o n e
All schools have their hierarchical social structures, it is an unwritten but highly regarded rule in any prestigious institution. At Pemberly University, in one of the quietest nooks in England, Louis Tomlinson is no stranger to the concept. In fact, he once relished it. His pedigree had defined his place in life far before he even stepped foot upon the perfectly sculpted campus.
He is far from perfect though. Although having been groomed for the past twenty-two years to become the heir to London's Royal Tea company, Louis had been contemplating his life choices as of yet. His entire life had been planned before he was even born. It didn't seem to phase Louis, not at all in fact, until the cupcakes began showing up. They had caused Louis to have his first existential crisis. Which had led to more drinking, more partying, and maybe a little more crying. But worst of all, this existential crisis fueled by those bloody cupcakes had led to more hungover mornings and a few extra pounds around his small waist.
This crisis though had been written off by Louis' mates as typical behavior. The only thing they didn't get was his new obsession with cupcakes, that was truly baffling. Other than that though, they didn't seem to be phased by the fact that Louis kept wanting to spend his nights in the common room. Liam preferred it actually, Louis talked too much in his sleep.
Unlike Liam, Louis was noticing his own strange behaviors, not that he wanted to correct them or anything. In fact, he kind of liked having a secret, even if it did lead to some weird turn of events, like last night. Or rather, like this morning.
The first thing Louis noticed when he woke up this morning were the crumbs, they were everywhere. The second thing he noticed was that he had not slept in his bed, again. After his third night of cramming, he had fallen asleep once more upon the couch in the common room. He hadn't even been studying the night before for Christ's sake. He was...oh right. He was at a pub with Liam and Niall. To be fair though, he had been studying before that. At least, he had hoped so.
Louis drowsily checked his cell phone, quite sure that his mother hen of a room mate had called at least sixty-seven times. It was becoming eerie how he could calculate how many times Liam would call him if he were not to sleep in his own bed.
"I'm up." He said, after dialing Liam back, "I'm in the common room." He tried shaking the crumbs off his shirt.
"I know." Liam muttered sleepily, "I left you there."
"You fucking left me in the common room?"
"You don't remember the fit you had? Something about an elf?" Liam said.
"I don't-" And then it hit him. Of course.
He got up and raced across the room to the wooden table. Upon it was half a dozen chocolate cupcakes in a plain white box, which would explain the crumbs that were on him.
He calmly picked up the phone and uttered, "You know better than to listen to me when I'm drunk, Liam. Come on now, mate."
Liam mumbled something incoherently about going back to sleep and meeting Louis at the quad around one. Louis promptly hung up the phone and took the white pastry box off the table, holding it to him. There was a calm that washed over him, and he was sure it wasn't the fact that this time his mysterious baker had left his favorite cupcakes. It had to be something else. But what it actually was he just couldn't put a finger on.
And then something clicked when he saw the clock, he swore loudly and redialed Liam, screaming, "It's fucking ten o'clock!"
"Yeah, so?" Liam said, adding in a yawn.
"It's Friday, not Saturday."
It took three seconds for Liam to utter "For the love of god!" And jump into action.
Their sociology exam was in an hour, and for the first time Liam wasn't actually up in time. For the first time Liam was actually hungover on a school day, and boy was Louis never going to let him hear the end of it. But before he could taunt him, he of course had to actually get his ass in gear and get back to his dorm room before Liam ran out stark naked just to make it to the exam on time.
Louis' phone rang, and as soon as he saw the screen he rolled his eyes, mostly because he was almost out the door. Guilt overtook him though and he answered his answered his mother's call for the first time in a week, regardless of the fact he was running late.
"Goodness love, you sure do like worrying your poor mother."
"I'm alive." He said, smiling to himself. Between his mother and father, his mother was definitely the parent he connected with more. Sometimes he was just a little to busy to show it.
"I know it's mid-term, but you've got to check in Louis. Ernest misses his brother, you know."
He shook his head, "He's not even a year old, mum."
"Misses you nonetheless."
"How are the twins?"
"Pheobe's a little under the weather, so of course Daisy's trying to pull the same thing so she doesn't have to go to school."
"Maybe she is really sick, that whole twin telepathy thing."
"Yes darling, and pigs fly."
Louis laughed, guessing that his mother was mostly likely sitting in the nursery with Ernest. He could hear him gurgling in the background. One of the nannies must have been taking care of Pheobe. His mother had to be feeling lonely again, he didn't blame her.
"And how are you, Louis? You haven't talked to your mum in ages."
"Cramming for a sociology exam, which I'm kind of running late to..."
"Why are you talking to me then!? Get a move on! If you fail another term your father is going to murder both of us!"
Louis rolled his eyes, but he knew he had to pass. Not for his father, but for himself. He was a third year, he had to graduate, but at the same time he wasn't ready to go on to the real world. In fact, that made him contemplate even taking the test. If he failed sociology then he can enroll for another year. It wasn't a bad plan, actually.
"Louis, are you still on the line?"
"Yeah, mum. I'm here."
"Why? You're bloody late, get a move on mister!"
"Alright, I'll call you later, I love you mum."
"Love you too, good luck! And send my regards to Liam. He gave me a great recipe for a roast chicken last week!"
Louis shook his head. Sure, he couldn't call his mother, but Liam sure had enough time to call her. His mate sure did know how to make him look bad.
"Alright, I will. Bye mum."
He hung up his phone, put it back into his pocket and grabbed his rather light knapsack from off the table before him. Just as he was about to run out, again, he realized he forgot the most important thing: the cupcakes.
So he turned back, gathered the delicious morsels into their original packaging and left with them under his arm in a white pastry box. If he was going to fail his exam, well, at least he'd have a snack for later.
"We're going to be late! Fuck! I never should have gone out with you last night!" Liam said as Louis shut the door behind him. He had one sock on, a pair of underwear, and was attempting to comb his hair. He looked a proper hot mess.
"It'll be fine." Louis said, going to his dresser. He placed the white box upon it, and began rummaging through the top drawer until he found his bottle of aspirin and popped two into his dry mouth.
"No, it will not be fine. We can't fail this exam!" Liam said, finally putting on a shirt and buttoning his skinny jeans/
"I don't know mate. I was thinking-"
"You're not retaking this class." Liam said firmly, already knowing what Louis was thinking.
Louis cocked an eyebrow, clearly impressed. He knew Liam was his best mate, but sometimes he was really reminded of the fact. Still though, he continued, "Oh come on. You know it wouldn't be a bad idea to come back another year. To really find ourselves."
"No, it would be a bad idea. We're graduating this year, Louis. We have lives to live."
"So what, are you saying everything before graduation isn't a life? Do I have to have a degree to have a life worth living?" Louis said, laying back upon his bed and sighing, "It just doesn't make any sense to me."
"I don't have time for this." Liam said, shoving books into his knapsack.
"I'm serious though, why is everyone so hellbent on the idea that life begins after school ends. What if this is the high point of our lives and we're just rushing to get it over with."
"You're just upset you actually have to work once uni is over." Liam replied, yanking Louis off his bed in one tug, "That your kingdom is going to come tumbling down, and that your going to have to start wearing a bloody suit." Louis grimaced, but Liam continued his tortuous talk, "You know, most people would actually be quite grateful that they have a job coming out of school, especially as the head of a company. Not everyone is fortunate enough to be born royalty, Lou."
"I'm going to be working under my father." Louis said, grabbing his knapsack and shaking his head, "That is not something to be taken lightly."
"Why, because you want to be your own boss? Because-"
"Because I won't be free anymore."
Liam rolled his eyes, "You're going to be an adult."
"Yeah, that means no freedom."
"Are you still drunk?"
"Just a tad, mate."
Liam shook his head, "At least change your shirt." He said, glaring at the smudges of chocolate upon Louis' wrinkled blue shirt.
Louis looked down and shrugged, "You want to waste five more minutes?"
Liam went into Louis' still open drawer, pulled out the first shirt he saw, and threw it at Louis, "There, problem resolved."
Louis looked at him blankly, "Turn around."
"Are you kidding me? I was in my underwear when you came in!"
"You going to make us waste more time?"
Liam muttered angrily as he faced the white, poster covered wall so that Louis could strip off his stained shirt and change into the clean one. Louis of course was just being annoying, Liam had practically seen him naked on a daily basis. He wasn't going to get shy on him all of a sudden.
"Alright, all good." Louis said, straightening out the white shirt with a sketched out skull. He realized that Liam had actually made him put on his favorite shirt and smiled.
"Finally." Liam said, finally taking one last glance in the mirror and swinging his knapsack on, "Let's go."
Louis smiled to himself as he closed the door behind him, sure, he was late for an exam that he was pretty sure he was going to fail, but when he came back he would eat his cupcakes and all would be right with the world again. If only life were always that simple.