Stepping a foot out of the tinted black van, loud chatter and laughs could be heard all across the massive field of the festival. Surprisingly, it was a clear sunny day, well, as sunny as London could get in January.
The backstage set up was blocking any view of the crowd in front of it, but just from the noise, Louis was a mix of excitement and nerves. Today was his first proper live performance, and he needed to do better than his last.
Not to the band's surprise, but Harry was already on his toes, looking over peoples' heads in search of his boyfriend. Louis could tell he was trying to be sly about it, but the joy on the younger boy's face gave it all away.
Louis just hoped that Harry wouldn't be spending the whole time with Kendall. He needed Harry at times like this.
Crew, stylists and managers were rushing around the back area, getting everything ready in place for the start of the show. Men speaking into small earpieces and walkie talkies, women scribbling down notes on clipboards, it was a chaotic sight for the new band members.
The five boy's were ushered into a large white tent that had two security men guarding the entrance, and their band name laminated on a sign taped to the tent.
As soon as everyone was inside, the boy's were pulled apart from each other, getting readied up for the show.
"You could hear the amount of people from back here! The show's going to be sick!" Niall happily said as he sat next to Louis, the two getting their hair placed into position. Louis had his in his normal scruffy look and Niall had his sprayed up in a quiff.
"Yeah," Louis nervously laughed quietly. "I'm excited."
"You'll smash it like you always do, Lou." Niall gave an encouraging smile, patting the older boy's back. Louis smiled back, feeling a little more confident this time round.
Louis couldn't help but shift his eyes every so often to the curly haired lad, only spotting how Harry would continuously peep through the entrance slit in look of a certain someone. It only stopped when his hair stylist pulled him away and to another mirror.
The older boy looked down to his chest, a bump in the middle of his shirt. His fingers pulled the necklace out of his shirt, fiddling with the pendant between his fingers, smiling to himself. He still wonders how a small piece of metal could make him so jittery inside, and make him so sure of himself, giving him a little confidence.
Once the two ladies instructed Niall and Louis to head over to the clothing racks and change, the boy's did as told, Niall going to one end of the tent where his clothes were sat and Louis going the other.
Louis moved a few of the coat hangers out of the way to find his outfit; and when he found it, his smile dropped. He mentally cursed to himself. Hanging in front of him was a pair of bright blue trousers, a red and white striped shirt, red suspenders, topped off with a pair of white TOMS. He forgot to tell their stylists that he wanted to change his look from colour to normal.
He bit his lip, knowing that his outfit is going to bring in even more of those horrible comments on Twitter. But what could he do? It was too late now.
With a sigh, Louis quickly slipped the colourful clothing, adjusting his suspenders into the right place. Not that it mattered. Either way he'll get a million gay comments. He turned to the full length mirror beside him, fixing his hair into place and pulling up his pants a little to try and hide his tummy a bit more.
"Is Harry in here?"
There was that voice. Louis snapped his gaze to the tent's entrance, spotting Kendall slipping inside the room. How was he allowed past the security so easy? Louis then noticed the lanyard hanging around the man's neck reading: VIP. Harry must have given it to him beforehand. He was also holding a sausage in bread that he bought from one of the stands in the festival.
Louis caught Harry quickly looking toward the voice, a grin sporting his face as he made his way over to the man, wrapping his arms around Kendall's waist. Fortunately for Harry, anyone who was in the tent, which weren't many, were part of their management team or crew and already knew about Harry's sexuality. They all accepted him, or they were told to keep their mouths shut about it.
"Hey babe. Wow, is your hair that long that you have to tie it up now?" Kendall chuckled, bopping the bun Harry tied his hair into, a couple of short curls free by his ears.
Harry shrugged. "I thought it would look good. Just trying it out." He looked into the mirror beside him, seeing how he looked. Louis thought the boy looked cute.
When Kendall leaned down to bring Harry into a full blown snog, Louis looked away, only to still see them in the reflection of the mirror. He kept his eyes on them, a small frown on his lips, his chest tightening a little.
"Let's get goin' boys!"
At the call, the five boys were dressed and ready, moving on out of the tent. Louis was going to be last out, only he was stopped by a hand on his chest. He followed the direction of the arm, looking up to see Kendall staring down at him with a smirk.
"Good luck, Louis. Don't worry too much. There's only over two thousand people out there judging you." He laughed. The man held out his sausage in bread to Louis' face. "Would you like a bite? Or," He pulled it away, "did you take my advice?"
Louis really wants to say no, because he shouldn't be listening to such things and taking them seriously.. but he did.
The boy just stayed quiet, making Kendall chuckle. The man patted Louis' back a little harshly. "See you on stage, Lewis." With that, Kendall left the tent.
Louis was frozen in his spot, his mind running around with all that Kendall was saying. Over two thousand people.. live.. filmed for the world to see.. was his shirt covering enough?.. was his voice too raspy today?.. would he forget the lyrics on stage?.. what if-
"Lou? Are you okay?"
Harry's voice suddenly snapped him out of his mind. Louis shook his head as he faded back into real time. He noticed how Harry was standing in front of him, close, one of his large hands on the side of Louis' neck as he looked worriedly into his ocean blue eyes.
"Huh? Oh, uh, y-yeah. Sorry, I just kinda spaced out for a moment." He didn't want to mention Kendall, especially before their performance in a couple of minutes.
"Just.. a little nervous still." Louis admitted quietly, dropping his gaze to the ground.
He then felt the cool metal of the paper plane necklace slide across his skin, slipping out of his shirt. Louis' brows furrowed slightly, looking up to Harry and seeing that the boy was now holding the pendant, not looking away from his eyes.
Harry kissed the small pendant. "You'll be amazing..." The younger pursed his lips for a moment, like he was thinking, and then Louis was surprised. Harry's soft lips were pressed to his forehead, eyes closed with his hand still on Louis' neck. Louis melted into the warm, tingly feeling, closing his eyes and letting a small smile slip on his lips. The older boy was a little lost in the short moment, but he knew Harry didn't pull away until after seven seconds. "I know you'll do amazing..." Harry whispered and smiled down at Louis, making sure the boy heard him clearly. Louis smiled back.
"Up next, One Direction!"
"Come on, we have a show to do." Harry laughed, gently placing the necklace over Louis' shirt, taking hold of Louis' wrist and hurrying to the side stage area.
Screams erupted throughout the whole festival as One Direction stepped foot on the stage with mics in hand. The boys waved out to the crowd as the music to the first song started to play by the band behind them. Kiss You.
"Hello London!" Liam exclaimed into his microphone.
Louis tried not to look so awkward on stage as Harry, Liam and Zayn bounced around on stage, getting the crowd involved. So he stood somewhat closely to Niall, slowly getting into the beat of the song and jumping around on the stage let the others.
"London! I want to kiss every single one of you!" Harry yelled out to the crowd, screams growing louder when he did.
The whole festival was jumping up and down to the song, enjoying the moment, cheering the boys on when the song finished.
The song up next to sing was 'Little Things', a breather from the last song. There were mic stands set up in a line, which the boys all stood behind. Louis stood next to Niall once again, placed at the end of the line. The eldest scanned his eyes over the crowd, a small smile on his lips. Until he caught his eyes on Kendall standing right in front of him in the first row. His smile dropped and the colour in his face drained as the man had a dark smirk, laughing to himself as his eyes trailed over Louis' attire and figure. The action made Louis shrink in on himself, looking down and fiddling with his fingers.
Niall looked over to his best friend, worry in his blue eyes, but Louis never noticed. He only felt the small pat of his mate's hand on his upper back, giving the blonde a millisecond of a glance before turning away again.
Louis continued to feel Kendall's gaze on him, and for some reason it feared him to look up. How does one person make you feel so small and insecure?
Even when he sang his own solo, he didn't look up, knowing that if he saw the man's face again his voice would be gone from nerves. His voice almost sounded too quiet into the mic, some of the crowd laughing as they thought his mic wasn't turned on. But why is that funny?
Because they don't want to hear you sing.
Louis stepped away from his mic once he had finished singing, not noticing how he missed the ending chorus all because he was in his own world of thoughts and not so nice thoughts.
When the song came to an end, Louis was relieved that there was an advertisement break, since they were on live TV. As the five boys shifted off the stage for a clothes change and some water, Louis didn't miss the calls from a small group in the front row.
Louis tried to make it look like he didn't hear them, but their voices were loud and clear in his ears.
When the boys walked back into the tent, rushing to their dressing areas to change into their next outfits, Louis frantically looked around the room, thinking about what he was going to do. He didn't want to be hearing comments like that again, and wearing his second outfit would definitely do so.
He spotted a spare pair of Niall's black jeans laying on a chair. He sneakily stole them, Niall not seeing. Now he needed a shirt that did not have stripes. The only spare decent shirt Louis could find was the plain black one hanging on Harry's clothing rack.
"It's better than stripes."
Luckily he snatched up the shirt without any queries from Harry, rushing back to his corner and changing into the dark clothing. The jeans, like last time he wore Niall's, wear tight around his thighs and bum, and Harry's shirt was a little long on his figure, practically swallowing his top half. He quickly scruffed up his hair even more, moving it out of it's neat placing. He would change his odd shoes, but there wasn't an option for that unless he wanted to wear his old, cheap trainers he brought from home.
When a woman called that they were needed on stage again, Louis made the final adjustment to his look, leaving his necklace dangling over his shirt before he he gave a sad smile at his new look and followed the rest of the boys back to the stage.
The five walked out onto the stage once again, final setups being placed as the cameras haven't started rolling again yet. Their third song was 'Loved You First', and this time Louis was stood between Harry and Niall.
"You ready lads?" Liam called over to each of the boys, the others nodding in response.
Harry and Niall then both looked to Louis, their faces contorting into confusion. They faced each other, then turned back to Lou.
"Lou? Isn't that our-" Harry began to say, but was cut off when the crowd starting cheering once more and the music started up once again.
Louis searched the crowd again, finding Kendall in the same spot as he was in the first half of the performance. The two men's eyes connected, pride in Kendall's as he clearly noticed Louis' change of clothing, and shyness in Louis' as his gaze keeps flickering from Kendall to Harry beside him, who wasn't looking his way anymore.
It's funny for Louis in a way, how the song was practically saying how he felt towards a certain curly haired boy. Even though the love Louis felt for Harry before he was a part of the band was fan love, in a creepy way, it felt like more to him than just fan love.
"Girl that should be me, callin' on your phone, saying you're the one and that I'll never let you go." A small faint giggle escaped Louis during his solo when he looked to Harry, and Harry was looking right back with a grin on his lips.
Next was Harry's turn. "I never understood what love was really like, but I felt it for the first time looking in your eyes..." The whole time he sang, the younger boy never took his eyes off of Louis', a strong and meaningful feeling radiating in his gaze. Louis couldn't tell if he was breathing at that very moment after his breath hitched. Harry sent the boy a wink, which almost killed Louis then and there, before facing back to the crowd.
If Louis wasn't giggling enough a few seconds ago, he was now. Little butterflies filled his tummy and his heart tightened in a fuzzy warmth.
But all those feelings washed away when he caught eyes with Kendall once again. The man had an angry, harsh, threatening glare on his face, his lips pursed. It feared Louis.
"Just walk out to the car when you're all packed up Lou." Zayn said, picking up the last of his things, walking towards Louis. Zayn wrapped the boy up in a sweet side hug. "You did great today. The crowd loved you!" He smiled.
Louis returned it with a weak smile, nodding his head. "Thanks Z." He gave Zayn a quick squeeze before the younger left the tent, leaving Louis by himself.
He sighed, walking to his corner and collecting up the last of his belongings.
Suddenly he was turned around harshly by a hand on his shoulder, his back bumping against the mirror behind him. His eyes widened.
"What the fuck did I say about not getting close to Harry?! I saw those fucking heart eyes you were raking over him!" Kendall yelled right in his face.
"Looking at him like you loved him or some shit!"
"You do realize that your little fantasy will forever be a dream right? Harry doesn't see you like that, nor will he ever. He has me, and he loves me, no one else. So get your little twink eyes off my boy!"
The man pushed Louis back into the mirror again, pinning him there as he sent a burning glare down at the short boy. Kendall's eye followed the chain of the necklace on the boy's neck, his jaw tensing as he recognized his boyfriend's necklace hanging there. His face screwed up in anger.
"Where did you get that?"
"H-Harry gave i-"
Kendall ripped it away from his neck.
"That doesn't fucking belong to you."
Louis wanted to fight back and rip the necklace back, but he felt like whatever strength Harry gave him previously was drained from him. Literally ripped away from him.
"Stay. Away. From. Harry." Kendall spoke clearly, a grumble in his voice. All Louis could do was nod as he watched the man leave the tent.
Louis bit his lip, trying to hold in any tears that were starting to form in his eyes. He quickly grabbed up the last of his things before rushing out of the tent, wiping at his eyes.
"What the hell does Harry see in Kendall? They're practically putting on an act for Harry!" He rubbed at the back of his neck where the necklace snapped. "If only he saw how Kendall really was... But I can't tell him that, or Kendall will most definitely do worse than push me into a mirror." He mumbled the last part.
He sniffled a bit, wiping away at any tears that fell as he saw the van up ahead. He put on a plain look, maybe a little smile, pretending nothing just happened.