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You Don't Need to Run to Get to My Heart

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He’s always been in a wheel chair. Well, technically, not always, but for a good majority of his life he has been; ever since he could remember. It happened when he was five. There isn’t that interesting of a story. That’s what he tells the people when they ask. His mom was driving down the road, and a drunk driver ran a red while going way faster than he should have. Louis’ mom ended up fine, just a few broken bones, but Louis ended with never being able to move his legs again. But, it was a long time ago. He doesn’t really even remember using all of his limbs, so he doesn’t mind it all that much.

Well, he didn’t mind it. Something changed that though. A boy. A boy had changed it for him. Suddenly, all he wanted to do was be able to walk, and to run, and to skip, and to jump, and to be able to fucking move without having to use arms. But, that wouldn’t happen. That would never happen, and it was a damn shame that it wouldn’t. His life would be so much better if it did.

They met in the street, actually. Quite ironic, Louis thought. This is where the worst and now the best moment happened in his life, a fucking intersection. A thing people knew about some manual wheelchairs, like Louis used, was there were emergency brakes at the back of the wheel as well as the ones on the front. What people didn’t generally know was that Louis couldn’t reach the brake from where he was seated in the chair. So, the fact that an asshole had put on the brake of his left wheel in the middle of the walk way was such a dick move.

“Fucking shit, you arsehole! I hope you burn!” Louis screamed as he tried to push, or pull, or anything to get him out of the damn road before, hmm, cars started coming! “You have to be kiddin’ me! Really?” Louis continued to shout as people ignored him and kept walking.

Don’t mind me, just a fucking disabled person in the middle of the road. He thought, and then cringed at. He didn’t like the word disabled all that much. He functioned pretty well on his own.

“Um, do you need some help?” Someone asked in a deep, gravelly voice.

“Yes,” Louis replied loudly without looking up. “Help is what I need!”

“How do I do that?” The person asked with a nervous tone.

“Just unlock the damn brake!” He cried out in frustration.

“Okay,” they responded. “Just . . . um, give me a mo.”

After a second, he could finally push the wheels, and he promptly rolled away. He shouted a quick thank you over his shoulder because he wasn’t raised by wolves or anything. All it took was about three seconds on the side walk for someone to shove him, and for someone to turn the wrong way and hit him with their bag.

“Hey, wait,” the same person from before called after him as he tried to push his way through the crowd.

“What?” Louis spat. He was so not in the mood.

“Can I help you get somewhere?” Louis looked up only to have his vision blocked by the sun. The person was tall, that was obvious. And, it was a he, a tall, well-built he. Louis couldn’t see anything on the stranger’s face, but he could tell he had some unruly hair on his head.

Louis glared up. “Do I look like I need help getting somewhere?”

“Well . . . I mean, it couldn’ hurt. You seem t’ be havin’ some trouble, and I’m kinda noticeable compared t’ you.” The man muttered with a hint of nerves.

Louis felt kind of bad for a moment. This stranger was only trying to help him, and he obviously was still trying to help him. And, he was right. It really couldn’t hurt anything. “Do ya know the coffee shop over on fifth? Not the Starbucks, but the Rich Roast?” Louis asked. The stranger nodded after a moment of thought. “I’m trying to get a cuppa there.”

“Oh, okay, I could walk with you there, or well, not walk with you, but like walk beside you. Or, I could push you if you want.” The stranger rambled with an obvious smile even without Louis being able to see his face.

“Push away . . .”

“Harry,” he finished.

“Push away, Harry. I’m Louis, by the way.”

“Good to meet you, Louis.” And they were on their way.

The shop was mostly empty when they got there. Harry pushed him over to one of the lower tables and went to get their drinks while Louis actually got a good look at him. He was actually quite pretty, well, for a man. He was handsome, too. His skin was perfectly pale, and his facials features looked like they could turn from sexy to cute in .02 seconds flat. His features were sharp, and his eyes were green. Well, fuck, he was hot.

Harry walked back over with the two drinks, putting Louis’ tea on the table for him. Louis started to reach for his wallet in his pocket, saying he would pay him back. But Harry insisted that he didn’t want the reimbursement.

“Well, how can I pay you back then?” Louis asked defeated.

“Tell me about yourself.” Harry shrugged.

Louis laughed slightly. “There isn’ much to tell. Grew up in Doncaster and moved to London for Uni. I found a job after graduation, and live in a flat near the buildin’ where I work.”

“What do you do?” Harry asked.

“I create programs for musical therapy.” Harry gave Louis a bewildered look for a second, like he didn’t understand. “Basically, I write computer programs for therapists to use with patients, specifically in musical therapy. I jus’ write the code for it though. Others do all the testin’ and so on.”

“So, like what do the programs do?”

“Well, music is a good way for certain patients to express themselves without using words. So, I write programs that have multiple instruments, and songs, and whatnot on ‘em for the patients to use. Some therapists have written the company, sayin’ how it’s helped and stuff.”

“That’s pretty cool,” Harry responded with a small smile.

“But, enough about that. What do you do?” Louis inquired.

“I dabble in music m’self,” Harry said. “Not in the same way you do, though.”

“Ya in a band or somethin’?”

Harry nodded with a smile. “Yeah, actually. People say we’re pretty good.”

“What ‘re ya called then?”

“White Eskimo,” Harry replied.

Louis pondered for a second. The name sounded familiar, but he really couldn’t think why. “That sounds familiar.” Louis thought out loud.

“Might have heard us on the radio some time,” Harry shrugged.

“The radio?” Louis questioned. “Ah, so ya guys aren’t like some starving artists that all share a one room flat and live off of small time pug gigs?”

Harry laughed so loud at that, he had to clap hand over his mouth. Louis didn’t think it was that funny, but a cute guy, who was also nice, was laughing at his bad jokes was a once in a lifetime opportunity for him. “No, no, we’re doin’ pretty alright.”

They moved off of the subject then, moving off of the job part and into the family conversation. Louis learned about Harry’s older sister, and mom was now engaged while Harry learned about Louis’ four sisters, and single mom. He told Harry briefly about his step dad that he thought of his father, but they also moved off of that quickly. Next it was favorite movies, and colors, and types of food, even where they like to vacation. (Harry liked the beach, but the logistics didn’t work very well for Louis.)

They only stopped talking when Harry’s phone went off. He answered with a simple “Hello?” before cursing and apologizing about not seeing the time. He hurried off the phone before looking up to Louis with a guilty look. “I ‘ave to go.” He said like it was hurting him.

“Oh, well, thinks for the tea, and the lift, I guess. It was nice of you, even though you didn’ ‘ave to.” Louis responded.

“It was no problem, really,” Harry quickly spoke, like he was setting the record straight. “I had fun. Would it be bad if I asked for your number?”

Louis looked confused for a second. It was off that Harry, a good looking, sweet, funny man, had spent this much time with him, and now he wants to talk to him more? He wondered if Harry talked to him because he was so lonely or socially awkward that he could only talk to someone who couldn’t run away. But, he wasn’t socially awkward at all. He might be lonely, but not that lonely from the way he talked about his friends and band mates. So, it really wasn’t he fault when he responded with, “Why?”

Harry laughed slightly, and responded with “So I can talk to ya again,” like it was the most obvious thing in the world. And, really, who was Louis to deny this god among men his telephone number?

The biggest shocker was that he actually used it, that night in fact.

He went through his usual routine at home, throwing his stuff about, fixing dinner, changing into something that wasn’t a tie, the usual. It really didn’t cross his mind, that someone would try to text him. Sometimes he even forgot that his phone did that. He didn’t exactly have friends. So when he saw his phone light up telling him he had a message, he was genuinely surprised.

He was even more surprised when it read, Hi its Harry :)

Cocking his head to the side, it read it once, then twice, then another time to be sure. It was a text, a real text, from Harry. He suddenly had a flash back to his teenage years, remembering how he never understood how to talk to people without seeing them. The overwhelming feeling to google how to text came back to him, but then he remembered he was being stupid. This was Harry, not some teenager that would judge him based on his ability to use a telephone and know what ttyl means.

So, he decided to keep it simple, responding with Hi, Harry.

Good, that was good. Okay, he could do this. When harry texted back, he was going to be calm and collected. It was just a boy, a really attractive, nice boy. And, he totally did not squeal when Harry texted back. He wasn’t a school girl talking to her crush. That didn’t happen at all.

Texting wasn’t so hard. It was just like talking, except completely different. It was pretty generic for the first night. The simple How are you? How was your day? questions that most people ask anyways. They ended up texting quite a bit actually, much to Louis’ surprise. Another surprise is he initiated it almost as much as Harry did.

It was a few weeks later that Louis got quite a shock. It was a sentence, only a simple sentence. Do you want to get coffee with me tomorrow? Yes or no, that was all he had to respond, but again, he felt the need to google something. Being asked anywhere, date or not, was strange to him. It felt like foreign waters. He never had many friends. He didn’t exactly go places with other people.

Sure seemed too casual. Of course seemed a little too eager. No wasn’t the right answer. Ugh, this was hard. Being social is too much work. He went with When and where? :) hoping it wasn’t too . . . wrong.

Fine Roast at 8? Harry responded.

Louis took a deep breath. Sounds great.

Eight o’clock couldn’t come fast enough, but when it did come, he panicked. He couldn’t help it. Louis didn’t know what to do. This would be the second time he would be out with Harry, and they only met a little more than a month ago. He was kind of amazed it lasted this long.

He waited at a table towards the back going over what his mother taught him about being a gentleman, so he didn’t notice when Harry snuck in the side door and not the front to meet him.

“Hey, Lou,” he greeted.

Louis smiled up at Harry. He was looking stunning as ever. “I would stand up,” he joked. It was Harry’s turn to smile, but almost looked a little uncomfortable how big it was.

“It’s good t’ see you.” Harry chuckled, leaning down to hug him. Louis was taken back for a moment. When was the last time he hugged someone? But then Harry’s scent wafted in his nose, and his curls tickled the side of his face, and he could feel breath on his neck. And, he was suddenly okay with this hugging thing. It was nice.

“Good t’ see ya, too.” Louis muttered.

“Okay, so tell me. How is the life in computer programmin’ goin’?” Harry asked sitting down in the seat across from him.

“It’s goin’ well,” Louis nodded. “One of my codes is in testin’ now, so I’m waitin’ on the results. Supposed to get ‘em back today or tomorrow, but that’s borin’. How’s life in the music biz?”

“Alright, met with management last week to finalize some tour plans we have.” Harry responded.

“Tour plans?” Louis asked.

Harry smiled slightly, rubbing the back of his neck. “Yeah, we’re goin’ on tour soon with a couple other bands.”

“That’s great, Harry,” Louis smiled. “Where are you guys gonna go?”

“Um, from what I know, the European leg-“

“There’s more than Europe?” Louis cocked his head to the side.

Harry looked down sheepishly for a second. “So, I know I told ya I was in a band, but I might not have mentioned that we’re kinda famous.”

“How much is kinda famous?” Louis questioned.

“Um, second world tour, performed at Madison Square Garden and Olympics kinda famous.” Harry mumbled.

Louis wouldn’t be surprised if he looked like he was a deer in hid lights at that moment. Maybe his mouth dropped open, but really he wasn’t too sure. And, he shouldn’t be held responsible for any actions that may have resulted in hearing a guy he has known for about a month is probably as recognizable as the queen at this point.

“Oh, alright, wow,” Louis said. “I feel really out of the pop culture loop right now.” He laughed.

“So, that isn’t weird for ya or anythin’?” Harry asked with a glint of hope in his eyes.

Louis retorted in his only defense against adorable men who just told him he was world known, sass. “I’ll ‘ave you know, you’re sittin’ in front of one of the most sought out programmers for musical therapy in the middle London area. I ‘ave a few fans of my own.”

“Good to know,” Harry smiled.

They didn’t talk about fame for the rest of the morning. They barely talked about anything for very long at all in fact. It seemed like they were in such a rush to talk about anything and everything that once the basics were covered it was time to move on. They learned things about each other, sure, but the in depth personality analysis wasn’t something that seemed appropriate at the moment.

Harry admitted that his friends wanted to know who he was meeting this morning, and when he asked Louis about his friends, the topic was changed. It was all very to and fro. When Louis talked about going to the park to just sit for hours, Harry said he couldn’t stay in the open that long without his security going through a fit. Harry had security. That was something interesting Louis learned.

They continued to talk as Harry politely walked Louis to his flat. This time he walked next to him as Louis pushed himself along. Louis did notice something when they walked though. People were taking pictures of Harry, which fit his story of being in a famous band. But, it wasn’t just of Harry. Some were taking pictures of both of them, like together.

“Thanks for walkin’ me home. It’s nice not gettin’ hit every time someone turns around.” Louis said once they got up to his door.

Harry leaned against the wall next to his door as Louis started to fish his keys out. “It was m’ pleasure.” He smiled. “We should do it again sometime. It was nice, goin’ out with you and all.” He added.

“Yeah, it was fun.” Louis admitted.

“Good, so, yeah.” Harry nodded.

Louis nodded as well. “Right,” he messed around with his keys in his hands not knowing what to do next. The silence wasn’t exactly awkward, but it was waiting. This was supposed to be the end, but yet neither boy wanted it to be. This was the longest time Louis had spent with anyone without working, and for Harry this was the longest his fame didn’t matter.

“Can I kiss you?” Harry blurted out.

Louis peered up at him and blinked. “What?”

“Can I kiss you? I mean I ‘ad a really good time, and I really like you. And that’s what people do at the end of dates they like, right? Unless you didn’ enjoy it, but you said you did. So I mean, I assumed-”

“Harry, Harry, Haz, calm down,” Louis cut him off. “I did have a good time. You just caught me by surprise ‘s all. So, yes, ya can kiss me.”

“O-Okay, right, ‘m gonna kiss you now then.”

Louis nodded as Harry pushed himself off the wall to lean down to Louis’ height. Harry’s hand rested on the other’s neck as Louis reached up to his cheek. His head was titled up while Harry was crouching down, and it should have been more awkward. But, it wasn’t. Not really, not to them.

It was a short kiss over all. There was no tongue or anything that would lead to it. It was just a peck that was slightly longer than a peck. They were testing the waters, and when they pulled away, each had a smile on their face.

“So, um, yeah, that was nice.” Harry said going back to his height.

“That was, yes.” Louis laughed.

“Okay, well, uh, are you busy next week, like Monday?” Harry asked, his hand back to rubbing his neck.

“Free as a bird,” Louis responded. “What you ‘ave in mind?”

“There’s a little place I go t’ a lot. We could grab some dinner.” Harry suggested.

Louis nodded. “Dinner would be lovely.”

“Good, okay, I’ll text you what time and stuff,” he started to trail off. “Okay, yeah, I’m gonna go now, and I’ll text you or call you. Yeah.”

“Bye, Harry.” Louis laughed.

Harry waved as he said his farewells. Louis watched as he walked away.

Louis wasn’t used to this. People need to realize this. He was never really social growing up, and he wasn’t all that social now. It wasn’t his fault entirely. He was a charming young man. He just never wanted others’ pity. He didn’t need it, and he didn’t think he deserved it. Louis could function perfectly fine without help. Growing up he was known as “the wheel chair kid”, and people would try to help him. The second they realized he was fine without them, they left.

So yeah, he would admit he was surprised when Harry texted him just as much if not more after he agreed on their dinner date later. Wouldn’t that slow down the amount they talked? But then again, he wouldn’t know. He never dated that much.

He was also very shocked when flowers weren’t sent Monday morning to his office with a simple note of Can’t wait for tonight – H. The girls in the lobby were jealous.

When Harry showed up to his door with a smile that was blinding, he couldn’t help but get a weird feeling in his stomach. It wasn’t a bad feeling, but it was different.

“Hey, Haz,” Louis smiled back. The nickname slipped off his tongue, but Harry seemed to smile even wider after it.

“Hi,” Harry responded. “Ready to go?” Louis nodded, and they were out the door.

The walk, well push, wasn’t that long, and it was a nice night out. They covered the basics as they walked. The small talk that seemed important for human interaction to get any deeper. It wasn’t like they talked about the weather or anything, but they discussed their jobs a little, what’s happened since the last time they talked. Harry even remembered that Louis had code out for testing, which Louis thought was adorable. And, Louis told him how the receptionists, Perrie and Eleanor, hated him for having gorgeous flowers. Harry thought that was funny, and promised to do it some more then.

“So, wait, you’ve never been to a club? How has a twenty two year old never been to a club?” Harry asked astonished. They were sitting in a little dinner a couple blocks away from Louis’ building. It was cozy, and quiet. The staff seemed to know harry well enough that they didn’t bat in eye when he entered.

“Well,” Louis responded. “I was able t’ graduate early from Uni if I took certain classes. Those classes of course were a pain in m’ arse, so I never really had time. And besides, the chair wouldn’ work to well with all those people, not like I can dance anyway.”

“Is it hard?” Harry asked with a pondering look. “Bein’ in the chair and all?”

Louis looked at him for a second. “Um, I don’ really know,” Louis replied. “I’ve never been able to not be in the chair, ya know? So, I really ‘ve nothin’ to compare it to. It probably would’ve been different if I could remember walkin’, but I don’. So, it’s never been a big deal t’ me.”

“I can understand that, I guess,” Harry nodded. “Can’t miss what you never had, righ’?”

“Exactly,” Louis nodded. “But, this is kinda a depressin’ topic, so why don’t you tell me more ‘bout these mates of yours, yeah?”

Harry smile grew bigger instantly. “Well, they’re quite the characters. There’s Niall, who plays the guitar. He’s an absolute riot. Eats almost everythin’ and weighs nothin’. Loud as hell, too. Constantly has to mention he’s Irish, but he’s the best. Then there’s Zayn. He plays the bass. He doesn’ talk to strangers much, mostly hangs off us, but he’s gotta heat of gold, I’ll tell ya. He’s really into the art stuff, and he did this statue thing for a charity or somethin’. Last is Liam on the drums. He’s the responsible one out of us. Well, in public he is. He can start some shit up if he wants. I can’t wait for ya to meet ‘em.”

“Wha’ ya mean?” Louis tilted his head slightly.

“The lads,” Harry said in explanation. “They really wanna meet ya, and I think you would really like ‘em. It would be fun, all of us together.”

“Ya want me t’ meet your friends already? We’ve only been on two dates.” Louis didn’t mean it in a bad way. He was genuinely confused about what was going on. Weren’t they supposed to date for like months? Wasn’t that what usually happened?

“Technically three cuase I got ya that cuppa,” Harry teased. “And, we’ve been talkin’ for months, and the lads have noticed. So, they’re just curious ‘s all.”

“That would make sense,” Louis muttered. His eyes dropped down to the table. A sense of dread came with the thought of future social situations. What if they didn’t like him? Would Harry like him less? Would he leave?

Harry reached over the small table to grab Louis’ hand. “Hey,” he said quietly. “They’ll love you.” Louis smiled hesitantly over at the boy across from him with hope filled eyes. “And, ‘s not like it’ll be tomorrow or anythin’. It’d be funny to make ‘em wait months and months.”

Louis’ heart skipped a beat. Months and months? Harry was planning on sticking around that long? Not that Louis was complaining. It was just surprising. “You’ll be on tour in months and months,” Louis pointed out.

Harry scrunched his eyebrows together. “Oh, right,” he said shaking his head. “I’m in a band. Geez, I totally forgot ‘bout that for a second. Well, I do want ya to meet ‘em before then. Just so they don’ rag on me all the time.”

“I’m free whenever. You’d be surprised how flexible codin’ is.” Louis said before he thought through what he was actually saying.

Harry grinned. “Perfect.”

Louis didn’t notice that they held hands throughout the rest of night until he had to let go.

After their second, well third date, Louis realized why he never dated much. It was odd, but he was getting used to it, the new oddness of dating. He was getting used to Harry coming to his door smiling his big smile. He was getting used to going to little, intimate places and talking about everything and nothing until someone deemed it was time to leave. He was getting used to random flowers at his workplace and his flat. He was getting used to kisses that get longer every single time they parted. He was getting used to actually thinking about someone else and butterflies in his stomach. It was new, but it slowly wasn’t.

He couldn’t really pinpoint when it started changing, when his happiness started to turn into unease. He couldn’t say it was a month into dating, or it was the time he met Harry’s band mates/ best mates. (Who loved him, like Harry said they would.) Maybe it was the first time he saw Harry’s face on The Sun while waiting in line at the store with a title of “Harry in Love”. Maybe it was the first time there was a picture of him and Harry, or maybe it was when Harry was with someone else.

But either way, things started to change. Louis noticed when people would pull out their phones to take pictures of Harry, and he noticed just how many times people came up to them while they were together. His love for going out to the park with Haz slowly turned into wanting to stay inside, away from his fans. His love for hearing all about White Eskimo’s plans for tours and hearing about management turned into distaste about the whole situation.

“You want to go get some food? I’m starved.” Harry said after his hello to Louis at his flat with a kiss.

Louis shrugged. “I’m not in the mood to g’ out tonigh’. How ‘bout I cook us somethin’ here?”

“You can’t cook to save your life, Lou,” Harry chuckled. “And that would make this the third time this week we ‘ad takeout. Let’s just go out to the little place on fourth, yeah?”

Two months ago Louis would just give up and go out, but it wasn’t two months ago. It was now, and Louis hesitated. Harry being the attentive Louis watcher he is, noticed and immediately asked what was wrong.

“Nothin’, Haz. Don’t worry. We’ll go out, yeah. Just let me go change real quick.” Louis smiled that tight, fake smile he perfected years ago. Harry nodded.

Maybe it was that night when it happened. The night that was supposed to be casual, a quick bite that turned into a shit storm. It wasn’t bad in the beginning. Everything was usual. They were eating and talking. Some people came up, the daring ones, but it was only a few. There were more pictures than anything. Louis didn’t know where it turned bad. He thought maybe someone from the restaurant was a pap or something and called a few friends. Maybe that was it, that turned it bad.

Most people would call it a mob. All Louis saw were a bunch of legs and flashing lights. He wouldn’t protect his eyes because of the chair. He couldn’t move because the people wouldn’t get out of his way. If he was normal, if he could walk, he would have been able to push people out of the way, block his eyes while still moving. But, he couldn’t walk, and he couldn’t move. And, he was stuck, and he panicked. His throat was becoming a little tight, and his breathing became quicker. Was this a panic attack? He thought that it was. The situation was overwhelming, so it would make sense.

Louis didn’t know when he got out of it. It was after a minute or two, but it didn’t feel like that. All he could see was flashes of white. All he could hear was the people screaming. All he could feel was the eyes of those who were far too invested in those they didn’t know.

He thinks Harry pushed him out of it. He doesn’t remember asking though.

He didn’t say anything as he was brought home. There were two red lights. That he remembered because when the red switched to the green, he flinched. Harry was sad. He could tell. Perhaps it wasn’t sad though. Harry could have been disappointed. The fact that Louis couldn’t handle a little flashing lights, how disappointing.

Louis doesn’t recall saying goodbye that night because he didn’t. He stared at his door for a second too long, listening to the murmuring of whatever Harry was saying, but he didn’t understand any of it. He didn’t want to. Didn’t want this to end, but he knew it had to. This wasn’t the life for him, and Harry shouldn’t have to take care of him, not with his own troubles.

“Bye,” he mumbled before shoving himself into his apartment closing the door quickly behind him. The tears brimming in his eyes just felt unnatural. When was the last time he cried? Honest to god cried, sobbed until his ribs hurt, until his throat felt like a desert. He couldn’t think of a time that wasn’t that night.

It wasn’t just about some boy. Harry was amazing. He was nice, and funny, and beautiful. He laughed at Louis’ bad jokes, and he listened to everything about his four sisters. He didn’t think Louis’ job was boring or less important than his. He was down to earth, and lovely, and caring, and so happy that sometimes his smile was blinding. And, fuck, Louis was happy with him. He was so happy that sometimes it hurt when he had to leave. He didn’t know when his life start revolving around someone else, but he realized how stupid it was.

No, this wasn’t just about some boy. This was about him, too. This was about how he was never good enough, would never be good enough, never enough. It was about how his legs would never move, how he doesn’t remember when they did. He can’t dance, or run, or roll down a hill. He’s never been to the beach, or in a building without a lift. He has never been normal, and for god’s sake, that’s all he wanted, for a day. Was that too much to ask? Was he selfish for wanting that?

For one day, he just wanted to do everything someone else did. He didn’t want to have to check himself for injuries every few hours. He didn’t want be hit with a bag on the street because people didn’t see him. He wanted to stand, to his full height, wanted to know how tall he could be on his tip toes. He wanted to flex his feet, and just run because he could. He wanted everything.

But, he wouldn’t get it. He would never get it. And for the first time in his life, all twenty something years of it, he was fucking devastated because of it.

He lay in bed the next day, staring at his ceiling, crying every time he felt a phantom pain. His phone rang a few times, but he didn’t pick up. Louis didn’t want to hear the inevitable “we need to talk” from Harry, and he swears to god if that talk turns into “it’s not you, it’s me” he will roll over Harry’s foot so hard, he’ll be the one in the chair.

The only reason he got up the day after that was because his newest program was being turned in today. It was done, and he wanted to be there. He wanted to know he was good at something. He was better at something than everybody else, well, in the middle London area.

So, he did, and goddamn, if that wasn’t the most fantastic thing he had ever seen, he didn’t know what was.

The only thing he regretted was when he got home, Harry was at his door. His knees were up to his chest. His head was thrown back in what Louis thought was defeat.

“How long ‘ave you been sittin’ there?” Louis asked, fishing out his keys.

Harry looked up in surprise. The green orbs Louis once stared into with wonder were caught in shock, the deer in head lights effect. “I thought you didn’ ‘ave work today.” Harry muttered.

“’Ad somethin’ wanted to do. Doesn’ explain why you’re at my door though.” Louis replied.

“I-I’ve been callin’ you for two days. You wouldn’ answer. I thought you were ignorin’ me,” He shook his head with a sad little laugh escaping his lips. “I thought you’d be home, but you wouldn’ answer the door.”

“So, you hung out for a while. My neighbors could’ve called the cops.” Louis pointed out opening his door.

“Your neighbor has a teenage daughter.” Harry also pointed out. He didn’t have to add anymore for Louis to get the point.

“Well, come in,” Louis suggested. “We can talk, but you’ll ‘ave to make it quick. X-Factor re-runs will be one soon, and I missed last week’s.”

Harry walked in, sitting on the worn out blur couch he had become accustomed to the last few months. “Right, um,” Harry muttered out.

“Look, Harry, this really doesn’t ‘ave to be that difficult. I understand, really. I get that this doesn’ work out that well. I mean you’re famous for fuck’s sake.” Louis laughed the same sad little laugh Harry did earlier.

“Wait, wait, what?” Harry squeezed his eyes shut like the answer was behind his eyelids. He opened them again only to blink the spots away. “You think ‘m breakin’ up with you?” He asked a little bewildered.

“Well, yeah, it would make sense after my total freak out the other nigh’.” Louis shrugged.

“Wait, ‘m confused. You think ‘m breakin’ up with you, right?” Louis nodded. “And, you think ‘m breakin’ up with you because paps are real dicks that mobbed ya?” Okay, that wasn’t how Louis remembered it, but he nodded otherwise. “I thought you were goin’ to break up with me.”

Louis looked at him for a second, then blinked, then blinked again. “Why would I do that?”

“Because- Because we got fuckin’ mobbed by paps because they wanted a good picture of us, and it’s my fault!” Harry exclaimed standing up.

Louis looked up at him. “It’s part of your job, Haz. I could never break up with you because of that.”

“So,” Harry sat back down. “Let me get this straight. No one is breaking up with anyone?”

“Guess not,” Louis shrugged.

“Then why did ya think I was breakin’ up with you?” He asked in his typical bewildered state.

Louis shrugged again.

“Come on, Lou,” Harry sighed. “You’ve been actin’ weird even before this whole thing. There’s gotta be a reason.”

Louis just looked down and shrugged for a third time.

Harry crouched down in front of Louis, taking his face in his hands. He studied the other’s eyes for a second, and took into account the bitten lower lip adding to the worried look on his face. “Talk to me, Lou.” He whispered.

Louis watched Harry in return for a moment. He sighed. “I can’t walk, Haz,” he said with a look of defeat on his face.

Harry nodded, cocking his head to the side. “I know.”

“No,” Louis pushed Harry’s hands away, but he wouldn’t be able to leave unless Harry moved. “You don’t know. I can’t walk, Harry. I can’t jump. I can’t run. I can’t move my legs.”

“Yes, I understand that.” Harry responded.

“But do you really? Do you realize how different a relationship with me is? I ‘ave to go to the doctor every few months. I can’t go anywhere without a lift. If I get caught in a crowd, I can’t move. I ‘ave to check for injuries every few hours. I’ll never be able to hold your hand while walkin’ down the street. I’ll never be able to kiss you without you havin’ to bend down to where I even feel bad for your back. I’ll never be able to have sex with you. I mean ‘ave you really thought ‘bout the things you would ‘ave to give up to be with me? Your life would be so much easier without me, Harry.”

“That stuff doesn’ matter to me, Lou.” Harry said shaking his head.

“But, it will, eventually,” Louis countered. “You’re goin’ to want someone normal eventually, Harry, and don’t you deny that.”

“Lou, listen to me,” Harry said looking him in the eye. “It doesn’t matter to me that you can’t walk, honest. I like you. I really, really like you.”

“I like you, too,” Louis replied instantly. “But, that doesn’ change the fact that I can’t do things you’ll need me t’ do at some point.”

“What could I possibly need you t’ do?” Harry asked.

“What if we get mobbed again? I won’t be able to get out of it.” Louis replied.

“I’ll push you out of it.” Harry shrugged.

“What if you promised someone we would go somewhere, but I ‘ad to go to the doctor’s suddenly?”

“Sorry, Bob, got better places to be.”

“What if my wheel chair breaks?”

“I’ll carry you.”

“What if you want t’ go somewhere without a lift and it ‘as a million stairs?”

“’m in pretty good shape, shouldn’ be a problem.”

“What if I get phantom limb syndrome and start cryin’?”

“Don’ know what that is, but I’ll be sure to calm ya down as best I can.”

Louis narrowed his eyes at the boy with all the answers. Harry just gave him a cheeky smile, knowing he was winning this. “What if you want to ‘ave sex?”

“I didn’ ‘ave sex for sixteen years. I’m sure I can handle tuggin’ a few off.” Harry laughed.

“You’ll get major blue balls, Haz.” Louis laughed with him.

“I’ll be fine, Lou. I like you a little too much t’ let a little less action get in m’ way.”

“Okay, fine, you’ll be fine, but still there’s things ya know you won’t be able t’ do with me around.” Louis said.

“I know, Louis,” Harry responded. “And, we’ll deal with it if it comes, until then though, let’s not worry ‘bout it, okay? Cause there are much more interestin’ things to talk ‘bout. Startin’ with why you went to work today, and you want t’ get take out care ‘m starved.”

“Actually,” Louis contradicts. “Let’s go out. The bakery down the street ’s still open.”

Harry smiled. “Sounds good.”