• 1.7 ~ It's been awhile
It’s been two weeks, and he still hasn’t apologized or talked to Harry or Gemma at all. Their shifts alone together are the most awkward thing Louis has experienced since he got a job at Tasty Treats. They only talk to each other when strictly necessary, and then spend the rest of the time they have had without customers using their phones or reading a book, the tension in the air painfully obvious. The shifts they share with other co-workers aren’t that good either because Harry spends most of it next to Gemma, and every time she catches Louis staring at them, her eyes start shooting daggers at him. It’s a very unpleasant situation and Louis is genuinely thinking about quitting when he gets home on Friday, ready to sleep for the rest of the day. His phone starts buzzing the moment his back touches the bed, and he groans in frustration.
“Hey, Tommo,” he says, cheerful as always.
“What’s up, mate? Are you out of food and you’re planning to come over to steal mine?” he asks as he scratches his belly. Niall bursts into laughter.
“As if. There’s always food in this house, mate, trust me.”
“Alright, alright,” Louis says, sounding a bit happier already. Niall just does that to people, with his simple and easy personality. He’s making Louis feel grateful of being his friend. “I know this subject is rather delicate for you.” Niall snorts.
“You know me.” He pauses, “Louis,” his tone sounding more serious now, “Do you want to go out or something tonight?” Louis frowns, puzzled.
“Not really feeling like it today mate, sorry.”
“What about coming to my house?” he asks. “Come on, Tommo, are you going to turn down free beer and the chance of kicking my ass on FIFA?” Louis laughs a little.
“Of course I won’t,” he says before letting out a loud yawn. “I’ll be there at seven.”
Niall is true to his word, and they spend a while eating junk food and drinking beer. Louis does kick Niall’s arse when they play FIFA, and after a while, he starts to feel fully relaxed and comfortable around him, the issue with Harry becoming irrelevant for a short amount of time. When Louis is about to open his third beer, Niall pauses the game and turns towards Louis, biting his bottom lip. Louis knew this was coming, but he doesn’t try to get away from it because Niall actually knows him and knows how to make Louis talk without forcing him to. He really is a great friend. So, after Niall asks him if he feels like talking, Louis tells him about the whole thing with Harry and Gemma. He listens to him patiently, nodding occasionally with his eyebrows knitted together. Once he stops talking, Niall gives him a disbelieving look.
“So?” Louis raises an eyebrow.
“So, what, Niall?”
“Is that it?” He pauses, but Louis doesn’t respond. “I mean, that sounds sort of dumb if you ask me, like. You just started avoiding him because his sister caught you both making out?” Louis simply nods, bemused.
“I don’t understand,” Niall says simply as he shakes his head before taking a sip of the beer he’s holding in his hand. “You told me and the boys about your thing with Harry a couple of weeks ago. I don’t get what the difference is to be honest; or were you planning on telling everyone but her? It’s a bit strange, don’t you think?” Louis groans.
“It’s not like that, see, Gemma told me Harry had a crush on me a few months ago and told me not to hurt him,” he tells him. “And now that she saw us, I thought it was better to end what we started.”
“What for?” Niall asks as he crosses his arms.
“I thought it would start some kind of fight between them and I didn’t want to be the one that caused it. I just want Harry to be happy, always.” Niall hums, doubtful.
“I don’t know mate. I mean, I get what you’re saying, but Harry hasn’t looked very happy lately if you ask me. Are you sure you did the right thing?” Louis nervously bites his nails.
“I honestly don’t know.” Niall sighs.
“Well I think you should talk to Harry first and that way maybe -”
“No,” Louis interrupts him, “I really would rather not talk to him, it would be awkward, and besides, the way he looks at me these days makes me feel guilty enough already.”
“What about Gemma, though,” Niall insists. “You could start with talking to her until things are less tense between you, and then maybe try to fix everything with Harry?” He gives Louis a pat on the back. “Like, even if you guys don’t get back together, you can still be friends, right?” Louis considers this and then nods as he gives Niall a grateful smile.
“Yeah, maybe.” He holds Louis’ gaze for a moment, and then turns back towards the TV.
“Alright, Tommo. Let’s see if this beer will help me beat you this time.”
That weekend, Louis asks his boss if Gemma can replace Harry in one of the shifts they have together, saying that Harry told Louis he was sick and suggesting that he should take the day off. His boss agrees without thinking twice about it; ever since Louis had started working there, he had always shown a certain kind of favoritism towards him. So, on Monday, Gemma walks through the front door of the parlor, wearing an annoyed expression.
“Hello,” he greets her awkwardly. She sighs.
“Hello Louis.” He smiles a little.
“I actually asked the boss to -”
“Yeah, yeah,” she cuts him off, “You don’t want to talk to my brother, so now you decided that you don’t want to have a shift alone with him, that’s very mature.” Louis shakes his head no as he furrows his eyebrows.
“No that’s not - I actually wanted to talk to you, is that alright?” Gemma narrows her eyes at him.
“Fine,” she says flatly.
“I know I must not be your favorite person right now,” he starts.
“That’s an understatement,” she says under her breath.
“Just listen, yeah?” Louis tells her, “I really like Harry -” Gemma snorts.
“Okay, yeah. Is that why you started avoiding him then?”
“What?” Louis asks, confused.
“What - I. Louis, you and my brother had a thing, and you randomly started ignoring him,” she says simply. Louis blinks.
“Um. Yeah, well, you kind of told me to fuck off before he and me were even friends, so it’s not my fault I was scared of your reaction and -”
“What?” she asks, her voice is rising in pitch slightly. “What the fuck are you even talking about?”
“At that party at Zayn’s don’t you remember? You told me he had a crush on me and then threatened me about what would happen if I hurt him,” he explains, a bit confused. Doesn’t she remember that at all? Recognition shows on her face, followed by disbelief.
“Are you serious?” Louis thinks Gemma might be joking.
“Yeah, I mean you sounded pretty serious with all the ‘I’ll punch you in the face if you break his heart’ and when you also -”
“Louis,” she says, hiding her face in her hands, “You were ignoring him, not because you’re a total dick, but because you’re a total dumbass that was afraid of my reaction?” Louis clears his throat.
“Oh my god, you idiot.”
“Hey,” Louis scolds her, “I won’t let you insult me unless I understand why.”
“Okay, I’ll just, ugh. Tell me why you decided to avoid him,” she tells him as she pinches the bridge of her nose.
“Well, when we were at that party you told me to back off, but I just,” he pauses for a second, embarrassed, “I really like Harry, and I realized I had developed a crush on him as well.” She nods, with an expression that Louis can’t work out, and motions him to go on. “But then when you saw us kissing, I assumed you were going to ask me to like, not do it anymore, so I spared you the whole talk.”
“Louis,” she says slowly, “I told you not to break Harry’s heart and you thought the best way of not doing it was to break up with him?”
“I - No, I thought it was going to cause trouble between the two of you and I didn't want to be the reason for -” He is interrupted by Gemma hitting his head lightly, “Ouch! What was that for?” Gemma groans.
“You’re lucky my brother adores you,” she says, frustrated. “Okay, listen to me Louis, I wasn’t planning on interfering between you both because I don’t have any right to, yeah? And honestly, I wouldn’t have done that, I’m not that much of a bitch.” Louis shrugs.
“I thought -”
“No. Listen,” she says seriously, “Harry tells me about these things, and I know this isn’t the first time you have tried to solve a problem between the two of you by just avoiding it.” Louis bites his bottom lip. “I’m not trying to make you feel guilty, but you really need to stop doing it if you want Harry to forgive you, I mean -”
“Wait, wait, wait. You think Harry would forgive me?” he asks, dumbfounded. “And you wouldn’t mind?”
“No, Louis, it’s not my business, like I do mean the ‘hurt him and I will hurt you’ thing, but it’s not like I can choose who my brother likes,” she tells him. “But yeah, I’m pretty sure he’ll forgive you because he really likes you and he’s just been so sad lately.” Louis is still a bit confused, but he suddenly feels like he has too much energy and he can’t keep sitting there for much longer.
“I should - Um, would you mind? I need to -” Gemma gives him a genuine smile.
“Yeah, you better go.”
When Louis gets to Harry’s flat, his heart is threatening to beat through his chest. He takes a long breath before knocking, and when he hears steps coming to the door he realizes he doesn’t have any idea of what he’s supposed to say or do. After the door is opened, Louis simply lets himself stare at Harry for a moment, and then hates himself for being such an idiot because, if there’s a person in this world that should not be hurt, it’s Harry Styles.
“I’m an asshole,” is what comes out of his mouth. And. Okay, he probably shouldn’t have said that. He watches as Harry’s face scrunches up in confusion, and Louis notices he looks like he had been sleeping until he got there. He looks adorable wearing a pair of gray sweats and a white t-shirt that says ‘tofu guys don’t eat meat’ in black letters. He lets out a yawn.
“I’m. Uh, can I come in?” Louis asks, nervous. Harry shrugs, but steps back anyway, giving him room to walk into his flat. After closing the door, he turns around and looks at Louis, lazily scratching his belly.
“You want something to drink?”
"No, I'm good."
"Suit yourself," Harry says, indifferent, as he walks to the big couch that’s in front of the TV. He sits down and pats the free space next to him after, as if telling Louis to sit next to him. Once he does, Harry rests his socked feet on the couch, knees drawn up to his chest.
"Why did you come here?" Louis sighs.
"Wanted to see you, and talk."
“Oh, so today I exist then?” he asks, his tone sharp compared to the one Louis is used to hearing. He gives him a sad look.
“Harry, I came here to apologize. I know I acted like a dick, but I can’t stand this, and like, now working at the parlor became something I literally hate because I’m not able to talk to you,” he sighs. “I really miss you.” At this, there’s a hint of a smile forming on Harry’s face.
“Well I agree with you, and I feel the same way, I mean, I really missed you as well but,” he stops talking and leans in until their face are very close, and places his hand on Louis’ forearm, making him feel like he’s burning where Harry is touching him because it feels like it’s been ages since something like this happened. “Can you tell me why you were avoiding me? And not just this once, I still want to know what happened when I was in Los Angeles.”
“Yeah, of course.” Louis nods as he puts his hand over the one Harry placed on his arm, to stroke the skin there softly. “You’re going to laugh but, after you sent me that link with the porn thing, I sort of had a wank because I couldn’t stop picturing it was you and me in that video.” Harry ducks his head down and his smile grows into a genuine one, his cheeks flushing slightly. “And I felt guilty because you’re just so young and -”
“Okay stop,” says Harry, frowning now, and making Louis hate himself a little for making Harry upset. “I’m not young, but I’m two years younger than you, yeah? That’s it. ” Louis smiles and moves his hand to bury it in Harry’s hair.
“I can’t help it, you make me feel like,” he pauses, trying to find the right words to say. “I feel like I don’t want anyone to hurt you, which, I know it’s a bit lame, but I guess that’s what makes me see you as younger than what you are.”
"It’s lame, but also cute,” Harry says as he winks. “And why did you start ignoring me after Gemma caught us making out?” he asks, his expression more serious now.
“Um, well, remember that party at Zayn’s house?” Louis asks hesitantly. Harry nods. “Well, Gemma kind of told me she thought you had a crush on me.”
“Jesus christ,” Harry groans, hiding his face behind his hands. “That is so embarrassing.”
“It’s embarrassing but also cute,” Louis mocks him, making Harry look up at him and let out a small laugh. “After that she gave me some sort of ‘talk’ and she told me I should not hurt you under any circumstances, and, basically, I over-analyzed it,” Louis explains to him. Harry grins, looking more relaxed than when Louis got there.
“She is a bit scary, isn’t she?”
“Totes,” Louis says in faux seriousness. “But, to be honest, after we told the boys about our thing, I felt almost ready to tell Gemma about it as well, but then she took me by surprise and I kind of freaked out.” Harry frowns.
“In these last few weeks, I kept thinking I had been the one that pushed you too much.”
“What?” Louis asks, confused.
“Because I didn’t want to hide it,” Harry tells him with his eyes fixed on his own lap. “It was unfair to pressure you like that, I mean, you were clearly uncomfortable with it, I should have been more understanding.”
“No, Harry, it’s just -” he stops talking to let out a disbelieving laugh. “We’re just a pair of idiots, aren’t we?” Harry smiles, and it’s the kind that Louis missed the most, the one that is so big that it looks like it’s going to split his face in two. Then, Louis leans in to start trailing kisses all over Harry’s face, the tip of his nose, his closed eyelids, his forehead, the space between his nose and upper lip, keeping it up until Harry is a giggly mess beneath him. After he stops, he simply leans back to be able to look at Harry. His neck looks particularly tempting then, and all Louis wants to do is leave a huge mark right there, for everyone else to see.
“Zayn wins the bet,” Harry murmurs, pulling Louis out of his thoughts.
“He and Niall had some bet about when we were going to fix things,” Harry tells him. “Niall thought it was going to take you one more week.” Louis chuckles.
“Those fuckers,” he says under his breath, his tone fond. “But seriously, Harry,” he waits until Harry and him are making eye contact, “I mean it when I say that I’m going to try to change my way of dealing with stuff, like, I want this to work, for real. And we need to be completely honest with each other.” Harry just nods.
“Yeah, I agree.” Louis smiles a little.
“Even if you want to tell me my feet smell bad, don’t hesitate, alright?”
“Of course,” Harry says, playing along. “Same goes for you, yeah? If I’m snoring very loudly, give me a spank.” Louis raises his eyebrows.
“Don’t you think it’s a bit early to bring up spanking into this conversation?”
“Nah,” Harry says, shrugging carelessly, “Our first kiss happened thanks to me wearing panties because you told me to, we’ve always been quite kinky.” Louis cackles at that and hides his face in the crook of Harry’s neck to nip at the skin.
“You’re a complete menace, Harry Styles.”
“Harry I don’t like your name,” Louis says.
“You don’t like my name.” Harry repeats, giving him an odd look. “Well, then call me by a different one, I mean you already have lots of nicknames for me like, Harold, sunshine, darling.” The two of them are in the kitchen at Louis’ flat, preparing a meal for Gemma, Zayn, Niall, Liam and Ed - who came back from his tour in America a week ago. They are waiting for the water to boil because they decided to make pasta, which was the simplest option and also foolproof because everyone likes it. Louis tilts his head to the side.
“Hmm. I was thinking about something a bit different.”
“Whatever,” Harry shrugs, “I mean, I’m probably going to like it anyway, so call me what you want.” Louis hums.
“See, I wouldn’t feel really comfortable calling you that without your permission.”
“Okay?” Harry frowns. “How do you want to call me?”
“Starts with ‘B’,” he tells him, trying to contain a smile.
“Um, buttercup? Babe? Baby?” He wrinkles his nose. “Bro?” Louis lets out a laugh at that.
“No, I’ll give you a clue. Starts with ‘boy’ and ends with ‘friend’.”
“What the - Wait.” He says now blushing a little as realization dawns on his face. “Oh my god.”
“Oh your god.” Harry chuckles and pulls Louis into a hug, wrapping his arms tightly around his shoulders.
“You’re so sappy.” Louis pulls back to peck his mouth.
“We both are. Now answer my question please.” Harry pretends to think about it for a few seconds, and then he lets out a fake, long suffered sigh.
“I guess I have to say yes, what with having Mary staring at you all day.” Louis furrows his eyebrows, until he remembers that that was the name he had chosen for the cash register in Tasty Treats.
“You do know I was making all those dumb jokes to make you laugh, right?”
“Idiot,” he says, tightening his arms around Louis as he hides his face in the crook of his neck. “You didn’t need to do that.” Louis gives his hair a small tug.
“But it worked, didn’t it? I mean, I get to call you my boyfriend now, so.” Harry laughs a little, his hot breath tickling the skin of Louis’ neck.
“You’re going to use that word whenever you can for the rest of the day, aren’t you?”
“Yep, and you’re going to love every second of it.”
“True,” Harry says, nodding solemnly. They are interrupted by Niall’s voice coming through the door.
”I hope there’s enough food to feed an army ‘cause I’m starving.” They both laugh and Louis gives Harry’s nose a last kiss before walking out of the kitchen with a huge of smile on his face, because - even if it sounds stupid - in that moment, he actually feels like the happiest person on earth.
Dit is alweer het laatste stukje van verhaaltje 1. Maar natuurlijk zijn we nog lang niet klaar
en gaan we door met verhaaltje 2.
Nog even een geheugen steuntje, dat verhaaltje heeft niks met deze te maken.
Ik geef jullie alvast de *hint* dat het over de Olympische spelen zal gaan,
morgenochtend krijgen jullie het eerste stukje.