When the van arrived home, I was barely able to walk myself into the house before I collapsed in the middle of the hallway, still numb. Louis scoops me up and carries me over to the couch, where he gently sets me down before curling up next to me. What have we gotten ourselves into?

The other boys kick off their shoes and join us in an awkward silence. All of us know that we need to talk about Louis and I’s “relationship”, but none of us knew how to start. Stupid management.

I pulled Louis closer, wrapping my arms around his waist as he lay down in my lap with his head on my chest. This position was so comfortable; it almost made me forget the tension in the room. I buried my face in his hair, inhaling the sweet smell. Yum.

Since when have I thought that Louis smells good? No, guys don’t think that about other guys, especially their straight best friends. I have to remind myself that we are not a couple for real; maybe this mess was just getting to my head.

Liam is the first to speak. “So… guys… how are you feeling? You know, since you announced it? Anything we need to think about?” He looked like he’d rather be anywhere but here with us and our strange situation.

“It was okay, I guess. I saw lots of fans smiling at us or chanting “Larry” up at our table; Simon was right. Maybe this is good for us, maybe we need to stop thinking of this so badly and just live with it and be happy. Who knows? Maybe we’ll be able to tell everyone the truth someday.” I was feeling a bit more optimistic by now, but mostly I just didn’t want to make Louis feel any more upset than he already was. I didn’t need to remind him about those rude comments.

Looked like Louis had other ideas. “But Haz, what about the ones who didn’t like us anymore? The fans whose faces filled with disgust, who were whispering that they hate us, who left us because we said we’re gay? I know you heard them, don’t deny it, you heard those nasty words about us!” Okay, so he was more worked up than I thought over it. I saw a tear run down his face.

Wiping the tear softly, I turned his face toward me and looked into those lively blue eyes. “It’s okay, Boo. We’ll be okay. The boys know the truth, and management promised us that this is for the better. We’ll always have each other to lean on; you’re not alone. I love you Boo, I’m here, don’t cry. It’s not worth it.” I continued to whisper soothing things to him until his eyes dried up and his smile returned.

I hadn’t noticed, but while I was busy comforting Louis, Niall and Liam had started making dinner. I jumped out of Louis’ arms and ran to the kitchen, just in time to see Niall trying to eat raw pasta and Liam almost burning a perfectly good plate by putting it on the flaming stovetop. Shoving the plate to the side, I snatched the pasta from the leprechaun’s greedy hands, placing it near the plate before turning to look at them.

Niall had a guilty expression, and Liam looked confused. “Why were you guys in here? Were you trying to burn down the house? Wanting a change in scenery, Li? And Niall, you can’t eat raw food! Especially when other people may be wanting some of it when it’s cooked!” everyone knew I was the cook of the house; when anyone else tried it almost always ended up in some sort of disaster.

Louis walked in to ask me why I left, but stopped mid-sentence seeing me ready to tell of Liam and Niall. Shaking his head with a smirk, he went back to the couch.

“Don’t worry about it, guys. I’ll make dinner, just please don’t touch anything and wait for it to be done. Sorry Niall, you’re going to have to wait a little for your precious food, but here’s some crisps to hold you for a bit.” I tossed him a bag of those little snack crisps, and he skipped happily to the table.

I spotted Louis frowning at me across the room, and raised my eyebrow as if to ask what was wrong. “So the leprechaun gets his crisps, but I don’t get any carrots? I see how it is.” He fake pouts and dramatically clutches at the countertop as if he was breaking down. I laugh and pull him upright, opening the fridge and handing him a bag of carrots.