MIND GAMES [One Direction fanfiction] - 13 and up

Harry Styles was just a normal teenage boy, a normal teenage boy who had a happy life and was quite content to live it the way nature had intended: completely normally, with no weird happenings or crazy adventures. Yet some things, it would seem, are destined to be, and it would appear that Harry’s fate was to be abducted by insane strangers intent on experimenting on him, and their four other hand-picked victims. Harry sometimes feels so alone, even when his best friends are only a few metres away - and he can’t seem to help but be afraid, because there are so very few things left in his life for him to control…

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39. Chapter thirtynine.

“What are you going to do?” Harry asked softly. “Have you any idea?” His hands on Louis’ were warm, reassuring, a steady grip that made him feel safe, which was nice.

“I’d made up my mind from the moment the words left his mouth.”

Harry nodded, his lips pressed together in a firm line. “Well, I want you to know that I won’t hold it against you…I wouldn’t ask you do something that huge for me.”

“I know you wouldn’t. Neither would I. That wouldn’t be fair to ask something so huge of you… it’s a very difficult decision to make, I suppose it’s just as well that I already know exactly how I feel about the matter.”

“You know I wouldn’t dream of trying to talk you out of it…I doubt I ever could anyway. I respect your decisions, Lou…your judgement will ever be better than mine. So I guess…maybe we don’t have to talk after all.” He managed a very wobbly smile. “Maybe we’ll start saying our goodbyes in private, yeah? Before the others come back?”

“Goodbyes?” asked Louis stupidly, his hands stroking absently down Harry’s long arms as he gazed concernedly into his eyes, confused by the direction the conversation was taking. He didn’t at all like this talk of goodbyes; it made him nervous.

Bravely, Harry pulled him into a hug, much like the ones they’d always shared in the past; tight, bone-crushing embraces so they could feel their hearts hammering against each other and so that Louis felt like he’d never have to be let go…and maybe he could just stay here, with Harry, safe. “I’m not very good at this, but…I do love you. I respect your decision. And we’ll probably never get a chance to do this again, so…” He pressed a tender, timid kiss to the corner of Louis’ mouth.

Louis stared at him like he was simultaneously an idiot and the most divine and wonderful creature ever to grace the earth with its presence. “What are you on about?”

Blink. “You said you’d made your decision!”

“Of course I have. Oh, Harry, really? You didn’t honestly think I’d agree to go swanning off to some camp somewhere that this guy has organized? I don’t trust him as far as I can throw him – remember way back in the beginning, when I heard those guys talking about selling us off as slaves so people could use our powers to their advantage? That could have been a ruse, those men could have been acting under their own alternatives, but then again…I’m inclined to believe not. He’s Felix’s dad, for god’s sake; the guy must have ‘corrupt’ written right through him. His motives are about as clean as Niall’s language. I want out; I don’t want anything more to do with him, and dissociation seems far easier this way. Besides that…I couldn’t lose you. Not now, not after I’ve only just gotten this part of you…” He held Harry’s face in his hands like something delicate and breakable, tracing a careful line down Harry’s jawline so that the younger boy’s eyes closed and he shuddered in enjoyment at the fluttering sensation in his belly.

No. Concentrate, Harry. He’s saying something here; pay attention! Harry scolded himself. Forcing his eyes open, he asked anxiously, “What do you mean?”

“Isn’t it obvious? I’m going to sign his stupid contract.”

What?”

“It’s hardly a difficult choice. Get shipped off somewhere and never see you or my family ever again, or give up these stupid force fields and get to stay with you. It doesn’t take a genius to work it out, Harry.”

“You can’t do that!”

“Why not?” There was a moment’s pause, and then Louis shot him a hurt look. “Don’t you…want me?” He sounded like he’d struggled to force the words out, and his eyes seemed to dull miserably at the very thought.

“Don’t be ridiculous, of course I do!” Harry snapped. “You think I wanted any of this to happen? You think all of those things I did for you were for nothing? Of course I want you, Lou. Forever. But I can’t be selfish; I can’t force you to give your powers up for me.”

“Force me? Now who’s being ridiculous? Honestly, Harry, you seriously believe I’d rather have a couple of stupid lilac bubbles at my disposal than spend the rest of my life with you? You’ve got problems up there if you honestly think that.” He tapped Harry on the forehead. “I love you. I don’t think there’s anything I wouldn’t give up for you, so please…stop.”

Harry said angrily, “No, you stop. Have you properly thought about this? Once they take your powers away, you can’t get them back. You rely on them now – if you’re going to fall over, that’s how you catch yourself; if you drop something, that’s how you make sure it doesn’t break. It’ll be like chopping off a limb, Louis. You’ll be at a total loss without this, like you’ve lost a sense.”

“I’ll acclimatize. Don’t you understand? I came after you because I love you, I’m here because I love you. There’s no way I’d give you up for anything, especially not what is essentially a safety blanket and some pretty purple lights! You can’t make me leave, Harry, you can’t make me keep my powers, you can’t make me do anything!”

“Louis…” Burying his face in his hands, Harry turned away, dropping his hands and shaking his head. “You can’t do this. Your powers are a part of you!”

“Yours are a part of you, too.”

“I don’t have a choice!” Harry cried, his eyes decidedly wet and his voice shaky. Even his lips trembled as he seized Louis by the shoulders and shook him a little, trying to communicate this important point. “If I don’t lose mine, I’ll die! Or I’ll go mad. I don’t have a choice.”

“Neither do I, Harry. This is what you don’t seem to understand! They’re a part of me, sure. But you are everything to me, and I’d rather lose one small part than the whole.”

Harry’s response to that was first to stare at him open-mouthed for a few seconds, then to lean forwards and bury one of his hands in Louis’ hair. He carded almost roughly through the fluffy caramel strands with his long fingers, looking completely stunned, and then before Louis could do anything other than make a hoarse, slightly strangled sound as Harry’s mouth slammed down on his, silencing any further dramatic speeches he could have made.

The kiss was rough and it was messy and it was warm, and it was clumsy because they were both holding each other’s faces and Harry was sifting feverishly through Louis’ hair while Louis slid his hands down Harry’s shoulders, and they both sort of lost themselves in it for a while. Secretly, Harry was wondering whether, if he had to chance to make Louis keep his powers and leave, would he do it? If he could meddle with his head one last time, would he do that?

No. He didn’t think he could. Not any more, not after everything that had happened…especially not with the warmth of Louis’ body pressed so closely against his own. He didn’t think he’d have the willpower any more. They both wore ugly billowing hospital gowns, and Harry stroked the worn fabric of Louis’ gown, soft and bobbly as clothing gets with frequent washing, then grabbed two handfuls of it so that the material bunched around his shoulders and slid down his neck, exposing the tanned skin stretching over his collarbones. Harry buried his face in the crook of Louis’ shoulder and deeply inhaled the scent of his neck, feeling kind of creepy but deciding he was past caring.

Louis tilted his head and struggled to manoeuvre around the awkward positioning so he could kiss Harry again. He ended up with curls up his nose, in his mouth, tickling his face, and his smile only widened because of it. His fingers raked down Harry’s spine, dug into him through the raspy fabric, and although they both shuddered at the sound of their gowns rubbing together with a skin-crawling chafing noise, neither of them had any intention of letting go.

They only realized quite how desperate their wandering hands were becoming when Harry found that his hand had crept up underneath Louis’ gown and was caressing his stomach, enjoying the smooth, firm curve of his belly as his hand wandered over it. By the look on his face, Louis was enjoying it too, although he barely dared to believe it was actually happening.

Lips against his jugular, and Harry murmured, “Melodramatic bastard” in possibly the most loving tone of voice Louis had ever heard, and Louis leaned against his moving lips and eagerly revelled in the sensation. “Forget a speech; that was a whole monologue. Completely unnecessary.”

“It won you over though, didn’t it?”

“God knows why. You’re an absolute idiot, you know.”

Against the delicate shell of his ear, with Harry’s curls lightly tickling his mouth, Louis whispered, “I had heard the rumour.” Then he nibbled on Harry’s earlobe for emphasis.

The sound that Harry made in response as he twitched underneath the pressure of Louis’ teeth pressing delicately against his ear was neither a whimper, a moan or any other kind of noise Louis had ever heard. It was just a helpless kind of cross between a gasp and a groan, and Louis liked it an awful lot.

“Don’t…believe everything…you hear,” he forced out, and Louis chuckled.

“Feeling a bit hot and bothered, are we?”

But before Harry could answer, the door flew open, and everyone who had left the room came marching back in again. It truly was a testament to how comfortable Louis was with his sexuality and his public portrayal of affections that he didn’t push Harry away, didn’t flinch, didn’t cringe, didn’t look the slightest bit ashamed. In fact, the only expression on his face as he looked up and scowled at the newcomers was annoyance. Beside him, Harry blushed a little, but he didn’t take his hand off Louis’ stomach or bother to hide the fact that he had a hand up his gown.

“That was never an hour!” Louis protested hotly. “That wasn’t even fifteen minutes!”

“No, sorry,” replied the man in the suit, sounding anything but. He brushed imaginary fluff off one crisp black sleeve. “We’ve been warned that the drug will need to be administered sooner than expected to those who want it…I’m so sorry, you’re going to have to make your decisions now.”

The room fell solemnly silent and everyone glanced around waiting for someone else to speak up and make their choice known. Apparently nobody quite liked to be the first to show where their allegiances lay.

Eventually, it was Niall who spoke up first. “I, uh…I’m gonna go. To this place in Sweden. I need to get to grips with things still, and maybe there’ll be people there who I can’t hurt as easily…I don’t want to give my powers up.”

“Yeah, me too.” Liam’s hand landed on his shoulder, and Niall’s face instantly flooded with a bright smile. “I have to go…there’s someone waiting for me there.” He’d been struggling for weeks to predict when and how he was going to meet the love of his life, and now he finally had a time, date, and place. Just over a month from now, and Danielle, once a part-time dance teacher and IT saleswoman, would walk into his life. Water manipulation powers – he wasn’t sure how Niall was going to take to her yet, with their powers being pretty much polar opposite and all but one could only try. He was still hoping Niall might be his best man one day.

“Harry and I will do it,” announced Louis. This was met with far less surprise than he’d expected; Liam didn’t look surprised at all (when did he ever?) Niall looked a bit taken aback, but then his gaze flitted to their interlocked hands, close proximity and swollen lips, and he nodded wisely, figuring out the situation reasonably easily. In the corner, Zayn and Eithne were huddled up with their arms around each other, his around her shoulders and hers around his waist, and while Eithne seemed moved by the announcement, Zayn looked like he got it completely. He caught Louis’ eye and gave him a knowing smile which Louis returned as he continued, “we’ll give up our powers. We’ll sign the contract.”

“Excellent, I’ll have someone fetch the equipment and prep you right now, then. What about you, Zayn? What’s your decision?”

He raised his head. His mouth was set in a stubborn line, his eyebrows sloping fiercely downwards, which was when they all realized that he had no intention of coming quietly. “Neither,” he said.

“I’m sorry?”

“Neither. Because Eithne can’t come with me to that place, not with all those people who could do her harm, and I know full well that you won’t let us have any further contact if you let us go; we’ll be separated. Which I have no intention of allowing to happen.” His arms tightened around her. “She stays with me – and seeing as none of your offers allow that, I’m going to have to decline.”

He was answered with a forced, sickly smile. “Now, Zayn, you know you can’t just refuse like that. What do you expect me to do, hmm? Just let you go? I know it’s hard, but make your choice. It’s not like you have any other choice in the matter than the ones I’ve given you.”

“That’s where you’re mistaken.” Zayn looked up, and everyone else in the room looked up, too, to where the skylight was propped open to allow fresh air to filter into the room (it had no other windows; presumably it had been assumed that they could break out that way). He grinned wickedly at Louis, who felt a strange sense of déjà vu – except this time, Zayn didn’t need his help.

The man frowned, clearly not getting it, and everyone else enjoyed his confusion while Zayn ambled to the middle of the room, Eithne by his side. Positioning himself almost directly below the skylight, he glanced around the room.

“It’s been fun…in parts. Guess I’ll miss you losers. Especially you –” he pointed at Liam “ – with your bloody spoilers, although I guess it means I had the borrowed foresight to come prepared.” He mischievously patted his pocket. “When you find that hot girl, remember, confidence and great hair is key. Niall, everyone will be looking for your services as their own personal marshmallow toaster – make sure you ask something in return; it’s a premium service. Harry, watch yourself, you dick, and don’t fall down any more stairs. Louis?” Their eyes met, and an enormous grin flickered across Zayn’s face. “Make sure he knows you’re there.” He made a small thrusting motion, and Louis snorted with laughter. “As for the rest of you…” Then Zayn made a violent and incredibly rude gesture that left little to the imagination, and made eye contact with the suited man as he did so. Once he’d done that, he tightened his grip on Eithne and then shot towards the ceiling in a way that made Louis feel incredibly dizzy, because of course he had seen this happen before. The only difference was that this time one of Eithne’s red patent ballet flats fell off and almost hit the suited man on the head, since he was leaping up and down yelling after them. (Louis noticed that all the other boys were wearing their own clothes again, and he felt incredibly jealous of this fact.)

Zayn and Eithne sailed through the skylight and Louis waved as he watched the two of them vanish through the gap, struggling not to laugh at the sight of the suited man yelling into the iphone he’d pulled out of his pocket and barking orders to apprehend them at whoever he was talking to, even though they all knew it was too late.

The moment they’d disappeared from sight, Louis turned to stifle his laughter in Harry’s hair, whilst Niall, who had no reservations about hiding his amusement, snorted with laughter, and Liam grinned at them all. Trust Zayn to make a dramatic exit.

~*~

“We’re gonna keep in touch, though, right?”

“’Course,” Louis assured him, hugging him with the arm that wasn’t aching, having had an enormous needle plunged into it. Beside him, Harry was rubbing his own arm and grimacing; the shot they’d been given had been large and clumsily given, and they were both less than impressed by the dull heaviness of their arms. “Dunno how we’ll figure it out yet, but we’ll sort something, Niall, don’t you worry. You’ll be okay, though, right? You’ve got Liam.”

“Yeah…” All of a sudden, Niall brightened. “Oh, yeah! You’ll never guess who they’ve said we have to take with us!”

“Who?” Harry sounded a little worn out, but he was making a determined effort to perk up, for the other boys’ sakes. He still wore a smile, they all did, even though they were struggling to cope with their farewells. After spending so much time together, they were still all stinging a little from the loss of Zayn – that had been like ripping a plaster off; fast and therefore the pain was mostly gotten over with quickly, with just a slight lingering ache that could be ignored. This was going to be worse, far worse.

“Michael!” At the confusion which greeted this statement, Niall continued excitedly, “you know, the sheep! After all the modification they did to it, it’s unfit for being released into the world with all the other animals and so on – like us! So I’ve got to take it with me!”

Since he was clearly delighted by this, everyone murmured appreciatively. But before anyone could continue the conversation further, Niall hurled himself at the closest person (who happened to be Harry) and buried his face in his shirt, hiding from the world. Harry was stunned, but pleasantly surprised, and he squeezed Niall tightly.

“I’m going to miss you,” Niall said thickly.

“You too, Nialler. We’ll figure something out though, yeah?” Harry lied, because despite all of his and Louis’ assurances he wasn’t sure it was going to be quite so easy keeping in touch as all that. After a moment’s consideration, he picked up a pen from the table by his bed and quickly scribbled his home telephone number on Niall’s arm. “There. If you can get hold of a phone of some kind, call me. I’ll be there.”

Niall blotted his damp eyes on his sleeve. “Thanks, Harry. You’re a great guy, you know that? You and Louis deserve each other, you deserve a bit of happiness to come out of this whole mess. I hope everything works out for the two of you.”

“So do I. But I’m confident it will.” Crushing Niall against his chest in one of the roughest hugs he’d ever given, he instructed, “if you see Zayn, let him know, will you? Pass the number along? It’ll be a lot easier for him to find a payphone or something.”

“Will do. It’s going to be weird without you guys, you know…”

“Oh, come on, don’t get me all soggy,” Harry joked, although he was struggling to hold back his own tears. “Don’t drown me before I get a chance to hug Liam, will you?”

That, of course, was Liam’s cue to hug him as well, and as always, Liam was far calmer about the situation, although he was visibly struggling with his goodbyes too. Louis hung onto Niall while Harry and Liam bravely said their goodbyes, and then they swapped around, and then it all started getting a bit muddled because Liam found himself hugging Niall while the Irish boy sobbed “I’m going to miss you so much!” and Harry whispered “Louis, is that you?” because he’d found himself being hugged by Louis instead. Then they had to explain to Niall, like he’d forgotten, “Liam’s going with you, you plank!” and by the time it had all been sorted out there was a snobbish looking man standing around looking impatient, and they all gathered that they had to go.

The final goodbyes were all far more rushed, but that made it less painful, really, so they’d be glad of it later on. Rather than dramatic farewell speeches, their official farewells went something like this:

Cough. “Well. I guess I’ll see you guys around.”

“Yeah…it wasn’t exactly fun, but…we had some good times. I’ll miss you.”

“I’ll miss you too…but I won’t miss your smelly feet.”

Laughter rippled through the room.

“My feet don’t smell!” Pause. “Well, all right, they do, but whenever you eat a particularly pungent piece of cheese…you’ll think of me.”

They all snorted with laughter again.

“Bye, Louis.”

“Bye, Niall.”

“Bye, Lou.”

“Yeah. See you around, Liam.”

“Catch you later, Harry.”

“You too…Niall.”

“Mm, later, Harry.”

“Bye, Liam.”

The room emptied somewhat rapidly after that, and Harry and Louis were alone. Swallowing, Harry fell into Louis’ arms and into one of the hugs he didn’t think he’d ever get enough of; an embrace that was firm but gentle, and he inhaled the warm smell of Louis that drowned out the hospital disinfectant, and had bent his head so much that when he stood on his toes a little, Louis was able to press a careful kiss onto the top of his head, amongst the midst of several thick, fluffy chocolate curls.

“It’s going to be weird without them.”

“I know…” Louis sighed heavily. “But we have a new problem, you know.”

Harry’s head jerked in alarm. “What’s that?”

“We have to go home now…but I don’t think I can stand to let you go. Meaning we’ll have to go together. So whose house are we going to first? Bearing in mind that the other’s parents will probably be absolutely fuming that we didn’t contact them first…”

“Well…I have some things I need to tell my parents. Because I didn’t know I…liked guys too, before I met you. So I never told them. That I’m…gay, or bisexual, or pansexual, or whatever it is I am. I need to explain…”

“Easier with two,” Louis said softly. “Trust me. I know. They can’t flip out as spectacularly if there’s another gay person in the room…I’ll come with you, if you want. Help you to explain…”

Relief had Harry sinking even further into his embrace. “Would you? Really?”

“Of course I would! We’re in this together, you know. This, and everything else. Five became two, and I’ve got no intention of letting two become one ever again…I’ll always be here to hold your hand.” The statement was slightly ruined by the fact that Louis’ whole arm was numb and he couldn’t seem to properly wrap his fingers around Harry’s, meaning that their tingling knuckles brushed limply together and they both giggled a bit. Louis tutted impatiently and let his twitching hand go limp. “Well. You know what I mean.”

Harry grinned. “Yeah.” Raising an eyebrow, with his own good hand, he reached out and took Louis’, which made the older boy blush a little bit with embarrassment at not having thought of that himself. Harry raised Louis’ hand and kissed it, which was very old fashioned but nonetheless romantic, and as his lips left Louis’ skin, an odd shiver trickled down Louis’ spine. Their eyes met, and Harry’s green irises burned into his blue ones. “I do…I love you.”

“I love you.”

Silence fell, and they were both completely comfortable with it, which, for two such talkative people, was quite strange.

Silence is made to be filled, but was there anything else to be said? They could think of nothing.

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