Harry moved out not too long after we announced our hiatus. The press had a field day, but the rest us were in a personal hell. Zayn needed time to recover from his car crash; we warned him from the get go about his reckless driving, but it took years for our worst fears to finally come true. I would say that he regretted it, but even with his arms swathed in gauze and his leg in a cast, he gave us a reassuring smile and insisted to us that the whole experience was 'awesome'. Liam hit him round the head, to a nurse's horror, and after a lengthy shouting match (Niall just started screaming random words; no one really knew what was going on) we were thrown out and unable to see him for the rest of the day.
The press wanted details, and, when we refused to dole any out, they became children with foul tempers, pointing the blame at the most random things, such as our failure to notice the symptoms of his cocaine addiction.
"Did you know he had one?" Liam asked me sarcastically, the very day the paper had been released. "Because I sure as hell didn't."
Mommy Liam. Even though we had been a band for over four years, he remained a constant, steady person, a mother entirely defensive of her children.
"Who do they think they are?"
But even without Zayn, One Direction could have gone on. We could have kept singing. There would be a hole left, but Zayn would be back soon, of course. But when the idea to take a break was proposed by Simon, Harry jumped on it, eager.
He had been waiting for an opportunity to get married after all.
"Most people live together before they get married," I muttered; I heard the childish whine in my voice, but damn it all, he had been behaving foolishly for long enough.
"But I wanted it to be old fashioned wedding. Even if it is with a guy."
Harry sat on the floor in his boxers and one of my striped sweaters, a familiar sight in a shockingly unfamiliar setting. Strewn about him were boxes, and inside them were things that were a part of our home for years and now they were being stripped away with scarcely a moment's notice. He folded a few shirts and stuffed them in a box labeled 'clothes'.
"Does Seth know you are planning a last second wedding? It kind of involves him as well."
God, couldn't I stop harping on about it? But it just became the subject that you couldn't avoid no matter what. It seemed to lurk in the corners of my mind, ready to spring out at any random moment.
"Of course," Harry replied eventually, looking round for his cell phone. "It's going to take a decent amount of money from the both of us to get a nice gig so soon, but I think we have the date set for two week from tomorrow."
I sat up instantly, ignoring the clatter as my phone slid off my lap and into the floor.
My mouth felt impossibly dry.
He looked up, blank, while rolling up the sleeves of my sweater. Even engaged we still stuck together, and things didn't change for the most part. But now they would. Now everything would change.
"Zayn will be healed enough," he said slowly, as if he were explaining something to a child. "So that he can enjoy himself but he won't be exactly ready to start performing again. It's the best window we've got. And I want to marry Seth before he has to head to Italy in the fall."
I tried to find a polite response, but the most my brain could conjure were insulting remarks about Seth and what I considered to be his failed career as a painter. Harry thought him brilliant, of course.
"You'll be my best man, won't you?" Harry cut into my thoughts, entirely oblivious.
I took him in, how he radiated at the mention of Seth, and I wished dearly that it was still me that cause him to glow like that. But that was a forever ago, and now I didn't have much to say about anything. It wasn't my place to.
"Of course I will," I answered levelly, and Harry beamed, standing up and disappearing into another room to pack more. All I could think about was how nice my sweaters always looked on him. I wondered if he wore any of Seth's clothes, or if Harry wore any of his, but I couldn't be sure. I tried to avoid the man the best I could.
Harry went home to spend time with his mother and make some arrangements before coming back and getting Seth settled in our home while they arranged for a place to live. After their honeymoon of course. The word made me want to gag.
Liam sensed something wrong with me, but he always knew when one of us was upset. He could see it, not precisely in our faces, but in our movements. He once tried to explain it, but Niall had been crunching chips in my ear so it hadn't been entirely clear, but he seemed to recognize a certain drag in our movements, a hesitation in our actions, and maybe his maternal instinct contributed to it all.
Zayn got out of the hospital on a strict bed rest order and Liam drove him straight over, Niall coming shortly after. He had debated on whether he should go back to Ireland for the break, but in the end he decided to stick around for the full hype of Harry's wedding.
"I owe Harry one," Zayn said from underneath a mountain of covers. "Now the press is off my ass. Did you know I was addicted to cocaine?"
"I knew it all along," Niall said around a mouth full of food. His cheeks were puffed out comically, but he had long since mastered the art of talking clearly with a full mouth.
"Everyone is going to freeze during the wedding," I said, hoping that they shared at least an ounce of my misgivings. "Who gets married outside in March? It's probably going to snow and then we'll all be icicles." I heard the same mocking childish whine, but I hoped they wouldn't notice.
"You hate Seth, don't ya?" Niall said, swallowing audibly. "You've never had a nice word to say about him."
Then, he continued eating, not expecting an answer and I had to admit that I wasn't inclined to give one.
Liam and Zayn shared a look.
"I hate it when you both do that," I griped. "You have entire, lengthy, heart-felt conversations with your eyes and it drives me crazy."
This provoked a light laugh from Liam, who stood up from his spot on the floor and settled next Zayn.
"I apologize. But Lou, you should have said something to him a year ago if you didn't want this to happen."
Heat flushed my face, but I clung stubbornly to my defense.
"He wouldn't have listened. You know he wouldn't have, no matter what I said."
Zayn yawned. His pain medication must have been kicking in, for hardly a second later, his head had dropped onto Liam's shoulder. A moment before he succumbed to seep, he said, "He woulda listened to you."
But even that night, as I lay capsized by incoherent thoughts, I just wished we had what we had before Seth came into the picture, before Harry loved him.
Seth had wormed his way into our lives just a year ago by being a son of one of our body guards and a big fan. At first, he seemed nice enough, and One Direction welcomed him as a close friend, though he stuck around Harry the most. Absolutely no one suspected anything. Then Harry, during what the media proclaimed One Direction's most memorable concert (It was my least favorite), jumped off the stage and kissed Seth. The security guards were going crazy trying to keep Harry safe and pull him away from Seth at the same time, and the crowd's voice became a deafening uproar of mixed emotions. But the damage had been done.
"Why did you do that?" I asked him angrily that night, under the pretense of being more concerned for his safety and public image than who he snogged. Because it didn't matter, right?
"Couldn't help myself," Harry had said, grinning cheekily. He might as well have been floating on cloud nine. "I just decided it was time to make things clear."
And there, in the last part, his tone did creep to something colder, and harsher, but the change would be called faint at the most.
"I broke up with Eleanor."
The grin on his face slid down; he looked as though I had punched him.
His voice sounded hoarse.
"Two nights ago."
I let it go there. I didn't want to know what he would say, or how he would try to fix it, but when I went to the bar that night, all I wanted to know was why he couldn't have waited for me just a few days longer. But I knew the thought was selfish. Harry and I had always had something, but it had been my fear that held us back, my clinging to what I deemed rational at that time.
When I woke up the next morning though, with my head pounding from a hangover, a blanket from Harry's bed lay over me, and he lay snoring lightly on the couch opposite, angled towards me.
I feigned sleep, but even then I felt a tear slipped involuntarily down my face.
I wasn't supposed to cry, but it hurt. Since I had met him I had wanted to be a something with him, but now what did I have?
So we forgot about the would be relationship, and Harry became more and more enticed by Seth, clinging on his every word, staying up late messaging him. He stayed with me, in the house, and in the private part in my mind, I felt like I had won one a battle in a doomed war, but at least I had him most of the time.
I felt, over a brief period, that Harry had still chosen me over Seth, but during a rehearsal, when they thought I couldn't overhear, I heard Harry tell Liam that he didn't want to move in with his boyfriend until they were married. Just two months ago he had said that.
"Are you sure you aren't rushing into this?" Liam had asked, naturally and inevitably concerned.
"Of course not." Across the room, I could see Harry cross his arms in a stubborn way. "I'm not a child. I know exactly what I want."
But Harry tended to fall fast. Zayn had told me that in an offhand way one time, but I guess then he had been talking about him falling for me. Thinking rationally, I could picture him doing that; laying all of his secrets out once he became hooked on one person. He did it for me after all.
He didn't wear his heart on his sleeve, but instead carried it as a banner for those he thought were close enough. I didn't want to know the things he had told Seth that he might not have told me.
But this is all pointless, isn't it?
Because here we are, a week and four days from his wedding.
And he isn't mine.
Liam and Zayn opted to stay with us to prepare for the wedding, and, even though the house became instantly over-crowded, Harry welcomed them. Niall went to stay with his girlfriend of eight months, Della, until the big day. Our home became a cheerful place, with Harry whistling badly and laughing more often than not. The others were thrilled by his joy, and Seth rarely left his side.
I think, despite the brave face I wore, Liam saw through it, and he stuck with me, making sure I wasn't hurting. The only times he left me alone were when Zayn had flashes of pain and needed help getting up going to the bathroom.
"He really is like a mommy now," Seth teased, and while I laughed with the others, I felt sick. Seth didn't know us, and he had no right to our inside jokes. I hated that, through Harry, he had a window into our private life, the life of One Direction. He wasn't supposed to see us this way.
But maybe I was biased.
Seth and I managed to avoid any form of structured conversation the next week. He tended to be so busy it was relatively easy, but at night when we were all settled and Harry was just wrapping up a few plans on the phone, we didn't have much choice to interact with him.
Liam tried to be polite, but Zayn, loyal, loyal, Zayn, let my feelings sink into his tone, into the furrow of his brown and the scowl on his face. He was a kind person, he really was. One of the kindest I knew, actually. But if Liam was the mother of us, trying to be sweet despite the situation, Zayn was our brash, loud-mouthed father who would say whatever needed to be said to get his feelings across.
Seth had to endure his rude remarks until Harry finished up with his calls, and Zayn tried to work in a many rude remarks as he could before he came back.
Seth sat on the couch Harry and I usually shared, Zayn and Liam laying close on the one across from it. I sat alone in the chair.
"So I heard it really sucks to make a career out of painting," Zayn offered as a conversation starter. Shifting, he threw his legs into Liam's lap, as if settling in for a long battle.
Despite the tension, I had to muffle a laugh at Liam's expression-a classic 'did my husband really just blurt that out' deal. The situation was just too wonderful.
"I-" Seth started, the cut off, at a loss of what to say. He drew a hand through his hair, his pale fingers stark against the black. I always thought he looked sleazy, like he hadn't seen enough sun. He looked like a Goth with a terrible sense of wannabe style.
"Hey, only some are cut out for it," Zayn said reassuringly, lifting his hands, palms up, as if he were trying to calm the shocked Seth.
Liam would have looked nice in a haunted house. The statue of a zombie victim maybe.
"I believe I am?" Seth said, gently, but he sounded genuinely hurt, something Zayn picked up on. Normally, he would back off, but one look at my face, one look at my delight, and he grinned and went on.
"But you must be sure. I wouldn't expect much from it honestly, you need to make a career for yourself, you know?"
"You might as well quit now. Harry has enough money to support the both of you, and it's obvious you aren't going anywhere with your finger paintings."
Liam snapped out of his daze, snatching a pillow and pressing it over Zayn's mouth.
"He doesn't mean it," he amended to Seth, but we all knew it was a lie. "It's the pain medication. He's loopy, off his rocker."
"I think he does mean it," said a new voice, and we all tensed, as if caught in the act of doing something bad. I guess we technically had.
Harry hovered just into the room, his phone in hand. He didn't appear to be angry, just a little sad, and horribly, horribly disappointed.
"I was talking to my cousin. She said she would sell her house up here, that she's already moved out and everything. And mum wants us to come back and stay with her a day or two. But…."
He looked at me, then away.
"I'm going to tell her we are going to stay until the wedding. I arranged so that we can go ahead and start moving our stuff into the new place as well."
The room became a place of such an extreme quiet, that I feared it would smother me.
Seth inspected us, as if we were dirt beneath his fingernails. He tended to grow a backbone when Harry was around. Maybe he felt as if he needed to prove something.
"I think that sounds amazing. Let's get going, huh?"
"We're staying here," Zayn said firmly, crossing his arms. Liam crossed his as well, but loosely, as though unsure.
"Bye," I said, and that sealed it. Harry nodded, decisive, and vanished, gathering the last of his things.
After they left, Liam and Zayn all but smothered me with remorse, in synch with Liam smothering Zayn with the pillow again as he scolded him for his manners.
"I'm glad he said it," I offered, hoping that Zayn would make it through the night. "Really."
But I didn't mean that, and they knew it.
"I really am sorry, Lou," Zayn kept saying while Liam made popcorn. "I wasn't thinking. I just really dislike the smarmy git. And I know that you should be marrying Harry."
"What?" I squeaked instantly, taken off guard.
Zayn considered me over his glasses, scolding.
"We all know you both almost had a thing. We all know you're supposed to. And Harry knows, too, mate. That's why he's hooked up a guy that's the exact opposite of you. He can't bear to replace you."
Liam emerged, bringing with him two bowls and passing one to me and keeping the other for himself and Zayn. He made my popcorn perfect, every time; extra butter and little salt.
"He is your opposite," Liam said, approving that Zayn had thought of it. "Pale. Black hair. Kind of shy, doesn't stick up for himself. He dresses like a hobo."
"Ahh. That's what I wanted to hear," I said, but it really wasn't.
Liam and Zayn gave up on cheering me up exactly four days before the wedding. They rented a hotel and decided to give me space, because their attempts at staying close and watching me weren't working. Harry sent me a text, telling me he still wanted me to be the best man, and I answered readily. I would always be there for Harry, but it was getting harder for me, especially now that being there for him meant that I had to be there for Seth as well. I hated that so much.
The apartment felt empty, like there was too much space everywhere. It felt like it had when we had first moved in and had not finished unpacking. Everything was off kilter, and I just wanted Harry back, sometimes forgetting and sitting on the couch waiting, though when I really thought about it, Harry wouldn't ever come home to me again.
There was no space here that did not speak of us, did not linger with our presence, intertwined into the very fibers of the carpet, the very spaces in the air. The 'us' I had known had become a ghost that hung by me, breathing sadness down my spine.
But the ghost was fleeting. And I was forgotten.
I wasn't sure at what point I broke, but people always say that things get better after that, because then you can only heal, move forward. Why did I get worse?
Two nights before the wedding. You wouldn't think Seth would be bothered with me anymore, but, as Liam pointed out, he might be more sinister than we thought. I was walking back from a Chinese restaurant, take-out box in one hand, phone in the other. I needed a walk, so I had chosen not to order pizza. The clear, cold night felt rather refreshing, and it didn't seem as empty as the apartment that was now entirely mine.
My phone vibrated. Harry.
I ran off with about six of your sweaters. Bring them back very, very soon! Xx
I laughed aloud, picturing him pulling them out and folding them away before he realized they weren't actually his. We always shared clothes, but he must have realized we can't do that anymore. Then, what had made me laugh now made me a bit depressed.
Someone behind me was running to catch up, their footsteps almost echoing in the quiet night air. I couldn't even turn around to see who it was before they had caught up, throwing an arm around me.
"I've been looking for you!"
A second listen and I could confirm I had no idea who this man was, not even a slight guess, and it annoyed me that some stranger had his arm around me more than it frightened me.
"Excuse me," I snapped, shaking him off and increasing my pace.
"But wait! Seth needs to tell you something."
At that, I felt a spark of curiosity, and I couldn't help but to turn around.
Something slammed hard into my face, cutting me off. After a moment of waiting for the world to stop spinning, I realized I had fallen onto the ground, and that my phone's screen had cracked on the concrete.
"You son of a bitch," I growled, drawing myself up. My skin thumped smartly, and I could tell it would be bruised in a few hour's time. Adrenaline works funny, because even when I had my stance set, ready for the next blow, I thought about how awful I would look in the wedding pictures. And my second thought: Good.
"So what are you?" I asked, trying to hold onto a sense of defiance. "He's evil henchmen, here to teach me a lesson?"
The man cracked his knuckles, and I felt a shiver of fear crawl across my skin.
"No," the guy hissed, and I finally took him in. He stood almost six inches taller than me, easy, and though he wasn't made of muscle, he obviously had experience in fighting.
"I'm his best friend and you've been interfering in their relationship for a long enough time. I'm sick of him bitching about it and he agrees you need to shut the hell up."
I stood there, read to fight, but I knew there wouldn't be much I could do in the end.
Before the blows came, I thought there was no way I could hate Seth more than I did when he and Harry announced their engagement. I was wrong, by the way.
When I got back to my apartment-just mine now-I all but crawled through the door. Every part of me ached in the worst way. I think he bruised my ribs. Before he left, he spit on my face, and I could still feel the spot, like it was burning a hole in me.
I kicked the door shut and simply lay in the foyer, trying to remember where my phone was. I had to call someone. Liam probably. He would help me.
But where was my phone? Had I left it outside? No, there it was. In my pocket. I didn't remember picking it up.
I was just contemplating getting myself off the floor to try and find it when I heard a rustling in the kitchen. My initial thought was that Seth had sent more people to deal with me, but instead, Harry's voice floated to me.
"Lou? You home? I brought your clothes back."
Shit. I didn't know he meant THAT soon. I heard his footsteps, heading straight for me, and I sunk back against the wall, trying to hide myself fruitlessly.
"Lou?" he called again, and I groaned. I couldn't ruin his engagement. I could tell him Seth had indirectly done this. Or I could lie.
As Harry rounded the corner and took me in, his eyes wide and his face pale, I wanted to cry and tell him that his fiancé was actually a terrible ass and had done it, and that he shouldn't marry him. That he should come back home to me.
But that wouldn't be fair.
"Who did this?" he voice shook with fury.
And I answered, calmly, "I didn't get a good look at their faces."
Harry wanted to call the police, but I insisted against it. He didn't argue with me, as if he were afraid I was too delicate to yell at, but he did drag out the first aid kit and sit me on the counter. I felt like a child.
"Where does it hurt the worst?" he asked. I patted my side lightly, and he nodded. Right then, he was level with my collar bone, so when he slipped my shirt off (I felt myself flush), he got a clear look at all the bruises that I had yet to see.
His ground his teeth together, but said nothing as he began dabbing peroxide into the shallow cuts. I remembered being kicked across the sidewalk, but I didn't think I had actually bled anywhere.
"I'm sorry, Harry," I said, unsure about what I was sorry for. When he looked up at me, however, I decided I had an endless amount of things to be sorry for.
"I'm sorry for not being with you when I had the chance, and for being jealous, and for being a prat to the point where you moved out early, and I'm really sorry I'm probably the worst best man ever."
Harry stared, wide eyed and confused, before his face smoothed over.
"Louis, you're the best, really. I'm sorry, too, that things didn't work out."
I could have sworn that I heard another crack in my chest, like something in me really had broken this time around, but I swallowed my pride and said, "Me too, Hazza."
As I said his nickname, he perked up, meeting my gaze, and something forlorn flitted across his face before he groaned aloud.
"Don't do this to me," he said, and, contradicting to his firm, harsh tone, he raised his hand up to brush against my cheek. I hadn't realized I had started crying.
"You can't do this to me," he said, still harsh. But now, he surrendered to something, grabbing my face and pulling me down so that my lips met his. I gasped lightly, taken entirely off guard, but he had no hesitation, kissing me again and again, as if I were going to suddenly be taken away from him.
But it was the opposite. He was being taken away from me, forever, and I would hold onto whatever we were having right then for as long as possible.
I tangled my fingers in his hair, sighing into his mouth, and I felt his lips smile against my skin. He turned his head, kissing my jaw, his fingers sliding down my chest, moving around the bruises and tracing a path on me.
For a second, I thought about telling him to stop, that this wasn't right, that he was getting married. Soon.
But the only word that escaped my mouth was 'please,' and Harry nodded, pushing my head back against the wall with his own, exposing my neck and kissing me more passionately, with vigor and delight. He was gentle around my bruises, and his breath warmed me, causing my skin to prickle expectantly.
How long had I wanted this? I deserved it. I really did.
His fingers slid across the waistband of my jeans, as if waiting my approval, but he knew he had that.
"Let's go to your room," he said huskily, and I almost felt a faint feeling of guilt about what we were doing, but as I looked at him, the lust shadowing his eyes, I grinned.
Maybe he felt that I wouldn't make the walk back to the room, and maybe he was right, because it hurt everywhere, but I think he would have carried me anyway.
My bed was still unmade, but we didn't care. He placed me delicately down, the climbed on top of me, face somber.
His expression darkened, but he shook his head and ducked down, not waiting to ask his questions, as if he wouldn't let whatever thoughts he had ruin this, and I was grateful.
I knew there must have been bruises on my thighs, but even after my pants and boxes joined a few of the pillows on the floor, Harry didn't say anything.
"No fair," I said, trying to sound playful, but instead my voice shook as I tugged at his sleeve.
He smirked as he sat up straight, pulling his shirt off and throwing it to the corner of the room. He tugged off his pants next, and for all my years of waiting, I thought it unfair that I didn't have a hand in the process, but I couldn't complain at the sight of him.
Yeah, we had seen each other naked before, but it had never been likes this, we had never been for each other in this way.
He ducked his head down again, breathing softly and kissing my hips with infuriating calm as I writhed beneath him.
"You're a tease," I gasped.
I felt his laughter more than I heard it, and I prepared another, and hopefully wittier comment, before I felt his tongue, wrapping around my cock just before his lips closed around it. I heard an animal-like moan and, realizing it came from me, I clamped my mouth shut.
"Feel free to continue," he said, pulling away from me just long enough so that the words were clear. His voice sounded so gravelly and inviting, that I whimpered. Since when had I been capable of these sounds?
"After you," I gasped, and he bent down, sucking lightly, bobbing his head up and down.
I reached for him, placing my fingers in his hair, groaning and he sucked harder and his fingers ghosted over my thighs, toying with me, but I had no complaint except that I might scream from the sensation of it all.
I was panting heavily, and couldn't even warn him that I was going to come when I did, but he swallowed without any comment, returning his lips to mine almost immediately. They felt so amazing, to the point where I wanted to feel them everywhere, so I could know what spot elicited what sensation, and the animal urge in my kicked in.
"Fuck me," I said, and despite the hunger coursing in my veins, the words sounded sweet and shy. I didn't know that was possible.
No further invitation was needed. He yanked off his boxers, and, without letting my properly admire him, flipped me over, his fingers grabbing my hips as he twisted down and kissed my neck, following my spine downward.
He hesitated, briefly, and I nearly screamed. Not now. Don't think it through now, I wanted to plead.
I could feel his cock, hard and ready, and I could have all of him if he would just go one step further.
"Are you sure?" he asked me, like I had wanted this to happen for years, like I hadn't dreamed and fantasized about it.
"Of course," I answered, firmly, and his eyes filled with relief and excitement. He reached around my hips, drawing me up a little, and I grabbed at my head board, bracing myself. My heart was pounding, my blood singing, and my skin itching, waiting for him to touch me again, for anything at all, really.
Once more, he stretched across me, kissing me in a sloppy, but sweet, sideways deal. I could only turn my head so much, and we were both ready.
I felt him again, pressing against me, and I felt the head of his dick right at my entrance. I might have hyperventilated, might have screamed and begged and cried, but then again, I'm not entirely sure what I would have done, because at that perfect blissful moment, his phone rang.
We froze, stunned, as if he had personally walked in and saw us.
Harry paused, but then he sighed and I could feel his fingers slipping away from my hips, his warmth leaving the bed, and he was on the floor, grabbing his pants and pulling the phone out of the pocket.
He straightened up, standing naked in my room like it wasn't a big deal that he was there while on the phone with his fiancé.
"Seth," he greeted. "I'm just over at Louis's, returning some clothes."
I flinched at the term. My house. Not ours. I would never get used to that.
"Yeah. He's doing alright. Some assholes jumped him, but he's insisting we don't call the police. Yeah, don't worry. Haha I'll tell him you're worried about him. See you soon."
Then he added, in a normal way, though his face was covered in guilt, "I love you."
I lay down on my back, staring at the ceiling, waiting for the apology, the excuses. Him saying that he had to go and that we would never speak of it.
Here we go. I closed my eyes.
"I don't know what to do."
Something in his voice caused me to sit up, alarmed. Harry stood in my room, crying.
"Oh no, Hazza," I said, and I held out my arms to him. He shook his head fiercely stepping away, wiping away the tears hurriedly with the back of his hand.
"I can't. I can't think right when I'm around you. What do I do?"
Letting my arms drop, I thought sincerely about it, about what we had just shared and almost shared, what could have happened.
What should have happened.
"Get married in two days, be happy, and I'll always be your best man."
Silently, I begged him to say that wasn't what he wanted, but Harry was the type of person that put what was right first a lot of the time, so instead of telling me that he couldn't push me away like that, instead of joining me on the bed and finishing where we left off, he nodded curtly.
"Yeah. You're right."
I didn't get up to tell him goodbye. That might have been just too permanent for me right then.
Liam and Zayn showed up the next day to stay the night before the wedding. We would all ride over together. Zany could walk around well enough now on crutches, but he insisted that Liam would end up carrying him into the wedding and holding him throughout the reception.
They, and Niall of course, were all groomsmen.
A One Direction wedding. Featuring Harry Styles, failed painter Seth Brooks, and best man Louis Tomlinson, whom had a fantastic blowjob by Harry Styles two nights before the big day.
Zayn and Niall wanted to watch Bridesmaids and fantasize about the five of us going through such ordeals. They picked out who would be who, deciding that Niall would be Megan and they would be Rita and Becca.
"You would be Annie, Louis," Zayn said. "And Harry would be Lillian."
At that, I was overcome by the empty, abandoned feeling, and I just wanted at least two of my best friends to know.
"What if Annie had slept with Lillian?" I asked, interrupting their laughter.
They turned their heads to me slowly, baffled.
"Well, I would say that's fucked up," Zayn answered, eyes narrowed slightly. Still confused.
"Annie had Lillian first," I said, shrugging. "And let's just pretend that they were in love with each other?"
"Then she should crash the wedding and sweep her into her arms."
Liam regarded me, intrigued, but he didn't say anything at first.
"But say that Lillian's fiancé asked his best friend to beat up Annie?"
Zayn snickered, but Liam's face fell.
"Louis, what are you trying to tell us?"
Honestly, I wasn't trying to tell them anything. I just needed to know how others might view the proceedings, but right then I was fit to burst under the weight of it all, and I wanted them to understand.
Tear welled in my eyes, and I blurted it all out.
"Seth's friend beat the shit outta me and then I came back to the apartment and Harry was here to bring me my clothes back that he borrowed because we always share clothes, always." I broke off, gulping in air before continuing, just as fast. "And he was upset and I told him some people I didn't know did it and I didn't see their faces and he shouldn't call the police and then he started kissing me and we almost did it and then Seth called and I told him to go and now we will just be friends for the rest of our lives and I don't want that because I'm in love with him."
I broke off, catching my breath.
Zayn, who had been eating popcorn, had frozen with a handful inches away from his mouth.
Liam stood and crossed the room before enveloping me in a hug.
"Oh, Louis," he said, and I heard it in his voice, the pity and the anger and I couldn't help it.
I started sobbing.
They left me alone the rest of the night and went off to have a few beers while I settled down. I guess they had learned a bit back that I needed space when I was upset, but even then Liam was reluctant to leave. I fell asleep shortly after, and I awoke the next morning to Zayn poking me with his crutches from the nearby couch.
"Wake up!" he crowed, smiling from ear to ear. "Wedding time."
I'll admit I felt a bit shell-shocked. They had just seen how upset I was and now they were excited about the wedding, but I decided it was their way of telling me I had to move on, so I obliged.
The venue was beautiful, a spot on a golf course, and the weather wasn't entirely frigid. The gold course still looked nice this time of the year.
"I didn't know Seth liked golf," Niall grumbled, and Liam replied, "But of course he does," in a stuffy accent. "It is quite refined."
We all broke out into muffled laughter by the altar, to the crowd's amusement. The paparazzi took a trillion pictures.
My smile had vanished by the time the time Harry was escorted down the aisle by Anne, his face glowing with delight. He winked at me, and I felt a thrill course through me.
He was going to be happy. That's all that mattered, I kept telling myself.
Seth was escorted by both his parents, who he looked like a clone of; they too had long, black hair, slightly greasy, and pale, delicate features.
Zayn leaned over Liam's shoulder and whispered in my ear in a granny voice, "Hippies!"
Niall heard and barked out a short laugh before he remembered there was a ceremony taking place.
Seth's vows were mushy and borderline possessive. Zayn hummed the Scooby Doo theme song to distract me, while Niall bit his lip to keep from laughing again.
The wedding wasn't as traditional as I thought. When Seth's vows were done, he was asked the question 'Do you take Harry to blah blah blah…' (That's all I heard) and then Harry was to read his vows and answer the question. Then they would kiss and skip off to their wonderful and overpriced honeymoon.
When the minister moved to read the vows (I thought it was impersonal that he was doing that in the first place) Harry brought up a hand, stopping him.
Seth's eyes widened.
"What are you doing, babe?" he whispered, alarmed.
"I think," Harry said, as if his soon-to-be-husband had not spoken, "that those vows are no longer valid. I have new ones."
Seth's tensed shoulders relaxed and he smiled, waiting.
I heard Niall snickering again, but as Harry began to speak, no one really heard him.
"Dearest Seth," he said, in a rehearsed sort of voice. "I have loved you for a while now. You are funny and brilliant and I thought I could never marry someone better than you."
"But then I realized I could, that I could have the whole time. I was informed by two very kind people,"-Liam and Zayn began laughing softly with Niall-"That you are, in fact, a dick. A rather large one. And if you ever touch any of my friends in any way again, I will kill you. Also, I don't think this is going to work."
He turned to the minister, whose eyes had been growing steadily wider. At that time, he appeared to be an overgrown owl.
"Ask me the question."
"Will you...erm….take Seth Brooks as your lawfully wedded Husband?"
"Fuck no," Harry said cheerfully. I could almost hear Anne restraining herself to tell him to watch his language, and could almost feel Seth's family's indignation, but Harry turned to me and beamed.
"And I'm in love with Louis Tomlinson." He snatched my suspenders, drawing me to him and kissing me roughly.
The crowd went crazy, the camera shutters clicking fiercely as the photographers took pictures in rapid succession, hardly caring about the angles and such anymore.
Niall, Liam, and Zayn cheered, and their jubilation triggered a general feeling of excitement from Harry's family and friends.
Because, as Niall had told me later, this was what they had all been waiting for.
After Seth's family left and Anne attacked his hippie mother for trying to lay a hand on Harry, we treated the wedding as a party, moving to the reception and stuffing ourselves with cake first and the actual food after. We drank everything that came our way, and Harry bumped his shoulder against mine, playful and teasing and flirting with no restraints.
"I think I like weddings. Let's have one soon."
I laughed, leaning into him, and secretly hoped that we would. It didn't matter that we hadn't been technically dating only a few hours.
We had been in love for years, and been drawn together all this time. Our readiness couldn't be marked by a number of dates, but merely by the way my entire life seemed to click together as he brushed his fingers against mine under the table, grasping for my hand.
"I love you, Harry," I said, and for the first time the meaning was entirely clear, that I not only loved him, but I was wholly and undeniably IN love with him.
"I love you too."
He kissed my knuckles, then broke off, giggling.
"Looks like another pair may beat us to the altar."
I followed his gaze to Zayn and Liam, who were both entirely wasted, and, as Zayn had predicted, Liam was carrying him, bridal style. They were dancing as well as they could with the cast and the fact that Zayn didn't exactly have his feet on the floor.
"Hey minister!" Liam slurred. The minister, whose name I never had learned, had stuck around, talking to the members of the family comfortably. He didn't seem to mind the turn of events at all.
At Liam's call, he turned and raised his wine glass at him in response. He had only one glass for duration of the 'reception'. I don't think he wanted to be drunk.
"What is it?" he called, smiling at the pair of them and their weird embrace.
"Marry us, marry us!"
Zayn threw his head back, laughing wildly, as if Liam had just told a first class joke.
"I bet he will, give it three months," I whispered in Harry's ear. I sensed his smile, inhaled his sweet scent, and everything was right. We could go home. But maybe we would have a new home. It would be a shame to let his cousin's beautiful house go to waste.
"I bet four," he whispered back.
It only took two.
This version may have a few errors, due to my obsession with finsihing it XD
The looked over version is on my tumblr. Hope you liked it!