Chapter 20 ~ This

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Hello, loves.

I'm so sorry it's been such a wait.  We're at a bit of a pivotal moment in school, and things have been as busy as they get.  Once the summer holiday comes, I'll be able to update more often; I'm sorry about that.  

The song Harry sings in this chapter, 'Wake Me Up,' was Sadie's favourite song of time, and I know it's the song that this story is based upon.  It really is beautiful, and if you haven't heard it yet, I definitely recommend taking a listen.

Thanks for being so patient, it means loads. :)

Love, Claire xxxxx

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An unspoken agreement had settled between Harry and Louis.  Louis wouldn’t press Harry or interrogate him about why he'd skipped off to Cheshire, and he wouldn’t mention the kiss just as long as Harry didn’t shut him out once more; as long as he didn’t ignore him again.  Frankly, it was a frustrating situation for Louis, not knowing what was going through his best friend’s head, but as long as he had his Harry back, he’d pay any price. 

Well, kind of.  Harry hadn’t been the same since he’d began to avoid Louis, and Louis wasn’t all that shocked when his behaviour didn’t suddenly undergo a one hundred eighty-degree change.  He still blushed whenever Louis stroked his curls or hugged him close; he still turned his gaze, lashes fluttering, whenever Louis caught his eye; he still seemed stiff and scared whenever Louis tugged him gently into his bunk and burrowed into his chest before falling asleep. 

To be fair, Harry wasn’t the only one behaving oddly.  Louis’s feelings had begun to act up as well.  Waiting for Harry to join him in bed or waiting for him to come down to breakfast had become important, frighteningly nerve-wracking events, and Louis found himself growing oddly nervous whenever he heard the soft, familiar scuff of Harry’s feet down the corridor.  

It was a different kind of nervous he would feel; the kind of nerves one experiences before riding a roller coaster, or meeting a celebrity.  It was weird; interacting with Harry had not only begun to grow unstable, but into quite a big deal as well.  Louis could still relax in his presence and laugh whenever Harry’s nose wrinkled the way it did, but those little things were mattering more and more to him.  

He noticed that he’d begun to think of very foolish things in Harry’s company.  Oh God, am I laughing too loudly? What if I’m bothering him? Does he think it’s weird that I wear my collar like this?  What if he does, oh no… But then, all he’d need to do was look back into Harry’s face, and the way he would be smiling at Louis would remind him that he could never bother Harry, that he never needed to worry about anything as long as he was there. 

Louis wasn’t sure how he felt about this change in dynamic.  He wasn’t sure if he liked the thick silences or the uncertain flutter of eyelashes.  He wasn’t sure how he felt about the blushing cheeks and shy smiles.  

Some nights, while lying in bed and gazing up at the wooden underside of his bunk, his head would flood with regret and he’d think about what on earth he’d done wrong to mess up their relationship.  But then, Harry would tiptoe into the bedroom, stand by Louis’s bedside shyly, as if asking for permission, and let his arms wrap around Lou’s waist—and then, Louis would remember that any relationship with Harry was bound to be flawless.  It was only when he was with Harry—talking to him, laughing with him, holding him—that anything about their relationship ever seemed to make sense.  He’d wonder why things had been so complicated between them, so strenuous, but then, cradled to Harry’s chest, he’d think, This is worth it.  And it was.  It really was.

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