"Yeah, Li, just. Y'know, nervous," he sniffles, struggling to wipe at his eyes with Harry's huge body still spread on top of him.
"It'll be okay, bebz. Don't stress," Zayn coos, and Niall makes a sound of agreement, petting at Louis' hair.
Harry doesn't say anything, just cuddles even closer into Louis' collarbone (which can't be too comfortable). Somehow, though, it makes him feel even better - better than all of the spoken assurances, because it's Harry. Harry, who always makes him feel better. The least Louis can do is put on a brave face for him.
"Yeah, I'm fine now. I love you, Haz," Louis whispers, leaning forward to place a gentle kiss on Harry's lips.
"I'll love you always."
Louis and Harry are ready.
Totally, one hundred percent, ready.
They're standing in Louis' kitchen, the counter being the only thing separating the boys from his mum, who is currently cooking dinner.
"M-mum. Mum, um, H-Harry and I have something, um-" Louis starts, blushing like crazy. He shouldn't be though, right? Because his mum has always been his best friend, and yeah, she may be pretty crazy about God and all that, but he's her son. That's got to count for something.
"Spit it out, Louis Tomlinson. For Heavens sake!" His mum interrupts his rambling, shaking her head as she stirs the pasta around.
Louis likes pasta. He hopes that his mum will let him stick around and eat some after he comes out with Harry.
He takes a deep breath, hand twitching from the overwhelming need to grab onto Harry's, tight, and never let go. He doesn't, though, because he needs to break it to his mother easy. Like, the opposite of ripping off a bandage.
Out of the corner of his eye Louis sees Harry's hand do the same, and he smiles a little. "Well. Like. The thing is... Harry and I. We're, uh..."
"Yes? You're what?" She asks, looking a little bit impatient and excited?
"We're together," Harry says, before Louis can start rambling once again.
And holy sh-t Louis thinks he's dying. Is he dying? He's pretty sure he's about to die because he can't fu-king breathe.
"Louis. Louis, darling. Calm down, open your eyes, please," his mum says, and what? She's not yelling? She doesn't hate him?
"You don't hate me?"
"What, darling, no! I mean, I'd have to be a bit daft to have not noticed your, um, sexuality before, yeah? I've always loved you. Always will," she promises, and before he can reply he feels Harry grip his hand, and something like pride settles deep in his bones.
Feeling encouraged with the reaction they received from Louis' mum, Louis and Harry assume that telling Anne, Harry's mum, will be just as easy and smooth and quick. Like ripping off a bandage.
(They assume wrong.)
Anne is sitting on the couch, jotting some notes down in her bible, when Harry and Louis walk in.
They aren't holding hands - not yet, anyway. They must look a bit suspicious though, because Anne's eyes narrow as soon as she looks up at them.
"Yes, boys? Do you need something," and it sounds like a warning, like maybe they should just continue on with their lives, and not tell her the truth.
Louis must be the only one who thinks so though, because within a second Harry is talking, looking more nervous than Louis has ever seen him.
"Well, mum, um. Louis and I, yeah, we have something to say? Or, like, I have something to say that has to do with Louis an-" he starts to say, before his mum cuts him off with a glare.
She doesn't look excited, like Louis' mum did - she looks angry. Sort of disappointed, like she already knows but wishes she didn't. (Louis' heart starts to ache because this is what he was afraid of - being unable to protect Harry.)
"I don't want to hear it, Harry," she says, looking away and going back to her bible.
Louis wonders how that's possible - how a book that's filled simply with the thoughts and actions of people who are no longer alive can control your love for your own child.
Before he has a chance to react (and by react, he means screaming and shouting and basically acting like a three year old because no one treats his Harry like that), Harry speaks up. "I'm gay. I'm dating Louis. I love Louis, and he's gay and loves me too," he says, eyes widening once he's done like maybe he hadn't meant to say all of that.
Instantly Anne is up out of her seat, bible still clutched in her hands like a weapon. "Excuse me? I will not have words like that being spoken in my household, Harry. You're not - you're not, that, dear, it's just a-"
"It's not a phase, miss," Louis interrupts, trying to his best to seem respectful (even though all he wants to do right now is shake some damn sense into this woman).
"And you! You little fag-ot, you're the one who caused all of this!" Anne shouts, throwing her bible down and both hands up into the air.
Louis is shocked, like, honestly shocked that this woman who so dutifully follows the bible and all that it says, could call him a word like that. Surely the bible doesn't say that it's okay to speak to another human being like that, does it? He's so shocked that he can't even think of a reply (and that's never happened before, ever).
"Mum! You can't speak to my boyfriend like that! Jesus!" Harry shouts back (and Louis almost smiles, because Harry always defends him, always).
"Your boyfriend? Harry, darling, honestly. Think this through! How could you just throw away all that I've taught you? This isn't the life that God wants for you," Anne says, looking truthfully distressed - like her son being gay is the worst news she could have possibly ever received.
Louis still can't speak - he's never been called a fag-ot before, at least not to his face, and it's especially degrading coming from a grown woman.
Harry seems to realize his dilemma, and speaks up for the both of them. "Mum, I didn't just choose to like, be gay? I mean, I'm not ashamed or anything, but, like... it's not a choice. And I'm pretty sure God loves everyone, so."
Louis nods, finally taking Harry's hand in his own (and he gets a sick sort of satisfaction from the way Anne wrinkles her nose and glares). "Honestly, we're not like, any different than we were before? I don't get why being gay would keep us out of heavens gates, or whatever," he says, gripping onto Harry's hand just a little bit tighter because Anne really does scare him.
Anne glares at him, again, and Louis would smirk if he wasn't resisting the urge to piss himself. "You wouldn't get it, would you? Your minds have been tainted by sin," she scoffs, and then turns back to Harry, "And if you don't let go of his hand right this second you are not allowed to live in this house. I will not allow this type of disgusting behavior to go on under my household."
This is it, Louis thinks, the moment where Harry realizes I'm not worth all of this, where he leaves me.
Harry seems to be thinking something else though, because he just nods. "Alright then, I guess I'll get my stuff and go."
"I guess you will," Anne says, and she looks pissed, but not hurt - not like she's just lost the best person ever.
Maybe it's a good thing that Harry isn't staying here, then.
"Are you sure that I can stay here, Jay? I mean, like, I could always -"
"Nonsense Harry, where else would you stay? Honestly darling, calm down. And don't think I won't check on you two at night! I know how you teenage boys have all these crazy hormones rushing through your systems!"
"Mum! Please stop talking, I am begging you."