• 25.7 ~ Europe
Their kiss ended abruptly when Louis felt a firm hand on his chest, pushing him away. Harry had also stopped dancing which forced Louis to stop, too. Reluctantly, Louis peeled away from Harry’s lips. Harry wasn’t looking at him. Instead, he turned his back to him, one hand forming a tight grip around Louis’ wrist, pulling Louis along with him. Vaguely, Louis was aware that people were throwing them annoyed glances, disapproving of the way Harry was hastily weaving them through the crowd. Lost, Louis felt utterly lost because he hadn’t seen Harry’s face, didn’t know why they’d suddenly stopped kissing, why they were leaving. His head was still swimming in the backwash of the exuberant combination of alcohol and Harry. Finally, they were outside the club, the fresh air of the mild summer night filling Louis lungs and slowly abolishing the sluggish drag his mind had acquired. At some point, Harry had let go of him, taking the last few steps alone. He was leaning against the wall of the building now, hands covering his face, his chest rising and falling with heavy breaths. Louis stepped up to Harry, closing the distance between them and wanted to dive in for another kiss. Harry’s raised hand stopped him though, once again pushing Louis away, hand firm on his chest. Louis was searching for Harry’s gaze, to see something, anything, a hint at what the fuck was actually happening.
“Don’t Louis. I can’t.” Harry was struggling with articulating himself, Louis could tell as much. “Not like that.” He vaguely registered that Harry was finally looking at him, his features distorted by a pained expression, but Louis was falling. Falling into a dark hole with no ground in sight, Harry’s rejection had tipped him over the edge.
“Louis - just. Would you fucking look at me for a second?!” Harry was yelling now, even though he was still standing close to Louis. Nothing was making any sense. Why should Louis look at him if Harry didn’t want him? Liquid nitrogen was dribbling down his windpipe, every breath accompanied by a stinging pain. Embarrassment was heating his cheek and closing up his throat. He felt a warm hand hook under his chin and raising his head, forcing him to look up into Harry’s face. At the sight of Harry’s eyes, Louis felt tears prickling at the outer corners of his eyes making his vision blurry around the edges. He was looking at Harry now, though, and noticed hazily that Harry’s features had softened ever since Louis met his gaze again. His expression was still filled with pain but every trace of abrasiveness had dissolved. Instead, Louis found an almost desperate streak in Harry’s eyes and didn’t understand. Was Harry playing with him?
“Louis.” It sounded like he was pleading with him. Harry tried to take Louis’ hands in his, but Louis couldn’t touch him now, didn’t need a physical reminder of Harry’s presence, the whirring in his mind enough of a burden.
“Louis,” Harry repeated. “Don’t- I don’t want you to think that this is me rejecting you.”
“But that’s what you just did, Harry. You pushed me away.” Louis’ voice broke on the last two syllables. It was the first time he had spoken since they’d gotten outside.
“Because I didn’t want this to be another drunken mistake,” Harry huffed, clearly strained from their fight. And this. Well, this just settled it, didn’t it? Apparently the two of them had started out on completely different pages. Fuck, were probably reading entirely different books and screw the analogy really, because every poetic aspect of this shit aside, Harry had just fucking shattered Louis’ heart.
“Fuck you, too, Harry,” Louis bellowed, which caught him a couple of disapproving glances from a bundle of passers-by. Louis couldn’t be arsed to care what anyone else thought about Harry and him right now, the only thing he needed was to get out of there. He turned away from the club entrance and from Harry who was still staring at him. Not even bothering to look back, Louis was ready to run away from this place, but he was still swaying slightly, the pathetic remnants of alcohol prowling around his head, making it hard to walk steady. Louis reached the corner of the block, his steps echoed off the walls of the massive buildings surrounding that particular part of the town. He didn’t get much further though, lean fingers wrapping around both his arms, a jolt of electricity shooting down his spine. Harry. Harry was still affecting him, even if he had turned Louis down. He still made it hard to breathe and even harder to think straight.
“Lou, just please stop and listen for a moment, please” he practically begged. The desperation in Harry’s voice made Louis’ heart hurt, proving that he was still unable to let anything hurt Harry, even if Louis had lost his shot at being loved in return. Reluctantly, he turned around, back to facing Harry.
“I’ll listen to you, but I don’t want you to touch me.” Louis was lying. He couldn’t recall a time where he hadn’t wanted Harry to touch him, connect both their skins, reveling in the pleasant shock it sent through his veins, but he needed to focus for this, keeping his mind clear of any grey area and Harry’s touch was definitely a major distraction.
“Can we- can we sit down for this?” Harry was pointing at an old bench that stood under a broad tree, creating a false sense of idyll.
Once they were seated, Harry immediately started talking, seemingly eager to clear up whatever needed clarification.
“First, I didn’t reject you in the club.” He paused and raised a hand when he saw that Louis already wanted to interject. “I said `no´ to you, that’s true, but- shit, Louis, don’t ever think it was because I didn’t want you.” Louis’ mind had gone blank. “Just. Fuck, Louis, I want you so much I almost came right there and then in the club with all these people around us and I needed to step away because I- well, I guess, because I didn’t want this to become a situation where I was the only one that was pushing and pulling.” Louis was pretty sure this was the most and the fastest he’d ever heard Harry talk. Louis’ brain, however, was soon too taken over by the thought of Harry coming in his trousers because of Louis, because dancing and grinding against Louis had turned him on that much. If Louis had been in any other position than Harry had just described to him, he definitely would have reflected thoroughly on Harry’s sanity. As it was though, he was preoccupied with avoiding an embarrassing hard on from the visuals alone.
“Please say something, Lou.” The use of the familiar nickname made Louis jolt out of his thoughts. Harry wanted him. Not like a platonic dude pal bro, although they could certainly still benefit from the fact that they’d practically become best friends somewhere between Amsterdam and the Petrin Tower, but Harry also wanted to do things with Louis. Like kiss and touch and rile each other up and whatever else was included in it.
“If you’re really still wondering whether I might want you, pal, I’m seriously reconsidering,” Louis supplied. They’d slowly shuffled back into each other’s space, their shoulders now firmly pressed together and Louis hooked his foot around Harry’s ankle. “Of course I want you, Curly."
“I’ve never done this before,” Harry admitted and fuck, his voice still held a hint of uncertainty in it. “Like, travelling with someone and spending so much time with them and then this-” He gestured between the two of them, seemingly at loss for a name for it.
“I’m as much at loss as you are, Haz,” Louis confessed. “I mean, I’ve done casual before but I’m- to be honest, H, I’m not sure casual is what I want with you.” Louis could hear Harry’s breath hitch with his last sentence. He’d just thrown all of his cards on the table, open handed, nothing left to lose. He should be more scared but Harry’s presence kept all fear out of his conscience.
“I’m sure it’s not going to be simple, Louis, but what if we take this step by step, I mean, deciding as we go?”
“Yeah, that sounds- I can work with that. We don’t have to put a name on it if we can’t define it ourselves, right?” Louis suggested. He was practically in Harry’s lap now, legs thrown over his lap, his arm reaching over the other boy’s shoulder.
“Mhm, I think I’m okay with that,” Harry answered. “So, does this mean we can kiss again? Because kissing’s great.”
“You were the one who stopped last time, H” and without waiting for Harry’s reply he stretched up again and met Harry’s mouth with another kiss. When he remembered another part of the club scene, he broke their kiss and this time it was Harry who was begrudgingly pulling away.
“You know that guy in the club had a tongue piercing, you robbed me off a potentially fantastic snog there.” He paused to see Harry’s reaction and saw Harry’s forehead contorting in a disgruntled frown. “What can you offer as a compensating asset? Since you clearly don’t have a piercing.” Louis was clearly joking, but Harry’s gaze darkened significantly at the mention of the other bloke. Fascinating.
“How can you be so sure I don’t have any piercings? You haven’t seen all of me.” Harry didn’t add the `yet´ but with the way his grin turned into a smug smirk, challenge in his eyes, Louis did get his hopes up. Even if they still had a long way to go.