That night, after cooking dinner all together, bumping around in the kitchen and singing their old songs in a mocking way, Louis decides to go to bed early. He's emotionally exhausted and craves for things he can't have, so he lets the others hug him and then topples onto the mattress, falling asleep immediately.
He's awoken to a familiar head of brown curls in his vision, pale hands tracing over his scarred wrists in the dim light. Blinking the sleep from his eyes, he takes in Harry's deep green eyes not noticing he's conscious. So Louis skips over the why is Harry in my bed and instead lets himself stare. Lets himself look over canopy lashes, cheeks dusted pink, and wet red lips. No longer a teenager, Harry has nearly flawless skin up close, porcelain with the occasional freckle.
Finally, when Louis shifts slightly, Harry's eyes flicker up to see him awake. "Hi." He says softly.
"Hey." Louis whispers.
Harry goes back to stroking over each scar, counting and pressing and feeling.
"There's so many..." He mumbles, tracing over a darker one.
"Mhm." Louis hums, no longer self conscious.
"Why did it start? What happened to push you over the edge like that?" Harry asks, tracing lighter marks.
Louis should lie, but he doesn't.
"I was listening to the radio. They were talking about you. Being with models. I got really upset and I just. Yeah." Louis stammers, staring at the ceiling.
A moment of silence.
"Which one is that?" Harry asks, voice thick with emotion. He's running his fingers up and down Louis' wrists, desperately. "Which scar?"
Louis knows Harry needs him to know, to point it out but he can't remember, he really can't. He makes sad eye contact with the younger man and sighs.
"I don't know, Haz."
"Then which arm? Which one?" Harry asks, strained. He looks close to tears.
Louis lifts up his right arm. Harry nods and leans down to press a soft kiss there, over a few of the scars. And then another higher up, and another, and another. He peppers kisses up Louis' arm, all the while Louis' heart stuttering in his chest.
He reaches Louis' shoulder and kisses across that too, over his collarbone, up his neck, onto his jaw. He pauses to hover over Louis' face to wait, always wait.
Louis can't hold off anymore and softly connects their lips, breath rushing out as he does. Harry kisses back, one hand travelling up and down the lines on his inner arm. They mold into one person like they used to, legs tangling, chests bumping, mouths moving.
"This could go like last time." Louis protests weakly between kisses. "We could fall apart."
"We won't let that happen." Harry says.
"I can barely control myself, I don't think I can control us as well." Louis argues, but reaches up to tug Harry's lips onto his again.
"I won't let us fall apart." Harry corrects, swiping Louis' bottom lip.
"No?" Louis asks, quickly getting distracted.
"No." Harry whispers, tongue slipping in like it used to.
"And you'll help me get better?" Louis asks, pulling Harry down to lay on him, pressing kisses to his jaw.
"Yes." Harry murmurs.
"And you won't let me fall?" Louis says breathlessly, as desperate as Harry was moments ago.
"Never again." Harry promises with a searing kiss.