Love You Goodbye

When Harry is diagnosed with terminal Cancer, the boys gather one last time as One Direction to say goodbye.

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1. The End

"Hey Curly!" Louis cries, running into the room, only to be met with Harry's beautiful but strict nurse harbouring a stern expression. "Mr Tomlinson, Mr Styles isn't the only patient in this hospital and I'd appreciate it if you didn't leave your manners at the door." She struts toward the door, but not before grabbing me by the forearm and holding herself on her tiptoes to whisper, "Be gentle with him, he's been a nervous wreck all morning." She smiles, maybe the first she's managed since Harry arrived a mere seven months ago. She closes the door gently behind her as the boys and I crowd around the small bed, struggling to become accustomed to the contained space. Niall perches himself in the armchair, snuggling down into it cheekily, poking his tongue at me as I retreat to perch on the window sill, taking the time to appreciate the strings we managed to pull to get Harry a room with a view. Louis however makes himself at home, sprawling himself across the bed, limbs already tangled with Harry's despite only being here under a minute. Harry laughs heartily at the smaller boy, his eyes lighting up with the same sparkle they'd always held. I watched him with a silent admiration, for his strength of character. Even on his worst days, he was still the same happy boy he was when we first met during x-factor. Even though a lot has changed since then, we hadn't. We looked different, talked different, felt different, but we were still us. "Hey Lou Bear, sorry about Mandy." Harry screws up his nose at the mention of her, "She's had a rather large stick up her ass for a few weeks now. She was meant to go on holidays yesterday but because of my..." He stops abruptly, eyebrows furrowed and lost for words. A silence fills the room temporarily before Harry regains his footing, "Well she calls it an 'incredible inconvenience', so she's grumpier than usual which, trust me, is as bad as it sounds." He laughs, earning a sigh of relief from me. My eyes meet Niall's from across the room, and he smiles, understandingly. We sit in silence, unable to find the words to thank each other for the years of life and love we have been blessed with. To an outsider, we'd seem like strangers, but I'd never before felt more at home with these boys than in this moment. A knock at the door interjects my thoughts, as it creaks open gently. A timid boy appears, his trademark smile bringing me back to the old old days. "Hey" He mutters nervously, stepping into the room but not closing the door. I can't help but watch Harry, his eyes wide and soft. "Can I..." The Pakistani boy does the rounds, his eyes begging for the acceptance his voice is unable to ask for. Louis, who I'd expected to be on edge, smiled. He scooted over on the bed, making room for Zayn. As he closed the door, Harry's smile grew wider, he reaches for Louis hand, squeezing it thankfully. As Zayn sits beside him, he slings his arm around the boy, welcoming him home after all these years. Zayn leans into the boy, taking a shaky breath. "Oi Lou, leave some for the rest of us!" The full Irish accent fills the empty air, Harry laughing heartily at the boy as he jumps over the bed rail, sprawling himself into the laps of the three boys already occupying the space. "C'mon Li." Lou throws his arms open for me, yet my legs feel like lead. My eyes meet Harry's, and his smile wavers. "Come here." He whispers, shuffling over to make room for Liam with a slight struggle. Zayn holds his hand to the boy, stabling him as he smiles gratefully. I make my way over to them, the boys that made me who I am, the people who made everything I ever wanted come true. My family. I crawl into the small space beside Harry, the five of us cuddling close. "It's been a wild ride boys." Zayn whispers, looking out the window in awe. "We we're a couple of lads that just happened to be in the right place at the right time. I..." He takes a sharp breath, a shaky smile appearing on his bitten lips. "Even though we went our seperate ways, I love you boys. Forever." He nuzzles into Louis' neck, the older boy embracing him as he cries silently. Niall sniffles beside him, wiping his eyes with his shirt sleeve. Harry leans his head against mine, closing his eyes and taking long deep breaths. I can tell he's holding it together, for our sake. "I'm sorry it turned out like this." Zayn admits, reaching out to Harry, his eyes red and filled to the brim with tears. "I just... I don't regret anything that happened with you boys. I'm sorry it took me so long to tell you. To reach out. If I could change anything, that'd be it. I hope you can forgive me." Harry smiles graciously, meeting Zayn's hand with his own. "Nothing to forgive." Zayn's sobs come loudly now, as Louis cradles him into his shoulder, biting his own lip to suppress long overdue tears. Niall cries alongside Zayn, cuddling into Harry's side. His grip on Harry's shirt tight, as if holding onto it can keep him here forever in this world. The silence consumes us, the only sounds to break this being the occasional sob or gasp for air. We succeeded together, failed together and now we part, together. "I had this idea." Zayn says, sniffling before taking a deep breath and smiling. He hands Harry a piece of paper, patiently assessing his reaction. "They're beautiful, Zayn, but I... I don't understand?" Harry tilts his head, placing the paper on his lap for all to see. Four separate images stained the page, eliciting a look of confusion collectively from the group. Zayn reaches for his shirt, pulling down the V-Neck to reveal a small 'H', placed over his heart, alongside the quote 'On the road again.'. "I thought it would be nice, yanno. A little bit of you to keep forever." He avoids Harry's eyes, reaching for the paper, a small blush rising from his cheeks. Louis quickly intercepts, holding the paper and analysing it carefully. "So this one's mine?" Louis asks gently, angling the paper so Zayn can confirm. "Yeah, 'Always in my heart, 'H'.' I thought it fitting." He mumbles, running a hand through his disheveled hair. "Which ones mine?" Niall hollers, snatching the pictures from Louis' hand to find his own. 'My love for all of you has no end. 'H'.'. "It's beautiful." He murmurs, nodding toward Zayn. "You don't have to Ni, I know how you feel about tat-" Harry begins, only to be cut off unexpectedly. Niall's laughter fills the room. Against all our inhibitions, we laugh along with him. "Haz, I'd be honoured to ya nipple." Another roar of laughter erupts from the boys. I find myself chuckling along with them, my eyes, however, trained on the paper clasped in Niall's hands. As the outburst dies down, my eyes catch Niall's. As if he could sense the hesitation, he grabs my hand, closing it around the paper and smiling. "Your go Li." I unfolded the paper nervously, hoping it embedded everything I felt for the boy beside me. It's as if Zayn took all I thought of Harry and summed it up in one small quote. "25.3.15. 'H'." I read aloud. Zayn smiles at me, and I nod in return. "Thank you." His smile widens as he shakes his head, "It was nothing." He blushes. "Alright lads, enough with the hysterics, update me on your lives." Harry leans back, arms up behind his head. His gaze locks on Zayn, and he narrows his eyes. "You're it." He teases. "I'm doing good man, I feel myself now more than ever. Thank you for helping me find that." Harry smiles widely, nodding enthusiastically. "Don't sweat it, that's what family does." He turns to Niall, who just shrugs nonchalantly. "I'm getting my first tattoo." He offers, grinning. Harry laughs, throwing his head back, his eyes shining. "Can't wait to see it." Harry replies fondly, a blanket of silence falling upon the room. Niall's eyes have filled with tears again, and I want nothing more than to reach out to the boy. However, I keep my hands to myself, understanding his struggle. "Harry you'll never believe it," Louis starts, adjusting his position to sit cross legged on the end of the bed, wildly throwing his hands around in indecipherable gestures. "Cheryl is on some other floor with Li's little one. Born this morning." Louis flashes me a grin, to which I can't help but return. Despite the grim situation at hand, I feel myself glowing with pride. Harry sits up eagerly, pressing me for details. "Girl? Boy? Boy. Definitely boy. How's Cheryl doing? When do you get to take him home? What's his name?" He presses, gauging my reactions to draw his answers from. "Cheryl's fine Haz, sorry she couldn't be here, though. We'll take him home tomorrow at the latest. If we had the time I'd bring him in here to meet you but... Rules are rules yanno. Apparently, no matter who we are we're no exceptions to them." I manage a smile despite the knot forming in the throat, forcing itself further into my chest as Harry's bright smile falters momentarily before he picks it right back up. "Nah wouldn't wanna scare the baby aye." He plasters a grin onto his dimpled cheeks, running his hand over his shaved head. I look away, unable to see him this way. So optimistic, full of hope. Everyone knows the inevitable has come, but he just won't go without a fight. "What about the name?" He asks, nudging my shoulder gently. I smile, a small laugh escaping from my lips. "What's so funny?" Louis asks, punching me in the bicep playfully. I turn to Harry, burning to my memory the twinkle in his eyes when he smiles, the curve of his lips, the polite way in which he looks at me, waiting patiently for me to be ready. "Harry." His eyes grow wide, tears threatening to cascade. He opens his mouth to say something, yet I understand him, even in his silence. "Harry Payne." 

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