Title: Tell Me
Summary: Harry teases Louis about being in love with him.
They had come across a compilation of pictures where Louis was looking longingly at Harry. Harry teased him, saying he was clearly in love with him. It started with that.
A/N: 1500ish words of fluff.
“Just tell me,” Harry whispered, his voice hoarse from the show. They were in the van heading back to their hotel and everyone was asleep except for them.
“Harry, stop,” Louis replied in a hushed voice.
“Not until you tell me.”
They had been playing this game for a while now. It started off fairly playful and had grown into something much more serious, much scarier. It started after he and Louis had read some stuff online about the two of them. They had come across a compilation of pictures where Louis was looking longingly at Harry. Harry teased him, saying he was clearly in love with him. It started with that.
“It’s okay, Louis. Just tell me you’re in love with me. It’ll be alright.” Harry grinned broadly.
Louis shook his head and Harry couldn’t help but notice the blush that had crept onto Louis’ cheeks.
“You’re mental, mate.”
Harry continued to tease him until Louis left the room.
The next day, as Louis was making tea for the two of them, Harry came up behind him, placing his hands on Louis’ hips, and whispered into his ear.
“You can tell me, you know. Don’t be scared.”
Louis elbowed him in the ribs and told him to shut up.
It wasn’t constant, but once every day or so, Harry would catch Louis alone and repeat his request. He would tell him to tell Harry. He would tell him not to worry about Harry’s reaction. He would promise him it would be okay. For the first week or so, it was all very playful, but it took a serious turn after that.
They were sprawled out on the couch, watching TV. It was on a commercial and Harry glanced down at the top of Louis’ head, which was resting on his shoulder.
“Shut up.” Louis’ response was automatic, having gotten used to this. But he wasn’t expecting what came next.
“You know, Louis, you never just say that, no, you’re not in love with me. It’s always ‘shut up’ or ‘knock it off’. I find that interesting.” He said it with a smile. Teasing.
But Louis didn’t say anything. He didn’t move. Nothing.
“Louis?” Harry asked, looking down, but all he could see was hair.
After a few moments, Louis got up, shaking his head, his eyes looking sad. He started walking up the stairs.
“Lou!” Harry called out, trying to get him to stop. But he didn’t. He went to his room and didn’t come down again that night.
Harry had known then that things had gotten serious. As time wore on, Harry kept saying it, but he found his tone changing. He unconsciously found himself pleading. He wanted Louis to tell him. He needed it. He stopped trying to hide it.
Their van dropped them off at the hotel. They didn’t speak in the elevator. They were all half asleep. When Harry and Louis entered their room, they silently stripped down to their underwear and crawled into bed. Once they had both gotten settled in their respective beds, Louis turned off the light and the room was swallowed by darkness.
Harry could only hear Louis’ breathing. He had fallen asleep listening to Louis’ breathing so many times that he could pinpoint the exact moment when Louis faded into unconsciousness. It only took a few moments for that moment to occur. Before Harry succumbed to sleep himself, he whispered into the darkness.
“If you tell me, I’ll tell you.”
A few days later, they arrived home from a month of touring. It was late when they walked inside the house with a satisfied sigh, dropping their bags by the door. Instead of turning on the lights, they headed straight upstairs. At the top of the stairs, Louis turned off toward his room, but Harry grabbed his hand, stopping him.
In the darkness, he could see the glint of Louis’ eyes. Neither boy said anything at first. They stood like that for several moments, Harry’s fingers wrapped around Louis’ wrist. Then, Harry slowly moved into Louis, his face hovering centimeters from Louis’.
“Please tell me.”
“Harry,” Louis breathed, turning his face to the side, looking down at the floor.
Harry took the opportunity to let his lips rest against Louis’ ear. His hands ran up Louis’ arms until they rested on Louis’ neck.
“Please tell me you love me,” he murmured into Louis’ ear. His voice cracked slightly.
Louis shivered noticeably.
“Harry, stop,” he replied weakly.
Harry removed a hand from Louis’ neck and nudged Louis’ chin up until he was looking at him.
“Why won’t you tell me?”
Louis’ eyes danced around, trying to avoid eye contact. He shifted on his feet.
“Harry, this isn’t funny anymore.”
“I’m not laughing.”
Louis finally caught Harry’s gaze. He stepped back so he could look into Harry’s eyes without drowning. Harry let his hands fall back down to his side.
“I can’t do this.”
Before Harry could stop him, Louis retreated to his room.
Two nights later, Harry found himself laying in the grass in their fenced off backyard. While they had been able to act normal around each other, still joking around and talking about the usual things, they both knew that something remained unsaid between them. Harry decided to drop it, though. He had pushed hard enough.
He lay there, listening to music through earbuds, and trying to clear his mind. He didn’t notice Louis’ presence until he was standing over him, staring down at him with a concerned expression. As Harry ripped the earbuds out of his ears while sitting up, Louis sat beside him.
“Sneak up on a guy, yeah?”
“Sorry. Just wanted to make sure you’re okay. You don’t often come outside late at night and lay in the grass.”
Harry looked into Louis’ eyes and tried to remember a time when doing so didn’t make his chest burn.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” he said, tearing his eyes away from Louis’ and focusing on his shoe, picking at the rubber sole that was peeling away from the canvas. “Just needed some fresh air.”
Louis nodded and looked toward the sky. Harry didn’t count the minutes that passed in silence, but he somehow felt both better and worse having Louis beside him. He felt relaxed and anxious at the same time. Finally, Louis spoke, without turning toward Harry.
“Sorry about the other night.”
“S’okay,” Harry said, shrugging.
“Well, I’m not mad at you or anything.”
Louis thought for a while before continuing on.
“You know how when you’re young and the person you really like asks you out, you don’t really believe it? You feel like they must be messing with you because there’s no way that they could actually like you. Not the way you like them. So you say no. It’s a defense or something. You know that feeling?”
Harry looked over at Louis, trying to swallow but finding himself unable to.
“I guess, yeah,” he said cautiously, waiting for Louis to continue.
When Louis did speak again, his voice was much quieter, insecurity laced through his words.
“This whole thing started as a joke. You were joking. And now… When did it change?”
“I have no idea when. I don’t know. But it did.”
Harry could see Louis nod through the darkness, smiling up at the sky. Harry took a chance and extended his hand, placing it in Louis’. He was pleasantly surprised when Louis accepted it, wrapping his own fingers around Harry’s. Moments later, Louis finally lowered his gaze and their eyes met. Harry smiled softly.
“Tell me?” Harry asked hopefully.
Louis chuckled, squeezing the hand in his. He sighed, then leaned in, placing a light kiss on Harry’s cheek.
“I love you, Harry. Happy now?”
Harry’s face erupted into a smile. He tackled Louis to the ground in a hug, grinning into his neck. He found himself hovering over Louis, hands placed on the grass on either side of Louis’ head to prop himself up. He felt Louis’ hands wrap around him, resting on his back. Louis smiled up at him.
Harry leaned down, covering Louis’ lips with his own. He felt electricity run through his body from head to toe. His head swam as Louis’ lips moved against his. And he knew. He pulled back after a few moments to look into Louis’ eyes. Louis looked up at him, eyes twinkling.
“Tell me?” He asked, a smile playing on his lips.
Harry smiled down at him, letting out a small silent laugh. He leaned down again, so his lips brushed against Louis’ lightly, and spoke into them.
“I love you, Lou.”
Harry pressed his lips into Louis’, kissing him deeply this time.