Title: Paintings & Pastels by ThoseBrownEyes on AO3
Summary: Louis is the soccer playing lad who's always happy and Harry sees through his façade; showing it with his pencil.
Word Count: 3,097
Harry never expected it. He never thought that those stupid butterflies would be flying around in his stomach or that his palms would start sweat just at the sight of him. 'Him' being a normal, funny, well behaved lad who was known around school as the perfect guy. Harry knew that everyone fancied Louis. Every sort of girl, from Jillian Wolfe the punk to Andrea Malina the pretty one. Not that Jillian's not pretty, but you get what Harry's implying.
It just so happens to be inconvenient that Harry is also male and even if the rumours about Louis' sexuality is spreading around school, it's nothing Harry trusted. So what? If Louis was bisexual he still -probably- wouldn't notice a new kid, like Harry; a boy who had good grades, stayed quiet and hurried home to paint more pictures just because, well, that's what Harry did and felt comfortable with.
It's strange, how Harry fits in here in Doncaster. He likes it here, for sure. No one picking on him for his different taste in music, no people trying to communicate in any way and everyone seemed to mind their own business. So it was easy for Harry to admire Louis, it's not as if anyone would actually notice it. And who didn't admire Louis? Even if some may not fancy him, they still fancied his presence because it made anyone feel an ounce of joy in their life.
"Harry, mate. You can't sit on your bum here all day, I'm knackered, let's go home!" Matthew -a UNI student who lives with the Styles -complicated story really- said and tried pulling Harry up from the floor. The young one had been sitting there for almost an hour now; dreading the moment he had to leave.
You see, from this spot you could see the green grass field through a floor-to-ceiling-window and on that field was the beautiful, beautiful man running around kicking the other soccer-team's arses with his quick movements.
"You can go, Matt. I'll just walk home" Harry said without tearing his eyes away from Louis.
"You said that yesterday when I picked you up as well, come on" Matt told Harry. He was sick of this loved-up-yet-kind-of-fucked-up expression that Harry always had on his face.
"I know, I know. Just... I have something I have to do, okay?" And Harry did, in fact, have something to do. An important task in his opinion.
"Is that something stalking the soccer lad, then I'm forcing you to go home. It's just creepy, Har" Matthew was still holding his hand out for Harry who wouldn't give into it.
"No, I... I really do have something to do" Harry promised and fiddled with the zipper of his backpack.
"Fine, but if it starts raining when you're on your way home, call me, yeah?" Harry nodded and then was left alone to stare again. It was a spectacular sight to see; the moment when Louis' team won and the smile on the oh-my-god-reaction-worthy boy's smile just magically appeared as something made out of a piece of heaven that fell from the sky above.
Speaking of the sky above, it did in fact look like the rain-filled clouds were getting closer. So Harry gathered his things -a bottle of water and his phone- and walked in the opposite direction of the exit, because YOLO, right? No, YOLO is the last thing Harry would use to describe this situation, in fact it's the last thing he would use to describe any situation because it's something he had been complaining sense the second he heard it.
He passed a few students on his way to the guys' locker-room. Some of those people stopped talking to notice his presence -not recognizing his unfamiliar face- and some let him pass by without acknowledging him at all. It was somewhat a thing to get used to, Harry supposed. At least now these first couple of weeks that he’s going to be at this school. By the mid-term-break everyone should be used to his ghost-like presence.
When he reached the boys’ locker-room he sat down on one of the benches by the door and pulled out his sketch-book. His hand guided the pencil over the paper in delicate, soft moves now that most of the hard lines were done and his eyes concentrated on the icy and black colours that he was beginning to feel proud of. The drawing itself wasn’t his greatest work; back in his old room he had painted a feature wall with a soft, warm coloured landscape theme which was his biggest achievement.
“Good game today, Tomlinson!” Harry’s heads snapped up and saw a lad walking out of the locker-room with his backpack thrown over his shoulder. It wasn’t anyone Harry knew, only a familiar face that he had seen through the window when stalking, no, watching Louis.
“Yeah, thanks. I’ll see you tomorrow, Jack!” Louis yelled out from inside and Harry’s heart started beating out of his chest. How he managed to get this whipped in such a short matter of time surprised him; it just sort of happened and Harry didn’t want it to change, because it was Louis and he was Harry and it made sense to him.
Lad after lad came out of there after that, but no Louis. Harry waited and waited, not knowing why really. Would he talk to Louis, would he dare to even look at him? There was no plan and that was a big concern. Maybe Harry just wanted to see him, pathetic for sure, and it sort of made sense if thought about it.
But now Louis still wasn’t out of the locker-room and Harry got tired of waiting; he had to get home before the rain came along to soak him, so he tried gathering up his stuff, only to fail and accidentally push his backpack off the bench. Pencils, brushes and boxes with pastels fell to the floor, rolling away in different directions and opening so ‘crayons’ were broken.
“Oh, mate, let me help you with that” Harry looked up and saw a blond boy, not too shabby looking and normal features. And the boy did indeed help Harry pick almost everything up from the floor just in time for Louis to exit the locker room and find both of them on the floor picking up small pastel crayon pieces.
“What happened here?” Louis said as Harry picked up the last piece and put it in the small box so he could put it back in his backpack. “Why’s the floor coloured?” Louis was laughing now, a beautiful and woah-what-is-that-sound laugh that just made Harry stop in his tracks and look up.
“Just dropped some… crayons?” The blond boy looked at Harry for confirmation and in a small voice Harry said ‘pastels actually’. Not that neither of the two could hear him mumbling, he could barely hear himself. But he just felt the need to correct the stranger.
“Thanks for the help….” Harry started off, silently asking for a name.
“Niall, you’re Harry right? I heard Mr Cazzas talk about you with one of the other teachers. He said you were quite an artist?” Blondie -Niall- said and Harry blushed furiously.
“I suppose I am, I paint… lots” Harry was still blushing as he grabbed his backpack off the floor and stood up; jeans now all colours you could imagine. “Damn, the janitor will be bloody pissed”
“Mickie’s a cool lad, he won’t be mad…. I have to go now , nice to finally meet the school’s new talent” Niall winked -only playfully- and then headed off after saying a short goodbye leaving the two of them there; one nervous and one confused about the situation.
“I’m Louis, by the way” Harry nodded and tried getting a hold of his sketch-book, but Louis grabbed it last second to take a quick look. “Let’s see”
“No, No, no, no give it back” Harry was quick to object and tried getting it back, once again failing in life; this time because he was shorter than Louis (FUCKING FINALLY FUCK YEAH) and Louis was big bloody tease.
“Why? Do you have anything-” Louis stopped mid-sentence and just put the book down to a level where Harry could reach it again. But it was most certainly too late because in front of Louis was now a drawing of a boy; pained smile not convincing at all and eyes an icy white. “Is this me?” It looked awfully alike, enough to make the question unnecessary.
“I… I-I just draw people and you have… b-beautiful features” Harry tried uttering a sentence that would make sense in the older’s ears, but it didn’t go as planned. “I have to go” Harry didn’t bother even caring about the sketch-book; he just left without it and ran, ran, ran as far as he could.
Louis had been sitting in his room for two whole hours now just looking through all the unfinished sketches and drawings with pastels, all of them of him being really happy and laughing. Not a single one of those were completely finished and Harry had stopped every time he got to Louis’ smile. After half of it was done; perfect and genuine. It just stopped. Louis didn’t know why it bothered him so much that Harry just painted Louis’ reality.
There were 19 unfinished drawings of a happy, genuine Louis and one finished of a pained, forced Louis. As if Harry couldn’t bring himself to finish the others because they would only be a picture of Louis that everyone else had already seen. While the pained one was something hidden beneath all the bullshit and happy times that -fuck, why?- only existed in movies and bad cliche books, those that everyone got sick of but still saw and read.
“I gotta know…..” Louis whispered to himself and reached for his laptop that laid on the nightstand. Not knowing Harry’s last name made it harder to find something, but Louis did try. Facebook wasn’t a great source and neither was twitter, Tumblr or Instagram. They were all useless and quite a waste of time if you ask Louis for his honest opinion. But he stumbled upon something, he didn’t know how or why, but he managed to discover a website, an art-studio website to be exact. And there it was, a picture of Harry and a beautiful painting with the caption 'The winner of our 2009 Internet competition, Harry Styles, with his pastel painting ‘The World From Above’ “. “Harry Styles, huh? Let’s see what we can find on you”
The rain spattered against the window and Harry found it calming in so many ways possible. Maybe it was the memories of the summers in their lakehouse; evenings spent by the fire whenever the weather wasn’t on their side. Yes, Harry thought that must be one of the many reasons. He was sitting in the living room by himself painting the things he saw on the other side of the glass. His parents were out somewhere, all they left was a note small note saying dinner was in the fridge for Harry to eat once he came home from school and that they would be home awfully late.
It was nearly 10 P.M. when there was a knock on the door. Harry laughed because he thought that as usual his mother was too lazy to pull out her key and assumed Harry was awake to open for them. So while laughing, Harry got up from his seat by the window and went out to the hallways to open up. But who he found on his doorstep was not his mother, or Robin. It was Louis soaked by the rain and holding his bag closely to his chest so it wouldn’t get ruined.
“What the-” Harry began but Louis cut him off quickly.
“How do you know?” He was clearly crying, Harry could tell by the puffy, red eyes and broken voice. “How…”
“Know what?” Harry wondered and stared at the usually happy, now broken down boy. When Louis didn’t answer him Harry forced him inside to give him shelter from the rain. “How do you know where I live?”
“Well, I was on Tumblr or some random shit and just clicked on some link, then I saw a picture of you and… it isn’t even relevant. How did you know?” Louis was breathing heavily and staring at Harry with glossy eyes.
“Know what?” Harry was confused, truly. What in the heavens was Louis talking about? Harry knew nothing about Louis whatsoever if you thought about it. Just that his name was Louis and that he was beautiful.
“The drawings god damn it! Look at them!” Louis pulled out the sketch-book and just threw that bag into some corner. Page after page were filled with those unfinished drawings and still Harry didn’t understand what he was supposed to know in this situation. “They are all these unfinished, amazing drawings that you stopped drawing when you got halfway through my smile, then you draw a picture like this!” Louis then showed the pained and half-hearted smiling Louis drawing that was finished at the point of perfection. “How did you know? You’ve never even talked to me and you knew! How is that possible? I don’t understand”
“Understand what? What do I know?” Harry asked in frustration. No one would’ve understood what Louis was rambling about at this point, it was just random predicted ideas of Harry knowing something that he had no idea he knew in the first place, which must mean he doesn’t know at all. Confusing confusing confusing.
“That I’m not fucking happy” Louis almost screamed out -not caring if there was someone home at Harry’s house, obviously- and more tears streamed down his face in a fast pace. “How the hell do you know that? You’ve never talked to me, you don’t know me! My mates never suspected a thing and then you come along and just… know”
“I-I just couldn’t bring myself to finish them, that’s all. I thought… you looked more… beautiful on the last one. More you, you know. I think daring to be vulnerable is a g-good quality in someone and it just shows a real version of… anyone. Plus, your features are every artist’s dream… so I don’t, well, I think I didn’t know. Or maybe I did, I have no idea” It was now Harry’s time to ramble ‘cause -god- he was nervous.
Louis was there; sweet, always happy now broken down, beautiful, dirty daydream worthy Louis who sort of rented a place in Harry’s heart and now offered to buy it because seeing this Louis was a big change. Good change even if it meant that Louis was sad.
“Y-you think I’m beautiful?” Louis asked through all the choked sobs and Harry -who’s stare had been on the floor- looked up to see a almost smiling Louis for some reason.
“Yeah… ehh… shit, yeah. You’re stunning. Absolutely gorgeous” Harry didn’t know how to explain Louis’ beauty. It shouldn’t need to be explained, you could simply watch Louis and just see it yourself.
“I look like shit, Harry. I’m soaked, my eyes are probably bloodshot, I’m in my PJs and… I didn’t even think of saying ‘thank you’ because you’re stunning too and you deserve to have someone tell you that” Louis was still upset over the fact that a stranger, a total stranger, had made him feel so exposed. It seemed impossible that Harry would be able to do that, but still he managed so easily.
“This is what I meant, Louis. You look vulnerable and that is what proves to me that you truly are beautiful” Harry started wondering how the hell it all turned out like this. Louis was here; in his house, late at night and telling him that he was stunning too.
Louis wasn’t focusing on what Harry knew anymore. He focused on all the small things about Harry, like his sometimes occurring stutter, small birthmark on his chin, freckles that you only saw if you stood really close… and damn, Louis was close to him now. Too close almost, but Harry didn’t seem to care for some odd reason so Louis assumed being close to him wasn’t awkward for either of them.
It just happened. That’s what Louis told himself. That their lips touched just happened. The kiss just happened. And it was weird, a good -oh dear lord, this is heaven- weird. Even if the kiss lasted about two seconds and they pulled away blushing like roses/tomatoes/AnythingBrightRed, they still enjoyed it more than they thought they would and it felt enchanting to be this happy about a kiss.
“C-can we try that again?” It was Louis who asked and Harry who answered by kissing him again. This time it lasted longer and felt even more good -oh dear lord, this is heaven- weird than the first time. But somewhere, a few seconds, into the kiss Harry got rid of that feeling and just felt all those sweeter daydreams come to life; Louis’ hands sliding up Harry’s torso to rest behind his neck and Harry’s hands guiding themselves from Lous’ sides to his lower back where they rested lightly.
Harry wasn’t really experienced with kissing and such, if he was forced to be honest. He just pecked his previous neighbours’ daughter on the lips and they were both five at the time, so it doesn’t count. A couple of years after that he came to the conclusion that he didn’t want to kiss a girl again. So now he was kissing Louis instead and it was amazing. “I’m sorry, I shouldn’t have assumed-” Louis tried pulling back and speaking, but Harry rejoined their lips and it was more of a desperate one this time.
“Woah!” Someone almost yelled and both Harry and Louis pulled back to see Matt standing by the stairs just staring right at them; chin hitting the floor. Harry almost forgot that he could possibly be home. He remembered Matt telling him a few days ago that he had an exam coming up that he would have to stay home and study for. “I have to study for five hours and then when I decide to take a break I see this... God, I have to get my own place” He turned around and went right back upstairs leaving the two teenagers to the awkwardness that followed.
“So… You want some ice cream?” Harry offered and Louis…. well, he decided Harry was a keeper.
I absolutely love fluffy one-shots
It makes me very happy☺️