Dark Side

Lux Gallagher is a contestant on The X Factor USA.
She thinks everything is going great for her, until the producers drop some news.

Everyone is getting their own celebrity mentor for the live shows.

Lux is excited, until she finds out her mentor is an obnoxious, pompous jerk.
Not only does he think he's God's Gift to women, he's in a boy band to top it off.
Will their constant arguing and fueding ruin her chances on the show?
Will their dark sides tear each other apart and destroy one another?

Find out who wins this war in Dark Side.

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52. Hope

 

 

Daylight hit, the sun rising above the horizon and lighting up Harry’s face as if it were on fire. Lux opened her eyes to see him bathed in a red glow, so brilliant that she slid her phone out and silently took a photo of the last time she’d wake up to his face. As she lowered her phone, his eyes began to flutter, opening halfway, and all she could see was green.

“Beautiful.” She murmured under her breath, watching a slow smile spread over his face.

His warm body rolled onto hers, his smile and eyes still sleepy, his curls brushing over her skin as he laid out across her, tangling his legs within hers as his cheek pressed to her chest. Lux’s fingers moved down into his hair, feeling the tangled curls, combing them out lightly. He shut his eyes again, listening to the sound of her heavy heartbeat, playing like a song that only they could hear, and he fell back asleep like that. Harry always seemed to do that, find the warmest spot possible and immediately fall asleep there. It was his expertise.

Lux stared down at him for a long time, watching his head rise and fall on her chest with each breath she took, and soon she felt her eyes drift back closed as well. Apparently, her expertise was falling asleep even with a skinny British boy smothering her with his entire body.

When she woke up again, the room was bright with the sun, the clock read 9AM, the latest they’ve both slept in since they arrived in this house. And Harry was still fast asleep on top of her. She wrapped her arms around him and rolled them both gently, moving onto her side and moving him so he was on his, facing her. When she moved him, he groaned, making a face and immediately burrowing into her warm body, hiding his face from the sun in her shirt.

“Baby…” She whispered, pressing her mouth and nose to his hair, kissing him and inhaling his scent at the same time. She sighed against his hair, shaking her head sadly. “Wake up.”

“I’m sleepy and cold.” He whined, wiggling into her farther, moving his hands around her waist, slipping them under her t-shirt and onto her hot skin. He sighed, touching his lips to the bared skin on her chest. “I don’t want today to happen.”

Lux tugged the covers up around them, burying them beneath the surface, wiggling down until she was eye level with him. The sun that was so bright in the room was just a orange glow under the white covers, and Harry lifted his eyes to her face, feeling his breath catch in his throat.

She looked brilliant. Her hair was slightly messy from sleeping, but her entire face looked warm, like sun was leaking out from under her skin, and the smile on her face was…happy. Lux looked exactly like what her name meant, she looked like light, like sun, like warmth.

“Everything will be alright.” She whispered to him, brushing her fingers down his cheek softly, spreading her warmth through his face. He closed his eyes lightly at her touch. No matter how many times he’s heard that sentence, he never believed it as much as he did when it came from her mouth.

“Are you willing to promise me that?” He asked, his voice a whisper.

Lux waited until he opened his eyes and looked at her, and then she nodded. “Yes.”

“That’s a big promise, Luxie.” He said, sighing and shaking his head.

“It’s one that I can try my hardest to keep.” She smiled lightly, shrugging. Harry watched her for a second before slowly locking his pinky around hers, watching her smile brighten a little bit before she leaned her lips to his. He tightened his pinky around hers, using his free hand to grab her around the waist and tug her in tight. 

They retracted from the kiss, only so Harry could bury his face in her shoulder, hugging her tightly. He didn’t want to let her go, but he loved her, so he had to.

When they let go, Lux smiled softly and began to wiggle out from under the covers.

“Gotta pee.” She mumbled, and Harry held onto her hand until the last second, watching it slowly untangle from his and disappear from his sight. He looked at the empty space beside him, sighing heavily and touching where it still felt warm from her body.

For a second, it felt like she was already gone.

Then she came flying back into the room and leaped onto his body, tickling him beneath the covers, listening to him laugh and shout at her to get off of him. She giggled the whole time at his attempts to fight his way out from under the covers, kicking at them as they tangled around his body more. She soon stopped tickling him and began to pull the blankets from around him until he was free. The second he was out, he tackled her backwards and they both rolled to the floor with a loud thump, laughing hard and out of breath.

The door opened with a loud bang, “Is it true?!”

Lux sat up immediately, looking over to see Sara at the door in her pajamas still, her eyes wide with tears. Her chin began to shake, and before either Lux or Harry could answer, she was sobbing loudly, shaking her head. “Its true, isn’t it?”

Harry’s face was filled with despair as he stared wide eyed at Sara desperately crying at the door, Lux instantly fighting her way out from under his body to climb to her feet and run to her best friend. Sara’s body collapsed into Lux, hugging her tightly as her shoulders shook with every sob.

“You got caught, you got caught..” Sara was whispering over and over as Lux shushed her, petting her wild curls down as she rocked them back and forth.

Harry stood up and walked over to them, pulling on a sweater as he did so, running a hand through his curls quickly. He stood back awkwardly, unsure of what move to make, but he breathed a sigh of relief when Niall entered. He was always close behind Sara.

Harry went to Niall and pressed his hand to the back of his neck, watching Niall frown.

“So it is true, then?” He asked, sighing as Harry nodded.

“Listen, you two.” Lux pulled back from her hug with Sara to look down at her face. She pressed her hands to Sara’s shoulders, moving them up to wipe her cheeks free of all tears. “You will still love each other in a month. Wait. Don’t make our mistakes. It’s only a month.”

Harry swallowed hard, suddenly finding himself blinking tears back as well. “She’s right.”

Niall looked over at Harry, frowning still, shaking his head. “It’s so hard.”

“You’re right.” Lux said, her voice strong. “It is hard. Being so close and yet so far away from someone you love, it hurts so much. But you know what hurts more?”

Sara sniffled, “What?”

Lux tried to smile, but couldn’t. “Watching your biggest dreams disappear in front of your eyes, watching the person you love get on a plane to another country, going back home with nothing after working so hard for everything. That hurts a million times more. Don’t do it. If you two love each other at all, you will wait until the competition is over. Please.”

A tear slid down her cheek as she spoke, and when she was finished, Sara began to sob again, hugging her tightly and burying her face into her shirt.

“I don’t want you to go!” Sara wailed, “You’re my best friend…I’ll miss you too much.”

Harry turned his back to the scene, pressing his fingers into his mouth and holding his tears back, blinking furiously. He took a deep breath and turned back, only to turn right into a hug from Niall. He hugged his best friend tightly, shaking his head.

“Any brilliant advice like Lux?” Niall tried to smile, pulling back from their hug.

Harry stared at his best friend and sighed, “If you love her, let her go.”

———-

They said their goodbyes, to contestants and mentors alike, but nobody seemed sadder to see them go than Sara and the rest of One Direction. They had to be parted from Harry for the first time in a long time, and while Harry will probably enjoy being able to chill while everyone else is working, it still made him sad that his band will be in another country. 

Lux and Harry held hands even as they hugged people goodbye, refusing to not touch each other even for a second, because a second of them not touching felt like a lifetime. With quiet tears and promises to stay in touch, Lux released Sara, petting her curls down with her free hand and staring at her for a moment.

“You better win.” She whispered urgently, watching Sara smile for the first time.

“I will.” Sara hugged Lux one last time, before turning her tear filled face into Niall’s shirt. She was crying again, and Lux shook her head sadly, leaning up to kiss Niall on both cheeks.

“Don’t forget what I said.” She whispered, “Don’t let Sara lose like I did.”

“I’ll take care of her, Lux. Don’t worry.” He promised, smiling lightly down at her.

Lux moved onto Liam as Harry hugged Zayn, “I’ll miss you.”

“Miss you, too.” Liam said softly, rubbing her back. “I’ll always take care of him, you know that, right?”

She smiled up at him, nodding. “Yeah, I know you will.”

He smiled back at her and then she let Harry tug her by the hand down the line, so she was face to face with Zayn. She was dreading this goodbye almost as much as she dreaded the one with Sara. He stared at her for a long time, his eyes warm and shining like they always were while directed her way. Lux smiled softly and wrapped her free arm around his waist.

Neither of them said a word, they didn’t know what to say, all they did was hug tightly and for a very long time, both of them breathing in the other’s scent quietly, their eyes shut.

“See you around, Light.” Zayn whispered into her ear, and she blinked her tears back.

“I hope so, Beautiful.” She pulled back slowly and they smiled at one another, staring for another long moment before Harry gave her hand a tug and she slowly walked away from him.

Onto Louis.

“Now just so you know, Harry and I have iChat dates planned for every day at 1pm. You can have him anytime before, anytime after, but sister, don’t you dare invade on my dates.” Louis snapped his fingers, watching Lux blink for a second before bursting into laughter.

“I’m going to miss you, Lou.” She hugged him tightly, feeling him hesitate for a moment before wrapped both his arms around her waist just as tight.

“I didn’t always like you, as I’m sure you know.” He started out, still hugging her. “However, I’ve seen the way Harry looks at you, and I know him better than anyone, and I can promise you this - he has never looked at a girl the way he looks at you. Being apart from you is going to be really rough on him, Lux, but I believe that you guys can make it work somehow. I’m trusting you to help him through this and not break his heart anymore than its already broken. Please, don’t make me regret trusting you.”

They pulled back from the hug and Lux nodded slowly, “I’ll try my best.”

“That’s all I ask.” He smiled at her, releasing her from the hug and pulling away.

“Well, looks like you two lovebirds are off. Enjoy the off time, Haz. Don’t get too crazy without us there to watch and laugh.” Louis joked, smiling at Harry again.

“Or don’t get crazy at all?” Lux suggested, her eyes wide and looking at Harry.

They both laughed at her facial expression, hugging one last time before Harry tugged her away from everyone, toward where Alexa and Mike stood at the front door. Lux stared at Harry as they both took their first steps out of the house that they’ve spent all their time in. They never left this house, they didn’t need to, all either of them wanted was each other. Everything they needed was in that house. It felt like a different world out of the X-Factor house. They stopped on the stairs and shared a look, Harry’s hand grabbing onto hers as they stepped to the car.

“It feels so different out here.” She whispered, “It feels like… walking into a stranger’s home.”

“I know what you mean.” Harry agreed, nodding as he opened the door for her.

They got in and looked at Mike and Alexa in the front seat, who eyed them for a second before starting to drive off to the airport.

Lux looked over at him silently, and he knew what she wanted without even asking. He leaned over and pressed his lips to hers, squeezing his eyes shut tightly and grasping her jacket with his fist. He pulled away from the kiss and breathed against her lips for a second before pulling back, feeling his knees shake against the seat, his stomach turning. Harry looked over at her, studying her face as she stared out the window, biting her bottom lip roughly.

He gave her hand a small tug so she would turn to look back at him, and she did so instantly. Her eyes locked with his and refused to look away, both of them staring, unblinking. Neither of them had anything to say with words, it was all unspoken through their eyes. What was there that could be said? I’ll miss you, I love you, I’ll never forget you... none of those even came close to all the things they were feeling, all the despair and nervousness. No words in the English language could make either of them feel better at that moment.

The airport sidewalk was crowded with paparazzi, their cameras held high and flashes of lights going off. Harry and Lux knew that going to the airport at the same time, in the same car was a risk, but neither of them were too keen on caring. They figured there were already dating rumors out there, and this will just spike them for a little bit. But they’ll die down. They always do.

“Ready?” Harry whispered, his hand gripping hers tightly in the backseat. Their luggage was already being removed from the trunk by the two producers that wanted to escort them.

Lux strapped her carry-on bag over her shoulder, nodding slowly as they both pulled their hands back right before someone opened the door for them. They ignored the questions that everyone was shouting at them, keeping their heads down and their faces neutral as they walked through the crowd and into the airport. Both of their flights left at roughly the same time, but from different concourses, so they would have to say goodbye soon after security.

They had their bags checked in quickly, and with their boarding passes in hands, they looked over to Mike and Alexa, who smiled softly. Lux hugged Alexa first, trying not to cry already.

“Take care of Sara. Okay?” Lux whispered, watching Alexa nod with a warm smile.

Lux and Harry switched, and Lux hugged Mike now, her arms tight around his waist.

“Thank you.” She whispered, wiping her face of any tears.

“For what, kiddo?” He asked, pressing a hand to her shoulder, giving it a squeeze.

“For pairing me up with Harry.” Lux smiled, although she had tears in her eyes now. “For always taking care of me, for doing the right thing. Just, for everything. But mostly for bringing him to me. I promise its the best thing you’ve ever done, even if it doesn’t seem like it.”

“Lux, the best thing I’ve ever done was disqualify you from this competition.” He said softly, smiling down at her lightly. Lux frowned at him. “You’ll understand what this means in a few weeks. I promise. Now, get going you two.”

“Love you guys.” Lux said, smiling at them, watching Alexa smile back with tears in her eyes.

“I don’t remember the last time I saw you two apart.” She said quietly, frowning as Mike pulled her away from them. Lux saw her shoulders shake and wondered if she was crying.

Nevertheless, she turned to look up at Harry, seeing his big shiny eyes and his clenched jaw, and she knew that the hardest part was here. The future was so unclear for them, she didn’t know when she would see him again. They can’t spend all their free time on planes flying back and forth to one another. If only it were different states, not countries.

“When I was packing earlier, I noticed something…” She started quietly, grabbing onto his shirt and tugging him in. He leaned down, pressing his forehead to hers and closing his eyes.

“What’s that?” His breath was on her face and Lux sighed at his closeness.

“Everything I own smells like you now.” Her voice cracked, “I suppose I’ll be grateful for that when I get home, but then I’ll have to wash it and it… it will go away.”

Harry’s body engulfed her, pulling her against him into a tight embrace, and he smelled like home.

They were silent through security, but kept their eyes on one another, and also discreetly on the people surrounding them. It was pretty late, the airport was filled with a lot of sleepy people. Nobody seemed to be paying attention to them. So Harry watched Lux put her shoes on and then grabbed her hand. She looked up at him for a second, but he didn’t let go or give her any answers, so she didn’t question it. If he wanted to hold her hand in public, there would be no stopping him, although there would surely be photos of it online tomorrow.

He tugged her in close as they walked, wrapping an arm around her shoulders tightly. Lux rested her head against his chest and sighed, breathing in his scent. They walked as slow as possible, but even if they crawled through the airport, soon enough they would reach their split off destination point. They stopped in the middle of two escalators, where Lux had to go down and Harry had to stay where he was, venturing off to the left to reach his concourse.

“This is it.” She said softly, her breathing hard. She removed her bag from her shoulder and dropped it to the ground, staring up at him. He grabbed onto her hands tightly, staring into her eyes for a long time. It was like they were both trying to burn the memory of one another into their brains, their stares both hot like fire.

“I got something for you.” He whispered, fumbling with his bag, digging through it. He pulled out a small velvet ring box, and pressed it into her hand softly. Lux licked her lips quickly and looked down at it, slowly popping it open and smiling at what she saw inside.

It was a beautiful silver ring, shaped like the infinity symbol, and when she took it out, she saw the words “NOW & FOREVER” engraved on the inside. Her heart thumped against her chest as she looked up at her boyfriends beautiful face, reaching one hand up to touch his cheek.

“Do you like it?” He asked softly, and she couldn’t help herself, she grabbed the back of his neck and pulled his lips down to hers. Harry pulled her in tighter, his entire body against hers, one hand on her back and the other against her cheek. He slid his tongue between her lips and tasted her, feeling her step forward more, trying to get as close as possible.

They pulled back slowly, slowly opening both of their eyes and looking at each other.

“I love it.” Lux whispered, kissing him again. He pressed his lips over her mouth, to her cheek, to the side of her head as he pulled her into a tight embrace, his lips at her ear now.

“I love you. I love you so much.” His voice shook, and he tightened his grip on her.

“I love you, too.” She replied softly, feeling her tears slip over and drop onto his sweater.

“Look at me, listen,” He whispered, pulling back to look down at her face, into her eyes. When he saw her tears, he felt his heart tighten up, and his eyes burned. “Don’t you ever forget what you felt in that house, Luxie. Don’t ever forget how we made each other feel, because I won’t. I won’t ever feel that way again about anybody.”

She covered her mouth with her left hand, and he saw the ring on her finger, and she started to cry. He pulled her hand to his mouth and kissed it softly, and she wiped away the tear that fell from his eye before it could trickle down onto his cheek.

“I won’t.” She whispered, wiping her cheeks. “I love you, okay?”

“I love you too, sweet cheeks.” He murmured, watching her laugh through her tears.

“I’ll talk to you soon, Hazza.” Lux promised, touching her lips to his once more before pulling away, backing toward the escalator. He watched her walk away, her eyes on his as she stepped on, still facing him although it was taking her down.

“Promise me!” He said suddenly, leaping forward and standing at the railing, watching her go down. She looked over to him, watching him walk along the rail to keep his eyes on her as she continued to go down, further out of his sight.

“Promise you what?” She shouted back, smiling brightly now. He felt a smile break out over his face as well, just from seeing how happy she looked in that one moment.

“Promise me you won’t forget! Promise me you’ll talk to me soon. Promise me you won’t ever stop…” He trailed off, watching her laugh softly.

“I promise, I promise, I promise!” Lux shouted three times, still laughing. “I’ll never forget, I’ll call you tomorrow, and I won’t ever stop loving you.”

Harry smiled at her slowly, watching tears run over her otherwise smiling face before she disappeared out of his sight completely. He stayed still for a long moment, almost wishing she would turn around and come back to him, but mostly he felt a warm, happiness spread through him like butter on hot toast. He stepped away from the railing slowly and headed off to his own concourse, knowing that just below him Lux was doing the exact same thing. He loved her, and he lost her, and they both knew it was going to happen.

While he was losing her, she was gaining a career, and more than anything, that felt right. Harry made a lot of mistakes with Lux, but he also made some really good decisions. The day he decided to pull her in and kiss her for the first time, the night of his birthday when he decided to jump into that pool and tell her he loved her, the moment he decided he would let her go so that she could be happy. All those decisions made up for the pain he felt now, because all those decisions were based off of her feelings and future, and Lux being happy and healthy were all the things that mattered to him now.

Harry and Lux lost a lot when they walked away from one another, but they still shared something, and that was hope. As long as they had even a flicker of hope inside of them, it was enough to keep them both sane and alive. He prayed that his hope would never dissolve, that he would never lose the part of Lux that lives inside of him, breathing life into his lungs and making him okay. If one day he loses it, then he loses her, and if he loses her… he loses everything good and bright in himself.

Their relationship went from a spark, to a flame, to a blazing fire, and now it’s been ripped down to a simple, little flicker. As long as that flicker doesn’t get hidden in the depths of their dark sides, there is hope for them. And that is all Harry + Lux will ever need to survive.

 

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