|Just One Mistake
Author: LarryShipper5ever PM
Sure, we all know One Direction auditioned separately for the X-Factor, but what if Louis didn't make it past his audition? A twist on 1D's X-Factor experience, and the aftermath of Louis' life-altering mistake. A Larry Stylinson one-shotRated: Fiction T - English - Romance/Hurt/Comfort - Words: 2,929 - Reviews: 4 - Favs: 8 - Follows: 3 - Published: 06-22-12 - Status: Complete - id: 8244725
|A+ A- Full 3/4 1/2 Expand Tighten|
Just One Mistake
At first glance, Louis appeared to be a typical teenage boy. He was born in Doncaster, United Kingdom, and had lived there all his life, he had an accent that would make any American girl swoon, his voice sounded like an angel sent to Earth, and his talent for practical jokes was unrivaled, much to the annoyance of most of the people who knew him.
It was on a Wednesday that his otherwise average life changed. This Wednesday was no ordinary Wednesday, of course. It was the first day of auditions for "The X-Factor", a televised singing competition that Louis had watched fervently for years. A crowd of people had gathered outside of the designated venue, eager to showcase their vocal talents. The majority of them were talking amongst themselves, laughing and smiling. Louis was not; he was too terrified to do anything but nervously chew on his lip and rhythmically run his fingers through his chestnut-colored hair. The performance ahead of him would decide if he would ever have a career in music, or if he was destined to stay anonymous in Doncaster forever.
Finally, an official opened the doors, and the mob of people entered the building in a buzzing swarm. Louis filed in with them. As his feet crossed over the threshold, he let out a deep breath that he didn't realize he hand been holding in for the past few moments. Step one was complete; he was inside of the building. Now he just needed to wow the judges and get into the competition.
No pressure or anything, he thought to himself.
An hour later, Louis was still stuck in the holding room. His headphones were jammed into his ears, blasting "Hey There Delilah," the song that he would be singing in front of millions of people in a matter of minutes. The lyrics washed over him one, two, 20 times; he couldn't afford to mess up. The work that he had put into this audition was astronomical, and he wouldn't let the work of months come crashing down in the span of a minute and a half.
A voice called his name, interrupting his thoughts. Louis noticed a woman standing in the front of the room, looking around expectantly for someone to answer to the name of Louis Tomlinson. Louis stood and got her attention, giving her a nervous half-smile. She led him to the stage, telling him something cheesy but encouraging. Louis gave her a breathy laugh in response, but on the inside he was beginning to panic; a few more footsteps, and there would be no turning back from the performance of a lifetime.
The woman stopped walking, and Louis stopped just in time to keep from running into her. They had reached the stairs.
"Good luck," the woman said, before handing him a microphone and promptly turning to head back into the holding room.
Louis took a shaky breath and put his foot on the first step.
"C'mon, Louis," he said to himself, "you can do this. No one can resist the incredible charm of the Swagmaster from Doncaster. Absolutely no one."
As he spoke, he took a step. And then another. Without even realizing it, Louis had reached the top of the staircase. He strode out onto the stage and saw that a live audience filled up the room entirely. The clapping and cheering, which up until now had been nothing but background noise, swelled when the crowd caught a glance of the next contestant. There were, however, more than a few mocking looks at the outfit he was currently wearing. Apparently, suspenders and red skinny jeans weren't items worn by the typical heterosexual male.
Louis internally sighed. He knew that he was going to be judged the instant that he decided to pick out his outfit, but people needed to understand that he wasn't ashamed of who he was. Yes, Louis Tomlinson was gay, and yes, he was proud to be who he was. If some people couldn't accept that, then he might as well know who the shallow homophones were now, rather than down the road.
One of the judges asked Louis his name, and when Louis responded, his voice felt detached from the whirlwind of thoughts spinning around inside of his brain. Vaguely, he registered the track of "Hey There, Delilah" beginning to play, and he took a single deep breath to clear his mind. It was showtime. His rang out through the room as he started to sing.
Hey there, Delilah, what's it like in New York City,
I'm a thousand miles away, but tonight you look so pretty
The judges smiled, and Louis soon finished the first verse. His knees were shaking, but his voice was clear and strong. There was only a minute left for him to perform. Trying not to concentrate on the many pairs of eyes staring up at him from the crowd, Louis began the chorus.
Oh, it's what you-
Without a warning, his voice gave out.
Louis froze, and the track stopped moments later, abruptly plunging the room into complete and utter silence. His mouth opened and closed, but no sound escaped his lips. For a few seconds he couldn't breathe, but then he began to hyperventilate as the realization of what had just occurred slapped him in the face.
He had choked. He had failed. He had embarrassed himself in front of millions of people and was standing alone on the stage looking like a deer in headlights.
A sob burst out of Louis' mouth, and he ran off the stage, dropping the microphone so that it went clattering to the ground with a shrill protest when it came into contact with the hard surface. The silence in the room as he left was overwhelming. No one moved or spoke, and he was out of earshot before anything at all could reach his ears.
After what seemed like an eternity, Louis made it out of the building. He sat outside, curled up against the wall in a vacant area where he could cry without anyone watching. His head was tucked between his knees, and tears stained his jeans where they collected in watery spots. Eventually, his full-on sobbing quieted to silent tears and the occasional sniffle.
An overwhelming feeling of shame filled Louis. He had been gifted with a single, brilliant chance at stardom and happiness, and he had ruined it entirely. And the worst part was that he only had himself to blame. What had happened up on that stage? Why had his voice just given out on him? Why was he such a miserable failure?
"Are you Louis Tomlinson?"
Louis' head shot up at the sound of someone's voice. He made a futile attempt to wipe some of the tears off his cheeks with the palms of his hands, but he knew that his skin would still look red and splotchy. In front of him stood a boy who looked about his age, with dark curly hair and beautiful green eyes. Most noticeably, though, was the adorable, yet still concerned, smile that he was sporting.
"Yeah, that's me," Louis managed to reply, his voice still sounding a little watery.
The stranger smiled even wider, and Louis swore that he saw the stunning pair of eyes literally twinkle. "I'm Harry. Harry Styles," the boy said. "Listen, I just saw your performance on the screens in the holding room."
Louis was horrified. "Everyone there saw it, too?" he asked.
"Don't be so embarrassed about it. You were absolutely gorgeous," Harry said. His eyes widened, and he quickly added, "You voice was gorgeous, I mean."
Fortunately for Louis, his face was already red from crying his eyes out, so the blush spreading across his cheeks wouldn't be noticeable to the other boy. He was trying not to read too much into Harry's slip-up, but he couldn't stop his brain from replaying the words an unnecessary number of times.
"Thanks," Louis finally said with a genuine smile, "but even if my voice sounded fine before I screwed up-"
"Not just fine. Beautiful," Harry interrupted.
Louis found himself smiling even wider. "Alright, then. Even if my voice sounded beautiful before I screwed up, I still choked and ruined my one chance to prove myself."
A knowing flicker sparked in Harry's eyes. "See, that's why I wanted to talk to you. My friends- Niall, Liam, and Zayn- and I were going to audition as a group, but we're missing a higher voice to balance out our sound."
"Are you…asking me to join your group?"
"You're- I mean, your voice is- flawless, and I want to give you another chance to sing."
"Harry…" Louis swore he was about to cry again. "You don't know how much this means to me."
"Actually, I think I do. Singing has been my dream since as long as I can remember. That's why I thought of the name for the group just a few days ago: One Direction. 4 guys –well, 5 now– going in a single direction, chasing the same dream. Cheesy, I know, but I thought it was pretty clever."
"I love it."
And I seriously think I might love you, Louis added silently. This was the nicest, most unexpectedly sweet thing that someone had done for him since, well, ever. Harry had opened another door just as Louis had despaired at the one slammed in his face.
"Well, should we get going?" Harry asked him with that gorgeous smile of his, offering his hand.
Louis took it gratefully, and allowed the other boy to help him to his feet. He took a moment to shake his hair out of his eyes. Then, another (hopefully invisible) burst of color flooded Louis' face when he realized that Harry till hadn't let go of his hand. It hadn't been that long, but it was still past the normally allotted amount of time provided for two boys to maintain physical contact.
"I have to ask," Harry said, searching Louis' face intently, "Do you have a girlfriend?"
Louis immediately registered the hidden question wrapped in the spoken one. "Not really my type," he responded.
A mischievous grin broke out on Harry's face. "Do that was blushing that I saw earlier!"
"You…you actually noticed that?"
"As if my slip-up of words wasn't just as embarrassing. Stop getting so mortified every time I tease you!"
Louis giggled, and Harry joined in after a moment, creating somewhat of a duet between the two. Harry still hadn't let go of Louis' hand.
"We should probably get back to the holding room before your friends think you've wandered off and gotten yourself lost," Louis said.
"And you're smart, too. Where have you been all my life?" Harry asked jokingly.
"Shut it, Styles, I was just making a suggestion!" Louis was never going to live down the number of times he had blushed in a single day after meeting Harry Styles.
"Fine, let's go."
The two boys walked back to the entrance, with hands intertwined and smiles so big that they were just about glowing.
That was the beginning of One Direction.
That was the beginning of Louis Tomlinson and Harry Styles.
A few months later…
"Yeah, Harry, what is it?"
Louis was currently curled up on a couch in the Judges' House for the group acts. It was hard to believe that, just a few months ago, One Direction had made it past the initial auditions, and had then made it this far. Louis had meshed immediately with the rest of the group, though he had remained the closest to Harry throughout the course of their time together.
"Is anyone else back yet?" Harry continued, bringing the other boy back to the present.
"Nope. Both groups are still out doing whatever it is that they said they were going to do. I'm enjoying relaxing for a change."
"Okay," Harry said, coming over to sit on the couch next to Louis. "In that case, there's something I want to talk to you about."
Louis raised a quizzical eyebrow. "Everything alright, Mate?"
"Yeah, it's just…" Harry sighed. "Look, Lou, we're best friends, aren't we?"
Harry sat silent for a moment, but then, seemingly out of nowhere, asked, "Do you remember the day of the auditions?"
Louis smiled. "Of course. That was when I met you."
"Then you remember the entire conversation we had before we auditioned as a group."
Silence filled the room. Slowly, Louis sat up straight and turned to face his best friend. "Harry, is this about what I think it is?"
A wide smile appeared on Louis' face, and he moved closer to Harry until the sides of their legs were squished together. "Go on, Harry, say what you're going to say."
"Louis, the two of us get on really well and– hell, I'll just say it. I love you. I've loved you since I first heard you sing and asked you to help form One Direction. I understand if I've read this…this thing between us wrong and–"
Louis practically jumped on Harry, shutting him up with a firm kiss pressed to his lips. For a few moments, the two of them were lost in their own little world, Louis tangling his fingers in Harry's curls and feeling the other boy's arms winding protectively around him.
Harry broke away for just a few seconds, murmuring breathlessly, "I love you, Louis Tomlinson."
"And I love you, Harry Styles. Now shut up and kiss me, you fool."
It was precisely at the moment that Louis had his tongue practically down Harry's throat and was full-on straddling him on top of the couch that the previously absent members of One Direction decided to burst into the room without knocking.
The door slammed open, and the buzz of conversation came with it, but all noises stopped when the group caught sight of the two boys on the couch. Harry and Louis froze, no longer attached at the mouth but still very much one on top of the other.
One, two, three seconds of dead silence hung in the air, and then Liam smiled, saying cheerfully, "Well, it's about time!"
Niall and Zayn started talking at the same time, agreeing fervently with Liam and pointing out different times when they had witnessed the apparently "blazing sexual tension" between the two members of the boy band.
Louis was stunned speechless. Feeling extremely awkward, he got off of Harry and sat on one end of the couch, discreetly crossing his legs. Harry took a few more seconds to follow suit, copying Louis' actions while moving to the opposite side.
"Was it really that obvious?" Louis asked, cutting through the others' conversation.
Liam just gave him an exaggerated nod.
Louis sighed. "Well, that's just great. I'm absolutely terrible at hiding my feelings."
"Obviously," Harry said cheekily, gesturing to Louis' general crotch area.
If Louis' face had been red before, it must have increased ten-fold. "Harry!" he snapped, a clear warning in his voice.
This only served to make Harry laugh, but it quickly died when Niall asked, "So…are you two boyfriends, or what?"
Louis looked sideways at Harry, asking the unspoken question with his eyes, which Harry responded to with a small smile and incline of his head.
"Yes," Louis said. "Harry is my boyfriend." He couldn't resist the smile that came with saying it out loud.
Not a single person in the room wasn't sporting an obnoxious grin. It was impossible to deny the adorableness of the love-struck boys sitting in front of them.
"Just make sure you two aren't going to be distracted by each other while we're performing," Liam said.
The two boys on the couch shared another loving look.
Louis answered for both of them. "Don't worry, Liam. We're going to go out there, keep being amazing, and then win this thing."
And they did.
The boys of One Direction were crowned the victors for that season of The X-Factor. After the competition, they moved on to produce a new hit single and a top-selling album. They conquered the U.K. and the U.S., as well as many other countries around the globe. The boys remained bandmates and best friends through the craziness.
As for Louis and Harry, their relationship continued as strong as ever. Some of the more observant fan girls noticed right away, making so-called "Larry Stylinson" videos and reblogging posts of them sharing flirtatious glances and touches. Eventually, they both came out to the public, much to the anger of their management team.
With hoards of fans on Louis and Harry's side, though, (as well as a certain security guard), management couldn't do too much about it. That wasn't to say that there weren't people who weren't okay with the two of them dating; they received some nasty insults and biting remarks. But Louis and Harry got through it together, as they had since the day of auditions. They were destined to be in love, simply and plainly.
And to think that it all started with just one mistake.