It's Cold Outside (One Shot)

Harry is just picking Rose up, so they can drive to the Malik's Christmas party. Rose is having boyfriend trouble and even though Harry's no expert, he tries to cheer her up.

But Harry isn't that great at reading maps. All of those complications, those awkward bits, those dodgy grey areas...

Or can he? Will this be a night of disaster... Or will this be the start of something new entirely?

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1. It's Cold Outside

 

“Harry, just admit it. We’re lost.”

“We’re not lost.”

“Harry, we’re lost!”

“We’re not lost!”

“Harry!” I shrieked, slapping my bare legs and instantly regretting it. OW. “We are lost, we have been driving around what may as well be a desert-”

“We’re in England, there’s no comparison.” Harry muttered off-handedly.

“- for nearly two hours, you have no idea where you’re going AND we’re going to be late to Mrs Malik’s Christmas party!”

“Rose!” Harry yelled, looking at me. “We’re not l-”

We both stopped, hearing a weird sound coming from... Oh, no wait –

“Harry, please tell me the car is meant to make that noise and I’m just not used to it because we only use surfboards in Australia.” I muttered, clutching the door. This wasn’t happening. This was not happening, no way, NO WAY WAS THIS HAPPENING –

Of course, that was the exact moment the car decided to stop.

As if things could not get ANY WORSE! It was bad enough that I was going to see Liam at this stupid party, for the first time since... Well, everything. Not to mention I’d barely seen any of the boys anyway, PLUS the fact that Soph was coming with her parents and Adam, so was going to be freaking out about them behaving with the added pressure of her refusing to acknowledge her and Zayn were made for each other, BEING ENGAGED AND ALL, with the even greater added drama of being not only stuck in a car with Harry, of all people, Mr Strange himself, but totally avoiding Australia for Christmas not out of choice (though, to be fair, I’d been planning on Christmassing in London anyway this year), but because my family were evil and had invited Ryan over for the holidays, because my mom didn’t want me to die alone.

What even.

“Rose, I have to tell you something.” Harry told me to break the silence and the mental screaming of me as I totally freaked. “We’ve ran out of petrol.”

Lies. It was all lies. I squeezed my eyes shut and pretended I couldn’t hear it.

“Not happening.” I muttered to myself. “Not happening, not happening, not happening.”

“And we’ve got none spare in this car.”

“So not happening.” I repeated. It was like a mantra. The more I said it, the more it was meant to work, right? “So not happening, so not happening...”

“And we’re lost.”

“What are you, mentally deficient?!” I yelled, whacking Harry as hard in the arm as I could. And no, this was no time to fangirl. I was way over that. With Harry, anyway. Our first meeting had been false bloody advertising, okay? FALSE ADVERTISING. “I’ve been trying to tell you that for the past CENTURY and NOW you admit that we’re lost, when we’re in-” I looked outside, only to be greeted by the bleak landscape of... Nothing. Just one single road and fucking grass. THIS. WAS NOT. HAPPENING. “- where the Hell even ARE we?!”

“Um...” Harry coughed awkwardly. “I dunno, the Tom-Tom’s not working.”

“The Tom- it’s not – the Tom-Tom’s not-” I took a deep breath. I would not lose it. I mean, it was only a Christmas party. With everyone I knew. And a paranoid Liam. And a freaking out best friend, Soph and her relatively evil, though albeit sexy, fiance Zayn, in Zayn’s home, who, by the way was a member of ONE DIRECTION AND... Calm. Calm, happy thoughts. “Harry.” I said in  a dangerously low voice. “I think I’m going to stab you to death with my eyeliner.”

“I can check the boo-”

“Don’t open the door!” I yelled, practically falling onto Harry’s lap to stop him from opening the door. I looked up at him from his lap, feeling my eye beginning to twitch. Somebody had to die, okay? And soon. “We don’t have any goddamn gas and it’s  practically zero degrees out there, so we can’t warm up again and YOU may be used to living in fucking Antarctica, but I come from a place where we have chilled fruit juice this time of year to celebrate the yuletide festivities, so unless you want me to slowly freeze to the same temperature as my ice cold heart and take you down with me, DON’T FUCKING MOVE.”

Slowly, Harry released the door handle, keeping it closed.

“You haven’t got an ice cold heart.”

“Harry, SHUT UP!” I practically screamed. I would not cry. I would not cry, I wouldn’t. Urgh, why was every kind of strong emotion – not even all strong – connected to my tear ducts? “Oh my God, I have no signal. Perfect. Do you?”

“My phone battery died three hours ago.” Harry told me slowly. “I was going to charge it at Zayn’s.”

“Well, do you remember going past any signs?” I asked desperately. I had to be logical. For God’s sake, what use was a psychology degree now if I couldn’t subliminally remember... Shit and whatever? I knew I should have taken journalism. Never did Soph any bad. What was I saying? I loved psychology and – OFF THE POINT.

“No, I was driving.” Harry said slowly. “Did you?”

“Harry, I was doing my eyeliner.” I snapped. “What do you think?”

“I thought girls were meant to be the multi-taskers?” I glowered as Harry’s mouth began to twitch into a smile. “Sorry. Guess not all of them.”

“Do you have a death wish?”

“Oh, c’mon, it could be worse.” Harry nudged me as I retreated to my seat, realizing I was still sprawled across Harry’s lap. I edged as far away from him as I could and let me tell you, in this car? Extremely possible. Mercedes cars were spacious things, especially this baby. “Rose, cheer up! At least you’re stuck in a car with me and not some rapist.”

“Same thing.” I muttered under my breath. “Harry, what are we meant to do? Everybody is expecting us, they’ll think this is on purpose!”

“What, breaking down in the middle of nowhere?” Harry looked at me. “Liam won’t think that, if that’s what you’re talking about.”

“It’s not!” I said immediately, sounding guilty, even to my hopeful self. “It’s not. “ I said, calmer this time. “I mean, Soph. She needs me. What if she thinks I flaked out, huh?”

“She’s my best friend, too, you know, give me a bit more credit.” Harry sniffed, folding his arms across his chest. “She won’t think that. Anyway, she’ll be with Zayn.”

“Precisely.” I said pointedly. “Oh my God, what are we going to do?”

Harry didn’t reply. Clearly, he was lacking in brain cells. Well, at least if he didn’t have anything intelligent to say, he wasn’t saying anything at all.

I hoped.

I pressed my hands to my hair, trying not to ruin it, though. This sucked. Not only was I in the middle of nowhere in a country I had only just called home, but I had no jacket. That was what I got for relying on the 21st century and not being a medieval peasant with layering.

Not to mention how my dress was utterly WASTED. And it was so pretty, too! It was this gorgeous white one-shoulder thing, with this really cute purple pattern at the waist and – well, it didn’t matter now, did it? The only person who was seeing it was HARRY. And I didn’t care what Harry thought. The only reason we ever really spoke, was Soph. And that was only because she was our mutual best friend.

Like I cared what Harry thought about my dress. I already knew Liam would like it. Liam liked everything I wore.

Harry. Whatever.

“Rose, what’s going on with you and Liam?” Harry asked suddenly, breaking what seemed like another silence, but what was really just me yelling at myself in my head. I shut my mouth. Tightly. I didn’t want to have this conversation with Harry, of all people, but I knew he’d make it really easy for me to talk. “Are you still together?”

“We’re just...” I cleared my throat, not meeting his eyes. “We’re going through a rough patch.”

“Rose, I-”

“We’ll fix it, okay?” I muttered, pretending to go through my clutch and trying to blink away the tears. No way. I’d spent a goddamn decade on just my mascara. “It’s just a rough patch, we’ll get through it, we always d-” I stopped and closed my eyes as I felt Harry’s hand on my bare shoulder, comforting me. “We’ll be fine.” I whispered, biting my lip and trying not to cry. No. NO.

“Rose...”

“Look, I don’t need you to tell me Liam and I aren’t in a good place right now, okay? I know that. Trust me, I know that.” I put my head in my hands, feeling the anger disappear. Who was I trying to kid? I wasn’t angry, I was sad. I was sad and I was hurt. “I just don’t know what I did wrong, you know? I- I thought everything was going so well and then he just... I don’t know, I just don’t know what I did wrong.”

“Rose, you didn’t do anything.” Harry told me vehemently, unbuckling his seatbelt and leaning forward. I snorted. The sad thing was, I knew Harry well enough to know he wasn’t even lying to make me feel better. He genuinely believed it. “It wasn’t you, trust me.”

“Why?” I asked, looking up at him and placing a finger under my eye to make sure my make-up didn’t run. I laughed dryly. “What, you can read minds now? Or he said something to you?” I stopped, seeing Harry’s face darken. “Oh my God, he said something to you? What did he say? It’s my fault, isn’t it? I’ve done something?”

“No.” Harry ran a finger through his curls and I wondered what it felt like. Soph had told me Harry’s hair was soft and bouncy, for what it was worth. Or maybe I’d had one too many glasses of wine when I’d been getting dressed earlier. “Rose, no.”

“Well than, what is it?” I asked, getting annoyed now. “Harry, if you know something, tell me! Can’t you see how much I’m freaking out!”

“It’s not something you’ve done.” Harry told me gently, his eyebrows furrowed in what I knew was a mixture of hesitance and internal debate and not just general confusion like everyone thought. What? I’d been studying Harry as a specimen for long enough, even before I’d gotten over my fangirling and thought he would be my husband. But hey, if one of us had to get married to the guy of our dreams out of me and Soph, I was glad Soph had. I had my guy Sort of. “It’s more... What he’s afraid you’ll do.”

“That makes no sense.” I told Harry bluntly. “Harry, please, just put me out of my misery. Oh my God, if you know something and don’t tell me and I carry on, it’ll kill me.”

Harry just shook his head.

Urgh, what was his problem? See, this was something I didn’t get about Harry. He was a great guy; in theory. He was fun and at least relatively smart, not to mention handsome and witty and a good friend, but a good brother, too. Yet when you got to know him? He had the emotional depth of a goldfish, okay? Not even because he was a heartless bastard. I mean, if that were true, it’d be easy to fix. Sure, he was the evil guy of the situation, but you could empathize or whatever goddamn well else. But that wasn’t it. Harry was just so guarded, all the time and for no reason. He just... Never opened up. No matter how hard you tried, nothing. I mean, was it really that bad to own up to someone? And it wasn’t like he was a total robot, because between Soph and Zayn, they usually got the full picture, but with anybody else, even asking if he was okay turned into a mission. He could laugh and joke as much as he liked but we all knew he was just trying to hide the fact he was human. I mean, since when was being insecure – if it was just that – an excuse to be totally emotionally void? It wasn’t. And that was what made me so confused.

“I can’t believe you.” I muttered, before staring at him, my voice rising. “I can’t believe you! You know what is potentially destroying my and Liam’s relationship and you’re just sitting there? Letting it happen? What, do you enjoy this?”

“I enjoy it, yeah, but I don’t enjoy seeing you hurt!” Harry suddenly said angrily, making me shut up in surprise. Um, what? “Rose, don’t you get it? Everybody else knows what’s going on and you just sit there! Do you just not care that you’re killing me?”

I stared at him.

“On what fucking planet does me and Liam having issues anything to do with your emotional wellbeing?” I asked, staring at him. He was clearly insane. It explained everything. HE WAS INSANE. “You can’t care that much, you won’t even try and help, I mean-” I stopped. Oh no. “Oh my God, is it because Liam thinks he’s better off without me? Is that it? So you’re just letting it peeter out, because he doesn’t want to DUMP me?”

“Rose...” Harry sighed, rubbing his face. “It’s not like that.”

“What else am I supposed to think when you’re not telling me anything?” I demanded, staring at him expectantly for an answer. But I got nothing back. Except silence. “Whatever, I’m going for a walk.”

“It’s cold outside, Rose.” Harry told me seriously, locking the doors. “You can’t go out there, it’s dangerous.” He even had the audacity to crack a grin. “Baby, it’s cold outside.”

“You can’t lock me in here, that’s kidnap!” I yelled, unbuckling my seatbelt and trying to snatch the keys. Harry just looked at me and put them in his trouser pocket. “Are you serious? Do you honestly hate me that much?”

“What?”

“You heard me!” I yelled angrily, slumping back into my chair in defeat. “I know that you hate me, okay? I know that you have ever since Soph asked if I could ever be interested in you-”

“Rose, I do NOT hate you-”

“- but, really, considering everything else, you’d think you’d let that go, I mean, COME ON, you were fine with me before, just recently it’s like you’ve had a head transplant and you know what? I’m sick of it, sick, sick of it, because what have I ever done to you, huh? I adored you before I even knew you, I didn’t realize that was a BAD thing, I’m so sorry for being a fan! I just don’t understand how you can hate Liam enough to watch this relationship turn into a trainwreck, I mean, I get you don’t want to make me happy, but come on! Is this really-”

That was when Harry decided to shut me up.

By kissing me.

And oh my God, I can’t believe it, but I actually kissed him back.

I don’t know how it happened, honestly, I don’t. But one minute, we were just sitting there, arguing (okay, so it wasn’t really arguing, it was me yelling at him) and then the next... The next Harry had my face in his hands and he was kissing me, roughly but softly at the same time, urgently and...

And I was kissing him back.

I don’t know how long we were doing that for, but I’m not going to lie and say it wasn’t a long time.

“Rose-”

And then I did something truly horrible.

I pulled his face back to mine and kissed him back.

In the small, though still sane, part of my brain I had left, I was freaking out. What was I doing? I was kissing Harry. On my way to see Liam. When things were difficult, but that was no excuse! What was I doing?? I was risking any chance of happiness I’d ever have and for what, to be another one of Harry’s conquests?

But I knew Harry too well to believe even for a second that that was true.

Who was I trying to kid? I had never left those feelings of utter adoration for Harry behind and whilst these past few months I’d just put it down to my fan obsession from years ago and it was just a force of habit, I couldn’t lie anymore! I’d told Soph about the amount of times I’d found Harry staring at me, or muttering angrily with Liam – especially recently – and just... Being there for me. For no reason. Just being there. I mean, what about the time he’d blown off his date with that – and I quote – “hot older woman” to sit with me and watch Titanic for the billionth time because I was having a particular bad period and Soph was working late?

Oh my God, what was I doing.

Oh my God, why was I enjoying it??

I don’t know how things escalated. But I wasn’t just kissing him anymore, I was straddling him – on his lap – and his hands were firm on my waist and we were kissing each other like we wouldn’t be able to breathe otherwise and I was clutching his shirt because I didn’t want him to let go and I was helping him shrug off his blazer and running my fingers through his hair and GOD, his hair was so soft, just like I’d imagined and – and, oh my God – and Harry’s hands were running over my breasts through the fabric of my dress and my hand was snaking into his trousers and this was way better than anything I’d ever done with Liam and -

“What am I doing?” I gasped, pulling my mouth away from Harry’s but otherwise not moving away at all. “Harry, what are we doing?”

“Keeping each other warm.” Harry grinned, going to kiss me again... Before his grin faded. “I don’t know.” And that was when realization hit Harry too. “Oh my God, Rose, I’m so sorry.”

“This is what Liam was scared of.” I whispered, before sliding off of Harry’s lap and getting back into my own seat. I felt so cheap and dirty and... No, I didn’t. But I knew that was what I should be feeling. But I wasn’t and that just made it worse. “Wasn’t it? Of us doing this?”

Harry looked torn about whether or not to tell me; but by the time he slowly nodded his head, I already knew.

Oh my God.

Oh my God.

I felt Harry’s hand on my shoulder, massaging softly, as I put my head in my hands. Oh my God.

“We’ll get through this, Rose, I prom-”

“Us? There is no us!” I yelled, sitting up and staring at him accusingly. This was all of his fault! How could he have – how – you don’t just – KISS people like that! “I am Liam’s girlfriend!” I shoved him with each word, feeling water build in my eyes. “I-am-Liam’s-girlfriend-I’m-”

“Rose, no, don’t cry.” Harry pleaded, sighing and trying to pull me close. I batted him away. I couldn’t have him touching me. Then again, what difference would it make after what we’d just done? Oh God! “Rose, please-”

“He’s one of your best friends, how can you do this to him?” I shouted tearfully, trying to ignore that it was my fault, too. Probably more mine than Harry’s. Because if I was as committed to Liam as I thought I was, I wouldn’t have even ever thought about running my fingers through Harry’s hair, let alone kissing him. “How? What kind of a friend are you?”

“Rose, you kissed me back!” Harry reminded me, his voice rising.

“I don’t know what you’re talking about.” I told him icily. I had to pretend like this had never happened. I had to pretend like this was not okay and him kissing me again was the furthest thing from my mind.

“Rose, I was here, I was the one you were kissing, you kissed me back!” Harry shouted, slapping the steering wheel loudly. “You can’t lie to my face! Rose, you have feelings for me-”

“I only did it because you’re Harry Styles, nothing else.” I lied, trying to sound strong. And I did. Just... Not enough.

“Bullshit.” Harry snorted angrily.

“I don’t have feelings for you, I just wanted to see if you were playing me or not!”

“Bullshit!” Harry yelled, staring at me, full of anger and... Hurt. I felt my argument disappear as I saw the hurt in his eyes. “Rose, why are you doing this? Why are you pretending that what just happened didn’t just happen?”

“Because if I just admit I kissed you back, I’ve just cheated on my boyfriend!” I yelled tearfully, wiping angrily at my face. Fuck my make-up, nobody was going to see it anyway and Harry didn’t count, because we’d been practically grinding all over each other two seconds ago! “What does that make me, Harry? That makes me a slut!”

“Rose.” Harry’s face softened and that only made more tears fall. “Rose, no, you could never be-”

“Don’t, okay?” I sniffled. “Please. Just don’t.”

“I’ll wait.” Harry told me quietly, watching me seriously. “For however long it takes.”

“I don’t want you to!” I shouted. “You can’t, okay? I don’t want you to. Isn’t it going to kill Liam enough if he ever finds out? I don’t even know if I have it in me to tell him, I...” I closed my eyes. “I don’t know.”

We were both silent for a moment. Oh God. What if I hadn’t thought of Liam while we’d been kissing? Would we be having sex right now? Would my hand be down his trousers and would his be up my skirt?

And why did I want that?!

“I think I should go for a walk.” Harry said finally. I barely heard him.

“It’s cold outside.” I muttered, turning my back on him and curling up in the seat. I watched his reflection, pretending I was watching the sky outside my window instead.

“Not as cold as it is in here.” Harry muttered, but he didn’t move.

I must have fallen asleep, because I woke up a little while later, Harry’s blazer was thrown carefully over me and Harry had turned towards his window, too. He’d turned the light off and it was three minutes past midnight.

I sat there for a moment, watching what other variation of wet weather England was dishing out.

This was such a mess.

I got up and leant over to look at Harry. He was sleeping peacefully, his cheek showing a dried track-mark from a tear. I felt my eyes well up again. This wasn’t his fault. Harry would never have kissed me, especially under the circumstances, if he hadn’t been 100% sure I’d kiss him back.

Or would he?

I didn’t know anymore.

Hesitantly, I leant over and kissed him on the cheek, my lips catching the side of his mouth. My dark red lipstick left a mark and I stroked his cheek gently as I tried to smudge it off. Even asleep, he looked restless.

“Merry Christmas, Harry.” I whispered, crawling back up in my own seat again.

His reply was so quiet, I wasn’t sure if I’d even heard it at all.

“Merry Christmas, Rose.” And then, more definitely, more confidently; “And your present is that I’m not giving up.”

And no matter how screwed up this evening had been, somehow, that one line still managed to make me smile.

And when I heard the gentle creak of Harry turning and when his hand found mine, one arm wrapped around my waist over his blazer, I was glad it was cold outside. Because no matter how cold it was going to get out there, I had Harry to keep me warm.

 

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