So Kiss Me Again (‘cause only you can stop this stuttering) 

Harry’s always had a problem with speaking. He doesn’t like meeting new people, or talking to other kids he barely knows. Whenever he does his palms get all sweaty and his mouth gets all dry and he suddenly forgets how to speak properly. AKA: The one where Harry has a stutter and Louis is too sweet for his own good and falls for the boy with a turtle for a best friend.

Harry’s always had a problem with speaking.

He doesn’t like meeting new people, or talking to other kids he barely knows. Whenever he does his palms get all sweaty and his mouth gets all dry and he suddenly forgets how to speak properly. That’s part of the reason why he hates school so much, whenever the teacher calls on him and he attempts to choke out an answer he can always hear the other kids snickering at him from their desks, making Harry sink back down into his crouched position, his head covered by his arms.

School has always been like that for him, he guesses. No friends, no hope, no fun. He doesn’t mind much though, because he has a pet turtle named Norman. Norman gets him, Norman gets scared too. Norman knows what it’s like to just want to crawl up under your shell and never come out. Harry appreciates that.

Harry’s had Norman for three years now, his mother deciding at age twelve Harry should have a friend who’ll stick around, even if its just a pet. Harry’s friends have never stuck around really. They all end up meeting new people and leaving quiet little Harry behind.

Harry guesses that maybe having a turtle as a best friend hand so bad, at least they live a long time and Norman won’t leave him. Plus, Norman always motivates him to do his homework, so Harry always gets good grades.

Although, as much as he loves Norman, he thinks it’d be nice to hug someone every once and a while, or even play footie with someone who actually has legs rather than flicking a grape with his finger to a turtle.

~

The best day of Harry’s life comes on a Wednesday.

Or maybe it’s the worst, he’s not sure.

When Harry wakes up that morning, he knows something big is going to happen. When he brushes his teeth he makes sure they’re extra minty and puts on his very favorite freshly ironed button-up. It’s plaid, and apparently it makes his curls look nice. (According to his mother)

His morning goes badly as always though, getting mud on his shoes as he walks to school and being shoved into a wall by some football player. He’s used to it by now, so he guesses it’s not so bad.

The teacher calls his name last, as always, seeing as his name is the last on the roster. Just his luck.

“Harry Styles?”

“H-here, m-m-miss.” He chokes out, his palms already covered in a thin coat of sweat from simply having to say he’s in class.

His first class doesn’t go to hell until the last thirty minutes, when the douche bag behind him always decides to mess with him.

“Hey freak,” he whispers harshly, kicking the back of Harry’s chair. “You sweatin’ yet, buddy? You nervous? Must be pretty hard trying to be a normal person, isn’t it, turtle boy?” He snickers, flicking Harry behind the ear.

Harry’s already having trouble breathing, the panic settling in when he realizes he’s going to have to say something eventually.

“You hear me, opossum? Or are you deaf now too?”

“S-sh-shut up Ben,” he whispers, hands going to play with the tips of his ears as they light up red, slinking down into his seat.

“He speaks! The freak knows how to talk!” Ben laughs as he slaps his friend in the shoulder, both of them laughing at him now. The teacher finally shushes them as they both start to harass him, Harry being grateful that his teacher feels bad for him, seeing as that no one else does.

It feels nice to have someone care every once and a while.

But then again, Harry’s used to this.

It happens to him every class.

-

He meets him in 3rd period, his class right before lunch.

Harry’s slouching in his seat (the one in the very back of the room- it’s an easy way to avoid people) when the the door swings open and his teacher stands up clears his throat, “Ah, class. It seems we have a new student with us today. Please welcome him with the upmost respect and decency, we don’t want to make a bad first impression now do we?”

Harry rolls his eyes at that, because no one in this room has any decency.

He’s planning on reaching over and getting his book out of his bag when he hears another bag thud carelessly onto the ground next to his, his eyes following the noise.

And sure enough, there he is. The new kid.

He’ll probably mock Harry too.

“Hi,” greats the faceless boy he’s currently sitting next to, “I’m Louis.” Harry’s marveling in the fact that his voice sounds like sweet, golden honey when he realizes that he still hasn’t looked up yet, and he can feel his palms already starting to clam up.

“H-hi,” he stammers, eyes looking up to meet Louis’ nervously, “I’m H-Harry.” He lets out a big breath after that, already regretting greeting this boy back.

Louis smiles warmly at him, his eyes crinkling up at the corners. “Nice to meet you, Harry.”

No ones ever been this nice to him before, even with a hello.

Harry could faint.

~

Harry finds himself sneaking glances at the new boy the whole class.

Louis is everything Harry wishes he could be, with his sunshine skin and ocean eyes so blue Harry wishes he could drown in them. Louis is beautiful, all the way from his wispy hair that reminds Harry of warm caramel, to his small elegant feet, clad in the shoes Harry’s always wished he could pull off.

Harry’s never been beautiful, at least in his own mind. What with his skin pale like printer paper and eyes that are too big for his face, not to mention his awkward baby fat that still clings to his (still) skinny hips.

Harry thinks that maybe if the kids in his pre-school hadn’t made fun of him, he’d like the way he looks a bit more. They’d told him he was too girly to be a boy, that his lips were too pink and his hair was too curly, not to mention that he reminded them of Snow White. He’d felt that way about himself ever since then.

Harry thinks maybe, he could be beautiful.

If someone would give him the chance.

~

“What’s an adorable thing like you doing sitting all alone?”

The tray slides down on the table in front of the seat across from his, the thin, bronze, beautiful new boy Louis, plopping down into the seat.

Harry blushes from behind his lunch box, munching on the sandwich his mum packed him. “I always s-sit alo-one.” He mutters, trying to curl into himself to fit behind his lunch box, hiding from Louis’ view.

Louis giggles, “And why’s that? You’re quite cute, Haz. Can I call you that? Of course I can, don’t be silly.”

Louis talks a lot, Harry decides. He likes it though- loves it even. It’s never something he’s been able to do.

“P-people don’t like me b-because I s-stutter.” He says, simply. Shrugging one of his shoulders as Louis stares at him with wide eyes. “Well, that’s just ridiculous. ‘S not like it makes you a weird person, it just affects how much you can say.”

Harry blushes again and moves his lunch box over a little, so Louis can see his face better. Louis smiles at him as he chomps on his salad, Harry munching on his own cucumber slices.

It’s then when the worst thing Harry could ever possibly imagine happens.

“Hey- what’s that?” Louis asks, grabbing a piece of paper that’s fallen out of Harry’s lunch box and onto the floor.

It’s a note.

From Harry’s mum.

Like she sends every day.

And it’s over, he knows it’s over, his one chance at having a real friend, a real friend who doesn’t live in an aquarium.

“Your mum still writes you notes?” He asks, his voice still kind. “That’s sick! I wish my mum still did that. She hasn’t done it in years though, I forgot how much I missed getting them.” He beams, passing the note back to Harry. “What’s that look for?” Louis questions, making a circle around Harry’s face with his fork.

“O-oh, I- I though you’d s-stop talking to me b-because you th-thought it was weird.” Harry admits, his gaze dropping to his lap, picking at his finger nails.

Louis waves his hand dismissively, “No way, I think it’s totally sweet. Like you.”

The lunch bell rings then, making Harry jump. Louis laughs as he gets up, “Guess that means we’ve got to go, then?” Harry nods, scratching the back of his neck as he stands up from his seat. “Okay, save me a seat tomorrow, yeah?” Louis says cheekily, winking at Harry as he turns on his heel and walks away, turning his head around to wave over his shoulder.

Harry didn’t think it was humanly possible to blush as much as he did that day.

~

“Norman,” he calls out as soon as he gets home later, throwing his book bag on the floor next to the bed. “Norman you’ll never g-guess what!” He exclaims, reaching to grab the turtle out of his little habitat, placing him down on his special pillow Harry has for him on his bed.

“Norman I made a friend today. I think. A real human f-friend. And he’s gorgeous, absolutely bloody gorgeous.” He sighs, swinging his feet in the air as he lies on his belly face-to-face with Norman on his pillow.

Norman only blinks, but Harry takes it as a congratulations.

~

Louis is waiting for Harry when he gets to lunch the next day, sitting with a lunch box full of junk food and two bags of Haribos sitting out on the table.

“Hey Harry!” He calls out, waving at Harry with a sugar-sweet smile on his face.

“H-hey Lou,” Harry mumbles in return as the places his lunchbox down on the table carefully, plopping down in his seat.

“How’s your day been?” Louis asks, leaning forward on his elbows, popping a potato chip in his mouth. “I-it’s been ok-kay.” Harry smiles lightly, “I got an A on my m-math t-test. And I d-didn’t get m-mud on my shoes this morning!”

“Aw that’s great Haz! I’m terrible at maths, maybe you could help me sometime.” He smiles, taking a sip of his water.

Harry doesn’t think Louis knows how to make another kind of facial expression besides a smile, Louis is always happy. He’d like to think that maybe one day, he’ll be that way too.

“Oh yeah- I brought you something!” Louis exclaims, popping up in his seat. “I hope you like Haribos, I noticed that your Mum doesn’t pack any dessert in your lunch so I got you some.” He pushes the two bags in Harry’s direction, hand brushing over Harry’s as he reaches out to grab them.

Harry blushes as he accepts them, overwhelmed with happiness by the sweet gesture. “H-Haribos are my f-favorite!” He beams, smiling brightly at the older boy in front of him. “Th-thanks so much L-Lou.” He rips the bag open gently, tossing a handful of bears into his mouth. “Dyouwantone?” He mumbles through a mouth full of gummies, holding the bag out to Louis.

Louis accepts them with a laugh, eyes gleaming with kindness as they eat together in silence for the next few moments, until some brunette douche from the football team slaps Louis on the back and slings an arm around his shoulder.

“Hey Tommo, I didn’t know we had lunch at the same time! What are you doing sitting with this freak?” He asks, reaching over to flick Harry in the nose, snickering as Harry flinches.

Louis rolls his eyes and pushes the guy away from him, crossing his arms. “I am sitting with my friend Harry because he is a sweet kid and he’s refreshing to be around. Unlike assholes, like you. Now bugger off, Sykes.” He snaps, glaring at the kid as he taps his foot.

“Fine then. See you at football practice.” He shrugs, starting to turn away before he spots Harry shanking in his seat, “See ya later, turtle boy.” He cackles as he walks away, high five-ing some some other football douche on his way back to his table.

Louis turns back to him and makes a face, looking concerned. “Harry-“

“Y-you play footb-ball?” He asks, his eyes wide. Harry already knows his chance at having a friend is over. No football player would ever be friends with him for long, even if they’re new.

Louis nods, a concerned look still gracing his features. Harry takes a breath, “W-why don’t you sit w-with t-them then?”

“Because they’re assholes, duh. I may play with them but that doesn’t mean I want to be friends with them.” Louis explains, voice soft. “Besides, I’d much rather sit with a sweet heart like you anyway, I love that you have depth, rather than just act like everyone else to pick up girls and make people feel bad about themselves and stuff like that.” Louis admits, reaching forward to grab Harry’s hand on top of the table.

Harry’s pretty sure his heart’s just exploded, a warm feeling spreading throughout his chest, like hot soup on a winter day.

He tries to play it cool, “G-girls aren’t that g-great anyway.” He laughs lightly, shaking his head.

“I agree.” Louis smiles that sunshine filled smile again, squeezing Harry’s hand.

Later that day, as Harry’s leaving school, Louis grabs him by the arm and asks him for his number. Harry feels his ears light up red as he types his number into Louis’ phone, getting a text from Louis saying ‘Hiii, it’s Louis :)’ less than five minutes later.

Harry can’t wait to tell Norman.

And his mum.

~

The next Monday starts off horribly, as all Mondays do.

You see, most people have bad Mondays as well, but Harry’s are always especially bad due to his lack of friends and lack of good luck. Harry’s first two classes are with Ben Fields, aka, the kid who’s bullied Harry since he was 5 years old. Ben’s never liked Harry for some reason, though Harry’s not sure why.

So Harry’s first class starts with a hair tug and a kick to the shin, and his second class ends with a swirly.

Harry gets a swirly every Monday so it really shouldn’t upset him as much as it does, but he guesses he just doesn’t want Louis to see him with a head soaked with toilet water. Maybe Louis will feel sorry for him though, and won’t make fun of him for looking like a monkey who just dunked his head in a lake.

Once he’s dried his face off and attempted to dry part of his hair off with paper towels, his collects his things and shuffles off to History.

Louis is already in his normal seat next to Harry’s when he gets there, smiling as Louis looks up to greet him. “Hey cutie,” Louis giggles, giving Harry a little wave. “What’s up with your hair? ‘S it raining?”

Harry grunts as he drops his backpack next to his desk, sitting down in his seat to turn to Louis. “N-no, silly. I g-got a sw-swirly.” He shrugs, brushing a piece of lint off his sweater. Louis’ smile drops from his face almost immediately, heart breaking at Harry’s confession.

“A swirly? The thing where someone sticks your head in a toilet and flushes?” He squeaks, confused. He gasps quietly when Harry nods, “I thought those things only happened in movies..”

Harry shrugs again, “N-nope. They happen if you’re m-me.”

Harry doesn’t know that as he turns back around to start class, Louis makes a promise to himself.

A promise to get Harry out of his shell.

~

Louis drives Harry home that afternoon, claiming that Harry’s shoes are too nice to get anymore mud on them. (But really he just needed an excuse to spend more time with him.) Halfway through the ride to Harry’s house, Louis asks a question that’s been pulling at his insides for the last week. “..Why do they call you turtle boy?”

Harry laughs, he saw this coming eventually. “O-oh. W-well one time my c-cousin came over to my house and I showed her my tur-t-turtle and she told ev-very one at school that I was obsessed with th-hem. And then B-Ben told everyone that he wasn’t s-surprised b-because I act like one. S-so I guess everyone thought it’d be f-funny to call me that.” He admits, toying with the bottom of his seatbelt. “I’m used to it t-though.”

Louis glances over at Harry through the corner of his eye, “You have a turtle?”

Harry lights up at the question, “Yeah! His names N-Norman, he’s my best friend.” Harry cringes a little at how brightly he answered the question, “I-I mean um.. Well I d-don’t have a lot of f-friends so.”

Louis smiles as they turn into Harry’s driveway, “You have me now. And besides, turtles are ace! I’ve always wanted one but my mum says they’re creepy.”

“Y-you could come meet N-Norman if you want. B-but you d-don’t have to I mean-” Harry stutters, unsure of if Louis would think his offer was strange or not.

Louis claps his hands excitedly and jumps out of his seat to run around the car and open Harry’s door, “I’d love to meet your turtle Haz!” Harry smiles brightly as Louis takes his backpack from him as he gets out of the car, slinging it over his shoulder while Harry leads the way to the front door.

He takes Louis through the house and up to his bedroom and Louis gawks at how clean the room is. “Harry where’s all your junk?”

“Huh?”

Louis looks around at the spotless room with football and band posters on the wall, “it’s just so..clean. My room is always a junk pile.”

Harry shrugs, “I j-just don’t like m-messy rooms I g-guess. P-plus it’s not like I have anyone to dist-tract me from cleaning.” Louis laughs, as he lets his eyes wander around the room, landing on the heat lamp on top of a table. He sees a little habitat there, which is what he assumes to be the home of Harry’s turtle.

He rushes over to it, eyes wide with excitement as he presses his hands up against the glass and stares at the green animal inside. Harry walks up behind him silently, popping the lid off the aquarium and taking Norman out.

“S-so this is N-Norman..” Harry says, brushing his finger against the reptiles head. “He likes grapes and s-strawberries. And sometimes w-when I flick a grape at him he’ll k-kick it back!”

Louis laughs and brushes his thumb against Normans shell, “Well he’s very cool. I wish I had one, he seems like a loyal friend.”

“Y-yeah, he is. Here, you can hold him if you w-want.” Harry smiles sheepishly as he holds him out to Louis, Louis accepting the offer with kind eyes.

“Why hello there Norman, I’m Louis. It’s nice to meet you.” He smiles down at the turtle, holding a finger from his free hand like a hand shake.

Norman just shifts in his hand, Louis takes it as a nice to meet you too.

~

Things are good for a while.

Louis drives Harry to school and then drives him home when he doesn’t have football practice, and then the hang out at Harry’s and watch movies with Norman until Louis’ mum tells him he has to come home.

Harry’s social anxiety caused him to get an inhaler when he was little and found out that his panic attacks sometimes triggered his asthma. He hasn’t actually had to use it in quite a while but he keeps it in his backpack, just in case. Louis is the only person besides his mum who knows about it, seeing as that Louis is the only other person besides his mum who he can open up to. (Well, he has Norman, but.)

He’s walking around the track in gym one day when they come up to him, those pricks on the football team. Louis is in a higher gym class than him but he’s still out on the track as well, although his class isn’t allowed to walk with Harry’s. Louis has waved at him a few times though, Harry blushing as he gives a sad excuse for a wave back.

He’s walking slowly when one of them shoves his shoulder, another one shoving his other.

“Hey faggot,” Douche Number One smirks, “Saw you waving at Tommo. Does turtle boy have a crush?”

“Yeah queer, does someone want a cock in their mouth?” Douche Number Two snides, throwing an arm around Harry’s shoulder and snacking his cheek.

“D-don’t t-touch me!” Harry shouts weakly, trying to pull away.

“Aw c’mon fag, you love it.” Douche Number Two says, pushing Harry over and laughing as Harry scrapes his palms on the asphalt of the track. “Get up, princess. Don’t be a fucking baby.”

They wont leave him alone and he knows he cant fight back. If he tried to defend himself the words would just get stuck in his throat. He cringes as he thinks about what they’re going to do to him, will they kick him? Grab sticks from the edge of the track and hit him with them? Or worse, completely beat him up in front of Louis. Harry feels his chest tightening as tears well in his eyes, his airway constricting as his breaths come out heavy and short. His throat is closing up and he’s so, so hot and he just can’t breathe. “H-h” he wheezes, begging for help but he just can’t get the words out.

“What the fuck man,” douche number one mumbles, slapping douche number two on the arm. “Lets get out of here before he like, dies” they scamper off to go talk to the other football douche bags and Harry is left to suffer in his own misery as he starts to cry. He’s scared. He’s so, so scared because no one cares and he’s going to be left to die here and-

Then he’s there.

He’s running towards him with his inhaler and he’s crouching down and gathering him in his arms and, “Breathe love, here you are angel.” He soothes, rubbing circles lightly on Harry’s back while Harry puffs his inhaler once, twice, and he’s free. He’s free and he’s safe and he’s not going to die.

He’s crumpling in Louis’ arms then and Louis holds him as he cries, running his hand through Harry’s hair and wrapping his other arm around Harry’s waist as Harry hides his face in Lou’s shoulder, tears staining his t-shirt.

“C’mon baby. Lets get out of here, I’ll take you back to your house and we’ll watch films and eat popcorn, okay?” He coos, kissing Harry’s forehead and helping him up from the ground.

“O-okay.” He whispers, leaning against Louis’ side as they exit the track and walk to Louis’ car, Louis’ arm around his shoulder.

~

Louis stops and gets them McDonald’s on the way Harry’s house, knowing neither of them have eaten lunch yet. (Plus Harry has a love for chicken nuggets and dipping his fries in buffalo sauce.) They eat their food at Harry’s kitchen table, Louis hooking his foot around Harry’s ankle and smiling when he sees him blush. “Do you want some b-buffalo sauce?” Harry asks shyly, looking up at Louis through his lashes.

Louis smiles and taps the end of Harry’s nose with a fry, “No thanks love, I don’t do well with spicy things.” Harry nods and sits there for a moment before smirking, “Baby.”

Louis raises his eyebrows in mock disbelief, “What did you just call me?” Harry lets out a giggle and crosses his arms, “You heard me!”

Louis makes a note of the lack of a stutter, happiness welling up inside him. “Would you like to repeat what you called me?”

“A baby!” Harry’s laughing hysterically as Louis picks him up and throws him over his shoulder, running all over the house and finally into the living room where he throws him gently down on the couch, tickling his sides mercilessly as Harry squirms and laughs underneath him. “I t-take it back!” He squeals, reaching to grab Louis’ hands and tucking them between his knees. “Good.” Louis bends down to kiss him on the cheek and plops down behind Harry so he can pull him into his lap, playing with his curls as Harry searches for a movie he had recorded.

They end up watching Tangled -since it’s Harry’s favorite movie- Louis leaning back on the arm of the couch with Harry between his legs, back pressed flush against Louis’ chest, head tucked underneath his chin.

Harry’s always loved fairy tales, and he loves Rapunzel the most because he feels like his anxiety is the tower that he’s locked up in and he’s just waiting for someone to let him out, although he’s pretty sure now that that person is Louis.

~

Harry walks Louis to his car when he has to go home, kissing his cheek before Louis gets in.

“So I’ve been meaning to ask you something..” Louis starts, grabbing one of Harry’s hands and playing with his fingers. “Do you want to go out to dinner with me this Friday?”

Harry feels his stomach flutter with what must be a million butterflies, his heart feeling warm and light as he stutters out a “Y-yes, I’d love to.”

“Yes!” Louis fist pumps, “I’ll pick you up around 7. But I’ll see you at school that day anyway, so.” He smiles shyly, Harry mumbling a “Sounds great,” as he hugs him goodbye.

Harry scampers back into his house, sliding down the door as he bites his knuckle to suppress his massive grin.

“Norman!” He cries, running up the stairs and storming into his room. “Norman! He did it! He asked me out!” He beams, grabbing the turtle out of his cage and spinning around before landing on his bed softly and sighing happily. “It’s going to be perfect.”

~

It’s not going to be perfect.

Well, unless Harry can find the right outfit, anyway.

He spends an hour and fifteen minutes looking for something to wear, digging through his closet and coming close to screaming when he can’t find the perfect thing to wear. He has to look good for this date. Louis has to be his and he has to be Louis’. The panic and frustration is starting to set in when he looks and looks and he feels the anger burn like a fire in his chest, how could he be so stupid? he should have known he shouldn’t have accepted. He’s going to look bad and he’s going to stutter and-

He tells himself to stop freaking out though, because he wants this boy. And he feels like maybe this time, he’ll finally get someone.

~

His mother bursts into the room with a bag of new clothes when she gets home and finds Harry scurrying around his room with a frazzled look on his face, hair askew as he pulls on it with frustration.

“Mum I can’t find anything to wear! I can’t find anything and he’s not going to want me and he’s going to realize that I’m a freak who can only speak to his mother and-“

“Harry,” She soothes, rubbing his back and handing him the bag. “Here. I bought you a new outfit because I knew you’d want to look special.” She smiles, walking towards the door to leave before harry stops her by pummeling her with a tight hug, almost squeezing her lungs out. “Thank you so, so much mum. Thank you!!”

By the time Louis gets there he’s wearing tight dark wash jeans (that make his ass look great- which is a plus), a grey sweater, and blue bottom up shirt over top. (He leaves it unbuttoned, he’d probably get too hot from nerves if he didn’t.)

“Hi,” Louis breathes as Harry opens the door, reaching out to grab Harry’s hand and walk him to the car. “You look gorgeous.”

Harry’s cheeks feel like they’re on fire as he ducks his head and tucks a curl behind his ear, blushing harder as Louis opens the car door for him. “So, w-where are we going?” He asks as Louis climbs into his seat, buckling his seatbelt.

“Well, I was thinking Italian, since it’s romantic. Is that okay with you?” He says politely as they pull out of Harry’s driveway.

“Yeah! I l-love Italian! Ravioli is my absolute f-favorite food.” Harry beams, smile never leaving his face the whole way to the restaurant.

~

“So anyway, mum ended up burning dinner and my sisters all decided to be vegetarian for a day.” Louis laughs as he twirls his spaghetti around his fork, shaking his head in remembrance. “That only lasted a day though, as you can imagine.”

Harry smiles and sips on his sprite, “I w-wish I had siblings. Well- I g-guess I do. I’m not sure..” He laughs nervously and scratches behind his neck. He’s never been on a date before so he’s not sure what’s normal to say and what’s not, but he guesses by the way Louis sits up in his chair and leans towards him means he must not be terrible at the whole date-conversation thing.

“It’s fun sometimes,” Louis tells him, nodding his head. “But other times they make you want to scream and rip your hair out.” He laughs, stuffing a breadstick in his mouth.

“I guess.. I guess it’d just be n-nice to have someone b-besides my mum to talk to, y-know? She’s the o-only person I d-don’t stutter ar-round.” Harry explains, looking down in his lap.

“And why’s that?” Louis asks softly.

“S-she’s the only person I feel completely c-comfortable around I guess..” He looks up from his lap to see Louis staring at him sympathetically, his eyes swimming with empathy.

“Well. You have me now. And I hope we can get to that point eventually.” He smiles lightly, reaching under the table to squeeze Harry’s hand.

“Y-yeah,” Harry blushes, squeezing his hand back. “Me too.”

~

The rest of their date goes off without a hitch, Louis making fun of all the other football players while he feeds Harry chocolate cake off his fork, Harry giggling and making funny faces along with Louis as they mock the people meanest to Harry.

When they get back to Harry’s house Louis holds his hand walks him to the door, stopping before Harry goes inside. “I had a lot of fun tonight,” he grins, grabbing Harry’s other hand to pull him closer.

“M-me too. I-I’ve never gotten to make fun of someone before!” He laughs, butterflies erupting in his stomach as Louis leans down to press their foreheads together. “Well, anytime you want to do it again, you know where to find me.” He nudges their noses together, shutting his eyes as Harry lets out a breathless “Yeah,” and then.

Louis is kissing him, his lips soft and warm and tasting like chocolate cake.

Harry feels like he could float away, Louis’ hands the only thing keeping him from turning him into a balloon. Louis pulls away after a while, kissing Harry’s cheek before taking a step back. “Text me before you go to sleep, yeah?” He smirks, lifting up Harry’s knuckles to kiss them too before dropping his hand and starting off to his car.

“Y-yeah, okay.” Harry breathes out hand tracing over his lip in disbelief. “Bye Lou!” He beams, waving at him from his spot on the porch.

“Bye love,” Louis waves, and the smile on his face reminds Harry of sunshine.

~

They go on more dates. In fact, they go on dates so often that Friday night becomes their date night.

It’s a Tuesday, Harry thinks, when Ben Fields punches him in the face for the first time. He’s always made fun of him, but he’s never actually hit him. He finds out it’s because Ben is Douche Bag Number One’s best friend, and apparently after Harry’s asthma attack on the track Louis had Douce Bag Number One benched for the past two games.

So, Ben was “Sticking up for his bro by taking care of harry”.

Harry thinks that’s really stupid, but judging by the stinging in his he should probably refrain from saying anything. (But who’s he kidding, he’d never stick up for himself anyway.)

When Louis sees the big purple bruise that’s taken over Harry’s eye, he looks like he’s going to be sick.

“Who did this to you?!” He questions, pulling Harry into his chest. Harry almost forgets about the throbbing in his eye as Louis threads his fingers through his curls, his other arm wrapped protectively around Harry’s waist.

He sighs and clings to Louis tightly, “B-Ben Fields.”

Louis tenses up in his arms then, his tone growing cold. “Well we’ll have to do something about him, wont we?”

~

Ben Fields comes to school the next day with two black eyes and a purple nose.

Louis’ knuckles on his right hand are bruised.

~

Louis asks him to be his boyfriend on a Friday.

They’re at the park, Harry’s head in his lap as they watch ducks swim around a pond. He feels fireworks explode in his stomach as Louis sings to him and brushes his knuckles gently on Harry’s cheek, kissing his forehead every so often.

“So I was thinking..” He starts, pulling Harry up to sit in his lap. “I think you should be mine, and I should be yours.”

Harry’s dumbfounded at this, sits with wide eyes and pink cheeks as Louis kisses the back of his ears.

“L-like.. Be your b-boyfriend?”

Louis scoffs playfully, “Duh, silly. Thought I’ve made that pretty obvious.”

Harry turns in his lap to straddle his thighs and rests his head on Louis’ shoulder. “I thought I’ve made it o-obvious that you didn’t have to ask.”

Louis giggles and kisses him.

And for once, Harry feels beautiful.

~

“You should come to my match Friday.”

“No.”

Louis grumbles and puts his hands on his hips, “Why not? I reaaaaally want you to be there! It’s the biggest game of the season! And I was hoping.. Maybe you could wear my jersey?” He bites his lip, grabbing onto Harry’s hips.

Harry raises his eyebrow, “I t-thought only girlfriends did that?”

“Ew. Girls are yucky.”

Harry laughs and slaps Louis on the chest, “I’m s-serious Lou.” Louis rolls his eyes and kisses Harry’s cheek, “I’m serious too. And you better be there, or you’ll have to start walking to a school again.”

~

Harry hates walking to school, so. Here he is.

He really hates football games though, there are too many people, and he always seems to get lost and panic.

He feels a sense of calm though, as he looks down to the field and sees Louis smiling brightly and waving at him, a wave of warmth rolling through his body as he stands on his toes and waves back.

He tries to watch the game but honestly, he keeps getting distracted by how good Louis looks in his shorts to notice. His bum is the perfect amount of round, and his muscly, sweat sheeted calves are starting to make Harry feel hot all over. (Which is a little weird to him, but.)

He feels a little silly as he shouts for Louis loudly throughout the entire game, but he can’t help but be a little proud of himself because he’s never done anything like that before.

Louis is changing him, but in a good way. Louis makes him better than he is.

Louis kicks the winning goal of the game, and Harry actually sprints onto the field. He doesn’t exactly know what he’s doing, but he doesn’t care. He doesn’t care about everyone watching him, doesn’t care about everyone talking about him, and doesn’t care about how sweaty his hands are.

When he finally gets to Louis he throws his arms around his neck and Louis spins him around once, twice, three times before setting him back down and kissing him sweetly on the mouth. Louis is sweaty and gross, but Harry just kisses him deeper.

Louis pulls alway sloppily, “I’m so proud of you, Harry. Thank you so much for coming. I know you don’t like coming to things like this. But it means a lot to me.”

“No, Louis. Thank you.”

Harry’s changed a lot the last few months.

He decides that Wednesday, the day he met Louis, was most definitely the best day of his life.




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