Smoke & Mirrors

Smoke and Mirrors: a metaphor for a deceptive, fraudulent or insubstantial explanation or description. Every time anyone joked about Louis and Harry’s close bond, calling them ‘boyfriends’ or whatnot, it caused a fluttering feeling in the pit of Harry’s stomach. He wasn’t sure what it meant. He hadn’t really thought of Louis too much in a romantic sense. They were mates – really good mates. But there was something about it. Harry loved Louis almost more than he loved any other human being on the planet. He loved him so much. They were the best of friends. Harry supposed the feeling derived from that. He wasn’t sure. He just knew he probably wouldn’t make it in life without Louis in it.

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1. 01

The first time Louis kissed Harry there was alcohol involved. Lots and lots of alcohol. Mainly on Louis’ end because he was the only one in the band to pass the drinking age in the States. Harry got the job done though by taking sneaky sips from everyone’s glasses throughout the night. He was buzzed enough to make his night just a little bit better. But Louis – he was hammered, and practically screaming as he sang his way onto the bus that night.

“’Rovers til’ I die! I’m Rovers til’ I die! I know I am! I’m sure I am! I’m Rovers til’ I die!’” Louis belted out his football teams chant, his arm around Harry as they nearly toppled onto the bus together.

“Quit pissing around and get your asses on the bus,” they heard Paul’s gruff voice from behind them. Maybe a year or two ago they might have taken him seriously – Paul being the hulking man he was. But over the years they got to know their security quite well… and well, Paul was a teddy bear.

“Louis, get ahold of yourself,” Harry chuckled, his cheek pressed firmly against his friends as they ambled toward the couches.

“’I’m Rover’s til’ I die!’” Louis shouted, nearly deafening Harry in an instant.

“Christ!” Harry yelped, pulling away from Louis altogether, watching as he lost his balance and hit the sofa with an ‘oof!’

Harry could do nothing but laugh, finding much hilarity in Louis’ drunken state. Louis was his favorite person on earth. No matter what the two of them were doing, whatever hijinks they were ensued in, the laughter never ceased while they were together. There were many inside jokes that not a soul alive would understand besides the two of them. So many memories they had made together over the three years they’d been storming the globe together. And Harry was sure this night would be bumped to the tip-top of his memory.

“’I know I am! I’m SURE I am! I’m Rovers til’ I die!’” Louis continued to shout, thrusting his fist in the air as he did.

“SHUT IT!” Zayn’s voice came from the rows of bus bunks. Sleep pretty much came second to none in Zayn’s world, and if you disrupted him during it, he turned into a completely different guy – like Monster-Zayn or something. Grizzly bear-Zayn. Godzilla-Zayn.

“You shut it, Malik! I’m Rovers til’ I die!” Louis shouted back.

“You’re bleeding pissed, is what you are,” Harry laughed heartily as he watched his best mate sway drunkenly on the sofa.

“’I’m pissed til’ I die! I’m pissed til’ I die! I know I am! I’m SURE I am! I’m pissed til’ I DIE!’” Louis sang out as loud as his voice would go.

“FUCK OFF!” Zayn rumbled moments before a shoe came hurdling down the hallway at Harry, hitting him in the leg.

“Christ, Malik! Thanks a lot, mate. That hit me, ya git,” Harry grumbled, rubbing at the throbbing spot where the shoe hit him.

“Throw it at Louis,” Harry heard Zayn grumble, and he couldn’t help but laugh when Louis’ face lit up, finding humor in angering Zayn.

“I know plenty more songs, Zany-Zayn! Oh, oh! Here’s one! ‘E-I-E-I-E-I-O! Up the football league we go! When we get promotion, this is what we sing! We are Rover’s! We are Rover’s! O’Driscoll is our king!’” Louis continued, trying purposely to tick Zayn off.

“Alright, alright, Tommo,” Harry laughed, trying to prevent further confrontation, while Niall sat cracking up on the couch next to Louis.

“Fuck YOU, Lewis,” Zayn growled, only causing Louis to roll with laughter.

“Zayn’s probably plotting your death right now, Louis,” Liam called over from the table where he sat on his cell phone.

“Time to shut it!” Paul said as he finally came onto the bus.

“Yeah,” Zayn grumbled from his bunk, and Harry chuckled to himself.

“It’s time to party!” Louis burst out, standing on his feet, falling forward into Harry. Harry had to put all his strength in to holding up his very drunk best mate, and to be fair, it wasn’t that easy in the drunken state he was in.

“It’s time to get your ass in the back if you’re planning on being a little git,” Paul warned him, his finger thrust forward, pointing toward the lounge door.

“No fun! We’re just trying to have fun. Aren’t we, Haz?” Louis whined, still gripping onto Harry’s arms for support as he swayed on his feet.

“Right,” Harry snickered, playing his part so well.

“To the back, Tomlinson. And take your boyfriend with ya!” Paul said, shooing the two of them down the hallway.

Every time anyone joked about Louis and Harry’s close bond, calling them ‘boyfriends’ or whatnot, it caused a fluttering feeling in the pit of Harry’s stomach. He wasn’t sure what it meant. He hadn’t really thought of Louis too much in a romantic sense. They were mates – really good mates. But there was something about it. Harry loved Louis almost more than he loved any other human being on the planet. He loved him so much. They were the best of friends. Harry supposed the feeling derived from that. He wasn’t sure. He just knew he probably wouldn’t make it in life without Louis in it.

“Come on, Tommo,” Harry said quietly to his best mate, patting him on the back before he scooped his arm around Louis’ shoulder.

“Off with ya,” Liam snickered at the table, swiping his hand through the air.

Louis laughed as Harry guided him toward the hallway of bunks.

“Malik! Oh sweet, Malik!” Louis chortled, and Zayn groaned immediately.

Harry tried his best to steer Louis away from Zayn’s bunk, but Louis must’ve used super-human-drunken-strength to make a beeline for the bed. He slashed open the curtain with his arm and immediately started making cooing sounds at Zayn.

“Get the fuck outta here,” Zayn groaned into his pillow.

“Zany-Zayn. Wakey-wakey. Always sleepy-sleeping. You need to get drunky-drunky and come out to play,” Louis said in a sing-song voice, tickling at Zayn’s hip.

“Get the fuck outta here, Lewis!” Zayn said, throwing his arm back to smack Louis.

“Tommo. Come on,” Harry said, grasping onto Louis’ shoulders.

“Get the hell down to the lounge,” Paul chided Harry and Louis as he walked toward them.

“Louis,” Harry giggled in his mate’s ear, feeling maybe an inkling of fear due to their encroaching bodyguard.

“Ahhhh!” Louis erupted, backing up quickly, slamming Harry’s back into the bunk behind him.

“Christ!” Harry groaned, feeling the shooting pain immediately.

“Come on, Harry!” Louis yelped, grabbing onto Harry’s hand before tugging him with him toward the lounge.

All Harry could do was laugh and let his friend tow him along until they reached their destination. Louis slammed the door with a flick of his wrist and the two of them were now standing alone together in the silent room. Louis let out a laugh, causing Harry to follow. The two of them nearly buckled over as the giggles bubbled out of them. Harry was the first to fall back against the sofa, and then Louis, their hips knocking hard together.

“Damn it, Man,” Harry hissed, feeling the pain of the collision.

“You’re sure fun to get pissed with, but I’m going to be dead by the end of the night,” Harry said of his throbbing back, and now hip.

“I’ll revive ya. Mouth-to-mouth resuscitation,” Louis said nonchalantly as he turned on the television with the remote.

Harry’s stomach immediately stirred with the thought of mouth-to-mouth with Louis. And he silently cursed his friend for putting such thoughts in his head.

He never thought of himself as straight, nor had he ever thought of himself as gay. He was a sexual person in general, and it didn’t matter to him what gender a person was. If they made him feel, then they were doing something right. A person was a person was a person was a person…

“You’re not gonna watch the telly, are ya?” Harry groaned, leaning his head back against the couch to look over at his mate.

“Why? What’s wrong with the telly?” Lou asked, marring his eyebrows in question, sending Harry an odd look.

“I thought we were going to ‘PARTY’!” Harry said as he thrust his fist up in the air, mimicking Louis.

“We are partying!” Louis said, dancing in his seat as he rubbed his hand quickly up and down Harry’s thigh.

Tingling sensation shot straight through to Harry’s core with Louis’ touch, and it almost made him want to punch him.

“Cheeky bastard,” Harry grumbled under his breath.

“I’m a cheeky bastard? I’m a cheeky bastard?” Louis looked at him expectantly.

“Yes,” Harry said simply.

“Yeah. I am. I am quite cheeky!” Louis laughed as he went back to paying attention to the television, flipping through channels quickly.

“Ya can’t even see what’s on. Slow down,” Harry said, reaching out for the remote.

“Get outta here,” Louis said, swatting at Harry’s hand.

“Give it to me,” Harry insisted, stretching his arm out as far as it would go while Louis played keep-away.

“No!” Louis yelped, still trying to stave Harry off.

“Give it!” Harry growled, nearly slung across Louis’ lap as he tried to tug his arm down to get the remote.

“NEVER!” Louis laughed mischievously.

Harry was nearly climbing Louis like a tree to get at the remote, and he had no idea why. In an instant he pulled back when he felt an quiver of arousal in his lower half.

“Ya give up?” Louis chuckled freely watching Harry retreat.

Hmph,” Harry huffed, crossing his arms over his chest.

“You sure are cute when you’re angry,” Louis cooed, reaching out to pinch Harry’s cheek.

“Get—” Harry scoffed as he swatted Louis’ hand away.

Louis chuckled as he went back to channel hopping. Out of the corner of his eye, Harry watched Louis. He watched his eyes blinking quickly with each channel change. He watched Louis’ mouth drop open contently. And he watched as his tongue slithered out of his mouth, sliding smoothly across his lips, wetting them. His whole body hummed with electricity as he watched his friend like a voyeur.

“Ooh! Dr. Who! Yes!” Louis shouted happily, snapping Harry out of his daze.

Harry’s eyes met with the television once again, registering Rose’s face almost immediately. He hadn’t ever really gotten into Dr. Who like Louis did, but he watched it on occasion and could keep up with it if need be.

Louis was immediately engulfed in the plotline of the episode, which gave Harry ample opportunity to sneak another glance at him.

As the two of them sat on the couch together, Dr. Who on the television and the lights dimmed, their comfort level only heightened. Louis’ legs came up to rest across Harry’s lap as he laid down against the couch. Harry welcomed it, splaying his arms across Louis’ sweatpants-clad legs. He appreciated Louis’ laughter during a particularly funny scene, and he almost lived for Lou’s commentary as he watched the show. But it was getting late, and the alcohol was surely doing a number on his senses. Harry felt himself doze off more than once, and decided to take refuge in the couch and Louis’ warm body. Before he knew it, Harry’s head was resting on Louis’ hip as his arms cuddled Louis’ legs to his chest, their body’s now parallel to one another.

“Haz… Hazza,” Harry heard as he felt Louis poke his shoulder, breaking him out of what little sleep he just got.

Hmm,” Harry hummed as he tilted his head to look up at Louis.

“Are you sleeping?” Louis smiled down at him.

Mm,” he grunted, nuzzling his face back against Louis’ hip.

“Are you drooling on me?” Louis laughed.

“No,” Harry grumbled, silently making sure he wasn’t.

“I can’t move my legs,” Louis said as he wiggled in Harry’s arms.

Uhh,” Harry grumbled subtly, not feeling energized enough to move even a muscle.

“Harrah!” Louis whined, really writhing now, determined to shake him.

“Christ, Lou,” Harry grumbled, letting go of his legs as he sat up, running a hand through his tousled hair.

“Much better,” Louis sighed, pleased with himself as he stretched his legs outward.

“Move over,” Harry said, worming his body into the minuscule gap between Louis and the couch.

“How much room do you think I have?” Louis chuckled.

“I don’t care,” Harry sighed, closing his eyes immediately as he cuddled up at Louis’ side, nuzzling his face into the crook of his neck as his arm rest comfortably across Louis’ hipbones.

He could smell hints of Louis’ cologne that barely masked his natural musk which Harry had grown quite accustomed to over the years. He liked Louis’ smell. It brought on fond memories.

“Little baby Hazza,” Louis cooed as he ran his fingers through the matted hair on top of Harry’s head. Harry smiled, his eyes still closed.

“Sweet little baby Harrah,” Louis said, patting his head.

“Sing me to sleep,” Harry sighed, feeling comfortable and sated in Louis’ arms.

“’Rovers til’ I die…’” Louis sang out, thankfully not as loud as before.

“Little shit,” Harry scoffed playfully, shoving his arm slightly, almost causing Louis to fall off the side of the couch.

“You said to sing!” Louis protested with a laugh, pushing back against Harry, trying to get comfortable again.

“Are fucking football chants all you know?” Harry asked, looking at him with a hardening gaze.

“No. If you haven’t noticed, I am a singer,” Louis said with a hint of sarcasm as he jabbed his finger into Harry’s side. Harry reacted immediately to Louis’ prodding finger, moving quickly against his body. And he couldn’t help it as he felt a spark of pleasure skate across his dick as it rubbed against Louis’ thigh.

Jesus fucking Christ. That was all he needed – to get a hard-on while he laid against his best mate.

“You want me to sing to you?” Louis asked, bringing him back to their moment.

“Could ya?” Harry sighed, trying to keep his mind off his dick and on other things.

Ah-ah-ah-ahem,” Louis cleared his throat loudly and Harry giggled at his antics.

’People say we shouldn’t be together. We’re too young to know about forever. But I say they don’t know what they’re talk-talk-talkin’ about,’” Louis began to sing Liam’s part of their song ‘They Don’t Know About Us’. Harry laughed against his shoulder, but played his part and began to sing the next few lines, which just so happened to be his.

“’Cause this love is only getting stronger. So I don’t wanna wait any longer. I just wanna tell the world that you’re mine. Ohhhh,’” Harry sat up and sang, purposely leaving out the word ‘girl’ at the end.

Louis looked up at him, his eyes mere slits as his cheeks nearly pushed them closed with the wide smile on his face. And without fail, the two of them erupted loudly into the chorus, belting it out, giving it all they had.

“’They don’t know about the things we do. They don’t know about the I love you’s. But I bet you if they only knew they would just be jealous of us,’” they sang boisterously.

“SHUT IT!” They heard Paul yell through the closed lounge door from somewhere in the bus.

The two boys immediately began to laugh, Harry burying his face into Louis’ shoulder as his butt hung in the air, his knees planted firmly against the couch. Louis gripped onto his stomach as the laughter rolled out of him.

“Christ,” Harry said under his breath as his laughter died out and he wedged himself back down against Louis.

“I can’t sleep like this,” Louis told him once he got settled.

“Spoil sport,” Harry grumbled against his shoulder.

“Look at how much room you have and then look at how much room I have!” Louis erupted playfully.

“Well, there is no need for you to lay on your back. You don’t see me laying on my back, do you?” Harry argued. Louis scoffed immediately.

“You can be my little spoon,” Harry cooed, running a gentle finger down Louis’ cheek.

“No,” Louis grumbled.

“Aw, come on,” Harry ribbed.

Louis hastily shut off the television with the remote, and turned in Harry’s arms the next second so they were facing one another, nearly nose to nose. The dim lights cast shadows over Louis’ face, and it gave him such a look of mystery that it nearly rattled Harry. His eyes bore into Louis’, watching and waiting. Waiting for anything. Waiting for Louis to speak. Waiting to be able to breathe again.

“’They don’t know about the up all nights…’” Louis sang quietly, and Harry let out a weighted sigh as a smile ravaged his face once again.

“Cheeky bastard,” Harry whispered, still eyeing Louis contently.

Louis’ response was that of a salacious grin, and it took all Harry had in him not to find some sort of arousal in it.

“I like getting pissed with you,” Louis breathed as his eyes closed finally.

“Me too,” Harry said, studying the complacency on his mates face.

Mm,” Louis hummed.

Harry was tired before, but sleep was the furthest thing from his mind in that moment. He didn’t even know what to do with himself. And without thinking, he cleared his throat loudly, causing Louis’ eyes to open quickly.

“Sorry,” Harry said sheepishly.

“Frog in your throat?” Louis smirked wildly at him.

“Something like that,” Harry replied, smiling back.

Hmm,” Louis said as his eyes worked over Harry’s face.

“What?” Harry asked, furrowing his brow in question.

“Nothing,” Louis replied immediately.

“What?” Harry asked more impatiently when Louis kept looking at him – studying him the way he was.

Louis didn’t answer him. And just as Harry was about to protest, Louis’ mouth covered his. Harry’s heart nearly stopped beating. Louis’ lips were on his. His warm, inviting lips were pressed against his own. Neither of them moved for a few moments. They didn’t pull back, and they didn’t push the other one away. They were just frozen, mouth to mouth.

Harry felt Louis’ lips move minutely and felt his stomach turn in the best way possible. Louis was kissing him. Harry pressed forward slightly, and Louis welcomed it. Soon enough both of their lips were pliable and moving slowly against the others. Harry almost couldn’t believe it was happening, but he didn’t want it to stop. When he felt Louis’ tongue prod against his lips he nearly let out a moan. Instead, he bit it back and opened his mouth to Louis’, tangling their tongues together in a slow, pleasing rhythm.

Harry was sure he wouldn’t be able to fight off the demon in his trousers for much longer, but he silently hoped Louis was wrestling with the same issue.

Wanting to be closer, wanting there to be nothing keeping them apart, Harry tangled his fingers into the back of Louis’ hair, pulling him closer as they continued to kiss. And as if he had a moment of clarity, as if he realized what he was doing, Louis pulled back quickly, eyeing Harry with a look of apprehension. Harry’s stomach plummeted when Louis cleared his throat and untangled his legs from his.

“I can’t sleep like this,” Louis repeated, averting his gaze before he sat up on the couch.

“Yeah—ahem, yeah,” Harry said, sitting up too, running his fingers through his hair.

Without another glance back in his direction, Louis pulled himself up from the couch and headed toward the lounge door. He threw it open and disappeared down the dark hallway.

Harry blew out a breath before he laid back down against the couch. He wasn’t sure he wanted to sleep there, but he knew he needed to take a minute to regain his composure. His heart beat wildly in his chest as he recounted everything that just happened in the few minutes they’d spent kissing. His brain almost hurt as he over-analyzed it to death. In the end, he chocked it up as Louis being lonely. He missed Eleanor. That was it. He missed the company, the feelings. He missed his girlfriend, and in his drunken state let his guard down.

Harry sighed as he sat up on the couch. As much as he liked what happened, he was determined to bury it. He wouldn’t speak of it, if that was what Louis wanted. They’d go about their lives like it never happened, because he was Louis’ best mate, and he didn’t want to disrupt Louis’ life more than he already had.

Seconds later, Harry pulled himself up from the couch and headed toward the now open lounge door. He switched off the light and once his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he ambled to his designated bunk and hopped in, hoping to shake the feelings of unease altogether.

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