f i v e

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tw: this chapter will contain mentions of suicide and mental illness!

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tw: this chapter will contain
mentions of suicide and mental illness!

A couple of hours later, they both felt like they were in the company of an old friend, definitely not someone who they'd only started speaking to a month before. There was absolutely no awkwardness or tension between them, leaving only fondness and comfort.

Harry made his meal, assigning River small tasks to do when she insisted on helping. The food was delicious and afterwards they drank glass after glass of the fancy wine he'd brought with him.

"Y'know, I can't actually believe you're here," River admitted to Harry as they lounged on her couch.

They'd been talking almost non-stop since he'd walked in the door and a sleepy lull in the conversation had sent her brain into overdrive, thinking about how absolutely mental it was that the Harry Styles was curled up in the corner of her couch in a t-shirt and sweatpants with a headband lazily pushing back the soft curls on his head and a fluffy blanket draped over him. He looked so chilled out and comfortable, which she knew was a side of him most people didn't really see.

"Why not?" he asked, his words not slurred at all by the amount of wine he'd consumed. She felt quite tipsy herself; the room was spinning just slightly.

"It's just... you're you," she said, repeating something she'd said to him that first day they'd talked. He smiled, shrugging.

"I'm just Harry, River. I'm not anything more than that," he told her, and she nodded.

She supposed he spent a lot of his time being everyone else's version of him; the singer version, or the cheeky in interviews version, or the crowd entertainer version. She wondered idly how many people actually knew him, this shy and soft-spoken version of him that had responded to her sad message, and went out of his way to ask questions to get to know her, and made her dinner, and looked at her with such softness and warmth in his gaze.

"You're... so good," she whispered, scooting just closer enough to him that she could reach for his hand that was resting on the cushion between them. He gave it to her without question and she traced the cool metal of his rings and the lines of his palm.

"So are you, love," he said quietly, closing his fingers around hers for just a moment. She smiled, feeling the blood rush to her cheeks in a blush.

"My sister... she wouldn't believe you were here," she told him, and he nodded. "She'd think I was lying."

"Did she... did you live here together?" he asked, casting a glance around the living room. River followed his gaze, shaking her head.

"No, I've always lived here alone. She was actually living with my parents when she... when she died," she told him, realizing that maybe that was the first time she'd ever out loud said the 'd' word. Previously, she'd always done her best to avoid it. Harry nodded.

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