KNOCKOUT - A Harry Styles FanFiction

This is the sequel to Dark by H28 from onedirectionfanfictions.com

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7. Chapter 6 part 2

I sat with him whilst he ate, a little disappointed to see he’d left half the sandwich untouched, but at least it was something. The colour has returned to his cheeks and I’m not sure if it’s because he’s feeling better, or the fact that I can’t control my doting over him. I glance at my phone whilst Harry takes the plate to the sink. It’s 1:24am and I’m starting to feel tiredness heavy in my limbs. There’s a text from James and one from Tiff; I leave both of them unanswered.

“You can take the bed.”

“Don’t be silly, you need to sleep properly,” I tell him with a shake to my head.

“I’ll sleep on the sofa.”

Without another word Harry disappears into his bedroom. I give him privacy to change and rearrange to cushions on the sofa as best I can. I’m surprised his jaw hasn’t unhinged with the excessive yawning; he’s so tried it probably won’t make a difference where he sleeps. A cleared throat has me turn.

“Do you –“ he nods through the doorway.

I give him a soft smile, following after him into his bedroom. The duvet cover has been straightened out, clothes scooped up from the floor and the window has been opened to freshen the stagnant smell of smoke. Harry stands off to the side as if he’s waiting for my approval. The ease of which we once functioned together has hardened and now everything seems a little forced. It will have to be rebuilt and I’m not sure I have the strength for it.

“Do you want something to wear?”

It’s only then that I notice his change of attire, no longer in jeans but soft joggers that sit on hips. Harry fidgets with the neck of his t-shirt because I can tell he’s uncomfortable. I’ve seen him at his lowest point. I held him through it.

“No, it’s ok. I’ll just – I’ll sleep in this.”

He stands at his guard post by the door, watching as I climb over his bed. The sheets are a dark, steely grey, crinkled and soft.

“You can get in, I don’t mind.”

The offer is kind but my thoughts are anything but. I’m unwilling to open myself up to those sort of condemning emotions. I don’t want to warm myself in his bed only for him to shut the light of and leave. Even if Harry stayed with me, I can’t stand the thought of sleeping amongst the same sheets he’s laid himself bare for other women. It’s not a path a wish to travel down and the longer I take to reply, the more it settles in Harry’s mind as to the mechanics and wanderings of mine.

“It’s ok,” I decline.

I fold my jacket up and place it under my head, curling my legs into my body. It’s enough to make me feel almost insignificant upon the large mattress. We exchange a few short blinks and an even couple of breaths before Harry sinks to the floor. I watch as his head lolls back against the wall.

“You shouldn’t still be fighting.”

My opinion raises his head, the length of his hair curling around his ears.

“I can’t see, it doesn’t make me a cripple,” Harry lightly frowns.

I ignore the bitten undercurrent, shifting slightly to lay in comfort. A hairband would be much appreciated but I come up short after checking my wrists.

“Do they know? Does Mack know that you’re bli-“

“What do you think draws in the crowds on fight nights?” he smugly asks. “Half blind in one eye and can still kick someone’s arse to the curb. People like an underdog.”

His little explanation is left without comment, because I know it’s unlikely he wants to hear that the club’s clientele aren’t particularly bothered, as long as he wins them money to fuel their binges. They don’t care about him.

“Are you at university?”

He runs a thumb across his knuckles as I sit up. I wasn’t aware I would be the centre of our question and answer session so it’s odd when he gazes at me for a reply.

“Yeah, it’s down on the coast. Sussex.”

Harry nods in comprehension, pulling his knees up. The small light on the bedside is dim, throwing off peculiar shadows onto the walls. Eyes shine with the lamp’s attention, the damaged one of the two looking softer, less of a reminder for him to carry.

“You taking English?”

“No, Development and International Relations.” Harry’s face twists in repulsion, it’s comical to watch. “It’s not as tricky as it sounds.”

“Do you like it there?”

It’s a simple question, could be considered as small talk but I know what he’s really asking; are you happy?

“It’s fun, I’ve made friends. It’s somewhere different.”

We continue to informally chat with the brunt of conversation leaning towards my life, the new life I’ve crafted for myself. It’s with genuine interest and slight disgust that Harry listens to ramblings of essay assignments and the trials of sharing a thin wall with the boy who vastly enjoys nights out, and his fondness for continuing the fun back in his room. I don’t tell him of James, or how we’ve been seeing each other for nearly two months. It’s not something I feel either of us would be glad for me to share.

It’s heading towards 2:15am and Harry’s fighting the tempting clutches of sleep. By 2:17am we’ve parted, separated by a door in a tiny flat.

It’s not particularly cold, but I can’t sleep. It feels like the first night of halls - a new mattress and unfamiliar room. There’s only so much shuffling I can do before I admit that I don’t like the suggestion of lingering smoke, or the fact that this isn’t Harry’s room, it’s just somewhere he sleeps, or tries to. Joints click as I roll my shoulders in an attempt to relieve a hunched body. Even with just my steady breath to fill the room, I can still hear the labour of Harry’s from earlier this evening. It’s silly, but I want to check on him.

The door is obediently silent as I open it, navigating an alien space which I’m yet to mentally plot the whereabouts of furniture. Images flicker wordlessly upon the TV screen, the mute pictures a comfort to someone who wishes not to sleep in the dark.

“Are you leaving?” Harry croaks.

Once sprawled lengthways on the sofa, Harry now sits slouched and rubbing at his eyes.

“No, I just couldn’t sleep,” I admit.

“Same.”

I take the seat next to him without permission and sit for a moment with our breathing as background noise. There’s movement out in the corridor beyond Harry’s front door but the hum passes by quickly and we’re left to exist together.

He yawns.

“Come on,” I encourage.

Placing a cushion in my lap I make it clear that he can lay his head down. He always appreciated kind touches, so I pet his hair to calm the thoughts preventing him from sleep. It’s with a drowsy glaze that he looks up to me and my thumb tenderly traces the scar that mars his face.

“You’re like an angel,” Harry murmurs heavy with sleep. “Have you come to save me?”

He’s burdened with the promise of sheltered rest as I pull the blanket higher and settle with his question. Tears prickle the corners of my vision as I realise that’s all I want to do. I want to take him away from here, liberate him from the life he feels trapped in, love him.

 

“I think I’d like that,” he rolls, face nearly pressed into my stomach. “To be rescued, I mean. That would be nice.”

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