In Transit || Harry Styles AU

When Mason meets a mysterious guy at a club and goes home with him, she doesn’t ever expect to see him again. But when their paths cross again two years later, they both instantly feel the undeniable force between them. Mason is desperate to forget the demons of her past, while Harry lives a life fighting off his own. But after a life-changing revelation, he is determined to free them once and for all, and hopes he can help Mason in the same way she has helped him.


19. Nineteen

March 2018


Mason spent two days in bed. She kept drugging herself with sleeping pills to stay unconscious. But on the third day, she knew she needed to get up and go to work. She knew she just spent nearly two weeks on a road trip, disregarding any real responsibilities and she knew her boss probably wouldn’t like it if she called-in until she no longer felt socially inept. Reluctantly, Mason pulled herself out of bed, showered, and dressed in work-appropriate attire.

She drove herself to work instead of taking the subway. She didn’t want or need any reminders of the other night when she rode the train aimlessly for hours to help stifle her panic attacks over her uncle. Luckily, traffic was decent and she arrived early for her shift. She sat at the front counter with a cup of coffee, feeling dead to the world.

“You look like hell,” she heard and looked up to see her boss Janice standing in front of her.

Mason pursed her lips at her, knowing she was probably right. If she looked even an inkling like how she felt, then yes, she probably looked like hell.

“I’m sorry, kid. Too early for the truth?” Janice snickered in the light-hearted way she had as she bypassed Mason to start her shift.

“Too early for anything to be quite honest,” Mason grumbled as she got up from the stool and headed back to clock-in.

Surprisingly, the day went by quickly, and she was grateful that April wasn’t on the schedule. Mason wasn’t prepared for the tension that another argument with her would bring.

Janice was like a mother-figure to Mason, as much as she didn’t like to admit it, and she enjoyed working with her. But just like any mother, she liked to try to figure Mason out – even though Mason was never much for letting anyone in.

“You went through some shit, didn’t you?” Janice asked, catching Mason off guard as she cleaned out the coffee pot up front in the café during a lull in business.

“Huh?” Mason asked, eyeing her narrowly.

“You’ve always been a little rough around the edges – a chip in your exterior here and there, but since you’ve been back, you just seem… broken,” Janice said honestly, causing the emotion to swell up in her chest. Mason had to take a deep breath and focus back on the coffee maker to keep the tears from surfacing in her eyes.

Was she really that different? Did she change that much?

She was sure she knew the answers, because she knew Harry changed her on their trip. Everything changed. It was nearly impossible for her to cut ties with him like she did and it took a toll on her. There was an ache in her chest every single second. Everything inside of her felt broken and she was certain nothing was fixable.

“You okay?” Janice asked, giving her an honest look of concern.

“I’m trying to be,” Mason said quietly as she averted her gaze.

“Is it because of April?” She asked cautiously.

“What?” Mason croaked. She hoped no one caught on about her and April’s falling out, but it must have been blatantly obvious to everyone when they stopped speaking to each other.

“She, uh—she requested opposite shifts from you,” Janice told her, giving her a look of sympathy.

Mason nodded and went back to cleaning the coffee machine. She could feel the pain tightening in her chest as she tried to keep her breathing even.

“If you need someone to talk to…” Janice said, letting the offer trail off.

“April has every right to request opposite shifts from me. I did something I shouldn’t have and… and I’m just realizing the extent of it and the utter stupidity—I’m just stupid,” Mason sighed, throwing down the rag she had in her hand, feeling frustrated.

“You’ll get passed it. You two are great friends,” Janice tried to reassure her.

“It’s not about us and she’s not going to get over it any time soon,” Mason said, shrugging her shoulders, trying to be passive about it.

“Hmm,” Janice hummed, nodding her head.

Silence gripped them and Mason picked up the rag to begin cleaning again. She didn’t know what else to say. She didn’t feel like getting into all of her problems with anyone, let alone in the middle of a shift at work. 

“Well, kid. I’m not a doctor or a psychiatrist or anything, but my advice to you is to get out. Get out of that apartment of yours. Go out, have fun, meet some new people. Maybe you can meet a nice guy that will bring the sunshine back into your world. I really miss your smile around here,” Janice offered, smirked at her. And Mason couldn’t help but give her a tiny smile back.

Janice was so optimistic about it, but Mason knew it would never be that easy. Going out wasn’t going to make her forget what happened with her uncle, or what happened between her and Harry. She was certain there wasn’t anything that could cure either of them from her thoughts. There wasn’t a single thing that would turn her thoughts into anything but a plague on her mind. She was a sinking ship with no life preserver to keep her from drowning in the deep dark sea. She was a goner.

It had been a long night after an even longer day. After work, Mason found herself back in her stuffy apartment and there was still the fear in the back of her mind that her uncle would be lurking around the corner. The terror was almost paralyzing and she knew she couldn’t just sit there night after night, praying the nightmares wouldn’t become a reality again.

And she also had to deal with the possibility of Harry stopping by. She knew she couldn’t handle another go around with him. She was deteriorating by the second. Sadness enveloped her and she knew Janice was right. She needed to get out. She surprised herself when she decided to take her advice, throwing herself back into the club scene she had long since retired from.

Her body glistened with perspiration as she danced along with the beat of the music. She was barely aware of her surroundings, having drank until her throat no longer burned, until her body felt numb. She didn’t care about much. She didn’t have a need to care. She just hoped the night would end with either her blacking out in her bed alone or her finding a guy to take her home with him – either option would suffice for her. 

It felt weird to be in a club again. It had been so long since she needed to come to one to feel alive or to just numb herself. Since Harry. She hadn’t needed the escape since Harry. And now she needed it more than ever, because of Harry. 

Mason was certain the only thing that was going to get her through the night was the alcohol. She didn’t think she could let herself go without it. She wanted to forget so badly. She wanted the alcohol to wash away all the memories of him. She wanted another man’s hands and lips and body touching her so she forgot all of those things about him. She wanted to wake up and not remember his face. 

Because it hurt too much. Every hour. Every minute. Every second.

She used to go out all the time, before Harry. She used to spend her nights drinking, dancing, and perusing for one hookup after another. Why couldn’t she be like that again? She successfully pushed Harry away. Maybe she needed a new boy to help her forget – a boy who didn’t know her whole dark past, a boy who wasn’t going to stick around when morning came.

And as she walked up to the bar to get another drink, she laid eyes on a man she knew would be her next conquest. She tried to ignore that his wild hair reminded her of Harry’s or his wide bright eyes. Even his smile seemed the same – the build of his shoulders, everything. But there was one shining quality to this man that set him apart from Harry – he wasn’t Harry.

It wasn’t long until Mason’s body was melded with his on the dance floor. And not long after that, she was propped up on the back of a toilet seat, making out with him in a stall in the men’s room.

Her legs wrapped around his middle and she kissed him with all the desperation in the world. She needed it so badly. She needed to know she still had control of her life. She needed to know she was right with her decisions – she could get by alone, without him.

The Harry look-a-like was an exceptional kisser and it seemed easier than she initially thought. And when his hands slipped up her dress to pull down her panties, she tried her best not to flinch. She knew it was the direction they were headed. She gave him all the signals, yet it still seemed foreign to her. When his lips kissed down her neck and his stubble scrapped across her skin, she pictured Harry’s face in her head. She bit her lip and tried to think of anything else, but even the guy’s moan sounded like Harry. She wanted to muzzle him to get him to shut up. But she knew it wasn’t a possibility.  

Mason groaned, more out of frustration than anything, as her fingers dug into the man’s shoulders blades. But as soon as she did it, a shooting pain shot straight up her arm from the injury she sustained from punching the bathroom stall at the train station. And as memories of that dark night filled her mind, she knew this was all wrong. It jarred that little place in her mind where insanity met clarity and she knew she would never be able to get Harry out of her head – worst of all, her heart.

Mason’s palms pressed against the man’s shoulders and he looked down at her with furrowed eyebrows.

“What’s the matter, baby?” He said, smirking at her.

“I can’t… I’ve gotta go. I’ve gotta get outta here,” she said, pushing him backward so she could jump down from the back of the toilet.

“We were just getting there, honey. Come on,” he tried to coax her to stay as she slipped past him toward the stall door and unlocked it.

“Not tonight,” she told him as she made her way out of the stall.

“Fucking cock tease,” she heard as she passed the few guys who stood at the urinals, looking at her oddly.

Mason threw the bathroom door open and made her way back into the club, moving quickly toward the exit. She felt like she was suffocating. And she knew this night was a string of one bad idea after another. She had plenty of bad ideas in her lifetime, but as she walked quickly down the sidewalk, leaving the club in her wake, she knew there was one idea that was never a bad one, no matter how many times she tried to convince herself of it.

It took Mason less than ten minutes to walk from the club to his doorstep. In ten minutes, all she could see was his face. And she knew everything he said as he stood in her doorway just days prior was genuine and one hundred percent true. She knew she couldn’t use him as her crutch anymore, but maybe they could help each other be strong. Maybe just having him in her life would be enough. She wasn’t ready to let him go. She didn’t want to fight the itching, burning, plaguing feelings anymore. She needed Harry.

The closer she got to seeing him though, the more anxious she felt. He told her he loved her. He loved her. No one had ever loved her. She didn’t know how to feel about it or how to express her feelings. She felt a lot of things for Harry. She felt so many things, and maybe it was love, she didn’t know. She wasn’t sure what love was because she never loved someone in a romantic sense. But she knew what she felt for Harry was strong and it wasn’t going away. And she knew they had a connection and she knew she didn’t want to live without him. Was that love? Whatever it was, it was scary and exciting and uncomfortable, but something she wanted to feel. And she realized right then and there that Harry made her happy – truly happy.

Mason stood in front of his door trying to regulate her breathing, but the longer she stood there, the worse it got. So she knocked – just to get it over with. And as she heard his lock click and watched as the door open, her emotions were overwhelming. The moment she saw his face, the dam broke and her tears sprung free.

“Mason,” he breathed, looking at her wide-eyed as she cried.

“Mason, are you okay?” He asked and took a step toward her. He reached out to her, but stopped himself just before his hand touched her. And she couldn’t blame him.

She didn’t know what to do and she didn’t know how to explain herself. An apology hung on the tip of her tongue, but she couldn’t say it. Her lips couldn’t form the words.

“Come in. Mase, please,” Harry said quickly and she did what he said, wiping her eyes in the process.

He shut the door behind her and she couldn’t help but notice the distance he was purposely putting between them. She did a good job of scaring him off and she couldn’t help but regret it all. He looked almost haggard, standing in front of her wearing a t-shirt and sweatpants that hung loosely off of his body. His chestnut hair was a mess atop his head, and his stubble was grown out to the point where you could call it a beard. Did she do that to him? Was he worse off without her? She didn’t like the overwhelming pain in his eyes as he looked at her, so she just began to talk to get her mind off of the thought of her causing him pain.

“Have you ever just… have you ever just needed something that… that you know you shouldn’t?” Mason asked as she focused on anything but him, wiping at her eyes haphazardly.

“Yes, Mason,” he replied without hesitation.

“Sometimes it’s so overwhelming. Sometimes I like to pretend it’s not constantly there in the back of my mind – the need for it. Sometimes I thrive on it. And just sometimes, I can’t help but feel so absolutely desperate for it,” she explained, finally looking back at him as the tears streaked down her cheeks. Of course she was talking about him and him alone, but she didn’t have the guts to admit it aloud.

“Mason,” he breathed as he looked at her thoughtfully.

“I’m desperate for it, Harry,” she whispered as she took a step forward.

It was only then that Harry reached out to touch her, resting his hands on her hips as she leaned in to connect their lips. Her kisses were desperate, but so were his. And she’d be lying if she said she hadn’t craved the taste of his mouth.

Harry moaned into the kiss and it made her smile, reminding her of how aggravated she was when the imposter-Harry was moaning into her kisses. The real thing was just so much better.

“What?” Harry said, breaking the kiss, but not the hold they had on one another.

“Nothing,” Mason said as she stifled her smile, gripping onto his shirt before pulling him backward with her toward his bed.

“Tell me what you’re thinking,” Harry insisted.

“This is not a time for talking,” she told him as she leaned in to kiss him again.

Mason,” he said and she tried to ignore the warning in his tone. Mason let out a drunken giggle and let herself drop back on his bed.

“You’re drunk,” he stated, smirking down at her. Mason licked her lips and smirked back at him.

“I can taste the beer on your lips too, Harry,” she said, quirking her brow.

“Where were you tonight?” He asked as his eyes dropped down to take in the skimpy black dress that clung to her frame.

“Out – trying to forget,” she admitted, eyeing him carefully. And she knew he understood what she meant because she saw the flare in his eyes.

“And did it help?” He asked in a lowered voice, staring straight into her.

“For a moment,” she said, challenging him and she saw the fire scorching in his eyes.

“Don’t bullshit me, Mason,” he scolded as he ripped his shirt over his head seconds before his body slithered up hers.

“No bullshit,” she said breathlessly as she looked deep into his fiery eyes.

His lips came down against hers hard and she whimpered against his mouth as the stinging pain hit her. And it was fast after that. Harry’s sweat pants were pushed down as he reached for her panties but found none – which only fueled his fire. He bit at her bottom lip as his fingers thrust deep inside of her and she couldn’t help but gasp helplessly. His fierceness was turning her on and she wanted to scream, but she knew it would only satisfy him and she wanted to keep playing the game they were playing.

Mason’s dress wasn’t even shed from her body before he thrust himself in as deeply as he could. Both of their bodies shook from the stimulation and their breathing was ragged as he nearly pulled out completely and thrust back in just as deep.

“Fuck. Harry,” Mason groaned as she dug the fingers of her uninjured hand into his back muscles.

Harry was zero to sixty in a millisecond and he was taking her on the god damn ride of her life. She couldn’t help the noises coming out of her mouth and his groans in her ear just added to the pleasure of it all. She wasn’t going to last if he kept it up. 

“Jesus Christ, Harry. Ohmygod,” Mason groaned as she tossed her head back against the mattress.

Harry took the opportunity to kiss her neck, his stubble scratching and teasing as his lips ascended. And as his rhythm sped up, she felt him bite her neck just hard enough to mix some pain in with the pleasure.

She could tell by his body language this wasn’t necessarily the sex they usually had. Yes, they usually had the type of sex that was fast and sated a need deep within them, but somehow she knew this sex was different. This was raw, almost vengeful sex. And she knew there was a lot for Harry to still be angry about. She knew it was her who pushed him away – not once but twice, and even more times than that if they were getting technical. And now it was her who showed up on his doorstep, messing with his head further. But she knew this was something both of them needed in the end.

Mason felt her entire body heat up as the rapid tingling of orgasm rose up inside of her.

Keep. Going,” she gasped, tightening her grip around him.

His paced slowed only slightly as he took longer, more thoughtful thrusts, knowing her body well enough to know how to push her orgasm along in the best, most pleasing of ways.

“Fuck, Harry. Fuck,” she whimpered as her orgasm enthralled her entire body, owning all of her senses.

She didn’t even have time to come down from her high before Harry was groaning, stiffening his body above her. And she knew his body well enough to know he came too.

When Harry rolled off of her, breaking their contact completely, she felt the emotional distance between them. He was pulling away on purpose, guarding his heart. Mason closed her eyes to hold off the tears, thinking about what she did to him. Hating herself even more for turning him away from her. 

“Harry,” Mason sighed as he pulled his sweat pants back up his body.

“Hmm?” He hummed, stilling against the mattress as he looked up at the ceiling.

“I want to… I want to tell you everything,” she whispered, her voice cracking with emotions.

His head turned to look at her and she looked back into his wondering eyes.

“I want to… but I don’t know how,” she croaked as the tears silently slipped out of her eyes, sliding down her cheeks.

“Just say it,” he said simply, sounding breathless and defeated.

“You’re the most beautiful thing I have ever seen,” she told him as she reached her hand out to cup his face.

She noticed a ghost of a smile on his lips, but she could tell he was guarding himself. She slowly dropped her hand away from his face as the anxiety built up inside of her.

“Something happened,” she admitted as her eyes timidly looked away from him.

“What happened?” He asked quietly.

“My… my uncle—” Mason choked out as her fingers swiped under her eyes to brush away the tears.

“What happened?” Harry asked more impatiently as he shifted his body to face her completely.

“He… he came to see me,” she continued, her focus falling on the small cross necklace that hung around his neck, rather than on his eyes.

“Oh my god, Mase. Are you okay? Did he hurt you?” Harry asked quickly, sitting up slightly as his eyes looked her up and down.

“He… he apologized for… for everything. He’s in AA, I guess. He wanted to make amends,” Mason explained and all Harry could do was stare back at her with his mouth hung open and his eyes wide.

“I made him… I made him admit what he did to me,” she told him as she pushed the heels of her palms into her tear-filled eyes.

“Ohmygod, Mason,” Harry breathed.

“And then I told him I never wanted to see him again, that he could never contact me again,” she finished and felt Harry’s hand grasp onto her wrist, pulling it away from her eyes.

Mason looked over at him and felt the overwhelming feelings for him that plagued her for far too long.

“I’m proud of you,” he said sweetly.

“Don’t be. He scared the living shit out of me. I couldn’t even stay at my apartment that night,” she sighed, shaking her head.

“You’re the strongest person I know,” he told her with honesty dripping from his words.

“Harry…” Mason breathed.

“Hmm?” He hummed, looking contently at her.

“Tonight… tonight I wanted to forget you so bad. So bad I even tried to… with someone else,” she admitted, feeling the anxiety swell in her chest.

“Oh,” he murmured.

“But it only made me realize I never want to forget you,” she told him honestly.

Oh,” he said again and she saw a spark in his eyes.

“I’ve never felt anything like this before,” she told him as she sat up in his bed and he did the same.

“Felt what?” He asked cautiously.

“Felt the way I feel for you,” she told him.

“How do you feel?” He asked quietly.

“You make the pain go away. When I’m with you, there is no pain,” she told him truthfully.

Mason,” he said, his voice breathless.

“I think we met for a reason, Harry. I think we were brought to each other for a purpose. And maybe we went completely the wrong way about it, but I think this is right for us,” she admitted for the first time.

“I think so too, Mason,” he said, leaning in to kiss her bare shoulder blade.

“I think that despite whatever outside influences may try to sabotage this, I think maybe we can make each other happy. I think maybe you are my best chance and I’m yours,” she continued as her tears stained her cheeks.

Mason,” he breathed as his hand cupped the back of her head before he pressed his lips against hers.

“I wanna make you happy,” he told her as they broke apart.

“You do,” she whispered.

“I’m in love with you,” he told her again, now that she was finally ready to hear it.

“I’m not sure, but I think I might be in love with you too,” Mason said, finally accepting the overwhelming feelings she’d been feeling for far too long.

“You have no idea, Mason—” Harry choked out as his emotions flooded him, pulling her against his chest.

“This isn’t going to be easy for me, I hope you know that,” she warned him.

“Nothing has ever been easy with you, Mason. I am prepared for anything,” he said, pulling back to smile at her before he leaned in and kissed her lips again.

“You just have to be patient with me,” she told him as her hand came up to cup his cheek again.

“I learned that a long time ago,” he said, smirking at her. 

Mason took in a deep breath and let it out in a shuddered exhale, feeling utterly overwhelmed.

“I’m here for whatever you need, Mason,” Harry said, wrapping his arms around her as he coaxed her back against the mattress.

“You always have been,” she reminded him.

“I want to be there for you with more than just sex,” he affirmed.

“I’ll try my best to open up,” she replied, nodding her head.

“I love you,” he hummed and she couldn’t help but nuzzle her nose into the skin covering his rib cage as a smile erupted on her lips.

Her feelings were out of control, but finally admitting and accepting her love for him helped ease her back down to a place where she could tolerate being with him emotionally.

She fell asleep in Harry’s arms that night and woke up in them the next morning. There was no running. There was no need to. She woke up to his kisses and although he caught her off guard, it was much easier to bring the guarded walls of her heart down knowing he wasn’t going to hurt her or leave her – he loved her.

And finally, Mason knew what he meant when he told her, don’t hold back and don’t pull away. It was just so much better to be with him without the pressures of her own psyche weighing her down. Harry was in her heart and she was certain he wasn’t going anywhere.




I really hope you enjoyed the story. Please let me know in the comments! Thank you!

EDIT: I am currently writing an epilogue. So, yay!

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