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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24. Chapter twentyfour.

Their kisses tasted like midnight; like secrets blurring together as their lips whispered in unison, thinly veiled in shadows and moonlight. The world around them was silent; the only noises were the sounds of their own heavy breaths as they gasped into each other’s mouths. Harry lay on his back on the garage roof, Louis hovering over him and pressing insistent kisses to his shoulders, neck and chest, and every so often Harry would tilt his head so Louis could more easily reach a certain spot, and every now and then he would sigh or, embarrassingly, groan, because it all felt so sinfully good.

Louis was holding himself against Harry without giving him his weight, their bodies pressing together; they were both unashamedly turned on and grabbing helplessly at each other’s clothes, hair, skin, anything they could seize a handful of. A particularly heated bite on Harry’s collarbone had him crying out in unrestrained pleasure, and he bit down hard on Louis’ neck to muffle the noise that just refused to stay inside of him, that seemed to feel it needed to be heard.

Their caresses were fierce now, so fierce that Louis’ hands tugged Harry’s thick curls and brought tears to his eyes, and Harry desperately raked long nails down Louis’ back hard enough to leave bloody, stinging furrows down his spine. Neither of them were being gentle or taking things slowly; tonight was about raw passion, need, the fire that burnt between them every single day that neither of them dared to act on. Some nights were spent in conversation and only ended in kisses; some were loving and gentle. Tonight they were desperate and tonight they would not leave their impulses to be denied. Tonight they played rough, and they both loved every second that they spent clawing and biting and rolling roughly around as they gripped each other’s hips and tugged at each other’s mouths as if they’d been waiting for these kisses for one hundred years and this was the only chance they would get.

It was a routine of theirs, now, not that Louis knew it. Almost every night, Harry would encourage Louis to sneak onto the roof, and then he would begin his advances – and they lost themselves in passionate embraces and the kind of burning kisses that seared themselves into Harry’s brain forever, the kind of touches that were so hot he thought they might both catch fire. Sounds that could not be held back, instincts that could not be ignored, and all in blissful secrecy that nobody knew about – in fact, only one of the participants would know after tonight. These magical encounters, achingly perfect nights, would stay in Harry’s mind forever; he was incapable of forgetting a single detail of even one of them. They were all inscribed into his brain with breathtaking clarity. Louis, however, would never remember – not if Harry had anything to do with it.

It wasn’t that Harry didn’t want Louis to know, because he certainly did. He wanted it so much that it was almost painful, that a resounding ache began in his chest every time he removed the memories from Louis’ mind. He just wasn’t sure how he ought to explain it; where he ought to begin. Oh, he’d tried – the very first time he’d brought Louis up onto the garage roof in the dead of night, on top of the place where they were hiding Eithne, it had been to explain how he’d felt. They’d stood and looked at each other, eyes wide, wind playing in their hair, and Louis had said “Go on, then – why did you bring me up here in this mysterious way? What can’t be said down there where the others might hear us in their sleep?” And when faced with that perfect, mischievous grin, Harry had been too flustered to summon up a proper explanation. Scarlet-faced and confused, he’d blurted out “I don’t want to be your friend any more, Louis.” The expression on Louis’ face had been bewildered, and when Harry hastily clarified “I don’t want to be your friend because I think I’m in love with you,” the confusion had only intensified. Louis was completely baffled by Harry’s attempt to explain the feelings that even he didn’t quite understand, and even Harry could see that it had all gone awfully wrong, and he would never be able to make things clear after he’d fucked up his explanation quite so well. So he darted forwards, placed a hand on Louis’ elbow, and then he was wiping it all away, erasing his stupid mistake, and once again Louis was teasing “Why did you bring me up here in this mysterious way? What can’t be said down there where the others might hear us in their sleep?” He looked so ridiculously gorgeous that Harry flew at him and kissed him violently – and once he had finished with that, and figured out that perhaps that wasn’t the best approach he could have chosen either, he had Louis forget that too. That was about the point where he realized that he didn’t have to explain; he could just have Louis with him over and over until he got his head straight and could make his feelings clear – and it hurt that every kiss was their first for Louis, and he would never remember any of them. But he was too afraid to let it be any other way.

At the end of every blissful evening, when the torrent of passion and the need for sensation had died down, or when they were simply calmer, tired and wanted sleep, Harry would take Louis’ hand and lead him back inside the house, to the bedroom they shared – and they would pause just outside the door. He always gave Louis one last, lingering kiss on the cheek – and as his lips grazed Louis’ skin he erased every moment they spent together, every perfect second. Then he released Louis and watched him walk into the room, spent a few seconds fighting to calm himself; then he would follow, and he had to lie down beside the boy he loved in the bed that they shared and try not to think about how much he wished they could sleep in each other’s arms, and how afraid he was of that ever being able to happen.

Harry sat up, pushing Louis off him, and then he pressed a finger against the other boy’s swollen lips, silencing his protests. They were both panting; breathing heavily, and Harry could feel that his face was flushed, his chest rapidly rising and falling. It took him a few seconds to begin returning to sanity, but once he had started the trip, he quickly returned to the senses he had abandoned the moment he had pounced on Louis that night.

“Let’s go to bed, Louis,” he said softly.

~*~

Harry walked into the kitchen and spotted Louis standing and staring absently out of the window. As was quickly becoming his habit, he placed his hands on Louis’ waist from behind – Louis whirled around, a surprised cry bubbling on his lips, and then Harry quickly kissed him right on the mouth, almost simultaneously reaching into Louis’ mind and pulling lightly at his perception, tugging the still forming memory straight out of his head. The moment he had snagged the memory and removed it, he was taking his hands away and turning to the sink, as he began filling the kettle ready to make himself a cup of tea. A quick visit to the closest electricity provider and a stop off at the council’s offices on the other side of town had caused electricity to be rerouted to the house once again, entirely free of charge, and the water supply had been switched back on – both with absolutely no record of the fact, and both completely devoid of expense of any kind. A smirk tugged Harry’s lips upwards slightly. Niall was still struggling not to light himself on fire whenever he got pissed or stressed out, Louis still couldn’t usually produce a tangible force field under pressure, Liam was still having difficulty getting clear or specific visions, or even useful ones, and Zayn was still inclined to send the furniture flying around his head in his sleep – he, Harry, appeared to be the only one who had gotten completely to grips with his power. The best part was that nobody else knew quite how effective and finely-tuned his abilities had become.

“Where’s Niall?” he asked without looking away from the mug as he dumped a teabag into it.

Louis blinked dopily at him, and Harry felt a twinge of guilt as he realized he’d gotten a little too overconfident. Something he’d discovered fairly quickly was that if he wiped away Louis’ memories too quickly, it could leave him disoriented, dizzy and with a killer headache. Whether or not it was specific only to Louis was unclear, but Harry still felt a bit mean for not remembering to be a little more delicate.

“Hmmm?” Groaning, Louis rubbed his eyes with his knuckles, and Harry allowed himself another moment’s regret before turning back to his cup of tea.

“You okay?”

“What? Yeah, I’m…” Louis hesitated; all of a sudden his eyes seemed inexplicably drawn to Harry’s lips. They lingered there for a moment, then scanned his jawline, flickered over his eyes and paused – and he and Louis stared at each other for a few seconds. With a visible effort, Louis swallowed very hard. “Fine,” he said loudly. “I’m fine.”

For a moment or so Harry was slightly concerned that he might have messed Louis’ head up a little, but he quickly banished the thought, because awareness was filtering back into Louis’ expression along with an exceedingly sheepish smile – he’d been daydreaming again, probably. Harry rolled his eyes fondly.

“Where’s Niall?” he asked again, more gently this time.

Louis shrugged. “God knows. Did you check the garage? It’s his turn to watch Eithne, isn’t it?”

“That’s why I’m looking for him,” Harry said grimly. “We were meant to swap over at least ten minutes ago – if not fifteen!”

Just as Louis was about to respond, Liam came wandering cheerfully into the kitchen – and when he saw Harry, his eyes narrowed slightly. “What are you doing in here?”

“Looking for Niall,” was Harry’s slightly defensive response.

“Well if you’re looking for Niall, who’s looking after Eithne?” Liam demanded, as close to being irritated as Liam Payne ever was.

“No one,” said Harry sharply, but before Liam could start having a go at him, he interrupted “but I waylaid Zayn on the way and told him to go keep an eye on her, so we’re all right for now. I don’t know what the hell Niall thinks he’s playing at, though. Do you think someone should go and look for him?”

Louis snorted. “Don’t bother. He’ll turn up soon enough. It’s almost lunchtime.”

~*~

Niall was a little hurt that not one of the others had noticed him slipping away, but he supposed it made his job a little easier. Tugging the collar of his coat upwards a little to hide his face better, he slipped neatly past a crowd of French tourists and looked up at the enormous ferry boat, stunned by the sheer size of it. He always was. It had been years since he’d travelled from Ireland to England, or vice versa (whilst conscious, in any case) and as an awestruck six year old boy, he’d been struck dumb by his first sight of the enormous ship – he was just as shocked now, and he was eighteen years old. Although, he supposed he was young at heart, which had to count for something.

Even the sight of the ocean churning beneath the boat made him feel a little dizzy; he’d always been a little wary of water, although the feelings of anxiety he’d had were so much worse now, filling him with dread at the mere sight of the sea hundreds of feet below him. Perhaps it was the fact that now he had power, and his power resided purely in flames – which water could extinguish. The thought of himself plopping into the water with a sizzle made him shudder, and he pulled his coat more tightly around himself, licking his lips. He wasn’t going to fall. Still, in order to reassure himself he raised a hand to his face and summoned a spark, which cultivated into a tiny flame; he nursed it in the palm of his hand for a moment, then let it flicker and die. Comforted, he closed his hand and shoved it into his pocket. The ocean couldn’t get him as long as he didn’t fall into it, and that was something he had no intention of doing. Unless someone forced him, he wouldn’t even go near it – which in itself was the most reassuring thing of all; even the idea of someone attempting to make him do something was laughable. He could burn anyone he liked until they were blistered and screaming without even thinking about it – and had been known to do so when he panicked – it was safe to say he was not unduly worried about the possibility of being ambushed.

A part of him wished he’d had the presence of mind to bring Harry with him; not that Harry would have consented to come, but in ideal circumstances, Niall could have had a free boat ride over to Ireland. Of course, that would never have been a likely occurrence; even if Harry wouldn’t have disapproved thoroughly of this plan of his and gone tattling to Liam immediately, Niall could never have dragged him away from Louis.

He knew. Oh, yes, he most definitely knew. He had his suspicions that Louis didn’t, or at least didn’t know the full repercussions of the time he spent with Harry, but Niall had seen enough of the adoration in Harry’s green eyes to know that the youngest boy was completely smitten with the oldest. How cute.

Inconvenient, though, bearing in mind that Niall would have enjoyed the company on this journey he had undertaken. Now that he thought about it, if he’d had the presence of mind to think about things rather than rushing off before any of his friends could foresee his plans or effortlessly pluck them out of his head without him realizing it, he could have used the knowledge that Harry was messing around with Louis’ brain in some way and blackmailed him into helping. It couldn’t be helped, though, so Niall reached for the ticket he’d bought and prayed to God that he wouldn’t be asked for a passport.

It appeared that for once, God was listening. Niall sailed through customs without so much as a glance and was soon happily seated…well, perhaps not happily; he still felt pretty ill, but he was as comfortably seated as he ever would be. With a roar of engines, the boat coughed into life, and Niall closed his eyes and waited for it all to be over. Oh, and hoped that it wouldn’t be too tricky to find his way from the port to his home in Mullingar – it had been a while since he’d done it, after all.

~*~

Liam’s head snapped up and he blinked rapidly several times, his eyes focusing and un-focusing as he struggled to steady himself and at the same time interpret the events that he could suddenly see unfolding before his eyes. Beside him, Harry looked on worriedly and a concerned Louis started heading across the room, an anxious query on his lips. Before he could reach their grimacing friend, Harry put a hand out to stop him and warningly shook his head as an indication to stay back.

“Idiot,” Liam groaned, and they both cast him injured looks.

Louis muttered “Thanks for that,” with a slight frown.

Liam waved a hand dismissively. “Not you,” Harry translated. “Not me, either.”

“Who, then?”

“Niall,” hissed Liam, rubbing his closed eyes. “What the hell is he doing, the idiot?” Pause. “Oh, God. I wish I hadn’t asked.”

“What’s up?” asked Louis with dread.

No answer came from Liam, so Harry explained with a growing sense of horror, “He’s gone to Mullingar to tell his family where he is and that he’s okay – you’re right, he is an idiot. What on earth is he doing? If they know where he is they’ll call the police to have him taken off the missing persons list, and that means that Felix and Cheren will know where we are – Jesus, that puts us all in danger! Especially now we’ve got to make sure that we keep our eyes on Eithne and take her with us as well –” Harry swore. “Liam, can you not get anything clearer?”

“No, I can’t!” snapped Liam. “I get what I get, and this is it. All I know is that Niall’s going to get on a ferry in about ten minutes which will take him to Ireland, and then he’s going to find his family and get us all caught by the invisible and teleporting minions of a party of thuggish nutters!”

“What are we going to do, then?” demanded Louis.

“I’ll tell you what we’re going to do,” Liam said. “We’re going to get out there, all five of us, and we’re going to drag his stupid backside back to reality before he gets us all into trouble. I don’t know how, but we’re going to do it.”

“You know that for certain?”

Liam’s chin came defiantly up and he looked Harry straight in the eyes. “I do,” he said confidently. “After all, according to all other possible outcomes I see, either we bring him back, or we get brought back – by the police, into some kind of scientific research lab where they try and figure out what the hell is wrong with our biochemistry, whether it’s life threatening and whether or not it’s possible to replicate it.” His expression hardened. “There may or may not be some kind of dissection involved.”

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