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Unbelievers

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Unbelievers: The Epilogue.

Harry Styles.

“You know that this is pretty much criminal, right?” Harry tells his best friend as the lad jumps back into the car after dropping weed off at Niall’s house.

Zayn leers at him, adjusting his seat belt in the driver’s seat. “Just because I’m nice and sometimes give you some for free, doesn’t make what you're doing anymore legal, you know.”

Harry watches him for a second as he starts the car, contemplating. “Can I have two joints?” he asks.

“Why?”

“Louis?” Duh. “Have you seen happy Louis? Happy Louis on drugs is the best thing this world has ever seen. He is like a chipmunk singing carols in a tree in glittery attire. Do I need more of a reason?”

“You’re the worst boyfriend ever.” Zayn shakes his head, pursing his lips as he navigates out on the road, heading towards Harry’s house. “How is it going with that, anyway?” he asks. “How many times have you broken up again?”

Harry scoffs. “Please… They’re not breakups. If they were breakups, Louis broke up with me twice just last night. Fights are not breakups. Fights are fights, until Louis’ thick head remembers he’s in love with me and that we’re going to be living together at uni. Then he goes all puppy again.”

“Why do you even fight?” Zayn mutters. He has a way of seeming very uninterested, when in all actuality Zayn’s interested-face is his face that looks uninterested. If that makes sense. It took Harry two months before he understood that Zayn was his friend.

“Because Louis says I’m high-maintenance, when he doesn’t actually think so, and I’m not. ”

“You talk way too fast.”

“And did you know that Louis thinks he’s smart when he tries to hide things from me? As if I wouldn’t know the second he starts cooking something up! I know every single one of his facial expressions, and while saying ‘No, I did not take your navy hoodie’ his eyebrows did not rise that tiny fraction they would have if he were speaking the truth. He is the worst. Honestly, I should break up with him solely because of this.” He blinks for a moment. “No, I shouldn’t.”

“Right...” his friend says. “How’s his sister then?” he sighs, obviously trying to change the subject. Harry has a way of talking for too long when it comes to Louis. “She and her boyfriend broke up?”

“She broke up with him, yeah. She’s fine. We’ve beat Louis at night time FIFA three times consecutively. He’s very annoyed. He mostly grumbles and goes to bed without kissing me. He’s a sour loser. Little grape…” he hums. “Did you know—”

“No, please. Harry.”

“Did you know that during summer he trains double the amount he normally does?” Harry frowns. “Maybe he’s afraid he won’t be fit enough when we start at Manchester… Shit. I should talk to him about this. We should talk more—”

Okay, Harry,” Zayn finally says loudly, cutting him off. “I’m not buying this shit. What is going on? Really?”

Harry shuts up, giving in. He sure talks a lot about Louis, but he isn’t a fast speaker. He stares at Zayn’s annoyingly deep brown eyes for another moment, until he turns to look out the window instead. “Mum is finishing moving out today,” he mutters, head falling back against the seat.

When he was told that she was moving to Cheshire the night before he found out he was accepted at Manchester, it literally felt like the world was crashing down on him. Spending two years with his parents’ constant fights, bickering and passive aggressiveness, he somehow still wished that they would stay together. For a while it calmed down, they seemed much less stressed than tense, and at the time he actually thought they had worked things out. Naively, of course. He later found out that that’s when they decided to finalize the divorce. Brilliant. Then he had to tell Louis he got accepted to Manchester University Youth Football Program.

It’s probably one of the hardest things he’s done in his life. Being unequivocally, heedlessly and steadfastly in love with him, it hurt more than anyone will ever know having to tell him that he got accepted to the school that only takes on fifteen players to the program a year, and it would ultimately mean that his dream was shattered to pieces.

Obviously Harry knows that it wasn’t his fault, but that doesn’t mean it hurt any less. Even though Harry knows his parents, as much as they love him, would never agree to pay thousands of pounds to let him run around after a muddy ball on a “lawn” instead of studying something “proper”, he thought for just a second that he didn’t deserve it as much as Louis. But he needs the scholarship, even if it at times felt like Louis needed it more, because sure, Harry can study whatever he wants apart from footie because he’s got the money, but Louis can’t. It’s unfair, but sadly that’s how it is.

Nothing to dwell on, however. Somehow it worked out. By some fucking miracle it did.

Harry has a boyfriend now, and a pretty damn good one at that. Though Louis claims Harry is high-maintenance, Harry knows he secretly loves every second of their time together. Kisses on doorsteps, hand-holding, snogging sessions during lunch period while school lasted, and a dick up Harry’s arse, are things Louis is rather accommodating with. All of this, and they have yet to have had a proper date.

“How do you feel?” Zayn wonders.

Harry shrugs, pouting down at his fingers. “Good? Bad? How am I supposed to feel?”

“I don’t know, mate.”

A good thing amongst the bad, is that Louis knows exactly how Harry feels. He’s been through what Harry is going through, and while Harry can’t share the experience with anyone, as his sister isn’t here to do it with him, Louis has been a solid rock.

He still remembers showing up on Louis’ porch that Sunday afternoon, tears in his eyes. Zayn was away for the weekend to visit his cousins, and truth be told, Harry doesn’t have that many friends. Sure, there’s Ed, but he can’t really talk to him like with Zayn. Louis was his last—honest to God his absolute last—choice of person to go to, but Harry needed a distraction and Louis is good at those.

No wonder, Harry thinks now, because Louis is a champ at avoiding problems for as long as he possibly can.

But Harry had just been sat at home, stuck the entire Sunday trying to revise for a stupid quiz he had the next day, with his parents yelling able to be heard through the entire house. He had gone down to try to ask them to quiet down for just a moment, but it only escalated and ended with Anne grabbing Harry’s hand and telling his father that they were leaving right then. Instead, Harry was the one leaving, jogging down the sidewalk away from his own home. It was fucked up. In hindsight, he’s more angry at the situation than he was then. Then he was just sad.

Louis’ house always felt so foreign to him in the beginning. There were traces of multiple people everywhere, stuff on the floor, beds unmade, the staircase creaked, and there were so many toothbrushes in the bathroom Harry always seemed to find more each time he counted. At times it felt like it was the only place he could relax. No parents hanging over his head wondering if he’d done his homework yet, or if he wanted to check out some business universities during the weekend. There was no fighting or yelling.

As much as Harry loves his own sister, they were never that close. Seeing Louis and Lottie bounce off each other, hug and kiss one another, made him feel like there was a bond between them. He hasn’t felt like there’s a bond between him and his sister in a long, long time.

All in all, Louis’ home felt warm. And he let him stick around. When he had work and Lottie was out he let him stay in his room, read books, do homework, or sleep. He wanked once. It was strange. He doesn’t think he should tell Louis about it.

Around the time that Louis and Niall’s friendship was at its worst, Harry thinks his and Louis’ friendship really started evolving. Louis needed someone, and they were both already practically living in each other’s pockets. As much as Louis doesn’t see it, Harry was there all the time. He told his mum Zayn needed help with homework at nights, that he went for early runs in the morning, or that he was staying late at a friend’s so he just decided to crash there. Eventually he straight up told her he was sleeping at his boyfriend’s.

It came to a point where he was sitting at the kitchen table in Louis’ house one morning, alone with a cup of tea and wearing nothing but sweats, when Lottie came down and decided to have a talk with him.

“Do you believe you live here, or something?” she asked, squinting in a way that almost shouted ‘Louis’.

Harry swallowed down the tea that really was too hot, a little taken aback. “No?” He’d never really had a private conversation with her, as Louis had always been around when she was.

“You’ve been drinking my favorite tea.” She sat down on the chair at the opposite side of the table, eyes accusing.

“Oh.” Harry’s mouth turned round as his eyes flickered between her and the cup right in front of him.

“Why?” she asked, eyes still narrowed.

“Because it’s the best tea?” he said apprehensively.

She regarded him for a moment more, leaning back in her chair. “You’re not all bad, Styles.”

After that, morning tea with Lottie became a bit of a thing. Then when she had to get ready he’d go back upstairs and sleep for fifteen more minutes, until Louis would wake up and panic because he only had twenty minutes to shower and get to school. It was a pretty routine, for a while there.

Now, morning tea usually comes with Louis’ sister and his mum, ever since she got a promotion at her job and is at home a lot more. At first Louis was apprehensive about the whole ordeal. A morning only a week or so after graduation, Louis came down to the kitchen, finding the three of them in stitches, and instantly went into defense mode. He squinted suspiciously, like he always does in that displeased manner with his arms crossed, and asked if they were making up conspiracies. It took him a week until he accepted that that was how it was going to be from then on. He grumbled. Now that Harry thinks about it, Louis has a way of seeming very displeased in general, even though he secretly is very, very pleased.

Well, until this summer. Harry has never seen Louis like this. He’s happy. He’s like a completely new person—relatively—and for the first time he seems genuinely free. Watching him smile makes Harry’s entire belly flutter, because his smile is unstrained, nothing weighing him down. The change is so prominent, and Harry couldn’t be happier for him.

Zayn stops the car outside Harry’s house. There’s a moving truck just outside, three shirtless men loading boxes into it. If it weren’t for the fact they were representing the end of Harry’s family as a complete concept, he would have spent a moment praising God for what a pleasant sight. As it is, it’s not pleasant at all.

“Call me later, mate. If you can tear yourself from quiffy quifferson for just a moment to hang with me.”

Harry frowns at him. “You’re wearing a quiff right now.”

Zayn looks at him. “You’re no fun.”

Harry snorts, sighing as he opens the passenger door. “See you.”

Zayn salutes him before he closes the door, and Harry starts strolling up to the house, hanging his duffel bag over his shoulder. He walks inside, maneuvering through the sea of cardboard boxes filling up the entire entrance. He knows his dad isn’t home. He’s at Harry’s grandma’s for the weekend, as he didn’t want to be here when Mum left. Harry knows they’ve already said their goodbyes—they even hugged and shared a last peck, wow—so it won’t be that unsettling when he comes back and the house is half empty.

Harry knows his mum is somewhere in the house, but he doesn’t feel like talking. He heads upstairs to return some of his clothes, because as it appears more and more of his stuff seem to end up in Louis’ room. He is going to spend the weekend here, since he doesn’t want his dad to be alone when he comes back from Gran’s.

When Harry walks inside his room, he stops in the doorway. “So, you’re here,” he notes, arching a surprised, albeit pleased, brow.

Louis is sprawled on his stomach on the bed, facing the windows, only in jeans, no shirt. His skin is smooth and golden, shoulders buffer than they were a few months ago. This sight is so much better than the three men outside. Harry—insert loud groan—loves Louis’ back.

“Oh, hello,” his boyfriend says casually, throwing a look behind him before returning to his book.

Harry opens his mouth. “Is that a face mask?”

“It’s against pores.”

From what Harry managed to see, there is a thick layer of green goo across his nose. He drops the bag on the floor before walking over and spreading out on the bed. He crawls up to Louis, burying his nose into the small of his back. His skin smells like vanilla and honey, and just a little bit salty from the summer warmth. He could eat him up. (Words like that go in the category of things he doesn’t say when Louis can hear.)

“And you decided to do that here?” Harry murmurs against him, lips brushing his skin and making him shiver. He’s soft and firm at the same time, shifting slightly under Harry’s weight. He reaches a hand back, scratching Harry’s scalp for a short moment in greetings.

“Lottie gave it to me and I was bored, so I came here. Your mum made me cookies.” His voice is slow, as he’s probably reading as he speaks.

Harry turns his face, leaving his cheek pressed against Louis’ back. “She made you cookies? How does she even have time for that?”

“Think she wants me to like her more.”

Probably a lost cause. Well, Harry knows Louis doesn’t hate her, but he also knows he isn’t too fond of her either. They’re okay, though.

“So,” Louis says then.

“What?”

“So do you think I’m pansexual or not?”

Harry frowns in confusion, hand cupping Louis’ side over his ribs. “Why?” he asks tentatively, placing his chin against his back.

He doesn’t need to imagine how Louis rolls his eyes, because it’s simply in the way he talks. “Because I’m asking? Does that make sense to you, sweetheart?”

This is the first time Louis has mention anything of the sort, but truthfully Harry isn’t surprised because Louis always does this—acts as if he’s had an entire conversation with Harry about the matter when in reality that conversation most likely happened in his head.

Harry purses his lips. “Why do you think you’re pan?” he wonders.

“Because I was watching those guys out there and I didn’t feel a thing.”

“You watched them?” Harry presses his chin harder into his back, making him shift in discomfort. “You have a boyfriend, Lewis,” he murmurs.

Naturally, Louis continues on like nothing happened, head still in his book. “And then I remembered watching girl porn and I didn’t feel anything either. So then gay porn came to mind, and I thought that was pretty cool if I was imagining—” He rolls over, making Harry slide off him. “Because… Then I look at you and…”

He trails off, eyes lingering on Harry’s face before slowly taking in the rest of his body where he’s splayed out on the bed by his side. His mouth is just a little bit open, eyes soft with adoration.

Harry should not be this endeared by him when he’s got green cream over his face, but his stomach still flutters and his heart feels too big for his chest. He remembers seeing Louis watch him like this before they were officially together. It made his entire stomach swoop, and made it hard for him to breathe, because he just looks so sincere and completely head over heels. It scared him in the beginning, because Louis’ actions felt so far from what his eyes were conveying. Right now it only makes his heart beat faster and makes him want to scream ‘I love you’ at the top of his lungs.

“Harry-sexual sound pretty good to me,” he breathes, voice tight as his eyes linger on Louis’ bare stomach, the small happy trail leading into his jeans…

“You’re so full of yourself,” Louis snorts.

Harry swallows and bites his lip, yearning starting to build in his lower regions. “I could be full of you.”

Louis guffaws. “Where is your shame!”

“Haven’t got any.”

“As if I didn’t already know.”

Harry reaches out with grabby hands until Louis succumbs. He sits up and scoots forward on the bed, until Harry can cup his face and kiss him. Harry likes doing that, because then he can keep Louis close for as long as he likes.

Louis deepens the kiss, tongue gently nudging Harry’s bottom lip. His lips feel like they always do; soft, thin, and delicious. Harry instantly accommodates—like always—and opens his mouth, simultaneously trying to pull Louis on top of him. Louis does that thing where he pretends Harry is annoying and sighs, but it only takes him a second to follow.

Harry spreads his legs, Louis easily fitting himself in between. Harry loves this feeling, Louis pressing against his crotch, hands squeezing his arse or pressing his thumbs to his nipples, his movements deliberate and sure.

His nose nudges Harry’s jaw, and he promptly exposes his neck to let Louis suck a hard kiss just below his jawline. He fits his arm around his waist, pushing at the small of Harry’s back to have him arch up. Harry inhales, lifting his hips as Louis rolls his down.

They both exhale, sounds of pleasure escaping them. “Lou,” Harry breathes, fingers sinking into his hair at the back of his head. “I want,” he mumbles, and Louis instantly keens, a sound of agony mixed with desire slipping past his lips.

The phrase has become a bit sentimental to them. The words mean Louis burying his face in Harry’s neck, pressing a tiny kiss to his pulse point, or Harry squeezing Louis half to death, or gentle kisses before going to sleep. Or like this, moaning lowly and holding on, close, close.

Louis pants softly in his neck, placing another kiss there. Harry arches up again, stomach jumping with the chill when Louis’ hand sinks into the back of his jeans. Harry closes his eyes, anticipation warm in his tummy as he waits for his hand to sink lower. Louis stops.

“I’ve just realized something,” he says.

Harry opens his mouth to complain, but then... “You’re still wearing the face mask.”

Louis nods.

“Do I have green stuff all over my neck?”

“Yes.”

He makes a displeased noise, body going slack under Louis’, head falling back against the bed. “Yeah, no. We’re not having sex now.”

Louis rolls off, stretching his arms above his head, yawning. “Wasn’t aware we were having sex?”

“You don’t catch up on anything, do you?”

Louis snickers. “I thought I was making you come in your pants, but...” He shrugs, eyes twinkling.

Harry reaches out where he lies on the bed, hand cupping the side of Louis’ neck, index finger touching his jawline. He brings him in close, lips just an inch apart. “You’re taking me out on a date tonight,” he murmurs. “And afterwards you’re going to fuck me.”

He grins as Louis visibly swallows, eyes instantly sliding down to Harry’s lips, nudging them together, just brushing.

“Wait,” Louis says lowly, frowning. “When you say ‘afterwards’ you mean...? I thought our dates meant fucking already.”

“That’s why you’re taking me out on a real one. A date.”

“Your mum leaves at six.”

“I know, but after. The only date we’ve had was on my birthday, Lou, and it barely counts.” Louis’ face instantly turns apologetic. “No,” Harry says, pushing a finger to his lips, shushing him before he’s even said a word.

He knows Louis still feels bad, but Harry doesn’t blame him anymore. Louis has apologized too many times to be counted, and they were both dickheads back then. Louis made up for it later that night anyway, and to be fair, Harry wasn’t entirely innocent that day either.

Harry leans in and kisses him on the tip of his nose. He knows he hates it when he does that. “Don’t say anything, baby. Just take me out on a date.”

“Okay,” Louis mutters, giving in.

“And look nice. Proper.”

“Are you saying I don’t look nice?”

“Why do you pick fights about everything?”

Louis rolls his eyes. “Harry, it’s called banter—”

“I know, I was keeping it going,” Harry sneers back at him, and their eyes lock in a tense gaze. Louis’ eyes are the first to break out of the hold as always, sliding down to Harry’s chest.

“Can we—”

“In the shower,” Harry agrees, quickly standing from the bed and pulling Louis with him into the bathroom.

**

Can we talk? I know you hate me, Harry, but it’s been two years. I’m sorry that I tried to get a rise out of you with Louis. I’ve made mistakes, but I just want us to talk so I can move on. You refusing to even speak to me hurts, I just want us to be free of this. I don’t expect us to go back to being friends or you to like me again or whatever, but don’t lie and say you wouldn’t feel better about our situation if we talked... Pls H . Xx

Harry stares at the message. It’s not the first one of the kind he’s received, but this is the first time he’s ever felt remotely like replying.

He knows Jas and Louis are friendly, not entirely friends, but something of the sort. Watching them together, especially when he and Louis weren’t talking, was trying.

The thing is, he saw it from the start. After the fight he and Jas had in September, she went directly to Louis. It was a sore spot. Like Louis felt when Niall went to Zayn, Harry felt battered, even confusedly disturbed. Despite not having been close for a year more or less, it irked him, made his chest flare with almost repugnance at times.

And then, he didn’t want her to touch upon things that didn’t belong to her. Or rather, he didn’t want to touch things that were in some respects his. At the time he still felt horribly hurt and angry, and just the thought of her meddling so close to another one of his secrets made him feel sick.

Even though Harry now knows that she would never tell people the truth about his sexuality, and he hated Louis, back then he didn’t want to allow her the chance to do the same to Louis. Of course he had no idea what sexuality Louis aligned himself with—obviously Louis still doesn’t—but he didn’t want her to acquire the ability to put Louis in the same seat Harry was in. His intentions of protecting Louis were severely more selfish in the beginning, as a possible outing of Louis could ultimately mean Harry himself obtained a risk of being exposed. However, as he gradually grew closer to Louis, his reasons to keep Jasmine and Louis apart became more pure, but as he realized with a start one day, also flecked with very evident green.

He knows now that Louis never had a single intention of being intimate with her, but it was still a fear close to his heart. Seeing her near him, kissing his cheek in front of everyone, made his chest sting horribly, and not only because it was her. The thought of Louis with anyone else makes his skin crawl.

The kiss, and then only a week later, the shirt. It didn’t click immediately. The few days that passed, his head was filled with disoriented thoughts and his chest was constricting with anxiety, the fear that Louis actually did something convulsing inside him. He remembered how Zayn had told him he walked into the school bathroom, finding Jasmine in there after bumping into Louis. He’d proper told her off for going after Louis, but the fact that Harry knew now that Louis and Jasmine were talking, only added to his doubts. Maybe Louis didn’t have feelings for him after all? But the same day he came running towards Harry, looking so fucking free and happy, kissing him in the parking lot. Harry had never seen him like that.

Louis was confusing, to say the least.

After the semifinal, he couldn’t believe that he’d let them go from being so, so close to this, something non-speaking, so awkward and tension-filled. The confusing part is, he didn’t mean for it to happen like that. Louis kissed him, and he looked so freaking earnest and like he was throwing all of the things inside him at Harry. Harry was shocked. Louis never spoke about his feelings willingly, and it startled him. He was surprised.

It wasn’t logical, but it scared him. And the second their lips met, Harry realized that everyone were surrounding them. Maybe Louis didn’t realize? When they parted, Harry looked over and saw Ed staring at the both of them. Harry didn’t know what to do. And then Louis hurried away so fast, Harry couldn’t even think.

Louis didn’t call him like he was supposed to after the semifinal. Harry waited, but he didn’t call. He waited for it all night as his parents were too busy dividing furniture to ask him how the match went, and he waited the whole day afterwards, even as Louis didn’t show up to school. He knows now that he should have just called, because Louis was just as confused as him. It was a grand misunderstanding, to say the least.

At first he didn’t know if he should approach him or not, he didn’t know if it was okay to talk. It was so awkward, because none of them knew what was going on. Watching Louis and Jasmine at the party, for a moment he thought that maybe the good times were just a spell. Maybe Louis was just an unbearable prick like he used to think.

But that was not true, because the moments they’ve had, fuck, the last night they had before the semifinal… All of those things were real. Louis trusted Harry and together they did something new. It was big, scary and simultaneously absolutely blissful. Harry never knew he even wanted it like that, but with Louis everything is good. So, so good.

He tried to stay away from him after the party, because he knew things between them were so complicated. Louis made everything inside him feel like a hurricane. He didn’t know what he was doing with Jasmine, he didn’t know what he was thinking, he didn’t know anything about anything. Louis tried to talk to him, but Harry just… It’s hard to explain how incredibly disoriented he felt. Zayn was saying he heard rumors about Louis and Jas, Louis wouldn’t meet his eyes for longer than a second, and then when he came up to Harry, he just couldn’t do it. Not right then, because he was pretty sure he would have crumbled.

In the bathroom at the pizza place, it just snapped inside him how much he wanted Louis. Before he had to tell him that he got a spot at Manchester, he just wanted to be able to kiss him like nothing was wrong. He wanted push all the problems away for just one day, so maybe he and Louis could feel fine once again. It doesn’t work like that, though. He realizes he was hurting Louis by not talking to him, but at the time he was not thinking clearly. All he wanted was for Louis not to hate him.

Present day, it still tears at him thinking of Louis and Jas as friends. However, he does want to put it behind them. Louis keeps saying it’s their shit, that he isn’t going to be in the middle of it, that he doesn’t care if Harry chooses to make friends with her or not. He says it’s up to Harry, but Harry knows deep down that Louis and Jasmine could make pretty good friends, and even though it’s been years, Harry still misses her friendship. Perhaps, putting it behind him is a good idea.

We can talk, but not for long. Gotta be home before six, he texts back.

Our spot?

It’s not their spot anymore, but he agrees and tells her to meet him there in half an hour.

He drops his phone back on the bed, rolling over on his stomach.

“Are you leaving me?” Louis murmurs behind him on the bed, the arm that was tucked around Harry’s waist following his move, hand ending up flat against Harry’s naked spine. His voice is husky from the afternoon nap, hair still damp from the shower.

“Was gonna talk to Jasmine, actually,” Harry whispers, turning to face him. He looks sweet where he’s still partly locked in sleep, cheek pressed to the pillow. He looks good like this, soft features, bare shoulders and hair flat against his forehead. He’s been wearing a quiff lately, says he is trying it out. He only used to do his hair up on occasion before, but lately he’s been wearing it like that pretty regularly. He looks beautiful either way, in Harry’s probably biased opinion.

“Yeah?” Louis murmurs back, only opening one of his eyes. Harry tiredly leans over and kisses his eyebrow, then fits himself into Louis’ outstretched arms, with a small hum burying his nose in his neck. Louis holds him to himself, fingers light on his back.

“Mm-hmm.” Harry nuzzles closer, wanting to be as near as possible. Sometimes simply the feeling of Louis breathing against him makes him feel at ease, everything else melting away. Like scary icicles turning to easy water as they’re hit with the warmth of the sun. Louis has been feeling like Harry’s personal sun for a while now.

“Want me to come? It’d be awkward, but…”

“No.” Harry shakes his head, nudging his lips to the curve of his neck, just to let them rest there. He smells good. Soapy.

Louis understands. All he does is squeeze his arms tighter around Harry’s torso, the air almost wheezing out of him as he clings to Louis. He feels a little helpless all of a sudden, as if the only thing making him feel good being Louis. It used to be like that for a while, often when everything felt particularly shitty.

“I love you,” he whispers, voice tight.

“Love you,” Louis says back. “Baby…”

“I know,” Harry says, shaking his head, but his eyes itch.

Louis says it anyway. “It’s okay if you’re sad about your mum leaving.”

He shakes his head, holding on tight around Louis’ naked torso. “I’m glad she’s going,” he whispers. The words are low and meant for Louis only. “Even though we’re leaving soon, I’m glad she’s going now because I couldn’t watch them trying to fake it for much longer. She wants to go, so then she should go.” His voice is raw, husky. Louis fingers card through his hair, the touch reassuring and soothing at the same time. “She wants me to visit her in Cheshire, but… I just don’t know.”

“You don’t have to decide that now, love,” Louis murmurs. “You can wait. The entire summer is left.”

Harry sighs. “You always know what to say.”

“Well, God knows I’ve learned some things this past year,” he mutters. He plants a small kiss on Harry’s shoulder, hand patting his hair one more time.

“I need to get dressed,” Harry mumbles. “Can you drive me? You can keep the car so you can pick me up before our date.”

“Fine,” Louis mutters. His family’s car is beginning to face its last days of its long, long life, and Louis is rather unwilling to admit it. Lottie, however, is pretty pleased about the fact that Harry lends his car to them whenever they need it.

They reluctantly crawl out of bed, slipping into new clothes. Louis pulls on a pair of track pants and a jumper despite the warm weather, both of which belong to Harry. He looks perfect, eyes still tinged with sleep under his fringe.

“Can I have this?” he asks, picking a dark blue beanie out of one Harry’s drawers. Harry isn’t sure if Louis means ‘borrow’ or ‘keep forever’, but either way he shrugs and agrees.

They trudge downstairs, Louis’ hand softly clenched around Harry’s t-shirt. He’s adorably sleepy after he naps, following Harry like a child. As they reach the last step on the stairs, Harry’s mum comes into the room, a big cardboard box in her arms.

Harry’s chest contorts just a little. Her long, dark hair is twisted into a knot, and she looks tired, but in a ‘I’ve been carrying boxes the entire day’-way. She sets the box down on the floor when she spots them, smiling as she lets out a breath. “Hi, boys,” she says, hands settling on her hips. “Are you leaving?”

“Yeah,” Harry mumbles.

“Oh,” his mum says. “Well, I suppose I won’t be seeing you in while, Louis.” She steps forward, arms out. Louis steps into her embrace without hesitation, staying in her warm hug for a moment. Surprisingly, it isn’t awkward. Louis pats Anne gently on the back, murmuring something in her ear. She says something back, and to be entirely honest, Harry doesn’t care what it is.

Louis steps back, a small, kind smile on his lips. Harry reaches out and links their fingers, pulling him towards the front door.

“You’ll be back before six, yeah?” he hears his mother call behind him, and he nods, waving a hand above his head, making an agreeing noise.

He knows he’s being rather insensitive at the moment, but he knows himself. There will be enough emotion when he has to say goodbye. He doesn’t want to spend more time than necessary being sad.

Louis swings their hands between them as they stroll towards the car. He looks exceptionally adorable, the grey jumper sleeves hanging low over his hands. It’s pretty amazing how their relationship has grown to something so comfortable, and most of all so normal, in such a short time despite the history they have.

The first couple of days were tentative when it came to acting like a couple. It was a strange concept that they could now hold hands, peck and touch each other, and basically do anything they wanted in public.

What Harry actually took for granted, Louis said in a weird voice as he took Harry’s hand tentatively. “You’re, erm, I love you? Be my, erm, uh… ” (seven years later) “…boyfriend?” It was very sweet (Harry laughed at his indignant frown when he told him so). Boyfriends, though. It was a nice confirmation.

After spending the entire last football practice sitting on the pitch with the lads, kissing each other softly as often as possible, they drove over to Louis’ house. Louis walked backwards, holding both of Harry’s hands as he led him up the porch and into the house, kicking off his shoes without releasing him. He looked so bright, eyes so blue, and lips pulled up in a small smile as he murmured words Harry was too dazzled to remember.

Lottie spotted them as they walked past the kitchen, grinning brightly as she noticed Harry. Louis rolled his eyes when she came to hug him, breaking their hold of each other’s hands. “I’m so glad you’re back together, I can’t believe you even thought you’d be able to be apart for real,” she said, shaking her head and giving Harry a kiss on the cheek.

Louis simply linked their fingers again, pulling Harry upstairs. For some reason, all of his condoms were confiscated, but not the lube, so Louis ended up fingering Harry until he came. He wanked Louis off afterwards, sucking a hard love bite into his neck.

It all has seemed to fall into place pretty seamlessly. Sure, they have their fights and bicker pretty regularly, but it’s all good. Harry smiles over the hood of the car at Louis as they’re about to get into the vehicle. It’s very good.

Louis turns on his favorite radio station, adjusting the driver’s seat to his satisfaction, before he navigates out on the road. Harry directs him towards a small playground behind one of the older blocks in the town. Louis drives leaning back in his seat, one hand on the wheel and the other scratching the nape of Harry’s neck.

“Second,” he murmurs as he slows down, about to turn onto the street leading up to the playground.

Harry switches gear with ease for him, before turns his head and kisses the inside of Louis’ small wrist. “Thank you,” he murmurs as the car comes to a stop.

“D’you want me to pick you up?”

“Nah, I’ll walk. Just pick me up at seven and wear something nice.”

“You’ve said that ten times. I’ll dress up, I promise,” Louis sighs, but leans over the console to kiss him goodbye. Harry tries to contain himself—a constant battle—and keeps the kiss relatively short.

“See you,” he murmurs, giving him a last peck before he jumps out of the Rover.

He closes the car door and trudges off between the trees, taking a shortcut rather than walking all the way over to the path that leads to the round sandbox, swings and slides. The trees are green like the grass and moss, the summer truly having flowered now. It’s been so long since he’s been here, probably a year or so. He’s going to miss Donny when they’ve left for Manchester. It’s not that far, but still. Doncaster has been his home for eighteen years.

The trees thin out, shaping a meadow not far from the playground. There’s a small shed, painted red with a dark, worn roof. It’s old, the paint flaking. The bench beneath a pair of trees is there though, just like it’s always been. It almost melts into the scenery, flowers growing on the ground and around its legs, a bush curling behind the back.

Jasmine’s already there. She’s in a flowery skirt with black boots, a thin knitted jumper on top. She smiles as she looks up, eyes crinkling in that familiar way. The fact that they’ve been close friends feels strange because it’s been so long, yet it seems like yesterday.

“Hello,” she murmurs in that pleasant, soft voice. Her hair is newly washed, eyes free from makeup.

“Hey,” he says, sounding rather curt without meaning to. He sits down on the bench next to her, leaning back and crossing his ankles. She’s tucked her knees to her chest, facing him.

“Glad you came,” she says.

He clears his throat a little. “We can skip the pleasantries,” he says quietly, drawing his shoulders up a little.

“It was the truth, H,” she says softly, but nonetheless nods, seeming to brace herself for the conversation that’s coming. She shakes her head. “To be honest, I don’t know how to say what I’ve said already so many times in a different way. You must know by now that I am sorry about what happened back then.”

Harry nods, then shakes his head, hand running through his hair. “It’s just taken me some time to forgive you,” he smurmurs lowly. “Still haven’t entirely.”

“I just don’t want you to hate me, Harry,” she whispers.

“I don’t—I don’t hate you, Jas. I’m just hurt. You hurt me pretty badly.”

“Yeah,” she nods. She looks at him seriously, eyes filled with sincerity. “I just don’t want to leave this place knowing that you’re still hurting.”

“I’m not hurting,” he says softly. Truthfully he hasn’t been sad in a while, mostly he’s just been missing her friendship. “I’m just disappointed and… I don’t like what you did.”

She nods, lips pressed together. “You know why I did, though, yeah? I can’t defend it and I won’t, but it wasn’t just a heartless act.” She sounds vulnerable, yet strong, in a way.

“No, I know. And I—I’m not innocent,” he whispers, looking up at her. “I’m sorry to tell you this, but… I should never have pursued something romantic between us.” He sheepishly looks down at his own knees. He’s ashamed, honestly. Hiding the stuff he’s been guilty for behind his anger about the things Jas has done wrong has been too easy, and also unfair. “I knew I probably liked boys, but I. You were one of my best friends. I loved you, but I was confused on what level.”

“Because I loved you more?” Jas asks, arching a brow.

He swallows. “Yeah,” he murmurs. It’s strange saying these things out loud, but it feels good. This is the only thing they’ve never truly talked about.

“I’m not in love with you anymore, Harry,” she says calmly.

“I know.”

“And I’m sorry about Louis.”

“I know.”

They don’t have much to say to each other about those other things, because it feels like they’re both pretty over fighting about it, over rehashing everything. Harry has heard what she’s told Louis, and he doesn’t need her to say it all again.

“Can we just decide we’re done with this shit?” he says, voice loud, exhaling heavily.

“Sure.” She nods, hair swaying over her shoulders. “Yes. Sounds good!” Her hands slap against her knees, like the decision has been made.

“Alright,” Harry sighs.

He looks over at her, and her smile is there, but mostly she just looks relieved. Harry feels a little relieved too. He knows all the feelings suddenly just won’t pass, but just the fact that they talked without fighting, no matter how short the conversation was, is a step in the right direction.

He doesn’t know if they’ll be friends again, but this is enough for now.

**

“Alright,” his mum says after putting the last suitcase of clothes into the back of her car. “I’m all packed up and set now.”

Harry nods where he’s standing on the sidewalk in front of the house, fiddling with his hands. “Right,” he gets out.

His mother sighs, leaning against the side of the car. She looks up at the house, shaking her head in small movements. “I’m going to miss the house.”

Obviously, Harry thinks, but doesn’t say it. She’s lived there for a long time now. It feels a little sick, but somehow he’s come to terms with this happening. His eyes aren’t prickling like he thought they would, he mostly feels a little bitter and sad.

“Yeah,” he hums. Gonna miss having you here. Gonna miss watching you cook dinner in the kitchen, read on the couch, work in the office. Gonna miss you being here.

She looks at him. “I really want you to come stay a few days with me Cheshire, Harry. You can bring Louis if you want.”

“Maybe,” he shrugs. “We’ll see.” He’s not ready to say all those things yet, and maybe yes, he resents her a little for leaving. They’ll be fine, though. Someday, everything will be okay. Louis has helped him believe that.

Anne straightens up, smiling sadly at him. “I love you so much, baby,” she whispers. He can see how honest she is, brows knitted sadly. “I wish some things didn’t go down the way they have, and I wish I could fix them, but I can’t. I just need you to know that I love you and I’m always here for you. I’m really proud of you for… you know, being you.”

Why did she have to wait until this moment? All the shit that has gone down within the family, and she chooses this moment to say it. There’s been a whole lot of crap, including Harry feeling like he had to start a fucking fire for them to notice him. He wishes she could have done this sooner.

He steps into her hug, feeling her latch her arms around his waist. He hasn’t hugged her in a long, long time. He’s much taller than her now, but she smells just the same. His heart hurts.

“Love you, Mum,” he whispers, because of course he does. Despite everything, he loves her so much.

“Me too, sweetheart,” she says. When they finally part, she gives him a close-lipped smile, tucking one of his stray curls away behind his ear. “I'll call you tomorrow, love.” She softly taps his nose.

“Okay.” Harry wraps his arms around himself as he watches her climb into her car, biting his bottom lip. She waves and he waves back, before starting the car and leaving the curb.

He watches her go, inhaling tiredly. The goodbye felt succinct, but enough somehow. He can settle for that.

He knows he’s settled a lot when it comes to his parents, but it’s very hard to change how things are within a family, especially as a kid. It’s fine though, because sometimes things suck, but you learn to handle it. He’s not going dwell on it anymore. He’s done that far too much.

He goes inside, heading up to take a shower and get ready for his and Louis’ date. It’s a good distraction, because he’s been rather excited about this.

He steps into the shower, rubbing himself with the honey soap because he knows Louis likes the smell. He washes his hair, and trims his pubes just a bit because he kind of likes how neat it looks, before rinsing off and getting out.

He lets his hair dry by itself, curls becoming bouncy due to the rather expensive conditioner he splurged on last week. He picks a pair of black jeans, and then a red flowy shirt. It’s a little blouse-ish, has ruffles on the sleeves and the neckline is V-shaped. It’s a nice one, and he thinks Louis will like it.

He fetches two small packets of lube from his drawer, placing them in his pocket. Just in case.

The clock is just hitting seven when he hears the car pulling up at the curb. He grins, slipping into a pair of brown boots before hurrying downstairs. He throws a last look in the mirror before heading to the door. When he opens it, he finds Louis standing on the lowest step, looking entirely amazing. There’s a swooping sensation in his stomach, and he actually licks his lips. He can’t help it. Louis makes him feel all kinds of things.

“Oh my god,” Louis murmurs, eyes raking over Harry’s body.

Harry smiles bashfully, cheeks heating up. He’s not usually this shy about compliments, but Louis looks so bloody sincere and honest, genuinely taken aback as he looks at him.

“You look good too, babe,” he says lowly. Louis’ hair is pulled upwards and to the side, and he’s wearing black trousers and a dark button up, fastened even at the top. He’s holding a jacket that he probably didn’t even plan on wearing, feet in vans, because Harry knows he doesn’t own shoes that are the right kind of semi-casual. He’s lovely.

Harry locks the door quickly, then turns around to face Louis, who reaches out for his hand instantly. “Is this some fancy brand?” he hums as he thumbs the ruffles at the end of Harry’s sleeve. He links their fingers, leading Harry off the porch.

“Yeah,” Harry hums, following him towards the car. Louis simply nods, but then stops, and pulls Harry closer until his tummy is pressed to Louis’. He places his other hand against the small of Harry’s back, making him arch slightly. He’s looking at his lips.

“You’re being indecent, Louis,” Harry says. “You’re supposed wait until after the date.”

“My boyfriend is looking amazing right now, so I’m sorry, love, but I’m too tempted.” He grins, leaning in.

Harry holds up a finger between their faces. “One,” he allows, but giggles when he feels Louis’ hand sneakily sinking lower on his back.

“Only one,” Louis promises with a cheeky grin, and leans forward and captures his lips with his own. It’s slow and languid, perfect. Harry bites softly at Louis’ bottom lip, glancing down at it, entirely pleased.

“Naughty,” Louis murmurs, pinching his side.

Harry lets him go, planting a kiss on his puffy lips. “Let’s go.” He steps out of Louis’ arms, happily making his way towards the car.

“Tease,” Louis says behind him, but Harry can hear the affection in his voice.

Harry doesn’t know where they are going, but Louis assures him it’s somewhere nice. He drives them into town, where he parks the car outside an Italian restaurant. He looks pleased with Harry’s reaction as he opens the car door, ceremoniously helping him out. It’s silly, but it’s also fun and makes them both laugh.

The restaurant is cozily lit, red and brown interior giving it a romantic atmosphere. Louis has made reservations for a small table in a secluded area where the hostess leads them. There’s a lit candle, and Harry excitedly points at the small rose petals on the table.

“They’re real!” he exclaims once they’ve sat down, having thoroughly examined them. Louis smiles at him, and Harry knows he gets excited over small things, but Louis only looks endeared.

They look at each other for a moment, smiling at one another for some reason. It feels a little weird, doing this, to be entirely honest.

“Is it just me or...”

“This is weird?” Louis says, looking around the room. “I mean, not weird, but I never pictured us doing this sort of thing.”

Harry purses his lips. Well, he did picture it, but now that they’re here it feels very foreign. They’ve gone from hating each other to deciding to live together when they go to Manchester in nine months. It’s so strange, looking back at it like that. He’s not sure if they’re the fancy date types.

The waiter comes over with the menus, kindly greeting them and taking their drink orders. Harry can’t help but snicker as they peruse the menus in silence.

“What?” Louis asks.

“This is weird,” he hisses over the table. “We should be eating fries and watching movies in your bed right now.”

“You’re the one who wanted the bloody date,” Louis says indignantly. “Come on. Now we’re doing this. Be proper. Ask me what I do and how I grew up.”

Harry grins, pressing his leg to Louis’ under the table. “I know those things about you already. Tell me what you did this afternoon, before you came over instead. Did you wank? You obviously shaved.”

Instead of grinning and telling Harry an explicit story about what he did in the shower, his face turns grim. “Actually, I, err, was looking at the footie program’s website,” he says tightly, brows knitting angrily. He looks down at his menu, but Harry can see that he isn’t reading.

“What happened?” he asks carefully.

“You remember that prick? Aaron something? Who called you princess?” His mouth twists down in displeasure.

Harry frowns. The captain of the team they lost to at the championship final. “What about him?” he asks apprehensively.

“He got in,” Louis says, and when he looks up he looks sufficiently pissed off.

“Oh.” That means they’ll be playing on the same team as him. “Fuck.” He rubs a hand over his eyes, holding in a groan.

“It’s bullshit!” Louis exclaims, Harry’s eyes widening in surprise. Louis’ eyes are stormy and jaw clenched. “I don’t want to play on that prick’s team. I swear to God, if he even speaks in your direction again—”

“Woah,” Harry interrupts, raising a hand to shush him. “Babe, no need getting homicidal. He’s just a dick. It’s crap, but… can’t do anything about it.”

“He’s a pathetic loser. He deserves broken kneecaps, not a place at Manchester.”

“Lou!”

“Why are you defending him?” Louis says in annoyance. “He was completely homophobic, don’t you just want to break his nose?”

“Louis,” Harry murmurs, reaching over and patting his clenched hand. “Of course I don’t like him, but I’m not going to waste my time letting him bother me.”

“He’s a dick.”

“We’ll deal with him if necessary when we get there, but right now we shouldn’t dwell on it. Baby, I don’t want you worrying about him.” He knows Louis going to walk around drowning in his own thoughts if nobody stops him. “And between you and me,” he smiles. “I think you and I will be fine.”

Louis regards him for a moment, still looking sour, but not as angry. He agrees with Harry, but doesn’t quite want to. “Do you think so? That we’ll be fine?” he asks instead.

Harry swallows. “I mean, yeah? We’re good at footie, we’ve got each other’s back, and… we’re in a good place, yeah?” Louis gives a small smile, glancing down at his menu. Harry presses his leg closer to his, aiming for a reassuring gesture. “Let’s not talk about him, yeah? This is supposed to be a good night, right?”

Louis sighs. “Yes, I know. Sorry.”

Harry gives him a small smile that he returns, nudging his leg back under the table.

It’s sucky news of course, but it won’t kill them. Harry is pretty confident that Louis would kill the thing attacking them first, before letting anything hurt them. It feels pretty amazing, knowing that Louis would do anything for him. When he stood up for him before the big match, Harry’s heart was beating so fast and he felt so utterly cared for, despite them not being on the best terms at the moment. Nobody has really been there for him like Louis has.

The waiter comes up and they give their orders, Louis some chicken dish and Harry pasta. They manage to leave the footie talk behind, focusing on rubbing their legs against one another and trying to get the other turned on solely through that. Harry loses, not because he pops a boner, but because he doesn’t want Louis’ vans rubbing on his jeans. Louis calls him a pretentious twat. Harry flips him off.

The pasta is delicious. It came with a shrimp sauce and cherry tomatoes, making Harry moan the second he tastes it on his tongue. Louis squints at him, and he moans just a little louder for effect. Louis shakes his head, and chews his mozzarella chicken in silence while Harry smirks.

For dessert they order cheesecake to share, which Harry knows Louis knows Harry will eat the most of. He’s used to it though, so he’ll live. Harry licks his spoon while Louis talks about something Liam said the day before, admiring the way his mouth moves as he enunciates as clearly as he does. He could watch his lips forever, honestly. He could read the dictionary and Harry would listen to all of it twice. Maybe.

Thinking back on their first kiss, he doesn’t even know what he was thinking when it happened. Louis looked so disoriented and maybe Harry felt a little too confident. It was pretty hilarious how dizzy he looked after Harry sucked another bruise into his neck, and he wanted to affect him even more. He’s not going to lie and say he’d never imagined kissing Louis before. When you have sex with someone, that thought does occur to you, yeah? But when he looked at Louis, suddenly there was a huge ball of desire in him, urging him to take hold of his shoulders and do it. It felt right.

“I wish this was a booth so I could palm you under the table right now,” Harry says conversationally. Louis splutters on his water, setting the glass down instantly.

“Christ, Harry!” he hisses.

“What? It’s true,” he grins cheekily. Louis leans in, shushing him. Their faces are only inches apart over the table, and Harry smiles innocently. “I’m not wearing any pants.”

It’s quite hilarious, the way Louis stills completely for three entire seconds, before his eyes narrow. “I swear to God, if you’re making this up…”

Harry giggles. “I’m not.”

“We’re getting out of here, Haz, right now.” He’s totally serious, is the thing, which both makes Harry laugh more and the desire in him start to rumble.

Louis calls for the check, and the waiter comes over. Louis pays with urgency, before quickly grabbing Harry’s and hand guiding him towards the exit, meanwhile Harry stays close to his side, whispering all kinds of things he can come up with.

When they reach the car, Harry climbs into the backseat as Louis takes the wheel, quickly driving towards Harry’s house. Harry spreads his knees, letting his hand trail up between his legs, cupping himself. He watches Louis drive, palming himself through his jeans as he lets the anticipation of Louis fucking him spread through him. He moans just a little, thinking of Louis’ cock grazing his prostate.

“What are you doing, Harry?” Louis says, and throws a look in the rearview mirror. His eyes widen comically, mouth opening. “Holy shit, Harry. Stop that!” he hisses, but he can’t seem to tear his eyes away quick enough.

Harry moans a little, squeezing himself. Louis watching him get off is making him feel loads of things. He’d fuck himself with his fingers for hours as Louis watched him. He’ll put that idea forward some day.

Right now, though, he wants Louis to fuck him as soon as possible. Luckily they’ve got lube, and condoms aren’t really necessary. Harry can wash the interior design if needed.

Thinking back on the first time they fucked, he’s extremely happy the entire day played out like it did. If it hadn’t, then maybe they wouldn’t be here right now.

The first time they had sex, Harry had been to the drugstore the same day, stocking up on some lube. It’s not like he wasn’t a virgin before Louis, because he was, but he’d been curious. He’d been at the drugstore a few months earlier, and he’d seen the bottles of lube. Thinking back at the massive amounts of porn he’d watched, he wanted to try it out. He’d never really dared to do it before, but at the same time he was curious, and he had a feeling it would be good. Buying lube without condoms just seemed sad, though, like he was going to go home and just fuck himself with his fingers (which was admittedly the truth, but he didn’t want the clerk to know that) so he grabbed a pack on the way to the check out.

So he’d just been stocking up on lube during the lunch break, because he didn’t have anything to do since Zayn was off somewhere else, maybe with Liam or something. He’d stuffed it in his training bag where it could be easily hidden, and when he and Louis fought the same day, the thought of the lube in his bag just emerged in his head. Louis was looking at him, licking his lips, and Harry could feel that he wanted it. It just happened.

Louis parks the car suddenly, and Harry looks up, finding they’ve stopped by an abandoned piece of meadowland along the road.

“What?” Harry asks, but when Louis starts climbing into the backseat he instantly understands. He moans at the simple thought of it, moving so Louis can sit down on the middle seat. He quickly straddles him, picking the lube packets out of his pocket, putting them on the seat next to them.

Louis grabs his waist, and leans in and kisses him with gusto, all tongue and urgency. Harry arches into him immediately, feeling his hands slip in under his shirt, rubbing his back and pressing him closer. Harry moves his crotch down against Louis’, the feeling all too good.

Louis’ lips relocate from his mouth to his neck, and Harry grips his short hair as Louis’ hands push at his jeans. He moans, Louis’ lips at the curve of his shoulder sucking hard kisses. He feels Louis’ hands tugging his pants down on his hips, and he rises on his knees, helping him shove them down his thighs. Louis groans when he finds out Harry was telling he truth, revealing his naked cock beneath his trousers.

He runs his hands along Harry’s thighs and hips, sending shivers up Harry’s sides and back. His hands leave him for just a moment, and he hears Louis rip one of the lube packets open, coating his fingers until they’re slicked up. Harry leans forward, latching his arms around Louis’ neck, resting his body against his. Louis’ fingers run down between his cheeks, middle finger with practiced ease stroking against Harry’s hole. He shivers, but he’s entirely relaxed, just wanting him inside. He could have Louis’ fingers tucked inside him forever.

Louis starts moving his middle finger slowly over his hole, the tip pressing in and making Harry rut back for more. He always wants too much too fast, but Louis always reminds him to take it easy. Louis’ finger sinks into him, Harry keening instantly. His fingers are sure, and he knows what he’s doing as he moves, arching it slightly.

Harry’s a little tight, Louis not having fucked him properly in a few days. Louis moans a little as Harry clenches around his finger, cock rubbing against Louis’ stomach since they’re pressed so close. He works up to two fingers soon, and Harry is fully hard, precome already gathering at the slit. Louis is completely hard too, his dick straining in his jeans. Harry pops off the button, zipping his pants down and freeing his cock. He almost groans at the sight, and he instantly begs Louis to hurry up.

“Relax, H,” Louis hums, his third finger pressing inside along with his other two, stretching him thoroughly. Harry gasps, rising a little on his knees at the feeling. “Soon,” Louis promises, and Harry nods, forehead pressing to his neck.

“Now,” Harry moans after just another minute, rocking back onto his fingers. They’re brushing slightly against his prostate, but not enough. He knows Louis is keeping them away with intention, but Harry wants it.

“Okay,” Louis finally says, and plants a soft kiss to Harry’s shoulder. His fingers slip out of him, and he wipes them on his own shirt (which is a shame because it’s a nice shirt). He raises his bum, pulling his jeans down to his knees as best as he can with Harry straddling him. Harry clumsily rids himself of his own completely, Louis helping him so he doesn’t lose balance.

When his lower half is entirely naked, he straddles Louis again, making himself comfortable. Louis is meeting his eyes, chest heaving slightly, and Harry leans down and attaches their lips, at the same time reaching back and gripping Louis’ cock to guide him.

The head of his cock sinks in past his rim, and it stretches, but at the same time it’s good. Harry likes when it hurts just a tiny bit, but Louis knows that too, which is why always makes sure it won’t hurt at all. It’s a little annoying, but he supposes Louis is just being a proper boyfriend.

Louis isn’t too big, but he’s got girth. Harry’s mouth stays silently open as he sinks down, letting Louis’ cock fill him up. Harry doesn’t know if it works like that, but he thinks Louis’ dick is definitely made for his hole. Probably doesn’t work that way, but if it did then that would be the case.

Louis groans into his ear, Harry adjusting on his lap. His hands hover over his arse as Harry slowly rises, making sure they don’t detach. Harry sinks down again, feeling Louis’ cock deeply filling him.

“Are you good?” he asks, gasping as he feels Louis shift beneath him. Louis nods, hands tightening on his sides. He pushes Harry down a little more, making him open his mouth in a silent gasp. His entire length is inside him, and it feels so, so good.

Eyes locked, Louis guides him up, and then down again. Harry rises on his knees, and sinks down once more, breathing through his mouth and keeping his gaze steady on Louis. The slide is easy as he moves, Louis’ hand helping him keep in motion.

“Mmpf.” Harry leans down and pushes their mouths together for a quick kiss. He moves faster, hands locked in Louis’ hair, foreheads pressed close. He can feel him exhale against his lips, his hips moving upwards, meeting Harry halfway.

Harry’s breath is loud and fast, thighs starting to burn. His cock rubs against Louis’ shirt, precome staining it. He reaches down and strokes himself, groaning softly against Louis’ mouth. He’s starting to sweat, neck warm and legs getting tired. Louis understands, and he tightens his arm around his waist and holds him still, thrusting up.

“Oh,” Harry breathes, Louis panting just as bad. Louis’ hairline is damp, breath ragged as he fucks Harry in fast movements. Harry can feel his muscles tensing as he holds on to his shoulders, his stomach curling in pleasure. “Fuck, I’m close,” he whines.

“Me too,” Louis gasps as Harry goes down, meeting him halfway.

They hold on tightly as they work their way to the edge, Harry moaning as Louis’ thrusts get more and more fervent. He strokes himself faster, arm sore but it’s so fucking good. The air around them is hot, but Louis smells amazing, and the way his body is moving against his is fucking bliss.

“I’m gonna,” Harry breathes, and not long thereafter he feels Louis muscles tighten, coming inside him. After Harry fucked Louis without a condom, and he described the feeling, Harry was very eager to feel it. After they tried that for the first time, he decided it’s very much one of the best feelings ever. He comes instantly.

He moans quietly, rolling his hips in Louis’ lap in slow motions, stroking his cock until he stops coming. Louis wraps his arms around his waist, drawing him in close. Harry exhales, heavily leaning against Louis’ worn body. He rests his head on his shoulder, hand on the other, patting his shirt.

“Do you still think you’re Harry-sexual?” he whispers, tired smile tugging at his lip.

Louis rolls his eyes, letting out another long breath. “If you want me to tell you you’re my only one, then yeah. I am Harry-sexual, baby.”

Harry chuckles lowly, pressing a kiss to Louis’ cheek, before nuzzling into his neck. “Really, though? Do you think you’re pan?”

Louis shrugs, closing his eyes. “I don’t know. I think I’m a little leafy. Gonna drift for a while, I think.”

“You do that. I can anchor you, though, if you’d like,” he smiles affectionately.

“I can anchor myself,” Louis says stubbornly. “But you get to hold my hand if you want.”

“Sounds like a good deal,” Harry hums, pleased.

“Should we shake on it?”

“Pinky promise?”

Louis snorts. “If you want to be like that.”

Harry whines. “Like what?”

He arches a brow. “Cheesy?”

“Just admit you’d like it.”

“I hate you so much, Harry.” Harry throws his head back, cackling when Louis thrusts his pinky out to bump Harry’s hand. He quickly links their fingers, keeping them tucked together. He looks down at them, smiling happily.

Telling Louis he loved him was very hard. See, Louis thinks that he’s as clear as an open book, but really it takes a magnifying glass to understand what it is that is actually going on in his head. While he thought he was handing everything to Harry on a silver plate, Harry actually had no idea where they stood. Every time he tells him now, he’s reminded of the relief he felt after telling Louis the first time.

“I love you a lot, and I promise to love you a lot for some time now,” he says quietly, nudging Louis’ jaw with his nose. Louis can’t hold it in, smiling despite himself.

“Same.”

Harry makes a displeased noise. “Say something sincere!”

“Alright, relax.” Louis shakes his head. “I love you. I promise to take care of you, and you’re very gorgeous all the time.”

Harry looks up at him, feeling his other hand softly squeezing his waist under his shirt. Their linked pinkies rest on Harry’s naked thigh, Louis watching them softly. “Good one,” Harry hums.

Louis keeps him tucked to his side for a couple more minutes, kissing his cheek lovingly. Harry thinks they’re going to be very fine.

**

“Four,” Sophia says, lifting one of her brows competitively.

Harry smirks back. “Five.”

She squints. “Weekends included?” Harry nods. She smirks. “Six.”

Harry frowns, but before he can say anything, Louis interjects. “Are we talking intercourse or everything included?”

“Everything,” Sophia says, while Harry says, “Intercourse.”

They look at each other, Harry smiling triumphantly. “I suppose I won. I get more dick than you. Hand it over.”

Sophia rolls her eyes, shooting the strawberry sundae over on the table. She leans back in the booth, Liam’s arms draped over her shoulder. “You’re a sex maniac, Harry,” she tells him sourly, meanwhile he just smirks and pops a spoonful of ice cream into his mouth.

“You don’t know half of it,” Louis mutters.

“Are y’all really having that conversation?” Niall asks, looking a little pained from Louis’ other side.

“Yes.” Harry slouches back, tucking himself to Louis’ side. He pulls his knee up, foot on the edge of his seat as he slides his hand onto Louis’ thigh comfortably. Louis’ arm is resting around his waist, thumb on his hipbone, softly stroking his skin beneath his t-shirt.

“Do we have to?” Ed asks from where he’s sitting next to Liam on the other side of the table.

The six of them are at the diner, eating fries and burgers. Louis’ half-eaten meal is left on the table, and Harry pops two of his fries into his mouth, chewing quickly, before stealing another. He knows Louis sees it, but he lets it slide like always. Harry purses his lips at him, requesting a kiss that Louis gives with a soft sound.

“Are you all set for London?” Louis asks Sophia afterwards, who nods.

“Yep, all packed.” She’s leaving tomorrow already for a summer internship. It had something to do with fashion, Harry is pretty sure. He watches her smile quietly at Liam, who smiles back softly. She’ll be away two months, while Liam will be here. They’ve been together for several months now, and Harry is rather certain that their relationship is going to last for a while.

“Nice,” Louis hums, but doesn’t say more. His hand squeezes Harry closer to his side.

Harry watches him for a small moment, eyes lingering on his eyelashes. He leans in, whispering in his ear. “I’m happy we’re not gonna be apart.”

Louis smiles down at his hand on his thigh. He doesn’t say anything, but he doesn’t need to. What he’s feeling is clear.

They make it out of the diner an hour or so later, Niall leaving with Liam and Soph, Ed by himself, and Louis and Harry stuff into the Rover. It’s dusk, the sun starting to go down. Louis is wearing Harry’s Ray Bans, and he looks exceptionally good in the evening sunlight. Harry feels pretty lucky.

They drive over to Harry’s where they can have the house to themselves. It’s pretty empty nowadays, his dad mostly working and isn’t home a lot. He should feel lonely, but it’s not often he has time to do that. He’s got Louis and his family, Zayn, and Louis’ friends have been very accepting of him. Summer has been kind this far.

They go upstairs to get ready for bed, Louis stripping himself of his shirt and trousers as soon as they reach the bedroom. He makes a pleased noise when his eyes reach the bed, grinning. “Oh, the golden sheets!”

Harry grins. “Yeah. I like them.”

“Good,” Louis smiles. “I got you those.”

“My favorite.”

“I want to suck you off,” Louis says then, turning to him. He looks completely serious. “Get on the bed.”

Harry isn’t slow to comply, so he sits on the bed and scoots up to the middle, lying down on his back. He exhales, grinning as he feels the bed shift, Louis positioning himself between his legs. He quickly makes work of Harry’s trousers, pulling them and his pants down his thighs. He’s not hard yet, but Louis is fast when it comes to taking care of that problem.

“This never gets old,” Harry says a couple of minutes later, Louis’ mouth around his cock. He’s resting back with his arms behind his head, smirking in pleasure as Louis sucks him down. Louis’ mouth is sinful, honest to God. His cheekbones are fucking heaven. Louis lips leave Harry’s cock with a slick sound, and he gives Harry a look. “What? It doesn’t. Your blowjobs are great. You do all the work while I just lie back and steadily reach my org—”

“Harold.” Louis squeezes around his cock.

“Ah, Christ!”

Louis smiles haughtily, something that used to annoy Harry until he realized Louis isn’t serious half the time he speaks. He’s endearing. “If you want to reach you orgasm then I’d prefer it if you shut up.”

“Is that a challenge?” Harry asks, lungs labored as Louis continues to stroke him steadily.

“No, silly,” he chuckles. “That’s an order.”

Harry groans loudly at that, head falling back against the mattress. It makes Louis grin, and Harry knows how much he loves it when Harry falls for his stupid tricks. Basically, the only thing he needs to do is make his voice a little more dominant and Harry is gone. Louis chuckles, but proceeds to take him into his mouth.

Harry’s eyes flicker around the room for a moment, Louis’ wet mouth too much. He needs to find something to anchor him, and that thing can’t be Louis. His eyes trail to the wall, and suddenly he stills.

“What the hell?” he says, squinting. He leans up on his elbows, mouth open. “Is that—oh my god, is that a picture of you framed on my wall?!”

Louis releases him, eyes going to the wall next to the bathroom. Harry moves closer on the bed, regarding the picture in shock. The picture is of Louis in his footie kit, everything on except for the shirt. The number 28 is written on his stomach with a black marker, and there's a big heart drawn around him. He’s written ‘I love you, Louis’ below and there are tiny scribbles of ‘Harry Tomlinson’ in the corners.

“What the hell,” he says in disbelief. “You’re such a shit. Where’s my Ronaldo poster?”

Louis snorts, snickering. “It’s been months and you haven’t noticed.” He throws his head back, cackling. “How many friends have you had over who didn’t say a word when they noticed it?” He gives Harry’s cock a stroke, making him jerk, having forgotten about the blowjob entirely.

Well, honestly. None. But just the fact that people could have seen this is horrible. Louis is a fucking dick.

“When did you do this?”

“Your birthday,” he shrugs easily.

Jesus. His boyfriend is a menace.

“I love you, but I hate you so much,” Harry says, shaking his head. Louis only grins mischievously, before attacking Harry on the bed, pressing him down on the mattress. Harry laughs despite himself, wrapping his legs around him. Louis gives him small kisses on his face, until he sighs, giving way to Harry’s protesting hands.

“Alright, I’ll finish your blowjob now,” he says, smiling as he slides down on the bed. Harry hums, but he isn’t entirely satisfied. He yanks at Louis’ hair, making him pull up, wincing in pain. “What are you doing?” he complains.

Harry stares at him seriously, keeping their eyes locked in a heavy gaze. “I want you to go down on me for so long that you develop gills,” he says.

Louis stares back at him, looking a little taken aback by Harry’s curtness. “Alright,” he says hesitantly, eyes wide.

“Good,” Harry breathes, nodding.

Louis nods back, before he crawls down on the bed, placing a small kiss on Harry’s thigh. “But you totally stole that line from ‘My mad fat diary’,” he mutters.

“Just go with it, for God’s sake, Louis.”