15.3 ~ No Simple in Loving You
The next night, some uni students play a steady stream of thumping club songs on the juke box and Louis catches Harry's eye during a lull. He does a little body roll just to get his attention then laughs as Harry stares hungrily at Louis' hips shaking to the beat. He keeps it up throughout the night and, by the time they lock up, Harry's clearly frustrated and Louis gets pushed up against the wall with a growl.
We're going to get this place cleaned up in ten minutes, he says roughly, pressing Louis firmly against the wall with his entire body. Or we won't even make it back to my place. Louis loves being coy and he loves getting Harry all worked up like this. It's maybe his favorite hobby.
Yeah? Louis asks, his voice hitching because he's got lips on his neck now. Gonna fuck me right here? Harry whimpers into Louis' skin, his hips jerking forward against Louis'. He almost feels bad teasing him, but the way Harry's fingers are gripping into his shirt on his back, twisting the fabric so tightly that it hikes up, well. It's worth it.
Stop, he whines in a tiny voice, pulling Louis into him even harder. Louis decides he's had enough teasing, so he noses at Harry's neck to get him to look up, finding his pupils blown and his cheeks flushed.
Fuck cleaning, he mutters, flicking his eyes down to Harry's lips. Count the money and take me back to yours so I can get inside you already. He leans in to kiss the pretty lips, then decides maybe he's not quite done teasing, whispering into them. Put these hips to better use than dancing, yeah? Harry shivers and Louis grins, giving him one last kiss before pulling him toward the register so they can finish up quickly because Harry is not the only one itching to get into his bed.
Louis walks into work behind Harry the next day, dropping his hand as they step in through the door. It was a night full of sweat and low, sweet moans and it's been a morning full of skin and tea and laughter and Louis feels like maybe he's floating, like his feet aren't even touching the ground. As he steps into the shadows and neon lights of the bar, though, reality starts to seep into his dreamlike state and his mood is dragged down a little at a time until Harry finally pulls him into the storage closet around the corner by the loos and he nuzzles his neck.
Nothing, Louis replies immediately, wrapping his arms around Harry's waist.
Your smile went away, Harry says, pulling back to pout and Louis can't even see him in here, in the pitch black of the closet, but he knows it's there. I love your smile. I want it back. Louis pushes up to find Harry's lips, wanting to know where his face is since he can't see it. He kisses him, then lets his lips rest there for a moment, breathing in the calm of Harry.
You love my smile? He asks, lips moving slowly against Harry's as he whispers.
Mmm, Harry hums back, pressing his lips into a kiss before he responds properly. Love a lot of things about you. Louis smiles a bit at that, pulling Harry closer, lips pressing together in another soft kiss.
Yeah? He feels hands sliding up his sides and over his shoulders, fingertips grazing up his neck and then pushing into his hair as warm breath spills across his lips and he feels like he's back in the clouds, floating happily with Harry's hands on him, alone in the dark. Harry's lips slide over to the corner of Louis' mouth, pressing another kiss there before he whispers.
Love you. Louis suddenly feels breathless, fingers gripping onto Harry's shirt and there are a lot of things going through his mind at once, making his brain fuzzy, but he can only respond with one thing, the only thing, and it's so much easier to deal with here in the dark.
Love you, too, yeah, he whispers back, finding Harry's mouth again and kissing him properly, the way people in love ought to kiss and somewhere in the back of Louis' crowded mind, he is vaguely aware that he's just professed love in a dark storage closet at work and it's possibly the least romantic situation he could have dreamed up. The scent of ammonia and dirty rags sits in the air, but Harry's lips are pressing so hard into his own and the fingers in his hair are rubbing slowly and Louis realises he never really liked romance anyway.
Working with Harry gets both easier and harder. It's easier because they've gotten to a point where they almost move as one, always knowing where the other is going, what they're doing and it's fluid with them. Louis is faster with Harry and, on busy nights, it's amazing how much more smoothly it goes than if he's working with Christian or Lidia. It's harder, though, too, because he's in love with Harry. He's totally in love and he'll catch himself watching him, a little smile playing at his lips as Harry moves to pour shots or chats with the regulars while he fills beer glasses. Which is fine unless customers are trying to get his attention, waving money in his face to bring his focus back to the job. His tips dwindle on his nights with Harry and, yeah, he loves working with him, but he finds himself privately relieved when he's working with one of the others. He feels guilty, of course, but he needs the money and he's starting to worry customers will start complaining to their boss if he keeps letting Harry pull him into the storage closet for quick snogs between rushes. Louis sets his mind to focusing on the job, eyes scanning the faces lined up along the bar until a tall bloke catches his eye, gesturing to him. Louis saunters over, pressing his hands on the countertop to lean over the bar so he can hear him over the noise in the room.
Three shots of Patron and three Coronas, the man says loudly, but still barely audible over the din. Louis nods and gets to work, pouring the shots in a flash and grabbing the bottles from the cooler under the bar. He sets the drinks down in front of the bloke who's smiling at him now and Louis recognizes flirting when he sees it and, well, he's set on doing his job well, so he gives him a coy smile in return, reaching down to the bucket of limes. As he pushes a lime wedge into the neck of each bottle, the guy gestures for him to lean closer and Louis does, letting him speak into his ear.
Can I buy you a shot, too? He asks, his voice husky and smooth. Customers like when the bartenders drink, he's realised in his time at the job, so he shrugs, picking up one of the small glasses of tequila in front of him. He's just doing his job.
Just one, though, have to be good, he says with a cheeky smile, remembering how good he is at this, at flirting. The guy picks up one of the other shots and lifts it, clinking it against Louis' glass and they swallow them back at the same time. The liquor feels good sliding down Louis' throat, makes him feel warm all over. Within seconds of swallowing the liquor, the lad is pushing himself up so his lips hover right over Louis' ear, tickling his skin as he speaks.
Let me know when you're done being good. Louis grins wickedly, shaking his head and moves to replace the shot he drank before taking the guy's money and the tip he leaves really is way more than he usually gets, so he smiles happily, bouncing over to the cash register. As he punches the order in, Harry slides up behind him, pressed into his back just a bit.
You alright? He asks casually, eyebrows lifting as Louis turns to see him.
Yeah, 'course, why? Louis asks, hands stilling on the register.
That guy was practically tonguing your ear, Harry says and he doesn't necessarily sound upset, but maybe sort of surprised or confused.
No tongue penetrated my ear, promise, he says, trying not to let himself get annoyed by the fact that Harry was watching him so closely.
Maybe your tongue can penetrate something tonight, Harry whispers, pinching his hip and walking away. Louis' tips suffer for the rest of the night, but after close, Harry comes home with him and Louis rims him until he's coming and, well. Louis can't complain.
A couple of weeks later, Harry is spread out sideways at the foot of Louis' bed, naked as the day he was born, the sun shining in through the window and hitting his skin. Louis is staring. He can't help it. He's seen Harry naked quite a bit at this point, practically memorized every curve of his body, but right now he looks like a fucking angel with the sun creating a golden glow around him. Louis is happy to sit in the shadows and just watch.
Stop staring, you pervert, Harry mumbles, eyes still closed. His lips twitch up into a little half smile and Louis sighs, still staring. He loves these lazy mornings they get to spend together when they've got nothing to do but lounge about, more or less clothed, and just be. Louis unfolds his leg and stretches it out, pushing his toes into Harry's side, a little smile playing at his own lips.
If you insist on being naked, I insist on staring. He thinks that's reasonable enough anyway. Harry huffs out a laugh and finally turns his head toward Louis, eyes opening slowly as they adjust to the light. He grabs Louis' foot where it's digging into his ribs and brings it up to his mouth, biting his big toe once and making a growling cat noise as he does, sounding more like a petulant kitten than a ferocious beast.
You're such an idiot, Louis says fondly, pulling his leg back into him. Harry grins sleepily and reaches out for Louis' leg again, fingers grazing his knee.
Your idiot, he says and Louis can't tell if he's being sarcastically sappy or just sappy. Before Louis can respond, his phone buzzes next to him and he picks it up to see that it's his mum. He doesn't really want to talk to her with Harry there, doesn't like his worlds colliding, so he hits ignore and drops the phone back down.
Who's that? Harry asks, thumb sliding back and forth over the skin of Louis' knee.
Mum, Louis answers, pushing his leg out once again, closing his eyes and smiling as Harry slides his palm down his leg.
Could've answered, you know, he says, leaning down to kiss Louis' ankle. I could bugger off to the kitchen if it's private.
It's not private. Just busy right now, Louis says quietly, soaking in the calmness of the morning, the feeling of Harry's fingers dancing over his leg. After a long silent moment, Harry's hand pauses before he speaks thoughtfully.
I'd like to meet her. That all but destroys the calm, but Louis tries not to react, keeping his eyes shut and his body still. He doesn't like his worlds colliding. His mum doesn't even know he's seeing someone. Harry doesn't seem to notice that Louis has gone rigid, fingers moving over Louis' ankle now as he speaks again.
Maybe we could take a little trip up there someday. I want to see where you grew up. And Louis knows it's not a big deal for Harry to be saying these things, but it feels big to Louis. It feels fucking scary.
Maybe. Someday, he forces out if only because that's what proper boyfriends say, but he's on edge and he thinks Harry's noticing now because he crawls up the bed, lining himself up next to Louis and he's biting at the inside of his cheek the way he does when he's nervous.
I just- I want to know everything there is to know about you, you know? His voice is soft, almost sad, and Louis swallows heavily.
Yeah, he says, nodding like he's trying to convince himself that it's not a big deal.
Yeah, Harry whispers, an octave lower, before dropping his hand to graze over Louis' pyjama bottoms, palming gently at his cock. Louis' a bit taken aback, but he slowly drops his head back and lets Harry rub him until he can feel the tension in his body releasing, being replaced by something else. When Harry's riding him a little while later, slowly grinding his arse down into Louis' hips, their hands clasped on Louis' stomach, Louis has all but forgotten about his little flash of panic. In that moment, he can let it all go and focus only on the two of them and nothing else. He can breathe.
Louis is closing with Christian, a young, fit lad who's even better at flirting with the patrons than Louis is, and his tips have been insane all night. They don't move in sync quite as well as he and Harry do, but Louis has been able to focus without the curly headed distraction looming around. Not that he doesn't love being distracted, but his wallet isn't as much of a fan. Only a few minutes after they lock up, Louis hears the door opening and he's confused, sure he locked it properly. He's ready to yell that they're closed when he sees the distraction himself. Harry smiles toward Louis as he walks up to the counter, leaning over it and kissing him in greeting.
Hey babe. Louis just stares back at him and he can't explain the tension gathering inside his body.
Want me to bugger off? Christian pipes up, glancing toward them. Harry asks if he minds and Christian laughs because, yeah, it's such a burden leaving work early, and all the while Louis is frozen and he doesn't really know why. When the front door closes behind Christian, Louis snaps his head up to look at Harry and he feels the tension in him reaching a breaking point.
Did you just come here to make sure I wasn't snogging him or something?
Wha- Harry looks perplexed, but Louis continues.
Because why else are you here at two in the morning on your night off, Harry? I swear to god, if this is a jealous thing. Harry's staring wide-eyed and Louis feels a bit like he's going mad, but everything is so tight and, fuck, maybe he is going mad.
"You really are shit at relationships, aren't you? Harry says, staring at him like he's got two heads before he shakes his head, sighing, Jesus, Lou. All Louis can think is `yeah, I fucking told you, didn't I?´ but he keeps that to himself, wringing his hands together in front of him until Harry speaks again.
When I say that I love you, that's not some abstract state of being that has nothing to do with you, you know? I love you because I love being around you and I love seeing you smile and hearing you laugh. He sighs again, looking tired all of a sudden. So, yeah, I drove all ten minutes down here at two in the morning because I couldn't sleep and I wanted to see your face and hear your voice, and I can do all that without an ulterior motive, you know. I can want to touch you without it meaning that I'm worried about someone else touching you. Louis feels sort of like a balloon with the air being let out of it, like the tightness is disappearing and he's crumpling right there because, god, he is so shit at this. His hands are shaking now because he's simultaneously trying to pull away and trying to hold on and it's maybe more than he can handle. Suddenly Harry is in front of him, reaching out slowly like he's afraid of scaring him and Louis looks up, searching his face.
Are you still good enough at this for both of us? He asks quietly, his breath shallow. Harry finally makes contact, his fingers brushing against Louis' arm, and his eyes look a bit sad, a bit lost.
You tell me. Louis doesn't know, of course. He doesn't know if anyone's good enough to make Louis a decent boyfriend. He doesn't know if anyone can be good enough to compensate for how incredibly awful he is at this.
I want you to be, he offers, closing his eyes and reaching up to circle his arms around Harry's neck. Fuck, I'm sorry I'm like this. Harry's grip on him tightens and Louis feels lips pressing into his forehead through his fringe, then moving down to kiss the tip of his nose.
I don't want you to be upset, he whispers, pulling Louis in and dropping his chin onto Louis' shoulder. But I still love you, you know? No matter what. Louis takes a deep breath, holding onto Harry's neck, and it's always easier when it's just the two of them, just touching and whispering and Louis can relax about everything else.
I love you, too, even if I'm terrible at the rest of this.