29 Fading Zen

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Louis eats his plate of peppers and drinks an entire water bottle. His self-awareness is starting to come back as he sees lipstick stain the rim of his water bottle, and he realizes that Harry hasn't acknowledged the fact that Louis looks absurd.

Since he'll be here for at least another 30 minutes eating, he's definitely going to need something to help with the self-awareness. Harry isn't his parent. Louis can drink when he wants.

"Niall, do you have more tequila?" He asks softly to Niall who is sitting next to him with the empty bottle.

"Sure mate. Hang on." Niall gets up and shuffles around in the kitchen. Harry eyes him curiously, but put his focus back on their dinner.

Niall returns and slides the bottle to Louis. Louis surreptitiously pours himself a half a glass, not intending to drink it all at once, but wanting to keep the option available in case Harry is going to make him dump it before having dinner.

He enjoys the burn as he swallows the alcohol. The feeling alone releases a rush of serotonin through his veins. He already feels better.

"Louis, please don't drink anymore before you've had something to eat. You'll get drunk too quickly and it's not good for your stomach in the first place." Harry is watching him.

"No." He pulls his glass closer to his body. "Both of you are refusing to help me with my situation here, so while I wait patiently on my ass, I'm going to enjoy however much of whatever I want." He defiantly takes another drink from his cup and pats himself on the back for his rebelliousness.

Harry steps closer to him. "Please? Just wait until after you eat. I'll let you have as much as you want." He reaches for the bottle between Louis and Niall.

Louis snatches it before Harry could get it. "Mine."

Harry just raises an eyebrow. "Help yourself then. Dinner will be ready in five."

Louis takes another long drink because he can do what he wants.

His head feels fuzzy and warm.

"Niall, rum please?" Harry calls out. Niall gets up to leave to his bedroom.

Rum for paninis?

"R'you putting rum in our dinner?" Louis giggles and takes another shot.

Harry places his forearms on the counter and leans towards Louis. "No my dear. No rum in our dinner."

"Then why d'you need rum?" Louis is studying Harry's face. He can't tell what Harry is thinking.

"To drink, my love. You like tequila. I like rum." Harry states.

Why didn't Louis know this? That's like, not-relationship 101, knowing what your not-boyfriend likes to drink.

"Tequila makes my clothes fall off. Did you know that?" Louis tries suppressing another giggle by lapping up some more of his amber drink.

"Yes I did. That's why I made sure we had some on hand for tonight." Harry smiles.

"You sly dog Harold. I'll have you know that I'm not easy. Nor am I cheap." Louis avows.

Harry laughs at that. "I'm willing to work hard and pay high." He wiggles his eyebrows with a smile then turns around to dish up their dinner.

Niall returns with a bottle of rum in hand. "Sorry 'Arry, I drank some of it earlier, but there's still more'an enough for you to enjoy in here."

Harry sets their plates in front of them. Louis and Niall dig into theirs immediately. Harry drinks a couple shots straight from the bottle, then picks up his panini.

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