title: as the winter winds litter london with lonely hearts
words: 5.6 k
summary: The last time Louis had seen a ballet was when his mother had dragged him and all four of his sisters to see the Nutcracker for Christmas. When he was 12. Since then, he had never once expressed interest in going to another ballet, never once asked for tickets to Romeo and Juliet, and definitely did not once ask to go with his mum on Valentine’s Day.
But if it means he gets to meet pretty boys named Harry with curls and bright green eyes, well, he can’t really complain.
a/n: a shamefully late Valetine’s fic but i hope you’ll forgive that.
usual disclaimers, i don’t own one direction or any affiliates and this story is only true in so far as i really did see romeo & juliet in ballet and there really was a pretty independent asian lady.
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The last time Louis had seen a Shakespearean play was three weeks ago when he’d directed his university’s production of King Lear (which received a standing ovation and his drama professor had pinched his cheeks and told him he was brilliant, thank you very much). The last time Louis had seen a ballet was when his mother had dragged him and all four of his sisters to see the Nutcracker for Christmas. When he was 12. Since then, he had never once expressed interest in going to another ballet, never once asked for tickets to Romeo and Juliet, and definitely did not once ask to go with his mum on Valentine’s Day.
But here he was, because his mum always got her way (“Where do you think you get it from, boo?”), waiting for the lights to dim and wondering if there’d be treats during intermission. He could understand that his mum didn’t want him to be lonely and sad on the one day of the year aggressively marketed to be about couples, but he wasn’t, honestly. He was fine with being single on Valentine’s Day. In fact, he had a whole list of movies he had been going to rent and planned on spending the night with his DVDs and a few pints of ice cream. But those dreams were dashed when Jay called him up telling Louis he was going to the ballet with her and well, here he is.
Louis was looking at the playbill and the head-shots of the cast and wow, is it a rule that dancers have to be pretty? He was debating whether or not Mercutio was hotter than Romeo when a pretty Asian lady sat down in the single seat left next to him. His mum had gotten decent seats but they were at the end of the aisle and Louis hated aisle seats, hated having to squish himself into his chair as people walked past. One lady had knocked him in the head with her purse and hadn’t even apologized and yeah this was so much better than triple servings of mint-chocolate chip. The woman next to Louis seemed to be alone, at least that’s what he figured, because if she had a date he was going to have to sit in the aisle and he didn’t think that was allowed. Fire hazard or something. Louis wanted to tell her that she’s lovely to come to Romeo and Juliet on her own and that she didn’t need a man anyway and they should start a club but he wasn’t sure if that was allowed either, so he just sat quietly and folded the pages of his playbill to keep himself busy.
Jay leaned over her armrest towards Louis, “Now is this the one where everyone dies or everyone falls in love with the wrong people?”
And God, Louis loves his mum but honestly. “No, that’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream. This is the one where everyone dies.”
Jay frowned. “Well , that’s not very pleasant for Valentine’s Day, now is it?”
Louis hummed. “No, I suppose not. But they are madly in love. I mean, Juliet is basically 13 but I think it’s a soulmate thing.” Louis wouldn’t really know, he’d never experienced that kind of commitment to someone before. And definitely not without it coming back to bite him in the arse.
The lights began to dim and Louis sighed as the curtains rose. He settled into his seat and watched Verona unfold, a flurry of colors and lycra and swelling music. Louis couldn’t help but squirm as his first thought was damn, their pants were never this tight in The Nutcracker.
* * *
Louis wanted to rip his hair out by the time Act I ended; how do you do the balcony scene without the lines that made it famous, how? The Bard was being butchered and it was grating on Louis like nails on a chalkboard, making his skin crawl. Never mind that Juliet was a fantastic actress and Romeo’s arse was to die for, this was just wrong.
“I’m going to the loo,” he grumbled, trying to duck past Independent Asian Lady without stepping on her feet and elbowing his mum in the face.
“Alright, would you mind getting me something to snack on? I could use some sweets,” Jay handed Louis a few notes as he narrowly avoided toppling over the aisle railing.
“Sure, sure,” he pocketed the money and went off in search of the toilets. It wasn’t too hard to find, the winding line of squirming women a pretty good indication. He only felt a little bad receiving glares as he breezed into the men’s room.
There may not have been a line around the corner, but inside the little room was bustling with too many bodies in suits. Louis tried to make his way to the urinals when he was jostled by an old man with a goatee. Louis let out a startled noise and knocked into another man with his zipper already down.
“Oops,” the man steadied himself. Louis pointedly ignored the minute drops of liquid that landed on the knee of his slacks. He was not going to think about them or the fact that he’s too far from the sinks for it to be water, nope.
Instead, he said, “Hi, erm, didn’t mean to knock into you there, mate. Bit of a mess in here, innit?” because Louis is a decent person.
The man laughed. Or rather, a sound resembling a laugh burst out of him and his lanky frame shook with it. It was slightly endearing. “Yeah, it is. When you gotta go, you gotta go, I s’pose.”
Louis blinked. The man was more of a boy when he looked a little closer. He was young but his jaw was sharp and lovely, and his lips pink and full. Louis had to drag his eyes up and tilt his neck the tiniest bit to see the boy’s eyes, and he almost wished he hadn’t. The boy had green eyes that made Louis think of the grass in the courtyard at uni, green eyes that were framed by unruly curls.
Well. If he was going to get someone’s pee on him, at least it was a pretty boy’s.
Louis wasn’t sure if that thought made him insane or not.
“Right, well. I’m Louis, by the way.” He also wasn’t sure if trying to make friends with a guy who still had his dick out counted as crazy. He decided not to think about it.
One side of the boy’s face pulled up in a small smile and a little indent creased his cheek. “’M Harry. I’d shake your hand, but lemme just wash up first, yeah?”
Louis grinned shyly and most definitely did not look as Harry tucked himself back into his pants (his very tight pants. Not that Louis was staring).
He watched Harry’s hands disappear behind suds and bubbles. Harry had big hands. Louis felt his brain spark and short circuit as he started to dwell on what those light callouses might feel like on his skin. He started to absently hum a tune instead, something wonky and very off-key.
Harry quirked an eyebrow at him through the mirror, a question on the bemused set of his lips. “What’re you doing?”
“Nothing. I don’t know. Humming,” Louis responded plainly. He thought it was rather obvious. He hoped Harry wasn’t stupid, that would ruin his lovely curls and green eyes.
Harry laughed. Louis bit his lip. Maybe not stupid, but definitely stupidly endearing. He wondered if Harry always laughed this much or if it was all Louis’ doing.
Harry turned, chucking his bunched up paper towel into the rubbish bin. Louis noticed his gaze roving over him, lingering on his lips a little longer as Louis worried the bottom one. Harry finally settled on his eyes; the boy smiled, small and private, like a secret.
“Right,” Harry stated, sticking out a hand, “Let’s do this proper then. Harry Styles, pleasure to meet you.”
Louis felt his cheeks pinken and his ears heat up. He’d never blushed so much in one night, but then, he’d never had such a clear and earnest gaze on him before. He cleared his throat for absolutely no reason other than to have a moment to collect himself after his insides had turned to what felt like cotton candy. He felt a little light headed because things like this don’t happen in real life; you don’t meet beautiful boys on Valentine’s Day at a ballet with your mum as your date.
But Harry is still there, no matter how hard Louis blinks, and well. Right. Okay then.
Louis grasped Harry’s hand, giving a firm shake. “Louis Tomlinson, and it seems we’re agreed that it’s been a pleasure to meet me. Really, out of all the weirdos you could have met in a public restroom, you lucked out, mate.”
Harry barked out his laugh again, the one that seemed to rip out of him in a way that even surprised the curly haired lad. Harry’s lip was white where he bit down, trying to settle his chuckles. He held Louis’ hand, cheeks rosy and eyes shining like a child who’d found the toy they’d been asking for sitting right under the tree, wrapped up and done with a bow. It was fitting because Harry looked like Christmas and Winter and Louis wanted nothing more than to ruffle his curls and poke his dimples.
And that really was not a safe direction for his thoughts to be going in so the next thing he said was, “Alright Harry Styles. I’ll see you ‘round, yeah?”
Louis wasn’t sure what that meant as far as promises go, considering they’d only be in the same building for a few more hours. But it felt like a promise when Harry gave his hand a gentle squeeze; a promise he hoped Harry planned on keeping.
* * *
“Louis! The second act is about to start! And you didn’t get any chocolate!”
Louis wanted to laugh – was she pouting? Honestly, she was supposed to be the parent here. He should’ve taken a picture for the next time she called him an overgrown child so he’d have something to show for the injustice.
“Sorry, sorry. There was quite the line at the loo,” Well, quite the tall, curly haired boy who had distracted him and made him forget the whole reason he’d gone to the toilets in the first place.
Louis grumbled as he tried to resettle in his seat, having lost the comfy position he’d found before. Sitting still for a minute (his mum should be proud), he caught sight of a flash of curls that had already grown familiar.
Harry was sitting a few rows up and to the left, near the orchestra. A man with tall temples and an even taller quiff looked up at Harry. Louis could see the sarcasm in his sardonic smile and in the set of his eyebrows. Harry leaned toward the quiffed man as he sat down, tucking himself in between the armrests. The other man looked older, the lines around his mouth a little deeper set and a few more crinkles around his eyes. He whispered into Harry’s curls, eyes flicking around at all the ostentatious gowns and suits, nothing but mischief gleaming in his eyes.
Harry laughed his belly laugh and Louis could see the deep hollow of his dimple before the boy clapped his large hands over his mouth. Harry’s shoulders shook as the quiffed man became more animated, gesturing and making faces now.
Louis hated him.
Louis slumped down in his seat as the curtain rose again. Okay, maybe hate was a little strong. He didn’t even know the poor bloke and he’s above blind petty hatred, Louis sniffed to himself.
But if he hoped one of the dancer’s rapiers slipped out of their hands and got stuck in a particularly (stupidly) tall quiff, well, that was his little secret.
* * *
The lights came on again for the second intermission, Act II disappearing behind curtains and a chorus of clapping. Romeo and Juliet had been left in a haze of honeymoon bliss as they sealed their love in a secret marriage.
Louis sighed. Really, if his mum wanted to take him out, she could at least pick his favorite play. Louis loved Shakespeare (he had to, he had two morning classes on the bloody Bard), but he couldn’t help but roll his eyes at Juliet’s infatuation. Valentine’s Day or not, that doesn’t mean you have to fall in love with the next bloke that walks by. If one of his little sisters ever fell for some boy the way Juliet did, he wasn’t sure which half of that couple he’d have to kill first.
Suddenly, he saw Harry’s tall frame unfold from the little velvet chairs. Louis’ eyes had been wandering over to Harry’s wing in the audience through the entire act and now he saw the boy’s broad shoulders slope into a never-ending torso, tapering into a narrow waist, and alright, maybe he couldn’t blame the young Capulet.
Louis watched the swing of Harry’s hips as he navigated through the aisle, wondering how they’d fit against his when his mum practically shoved him out of his seat.
“Sweetheart, don’t forget some chocolates this time, alright? I might have to disown you otherwise and that would just break my heart.”
“Yes, your majesty,” Louis muttered, scrambling to get up and avoid the scowl directed at him by Independent Asian Lady.
“That’s right, and don’t you forget it, Boobear!” Jay sing-songed after him, and really, how were they even related?
The number of people by the concession table was massive. Certainly more than Louis had expected. He couldn’t quite tell where the milling crowd ended and the queue began. He squeezed between a pair of chatting couples and immediately had to dig his heels in and press back against the pressure of people moving forward. The mass of bodies behind him felt like a tidal wave waiting to be released, and it took all his strength not to get knocked over.
Someone shoved Louis in the back, a body pressing flush against his, nearly sending Louis toppling into a woman wearing enough sequins to blind him.
Louis managed to twist around, fuming, “Look, mate, you’ll get your fucking chocolate covered pretzels, just keep your kit on!”
“Now that’s no fun, is it?”
Louis was so close he could feel the rumble of that deep voice move through him. He had to crane his neck to see the tips of the brown curls he knew would be there, and he shouldn’t like that, always hated feeling small, but he liked that he just came up to Harry’s shoulders. He wanted to rest his cheek against Harry’s lapel, see if he could feel the heat of the boy through all the layers, if he was as warm as his rosy cheeks looked.
“Public nudity tends to be frowned upon, Harry.”
Harry shrugged. “I prefer to be naked.”
As the words that slipped out seemed to hit him, Harry’s eyes widened a little, color blooming across his nose and cheeks. Louis liked it. He couldn’t help liking everything on Harry. The way his blush looked so pretty on his pale skin, the clear green of his irises, how shiny and wet his lips looked as he floundered for something else to say.
Before Louis could tease, though, there was another surge in the crowd and Louis was tucked under Harry’s chin, Harry’s large hands on Louis’ waist to stop himself from knocking Louis to the ground. Louis couldn’t breathe, couldn’t inhale, couldn’t even remember how to exhale. He could feel his breath stuck in his throat, not making it to anywhere that mattered, like his lungs or his fucking brain. The only thing he could do was feel Harry all around him, completely caging him in. The crowd around Louis didn’t register anymore, the push and pull of them completely shut out by the safety of Harry’s arms and shoulders.
Harry chuckled above him. Louis knew because he could feel the gust of breath flutter the hairs on the top of his head, could feel it shake through the expanse of boy in front of him.
“Sorry, y’alright, Lou?”
The air rushed back into him and Louis wanted to say yes, just peachy but, well, Lou, that was new. And he could smell Harry’s cologne and feel the press of his fingers against his hipbone and when Louis opened his mouth what came out instead of any form of the English language was a garbled squeak. He was grateful Harry couldn’t see his face. Louis cleared his throat and tried again.
“Uh, yeah, m’good. These people really want their chocolate and nougat, huh?”
Harry laughed again, bursting out of him like he’d just heard the funniest one-liner ever. Louis bit his lip. It’d be bitten raw by the end of the night if Harry kept laughing like that.
Harry righted Louis, twisting him around with large hands that spanned all the way across his back and made his tummy flutter.
They stood like that, lined up from their knees to their shoulders, letting the crowd push them along towards the front of the queue. Harry had to lean down to Louis’ ear to talk to him.
“So,” Harry began as the crowd jostled them almost harshly again, “how’s the show?”
Louis laughed. He thought about how he’d been comparing all the male dancers’ arses and trying to figure out how they could find a way to tuck themselves comfortably into those tights. “It’s been good. The dancing is nice.”
Harry snorted. “Yes, well, when you come to a ballet I would hope the dancing is nice.”
Louis laughed along. He was sure he could feel a blush color his cheeks darker when he realized Harry’s hands were still resting on his hips. “S’not my fault I’m not into pirouettes. I’m more interested in theater, y’know, plays and musicals and the like. That’s why I’m a drama major.”
Harry hummed against his hair, processing that information. “So, you’re in Uni?”
“I’m a first year myself. Bio major.”
“Aww, Harold, you’re just a youngin!” Louis tried to squirm away from Harry’s hands in order to pinch his cheeks pink and Harry just held on tighter, digging his fingers into the dips of Louis’ hips and that stopped Louis in his tracks, along with his breathing.
“Shut up,” Harry mumbled into his hair and Louis let it drop, trying to regain the ability to walk in a straight line.
Harry was warm, radiating heat like a well-dressed furnace. Louis wanted to curl up and take a nap against him instead of going back to watch a tragedy unfold on stage, but he wasn’t sure how to tell Harry he wanted to burrow his way into the taller boy’s pocket.
He decided not to say anything at all and let Harry continue talking.
“You’re a drama major? Are you going to be an actor?”
“Probably not.” Louis squared his shoulders, knocking Harry’s frame out of place where he’d slotted against Louis. “I’d like to be a drama teacher. Work with kids and all.”
Harry didn’t snort like some of Louis’ friends had, or tell him he might as well be a secretary for a teacher’s wages like some of his mother’s book club had; Harry just did his rumble-hum that carried through him and realigned with Louis’ back.
“That’s nice, Lou. Do you like children, then?”
Louis nodded. “Yeah. Not to brag, but kids love me. My mum says it’s because I’m just a giant child. S’like being with my own kind. I think she’s just jealous my sisters obviously love me more.”
Harry laughed, jaw knocking against Louis’ temple lightly. Louis decided he didn’t mind.
Harry asked him about his sisters then and Louis went on about how Daisy had learned to do a cartwheel, how Phoebe just lost another tooth and Fizz was on her eighth reread through the Harry Potter series, how Lottie was starting to experiment with makeup despite all his protests and then Louis could see the sweets lining the table and he realized he’d just chattered away for an embarrassingly long time.
“Shit, sorry, Harry. Y’know you can tell me to shut up. I’ve been told I talk a lot,” Louis grinned, sheepish.
Harry walked around to Louis’ side so he could talk to the woman working the table. Harry was smiling that secret smile again. Louis wanted to pinch his cheeks until Harry shared. Maybe even tug the curls hanging in front of his eyes for good measure.
“S’okay. I like hearing you talk.”
And well. Alright.
Harry turned to the woman waiting for his order. “Two blocks of milk chocolate, please.”
She bustled around; Louis glanced towards his feet, thinking of condescending smiles and tall quiffs.
“One for your boyfriend?” Louis didn’t look up, just scuffed the toes of his shiny shoes against the tiled floor. He hated dress shoes. You have to wear socks with them and he hates socks. He missed his Vans.
Meanwhile, Harry was laughing so hard Louis was worried he wouldn’t get enough air and he frankly didn’t know how to take that.
“Oh my God, Nick is going to die when I tell him you thought he’s my boyfriend!” Harry actually wiped a tear from the corner of his eye, slowly laughing himself to a charming shade of red. If Louis ever turned that color he would’ve looked like an overripe tomato.
Harry managed to reign himself in, releasing only a few giggles. “In case that wasn’t clear, Nick is not my boyfriend. I’m single. Devastatingly single.”
“Oh. Okay.” Louis wanted to slam his head against a wall because fucking hell, when did he lose the ability to talk to pretty boys? (It’s the curls, it has to be.)
He turned back to the expectant woman who had been waiting patiently. “Two toffee barks, please.”
Harry eyed the two blocks of chocolate being wrapped up.
“What about you? For your boyfriend?”
“’Fraid not. For my mum, actually,” Louis laughed. “This whole bloody thing was her idea. I’m Valentineless this year. Devastatingly Valentineless.”
The woman told Louis the cost and before he could move, Harry pulled out his wallet again.
“Let me, Lou.”
And it was stupid and gentlemanly and sweet and Louis wanted to strangle himself with Harry’s bowtie because of course.
The woman gave Harry the chocolates sitting on a little square napkin. Harry turned to Louis, handing over the sweets.
“Um,” Harry eloquently began as their fingers brushed together. “It’s just. I could be your Valentine, Louis. I-I mean, if you want. You shouldn’t be devastatingly Valentineless. You’re too pretty for that. Be a tragedy if ‘m honest.”
Just then, the warning bell chimed through the high ceilinged room, signaling that it was time to head back to their seats again. It wasn’t exactly fireworks exploding in a symphony but here was this boy all shy and pink cheeked, telling Louis how pretty he is and asking to be his Valentine, and Louis was pretty sure that’s not how it’s supposed to work but it was all so sweet and so Harry. And he’d only known the boy a total of three hours but he already knew this was something only Harry would do, this sincere earnestness, and it made butterflies fill his tummy and blood rush to his cheeks, and really, there was no one else Louis could want for his Valentine.
“Yeah,” Louis said, a little breathless and a little giddy. “Yeah, alright.”
Harry smiled his quiet secret one, but this time, Louis felt like he was closer to figuring it out. Then Harry was dashing off to the left wing, Louis to the right and calling after him.
“See you in the lobby after, Valentine!”
Louis went back to his seat barely holding in a smile and a happy warmth filling him up. It never left him, not even when Jay said she’d wanted dark chocolate, not milk.
* * *
Louis couldn’t focus anymore; it was a good thing he’d read Romeo and Juliet four times, otherwise he’d be utterly lost. All he could think about was the curl of Harry’s hair, the way his cheeks dimpled and his left one was just a little bit deeper. Louis wanted to press his thumb into that little indent and see if Harry’s smile could get any bigger. He kept thinking of the way Harry had bitten his lip when he’d asked to be Louis’ Valentine. They were full and pink and their color deepened every time Harry pressed his teeth against them and Louis really wanted to know if they were as soft as they looked.
Louis’ attention was brought back to the stage when Mercutio died. Louis frowned. Mercutio had the best bum.
Louis stretched his neck to catch sight of the silhouette of Harry’s curls. Louis hoped Harry was lost in his thoughts, too, just so he’d feel a little less ridiculous.
It did feel ridiculous how much the curly haired boy had seeped into every corner of Louis’ brain. He was thinking about how big Harry’s hands were on his waist and how much it would take to ship the man with the quiff – Nick – to Canada when he realized everyone around him was standing. Louis jumped up, put off by the roar of applause. He clapped along as Romeo and Juliet bowed, and then the audience began to filter out.
Louis only had about ten minutes left in the same building as his Valentine.
“Mum,” Louis was already gasping and he hadn’t even moved yet. “Do you have a pen?”
Jay looked quizzical as she rummaged through her handbag. Louis knew she had one; he’d seen her pull out toothpaste and a brand new toothbrush from her bag once.
“Is everything okay, Lou?” Her brow furrowed as she handed over a Sharpie.
“Perfect! I’ll meet you at the doors!”
Louis nearly knocked over Independent Asian Lady on his way out, leaving his mum behind and just as confused as ever by his antics. He pushed into the idling crowd and huffed. His size was making it easy to slip between groups of people, but his height wasn’t helping at all. Louis rushed toward the left wing, seeking out the familiar bounce of curls.
He saw the quiff first.
Louis was going in circles, dodging a cluster of Capulets still in costume. He saw Nick’s quiff bobbing along in the sea of bodies at the bottom of the grand stairs leading to the lower level of the lobby. Sure enough, there were curls nodding alongside him.
The click of Louis’ shoes on marble was loud to him even in the din of the crowd. He maneuvered (shoved) his way to Harry, grabbing the boy’s arm.
“Excuse me,” Louis shot to a clearly confused Nick. “I’ll be taking him for a minute.”
Louis dragged Harry away before either man could open their mouths. Louis smirked. He rather liked the lost look on Nick’s face. Even his quiff had wilted.
“Lou, Louis, where- ?”
And Louis didn’t know, honestly, he just knew he had to do something. He pushed Harry out the lobby and onto the street, the glass doors shutting out the clamor of voices and glitter of chandeliers. They were outside on the sidewalk, the February chill biting into their cheeks. The murmur of the night was punctuated by the roll of wheels and occasional horn breaking through the cold air.
“Louis,” Harry breathed out a puff of warm air, eyes wide and a blush on his skin and god, Louis couldn’t get enough of that look. He wanted to know how far Harry’s blush could spread, if it’d reach his ears hidden under his curls and down his collarbones and chest.
“Harry,” Louis grinned. “Still wanna be my Valentine?”
Harry nodded mutely, just watching Louis, waiting to see what he would do.
And Louis wanted to crack a joke, make Harry laugh again because he really liked the sound of it, but he didn’t, couldn’t. Now, all he could do was try to make sure he didn’t lose this boy that made him smile and blush, made him feel safe and warm, with his curls and dimples that made Louis feel so damn fond and Louis couldn’t understand how it’d only been four hours and not four weeks . It’d taken a month and a half before Louis could even begin to like Liam (who prefers salad over Nando’s?)
Louis grabbed Harry’s hand, a little shiver running through him at just how much bigger it was than Louis’ tan one. He was pretty sure both his hands could fit in one of Harry’s. One glance at Harry biting his lip told him Harry had noticed it, too.
With his other hand, Louis dug out the Sharpie from his jacket and uncapped it with his teeth. He pressed the felt tip to Harry’s palm, careful not to smudge the numbers.
He dropped Harry’s hand when he finished, replacing the cap on the marker and pocketing it again.
Harry just stared at his hand.
It wasn’t part of his plan – if you could still pretend like he’d ever had one – but Harry looked so dumbstruck, like Louis had just given him a glass of water after he’d trekked the desert, that Louis just had to. He gripped Harry’s forearms and pushed on the tips of his toes, pressing a chaste kiss to Harry’s cheek. He heard Harry’s breath stutter and he hoped he wasn’t flaming red when he dropped back down onto his heels.
Louis made to pull away but Harry’s hands settled on Louis’ hips and he ducked down, catching Louis’ lips in a kiss.
It was a touch of lips, Louis’ thin ones slotted just right against Harry’s full ones (which were softer than they looked), but it made Louis’ heartbeat catch and lights go off and glow behind his closed eyes. Harry’s hands roamed up to catch Louis’ face in his palms’ his thumbs brushing over sharp cheekbones and gently pushing at the hinge of Louis’ jaw. Louis let his mouth fall open, lips parting and Harry licked into his mouth, sweet and wet. Louis felt a gasp slip out of him; Harry’s mouth was so hot against his, nearly searing him as his nose and cheeks burned with the cold. Harry slid his tongue against Louis’ and nipped at his bottom lip. Louis shuddered, grateful for Harry’s hands on him and holding him up. Every swipe of Harry’s tongue had little tremors running down his spine. He felt like he could stand in the cold all night, just as long as he could keep the warmth of Harry’s lips against his.
Light spilled onto the sidewalk and the noise of the theater filled the air. The sudden racket shocked Louis’ eyes open and he feebly pushed at Harry’s chest where he’d been gripping the lapels of the taller boy’s coat.
Louis stepped back, separating them completely. He tried to control his breathing, the rise and fall of his chest a little heavier, the cloud of breath in the air a little thicker.
He turned at Jay’s voice. She stood in the square of light on the sidewalk and Louis could see her shivering in the cool air.
She glanced between Harry and Louis, a question glowing in her eyes. She seemed to settle on not saying anything, at least not now, and Louis loved her a little more.
“Shall we go home, sweetheart?”
Louis’ response was cut off as Nick found his way outside.
“Haz? Where’d you go?”
And Louis couldn’t even muster up a surge of irrational possessiveness at the older man’s hand on Harry’s shoulder. Not when Harry still looked so thoroughly well-kissed, eyes glassy bright and lips like a bruised rosebud.
Louis smirked, turning and wrapping his arm around his mum’s shoulders. She wound her bare arm around his waist and curled into his coat slightly. Her elegant wrap was lovely, but it did little to fend off the night’s cold.
Louis led them to their parked car down the block, grin widening at the dying voices behind him.
“C’mon, you wanker, our cab’s here. I invite you out to an evening of culture and you run around playing Casanova. Or Romeo, rather.”
Louis fell into the passenger seat, Jay slipping in behind the wheel. They were pulling into traffic when Louis’ phone buzzed in his pocket.
hey babycakes we should get dinner tomorrow nite kk luv u xxxx
Before Louis could think much on “babycakes”, his phone buzzed furiously again as a quick succession of texts came in.
omg i’m so sorry that was nick he’s a twat i’m sorry
but i wouldn’t mind
going to dinner i mean. if you want
Louis pressed his lips together, fighting the stupidly giddy smile threatening to break over his face because Harry. What had Louis gotten himself in to.
of course romeo, i’d love to x.
Jay glanced at her son, unusually quiet and still. “Are you alright, Louis?”
“Yeah, mum. Right as rain.”
Jay looked over again, Louis’ lips quirked up sweetly. She thought back to the curly haired lad she’d seen, and how Louis had looked a little more tousled than he had when the final curtain went down.
Jay smiled to herself in the dark of the car. “Did you have a good Valentine’s Day, darling?”
Louis thought of curly hair and dimples as he attempted to school his features into a look of nonchalance. He failed miserably.
“Yeah. Yeah, I did.”
A smile pulled on his lips, and it felt like a shared secret.