HAHAHA! so yes! yay! fic!! thanks to stoney321 for the beta!
title - see you on the flip side
pairing - harry/louis
word count - 4800
rating - R
spoilers - none
see you on the flip side
When Louis and Eleanor split, it’s with more of a fizzle than a bang.
Louis had been expecting it, really. His life, his schedule. Well, it wasn’t very conducive to a romantic relationship to say the least. They managed to get together when they could; El would fly out on holiday, Louis would pop home whenever they had a break long enough to warrant the flight back . But that got old after a while, and when things get old they just start to…burn out.
And he’s all right with it, is the thing. Not a hundred percent of course. After all, he’d loved El, at least for a little while, but she was never the love of his life or anything. Louis’ pretty sure they’d both been aware of that. He’d been a little sad when they ended it because, well, endings were sad as a general rule, but El had had a smile on her face by the end of their talk and Louis honestly believed when they hugged goodbye and she wished him luck that she’d really meant it. He knew he certainly did.
If Louis were being honest about the whole thing, the one who’s the most broken up about it is Harry.
“But, no, really, Lou. You can tell me anything.” Harry’s across from Louis at the pub, the small, ratty table already littered with empty pints and bowls of crisps. He leans forward, curls his fingers around Louis’ wrist. “Are you really all right?”
Louis stares down at their hands. Watches Harry’s thumb trace circles over Louis’ pulse and wonders how Harry can’t feel it. The way Louis’ heart tripped and stuttered the minute Harry touched his skin.
“I’m good,” Louis says, and pulls his hand away.
It’s both a blessing and a curse that the split happens over one of the seldom breaks they get as a band. Louis is grateful for the time off, and without having Eleanor around he manages to actually stay in for a while and not be dragged all over God’s green earth on a shopping spree a day.
He can catch up on sleep. Eat whatever he wants whenever he wants it and watch a bunch of shows on the telly. He doesn’t have to go out anywhere, really, so he’s able to lie around all day in his knickers without brushing his hair or worrying about anyone hovering around the corner trying to snap his photo and sell it to The Sun when he’s not looking.
The novelty lasts just under two days.
“Haz,” Louis calls. He’s on the couch in the lounge tossing an old handball up at the ceiling and trying to bounce it off his forehead. “Hazza!”
Harry pops his head out of the kitchen. His hair is sticking out in every direction and he’s got flour dusted over his right cheek and eyebrow.
Louis huffs. He bounces the ball one last time, catching it in his hand and pressing his fingers deep into it, watching the way the rubber curves under his thumb. “Nothing. What are you doing in there?”
Harry pads out then, and leans over the side of the couch to mess with Louis’ hair, the tips of his fingers grazing Louis’ cheek. The green t-shirt he’s wearing is ripped along the collar, jeans hanging low on his hips. “Nothing,” Harry says, and he’s so close Louis can smell him. The citrusy tang of his cologne. Something sweet and sugary on his hands. “Making something special for you, yeah? Why don’t you have a bit of a lie down and I’ll call you when they’re ready.”
Louis wants to say okay, but only if Harry comes with him. If they both go back to Louis’ room and twist up under the sheets, arms and legs tangled, Louis kissing the sugar off Harry’s mouth.
He doesn’t get a chance to say anything, though, because Harry is already backing away, saying, “You just need some time to yourself, mate. Time to get over Eleanor. The grieving process and all.”
Louis wants to tell him that he’s fine, really. That one hardly needs a grieving process when he’s already in love with someone else. That maybe that’s part of the reason that the first relationship didn’t work to begin with. But Harry’s already going, making his way back to the kitchen, and Louis has no choice but to watch him walk away.
Apparently Harry’s decided that the way for Louis to get over Eleanor is to stuff him full of food that Harry makes for them both. Not that Louis minds, really, because Harry’s a fantastic cook and Louis’ cooking is a bit shit.
Harry makes crepes and omelets and porridge for breakfast. All kinds of fancy sandwiches for lunch. Pasta and thick steaks and fresh, homemade chips for dinner. He surprises Louis at dessert that night with a tray of cupcakes that he’s decorated to look like Harry and Louis’ faces.
(The cupcakes are rubbish, to be honest. The Louis ones don’t look a bit like him. His eyes are not nearly that beady, nor is his hair quite that poofy, but Harry’s so pleased with them Louis doesn’t have it in him to disagree.)
Harry’s even written him a song that he sings to Louis in the sitting room when they’re both having a few pints and watching soccer on the telly. Louis is half-drunk and happy, rubbing Harry’s feet where they lie in his lap. He’s leaned back into the couch so far the cushions feel like they’re swallowing him whole, and Harry is lying next to him, his voice even thicker and slower with drink.
”My heart it is so bluuuuuue,
since I’m no longer with youuuuuu…
Louis laughs. “Oi. Is this supposed to make me feel better or worse?”
Harry shoves his toes into Louis’ thigh and wiggles them around. Louis’ feels something familiar clench and swirl in his belly.
”My mate, he brings me fooooood,
and I eat it and it's so gooooood.”
Harry’s face is turning pink now from laughing, and it’s contagious. Once Louis’ sees him he can’t stop laughing himself, and it hits him all over again how much he really loves Harry.
”he’s the best friend in the worrrrrrrrrrrld,
I’ve got an arse just like a girrrrrrrrrrrrrrl—“
”my Harry’s got the best currrrrrrrls…”
Harry stops then, and swings his feet to the floor, pumping his fist in the air and bellows,
”so piss off, Eleanor, because I’m oooooooo-verrrrrrrrrr youuuuuuuuuuuuu!”
They’re laughing like cats now, the both of them practically falling off the couch in hysterics. “That’s terrible!” Louis shrieks. “Bloody awful! And it doesn’t even rhyme!”
“Bollocks,” Harry tells him. “It rhymes just fine.” He leans over then, curling an arm around Louis’ shoulder and pulling him close, his nose pressing up against Louis’ throat. “You’re going to be fine, yeah,” Harry tells him, and Louis thinks that if this right here, if this were real, than that would most likely be true.
Harry calls a band meeting early the next day, which Louis is fine with. He loves his friends and will be glad to see them. He’s a bit worried that Harry is doing it to try and…well. Who knows. Work them all up into the same frenzy he himself is in over Louis’ breakup, he figures, but Louis is holding out hope that it’s just a day to get on with his mates. No talk of the breakup at all.
By the time Louis is toweling his hair off from his shower he can hear chairs banging around in the kitchen, Niall’s laugh bouncing off the walls, and the low murmur of Zayn and Liam’s voices. He gets dressed and heads down the hall but the sound of whispering stops him in his tracks. Louis forces himself to be as quiet as he can and presses back against the wall to try and hear what they’re all going on about.
“It’s just – he needs to find himself someone new, I think,” Louis hears Harry whisper, and oh, is this the way Harry’s going now? “Someone to start to get him over Eleanor.”
“Does he now?” Liam sounds as doubtful as Louis feels. Find himself someone? It’s been three bloody days.
Zayn very nearly reads his thoughts. “Harry. It's been just a few days.”
He can hear Harry start to object, but then, “It’s true. Zayn’s right,” Liam says, and Louis sighs in relief. Liam will straighten this right up. “It’s hardly been any time at all. He was with Eleanor for a long while. I think you just need to let him go on at his own pace, yeah?”
And yeah. Yes. Definitely. Liam is right, anyone can see that, even Harry through whatever weird post-breakup-matchmaking thing he’s got going on right now. Louis is pushing off the wall, about to head into the kitchen when Harry’s voice makes him pause, curious to see what he has to say.
“No. No. He needs to find someone,” Harry is insisting and Louis just doesn’t understand it. “I’ll take him out later and see what I can do.”
Louis can practically hear the shrug in Liam’s voice. “You know him best, Harry.”
“Whatever,” Zayn says, sounding slightly bored, and Louis just really, honestly, has no idea what is going on. Niall picks that moment, though, to look out into the hall and sees Louis standing there and a grin splits his face wide and bright. “Yo! Tommo!” he shouts. “Didja see that Harry made a cupcake that looks just like your arse? Whoops. I meant face.”
“Bah! My arse!” And Louis is glad for the distraction. They all laugh as he walks in, Harry giving him a wide smile and Louis smiles back, runs a hand over Harry’s hair and curls his fingers around the back of his neck. “He didn’t make one of your ugly mug, did he young Niall?” And for now, at least, all the talk of breakups and matchups are forgotten.
Louis has to admit, it’s very strange going out with Harry when he knows Harry’s main purpose for being there is to try and find someone for Louis to hook up with. He supposes it’s happened before, way back in the beginning when they were brand new and everyone was still figuring the other one out. There were many nights when they’d been in a club just like this one, a little too small, too smoky, the music playing too loud to actually enjoy it but just loud enough for you to lose yourself in a dance or two.
Louis had chatted up the occasional bird or bloke back then and he’d watched Harry do the same. Do more than Louis, to be honest, because Louis almost always had Eleanor while Harry had pretty much always been free to do whatever he wanted with whoever. But this just feels…different. It’s because he knows, is the thing. He knows Harry is purposely looking and Louis still can’t figure it out. Why he’s so insistent about it.
“What about that one over there?” Harry says. Their knees are pressing together under the table and when Harry gestures his shoulder brushes against Louis’. “She’s pretty, yeah? Pretty hair. Pretty…” he shrugs. Trails off. “Smile, I guess.”
Louis shrugs. Presses his knee in closer to Harry’s. “She’s very pretty.”
“You want me to go chat her up for you?” Harry’s eyes are wide and he really looks sincere is the thing. It makes no sense.
“If you want to chat her up, Harry, feel free,” Louis tells him. “I’m fine, though.”
“No. No. I.” Harry huffs. “I don’t want to chat her up myself, no.”
Harry looks strangely irritated, and Louis just can’t figure it out so he changes the subject, trying to get them back on even ground. They talk about nothing special for a few minutes. The next show they’re scheduled to do when the tour starts back up. Who they want to try and get to see before they have to get back on the road. Louis is just about to find out what Harry’s plans are for the next few days, when Harry jabs him hard in the ribs, and says a little too loudly, “Oh! Hey! How about that bloke over there by the loo? I mean, I’m not sure if that’s the way you were thinking of going now after El, but who knows, yeah? He looks like someone you might—“
“Fucking bloody hell, Harry, what is wrong with you?” Louis spins in his seat and turns to look Harry dead in the eye. Their feet tangle together under the table for a second and Louis yanks his back, tries to put some distance between them because this is getting ridiculous. “Why are you insisting I find someone new to ‘get over’ Eleanor with? Didn’t you hear when I told you three days ago that I was fine? Why don’t you believe me? It’s ridiculous!”
Harry’s eyes are wide and he’s opening and closing his mouth like a fish. “I just. I want you to be happy, Lou. I want to help you get over Eleanor and I thought—“
“Yeah, well, try and keep up, Hazza,” Louis snaps, finally getting fed up. “I’m over her. You should—“ Louis makes himself stop. Look away, because Harry’s starting to look wrecked. His cheeks are pinking up and he’s looking more and more upset and Louis doesn’t want to do this. He doesn’t want to fight with Harry – especially not with the way he feels about him; but the way Harry’s acting he’s giving him no choice, and Louis simply—
“I’m going to go,” Louis says. He tosses a few notes on the table and gets out of the booth. “I’ll just. I’ll see you at home,” he tells Harry, and doesn’t look back as he walks away.
It’s strange going back to their flat alone. Louis tosses his keys on the side table and only makes it as far as the couch before he falls down face first into the cushions.
He’s just – he’s never been cross with Harry. Not even once in all the time they’ve been friends. Louis doesn’t know what, exactly, it was about this whole situation that made him quite so angry, but the whole thing was...
Harry being so damned nice about the breakup. Trying so hard to find Louis someone else. It rubbed him the wrong way, is all.
Louis sighs. He’s maybe a little tired of lying to himself, right now is the thing. And if he stops and lets himself admit it, he knows exactly why it bothered him so much that Harry is so intent on finding someone new for Louis to be with. It’s because. Because if Louis isn’t with anyone, then Harry should want to be with him himself and not so worried about finding him some new girl to be with. Because Louis...
Louis wants to be with Harry, is the thing. He really, really wants to be, and that scares the piss out of him. If he’s being one hundred percent honest with himself, Louis is more than a little in love with Harry already, and he just. He wants Harry to feel the same.
Something crinkles under Louis’ head and when he reaches under the pillow he finds the picture Harry drew of them the night before when they were half-pissed on beer and lying together on the couch. It’s a stick figure Harry and Louis riding a bright green unicorn over a pink and purple rainbow, complete with badly drawn stars in the sky and glittery, puffy clouds. Louis’ mouth twitches into a smile and he traces his finger over Harry’s big poof of hair in the picture. Louis’ huge smile. It makes him feel even more like shit for the way he yelled and stormed off before, looking at the picture of them, and Louis sighs, long and loud and overdramatic into the cushions. Sometimes, his life is so hard.
“My life is so haaard,” Louis moans, banging his head into the pillows. He takes a deep breath and turns over to start to get up and go back out and find Harry but just then the door clicks, and Harry is walking into the flat, head hanging low and the fringe of his hair covering his eyes.
“Hey, Hazza, listen.” Louis rolls off the couch, hands out in front of him in the best ‘I come in peace’ gesture he can manage. “I didn’t mean to be such a bitch before at the pub.”
Harry waves a hand weakly in the air. “It’s fine.”
“No, really. I mean, I know I don’t quite get what you’re doing, but I understand where you’re coming from—“
“I said it’s fine—“
“Though, I mean, really, what the hell have you been up to the past few days?” Because Louis really is curious. “You’re acting as if I’m some giant slag who can’t manage three whole days without getting their rocks off, when I’ve actually been—“
“Bloody fucking hell, Louis. Will you just give it a rest already?”
Harry’s voice is sharp when he interrupts, and Louis finally looks over at him - really looks him - and notices what complete shit Harry looks like. He’s trying to shove past Louis into the hall and down to his bedroom, but his hair is a mess and his shirt looks all rucked around like he’s been fussing with it and his face. His eyes are red around the edges, puffy and damp. He looks—
“Christ, Harry, are you all right?” Louis feels awful because something clearly happened after he left and he didn’t even ask Harry about it when he came in, too busy yammering on and on about himself like usual, but Louis is going to fix that now. He crosses the room quickly, wraps his fingers around Harry’s biceps and pulls him close. “Did something happen? Is everyone all right? Is it your mum, or Gemma or—“
“Everything’s fine,” Harry says, quietly, looking away.
“The band then. Did someone call you? Did the internet explode over Zayn’s new tattoo? Has Niall actually eaten himself to death?”
And Harry smiles a little at that. Pulls his arms free and moves to push past Louis, still not looking him in the eye. “No. It’s. It’s nothing. I’m just going to head—“
“Harry, come on. Talk to me. Did—“
And Harry sort of pushes him then. Shoves at Louis’ waist and moves around him to head down the hall. “Just leave it alone, Lou. Quit being a giant twat about everything.”
“Giant twat??” And now Louis is pissed again. “If anyone around here’s been being a twat, it’d be—“
“Oh, for the love of—“
And Louis has no idea what happens next, in the breath between Harry cursing him again and Louis getting mad at it, but all of a sudden Harry looks up and their eyes finally meet and it’s like something in Louis just breaks. Snaps in two with a crack and he leans forward and presses his lips against Harry’s mouth.
Harry’s quiet for a second (finally!) and his hands go up, fingers sliding into Louis’ hair. Louis drags him closer, feels for the first time what it’s like to press up against Harry with feeling, with intent, and it makes his breath catch in his throat, his brain shorting out from the way Harry just leans in and goes with it. The way for a very split second that Harry kisses him back.
“What the bloody fuck!”
Harry’s hands are back on Louis’ chest, but this time he’s pushing, shoving Louis away and storming down the hall to his bedroom, the door banging against the opposite wall when Harry kicks it open.
“Harry, I’m—“ and Louis is about to say sorry but the thing is, he’s really not. He’d wanted to kiss Harry just then. He's wanted to kiss Harry for a damned long time, and Louis has had it with trying to keep that to himself. “Actually, no. I’m not sorry.”
“You’re not,” Harry snorts. “Well, that’s brilliant.”
Louis steps over a few of Harry’s shirts on the floor and nearly trips over a pair of ratty Converse. He leaves a few feet of space between them, and idly realizes how strange that is. There’s never any room between Harry and himself. They’re always just…them. The two of them next to each other, on top of each other, practically twisted around each other nearly every moment of the day, and it doesn’t make sense to Louis why now – now when it could actually mean something – Harry is almost pushing him away.
“Harry,” Louis says, quietly. He doesn’t understand why, but this right here. This feels like something important. “Why are you insisting I get over Eleanor so much.”
Harry huffs and picks at the thigh of his jeans. “You just need to.”
“Why did you push me away before?”
Harry doesn’t say anything for so long Louis is almost convinced that he’s not going to. He takes another step and leans his hip against Harry’s dresser. “Haz.”
“When I said you needed to find someone new I meant it for like, a quick casual shag,” Harry finally says. “No one important. I don’t know why you were being such a prat about it.”
“So more like a rebound thing,” Louis clarifies. He thinks he might finally be getting somewhere and a small smile touches his lips. “No one special. No one that means anything. Just someone to pass the time with. A quick fuck, if you will.”
Harry visibly jerks at that and his cheeks flush pink. “Sure. If. That’s what I meant, yeah.”
“And when I kissed you. I mean,” Louis rubs his hand over his mouth to try and cover his smile. “You’d be up for that, right? After all, what’s a quick shag between mates.”
Harry looks almost broken at that. Louis watches him swallow. Watches the way his throat moves and his chest heaves. He manages to look up though. Level his gaze at Louis and when he says, “Right. Sure. If that’s what you want, Lou,” his voice hardly even cracks. If Louis didn’t know him better he might have even believed him. Almost. For a split second.
Louis does know him, though, and it might have taken him a while (and bollocks, maybe he was a little slow on the uptake here too), but he finally can’t take it anymore. He closes the space between them and curls his fingers around Harry’s arms. Pulls him in and breathes against his mouth, “You are such a giant twat,” before he kisses him again, but this time, he’s not letting go.
Harry opens up under his lips, just fucking leans back and goes with it, and Louis kisses him like he’s thought about nearly every day since he first laid eyes on him. Harry’s mouth is wide and wet, his tongue licking Louis’ lips and teeth. Against the roof of his mouth.
“Do you not want to be my rebound, Harry?” Louis asks, pants against his mouth, really, and Harry pushes him back but Louis isn’t stupid. He’s ready for it this time and he hangs on, doesn’t let Harry push him far.
And Harry looks confused for a second, and then pissed, and then he smiles – really smiles – one of the full blown ones that show off his teeth and dimples and crinkle up the corners of his eyes. “Not even a little bit,” he answers, and that’s possibly the best thing Louis has heard in a very long time.
“Good,” Louis says, and pushes him back onto the bed. “Now take your pants off.”
Harry falls back laughing, and Louis follows him down, covering Harry’s body with his own. They fumble for a second, no one can tell who’s pulling at who’s shirt, and Harry’s jeans are a button fly (and if Louis has his way Harry won’t be wearing any of these any more, pain in the arse that they are) but finally Louis shirt is up and over his head, his jeans pushed down to his knees. Harry’s belly is bare right in front of Louis’ mouth and he can’t stop himself from leaning down, pressing a kiss to Harry’s bellybutton and scraping his teeth along Harry’s hip.
“Lou. Jesus,” Harry pants above him, and okay. He was planning on doing this anyway, so he presses his palm against Harry’s thigh to try and hold him still as Harry is shifting his hips, bucking them up toward Louis’ mouth, his fingers twisted in Louis’ hair.
Louis yanks Harry’s jeans down, pulls his cock out and wraps his fingers around it for a second, just to get used to the feel of it. Harry is hot, his whole body feels flushed and when Louis looks up he almost comes himself just from the way Harry is writhing on the bed, biting his lip and trying to force Louis’ head down onto his dick.
“Ugh, God, suck it. Please, Lou, fuck, can you—“ and Louis doesn’t have to be told twice. He sinks his teeth into the soft skin over Harry’s hip one last time and licks his way over to Harry’s cock, his fingers already pumping the shaft, making Harry buck and moan on every stroke.
Harry’s bigger in his mouth than Louis thought. He tastes weird and salty, but good, and Louis feels his own balls tighten up and Harry carefully fucks into his mouth. “Lou. I.” Harry’s voice is broken. Louis doesn’t know if he’s ever heard Harry sound like this, and it makes him feel powerful. Strong. Like he can do anything if he can just make Harry come in his mouth, down his throat, maybe over his lips and chin and face.
“Do it,” Louis grunts. He’s pulled off Harry with a groan, humping his dick against Harry’s leg like some kind of animal, but the worst part is he doesn’t know if he could even stop if he tried. “Fuck my mouth, Harry, yeah.”
And it’s like something snaps then. Harry grabs Louis’ head. Shoves him down onto his dick and pushes back until Louis can feel the head of Harry’s cock in the back of his throat. He reaches down to jerk himself off, because Harry isn’t going to make it much longer, Louis can tell, and he’ll be damned if he’s the one left behind, trying to catch up.
“Lou…” Harry moans, and then he’s holding Louis’ face down, pressing him against Harry’s dick and balls, and he’s coming in his mouth, down his throat, his fingers twisted so tight Louis is afraid for bald spots come the morning. Louis is doing okay, he’s still hanging on, but just barely, and then he makes the mistake of looking up, catching Harry’s eye and seeing the way Harry’s looking at him. Like he’s the best and most amazing thing ever, and Louis tightens his fingers, thrusts against Harry’s leg once more and he’s coming, messy and wet on his fingers and fist and hand.
It’s late. Harry is almost dozing against Louis’ shoulder as Louis traces patterns against his skin, the covers pulled up to their waist.
“I.” Louis stops. Thinks hard about what he wants to say. “I do appreciate what you were trying to do for me, Hazza.” He feels Harry rustle under the blankets and look up at him. “You’re a good friend.”
“You’re my best friend,” Harry says simply, and it puts everything in perspective. What they were. What they could possibly be.
“And you’re mine.” Louis closes his eyes. Presses a kiss to Harry’s hair, and when he knows Harry’s can’t see his face, he says, “Harry. I actually—“
And Harry cuts him off. Kisses Louis’ collarbone and murmurs, “I know, Lou. Me too.”