Chapter 26 ~ Insomniac's Lullaby

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Louis had never felt so relaxed – perhaps none of the boys had; for the first time since March of that year, they weren’t worrying about auditions, performances, vocal rehearsals, choreography, or voting – they didn’t have any expectations to fulfill for three entire weeks, no work, no anything but one another and their personal lives until January the third, when it was stated that their contract, which they were meant to be signing with Simon in a few hours, would take effect.

For the first time, he wasn’t thinking about whether or not he could hit the high note in that week’s song, or if he had enough time to shower before evening rehearsals. There was him, there was Niall, there was Liam, there was Zayn, and there was his Harry, all together in the X House for one more terrific day and night before going home for Christmas and beginning their careers as band musicians in the new year.  Things could not have been going more perfectly for him. 

Well, should not have been – he hadn’t gotten much sleep the previous night, seeing as he and Harry had been out in the snow until the dawn and he’d been simply too excited to close his eyes most of the morning, and as he and the boys packed up all their things, he was having trouble finding a lot of his stuff, to no one’s true surprise. 

“Niall, have you seen my…” he began, trailing slightly as he dug through an old duffel bag no one could remember the owner of, brow wrinkled and hair rumpled.

“Seen what?” Niall chirped from his bunk as he tucked a sweatshirt into one of his suitcases. 

“Uh…my…blue top, my swim trunks, my Man U hat, my pink and purple socks, and those sweatpants with the stripes going down the seams; have you seen those?”  And as he dug through the bag, he added, “Oh, and my Batman knickers.”

“Jesus Christ, Lou, everyone else is packed, shouldn’t you be able to find your things by now?” Niall asked, gaping at him from across the room, and Louis sighed, rubbing the heels of his hands into his eyes in frustration.

“Yeah, I guess, I just… I dunno, I just hate packing,” he moaned, keeling over dramatically onto his mattress. 

“Blimey, you don’t say,” Niall chortled, and Louis sent him a rather horrible look from behind his fingers. “Ouch,” Niall chuckled with a wince, and Louis pouted.  “Lou, if you’re in such a bad mood, why don’t you take a break?  You’ll feel better afterwards, and it’ll be easier to pack.”

“Okay,” Louis sighed.  “Thanks, Ni.  Hey, do you by chance know where—”

“He’s in the kitchen,” Niall said through a mouthful of crisps Louis hadn’t noticed before.

“Ta-ta,” Louis grumbled, chucking a lonely sneaker to the floor and stomping out of the room, ready for some fruit snacks and a healthy vent to his boyfriend about the idiocy of packing.  He just hoped Harry wasn’t in an obnoxiously cheery mood like Niall was, or he might just—

Louis groaned as he entered the kitchen to see him skipping about the stove, whistling like a Disney character as he mopped up a puddle of split apple juice, and Louis realised that it was going to be a long morning.

“Why so glum, Boo?” Harry chirped, and Louis grimaced, wishing people would stop being so happy, and of course, Harry’s grin only widened.  “It’s a lovely day, and we’ve got a contract to sign!  Turn that frown upside-down!”

“Shut it,” Louis grumbled, shuffling humiliatingly to Harry’s side to press a needy kiss to his mouth, and damn it, he could feel Harry’s smile as he hugged him to his chest.  “I can’t find anything, and I just need someone to whine with and cuddle…”

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