Across Oceans

~It all began with elementary school pen pals~ Dear Harry, Here are my conditions; 1. No last names. 2. No pictures.


10. Congratulations Partner

~~“Congratulations, partner.” I looked up from my desk, thinking everyone had left for the night seeing as it was almost 10 pm.
“Thanks Harry…” I said quietly. I smiled at him as I put a stack of papers to the side.
“Are you doing anything to celebrate tonight?” I smirked and shook my head, looking down at the stack of paperwork I had to finish.
“I’m celebrating with all this paperwork.” I said sadly.
“Oh come on…that’s no way to celebrate something so good!”
“I don’t have a choice. It all needs to be done by tomorrow.” Harry sighed and shook his head.
“Okay…how long do you think you’ll be here for doing all of this?” I shrugged and looked back at it.
“At least a couple more hours.” I sighed. Harry nodded and walked towards the door.
“Alright; I’ll let you get to it then. I don’t want to hold you up. I’ll see you tomorrow, yeah?”
“Well...maybe. Depends what I have to do for tomorrow.” Harry sighed again and looked down.
“Okay…goodnight.” I gave him a sad smile as he walked out. I slid the stack of papers back over to me, filling them out or inputting information into our system, preparing myself for a long ass night.

I didn’t even make it down the hallway to the elevator before Jo could stop me. She was giving me an odd look before rolling her eyes.
“You’re stupid.” Jo said, walking over to her new desk which was Bethany’s old office.
“What are you talking about?”
“Go get some take-out or something and keep her company. She clearly doesn’t want to celebrate this way. Why don’t you make it at least less sucky for her?”
“She seemed busy. I don’t want to interrupt or bother her.”
“Trust me…you won’t be.” With that, Jo walked away and closed her office door. I sighed and looked back a Bethany’s office. Instead of going back to ask her, I went down the street to a local pizzeria and grabbed a pie and then the liquor store right across the street and grabbed us some beers to go with the pizza.
When I got back upstairs, I could hear papers shuffling around and frustrated sighs and her hands banging against her desk. I knocked on the door softly before letting myself in. She looked up and looked shocked.
“What is this…?”
“Well…I figured you would be hungry and the beer would take at least some of the edge off without getting you too drunk to do your work.” She smiled slightly and gave a small, short laugh.
“Well…thank you.” I placed everything on her desk and started to walk out. “Where are you going?” I stopped and looked back at her.
“I was just going to let you get back to work.” She shook her head and looked down.
“If you’re going to buy beer and pizza, you have to at least share it with me.” I smiled and walked back over, sitting at one of the chairs on the other side of her desk.
“If you insist. Bethany laughed and smiled, sliding me a beer and the pizza box. I grabbed a slice and a beer and settled back into my chair so I didn’t get sauce or spill beer on her work. “So what do you got there?” I asked.
“Oh just some stupid legal documents, some paperwork that needs transferred into the system, I need to check on the progress of some of the sketches and make sure the correct fixes were made to the clothes so they get made properly for the show, I need to get the list of buyers interested in the line and pick the ones I like and send them invites for the show…stupid shit like that.”
“That all sounds insanely overwhelming.”
“You’re telling me?” She asked, raising her eyebrow and slightly looking up at me.
“I think I’m kind of just saying it, but it’s directed towards you since you’re the only other person here.”
“Because that makes sense.”
“I thought it did.”
“Okay Harry.” She said, half smiling and shaking her head. I smiled to myself as I watched her concentrate on her work. A comfortable silence fell over the room for a little while, but then Bethany started humming to herself softly. I sat there, eyes closed, relaxing, and listening to her softly hum. It was a lot more relaxing than I had thought because within a few minutes, I think I fell asleep.

“Harry…” I felt my body being moved just a little and I opened my eyes slowly.
“Come on, can you at least wake up enough to help you get to the couch?”
“Couch?” He mumbled.
“Yeah…I didn’t know where you were staying so I brought you back to my place.”
“What time is it?”
“It’s almost two in the morning.” I whispered as I helped him out of the taxi.
“Oh…how long was I asleep for?”
“Almost four hours.”
“Come on…” I said as I put his arm around my shoulder and put my arm around his waist trying to help him as much as I could. When Harry was tired, he was dead weight. Jo had to help me get him to the taxi and I wasn’t about to ask the taxi driver to help me get him out. I figured a few minutes of being awake wouldn’t kill him.
When we got inside my apartment, I laid him down on my couch and gave him a blanket and slipped a pillow under his head.
“Goodnight Harry…”
“Goodnight Bethany…” He mumbled, already asleep. I smiled to myself and walked into my bedroom and fell on my bed, passing out cold.
I was awake only a couple hours later getting ready for work. I was trying to stay awake but it wasn’t working all too well for me. It got to the point where I fell asleep leaning against my counter waiting for my coffee and took me a couple minutes to process what I was actually doing there once I half woke up again. After that ten minutes of sleepiness, I poured myself a cup of coffee and actually brought it into the bathroom with me so I could shower and drink my coffee at the same time. Which sounds ridiculous but…it needed to happen. I was short on time and needed to try and get ready as fast as I could.
“Good morning.” I said to Harry, nudging him awake as I walked past him, into the kitchen after my shower.
“Did you plan on going to work in that towel or are you going to put on work clothes?” Harry asked, making me giggle.
“I’ll probably go in the towel. Because who the hell wears clothes in the winter? Towels are how to do winter right.”
“I don’t mind that at all.” Harry said before slapping his hand over his mouth. “Did I say that out loud?” I started laughing and nodded before trying to pour myself another cup of coffee.
“Yeah…you did.” I said, still smiling and shaking my head.
“It’s okay. Don’t worry about it, love.” I could still tell Harry was mortified but I found it kind of funny, personally. “Coffee?” I asked, half turning towards him.
“Uh…yeah, please.” After filling up my mug again, I filled him one and brought it over to him.
“Here you go.” I said, licking my lips.
“Thanks…oh and thanks for letting me crash here last night instead of leaving me in your office.”
“I wouldn’t let anyone sleep in my office if I have an open space here. Damn. You make it sound like you thought I would leave you there.”
“No! I mean…”
“I know what you meant Harry; I was being sarcastic.” Harry nodded and looked into his coffee mug. “Is everything okay?”
“Yeah, why?” He said, maybe a little too quickly.
“Well…you don’t need to lie to me…” I said slowly.
“It’s nothing. You should finish getting ready for work so we can head out.” I just stood there staring at him for a few more seconds before I finally turned away and walked back into my room to finish getting ready for work. 

When we walked into the office, everyone was looking at us. Probably because when you walk in together, people assume that shit went down last night. And seeing as the rest of the guys were here, it made it a little more obvious that I didn’t go back home last night.
“The stares don’t bother you…?”
“Nope.” Bethany responded. She stopped at her office door and looked at me. “Alright, well I’ll see you around.” I watched her walk into her office then I walked into the room where I was going to be for our last fitting before practice.
“So where were you last night?” Zayn asked when I walked into the room.
“Bethany’s; I fell asleep here last night and she didn’t know where we are staying so I slept on her couch last night.”
“Yeah…her couch.” Louis said, winking.
“What? That’s where I slept.” I shrugged it off as Jo walked in, looking around with stacks of paper.
“There you are…” Jo said, walking up to me. “You weren’t here with everyone else this morning so…I need to steal you so you can fill these out.” Jo said, stealing me from all the commotion. I nodded, following her out of the room, into Bethany’s old office, now Jo’s office. I sat down and she slid me a few papers and I started skimming through them.
“What are these?” I asked slowly.
“Basically a bunch of bullshit that we have all our models sign.” Jo said, sinking back into her chair.
“You seem drained.”
“Well yeah…I now understand why Bethany felt like she was going crazy all the time.” I smiled a little as I kept going through the papers. “So what’s going on with you and Bethany anyway?”
“Nothing; why?”
“Bullshit. Don’t lie to me, Styles.”
“What? Nothing is going on.”
“You were at her house last night.” Jo pointed out.
“Well yeah, but that’s because I fell asleep here while she was working. She didn’t know where I was staying so I just ended up crashing on her couch.” Jo shook her head at me as I signed the first paper.
“You’re ridiculous.”
“You obviously like her.”
“I don’t really know her. How can I like her?”
“You know her well enough. You guys have been writing back and forth for quite a bit, you’ve been hanging out basically every night you’ve been here since you got here…”
“And…? Am I not allowed to have friends?”
“Seriously? That’s your argument?”
“I didn’t know this was a debate…”
“You like her Styles. Why are you denying it?”
“I’m not.”
“Okay, if she walked up to you, right now, and kissed you and said she wanted to be with you, would you kiss her back and agree with her?”
“Why is this even a topic of conversation?”
“Stop avoiding my question?”
“Are you trying to say she likes me or something?”
“Again, why are you avoiding my question? Just answer the damn question Styles.”
“I don’t know, Jo. I really don’t know what I would say.” Jo shook her head again as I signed the next piece of paper.
“You really are weird.”
“How does not knowing if I want to be with your best friend make me weird?”
“Look at her? Shit, I would do her and I’m straight.”
“Alright then. I never said she wasn’t pretty, I just said I don’t know if I would date her.”
“Why? Because of the distance?”
“Because I just don’t know if I want to. Is that not a good enough reason? If I said yes, I would date her and didn’t mean it and then just led her on, would that be fair to her?” I said, raising an eyebrow.
“So why would I answer a question I don’t know the answer to? I’m not going to give you the answer you want to humor you. But now that I answered your question, why are you asking me anyway?” Jo shrugged and leaned forward, resting her elbows on the desk.
“Because you guys would look good together.” Jo shrugged again and leaned back in her chair again.
“So this has nothing to do with her making you talk to me?”
 “Why would you think that?”
“I do have a sister; I do know how girls work.”
“Okay, well she hasn’t said a word to me about you if that makes you feel any better.” Jo said, giving me slight attitude. “Are you done? I need to get these over to Bethany so she can put them in the system.” I nodded as I signed the last paper and handed them back to her.
“Awesome. Go back to work.” Jo said, rushing me out of her office. I sighed and made my way back to the commotion and soon to be headache.                               

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