Chapter 17 ~ S(He)

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When Louis woke up the next morning, a Thursday, he felt confused- as if he were still dreaming, still floating in that hazy blur drifting in between reverie and reality.  

All he knew was that he was warm, and that he was with Harry, and that was just okay.  That was great.

Lips sealed tight like the stitched mouth of a doll's, he smiled into the lanky, ropey arm wrapped carefully around his neck, rising and falling slightly with every breath of the curly-haired boy.  Louis sighed gently through his nose, and in that moment, despite the stress of the competition and the disappointment prompted by his failure to win a solo that week, he didn't think he'd ever felt more content.  

So what if he didn't get a solo this round?  There would be others, wouldn't there?  And obviously, it didn't matter to Harry whether he got one or not; apparently, Harry would adore Louis even if he sang like a squaking orangutan.  So what if he wasn't in the spotlight this week?  So what if he was a little disappointed?  He had his Harry with him.

Well, at least, he hoped so.  Last night had been strange, to say the least.  Louis wondered, as he snuggled more closely into the sleeping Harry's grasp, just what had been going through his mate's head the other day.  He had behaved so...differently, and Louis hadn't liked it.  He hadn't liked it at all.  Harry had acted so distantly towards him; reluctant to curl into his embrace, nervous to tell Louis the motive behind his odd actions, and- the strangest of all- Louis had discovered that he was keeping secrets from him, secrets that he was instead chosing to share with Niall, of all people.  No, Louis hadn't liked it one bit.

He could only hope that whatever had scared Harry so horribly last night was out of his mind, and that he and Louis would revert back to the usual, bantering duo that they were. Louis needed them too.  He needed Harry, and he needed Harry to need him in return.  He began to wriggle and whine with agitation in Harry's arms at the mere thought of ever quarrelling with the curly-haired boy around him.  

He bit his lip as his actions began to stir Harry, and he swallowed guiltily as the soft sound of Harry's lips smacking against one another filled his ears.  He was waking.

"Morning," Louis breathed, half ashamedly for waking the boy up and half delighted, now that they could begin the day together.

"Mmm," Harry murmured in reply, his voice quite raspy and rough, as it always seemed to be in the mornings.  Louis only chuckled quietly to himself, smiling as he listened to the gravelly hum of the boy behind him.  He wriggled further back into Harry's chest, grinning like an idiot when Harry's arms wrapped around his neck and waist only more securely.  Louis knew that he wasn't quite fully awake yet and that he probably wasn't aware of what he was doing, but he was glad.  Harry was so much more cozy and intimate, it seemed, when he was groggy and half-asleep; and Louis would never admit it to anyone, but he loved that side of him.  He loved snuggling and cuddling in general, and something about snuggling and cuddling with Harry made it all the better.

"Feeling better?" Louis whispered, not wanting to wake any of the other boys.  If he were to be quite honest with himself, he wanted a bit of time alone with Harry, just to talk and to cuddle and just...be Harry and Louis.  He wasn't quite sure how else to describe it.  He just...God, it was infuriating.  Harry always seemed to be pulled by others' interests and others' attention, and it seemed like Louis never really had him to himself.  It was just that, they were Harry and Louis after all, weren't they?  Didn't that give Louis some sort of privelege there, some sort of entitlement to Harry's company?  

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