Five Days

"What's the worst that could possibly happen? It's only five days."| As head assistant to late night talkshow host James Corden, Alicia Mendez has dealt with her fair share of obnoxious celebrities. So when reknowned boy band member Harry Styles is announced as a week long guest in honor of his solo debut, she wants absolutely nothing to do with him. Unfortunately, he's exactly who she's stuck with for the next five days.

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4. D A Y F O U R

D A Y  F O U R

Alicia was beside herself. All she could think about throughout the night and straight through the morning was Harry's soft lips upon hers. She was screwed, plain and simple. 

"Morning, love." James said, peeking in her doorway. He had on a polo and cargo shorts, his typical office attire until he had to change for the show. 

"Hi." She said curtly, knowing that if he looked at her, really looked at her, that he would see right through her. The last thing she needed was James in on...well...whatever it was that she and Harry had. 

"What's up with you?"

"What do you mean?" She asked calmly, willing herself not to look up at him.

"Well, you didn't stop by to saying good morning."

"I was in a rush."

"You didn't have Harry's dressing room stocked."

Alicia blushed, but still refused to look up at her boss,"He's a big boy."

"You forgot to send me copies of the segments for today."

"Finishing them up right now." She said, waving the papers she had been writing on.

"And you won't look at me either." James said pointedly as he approached her desk. 

Alicia finally glanced up and sighed, "What's up?"

"You're acting strange."

"I am not."

"You certainly are, I know you. The last time you acted this way was when you "accidentally" tripped Joe Jonas because he made some comment about your skirt."

Alicia rolled her eyes. First of all he totally deserved it. He had made a comment about how it made her ass look astounding, and how he hoped he'd get a chance to take it off later after the show. It had been the first time Alicia had been confronted with a leering celebrity and had no idea how to handle it as it was her first month working with James. So when he was walking onto stage, she stuck out her foot and watched as he landed face first on to set in front of a live audience. It had been beautiful. But of course she had been terrified about the repercussions. Luckily, James was the kind of boss who understood why she did what she did and rarely questioned it. In fact, some times (like in that case) he totally applauded it. But in moments like these, she hated that he couldn't just let it go. 

"James, honestly, I just have a lot to do today."

"Right."

"Have you seen the amount of work we have to do for the skits today? I mean honestly." Alicia said, taking a deep breath, "And what's this delivery coming at three?"

"Oh, don't worry about that. Just something Harry thought up."

Alicia's heart skipped at the mention of his name and she immediately looked down. James of course caught the one moment she had managed to let her facade fail, "Are you still having problems with Harry? I just don't understand what it is with you two. I was so sure you'd get on so well." He  lamented.

"There aren't any problems."

'There aren't?"

"Nope."

"Really?"

"I said no."

"So, the past three days have been perfect?"

"I wouldn't say perfect, but he's been tolerable." She lied. 

"Oh? He's tolerable now, how interesting."

Alicia grimaced, "It doesn't mean anything, James."

"I'm sure it doesn't, Alicia."

"Did you actually need something?"

James chuckled, "Wow, what a way to talk to your boss."

"I'm assuming that's a no." She said, turning back to her work.

"Now hold on, hold on. I wanted to talk about the carpool karaoke segment."

"What of it?"

"What do you think we should have Harry do?"

Alicia shrugged, "Aren't you two such great friends? Why force it. Just have a normal conversation with him, I'm sure it'll be much better that way."

James paused for a second, pondering her suggestion. He crossed his arms and shifted his weight slightly onto his right leg before asking,"So, what? No script."

"You two literally have the most random conversations. So random, in fact, that most of the time they are actually entertaining. So no, I don't think you need to have a script. Just forget the camera is even there, and tell Harry to do the same."

"H is going to love this!" James said excitedly, already walking towards the door, probably to go tell Harry at once.

Alicia sighed, "Just don't do anything stupid." 

"Dear, you act as if you don't know me. Everything I do is stupid, that's why this show is so popular." James said smilingly, turning back to look at his assistant before walking out the door and running towards Harry's dressing room. She could hear him already, even down the hall. 

As much as she wanted to laugh, the knot that had formed in her stomach at the thought of Harry's touch upon her hot skin reminded her that there was nothing funny about this situation. She was in deep.

---

As James began setting up equipment in his Range Rover to pre-record the Carpool Karaoke segment, Harry was floating around in his own little world. Since yesterday he had felt restless, completely and utterly undone. He had actually gotten into a routine the past few days, really thought he had fit into the whole office culture thing. He had his own mug next to the coffee machine and everything. But now his focus was all on Alicia.

All he wanted to do was feel her beneath him again, to feel her lips upon his, and her warm breath upon his skin. Just the thought of her made his pulse accelerate. 

He felt himself shiver and attempted to shake it off. 

"You okay?" James asked, his blue eyes a tad concerned.

"Yeah, mate."

"You look distracted." 

"Didn't get much sleep."

Which wasn't a complete lie to be fair. He had stayed up most of the night wondering what it would be like if he could have stayed, if he and Alicia could have had more than just the five days. Normally Harry wasn't much at a loss when thinking about relationships or his love life, but this time...it was different. He really wanted to know what it would be like to be with Alicia, not only in the physical way, but in the most intimate fashion. He wanted to hear her raspy voice at three am when she's half asleep, telling him some story about her childhood. He wanted to know what kind of person she was outside of the office, outside of these circumstances. If she put the cereal in first or the milk. If she used a bookmark or dogeared the page. It was the stupidest things that he wanted to know, really. But he knew it was all those little things that amounted to one big one.

All he could think was that if they had more than five days, they would most likely be together. She might have hated him in the beginning, and he may not have taken her into account, but that's how most love stories start. At least, that's how all the good ones start. Harry would know, he spent those two months in Jamaica binge watching romantic comedies on Netflix. So yeah, he kind of knew a thing or two about the trope. Did it help him here though? Probably not.

Harry tried to get it together, but he just couldn't. He couldn't. All he thought about was her, her obscenely gorgeous body pressed upon his. Her hands running up and down his back, as if looking for an anchor to hold her so that she would not drown. His fingers tangled in her hair as she moaned into his mouth at the roughness of his needy kiss. Oh god, he was in deep.

"Harry!"

Harry looked up and turned to see James ready to get on the road. He looked extremely concerned, "Haz, you sure you okay, mate?"

"Corden, please." Harry said, trying to pull himself together, "It's just been a long morning."

"You woke up two hours ago."

"Longest two hours of my life so far." Oh how he wished he was joking, but he wasn't. 

James furrowed his brow, put down the small camera he was fiddling with, and turned to look at Harry, "You're a mess, Harold. I think you're actually wearing the same shirt I saw on you last night at dinner."

Harry looked down, "So?"

"You never wear the same shirt twice."

"Says who?"

"You!"

"Maybe I'm trying something new."

"Right." James said rolling his eyes as he leaned back into the car to finish adjusting all the equipment,"I just don't understand what's up with you. Alicia's been acting the same way..." And then it clicked. Harry literally saw the moment it did, for his friend's eyes lit up as he almost jumped out of the car and ran around to grasp Harry's shoulders, "Something happened, didn't it? That's why you two have been so off."

"Nothing-" Harry said trying to peel James off of him. 

"Something happened! Alicia doesn't mope around, she doesn't miss headlines or deadlines, and she most certainly does not avoid looking at me head on."

"Okay? I don't understand what this has to do with me." He pathetically said, attempting to deflect James' intrigue to no avail. 

"And you my dear H are a lost cause. Whenever you're smitten you turn into a hot mess."

"Emphasis on the hot though, right?"

James shook his head, "Can't charm your way out of this one, Styles."

"I don't know what you're talking about."

"You, you think that you can just be incredibly endearing whenever you're in an uncomfortable situation and all will be fine."

"Weren't you literally just teaching me how to do that?"

"That's beside the point."

"No, mate, it's really not."

"Harry!"

"What!?" Harry shouted back.

"Stop playing stupid!"

"I am not playing stupid!"

"Are you implying you're just stupid then?"

"Probably."

James paused for a second, trying not to explode in seething anger and simply muttered, "Get in the fucking car."

Harry smirked to himself as James walked around to get in the driver's seat. 

"This doesn't mean this conversation is over."

"Uhuh."

"I'm serious, Styles."

"Okay."

James was going to say something else, but decided against it. He probably didn't want to get all riled up before having to film the segment. Harry knew that for now his and Alicia's secret was safe. But James was catching on, and when he figured it out, well, either he was totally going to be for it or totally be against it...whatever it was that they were. Harry doubted it would be the latter, but for Alicia's sake, he was going to leave his pal James in the dark for as long as possible.

---

"Oh for the love of God" Alicia half jokingly sighed as she watched the playback of the segment that James and Harry had just filmed. The editor, Ned, simply shook his head, cackling.

James and Harry had switched clothes, sang an "Endless Love" duet, and managed to re-enact scenes from famous rom-coms all in the matter of thirty minutes. She didn't know how they did it. Somehow the entirety of the take was usable and Alicia had to make the choice of what to cut out since James was adamantly against cutting out anything. 

"I just don't know." Alicia let out a breath, "I mean, the only good reenactments are the "Titanic" one and the Julia Roberts one."

"What about the banter?"Ned asked.

"Oh, god. Yeah. The whole "Titanic" argument is great."

"Totally."

"I mean, we can cut out a few of the outfit changes?"

"Edit the ones we keep into like a back and forth kind of thing?"

"Yes."

"Okay, that shaves off seven minutes."

Alicia shook her head, "Only seven?"

"I can take out the shirtless scenes and make it nine."

"Yes."

"You're going to have about a million angry girls flooding your email tomorrow morning."

Alicia laughed, "Whatever."

"What about that mermaid tattoo though?" He asked, pausing the playback.

"Oh, shit." Alicia said leaning in towards the screen, "I hadn't even noticed that."

"How many tattoos do you think he has?" Ned asked, continuing to study the frozen image he had upon the screen. 

Alicia shrugged, "Too many."

"They're kind of cool, kinda suit him." He pressed play and continued studying the screen.

"I guess." She said, trying to avoid staring at Harry upon the screen for too long. She could already feel her face flushing, her chest tightening. She hated it, absolutely hated what he did to her. 

"Except those things on his hips." He said when

"The ferns?"

"Yeah."

Alicia just couldn't help herself, those were actually her favorite of his collection, "They're okay."

"James is right though, how does this kid manage to look so good in everything?"

"It's a blessing, I guess." Harry said as he poked his head into the room. 

Alicia rolled her eyes, "Do you happen to show up wherever people are talking about you?"

"I'm like one of those genies, just got to rub me the right way." He winked.

"That doesn't even make sense."

"I think you mean like one of those Bloody Mary things." Ned thought out loud, "Like you compliment Harry Styles three times in a row and he'll show up at your door"

"Every girls' dream come true." Alicia said in an exasperated tone. 

Harry chuckled, "I'd have a lot of frequent flyer miles."

"I don't think you could fly? Wouldn't it be more of a Santa Clause type of deal?" Al asked. 

"You think, mate? Does Saint Nick actually use magic or what...wait...would I be a wizard!?!" 

Alicia brought her hand to her forehead, "Are you serious?"

"You don't joke about Christmas, Ali."

"Ali?" Ned asked with a smirk upon his stubbled face.

"No, not the time" She quickly waved him off.

Ned shrugged, "Well, I'll have the final cut ready for you in a few hours."

Alicia nodded, "Sounds good."

Harry motioned towards the door and mouthed, "Lunch?"

Hesitantly she nodded her head once in agreement, "I'll see you later, Ned."

"Cheers, mate." Harry said, saluting Ned even though the editor paid him absolutely no mind. 

As they walked into the hallway Alicia felt her heart drop into her stomach. She hadn't been ready to face him yet. To be quite honest, she wasn't sure she was ever going to be. But, here she was. 

She avoided looking at him head on, but eventually when they were about to turn a corner, he grabbed her arm and pulled her towards him. 

"Okay, spill."

"Spill what?"

He sighed, "Don't play coy, Ali. It's not becoming."

"I'm not playing coy." She said, leaning against a large trunk of equipment. Her feet hurt from the heels she had foolishly chosen to wear that morning. Alicia didn't want to admit it was for Harry, but they totally were, and he was very appreciative of them from his purposeful stare as she had slyly walked in front of him. 

"Then?" He replied, sitting on the trunk, his large hands resting in between his mantis-like legs. 

"I'm just as confused as you are." She admitted, not wanting to turn to look at him,"Maybe even more so. You know, I've never done this whole type of thing."

"What type of thing?" He asked, letting go of her arm and turning to face her. 

"The whole hookup thing." 

"What makes you think I'm used to hooking up?" Alicia simply stared at him, making Harry huff, "So that's the kind of guy you think I am?"

"Am I wrong?"

Harry sighed and shook out his recently trimmed hair, "I don't know. I'm not going to lie to you, because why should I?"

She shrugged, "I don't care about your past." Okay, she did a little. But that was then, and this...well this is now. Right now he was sitting next to her asking her what they were going to do about them

"So..." He trailed off, "What are we doing?"

Alicia's shoulders slumped, "I really just..." She trailed off, tired of saying she didn't know. She did know. She had fallen for fucking Harry Styles, and it seemed like he had fallen for her as well. At least, for now. 

"Does it matter?" He said, intertwining his hand in hers, he grasped it firmly and she felt a jolt through her body at his touch. 

She shook her head, "I don't think it does."

He leaned over and lightly pressed his warm lips against her cheek, "Good."

Alicia sighed though, trying to think clearly, "But it should, right?"

Harry leaned back and looked at her head on, "Should it?"

"I'm not saying we should like, get married, but what are we? Are we just...hooking up? Are we dating? Are we..."

"I'm only here for another day." Harry said almost inaudibly, his shoulders slightly slumping.

"I know." Alicia whispered.

"And then...and then I'm touring, Alicia. It's just not..."

"Fair." She said, completing his thought. 

"It's not fair to you, I mean...I'm just...I'm going to be gone, you know? And you'll..."

"I'll be here."

"You'll be here." He repeated.

"You'll know where to find me." She smiled sadly.

"Yeah."

They stayed quiet for a second, letting the inevitable end of their short lived tryst sink in. 

"Well," Harry said, getting up from the trunk and clapping his hands, "We shouldn't dwell on what could've been. It's far better to live in the present." He said, offering one of his callused hands to Alicia, "Wouldn't you agree?"

She knew that in taking his hand she would be accepting the fact that there might not be much more than the five days they would share together. 

But then she thought about that whole cliche saying she'd typically roll her eyes at, you know the one, "If you love something set it free, if it's yours it'll come back", okay, not the precise words, but the sentiment was there. She certainly didn't love him (Well, she really hoped she didn't), but if he felt just a little bit of what she did, then she had no doubt that they'd meet again long after these five days were over. Regardless of distance, jobs, tours, or fame. 

So she took his hand and nodded, "Yeah," and with that she knew that whatever happened next, whether it be disappointment or heartbreak, it was totally and completely on her because she had known from the beginning that they only had five days. 

---

After they had eaten a light lunch, being as discrete as possible about the developments in their now not so professional relationship, Harry had gone back to his dressing room to await a delivery. It was genius. He hadn't consulted James or Alicia, but he knew they would be appreciative of his comical genius. And if not he could just pay the delivery guys to take it back and donate it to someone who truly needed it, right? Win-win all around. 

"Hey, uh, something's come 'round back for you." Said one of the stage hands as they ran past his room, probably on their own mission.

Harry immediately looked up, only to see a flash of blue scurry past the doorway, "Thanks, mate!" he yelled down the hall, but the stage hand was already gone. "Quick." He muttered as he ran his fingers through his hair twice and flipped on his sunnies to go outside. 

He thought it incredibly clever, really. The whole stunt he had planned out meticulously, and in typical Harry fashion he was just so pleased with himself for coming up with such a comical skit. So much so that he was already chuckling to himself as they were lowering it out of the truck, "Oi!" He yelled to the delivery men, "You think you can manage to fit that through so many doorways?"

"We've had stranger requests." The older of the two said as he began lifting the back door of the truck.

"Yikes." Harry said, his mouth in a grimace, "I don't even know what to say to that."

"First time we deliver to a stage though." The younger one says as he gets up on the platform to start lowering the large item off of the truck.

"Well, at least it's a first."

"Through the doors then?" Asked the older one, pushing back his hair as he struggled with gripping the large item.

"All the way to the dressing room, it'll say HS on the door."

"HS? This delivery is for Mick Greenberg." 

"Gotta have a pseudonym, you never know, mate."

Both men shrugged, clearly not caring who the delivery was for as long as they could finally just put it down. 

Harry, with a smile still plastered upon his face, began walking behind them down the narrow hallway back to his dressing room. It was only about two hours before the show began, he was sure he could get everything together by then.

---

She heard laughter, an incessant amount. Alicia knew that so much laughter coming from the direction of Harry's room could only mean trouble. What else could it possibly mean, after all?

Alicia gathered her things before taking a deep breath, she was just going to stop by Harry's dressing room before heading to the main stage. It was about fifteen minutes until show time anyways, so they could probably walk over together. That is, if he hadn't done some asinine thing to make more work for her. 

But then she shook her head and wanted to slap herself. How could she even want to walk with him, on purpose...

She couldn't possibly be actually falling for Harry. No, she had to know better. He was leaving. What they had was a one time thing, she had done it before. He had certainly done it before. They were both adults with careers that currently dictated their lives, they couldn't become so dim-witted over a little fling. She knew better. At least, she thought she did. She could handle a fling, she wasn't clingy and she clearly knew what to expect at the end of these five days. Harry was hopping on a plane back to England, and she...well she was back to attempting to pictch an idea at the weekly staff meeting. It was as simple as that. 

"What the hell?" She mumbled as she approached Harry's dressing room, there was a camera being set up in front of the door and she could hear Harry talking excitedly inside. She shook her head, this was not going to end well.

"No! Ali! You're not supposed to be here yet." Harry said as soon as he saw her outside the door. He quickly came out and try to shield her from whatever it was that he had set up inside.

"So this is the delivery you had planned?" She tried getting on the tips of her toes to look over Harry's shoulder but consequently fell over and yelped.

"I've got you." Harry said as she fell onto his chest. 

She took in his alarmingly familiar scent for a split second before pushing off of him and slapping his hands, "Don't do that in public." She said in a harsh whisper.

"Prevent you from falling?"

"You literally just hugged me to your chest!"

"You fell onto my chest, all I did was catch you." Harry said, a smirk upon his face. 

Alicia looked around her to see if anyone had noticed, but luckily it seemed as if no one had. Maybe she was just being paranoid.

She cleared her throat and quickly tried to compose herself, "Anyways, what is all this? All I hear from James this morning is that "Harry's got a delivery coming in at three" and that you haven't even told him what you're up to."

"Well, it's not ready yet."

"I'm asking what it is, not whether it's ready yet or not."

"Why, so you can stop it if you don't like it?"

"So I can evaluate whether or not it's appropriate for TV." Alicia said sternly as she pushed her glasses back onto the bridge of her nose. 

"Have you always been this tense?"

"Excuse me?"

Harry took the liberty of closing the small gap between them, and just ever so slightly touched the back of her palm with his index finger, immediately sending a shock wave through her entire being. Seeing the very apparent reaction, Harry smiled to himself and continued, "I mean, doesn't it get boring being this put together? Haven't you ever just...let loose?" he asked a now bewildered Alicia.

"Yeah, I have and look at where it's gotten me." She says, pointedly looking at him and taking a step back. 

"Are you saying..."

"All I'm saying is that you're not putting anything on TV until I approve it, and that's final."

Harry's lips never unfurled from that dimpled smirk, infuriating Alicia even more, "I'm serious" she warned. 

"You'll get a look at it right before showtime, okay? Like fifteen minutes before." He saw her about to fight him on his negotiation so he held one hand up to stop her from interrupting, "Look, if you don't like it, you can cancel it. Okay? Is that fair? Just give me until then to finish it up and get everything ready."

Alicia sighed, slightly shaking her head, "Fine, whatever. I'll be back fifteen minutes before. But I'm serious, if I don't like it, it's not being aired."

"I'm a man of my word."

"Uhuh."

"Honest." He said peering into her eyes, "I would never break a promise."

"Right, well, good luck with whatever it is you're doing then."

Harry chuckled, "You're curious, aren't you?"

"I just don't want you do some ridiculous thing on live TV."

"You afraid I'll make an arse out of myself?"

"No, you do that regularly, I'm just afraid you'll do something that'll get us fined or taken off the air."

"Such little faith."

"Such little promise." She retorted.

"Ouch. You always go right for the jugular."

She shrugged, "Don't hate the player, Styles, hate the game."

"What do you know about the game, Mendez?" He said, daring to step closer.

She just couldn't help herself, didn't seem she ever could around him. For once she was the one smirking, and as she took just a half step towards him, her nose almost grazing his, she firmly said, "I invented it."

Somehow she had managed to forget her paranoia about who was watching and what was happening around her, all she could think about was the fact that if she just leaned a tiny bit closer she would-

"Ali?"

"Yeah?"

"As much as I enjoy this, and believe you me, I do, but I believe you're standing a little too close for people to believe we only interact on a professional level."

It was almost as if Alicia's entire body turned a deep red from the embaressment, she was totally out of line. For Harry to have to call her out, well, that was just bad. 

"Ahem." She coughed, nonchalantly taking more than a few steps back, "I will see you later."

Harry nodded, "Later it is, I'll be keeping score."

She rolled her eyes and turned to go on her way, cursing herself for getting sloppy. She knew better, now she just had to act like she did.

---

If it could not already be inferred, Alicia was not one for surprises. So when she walked into Harry's dressing room exactly fifteen minutes before the cameras starting rolling and simply said, "No," it was really not much of a shock to Harry. He knew she would do this.

Yet he still couldn't help utter, "What do you mean no!? You didn't even hear the concept yet."

Alicia simply couldn't fathom how in the hell Harry had managed to fit a queen sized mattress into his dressing room, or why he would ever think such a thing would be funny. But Harry was Harry, that she had learned quickly. 

"You said that if I said no that would be the end of it."

"Okay but you literally just walked into the room and said no. Well, okay to be precise you said 'Harry what in the hell?' and then proceeded with your typical 'No'."

"What's the concept?"

Harry perked up at that, "You actually want to hear it."

"Well it's fourteen minutes before the show starts, so yeah i'd like to know what your thought process was before I tell one of the camera guys to get that thing out of here." She said, pointing all of the equipment right outside the door.

"Right then, so, you know how Corden introduces the guests every night by doing that whole knocking on the door to our dressing room thing?"

Alicia nodded, knowing fully well that was one of James' favorite things on the show, which is why he had integrated it into every show.

"Okay," Harry continued, "I was thinking that it would be hilarious" he chuckled nervously, hoping her passive expression would change soon, "If when they knock on my door I don't respond. And when someone finally opens the door and they pan in, they see I turned this into my bedroom."

"Since you've been here the entire week." Alicia said without missing a beat.

"Exactly." Harry replied, enthusiastically hoping that Alicia was actually thinking this was one of his brighter ideas. 

She nodded, "I'd wear a bathrobe, though. Tie the whole thing together and what not."

"Wait, so you're approving my skit."

She sighed, "Yes, Harry, I'm approving your skit."

He hugged her in sheer joy, and she didn't fight back. In fact, she had stopped resisting him a while ago, hadn't she? 

Alicia pulled back for a brief second, incredibly tempted to press her lips against his. She couldn't deny that she wanted to, not anymore. But alas, it was not the time, "We have ten minutes before the show starts." She said in a low tone of voice.

Harry nodded, "Thanks, Ali."

She smiled wearily, "At least you got to pitch something this week."

"You wanted to?"

She shrugged, "Only the entire time I've been here."

He furrowed his brow, "Why haven't you?"

"I don't know, I just...it's kind of..."

"Scary?"

"No."

"You can say it's scary, it won't take anything away from you."

She stayed quiet for a mere moment before admitting, "Yeah, it's kind of scary, but it's not jut that. I just...I always get cut off right before I'm going to say something. Or I get assigned to do something else." Alicia said pointedly looking at Harry.

"Are you blaming this on me?"

She smirked, "Unfortunately, this is something that I can't blame on you, it's all on me. I have to get it together. I mean, James isn't scary. You actually got a skit approved without even running anything by him, I mean, I can too." She looked up at him, "Right?"

"I mean, I wouldn't go rogue."

"Because that's clearly a rockstar thing I don't understand right?"

Harry's lips kinked into her favorite cocky smile, "I'm a rockstar now?"

"I think you've earned the right to the title."

"Well," He said, pressing a hand to her cheek, "I think you've earned the right to call some of the shots around here. You're bloody brilliant, don't hold yourself back."

She averted her gaze, still mortified that she had confessed this to Harry, only to see her watch and realize they only had five more minutes to get everything together, which sent her into a panic, "Alright! Enough about me, let's get this all together. It's almost showtime."

Harry nodded, grabbing her hand before she inevitably ran off, "Thanks for hearing me out."

Alicia looked at him before squeezing his hand, "Thanks for the pep talk."

And before she ran off once more she made the mistake of looking back at Harry. And she saw it, she saw that look that so many people talk about in ridiculous love stories and movies. You know the one, the one where his eyes sparkle and brim with endearment and pure joy? Well, that's when she officially took down the time, because Alicia knew that for the first time, she was actually in love. And boy did that scare the shit out of her because she knew that he had to feel the same way too.

---

Alicia had dated before, you know, had crushes, had "boyfriends" and even some "Well I think we're dating" scenarios, you know, all of that fun stuff. Sometimes she totally crushed on someone who wouldn't even give her the time of day. But to feel this, this sinking yet uplifting feeling constantly whether she was around Harry or not? This has yet to have happen, and honestly, the last person she ever expected it to happen with was him. 

"Oh my god, Harry was like....to die for tonight. I know you don't care, but dear god." 

Alicia looked up, clearly shaken out of whatever stupor she was in by Milo and his ridiculous and constant adoration of Harry.

"What?" She asked, clearly distracted. She couldn't even hide the fact anymore, she was a complete mess. 

"James asked me to give this to you." He said handing her a folder, "Why are you here?" He said, looking around at the now empty audience seats. "The show ended like ten minutes ago."

She looked up to see, that yes, in fact the show had finished. The crew was vaccumming and James was long gone, so was Harry, probably. 

Again she felt her stomach sink at the fact that she may not run into him, "Pathetic" she mumbled to herself at her dismay. 

"What was that?" Milo asked, smirking. He knew she was losing it, and he relished every second of it. Perfect Alicia was slowly coming apart at the seams, he didn't know why, but he quite enjoyed it, it was obvious by the fake sympathy that shone across his almost leering face. 

"Nothing." 

"Whatever." Milo said with a roll of his eyes, "Just make sure you get the stuff for the party tomorrow. I put a list in that folder."

"What party?"

He put a hand on his hip, "Harry's going away party?"

"Oh," she sighed, "Right."

"What? Hate him so much you don't even want to do this small thing for him? You know our ratings were higher than ever this week."

"Yeah, yeah."

"You think you're so cool because you're like over the whole celebrity and famous thing, don't you?'

Alicia rubbed her temples, "I'm so not in the mood, Milo."

"Well, I'm just saying, it's getting old. You're such an ice queen. I bet Harry might not even want to come back because of the way you treated him this week."

"What?"

"You think I didn't notice how you totally avoided him while he was talking to you? It's like you didn't even have the common decency to look him in the eye."

"I-"

"Listen, I know I come off too strongly sometimes, but you do too. You've got to at least pretend to be nice, especially to the guest stars."

Alicia wanted to say something snarky back, but she just didn't have the energy. And besides, it seemed like this was coming for a good place, at least she hoped so. 

Milo continued since Alicia didn't stop him, "Look, I know we're not friends so sorry for totally just criticizing the hell out of you, but fucking hell Alicia, Harry is a really cool guy. Bieber was a douche-"

"Wait, what!?" Alicia exclaimed, "You're always on my case about the stupid Bieber thing."

He shrugged, "That's not the point."

"What's the point then?'"

"The point is that... I just...you're just so...I don't know. you seriously just seem like you think like you're better than everyone else. You always keep to yourself, you never want to work with any of us, and to top it off you think you can do anything you want because James always has your back. I mean look at the shit you've pulled, you're notorious."

"It's not that I think I'm better than you," She said rather quietly, "I just don't know what to contribute half the time. And it's not that I don't want to work with you, it's that I have fifty other things to do in the day and don't have time for your group projects. You think I don't want to try coming up with a skit? It's not that easy."

Milo shrugged, "Make time. Let people know you're a team player. And be nice ice queen, you can't get through life being difficult."

"You've done pretty well for yourself."

He smirked, "I'm special."

"Yeah, whatever."

"No, but really, look I know we're not always cool, and we're not going to be-I mean this talk totally doesn't mean that we're like friends-But get out of your comfort zone. Be nice once in a while, it won't kill you."

"Same goes to you."

"Hey, this is my personality. I'm just a snarky bitch, sorry not sorry." He said waving his hand as he started walking away, "Get the stuff for the party, we'll talk tomorrow."

"Yeah, yeah." She waved back, turning to walk away with a rather unexpected smile on her face. Yet, instead of turning right down the hall, she turned left and took the long way back to her office to collect her things. Of course she had to go walk past Harry's dressing room, and perhaps she was kind of hoping that he'd be in even though he'd probably be long gone by now.

Yet, low and behold Alicia saw his door ajar with the light still on, and knew that he still had to be in. But was disappointed to find that he was not actually in his room when she peeped in. 

She went in anyways, seeing his phone on his dresser, and knowing that he was going to come back soon, and they should probably prep for tomorrow anyways. At least, that's what she told herself. 

Alicia put her bag down upon the mattress used for the skit earlier today, and seeing as his couch was covered in clothing and other things he was undoubtedly sorting through to pack, she decided to sit on the bed. It was covered in some tacky red silk cover with embroidered roses. Harry had of course gotten pajamas and a robe that matched it, all of this on short notice. She smirked, wondering how he managed to pull all these things off. 

Tonight the show was astounding, Harry had transformed entirely, telling jokes right and left, even performed an encore song. She didn't know what it was, but something was different. Perhaps he just lost all his nerves, knew that he only had one more show before his residency was over. Regardless, out of all the nights so far, this was going to be a hard one to top. 

"Get lost, did we?" 

Alicia turned towards the door to find Harry, with that same stupid look in his eye, smirking at her.

"Didn't get lost, simply came to give you some stuff for tomorrow." She said, feeling all of the color drain from her face. She had to admit, it was a nice change of pace from turning as red as a tomato.

"Ah, yes, tomorrow." He nodded, closing the door behind him and stuffing his large hands into his small pockets.

"Well, um, that was it." She said, placing some documents on his bed, grabbing her things and getting up.

Harry slowly started edging towards her and the bed, his hands still in his too-tight jeans, "Where do you think you're going?"

"Home."

"Without a proper send off?" He asked.

"What's your idea of a "proper" send off?" She asked, willing her voice not to quiver.

Harry eyed the bed ever so blatantly and Alicia had to resist the urge of slapping him.

"No."

"Really, you're going to tell me you don't want to mess around a little bit?"

She sighed, "Is that supposed to get me in the mood? Because it's quite pretentious."

He laughed, "I'm pretentious now too?"

"Now? You mean always."

"Don't change the subject." He said, inching closer. 

"I'm not sleeping with you on this bed."

His lips curled into a devilish grin, "No one said anything about sleeping, love."

She pushed him back, trying to hold in her own laughter, "Get out of here."

"Tomorrow. But tonight-" He said, grabbing her things out of her grasp and throwing them on the mountain of his own possessions on the couch, "I'm going to stay right here, with you."

"Just for one night?"

He smiled placing his arms around her, "Just for one night."

"So this bed was brought in with ulterior motives?"

Harry diverted his gaze, "I may have imagined a few other uses for it."

"And so you had a mattress brought in, you couldn't even ask me out to dinner and maybe take me back to your hotel room? Very reasonable."

"Are you saying you'd go?"

"You're staying at James' aren't you?"

"That's so not the point of the conversation here, Ali. Are you saying you'd go out with me?"

She shrugged, "Never hurts to ask."

"Really? What happened to this not meaning anything?"

"It doesn't."

"Really?"

"Why?" She asked, "Does it to you?"

He pulled her closer to his chest, "I can't pretend it doesn't."

She sighed.

"What? It doesn't to you?"

"It does, it does. It's just that...this is all so-"

"Messy."

"To say the least."

"We don't have to figure it out. Let's just enjoy the time we have left."

"On this bed?'

"At dinner, first."

"Then what? We go rent a room."

"A penthouse suite in the most luxurious building, I'll go all out for you."

"You don't have to do that." She said, shaking her head.

"Oh, we've changed our mind, have we?"

"Like I'm going to be seen in public with you. That's totally what I need right now, being photographed with Harry fucking Styles."

Harry laughed loudly, she could feel his chest vibrate from the proximity, "That's great, so we could have a lay, but I can't buy you dinner after afterwards?"

"No one said anything about a "lay"." She said pointedly.

"Virgin?"

She blushed, "That's none of your business."

"So you are?"

"Oh my god."

"You're not?" Harry said unabashedly.

"Does it matter?"

Harry shrugged, "I could care less. I just like watching you sweat, Mendez."

"That's so not funny."

"Neither is you shooting me down for a real date just because I'm famous."

She rolled her eyes, "Oh please, like you can't get another date at the drop of a hat."

"But I only want one."

"Harry." She pleaded, "Let's just go home. I don't have the energy to be playing these games, it's been a long day."

He leaned in, gently brushing his lips against her ear,"I thought you liked these kinds of games."

"No." She said, begging her body not to quiver beneath his touch.

"That's too bad," he said, slowing pressing her onto the bed she so blatantly protested against, "Because I do."

She couldn't help it, her body automatically responded to his touch. She breathed in his earthy smell and felt her heart drop. He had managed to lay her down upon that cheap satin covered bed and she absolutely couldn't imagine a place she'd rather be than right there, beneath him. 

Alicia's lips gently pressed against his neck,  she felt the goosebumps rise within an instant upon his entire body. His pulse skyrocketed, and she felt him grow incredibly hard upon her leg. He moaned as she lightly bit him, his grasp around her waist tightening.  She relished it, was totally infatuated with getting such a hot reaction from the boy who drove her absolutely mad.  

She wanted to explore every inch of him, trace the ferns she adored so much, press firm kisses upon his sharp jawline.

As if he could read her mind, Harry began pressing upon her more fervently. She could feel as he slid his hands between her legs, going up her skirt and positioning fingers and thumb the way he knew she'd enjoy it. She knew he wanted more, and she was more than willing to give it to him. For once, she simply didn't care. 

She moaned as his fingers pressed into her, and he silenced her by pressing his mouth roughly onto hers. She almost lost it. 

Pushing his hand off of her, she threw him onto the bed, a fire in her eyes, and mounted him unabashedly. There was no room or time for embarrassment between them, she realized. 

She began pulling back his shirt, and fumbling with his belt. Harry, absolutely lost in the moment, simply began holding onto her hips, pressing her down against his hardness, wishing there were no more layers between them.

Both of them, so engulfed in the sudden passion that arose between them that they didn't hear the knock at the door, nor said door opening. It was only when they heard the unmistakable click of a camera phone that they realized they had been intruded upon.

"So that's why you don't play nice." Milo said, smugly standing in the doorway, "Can't let anyone know you're screwing the celebrity guests, can you?"

And within an instant said passion dissipated, as did all of Alicia's hope and dreams for a future in Hollywood. 

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