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.

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10. Ten


February 2018

 

Mason’s eyes blinked open, startled awake from yet another dream. But this time she wasn’t scared to death. This time there was more of a calming feeling. She was still trying to get to Harry, but in the dream, so was his biological father. He was right there with her trying to save Harry from whatever danger he was in. Needless to say, after having the dream, Mason felt Harry needed to hear his father out more than ever. But even so, there still was a nagging feeling in the back of her mind. She hoped her instincts were right, and that she wasn’t leading Harry into the arms of heartbreak again.

The hotel room was dark, with only a hint of the morning light shining through the cracks of the curtain. When she turned over, she was met with an empty bed. Harry wasn’t there. A sense of panic rose in her chest when she didn’t find a note.

She sat up in the bed and looked around quickly, not seeing him anywhere. Where did he go? She pulled herself out of the bed when she noticed her bag was sitting on top of the dresser. They didn’t even bothered to bring their things in from the car because of how rushed they were to get at each other the previous day. Harry must have done it that morning, but his luggage was nowhere to be found, and Mason immediately had a sinking feeling that he left her there to find her own way home. Quickly, she dug in her bag for something to wear and threw it on before she grabbed the hotel key and went out the door to find him.

The sun was brighter than she thought and it blinded her almost immediately.

Jesus Christ,” she grumbled under her breath as she shielded her eyes to let them adjust.

“Where the hell is he?” She asked rhetorically as she stalked toward the parking lot to find the car.

When she spotted it in the same place they parked it the previous afternoon, a sense of calm washed over her. But it still didn’t explain where the hell Harry was. Not until she saw a puff of smoke rise up in the air from behind the car. Mason walked across the parking lot toward the back of the car and found him sitting on the ground smoking a joint just like he did that night in Dallas – the night she told him nearly everything about her life.

“This is becoming a thing,” Mason said flatly as she peered down at him.

“Huh? What? What is?” He choked, looking up at her, smoke extinguishing from his lungs.

“Finding you crouched behind the car smoking a joint,” she said, lightly smirking at him.

“Yeah, well…” He smirked back, taking another hit of it before offering it up to her.

Mason made a quick sweep around with her eyes before she took the joint between her index finger and thumb and sat down next to him. She sucked in a puff, holding it in her mouth for a while as she passed it back to Harry.

“And it’s becoming a thing where you end up finishing it with me,” Harry chuckled, taking another hit. Mason giggled as she blew out the smoke.

“I’m starting to get pissed that you never actually invite me to smoke with you,” she said in a joking manner. Harry nodded his head, but his face went somber.

“I usually only smoke when my anxiety gets real bad. It’s when I just really need some time alone, you know,” he said quietly.

“Oh, shit. Sorry. I’m sorry,” Mason said, feeling terrible all of the sudden as she stumbled to pull herself up off the ground. She felt like a complete asshole for all the times she just invited herself to smoke with him. How completely oblivious of her.

“No, wait,” Harry said, grabbing her arm and tugging her back down. Her butt fell back onto the pavement even closer to him than she was before.

“I don’t mind, Mason. You know you’re another vice for me,” he admitted. Her heart began to beat a little harder in her chest as her cheeks flushed red-hot. Jesus Christ.

“Mason,” she heard him say, breaking her out of her embarrassed thoughts.

“Hmm? What?” She asked flustered as she looked over at him.

“Here,” he said, nonchalantly handing her the joint.

“Oh. Ha. Thanks,” she laughed lightly, grabbing it from him.

She took a long hit off of it and ended up coughing it completely out because it was too much all at once.

“You okay?” Harry chuckled.

“Amateur,” she said with a smirk, poking fun at herself as she held out the joint for him. Harry smiled as he took it and sucked in a perfect hit. They sat in content silence as they roached out the joint.

“Did you really mean what you said last night?” Mason finally asked as she sat dwelling on the question for far too long.

“What?” He asked for clarification.

“That you’re going to go back and talk to your… your father today,” she asked hesitantly, hoping it wasn’t going to be too sore of a subject for him.

Harry’s head dropped between his arms which were perched up on his knees and Mason thought maybe she pushed him too far. But then he looked up at her and nodded his head.

“I have to,” he said quietly, and all she could do was nod back, thankful he wasn’t going to give up.

 

 

Mason could feel Harry’s tension as they drove the twenty or so minutes back to Albuquerque to see his father. Once they were parked outside the house again, they sat in silence for a few long moments. She could hear the beat of her heart in her ears as she waited on bated breath for Harry to do something, anything. He just sat there staring at the house, staring at the minivan that sat in the driveway; staring at a reality he never knew existed until about two weeks ago.

“Do you want me to come with you?” Mason asked quietly which snapped Harry out of his daze as his head turn to her, his eyes wide and confused. 

“Yeah,” he said in a way that made her feel like she should have known it all along. Like, the whole time he didn’t picture doing this without her by his side.

“Okay,” she whispered.

There were a few more moments of silence between them before Harry finally pushed open the driver side door and got out. Mason followed his lead and got out too, meeting him around the front of the car.

“Ready?” He asked her with a stiff smile.

“Are you ready?” Mason retorted, giving him a sympathetic look. He sighed and nodded his head.

“About as ready as I’ll ever be,” he said before he held out his hand for her to take.

Mason quietly slid her hand into his and they began walking toward the house for the second time in less than twenty-four hours. Her nerves were killing her and it only made her wonder how much worse Harry’s were. This was his entire life being flipped upside down. This revelation of information was life-changing. And Mason was hoping, on top of everything else, it wouldn’t be life-ruining.

Harry took a deep breath and let it out slowly as they reached the front door of the house. She squeezed his hand a little tighter, letting him know without words that she was there for him. His finger pressed into the doorbell and the door opened moments later, with the woman who they saw in the house the day before standing in front of them.

“Hello,” she said, looking taken-aback by the sight of them.

Mason was almost certain she knew who Harry was now, even if she didn’t yesterday, just by the way she was looking at him in quiet apprehension – although she didn’t look angry or judgmental. She just looked curious.

“Hi,” Mason said quietly when Harry failed to speak.

The woman’s eyes fell on Mason, realizing she was standing there too. She was really rather beautiful, with long dark hair and piercing brown eyes. Mason quietly wondered just how hospitable she was going to be, knowing her husband had an illegitimate child standing on their doorstep. 

“Hello,” she said to Mason with a nod of her head.

“Is… is Victor here?” Mason stammered, remembering Harry mentioning his name to her before, and also hearing the woman call him it previously.

“Yes, yes. You must be, Harry,” she said as her eyes fell back on him. Harry nodded once, his jaw tense as he looked at her.

“And you are?” She asked Mason politely.

“Mason,” she told her.

“I’m Isabelle, Victor’s wife. It’s very nice to meet you… both,” she said with a cordial smile, looking between the two of them. Mason could tell she was uncomfortable, but she was still trying to make the best out of the situation, and she could appreciate that.

“Let me… I’ll go get Victor. Please, come in,” she said, giving them an invitation into their home. Mason wasn’t entirely sure what Harry was going to do, so she waited on him.

“Please,” Isabelle pressed, opening up the door wider for the two of them to step through.

“Thank you,” Harry finally said and stepped into the house, never letting go of Mason’s hand.

“Please, make yourselves at home,” she said as she skirted them into the living room.

Mason felt really awkward being inside the house, but she was going to be there for Harry because he asked her to. He asked her to go on the trip knowing she could be the one to help him. He wanted her there with him now for the same reason. The entire surface of her skin heated up with realization as this occurred to her. She spent so many nights dreaming of saving Harry, and right then, in that moment, being there with him put her on that path. Her breathing heightened slightly as her stomach started to turn.

“Are you alright?” Harry asked, squeezing her hand in his, looking over at her.

“Are you?” Mason managed to choke out, wondering how on earth he could be worrying about her.

“Yeah. You look pale, Mason. Are you sure you’re alright?” He asked in a hushed tone.

“Harry, I’m fine,” she told him quickly, just as a little girl walked into the room staring at the two of them sitting on the couch. 

Mason’s stomach lurched. She looked to be about four or five years old, with gorgeous curly brown hair, wide brown eyes, and such beautifully tanned skin. Her stomach lurched again when she realized she may very well be Harry’s half-sister. She felt Harry stiffen next to her when he realized her presence, and probably what she just realized. Mason looked up at him and he stared back at her looking almost horrified.

“Hi,” Mason squeaked, looking at the girl once again.

“Hi,” she said as a bashful smile turned up her lips. She stood across the room by a chair, still unsure of who they were or if they were going to be nice.

“What’s your name?” Mason asked, her voice shaking slightly. She couldn’t even remember the last time she was in a child’s presence.

“Sasha,” she said, flopping her head to the side as she sized them up.

“What a beautiful name. My name is Mason, and… and this is Harry,” Mason introduced them. Her wide brown eyes looked from Mason to Harry and then back to Mason before she nodded her head.

“Mason is a boy’s name,” she said matter-of-factly, and it made Mason laugh. She heard that too many times in her life.

“My parent’s sure set me up,” she smiled, even though the pain in her heart amplified when she mentioned her parent’s.

“There’s a boy in my preschool named Mason,” she explained.

“Oh. I see,” Mason said, smiling at her.

“Sasha!” They heard another little girl yell from the hallway, who soon appeared by her side, staring at them in shock. She looked older, maybe eight or nine, but she had the same exact features as Sasha.

“Who are you?” She asked them bluntly, but she wasn’t rude. She was just curious.

“Mason and Harry,” Sasha told the other girl.

“Hello,” Mason said, smiling at her.

“Hi,” she said, still looking confused.

“What’s your name?” Mason asked as she noticed Harry’s breathing picking up slightly next to her.

“Sadie,” she told them.

“Are you two sisters?” Mason asked, to sate her own curiosity – and probably Harry’s.

“Yes,” Sadie said with a nod. Harry took in a deep breath and let it out hard.

They heard Victor’s voice before they even saw him.

“Hey, girls. Why don’t you go play for a little bit while I talk to our visitors, okay?” He offered, and the girls immediately ran off down the hallway.

Harry shifted in his seat, dropping her hand as he wiped his palms on the top of his thighs. He was incredibly nervous and Mason couldn’t blame him.

“Harry, hi,” Victor said with a relieved smile on his face.

“Hi,” Harry said, lifting his hand in a short awkward wave before he put his palms back against his thighs.

“I’m so glad you came back,” Victor said as he sat down in the chair the girls were just standing next to. Harry nodded but didn’t say anything.

“Hello, I’m Victor,” he said, introducing himself to Mason.

“Hi, I’m Mason,” she said, leaning over to shake his hand, with a small smile on her face. 

It was weird being in front of him again, especially since he was in her dream that morning.

“Are you two—dating?” Victor asked awkwardly.

“No,” Mason muttered.

“Just friends?” He asked, looking between them.

“You could say that,” Mason said quietly, feeling her cheeks heat up once again.

“Could I get you two anything to drink or eat?” He offered.

“Just—I just want an explanation. That’s why I’m here,” Harry spat bluntly, cutting the pleasantries. Victor nodded and took a deep breath before he searched for the right words to start the conversation.

“I used to work with Des,” Victor began, and Mason could have sworn she felt Harry shudder next to her. Maybe it was because the mentioning of his so-called father, or maybe it was something else entirely. She didn’t know.

“I met your mother at one of the company functions. She was so beautiful. And… and I fell for her immediately. But we were both married at the time and I knew nothing would ever come of it, except… well, obviously it did,” Victor started to explain.

Mason looked down to see Harry’s hands bawled up in fists on his lap, his knuckles white with anger. Maybe this was why he asked her along – so she could stop him from losing it at the wrong time. Mason reached out subtly and placed her hand over his right fist. He flinched slightly, but relaxed his hand a little. When she looked up, she saw Victor’s eyes noticing her small act and it made her uncomfortable because she knew he would start to draw the wrong conclusions about them.

“I don’t know how to really explain this without revealing too much, so I’m just going to say it,” Victor said, looking up into Harry’s eyes. Harry didn’t response, he just stared back with a hard look.

“Your mother and I had an on-again off-again affair for nearly a year. We were both unhappy in our marriages, and it seemed like a good idea at the time. I don’t know. I just… I don’t know. I knew about you. I knew she was pregnant with you. We were still together then. I wanted us to… to run away together. She’d leave Des, and I’d leave my wife at the time. We could be a family. Me, her, your sister, and you. I wanted that so much, Harry. You’ve got to believe me,” he said and continued when Harry gave no response.

“Des found out a few weeks before you were born. I don’t know how, but he did. He threatened my job – the career I worked my whole life to get. He threatened to ruin me. He was a very powerful man, and… and I was a weak man back then. Even through all of it, I still went to the hospital the day you were born. I’d never be able to live with myself if I didn’t. I saw you through the window in the nursery and… and I just lost it. I knew what I was going to have to give up and it killed me. You were so beautiful,” Victor explained as his emotions overwhelmed him.

“Des saw me at the hospital and threatened to ruin my career if I ever came around. He said the next time he saw me anywhere near you or your mother he would ruin me without a second thought. I wanted to tell him to shove it – to, to just back off because you were mine, not his. But I knew your mother already made her choice, and it was him. I would be alone no matter what. I wouldn’t have you or her. And I gave in. I gave up,” he continued, bowing his head and wiping his tear-filled eyes. It was emotional watching him.

“About a week and a half after you were born, Des came to see me to make sure I’d truly stay away. He rubbed it in my face that his name was on your birth certificate and that I’d have no rights to you. Another week after that, you all disappeared. Des transferred to another job in another state, and you were just gone. I tried to find out where he transferred to, but all those records were confidential,” Victor continued.

“So you just gave up?” Harry scoffed.

“I didn’t give up. I hired a private investigator to find out where you went. It took the guy about a month to figure out your family moved to New Jersey,” he confessed.

“But you never came for me,” Harry seethed.

“No,” Victor said with a slump of his shoulders.

Harry stood up quickly, startling both Mason and his father as their necks craned up to look at him.

“I-I… every year I had the private investigator find you to make sure you didn’t disappear again. I have pictures of you from every year. You grew up into quite a man,” Victor explained.

“I’m a mess,” Harry spat angrily at him, and Victor’s smile immediately faded.

“Harry,” Mason breathed, standing up next to him as her hand rested against his shoulder.

“He took it out on me every chance he could. He knew I wasn’t his child, but I didn’t. I got beaten. I got belittled. I got pushed around, while my sister or my brother didn’t get so much as a finger laid on them. Do you know how badly that can fuck a kid up?” Harry growled at his father.

“I-I’m sorry,” Victor stammered, looking genuinely appalled.

“I just found out about you, after twenty-four years. In a drunken rage, he finally let me have it – that I’m your bastard,” Harry laid into him.

“I’m so sorry, Harry. I’m so sorry,” Victor said standing up.

“Yeah,” Harry huffed angrily.

“If I would have known—” He started to say, but Harry cut him off.

“You didn’t even try to know me,” Harry growled at him.

“I’m sorry. I really am. I will live with that guilt for the rest of my life, Harry, believe me,” Victor said, bowing his head in shame.

“Harry,” Mason said, tugging on his arm quickly when she saw a tiny head of dark curly hair peek out from around the chair. Harry’s eyes set on Sasha immediately as his shoulders sank and he let the anger melt away at the sight of her.

“Sasha, sweetheart,” Victor said, holding out his arm for her when he noticed her there too.

Harry took in a ragged breath, watching her tuck herself under her father’s arm, staring up at the two of them.

“This is Sasha, your sister,” Victor said, introducing them.

Jesus,” Harry said quietly under his breath, when he got confirmation she was who he suspected.

“That’s Harry, Daddy,” Sasha said, looking up at him.

“It is,” Victor said, smiling down at her.

“Hi,” Harry said, finally speaking to her.

“Hi,” she said back.

“Harry is you brother, baby. Remember our talk last night?” Victor told the small girl, and they all watched as the confusion displayed all over her face.

“Like Sadie is my sister?” She asked her father.

“Yes, like that,” Victor said, smiling at her.

“But he’s a boy. So… so he’s a brother?” She asked.

“Not just anyone’s brother. He’s yours and Sadie’s brother,” Victor told her.

“And Mason is our sister?” She asked, looking up at her.

“No, sweetie,” Victor chuckled lightly.

“I’m just a friend of Harry’s,” Mason said, smiling at her just as Sadie came back into the room.

“Sadie, come here. I need to introduce you to someone,” Victor told her.

“I already met them,” she told her father.

“But, honey, do you remember last night when mommy and daddy told you about how you have an older brother…” He asked, coaxing her into the room.

“Yeah,” she said with a nod.

“Harry’s our brother,” Sasha said before her father could, and it made Mason bite back a smile.

“Harry’s our brother?” Sadie questioned, looking at Harry, confused.

“Hi,” Harry said awkwardly.

“Hi,” she said, still looking at him skeptically.

“Please, Harry. I’d love it if you could stay so we can talk,” Victor told him.

Harry sighed, and Mason squeezed his hand for support. He looked at her, and she could read it in his face that he wanted to – that this would be the opportunity to get some sort of closure. So she gave him an encouraging head nod and he nodded back.

 

 

Harry and Mason spent the next four hours in the clutches of the Reid family – having lunch and getting to know them. Harry was mostly apprehensive, but eventually warmed up, and Mason figured it was mainly because of the two little girls. They spent a while with them, playing Barbies in their room and it was completely awe-inspiring watching Harry with them. He opened up to them so well, and knew how to talk to them and just be with them.

After lunch, Harry made up his mind that it was time for them to leave. But not before his father made plans with him to fly out to New York so they could spend some more time getting to know one another better. It seemed to satisfy Harry. They left after he gave his sisters big hugs and his father a parting hand shake.

It was mostly quiet as they drove out of Albuquerque and headed back to New York. So much happened in a week – it was hard to wrap her head around it all.

“How are you feeling?” Mason asked as they neared the New Mexico/Texas border four hours later.

“I don’t know,” he said with a shrug as he stared out the windshield.

“Do you want to talk about it?” She asked him quietly.

“I don’t know what to say right now,” he said, finally looking at her with a complacent look in his eyes even though she knew his heart and mind were anything but.

“Okay,” she said quietly, looking back out the window.

The hours they spent in silence were almost maddening. As the sun was setting on the Southwestern sky, Mason had to break it.

“Do you remember how I told you I have nightmares where I am always running to find you?” Mason asked. She could tell she startled him, because he nearly jumped to attention as his head snapped to look at her.

“Yeah,” he said with a nod.

“I think that… that we might be connected somehow,” she spoke fast, trying to get her theory out before she held herself back on revealing it.

“Connected?” He questioned, his eyebrows furrowing slightly.

“I just… I mean, I never really noticed a connection until we started this trip,” she stammered.

“What do you mean by connection?” He asked, his eyebrows knitting in a questioning look.

“Like, I don’t know. It seemed like every time I had that nightmare, I would wake up and you’d be… you’d like be having a breakdown in real life. Like, it started with… well, I started connecting it before… I mean, wow,” Mason explained, having a revelation as she stumbled over her words.

“Wow, what?” He asked, curiously.

“The night you found out about your dad not being your dad… I-I woke up from a really intense nightmare about you. And seriously, like moments later you text me telling me you needed me to come to New Jersey. And… and, a couple of days ago, I woke up from one and you were crying in the hotel room. And this morning, I woke up from one and you were outside smoking weed because everything was overwhelming you. I don’t know. I just… it seems like it’s a pattern. Like, what if every time I ever had one of these nightmares – like even the ones I had after the first time we met – what if you were like calling out to me subconsciously,” Mason stammered as her whole body covered in goose bumps. What if?

Harry stared at her longer than he should have as he drove, before his head turned back to the road. There was a weighted silence in the car, lingering over them and her heart was beating so hard in her chest. She needed him to say something, anything.

“Do you understand what you’re saying, Mason?” Harry questioned, his voice slicing through the air in a clipped tone.

“What?” She asked, wondering if maybe she stepped over the line.

“That we’re soul mates. You’re saying we’re soul mates, Mason,” he stated, looking over at her with thunderstorm eyes.

“I—no, that’s not… I didn’t say that,” she stammered, feeling flustered almost immediately. Not only did her cheeks heat up with embarrassment, but so did her entire body.

Soul mates? She didn’t even believe such a thing existed.

Harry sighed, looking back out on the road ahead, growing quiet again. Why did he look so conflicted when he came to that conclusion? Did it disturb him that badly to have such a connection with her? It didn’t matter when he was putting his dick in her all these years. Why was it such a horrendous thing when they had something like this in common? Mason swallowed back all these questions as she pulled her legs up against her and curled herself up in the passenger seat, watching the world go by through the window.

 

 

“He’ll never love you. Who could ever love you?” His voice was menacing and disturbed Mason greatly as she stood stick straight in the center of her bedroom at her grandmother’s house.

She looked up to see her uncle Brian leaning in her doorway, his arms crossed casually against his chest. He had a sneer on his lips that haunted her even in her nightmares. Her mind was blank except for the thoughts of growing up with him – back when her parents were still alive. She always looked up to him. He was always fun and knew how to make her giggle, whether it be telling her a funny joke or tickling her until she wanted to puke. She had so many good memories of him, but he was now demonized forever in her brain because of one act that would forever haunt her.

“You can’t hurt me,” Mason breathed, feeling a sense of confidence she never felt before.

“What was that?” He snarled, standing fully upright, looking straight at her with domineering eyes.

“You can’t hurt me anymore,” she said even more confidently than before.

“You’re joking, right?” He chuckled darkly in a way that was meant to shame her, but she wouldn’t allow it.

“You can’t hurt me anymore,” Mason yelled, stalking forward as she pushed against his shoulders. And out of nowhere, he vanished and she fell forward.

 

 

Mason jarred awake suddenly, startled by the dream. Her chest heaved as her mouth fell open to suck in a breath. She sat up quickly, causing her to go dizzy from the rush to her head.

“Mason?” Harry questioned next to her, and she realized he was still driving. Darkness was all around them.

“Mason, are you okay?” Harry’s voice came out plagued with concern. 

Seconds later, she dropped her face in her hands and burst into tears of relief.

“Mason! Mason, what’s the matter?” Harry asked, sounding panicked as his hand snaked out to rub her back.

Her tears were relentless as she thought about the dream she just had – how she stood up to her uncle, how she saw him for what he really was. He was her uncle and he made an unforgivable mistake in his impaired state all those years ago. She knew she would hold it against him for the rest of her life, but she also knew she couldn’t let it define her anymore. She couldn’t let that one event in her life be the deciding factor for her happiness. Her parents died and it was rough on all of them, but she couldn’t live the way she was living anymore. Maybe it was Harry’s positive outcome with his father that brought her to that point – she didn’t know. But she knew if she wanted things to change in her life, she needed to start somewhere – and this was her somewhere.

“Mason, please. Talk to me,” Harry’s voice was strained with impatience as Mason tried her best to stifle her tears.

“I think I just beat the nightmare of my uncle,” she told him, feeling relief seep through every inch of her body.

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