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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28. Chapter twentyeight.

“No…” said Louis slowly. “No, that’s wrong. What the fuck have we been doing?” Horrified, he looked up at Harry, who was stood a few feet away, quivering in shock, his green eyes wide and frightened. “Jesus Christ, Harry, what the hell have you done to my head?”

“Nothing!” Shaking his head frantically, Harry desperately attempted to deny it, expression fearful. He had no idea what else to do other than pretend that it wasn’t happening, still racked with exhaustion-induced shivers that were also being contributed to by the panic rolling over his head now that Louis had so suddenly realized what he’d been doing for the last few blissful weeks. His happy little facade of a relationship was crashing down around his ears, and he had no idea how to salvage it. In fact, he sensed that if a bit of the detritus of their relationship – and possibly their friendship – fell too hard, it might crush him.

“Bullshit.” He’d never seen Louis so angry; his blue eyes were stones, and the rest of his expression was almost as hard. “Don’t even try to fob me off with excuses, Harry. You think I don’t know what you’ve been doing? What did I tell you all those weeks ago, Harry? Months, maybe! I told you that my mind is the one sanctuary I have, and you violated that!” Disgustedly, Louis shook his head. “What the hell is wrong with you?”

“What’s going on?” Niall demanded, not having the sense to retreat and leave them to it, like Liam wisely had, already shuffling out of the room on his hands and knees to get out of the way so that they could argue it out in peace. “What did he do?”

“He’s been dragging me onto the roof and snogging me every night!” Louis hissed, “and then wiping it all out of my memory so I wouldn’t remember. What kind of creep does that, huh? What kind of creep?” Furiously, he turned on Harry, even though secretly he wasn’t sure whether he might be more upset that he’d been lusting after Harry for so long and had lost all the memories without ever knowing it had happened. Harry didn’t have the right to take that away from him! The fact that he’d tried outraged Louis more than anything else, and he was revolted.

Tearing up, his eyes growing wetter and more pitiful by the second, Harry staggered a few steps forwards and cried with a voice that shook like someone was rattling him around, “It wasn’t like that, Louis! I didn’t do it to be pervy or anything!”

“Yeah? Well, that’s not what it looks like. You sneak me up on top of the garage every other night and get off with me, and then you reach inside my head and scoop all the memories out, or paint over them with something else, and then you act like it never happened!” Louis’ eyes narrowed. “In fact, you’ve done it other times, too. Everywhere. And I don’t even properly know the full extent of what we’ve done because it still hurts to think about it and I’m fuckingstarving –” Groaning, Louis bent almost double and wrapped his arms around his stomach. “I’ve been craving chocolate cake constantly for weeks, and I didn’t even know why. But it’syou, isn’t it? More interfering in my head!”

“Please.” Harry had given up on all attempts at either dignity or reasoning with Louis; he stumbled towards him with his arms outstretched, like he was going for a hug, and Louis quickly sidestepped in disgust. “Please, Louis. Don’t be like this. At least let me explain!”

“No. I don’t want to hear your voice ever again. Not now I’ve heard it like that!”

“Like what?” whispered Harry. The first tear trickled down his face and plopped onto the floor, where it shone like a splinter of broken glass. Feeling horribly guilty, Louis hurriedly tore his gaze away from it, as if it would vanish if he didn’t look at it.

“Like…” He waved his hands inadequately. “Saying my name. Panting my name while you’re making me kiss you, and making me touch you, and while you’re touching me back, and –” Cutting himself off, he shook his head.

“You make it sound so wrong!”

“It is wrong! We’re supposed to be mates, Harry! Practically brothers, after all we’ve been through. And instead of explaining to me how you felt, you thought it would be better to skulk around and force it all out of me? I don’t understand, Harry; if you felt that way, why couldn’t you just tell me? Why did you not give me an opportunity to talk to you about this?”

Zayn’s hand landed on Niall’s shoulder, and he gave a little squeak, flinching visibly. Making a gesture to indicate that the Irish boy should give the other two some privacy, he tugged carefully on the blond’s shirt, and after a moment of reluctance, Niall tore his wide bluish green eyes away from the sight of his two friends standing in the middle of the room, one glaring, one with very wet eyes, and tactfully, they slid out, leaving Harry and Louis alone.

Usually, Harry would have been making good use of their alone time, but now? He wanted them to come back again, so he didn’t have to be alone with Louis’ anger and the fury that burned in his blue eyes. They were sharp and hard and cool, and he felt them burrowing into his skin like someone was injecting diamonds into him. It made him feel uncomfortable, miserable, but most of all, horribly guilty. Not to mention the twisting in his stomach which was making him feel decidedly sick.

“We need to talk.”

“I know that.”

“It was a bloody stupid thing that you did, Harry.”

“I know that, too!” Taking a deep breath, Harry buried his face in his hands, but he didn’t quite dare to turn away – according to the venomous expression on Louis’ face, despite his calm tone, he was apparently contemplating murder, and Harry at least wanted a change to explain before he got his face rearranged. “I know all of that,” he said miserably, speaking through his fingers so he didn’t have to look at stony-faced Louis. “I just…didn’t let myself think about any of it.”

“Well you should have!” exploded Louis furiously. “It’s not that I object to you in general, Harry, because I don’t! I’m gay anyway, and sure, we’re close. Something might well have been able to happen between us, if only you’d asked!”

Might. Huh. That was a stupid thing to say. He knew full well that he’d been ridiculously attracted to Harry for weeks; maybe even months. It hurt sometimes, with the effort of not touching him. In fact, he found himself memorizing silly little things about the boy, such as the way the skin creased around his eyes when he laughed, and when he was concentrating his forehead puckered and several loose brown curls dropped over his forehead just so, and he absently flicked them out of his eyes. Sometimes he just wanted to pin him against the wall and kiss him very hard, and not let him go until both of their lips were bruised and they were both panting for breath. He dreamt about it some nights – often, he would wake up sweating, damp and uncomfortable, from a dream far more explicit than that. The thought that he’d had some of that and that Harry had tried to take it all from him, snatching away memories that he would have cherished forever…even now, they were distorted and he struggled to think of them without suffering from a blinding headache that felt like his skull was splitting open. It hurt to think that Harry had removed them from him without a moment’s hesitation – not to mention the way his ears were burning at the thought of how he had cried out, raking lustfully at Harry’s skin, nipping at his neck, twisting frantic fingers into his curls. He had been Harry’s plaything, cloaked by the night with no one to hear his gasps, and Harry had been his. Shame coloured his cheeks; he couldn’t remember the specifics, but the sensation of his lips on Harry’s hot skin was clear enough. It scorched into his mind and left him flaming with embarrassment.

“I tried to ask! But you didn’t understand. And I tried to start over, but I was too impatient; I just wanted to touch you, but I’d have had to explain first – and I could never find the words. I was always going to explain to you eventually…I just didn’t know what to say! So I thought I’d just make the most of spending time with you, and kind of got to grips with the whole thing, then maybe it’d be easier. I love you, Louis.” His expression was earnest, and Louis could feel himself weakening, losing himself in the intricate mossy swirls of those incredible eyes. He gripped the table, which he’d taken refuge behind, with both hands, his tanned knuckles turning white. Only a few days outside and he’d already picked up a lovely golden-brown tan; he tanned so easily. It was great. Harry was pale and perfect, like a snowflake, and he was staring pleadingly at Louis, who was quickly forgetting his anger. It was ebbing away more quickly, the longer he spent staring at Harry.

But anger was hot, and snowflakes have a tendency to melt.

“That’s not good enough! That isn’t an excuse! You used me, Harry!”

Harry’s mouth fell open in shock; the conversation wasn’t going the way he had intended, the way he had hoped…the way he had always envisioned it in his mind. “I was scared! I didn’t know what to do!” His lower lip was trembling.

“You forced me into something without my consent. That’s practically rape, and I think you’ll find you can get arrested for that.”

“What?” Harry couldn’t help it; he let out a stunned laugh at that. “You can’t be serious. You’re going to have me arrested now, are you? What then? Experimented on? Dissected? Grow up, Louis. It was the odd kiss in the darkness, not non-consenting gay sex.”

“Yeah, well it was a kiss that I didn’t choose to have, and that you made me forget about afterwards because you knew it wasn’t what I wanted! Come on, don’t even pretend that you found some other reason for erasing my memories! You knew that I hadn’t consented to it, you knew I would never have let you skulk off and pretend it didn’t happen, so you forced me.” He rubbed his eyes wearily. “I don’t know if I can forgive you for this, Harry.”

The silence stretched between them like an elastic band, straining as far as it would go, ready to break. Harry kept his eyes firmly trained onto Louis’ face, refusing to drop his gaze. He wasn’t entirely sure why he was staring quite so fiercely, but he had a strange sort of idea that he shouldn’t stop, like his lingering look was the only think keeping the older boy from storming out. Breathing thinly through his mouth, Louis’ expression was stormy, his forehead furrowed, lips pressed together, and his arms hung loosely by his sides, fingers twitching oddly. Nervous, Harry waited and resisted the urge to bite his lip. If he did, he might bite down hard enough to draw blood, and he didn’t really feel like having a split lip to contend with on top of everything else.

“Is this it, then?” he asked tersely. “You’re…breaking up. With me. Our friendship, I mean!” he hastily clarified.

“I don’t know. I’m confused. And I’m angry and I don’t think I can deal with this right now.”

“It can’t wait, Louis. I won’t wait. I need you to tell me what you want me to do, because I’m in love with you, and if you can’t deal with that then maybe I’m better off on my own.” The words were hollow; he didn’t actually mean them. His intention was to shame Louis into acting. But really, he ought to have known by now that Louis liked to defy his expectations.

“Go on, then.”

Shock had him choking; gasping for breath and eyes watering as he stared in absolute horror at Louis, blinking like a frightened child at the cold, emotionless words. “What?” he forced out past the icicles that had formed in the back of his throat like the frozen bars of a prison cell.

“Go. If you think you’re better off alone, then maybe you should leave. I don’t think I can ever look at you in the same way, Harry; you’ve betrayed me, and…” Louis swallowed and licked his lips. “I don’t know if I can trust you ever again. Not now I know what you’ve done, and what you could do again. Every time I look at you, I think about what we did…”

“But Louis –”

He had fallen apart the second Louis had spoken that first syllable, but he was still grabbing desperately for the pieces of himself that were rapidly detaching and plinking to the floor like shards of glass. Shudders rippled through him, starting somewhere around his shoulders and pulsing through his entire body right down to his toes. Something inside him had broken and he felt like he was struggling to breathe, as though his lungs had filled with water and he was drowning from the inside out. But the worst part of all was seeing Louis stand there, looking at him as if he was a stranger who he had just watched commit and awful crime – as if he didn’t even know him, but was completely disgusted by him anyway. The words caught in his throat and he locked them away – better to have at least his dignity to take with him when he left. Because he would leave now; he would have done anything Louis asked, and this was no exception. If Louis wanted it, Harry would give it to him, even if it killed him to do it…which it might. His face was wet, and it only added to the sensation that he was drowning.

Stomach churning, he dimly wondered if he was going to be sick. A part of him made the conscious decision to aim away from Louis if he did happen to throw up; Louis was disgusted enough with him as it was, without suffering the indignity of Harry vomiting on his shoes.

There was one question bubbling inside him, reverberating through his whole being, causing him to ache all over like he had the flu; could he leave? Could he actually turn around and walk away, and leave Louis standing there glaring after him? Could he face the thought of never seeing Louis again, let alone the reality? Was he strong enough for that, or would the mere effort of leaving have him curled up on the floor screaming until he ripped his internal organs to shreds with nothing but the force of his agonized howls? Lips pressing together, he held back a whimper, just in case it became a scream.

Fresh tears fell, and he despised each and every one of them for being another little trophy of his own weakness, his own pathetic lack of restraint. The contempt on Louis’ face wasn’t lessened by his tears; he probably loathed Harry for being so wretched, so pitifully weak that he couldn’t even hold back his upset for something which he himself had done. Knowing that he’d brought it all upon himself by no means made Harry feel any better, nor did he want it to. It wasn’t as if he deserved to feel good about himself any more, after this betrayal, this stupid display of cowardice, his lack of restraint. And now Louis hated him.

His love slowly bled out of him with every disgusted scowl Louis threw his way, and as the older boy began pacing up and down the kitchen with his hands clasped behind his back, Harry quivered with cries that remained muted; he refused to let them be heard. To make up for his weakness before, he would be strong now. Louis hated him enough – he didn’t think he could bear to be any more despised.

“We slept together. I slept in your bed. What were you thinking through all of that, Harry? Huh? Were you thinking of all the things you could do to me, that you could make me do to you? Did you think, ‘hey, this is a good opportunity for a’ –” he cut off just before he could spit out the final vicious word, apparently unable to force it out even though he was as angry as he’d ever been. It made Harry want to moan in misery at the very thought that even now, Louis couldn’t manage to be that cruel. It hurt almost as much as the word itself might have done.

Louis began circling him, prowling slowly around him like an angry cat, his blue eyes narrowed sharply as he walked around Harry’s shaking body and looking him up and down, as if he could judge the severity of their previous activities just by looking at him.

“Did you think it was funny? Make Lou kiss you because he’s gay, he won’t mind – and then leave him all fuzzy so he knows that you did stuff but can’t properly remember how much? I guess it must have been hilarious to you, right?”

I love you, thought Harry, but he didn’t dare to say it out loud, or to project it into Louis’ head. That would only make matters so much worse.

“I don’t know what makes me angrier – that you thought it was okay or that you thought you could just make me forget! What the hell is wrong with you, Harry? You just threw our friendship aside like it was nothing so that you could make out with me! What kind of person does that?”

He couldn’t explain – couldn’t tell him that he hadn’t forced him to kiss him, or touch him, that everything but the memory wiping had been entirely of Louis’ own volition. The words wouldn’t come, and he was scared that it would only make Louis angrier. Truly, Harry didn’t know what to say. The logical course of action (and, hatefully, the first course of action that came to mind) was for him to erase this, too, and then go straight to Louis and explain what had been going on, and maybe then he wouldn’t hate him quite so much. But he was still shaking all over with exhaustion, barely able to move, let alone start controlling someone’s brain, especially because he would have to do something to Zayn, Niall and Liam too, to stop them from ever telling Louis what had happened. He couldn’t modify Eithne’s memories, so there would always be the risk that she would snitch on him, and make Louis ten times more furious than he already was. If he lied again and was found out, he thought Louis would be so angry that he might quite literally attack him. So all he could do was uselessly stand there, feeling everything drain out of him, digging his fingernails into his palm with the force of not bursting out with every panicked thought that sprang to mind –IloveyouI’msorryI’msosorryfuckIloveyoufuckfuckIloveyousosorryIloveyoufuck.

Louis raged at him for what felt like an eternity, bringing up things which Harry would rather forget. Secrets that Harry had whispered into his ear in the dead of night, when they’d been alone, just talking about nothing because it eased the loneliness, the fear, the anxiety. They’d been locked in a darkened room together for close to a week, and then been sharing a room whilst on the run for months after that. The things that Harry had told Louis while the rest of the world slept should not have been repeated to anyone, and truly, Louis told no one but Harry himself, but Harry didn’t really want to hear any of it again. It terrified him how much he trusted Louis, and it hurt him to hear his darkest secrets being parroted back at him. It hurt him even more to see that Louis showed no signs of guilt that he was effectively betraying Harry by bringing them all to light.

Voice raised, Louis started shouting, and Harry blinked at him and felt his face become a salty waterfall as he cried out what felt like every drop of moisture in his body. The argument carried on for at least forty minutes; not that it was exactly an argument, just Louis, yelling at Harry as if he was afraid to stop, hurling insults, accusations and god knows what else at the younger boy, while Harry silently stood there and took it.

When his tirade came to an end, and all he could do was stand there inhaling and exhaling, Harry gave him a very long, hurt stare, as if he was half expecting Louis to backtrack and renounce every word he’d said. Of course, Louis had no intention of doing anything of the sort, and fiercely met his gaze, waiting for Harry to look away.

Heaving a sigh which he instantly regretted, Harry turned around and headed for the kitchen door; it felt like he floated across the room on a cloud of numbness, bitter confusion, and Louis’ resentment. He couldn’t feel his feet – or many other parts of his body, other than his pink cheeks which burned with humiliation and rejection in equal measure, his sore eyes which were rapidly becoming pink and puffy, and his aching chest, which felt like it was being stabbed squarely in the centre with every intake of breath he took. His long fingers lingered on the door-handle and he turned it almost dreamily, drifting into the dimly lit corridor. Evening was falling and nobody had turned the lights on, so they were slowly heading towards darkness and his eyes struggled to adjust to it. Gaze firmly fixed on the front door, he reached it and looked back, desperately pleading to all the gods in all the heavens that had existed, or would ever exist, that Louis would be standing at the other end of the corridor, frozen, watching him leave. That at the last possible second he would sprint down the corridor, fly at Harry, pin him against the front door before he could walk out through it and kiss him hard, oozing forgiveness in every tiny movement of his soft lips on Harry’s.

But happy endings were for fairytales, and he wasn’t the handsome prince. Not even the beautiful princess. He was the villain; the witch who warped people’s minds and whom nobody liked, and who was banished from the kingdom without a second thought. And no Louis was stood sadly watching him in the kitchen doorway.

For a moment, Harry did lose control of himself a little bit, by letting out a small whimper through his teeth like a puppy in pain, which he inwardly berated himself for afterwards in case Louis had heard it, in case Louis despised him even more for being so stupidly pathetic. He knew that if their positions had been reversed, he would have hated Louis for displaying such idiotic vulnerability – for crying.

No, he wouldn’t. He could never hate Louis.

It seemed, however, that Louis was perfectly capable of hating him.

Straightening, his shoulders stiff, Harry once again pressed his lips together in a ruler-straight, unfaltering line. He closed his eyes and took several calming breaths to steady himself in preparation for leaving. Then, he summoned every tiny little bit of strength he had, opened the door and walked out without so much as a glance back, leaving Louis behind him in the knowledge that if it was what Louis wanted, then there was nothing he wouldn’t do to ensure that Louis would get it. Even if he tore himself apart in the process.

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