Summary: It’s not long before the pain becomes a friend. He welcomes it and he’ll do this forever if it means that Louis’ okay.
Warning: Mentions of self harm.
From the President herself: Read this, just read everything- I promise you you will not regret. It’s raining on my face again, I have no idea what to do with my feels and I certainly can relate with ____ (no spoilers here!) because Dani just writes so beautifully and ugh. Really. Please. Your creys will be undone by the last sentence and you would be wishing you never read it because your creys are in ruins but once again your creys kind of need this type of perfection to think about at night. Okay. Her Presidency is done. XX
AN: (!)Not in chronological order. Another angst… oops.
It’s not that he doesn’t know he’s in trouble, because he does. He’s not a fucking idiot and he knows that it’s dangerous. Beyond dangerous because it’s addictive and there’s only so many times you can pass the angry red scratches off as marks from a gummy bracelet that was just a little too tight before suspicion arises. And when you’ve started, there’s no going back. Once you start, suspicion is the last thing you ever want.
It’s a Wednesday when it all blows up. They’ve been hiding it for two years, two fucking years and they’re sick of it. They’re sick of pretending that every look, every touch, means nothing. Harry’s always said that they were going to be something, something big because he was sixteen when they met. Sixteen. And nobody finds the one they’re meant to be with at sixteen unless they’re intended for something huge. And they are. Because they’re two fifths of the biggest boyband in the world and by some twist of fate, they fell in love with each other. There’s got to be more to that than mere coincidence.
They tell their mothers before anybody else. It’s both the hardest and the easiest thing they’ve ever done because they know that Anne and Jay will support them both to the ends of the earth, but at the same times there’s that small ounce of fear, the same fear that kept them from admitting their feelings to each other until six months after they’d met, that makes them think that maybe it’s not the wisest move. They’re wrong though, because Jay couldn’t be happier as she wraps them both in her arms and whispers“You’re good for him.” in Harry’s ear. If his eyes were a little glossier than before when they pulled apart, nobody mentioned it. They were just happy, happy that their secret was finally out and when it came to telling Anne, they weren’t scared at all. She makes them stay for dinner, fussing over how seem thinner since she last saw them and that “Nothing can beat a good, home-cooked meal.” and when they tell her, when “I’m in love with Louis… and he loves me.” slips from Harry’s lips, she says she already knew. She knew, because she knows them. The boys who she calls sons, despite one not being of blood and she loves them. No matter what.
Telling the boys was harder. It’s harder because they’re with them all the time and they know that if they’re too cheesy about it, they’ll never live it down. Especially from Niall, who’s been cracking gay jokes about them since day one. So they go for an approach that they both agree is “simple, but effective.”
The thing is, it would be easier if it weren’t so controversial. It’s a taboo subject, hell even murder is spoken about with less shock than what he’s doing. People don’t like it because pain is supposed to be abstract. It’s supposed to be something that unites everybody because everyone feels it every day in some form or another- you just don’t see it. But you can on him. It’s so easy to see the pain on his wrists. On his thighs and his stomach because he’s so pale now. The red stands out violently against his snowy skin, but nobody sees it. Nobody wants to.
“I love you.” Louis says softly, sincerely, hand hovering over the doorknob as he turns to half face the other boy, nothing but admiration shining in his eyes.
“I love you, too.” And it’s so easy to say it. It’s three words, three simple words that mean the world to both of them. And it’s the truest thing they’ve ever voice aloud.
When they open the door, leading to Liam’s room where he, Niall and Zayn were currently sat huddled around the screen of Liam’s laptop, Harry felt nervous for the first time in years. He never felt nervous around the lads, they were family. But they weren’t about to tell just the lads.
“There you two are!” Zayn grins. “Come on, guys. The fans have been asking about you.”
“Twitcam.” Louis breaths softly, so low that only Harry could hear it. Harry knows he’s offering him a choice. They don’t have to do it now, they could wait. Wait until they’ve broken broken America, promoted their second album and had another single go to number one. They could wait until the fanbase is so large that they wouldn’t notice the loss of a few thousand narrow minded idiots. But, slipping his fingers between Louis’, Harry knew he wanted to do it now. So he squeezes Louis’ hand, telling him everything in that one simple touch.
And Louis squeezes back.
“Actually,” he starts, proud that his voice isn’t wavering. He’s nervous, but he needs to be strong. For both of them. “we have something we wanted to tell you, all of you.” Licking his lips, Harry’s throat suddenly feels dry. Parched, as if he hasn’t drank in weeks. Words become stuck in his throat and he thinks “How the fuck am I supposed to say this in words?” because it’s not as easy as they both thought it would be.
The timeline on the twitcam is going mental, of course. Thousands of “Is Larry Stylinson real?” tweets are coming through but nobody’s paying them any mind. Instead, the attention of the three boys is focussed on the two by the door, visibly nervous and clutching at each other’s hand as though it’s a lifeline. It probably is.
“Guys?” Liam prompts softly, not wanting to intimidate them but still as curious as the others. He has an idea what this may be about, and he’s hoping he’s right.
In the end, it’s Louis who takes the plunge.“We’re in a relationship.” don’t seem like the right words. They don’t describe them. But they’ll do.
Harry smiles. He smiles because it’s over. They don’t have to hide any more and Christ, it’s the best feeling in the world. He might be wrong about that, though. Because when he leans down to kiss Louis, feeling the slight pressure returned with enthusiasm, he’s sure that tops it completely.
The boys are offering their congratulations, the odd “We knew it.” being thrown about but neither Harry nor Louis are really paying attention, too wrapped up in the other to care. They’re together and now everybody knows and they’re so damn happy that they don’t even think about what Simon’s going to say.
But the call comes thirteen minutes later.
Really, they’re lucky that it’s just gone 10pm because it makes sneaking out of the hotel a little easier. The fact that management want to have a meeting now has set all the boys on edge a little, but no more so than Louis and Harry. They know that the meeting’s about them. They haven’t dared check twitter, though their phones have been going crazy over notifications ever since the news came out.
“It’s going to be okay.” Niall reasons, “they probably just want to schedule an interview to get the whole story out there… or something.” and no matter how comforting he’s trying to be, they all know that there’s more to it than that. Things are never that simple, not when it comes to Louis and Harry. It’s always far, far more complicated.
And they’re right. They don’t even have to wait around when they arrive; instead they’re shown into Will’s office almost immediately by a stout little receptionist with a pinched face and glasses that are too big for her face. She’s new, Harry notes, and makes sure to remember that her nametag says Florence (he hates not knowing people who he’s probably going to be seeing them again,) before walking through the double doors ahead of him.
If looks could kill then Louis’ sure that he and Harry would be dead about three times over. Will has an expression on his face that clearly shows he’s not impressed, and it takes only the soft click of the door closing behind the five boys to ignite the lecture that they all knew was coming.
Immature, he calls them. Foolish, immature and “So damn frustrating!”. They all sit, huddled together on the couch that’s just not big enough to seat all five of them and so somewhere between “Did you not think of this company at all?” and “This is why we have a PR team, you’re supposed to consult them if you ever want to do something this drastic!” Louis ends up on Harry’s lap. It’s an action that soothes them, but only seems to infuriate their manager further.
“You know you’ll have to deny it.” he says, finally in a tone that isn’t loud enough to scare away a wild boar. “Say that it was a practical joke. The damage control will of course be tremendous, but I think we can handle it if we all work together.”
There’s silence for a moment, everyone taking their time processing the words. He surely couldn’t mean what they thought he did, could he? And then, “What the fuck?”
It’s not Harry or Louis that’s spoken, but Zayn. His eyes are blazing, fists clenched as they rest on his knees and Niall makes a small whimper at the back of his throat. Nobody likes an angry Zayn.
“I’m sorry?” Will raises his eyebrows, almost daring the Bradford boy to challenge him. But he’s not going down without a fight.
“You can’t belittle their relationship like that! Say that it’s some sort of joke. That’s sick. It- dammit, we won’t stand for it. We won’t.”
Zayn’s voice is quickly followed by Liam’s and Niall’s, both offering their support with determined “Yeah!”’s. Only, it doesn’t seem to phase Will in the slightest.
“I can, and I will.” He says simply, turning his back on them and walking to sit at his desk. He’d been pacing the floor before, so much so that Louis could practically see his footprints in the plush carpet. He focusses on them, not daring to look up even as Will continues. “You’re under a contract, boys. Now, you’re going to make another video- no interruptions, please. You’re going to make another video and explain to the fans that your little ”coming out” was nothing more than a little bit of fun. Maybe even a dare, whatever. Just make sure that the message gets across. I won’t be informing Mr. Cowell of the true story, he has enough on his plate and doesn’t need to deal with your mistakes.” leaning back on his chair, he fixes them all with a cold stare. All but Louis, who’s still looking at the rug as though it holds the secrets of the universe. “Are we clear?”
Harry swallows, eyes prickling but dammit he’s not going to cry. It’s not fair. It’s complete and utter bullshit and he wants to scream no. No, he’s not going to pretend that he’s not in love with Louis, because he is. Utterly, completely and irrevocably so. But he has no choice in the matter. They’re puppets, really. Puppets in a show that’s only being plaid for the sole purpose of making money.
It sickens him.
“Take note that, if you don’t do as I say,” Will continues, still in the same monotonous voice. “the label will drop you. It’s your choice.”
But it’s not a choice at all. Because how can they do that to the others? To Niall, the boy who didn’t think it was possible for someone from Mullingar to make it as huge as they are now. To Zayn, the guy who, though he’ll never admit it, never thought he was good enough for something like this. And Liam… Liam who had been there through thick and thin, always making sure they were where they needed to be. Always there to look after them, to be a shoulder to cry on and a supporting role model if ever they needed one. The guy who never gave up on his dream and tried time and time again. Daddy Direction.
He knows that he would never forgive himself for stripping them of their dreams. And neither would Louis.
There’s no choice. None at all. And so he nods stiffly, arms subconsciously tightening around the boy in his lap.
He can’t do anything else.
Harry wonders sometimes if they know. If they even care that, while they’re out going to bars and pretending that it’s all okay, he’s locked up in the bathroom, razor blade to his wrist as he carves intricate lines into his flesh, watching as the skin pales slightly before spotting with blood. The sting is nice; calming. It’s a release, a way to momentarily forget. And Lord knows he wants to forget everything.
“I’m not letting you go, you know.” Harry says one day, breaking the silence that had settled over them as they sat in the lobby, waiting for the others to finish breakfast. “No matter what they say… we’ve lasted this long, they can’t stop us from loving each other.”
Louis looks up, eyes locking onto Harry’s. It’s been nearly two weeks since they made the explanatory video and they’re still riding the aftershocks of it. The fans, though oblivious to which video was the true lie, were upset that they had been lied to at all. It’s understandable really. So many people identify with them on a personal level and lying, no matter how nonconcentual, is still deception. They don’t see how a joke such as that would be funny. Neither does Harry.
There’s those who know the truth, though. Even if they aren’t aware of it. Tumblr girls especially, with their theories and speculation. There are too many holes in the story, holes that are being picked at and made bigger and bigger with every passing day. It gives the boys hope, to know that there are still some people who believe in them.
And they cling on to that hope.
“I could never stop loving you, Harry.” Louis whispers, careful to keep any passers by from hearing their conversation. “Not ever.”
The younger boy wants to kiss him in that moment. He really does. But Liam, Niall and Zayn are approaching, not to mention the fact that they’re in public and they apparently have a busy day today, so any forms of PDA will have to wait until later.
That doesn’t stop Harry from linking their fingers together and holding Louis’ hand all the way to the car, though.
And after that, it becomes a game. They want to see how far they can push it, how coupley they can act before management steps in and really, it’s careless, but neither cares because whenever they’re asked questions that they’ve heard over and over again, (“Who’s the best cook in the band?”), Louis loves making Harry blush by being as complimentary as he can. (“I’d say Harry, personally. He makes good fajitas and it’s great to relax whenever we have time off and hear him call out that dinner’s ready. Good little house wife, he is.”) It’s cute.
They get warnings, but nothing too extreme. Niall laughs, saying that they’re “Scarily domestic.” and Liam even cracks a smile when he’s having a good day. The rest of the time he’s scolding them for showing up late and looking like they’ve just had the best sex of their lives, (“Honestly guys, can’t you keep it in your until bedtime?”) but it’s not Harry’s fault that the only thing that can wake Louis up properly in the morning is a good shag. He figures Liam doesn’t need to hear that, though.
“So who’s single in the band?”
They’re at another interview; We Heart Pop, Louis thinks, but he’s not completely sure. It’s the seventh interview this week, and it’s only Tuesday.
“I’ve got a girlfriend,” Liam starts, smiling a little at the thought of Danielle. There’s love in his eyes and Louis envies him a little. Not over Danielle, he loves her like a sister and he’s certainly not interested in her that way (he’s not interested in any girls that way, but that’s not the point.) but he’s envious over the fact they can be so open about their relationship, that they’re not forced to hide it simply because it’s between a boy and a girl.
It’s not fair.
“I’m not single.” he says, the words falling from his lips before he can stop them. There’s a sharp intake of breath from beside him and he glances over to see Harry staring at him with wide eyes, lips slightly parted in surprise. (Why did you say that?) and Louis smiles a little (It’s okay.)
“Me-” Harry clears his throat, palms sweating but he doesn’t take his eyes away from Louis’ “Me neither. I’m not single.”
He’s fucked up. He breaks everything he touches and he’s sick of it. He can’t do anything right, heck, he couldn’t even cut right the first time he did it. He hadn’t known what he was doing, he just needed a release. He needed to let some of the energy that was burning away under his skin out before it consumed him. Then he saw the razor. It was stupid really, leaving it laying on the side. But it was there and suddenly, everything had clicked into place.
There’s no books on how to do it properly, no blog sites to give advice and maybe if there had been, maybe if Harry had known how addictive it was, he wouldn’t have done it. But there wasn’t, so he did.
The razor, of course, had a safety guard on so when Harry dragged it along his naked forearm it did nothing but scratch the surface of his skin, leaving it pale but ultimately unharmed. It was a fucking piss take because what loser can’t even cut properly? He couldn’t do anything. Anything at all, and it sucked.
He’d ended up throwing the razor against the wall in frustration, anger pulsing through his viens (veins that he was now so conscious of. He could feel the circulation of blood throughout his body. He was so aware of it, so in tune with the beating of his heart. It was both scary and fascinating.) but looking up, he smiled. The force of the impact had broken the fragile plastic surrounding the blade and now, glinting in the artificial light was a thin piece of metal, sharp at the edges and his body itched with the desire to be ruined.
And so it was.
Everything changes on another Wednesday. Harry’s beginning to think that that day is cursed and really, who could blame him?
There’s a message left on the answering machine when he wakes up at 9:22, they’ve got a day off before they need to start more promotional work and Harry had wanted to spend it lazily. Unfortunately, management have called. They want to see him (“Alone, Harry.”) and he’s got no choice but to get dressed and leave a note on the side for when Louis wakes up, saying that he’s gone out, not to worry, and he’ll be back soon.
He hopes it doesn’t take long because maybe, if Louis’ having a really lazy day, he can still get back in time to wake him up with a blow job.
The thought makes him smile as he drives down to Modest!Management, completely unaware as to why he’s been called in. Probably something to do with getting me spotted out and about with another girl, he thinks.
But of course, that would be too easy.
He passes Florence working n the front desk on his way up to Will’s office, flashing her a wink as he does so. She flushes, shuffling around awkwardly with paperwork and he can’t help but think cheekily that Yep, I’ve still got it.
When he gets to the doors he only has to knock once before a familiar voice is calling for him to come in. Will is sat behind his desk, as usual, looking pensive. He smirks a little- though Harry prefers to think of it as a smile- when the younger lad enters, gesturing for him to sit down on the couch that feels cold and empty without his bandmates with him. He doesn’t like it.
“I have a proposition for you, Harry.” he starts, elbows balancing on the desk with his fingertips pressed together. It’s slightly intimidating, but Harry’ll never let him know that.
“Go on.” he presses, leaning back. If he’s going to be here for a while, he might as well get comfortable.
Will cocks his head to the side a little, almost surveying the boy sat before him. Harry tries not to squirm under his gaze, the scrutiny is enough to make his skin crawl but he hasn’t done anything wrong. It doesn’t help that their last meeting was far from pleasant and he can’t say that rather likes this man at the minute.
After a few moments of silence Harry’s had enough and is about to speak up again when- “You’re going to break up with Mr Tomlinson.”
Harry blinks, letting the words sink in before letting out a laugh. “Seriously? We’re having this talk again?” standing up, he half wishes that the couch isn’t as heavy as it is so he could kick it away in a demonstration of his anger. “I’m not breaking up with Louis, no way. I fucking love that guy, okay? What does it take to get that through your thick skull?”
“Your… relationship, we feel, isn’t beneficial towards the bands image.” Will starts, and they both know that piece is a load of bullshit. There are hundreds- thousands, even- of ‘Larry Stylinson’ supporters and if anything, their relationship is nothing but availing. “With that being said, if you continue to see each other we will have no option but to dismiss Louis from the band. It is, as always, your choice Harry.”
For a moment, Harry feels like he can’t breathe. Louis, he’s not embarrassed to say, is his everything. He’s the person he goes to when he needs a friend, when he needs support and guidance and he’s the one person Harry loves more than he will ever love anything in this life. He can’t lose him. But then, Louis is one of the most talented, most beautiful singers he has ever heard. He’s fantastic but he doesn’t believe in himself and it’s something that makes Harry’s heart ache. If he were to be dropped from the band… it’d ruin him. It’d crush every single one of his dreams and there’s no way that Harry could do that to him.
There’s not a choice.
Louis would move on, Harry tries to convince himself. He’d find someone better, someone who could love him even more than Harry (he ignores the part of his brain that argues that that’s impossible.) and at the end of the day, Harry would gladly sacrifice his own happiness if it means that Louis could have everything he’s ever wanted.
And Will knows this.
It’s not long before the pain becomes a friend. He welcomes it and he’ll do this forever if it means that Louis’ okay, because he knows that Louis doesn’t take rejection well. Not at all, in fact. One Direction is everything to Louis, it’s everything to all of them and to lose it, only to witness it continue from a distance, would destroy him.
So he cuts. Because he’d rather be in pain himself than watch Louis get hurt by a world ran by cruel and controlling puppeteers.
There’s a scar three quarters of the way down his forearm and it reopens as the blade crosses it on it’s expedition along Harry’s skin. He remembers that one clearly. It was the first.
The door closes behind him and Harry sighs, closing his eyes as he leans against it, praying that Louis’ still in bed. That this is all a dream and he’s going to wake up beside him any minute now and kiss him like it’s their first all over again.
A call from the kitchen breaks his fantasy, pulling him back to the real world. A world where he’d just given up the one thing that means the most to him.
And that person didn’t even know.
“Hi,” he says shakily, walking into the kitchen to see Louis at the breakfast bar, sipping tea and flipping through some magazine that was probably left there by Niall. It makes Harry’s heart squeeze uncomfortably in his chest but he ignores it because he loves him so much. So god-damn much that he needs to let him go.
“Where’d you go, Curly?” Louis’ voice is bright, cheerful, and it only hurts Harry further to know that in a minute, that’ll change. And it’ll be his fault.
“Out… I had to think.”
Louis frowns, evidently picking up on the fact that something isn’t right. “What about?”
Harry licks his lips, eyes darting around the kitchen to look at something- anything- other than Louis’ concerned gaze. In the end he settles on a chipped tile by the sink, just over Louis’ left shoulder. He can’t tell him the truth. He can’t tell anybody the truth because that’s part of the deal. And it sucks. “Everything… us. Lou, I don’t think we should- I don’t think we aught to be t-together anymore.”
He watches as a variation of emotions pass over Louis’ face. Shock, hurt, anger, confusion… it’s all too much.
And that one word, that one simple word is the most painful thing Harry’s heard all day. Taking a breath, he steadies himself for what he’s about to say and he prays, he pray so hard that his face won’t betray his true emotions. He has to do this.
“I’ve done a lot of thinking,” he starts, somehow keeping his voice steady. “And I’ve realised that… that I don’t want this any more. You and me, I… I want us to just be friends. Nothing more.”
There’s silence and the only thing that can be heard for the next few minutes is Louis’ ragged breathing. A clear sign that he’s trying not to cry. “But, everything you said…”
“It doesn’t matter.”
“Of course it matters!” he exclaims, waving his hands around to emphasise his point. “You said you loved me, Harry. You love me!” his voice lowers to an almost whisper, eyes pleading with the other boy. “Tell me you love me.”
And it breaks Harry’s heart. It really does, more than anything, but he reminds himself of the reasons why he’s doing this. Louis will move on. Louis will be happy. Louis will get more solos…
“Not any more.” he croaks.
But Louis’ shaking his head, determination set in his face. “Bullshit. Bullshit, Harry! You don’t just wake up and stop loving somebody. You said we were great, don’t you remember that? That we’re going to be something big because we found each other so young… you loved me then and you love me now, I know you do. Love… love is forever.”
“If it’s forever then I guess whatever we had wasn’t love then.” Harry snaps. He regrets it the moment the words have been said because he doesn’t mean it, dammit. But he’s tired. He’s tired of being strong because his heart is breaking and Louis’ not making it any easier.
His words work though, because Louis finally nods, a foreign expression of resignation set on his face. “Fine.”
And the fact that Louis believes him so easily… it hurts.
“Fine, I’ll… I’ll go stay with Zayn for a while. Give us time to… to forget and-” he’s crying now, tears choking him up and preventing him from forming words coherently as he wonders throughout the flat, gathering clothes and shoving them into a bag. Harry can do nothing but stand there, watching his movements as though his limbs have suddenly turned to lead.
And before he knows it, the front door’s slamming shut, leaving him in silence and a suffocating onslaught of memories.
Harry moves blearily, trying to find a room that doesn’t make him want to curl into a corner and break down because it was for the best. And somehow, he finds himself in the bathroom.
And there’s a razor on the side.
It’s sort of like losing your balance on a tightrope. You’re falling, constantly falling further and further into darkness and there’s no way to stop it because it’s too late. It’s too late to change and be someone new, someone without the scars and the burdens. He wants to forget Louis’ face, wants to forget how he could see his heart breaking through his features and it’s too much. It’s too much to cope with, and so he doesn’t. Cope, that is.
He can’t cope with anything any more.
It’s been a month. An entire month since that day and Harry’s still no better. They’re travelling around the country promoting the new album which means he has to see Louis every fucking day. They don’t share hotel rooms any more and the others have long since been informed of the break -up, opting to for once in their lives to stay of out business that’s not their own.
Louis’ sharing with Zayn, Liam and Niall which leaves Harry on his own. He doesn’t really mind though, the solitude gives him time to forget. To find release.
It’s Friday and they’ve just returned to the hotel after finishing yet another interview and, as per usual, Harry retreats to his room alone. (“I just want an early night. I’m fine, Liam. I promise.”)
It’s almost a tradition now. He strips, not bothering to put his clothes away and leaves them on the floor instead, then steps into the shower, letting the water cascade over him and sting at the newly closed cuts over his body. The temperature is hot, so much so that it’s making his skin red and it hurts, but he welcomes the pain. It’s a part of him now.
He sits on the edge of the bath tub afterwards, naked besides the towel he’s sitting on with a razor blade in hand. It’s always the same on he uses. It’s familiar.
The sensation that comes from pressing the sharp corner into his thigh, drawing blood, is one he will never be able to truly describe. It’s overwhelming and the pain shooting up his spine is probably one of most relieving things he’s ever felt and, if he can’t have Louis, then maybe he’ll be okay with just this. Maybe.
He’s so caught up in the feeling that he doesn’t hear his name being called, or the footsteps approaching the door before it’s swung open, revealing Zayn. They haven’t spoken much in the past four weeks, mainly because Louis’ gravitated towards the darker boy and leans on him for comfort the way he used to lean on Harry. And Harry doesn’t want to take that away from him.
The opening of the door surprises him and he drops the blade, watching it clatter onto the floor as blood drips from the cut in his leg. “What the fuck, Zayn?” he shouts, grabbing the corners of the towel and hastily wrapping it around himself. He’s never had a problem with nudity before, but that was when he had nothing to hide. Now though, his legs and arms are covered with horizontal, crimson marks and no matter how hard he tries, there’s no way he can stop Zayn from seeing them. They’re everywhere.
“Harry…” he starts, eyes raking over the younger boy. “What is all this?” his vision drops to the razor blade that’s lying untouched by Harry’s feet and he pales slightly. “What’s going on?”
Harry shakes his head, wet curls sticking to the sides of his face. “Nothing, just forget it Zayn, okay? I’m fine.”
“I’m okay!” Harry cries, voice a few octaves higher than it normally would have been. “I’m fine, Zayn. I’m fine and there’s nothing wrong with me, just forget this please, just- I’m fine- I’m okay.”
He’s becoming hysterical, the idea of his problem being revealed scares him because they can’t take this away from him too. What would he have then? Nothing. He can’t lose this.
“Harry, babe, tell me what’s going on.” Zayn coaxes, taking a step forwards and kicking the razor out of the way. He’ll dispose of it later but right now, Harry needs him. Even if he’s not willing to admit it.
A lone tear falls from Harry’s eyes as Zayn wraps him in a hug, murmuring encouragements into his ear. It doesn’t matter that his shirt is getting damp from both Harry’s tears and wet torso, it doesn’t matter that he’d planned to come over and try to get to the bottom of whatever was going on, and it sure as hell doesn’t matter that Harry’s nails are digging into his shoulders as he clings to him. Because Harry needs him.
And slowly, as they cuddle up against the side of the bath, Harry finds that telling somebody is easier than he thought it would be.
Zayn listens, anger building up inside of him over the thought of what their team, the people who are supposed to help and support them unconditionally, have caused. It’s disgusting and as Harry cries, he can feel his fists clenching at his sides.
“Those bastards,” he whispers once Harry’s been silent for a few minutes, judging that for now, the story was over. “They can’t do that!”
“They can.” Harry mumbles. “And they have, so forget it.”
Shaking his head furiously, Zayn stands, offering a hand to Harry which he takes cautiously. “We’re getting this sorted out, Harry. Don’t worry about it. We’re going to tell the other lads, and then we’re going to have another meeting with management. We’re not going to let them get away with this.”
And for a second, Harry’s heart stops. “No,” he says, fear creeping through him. “No, I can’t tell the others. They won’t understand. I- it’s taboo, Zayn. They’re not going to-”
“Freak out.” the other male finishes, placing his hands on Harry’s shoulders. “They’re not going to freak out but they will support you just like I’ve done. We love you, Harry. And we want you to be happy.”
“But I don’t know-”
“Harry, it’ll be okay.” Zayn whispers, thumbs soothingly caressing his bare skin. “I promise.”
And so, while Harry dresses as quickly as he can, hands shaking in what he’s sure is a mixture of fear and nervousness, Zayn carefully picks up the razor from the bathroom, checking to make sure that there were no other objects that could be used to self-harm around, and disposing of it before cleaning droplets of blood from the floor and sink.
They make a good team, because by the time he’s done Harry’s pacing the bedroom floor, dressed in a plain white tee and black jeans with a cardigan thrown over the top. He used to think it was a casual addition to the outfit, but he finds himself wondering how long it was used to hide the marks on his arms from everyone else. It scares him to think about it.
When they leave Harry’s room, the younger boy is fidgeting with a lose thread on his sleeve as if it’s the most wonderful toy in the world and Zayn pities him, he really does, because since when has he ever been afraid to speak to their bandmates?
But when the door to Niall’s room opens and Louis looks up at the intrusion, eyes locking with Harry’s for the first time in weeks, he understands. Because not only is Harry about to reveal a secret that’s changed him and become a part of him for quite a period of time, but he’s about to reveal to the person he loves most that he had lied. That, despite his best intentions, Harry had made a decision concerning their relationship alone. He’s about to admit that the things he said, things that were cruel and spiteful, were not true at all. And he has no idea how Louis will react, because it’s not that easy to forgive someone for all of that, no matter how much you love them.
“Guys,” Zayn starts, closing the door behind them. “Harry has something to say.”
Given their due, they all listen attentively. Even Louis, who becomes slightly teary eyed throughout Harry’s story and, by the time he’s finished (a good ten minutes later,) it was fair to say that there isn’t a dry eye in the room.
“Harry, I’m so sorry.” Liam breathes, slightly speechless.
The younger boy shakes his head, curls bouncing as he speaks. “No, no don’t be sorry Liam. It’s my fault, I got into this mess and I… I guess I handled it the wrong way, but-” he turns his attention to Louis, drinking in the face of the older boy. He’d missed him. He’d missed him so, so much it was ridiculous. “I didn’t mean anything I said to you that day, Louis. I love you, I’ve always loved you and I’m never going to stop because we are- were, we were something great and we always will be.”
Louis nods, scooting closer to Harry until he’s kneeling before the other boy. “Are, Harry.” he whispers. “We are something great.”
It’s only four words, but they mean so much more than either of them could ever express and so, ignoring the others in the room, Harry surges forwards to capture Louis’ lips with his own in a kiss that speaks a thousand words. (I love you, I love you, I love you, I love you.)
They’re back in London within two days and before even stepping foot into their complex, they arrange a meeting with Will and the rest of the PR team. To say they’re shocked would be an understatement because the boys hardly ever contact management, preferring to deal with issues themselves. But it was time for change.
“You need let let Louis and Harry be.” Niall says, the minute they’re sat on the couch in front of Will’s desk. Louis’ in Harry’s lap again and there’s a strange sense of Deja Vu in the air, but neither really cared. It wasn’t going to be like last time, they’d make sure of it.
“In relation to the band,” someone speaks up, sounding very monotonous and looking as though he’d rather be anywhere but where he was in that instant. “a romantic relationship could potentially be disastrous, we don’t think-”
“We don’t give a fuck what you think.” Zayn says certainly, eyes raking over the team before him. “we don’t care if this will affect the band, but I swear to God if you don’t let leave these two alone, we’re done.”
Will raises an eyebrow, sitting forward in his desk. “What do you mean, ‘you’re done’?”
“I mean,” Zayn clears his throat, looking their manager in the eye as he continues. “That we quit. We resign from the label.”
It’s something they discussed on the drive down. Both Louis and Harry protested weakly, (“There’s no way that you’re giving up this dream for us, guys. It wouldn’t be fair.”) but were secretly glad that maybe, just maybe, they could find a way to be together. And so they had agreed. If Harry and Louis were forced to separate, then they would leave the label.
“Idle threats, Mr. Malik, will get you nowhere.”
“They’re not idle.” Liam insists. “We mean it. We’re done if they can’t be together.”
The five or so men and women exchange glances, silently communicating until Will turns back to the expectant five boys. “Really?”
Zayn nods. “Really.”
“So boys,” the interviewer (Sarah, Louis reminds himself.) starts, smiling at the group sat across from her. “There’s been a lot of speculation about you lot recently, especially since being dropped from your label, Modest!Management, and we understand that you’re here to clear some of that up?”
“We are.” Harry nods. His body is itching, his wrists even more so, and the desire to lock himself alone somewhere and just let the energy bleed out is overwhelming, but then Louis’ grabbing his hand, entwining their fingers together and he suddenly knows it’s going to be okay. Because he’s got Louis and with him, he doesn’t need anybody, or anything, else.
They get signed to a new label three weeks later. One advantage of being in a world famous boyband is that there’s always someone willing to take a chance on you, even if two fifths of the group are openly gay and in a relationship with each other. Unlike their old label, V2 records don’t care. In fact, they think it’s a good selling point. (“A good chance to reach out to the LGBT community.”) and in all honesty, they’re happy.
The fans of course, once learning the ultimate truth, are outraged. Surprisingly, there’s a considerable amount of support for Louis and Harry, outweighing the haters by such a startling amount that ‘Congrats Larry’, ‘We knew it’, ‘Stylinsex’ and ‘Louis and Harry’ were all trending on Twitter for seven continuous hours the day the interview was released.
When they get back to the flat, it’s like a new beginning. It feels different, as though a hurricane’s swept through the entire complex and made everything fresh. Harry’s not sure if he likes the change, but Louis squeezes his hand and he thinks yeah, he could get used to this.
The thing about losing your balance on a tightrope is that it’s never too late to get it back. The fear will always be there, it takes time and effort, but after a while (it may be months, it may be years) it gets better.
The scars are healing. Louis kisses each one and whispers over and over again how much he loves him, because he does. They were always meant to be something great, and they are. They changed the music industry, exposed its true nature, set history by being the first two men in a boyband to date each other and they give young people someone to look up to.
The energy still buzzes beneath Harry’s skin. There’s still a constant desire to ruin white with red. But he’s getting better every day.
- fightingwithoutfire likes this
- nellieismyhero likes this
- criestiles likes this
- sex0tic likes this
- sillyredheadedlady likes this
- iloveonedirectionnuffsaid likes this
- porcelain-charli likes this
- coke-andpepsi likes this
- arexgaskarf likes this
- longlivethelarry reblogged this from motherfatherwriters
- deathbycurlsandquiffs likes this
- catsinbracesss reblogged this from motherfatherwriters
- nicktomlinshaw likes this
- casualty-of-larry reblogged this from motherfatherwriters
- casualty-of-larry likes this
- foreversecretlyyours submitted this to motherfatherwriters