, you're.." he couldn't find the words either, I knew I had disappointed him. I knew the moment I saw him, I knew the moment Saxon's lips touched mine, I knew the moment I walked away from Harry's house. I knew it was always going to be him. 

A moment of weakness, a small lapse in judgement, the worst mistake I could have ever made. 

"Have I lost you? Louis?" his sudden question throws me off guard. I expected yelling, I expected blame, I expected so much disappointment. But to get a question filled with so much heartbreak, I wasn't prepared. 

"What?" I question. 

His hands connects with the my fallen fringe and makes it's way down the side of my cheek with hesitation and lust. Marking the placement where Saxon's hand once was, but somehow this felt so different. This touch felt different, it always felt different. 

"Have I lost you?" he repeats, a struggle evident in his voice. 

I shake my head with complete urgency "No, Harry no. Of course not. I didn't mean. He is just." I jumbled through explanations and reassurance. 

"Do you love him?" his questions continue to shock me. 

"Never. I love you" I breathe out. "Let's go. Can we go somewhere? Please? I want to explain. I want to just, can we?" I beg. 

He only replies to me with a nod. To which I immediately grab his hand and lead us across the courtyard toward my dorm building. 

** 

Harry and I spent the rest of the night talking, and I really do mean the rest of the night. The sun broke through about half way through one of the many explanations I was attempting to give Harry. But by the end of it all, he wasn't angry. He said he understood. 

He explained his reasoning for leaving, he explained his reasoning for staying behind. He brought the letter with him, wanted me to explain a few sections. He wanted his chance to respond to a few of things I said. 

That's just what the night consisted of. Explanations and a chance to say our side. It seemed like steps forward, actually leaps and bounds forward. Having equal sided discussions with Harry was something that I wasn't use to, but I feel like we needed it. 

"I am sorry Harry" I apologise knowing that it doesn't hold the value it needs to. 

"Louis, you don't need to apologise. I have always expected you to understand so much from me, I understand that I can't expect to hold this ownership over you. I need to be prepared for you to move on with out me" 

"That isn't what is happening Harry. I know now, more than ever, that I'll never move on. I don't want to move on. I said to you Harry, that I'll be here for whenever you are ready for me and I meant it." I explain. 

He takes a deep breath and shakes his head in frustration. "No, see you can't live like that Louis. I don't want you to live like that. But I know that I caused that problem, I know its my fault, I made you like that. And I apologise." 

"You never need to apologise for me falling in love with you Harry" 

He looks saddened. Which did set me back a little, I thought our discussion was going well, I wondered why my admitting to loving him, why that caused a sudden change in his emotion. 

"What is it Harry?"  I ask, scooting myself over toward him, holding his hand in mine and urging him to look up at me. 

"We can't do this Louis." 

 

Chapter Text

"We can't do this Louis" I wasn't even sure if I heard the words right from out of his mouth. 

"What?" I gasp in confusion. He is the one that came here. He is the one that after six months finally came back to me, finally came back to us. 

"Louis, I don't want it to be like that anymore. For the entirely of our relationship you've always been submissive to me, your follow me around and do whatever I tell you. Even when I treated you like an absolute dick, you always continued to wait for me. Even when you tried to get away, those moments of strength I saw in you when you had the courage to leave me, I should have let you go because that's what you wanted. I never, ever, gave you what you wanted and I just " 

I cut him off before he was able to speak again with connecting my lips to his. This was raw, this was real Harry. Even though the words were never spoken, this was his apology. This was his way of saying that what he did was wrong. And he didn't need to, as much as I appreciate the acknowledgement, there was two people in this relationship the entire time, and I allowed myself to be controlled by him. 

I fell in love with Harry Edward Styles for everything that he was, for everything that he did and everything I knew he was destined to be. 

As we slowly part our lips, I leave my forehead resting heavy on his, missing the sweet taste of his lips but recognising it the moment it engulfed me. 

"Harry, stop please. I regret nothing. I would do everything exactly the same if I got to do it over again. We made decisions based on what we thought was best for us at the time, but you are always going to be what is best for me, and that has nothing to do with the way in which you thought you treated me. It's got to do with how much I love you. How much I want you in my life." 

I smiled slightly to myself and extended out my right hand for him to grasp. He furrows his eyebrows in confusion however responds with gripping his hand firmly in mine. 

"Hi, my name is Louis Tomlinson, I'm not the tallest person you will come across but I can promise you that I will go to great heights for the person I fall in love with. It's nice to meet you" I introduce myself with a cheeky grin. 

He chuckles under his breath at my gesture but gathers himself and looks back deep in my eye. 

"Hey, I'm Harry Styles, I am a little bit taller than you but I can promise you, I've never felt smaller when I lost the most amazing person in my life. I also have a daughter, who I would love for you to meet, and I'm extremely thankful that I got to meet you" 

I lunge forward and reconnect our lips together in complete lust. I knew never I was able to fill love like this before and I didn't want to understand it. I didn't want to make sense of it, I just wanted to ride out this wave, I wanted to stay on this rollercoaster forever. 

**

Harry was able to stay for a few days whilst Willow was staying with Kasey's mum. And to be completely honest, we needed that. We needed the opportunity to meet each other again. To fall in love again. Even though we never stopped, it was an opportunity to realise it as it was happening. 

When I look back on my past, all I see is Harry. All I know is Harry. All I ever wanted was Harry, but there was always this entire side of him that I knew nothing about, Harry as a dad. 

The moment I met that side of Harry, I knew right then and there that I officially knew everything about him and I couldn't have loved him more if I even tried. 

The secret of Willow almost tore us to pieces, but I understood and I would have done the same thing if I was in his position. Willow was the piece I thought was missing from Harry, but in actual fact, she was the piece that was missing for us. And as soon as I learnt the truth, everything for Harry and I just made sense. 

I knew that Harry and I would have our struggles ahead, I knew that Harry and I still had a lot to learn about each other, life, parenting and the world, but it was ours now. The world was ours for the taking and I couldn't wait to start. 

I felt like it was the beginning again. I felt like it was our time. Our time to get it right, our time to fall in love, make mistakes, make memories, make rules and break them every single time over. 

But I would be doing it with him. I would be doing it with her. 

We'd be together. 

And that's how it would always remain.