tied by miles [1. 2. 3.] | harry/louis | NC-17 | louis and harry are on opposites ends and somehow they meet somewhere in the middle. loosely based off this prompt: i want louis knowing that he’s gay, but trying to hide/get rid of it, but having a crush on harry he can’t deny, and harry showing him how good it can be to get fucked.
harry is there when louis wakes up.
and he’s there the morning after that and after that and after that, every morning greeting louis with his light snoring and constant stealing of the sheets. he’s never awake when louis has to be, but he’s there when louis drags himself back from class and is smiling and sprawled out on louis’ bed like it’s his own. louis isn’t even sure this is allowed, to have guests sitting in his room without permission, but harry never goes anywhere and louis isn’t complaining.
liam asks him one morning why he’s always so happy lately and he laughs, because he still can’t believe it and neither would liam if he knew.
harry is loud and funny and sarcastic and stupid and beautiful and strong and always smiling and fresh faced and wide eyed and so annoyingly perfect, louis doesn’t want to believe someone like harry is wasting his time on him. he is, though, and he doesn’t say much about not telling anyone and doesn’t ask questions and that’s enough. he falls asleep with his head over harry’s heart and wakes up just the same. that’s enough.
“i’m almost twenty,” louis tells him one morning. it’s a sunday afternoon and it’s cold and snowy outside and harry is wrapped around louis’ big, white comforter like a burrito while louis on his back, trying to focus on the christmas specials that have been on the tellie all day.
“christmas eve, yeah?” harry says, peering out from the blankets. “that’s a lucky birthday.”
“i guess. my mum wants me home for it and christmas holiday.”
harry clears his throat awkwardly. “well. that’s good, right?”
“yeah,” louis says. “i miss her.” he glances at harry, who looks like a child with big eyes and the blanket around his head. “but i think liam and his friend niall are having a party before i go. you should come.”
“yeah, sure,” harry mutters. “two weeks at home, huh? that’s what, like, three hours away? how are you gonna survive without me?”
louis shoots him a look. “i’ll manage.”
harry bites his lip into a smile. “well. i’ll miss you.”
his breath catches in the back of his throat before he can muster up some reasonable answer. “i— yeah. me too.”
“so,” harry says, rolling around in the blanket to face louis, “four days until the big twenty. how are we gonna celebrate?”
louis smiles, pushing the blanket off of harry’s head and wrapping his arm around his neck. “we’ll figure something out.”
the party is two nights before he leaves.
it’s a typical uni party: too many people, too many unfamiliar faces, crushed cups thrown in corners, loud, obnoxious, thumping music. it has a bit of a christmas feel, with wreaths hung up in the corner of walls and two giant plates of christmas colored cookies, and louis can tell it was liam’s doing. there’s even a banner hanging from one side of the ceiling to the opposite side, reading in big, thick letters ‘happy twentieth louis!’
he’s quite proud when he sees it, because it lets everyone know he’s the man of honor when he walks in. people shove into him, shouting ‘happy birthday’ and ‘get laid tonight’ and ‘have a good vacation’ and he smiles at them and pushes past them to find an actual face worth seeing.
liam finds him, laughing and dancing, and greets him with a bear hug and a headlock. “happy birthday, mate!” he shouts over the music. “see anyone you like so far?”
louis takes a beer from the table behind liam. “er, no, mate.” to be honest, he’d almost forgotten that he was the only one who knew about harry. “still looking.” he feels guilty when he says it , because for all he knows, harry could be somewhere in the crowd, but there was nothing else to say to liam, really.
“i want you to meet someone,” liam says, nodding to a tall, dark haired figure looming behind him. “this is zayn. met him tonight. he’s cool. he’s friends with that curly guy.”
“hi,” ‘zayn’ shouts, offering his free hand to louis for a shake. zayn is pretty, almost unreal pretty, with mocha colored skin and jet black, shiny hair that’s slicked perfectly upward. louis wonders how he’s never heard of him from harry before.
“hey, man,” louis answers, shaking zayn’s hand. he wants to ask him if he knows where harry is or just ask him anything there is to ask about harry, but liam is there, all smiles and looking a bit tipsy.
he decides to drift away from the pair, letting himself get lost in the crowd, scoping out for someone to catch his eye. he spots niall a few times, drunk and stumbling over his own feet, with a short, loud brunette hanging off his waist. he wishes louis a happy birthday and the two share some type of hug, before niall trips out of louis’ grasp.
a girl finds him in the crowd and she’s tall and thin with long, chocolate brown hair and pink, glittery eyelids and flushed cheeks. she shouts her name in his ear, isabelle, and her voice is slow and stained with alcohol. she’s pretty enough, she’s not harry, but she’s enough to make people stop and stare and cheer things relating to the birthday boy getting his cake.
“birthday boy,” she says over the head pounding music. her hips are swaying and her hair is swinging and she’s closer to louis with every word. “twenty, yeah?”
louis smiles at her, stepping closer so their noses are centimeters apart. “yeah. you?”
“eighteen in a month.” her breath smells like beer and blueberries. she starts tugging at his shirt, her fingers sliding over the red stripes at the bottom. when she flips her hair out of her eye, louis gulps a bit because her eyes aren’t big and green and there aren’t freckles around the tip of her nose and there’s no jutting out collarbone or clenched jawline. (he hasn’t done this in so long. harry’s name is imprinted on his tongue.)
she’s against him, grinding and pulling him toward her face, and the next thing he knows, she’s kissing him. her tongue is everywhere, sloppy and drunk and wet and it’s not pleasant. louis wants to pull away, but he hears liam and niall’s shouts somewhere in the crowd, and his pride is invading his head.
and it’s abrubt and instantaneous and gut wrenching when he does finally find harry in the crowd, because he’s not even ten feet away from him, holding a small red box with a silver bow in his hand and a vicious glare on his face, watching as he’s attatched to someone else.
louis feels his face burning and he pulls away from the girl, murmuring an apology. he isn’t quite sure of what to do, go after harry who’s swimming savagely through the swarm of people or ignore the problem and deal with it later. he tells himself that had he known harry would show up, he would have waited for him and he wouldn’t have gone looking for someone, but it isn’t true and downs a beer so he stops thinking about it.
he drags himself back up to his room, his face still burning and his head still spinning and his chest aching and legs feeling limp. it’s a long walk up the stairs, he decides, and when he reaches the door of his room he wants to collapse before the door even opens.
harry isn’t there, not that he really expected him to be, but he’s still disappointed when he doesn’t see his mess of curls spread out against the pillows and long torso outstretched on his side of the bed. louis kicks off his shoes and slides off his shirt and throws himself onto his bed. he wants to sleep and just keep sleeping, but every time he closes his eyes he starts to worry about where harry might be and why his phone is here but he isn’t.
rolling over, he fishes around on the top of his nightstand for his phone. his hand grazes over something hard, a box it feels like, and a sheet of paper and his head jerks up to see what it is.
it’s the box harry had been holding, small and rectangular with a coating of red wrapping paper and a silver ribbon tied around it with a bow at the tip. beside it is an envelope, medium sized and the flap still left open with louis’ name written in loopy handwriting on the front. louis’ hands shake as he picks the two of them up.
he opens the envelope first, pulling out a folded piece of paper. it unfolded almost on its own and he read the back in the same handwriting: ‘lou and me :)’ turned over, it’s a picture from what looks like harry’s phone. a picture of louis, his head against the headboard of his bed and his mouth making a cheesy, stupid grin with harry in the corner, hair a mess and tongue poking out from behind his teeth. louis gulps.
the ribbon comes off the box easily and louis watches as it falls in the space between the side of his bed and the wall and feels uneasy. it’s a birthday present, there’s no doubting that, and it’s only this horrible because he didn’t think harry even cared enough to remember something so small such as his birthday or to go to the trouble to get a picture of the two of them printed. he blinks a few times, hesitating before tearing the shiny, red wallpaper off and tossing it across his bed. and what’s inside makes louis heart squeeze and the feeling in his legs starts to disinegrate.
it’s a bracelet, a links of london bracelet actually. it’s one of the friendship ones, black with silver lining and a dangling piece of paper hanging from the end. louis hands trace over the thread shakily, thinking about the bracelet harry always has around his wrist that looks identical to this one. louis feels like vomitting. all he wants is harry to be beside him, so he can put the bracelet around his wrist and they can fall asleep together with their hands meeting each others’ in the middle of the night and intertwined in the morning.
‘happy birthday, love. - haz .x’ the piece of paper reads. louis puts the bracelet on himself and tucks the paper and the photo and the box at the end of his pillowcase and falls asleep alone for the first time in a almost a month.
harry doesn’t show up at his room until the night before he leaves. he’s sitting on the bed, staring at the television even though it’s on mute, stuck on an irrelevant channel. he jumps when he hears the door click, glancing at louis sheepishly before gluing his eyes back to somewhere else.
louis is happy to see him, really happy, and if he could he would let him know that. but that neverending feeling of never knowing what to do around harry is still in existence.
“hi,” louis offers, taking his shoes by the door. “nice to see you’re still alive.”
harry scoffs. “stayed at zayn’s. nice to see you’re still pulling the straight act.”
“charming,” louis cracks, sitting at his desk on the opposite side of the room. he glances at the bracelet on harry’s wrist and wonders if he knows that he’s wearing his as well. “i leave tomorrow morning.”
“good riddance,” harry growls, his eyes still not moving from the silent tv. “maybe you’ll meet a nice girl there. settle down. be miserable.”
louis blinks. “that’s not fair.”
“fuck off,” harry snaps.
“i’m sorry,” louis answers, getting up to sit beside harry on his bed. “harry. thank you for the bracelet. i love it.”
“no problem,” he answers flatly.
“c’mon, harry. i’m sorry. i don’t know what i was thinking.”
harry’s eyes flash. “but the thing is, louis, you did know. i was fine with the exclusive thing. i’m still fine with it. just thought, i dunno, i meant a little more than just the occasional gay fix every now and then.”
“it’s not like that,” louis says, his voice low and shaky. “what am i supposed to do? i’m not very keen on these kind of things.”
“you care too much about what people think and you’re shit with relationships.” harry’s hands are fingering with his bracelet and his eyes are fixed on louis’ wrist. there’s a hint of a smile tugging at his lips and he’s trying to fight it off, but the longer he looks at louis’ wrist, the bigger it gets. “and i hate you,” he says through his teeth.
louis nudges him with his elbow and it makes harry’s grin widen and the apples of his cheeks bunch around his eyes. it’s sickeningly adorable.
“i hate you so much,” harry mutters, nestling against the side of louis’ body.
“but you don’t.”
“i know.” harry puts a hand on louis’ face, warm and rough. “god, why do you have to be so pretty? you ruin everything.”
louis snorts. “romantic.”
harry straightens his face. “okay, i’m serious. i’d rather not be a gay experiment. so, tell me. where do we go from here?”
“can’t we just,” louis says, clearing his throat, “see where it goes on its own? why do we have to label it?”
“i-” harry stiffens. “we don’t. but i mean, it’d be nice to fall asleep knowing you’re not gonna shove your tongue down someone else’s throat.”
“won’t happen again,” louis says, his chin resting at the top of harry’s head.
this time he means it.
harry complains before they fall asleep about being seperated for two weeks and how much he’s gonna hate having to go back to holmes chapel alone and indirectly saying he can’t make it for fifteen days without louis.
louis gets an idea then, because he isn’t quite sure he can make it either and because harry’s so painfully obvious, and he asks him if he would mind coming to doncaster with him.
“you don’t seem very surprised,” louis says tiredly into his curls.
harry shrugs. “i knew you would ask.”
the car ride is long and quiet with the exception of a morning radio show playing with its volume down and harry’s soft and sleepy snoring. louis doesn’t remember the drive to doncaster being so lengthy.
harry’s head bounces against the window as the car bumps along and he occasionally makes small grunting noises, like he’s going to wake up, but he just shifts underneath his seatbelt and continues sleeping. harry talks in his sleep sometimes, not full sentences, but short and cut off words. he even hears harry utter ‘lou’ a few times and he smiles chastely at the steering wheel.
he wakes up two and a half hours into the drive and looks at louis with squinty eyes, the right side of his cheek red and puffy from leaning on it. “are we there yet?” he asks groggily, rubbing his eyes with his fists.
“er, almost.” louis glances at him from the corner of his eye and tries to hide his smile with a cough. “did you know that you talk in your sleep?”
harry’s cheeks bloom a bright pink. “embarrassing.”
“no,” louis says with a shrug. “‘quite cute.”
“uh, okay,” harry says with a snorted laugh. “since when did you become a sap.”
“i don’t know.” he makes a face. “probably when i met you.”
a/n: what is this chapter tbh???? idek but it’s my favorite one so.. yeah :))) i’m really happy that people actually like this and are being so nice to me about it omg?? i actually thought it would get like 3 notes and no one would care but hey!!! so yeah thank you!!