14: Songs and Secrets

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Songs and Secrets


                  IT WAS GETTING colder in London. The breeze no longer brushed; it stung and bit. Louis' lips were beginning to chap. His hands were getting drier and rougher. He knew winter was coming, and he hated it. Although he knew there was such a time, he couldn't remember when he last enjoyed the year's first snowfall or seeing his breath outside. It must have been long ago.

                  The wall of windows in Gibson's was all fogged up today. Louis was staring tensely at the door, knowing that he wouldn't see Harry coming until he was literally entering the building. There would be no twenty seconds of mental preparation for Louis today. He'd have to get that all out of the way now, because once Harry arrived, there was no more time to think about it.

                  It wasn't a bad idea. Honestly, he'd be shocked if Harry was upset about it. Hopefully he'd feel honored. Hopefully he'd be as excited and optimistic about it as Louis was.

                  But how awkward would it be? Louis was, like, ninety-nine percent sure that those poems were about him – the one about ruining, especially. Would Louis be opening some door that he'd regret opening by asking to turn that poem into a song? Would he even actually regret it, were that to happen? Because...well, because if Harry likes him like that, then maybe he likes Harry like that too.

                  Or, it's entirely possible that Louis had misinterpreted him and that those poems were about someone else or nobody at all, which would mean that Harry doesn't like Louis like that, so what does that mean for Louis? Did he like Harry like that or not? Did he only like him because he might like Louis? Because if that's the case, then Louis can't possibly really like him...right?

                  Why did Louis suddenly feel like he should be sat amongst his students rather than stood at the front of his classroom to teach them? God, get it together, mate.

                  Whatever. He'd throw caution to the wind and just ask him. Harry wouldn't make it awkward. Why would he? He knew that Louis had read the poems back when he found them on the floor, and he knew that Louis had liked them. Sure, Louis may now know that the poems are likely about himself, but whatever. Whatever.

                  Louis pressed the edge of his tea cup to his lips and paused to squint at the figure outside the fogged up glass door. The height seemed right, but was it him? The person pulled the door open and stepped inside, and his eyes found Louis' immediately.

                  Without Louis' permission, his face practically cracked open to reveal an absurdly large grin, and every worry he'd had moments ago, every nerve and doubt, vanished. Look at this kid, he thought, watching Harry walk toward him with his hands stuffed into his jacket pockets.

                  Harry was all legs. Louis could watch the way they moved for days. Admittedly, they were clumsy and somehow always in each other's way, but Louis liked being able to see every curve, every edge. Despite Harry's legs being Louis' favorite thing to become distracted by, he couldn't deny that the next thing that always caught his attention was the hair. The mane, as he's started referring to it in his head. He couldn't imagine letting his own hair grow out that long. So messy, so tangled. So lovely.

                  "Hi," Harry said, swiftly removing his jacket and sitting himself on the sofa beside Louis. They sat closer together now than they used to. Louis isn't sure when this happened, but he doesn't mind. Weirdly, he liked being able to smell that fresh, clean scent he smelled on Harry's jacket a while back. "How was your day?"

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