crashing & burning: we'd be so lucky

A HariPo oneshot

by mew-tsubaki

Note: The Harry Potter characters belong to J.K. Rowling, not me. This is my second Hugo/Louis…and it's actual cousincest. -.- Blame Bethhhhhhh/Ella-Bethh. Read, review, and enjoy the slashy goodness! X3 *Note: This is the sequel to "boundaries & promises;" it would technically make more sense if you read that first.

- ^-^3

"Is this a riot or are you just pleased to see me?
Why aren't we holding hands and talking sweet?
I love you really though I know no one believes me
There's chaos every time we meet"

Pet Shop Boys, "Pandemonium"

Louis Jordan Weasley sat in Potions, idly twirling his quill in his hand. He watched a fellow Hufflepuff help a Ravenclaw girl with her own concoction before resuming work on his own. Potions was his best subject; his grade wasn't going to waver one bit if his eye left his potion for a second.

Louis, on the other hand, had already given up on his bubbling brew. It was a sickly violet color, completely different from the pastel yellow Professor Slughorn had described earlier. But the potion didn't matter. What mattered was that wizard Louis was intently observing mingle with a witch.

Hugo Jonathan Weasley smiled at Olsha Maeve and returned his attention to his own classwork. He couldn't believe he'd just helped a Ravenclaw, but it did occur to him that smart people didn't always get Sorted into that House. He was plenty happy in his House anyway; if he were elsewhere, he wouldn't be with his best friend. On a whim, he looked up—and saw those light brown eyes. Hugo smiled.

Louis blinked when he found himself staring back into those blue eyes. He abruptly turned away with a scoff. He hated being caught off-guard like that. So he instead busied himself with trying to fix his potion.

"Tsk, tsk," Slughorn tutted as he strolled back to Louis. "Mr. Weasley, perhaps a little more care would pay better than a daydream."

He grimaced. If there was one thing Louis hated, it was being reprimanded to any degree. "…yes, professor," he grumbled in a somewhat respectful tone.

Slughorn frowned and glanced in another direction. "Mr. Weasley."

Louis and Hugo both looked at him. If their cousin Freddie had been there, there would've been even more confusion. But Hugo responded. "Me, sir?"

"Yes, Hugo, yes. Please help your cousin with his work. It's…abysmal at best." Slughorn shook his head. "See if you can set him on the right track, at least partly there. Class is nearly over." He returned to his rounds and Hugo gave his own potion one last stir before bewitching the stirring rod to keep going. Then he joined Louis.

"Hey, Lou," Hugo said, his eyes immediately going to the brew.

Louis rolled his eyes. "What, I'm so bad you can't even look at me?" he asked bitterly.

"No, but we ought to focus on the task at hand." He pursed his lips, lost in thought. "You added a porcupine quill instead of the cinnamon stick, didn't you?"

The blonde looked at his ingredients and, sure as hell, the cinnamon stick was still there. Louis groaned. "…fuck. All right, is my potion worth saving or not?"

"Pass me the cinnamon," Hugo instructed.

Louis grabbed in and placed it in his cousin's palm, torturing him a little by grazing the pads with his fingertips. When Hugo almost dropped the item, Louis had to stifle a laugh. It was so easy to get Hugo sometimes.

"Git," Hugo uttered under his breath. "Now pay attention. Though the recipe calls for a whole stick, grinding it into the liquid ought to counteract the quill's effect. Watch," he added as he took a blunt edge and softly ground the stick against his hand. The effect was almost instantaneous: the violet lightened and turned a soft amber tone. A little more powder, and the potion turned bright yellow; a few more fixes, and it would look as good as Hugo's work.

Louis raised his eyebrows. He hadn't before appreciated just how quickly his best mate could think on his feet with potions…but he wasn't going to show his gratitude. "All right, get back to your eagle girlfriend," he remarked, starting to gather his things as Slughorn passed by with an approving nod.

Hugo frowned. "She's not my girlfriend. You know that."

Louis shrugged.

"Louis…," Hugo intoned, and he made a grab for the blonde's arm just as Louis was bringing that elbow back. They accidentally collided and Hugo knocked Louis' cauldron over. The potion sloshed out and got on both of them, and Louis cursed loudly. Slughorn gave him a look, but he, too, looked as though he wanted to get creative with his language.

"Boys…" Slughorn sighed. He withdrew his wand from his sleeve and pointed at the mess. "Scourgify!" He raised his eyebrows at them. "I'd suggest you visit Madam Pomfrey as a precaution. This potion re-grows skin, as you will recall, and the last thing either of you needs is an abundance of it. Mr. Weas—Louis, can you escort your friend there? More of it got on him."

"Yes, professor," Louis said, and he and Hugo left right before class ended. They made a beeline for the stairs, as the staircases would soon be filled with their fellow Hogwartians.

"It's your fault," Hugo grumbled as they reached the second floor.

"Ickle Hughie, taking the offensive? I'll be damned," Louis said in mock shock. He gave his friend a look. "Bite me. I made a joke and you got all concerned. I know she's not your girlfriend."

Hugo made a noise that resembled a growl. "Sometimes I wish I had one. If I did, then you might leave me alone."

Louis laughed. "But as your best mate, I'd always be there. I can't let you down, Hugh."

"…screw you, Louis."

"I thought you didn't want to let it get that far," Louis said quietly, darkly.

Hugo's cheeks burned red, making his pale red waves look neon. "Holy Helga, you're such a—"

"A what?"

"'Dodgy' doesn't even begin to describe it," Hugo muttered.

Louis observed him a moment as they drew up on the fifth floor. He abruptly decided to grab Hugo's arm nearest him and drag him into the closest shadow. After checking to see the corridor was almost devoid of hanging pictures, Louis pushed Hugo against the stone wall and pinned him there with his arms on either side of Hugo's head. He kissed him, ignoring Hugo's feeble attempts to push him away. The harder Hugo tried to push him away, the deeper Louis' tongue went down his throat, until Louis felt as though there was no end or beginning with them.

Louis broke away but briefly hugged his mate to him. "See? Dodgy," Hugo mumbled, his voice muffled by the sweater fabric of Louis' shoulder.

"I should be saying that to you, you fiend," the blonde whispered. He pulled away from Hugo and motioned for them to continue. "Now let's go before there's too much of you to hug."

Hugo smiled, but his smile quickly faded as they finished their journey to the Hopsital Wing. "…don't think that means you're forgiven, jerk. You just treat me as a plaything."

"Thought that's the way you want it, dick."

"Tool."

"Douche bag."

Hugo rolled his eyes as Pomfrey came into view. "Bastard…we'll continue this later."

"Sounds fun," Louis teased. Then they dropped the subject as Pomfrey began to fuss over the dangers of potions.

- ^-^3

When Louis and Hugo just started their third year at Hogwarts, Louis found out Hugo was gay.

It did come as a surprise to Louis, because they never joked about being best mates. They were the two youngest in the family, and the youngest boys, and they had many things in common, such as the more-adored older sisters. Naturally, they gravitated towards each other, and Louis and Hugo had been inseparable from their toddler years.

Even finding out about Hugo, nothing changed for Louis. They were friends and all and Louis—well, Louis' was a story for another time. The point was that Hugo had come out to him and only him. It'd just been the way Hugo had chosen to do so that had started things off in this funny course.

They'd been on their way down to the first Quidditch game of that year—Gryffindor versus Ravenclaw—and Hugo had been fumbled with his yellow and black scarf. It had fallen several flights of stairs below them, and even Louis, who was a few steps ahead of him, couldn't reach it. They were already late to the pitch, so Louis had suggested they get the bloody thing. They still had yet to learn the Summoning Spell, so they'd had to grab it the Muggle way—on foot.

Louis'd made it into a sort of race and he got there first and teased Hugo for dropping it in the first place. Nevertheless, he wrapped it and knotted it around the redhead's neck…when Hugo leaned in and planted a big one on him.

The blonde had been thoroughly shocked and his instinctive response had been to back away. However, right behind him was the wall and Louis proceeded to bash his head accidentally on it, knocking himself out.

When he came to, he found Hugo had taken him to the Hospital Wing and they'd missed the Quidditch game. Some of their relatives had stopped by, but Hugo had remained to keep an eye on him.

Even now, Louis would never forget what he said to his cousin that night. "You're bent?"

Hugo had blushed a scarlet deeper than his sister's hair. "I like you, Louis. …please, don't tell anyone. Especially the family."

Whether out of some power-struggle or on a cruel whim, Louis was sure he'd never understand why he'd put Hugo in the spot he was now. "Fine. I won't tell anyone and you can have your way with me to keep that beast under control."

Hugo had looked so hopeful and he'd started to thank his friend for accepting him.

"But… But you've gotta take my mood swings. I don't know whether I approve of you like this yet."

Hugo's face had fallen slightly at the clause. "Wh-What…? Like…like some master-servant thing?"

Louis' lips had curled up at the corners, feeling a little more comfortable and less weirded-out. "Yes, to put it that way. So get used to it, fucker."

The redhead's face completely fell at the change of dynamics, but after a few more derogatory names, Hugo understood. He understood he could have Louis without the others around; it was a small price to pay for something so forbidden and desired. And Louis was again surprised at Hugo's spirit and energy, for whenever Louis had been particularly mean, things between them turned even hotter…though Hugo always stopped at heavy snogging.

Louis had questioned that recently, only to have Hugo threaten and retract said threat of revealing that Louis, too, was gay. But Louis put up a bravado, because Hugo wasn't sure of where Louis really stood in things and Hugo would never do that to Louis anyway. Louis would never actually reveal their goings-on, either, but Hugo didn't know that. And that was for the better, in Louis' opinion, because that threat kept Hugo hot and heated, even if he'd never consider taking their "arrangement" past their already-plenty-disgusting level. Because their blood was the last thing on Louis' mind, even if it was the first on Hugo's.

But now, even this odd kind of symbiosis was threatened by Hugo allowing himself to care so much. Louis… Louis knew he cared, but he hated admitting such a thing to anyone other than himself. No, not even Hugo could know. Things were better as they currently were. Hugo could have Louis, Louis could tease the best from Hugo, and everyone else could wonder why their friendship managed to survive Louis' torments and Hugo's passiveness.

Oh, yes. Things were great.

- ^-^3

"I've gotten an earful from Dominique," Lily said, moodily flipping her dark red hair over her shoulder. She crossed her arms and tapped her foot. "Well, Louis?"

"Well what?" he retorted as he brushed Quer, one of the school owls. He came up to the Owlery to take care of the birds because it relaxed him. But not even a nuzzle from Quer could tune out what was sure to be a rant from his cousin.

"I know you don't really hate Hugo. But why do you have to act like such an arse around him?" She flared her nostrils, something she'd picked up from her mother, and stared him down.

Louis scoffed. "If something's wrong, Hugo would mention it."

"How do you know that? Maybe he just doesn't know how to stand up to you."

"He's my best mate! Of course I'd know!"

Lily grimaced. "It doesn't seem like you two are very friendly."

Louis bit his tongue to keep from remarking about how friendly he and Hugo really were. "Dom needs to mind her own business," he growled. "So do you."

The witch sighed. "But…Hugo looks a little harder lately."

He blinked. He hadn't noticed that.

"And you look…softer." Lily's teal eyes softened at her statement. "Honestly, what is with you two?" she quietly inquired.

Louis frowned and turned back to Quer. The Screech owl blinked curiously at him. "I see it as us influencing each other—for the better." He glanced at her briefly. "Does that leave well enough alone?"

She scratched her head and heaved another sigh. "Dammit… I can't force you two to do anything, but just—just don't hurt him. We're all family. Family sticks together. Family loves one another." She looked askance at him.

"I love Hugo," he said without hesitation.

"Good." She smiled then, though still slightly exasperated. "But if Dominique harasses me again, your sister will be the least of your worries." She left after that, and moments later Hugo appeared.

"Wow, what the…" He looked at his cousin. "What was that about?"

Louis froze. "Did you…hear anything?"

"No. Should I have? Lily just stormed down the stairs with a kind of malicious grin on her face."

The color drained from the blonde's face. "Uhh…no, never mind…"

Hugo leaned against the doorway to the Owlery. "So, what's got you so riled?"

"Dom and Lily butting into our business. They think I'm some bully."

Hugo laughed. "But you are." He chuckled again at the look Louis gave him. "No, really, that's all?"

Louis frowned. How could he have said that he loved Hugo so casually to Lily, and now it just felt awkward even thinking of mentioning to the person it was about? He shook his head. "Pretty much. We just have to be a little more wary of Lily, though. I think she's of the same mind as Dom, but Lily will act in your defense and ask questions later."

Hugo's lips fell into a straight line. "That's ridiculous. I can look out for myself." He pushed off the doorjamb and joined Louis at his side. He patted Quer's head and wrapped an arm around Louis' waist. "And I can make my own choices," he breathed against the blonde's cheek, kissing the skin gently.

"And you yelled at me for causing a ruckus, you poof," Louis snorted as Hugo kissed his way around to Louis' lips.

A breath away from his mouth, Hugo paused, his brow furrowed. "Louis, I…"

"What?" he prompted, feeling disgruntled.

"I never… I never corrected you."

Louis was confused. Corrected him on what? Their master-slavish thing? Louis already knew that Hugo hated that interpretation of it, but Louis called Hugo his pet not always in a nasty way. He voiced as much.

"No, it's not that," Hugo said. "Louis… Lou…I'm not gay."

The blonde stared at the redhead. "HUH?"

"I'm not gay," Hugo repeated.

"Um, I don't know if you hit your head there, my little genius, but last I knew, a boy who likes boys is queer."

Hugo pulled away from Louis and fiddled with his sweatshirt. "Louis, I don't like boys."

"What am I, a hermaphrodite?"

"Louis, I don't like boys—I like, no, love you. And only you." He frowned and scuffed his trainer on the stone floor.

Louis' face grew warm. This was exactly where they ought not to be heading. If Hugo pressed him to break his silence…then their little arrangement would not continue. He knew it for sure.

"Louis, say something," Hugo pleaded. His expression was hurt and he seemed to wish he hadn't said anything. Before, he'd shocked Louis by telling him he liked him and now he was telling him he didn't?

But it struck Louis that Hugo had said he liked Louis that night. He'd never actually, explicitly called himself gay. So Louis…

Louis and Hugo were nothing alike. Not at all.

The blonde gripped the bird stand for support, but he still said nothing.

Hugo shuffled. "Please don't hate me. I just… I wanted you to know the truth. We can still—"

"I am gay."

Hugo choked on the rest of his sentence. "Beg pardon?"

Louis looked at him, a hard glint in his eyes. "I am gay, Hugo. I've thought other wizards were good-looking, I've wanked off to Quidditch posters of all-male teams, I've even daydreamed of what it'd be like to be with another wizard. I see you not just for you, but for your gender. I. Like. Guys."

His cousin shut his gaping mouth and crinkled his brow, obviously trying to comprehend what Louis had just revealed. "You…you never said…"

Louis grunted. "Why else would I have gone along with what I came up with?"

Hugo looked hurt at his words. "So you don't care for me at all, Louis? I really am your pet."

The blonde gripped the bird stand harder. As much as he wanted to explain everything away, admit to the depth of his feelings, his pride would not allow him. Besides, Hugo was rather right. Hugo was Louis' pet.

"…fuck it. I knew it was a bad idea from the beginning," the blue-eyed wizard groused, his words salt in Louis' intangible wounds.

Louis scrambled with his only trump card. "W-Wait! What if I tell the others about us?"

Hugo glared at him. "I don't care. Even if you do, you'd be outing yourself, too. So enjoy wallowing in misery." Even as he said it, the words hurt Hugo, too, and he jogged down the stairs with glassy eyes.

Quer nuzzled Louis' hand, but Louis gave the owl only one treat before sitting down on the dirty floor. Holy Helga…

What had he done?

- ^-^3

Within a week, others noticed a change between the two of them. Lucy and Lily asked Louis what had happened, because apparently Hugo had transformed into a mute. Louis also told them nothing. This was strictly between them, and he hated the thought of little nosy witches like their cousins getting involved.

Interestingly, Dominique did not scold him. It was quite the opposite, really; Dominique seemed kinder around her little brother. Louis asked Lysander Scamander, her boyfriend, what had changed.

"She feels a bit guilty about what she said before," Lysander explained in the Hufflepuff common room.

"How the hell'd that happen?" Louis pushed offhandedly.

"Louis, your sister does care about you. She thinks that her telling you to be nicer to Hugo started your guys' fight." He frowned and split a Chocolate Frog with his twin, Lorcan, who'd stopped by from Ravenclaw Tower.

The Weasley son grimaced and cupped his cheek in his palm. He leaned on the arm of his chair. "But she didn't. We even had a laugh about how overprotective Dom was getting."

"But she doesn't see it that way. She figures you either tried to be nicer and it backfired or Hugo finally stood up to you and it—well, you—blew up in his face."

"I have a question," Lorcan interjected. "Do you even like Hugo?"

Louis gawked at Lorcan. "What? What makes you say that?"

Lorcan shrugged apologetically. "I just don't recall you two being that close in the first place. And then how you guys were… You two don't seem to have much in common. You're the streetwise type. Hugo… He's a book-learner. Other than the family and being the youngest, you guys are so different."

"You two are fairly different yourselves," Louis pointed out. "And you guys are brothers."

"But for every difference, we've got a similarity," Lysander said. "I think Lorc's got an interesting point."

Louis sat up in the chair, annoyed. "Look, I do like Hugo. And I love him. He's family," he added after what he thought was too suspicious a pause.

Lysander shrugged. "Then maybe you guys just need time. Meanwhile, please do us all a favor and inform Dominique that she can stop crying about you two now. She soaked my jumper the other day."

Lorcan gave his twin a teasing look, but Louis fidgeted. If Lysander wasn't exaggerating much, then Louis probably did owe Dominique a word. The only thing he had to decide was did he talk to his sister now?

Or should he try to rebuild the burned bridge between him and Hugo first?

- ^-^3

By chance, Dominique came first. It was the second to last Hogsmeade trip of the school year, and Louis reluctantly found himself dragged out of the Hufflepuff dorms by his twin cousins, Fred and Roxanne. Apparently Lorcan had informed his girlfriend and her brother of Louis' perpetually sour mood, so they'd decided to try and get him to enjoy himself.

"Aren't we missing some?" Louis asked as they made the trek down into the Wizarding village.

The twins exchanged a look. "Well… Lorcan's bringing Lysander and Dom," Roxie said.

"But Lily, Lucy, and the others are with Hugo," Freddie supplied.

"Ah," Louis said. "We're splitting into teams, eh?"

The twins nervously laughed. "Team Louis all the way!" they said together.

"Well, I'm Team Hugo," Louis stated, stopping their laughing dead. He looked at them. "What? I'm angry with him and myself, but…he's still my friend."

"…"

"Oh my Godric, Louis!" they heard behind them. Louis had enough time to turn and see his sister before she enveloped him in a huge embrace. "Louis!"

He blinked. "What the—? Dominique!"

She looked him up and down. "I can't believe after all that happened you'd still say 'Team Hugo'!"

He looked at the Scamander twins behind her and saw Lysander raise his eyebrows. He also gave Louis a little nod, so both sets of twins moved on ahead of the siblings. Now alone, Louis pried his sister off him.

"I'm so sorry about all that's happened," she blubbered as they continued walking.

"Dom, none of it's your fault."

"But I said—"

He stopped her. "Dominique, listen to me. Seriously? Our fight has nothing to do with you. You, actually…" He licked his dry lips; holy Helga, he'd never live what he said next down. "You were kinda right. And I ended up pushing him away."

She stared at him. "Oh, Louis…" She gave him a sympathetic look. "I didn't want to be right."

"Well, it doesn't matter much. I think he and I were bound to butt heads at some point." He sighed. "I think it's up to him and me to sort things out."

Dominique nodded, though she appeared to have something else she wanted to say. Whatever it was, she did not voice it, so the atmosphere between them lightened as they entered Hogsmeade. "Good for you, Louis. I believe you're growing up."

"I did that a long time ago, sis."

- ^-^3

The following couple of weeks were iffy. Louis found himself enjoying school less, but he hoped Hugo was getting the message. He couldn't determine that for sure, no, but he could hope.

"Pass the silver knife, please," Olsha Maeve asked in her soft voice.

Louis did as she asked. He disliked that Slughorn had paired everyone up for the current assignment—the Acid Reversal Cream—but, with all his energy thrown into not worsening things between him and Hugo, Louis was too drained to put up much of a fight. And it turned out Olsha Maeve wasn't that bad a girl either. A little boring, really, but not bad.

"Acknowledge you're following along, please."

Louis passed her a sprig of mint, and only snapped out of his stupor when he heard her giggle. "Huh, what?"

"You're a bit distracted, Louis," she said in a friendly tone.

"Yeah, well…"

"Why don't you make up with Hugo?"

"I don't think he wants that, thanks very much. Besides, it's a little rude to butt in, Maeve."

"Louis." She seemed insistent on calling him by his first name. "I think Hugo's waiting for you to make the first move."

He stared at her. "…what?"

She watched as their potion grew gloppy—finally, something was going right—and answered, "Hugo's always the one initiating things."

Louis tugged at his collar. "You don't know what you're talking about."

She blinked her large black eyes. "So you guys don't make out?"

There was a clatter that drew everyone's attention to them as Louis bumped the bronze tray with their tools. He waved people off and collected the items. "Hell, woman—don't just say things like that. And for your information, no…we don't."

"There's no worry, you see. I don't mind copping to a bit of voyeurism," she whispered.

Louis gaped at her, his cheeks bright red. What was wrong with this girl?

"And I'm not disgusted. I've a brother-complex, myself."

"Uhh, where did you get the impression that I wanted to know that?"

Olsha grinned. "Everyone needs a friend, Louis. Hugo definitely has them…though I can tell he misses your companionship in particular."

"And?"

"And you're not as strong as you act," she answered. She gathered up her golden curls and clipped them at the nape of her neck. "You need friends, too." She dropped in ruby flecks and then faced in, her hand discreetly outstretched. "I'd like to be your friend, too."

Louis eyed that tanned hand and matching face...and read sincerity in her eyes. He blushed and averted his eyes as he softly slapped her hand. "…thanks."

She beamed. "What are friends for?"

That Potions class, everything just seemed to go right. Until the end. Olsha was packing her books in her bag when she passed Louis a note. "What's this?"

"Meet him there tonight, at nine sharp."

"Look, Maeve—"

"Olsha, please. And Louis, you'd be helping everyone if you at least repaired your friendship with your cousin." She gave him a small smile and patted his shoulder, and when class ended, he had to wonder just how closely Olsha had been observing him and Hugo all this time.

- ^-^3

With the meeting place in mind, Louis breezed through his other classes with little disturbance. Sure, Freddie and Roxie did blow something up in Transfiguration, but that was a natural occurrence.

At nine, once everyone had retired to their dorms, Louis waited up in the Hufflepuff common room. He waited anxiously as the others disappeared one-by-one upstairs, his eyes focused on the dwindling fire. Finally, when it seemed the last one had gone, Louis hopped up and stared at the badger tapestry on the wall beside the fireplace. He lifted it back and felt incredibly stupid as he watered the bricks behind it, but—true to the note Olsha had given him—a door materialized, and Louis entered the small room behind it.

Hugo picked his head up from his book. "Louis?"

Louis nodded. "Yeah… Maeve—Olsha –gave me your note… I didn't know about this."

Hugo grimaced, his cheeks red. "'My note'? That girl…" He sighed and closed his book. "That wasn't a note for anyone. I'd done some extensive research on the castle and magic that affects it…I discovered this place recently. Olsha must've gone through my bags and cooked this up. That girl…"

"Oh." Louis dropped his eyes to the floor. "… Did you know she has a brother-complex?"

"A what?"

"Never mind." Uncomfortable second after uncomfortable second passed, and Hugo didn't even have the decency to at least reopen his book and ignore Louis by continuing to read. Instead, his eyes were on the blonde.

"Louis—"

"Hugo—"

They spoke at once, one write over the other, and Louis felt a smidgen of relief when Hugo half-chuckled. "It sucked, what you said, you know."

Louis nodded glumly. "I couldn't deny it. You are a fucktard…"

Hugo glared at him.

"…but you're my fucktard." Louis heaved a sigh and braved the distance between them. "I was being honest with you when I said what I did. I am gay. If this—"—he motioned between them—"—were to end, I'd find a boyfriend…well, maybe." He slightly smiled. "No one can snog like you."

Hugo frowned in annoyance. "I'm sorry for…for being so stunned. I honestly thought you were just having fun. They say the experimental years are the teenage years, after all. And…"

"And you hoped I'd be more like you," Louis supplied.

The redhead nodded.

"Agh, Hugh…" Louis cupped the back of his neck as Hugo looked up at him from his seat. The blonde rested his forehead against the other wizard's, and he took a deep breath. "Hugo, it's been awful without you."

"What, without your best mate? Or your lackey?"

"Both. But you're not much of a lackey, mate."

"Just a bit of the verbal punching bag."

Louis settled his gaze on him. "What say you? You're the one who comes at me."

"Because you said it's okay!"

"Because I lov—like you!" Louis stumbled over his words, but he knew Hugo'd heard him. Hugo was the sharper one, after all.

"Do you really mean that?" Hugo asked quietly.

Louis cursed and sank to the floor in front of Hugo. "Fuck yes. It's been ridiculous, wondering and postulating why I couldn't stay angry at you this whole time. And you technically broke up with me."

Hugo was silent for a full minute. Louis looked up at him, hoping he hadn't trod on any ground he was expected to leave alone.

"Hugo…?"

"There's a reason why I ask you never to let me go too far. Why I say kissing, but no touching," the blue-eyed male said after another long moment of silence.

"Well, yeah. It's because you're…iffy that we're cousins. Though you ought to understand, I really don't give two shits."

"It's only partially that." Hugo cupped his face in his hands. "It's because I love you so much, Louis. Too much. More than any person should love another. I live in the fear that that love will consume you and leave you broken and sick with me. If you didn't stop me, I'd show you all that love and never stop. It'd never end there."

His words were so awe-inducing that Louis' mind processed them and reprocessed them and kept having to reprocess them. "Hugh…"

"Lou, if I showed you that love, it couldn't be returned. We'd either live in happiness in secret…or kill each other if it ever went wrong." Hugo squeezed his eyes shut tight. "It's that kind of love. Not just some beast devouring his prey. Not just a servant servicing his master. It's soul-consuming devotion." Hugo opened his eyes, which had never been so blue before. "Frankly, it scares even me. But…could you handle it?"

Louis dropped his eyes to the yellow- and black-striped tie around his companion's neck. No wonder Hugo had turned serious all those times. His had to be the heaviest words Louis had ever heard.

He definitely knew he loved Hugo, but he wondered if he could fill such a tall order. Louis was the type of guy who followed his whims and fancies…though he had stayed with Hugo for nearly three full years in their "arrangement." Now, now…now he wanted to call it their relationship.

He lifted his head back up and found Hugo bowing over him, so he caught his lips in a sweet kiss. When he broke for a breath, Louis gave him a sincere smile. "I'm tough. I'll manage…"

Hugo's face brightened.

"…prick."

Hugo rolled his eyes. "Of course. Only you'd end a sentimental moment like that."

"'Sentimental moment,' my arse," Louis said as he stood up and undid his tie. "I wasn't joking earlier. You did break up with me."

"That wasn't a…r-real break-up," Hugo amended, trying to keep his eyes from Louis' bare neck as Louis loosed his collar.

"You fucking jerk, then what was it? A cheap escape?" He stopped undoing his shirt's buttons when he'd almost reached his navel. He knew that amount of skin would be driving Hugo nuts by now. "Well?" he egged on, placing a hand on either side of Hugo and gripping the chair's arms. He was nearly nose-to-nose with the wizard.

"It was me being hurt and running away," Hugo snarled, his hand drifting on its own to Louis' chest. He paused and fisted it when he realized where it was going.

"Good," Louis stated. "So let's hook up again."

"WHAT? We—We did not 'hook up,'" Hugo spluttered.

Louis grinned. "We didn't? Shame. Perhaps it's time to fix that, luv?"

Hugo blushed and glared at him. "Arsehole."

"Why yes, I do think that's where I'm meant to stick my—"

"LOUIS!"

- ^-^3

XD I LOVED writing this! The tension, the suspense, the creepy OC! Although, if you're reading cousincest, then siblings are prolly sliding right off you, no? ;] Anywho, I really enjoyed this. Hard to believe I typed this whole thing (as well as "boundaries") alllll on my phone—and this is 22 pages! So yeah. I do have at least one more fic—a drabble, I think, or short oneshot—planned for them (more for Louis), so please look forward to it!

Thanks very much for reading and please review!

-mew-tsubaki :3