I was casually creeping through the Larry fics on AO3, and wound up in one that features some Jaill. I figured, why the hell not, read it, and then got obsessed. Go figure. So instead of working on what I should be working on - Teddy Bear Troubles chapter 11, for example, or my research paper - I decided to work on this.

Niall's crush on Justin Bieber has never actually been a secret.

Well, maybe for the first two minutes of his stay at the X-Factor house, but living in such tight quarters with nosy teenage boys, it was impossible to hide. So what if Louis caught him listening to Bieber and teased him about it for the rest of the week? His talent was admirable and anyway, he was pretty sure Harry liked Bieber, too. Just... not as much as Niall does. To be fair, though, he isn't sure if anyone he knows likes Bieber as much as he does.

Niall's mostly straight as well, which makes it easy for the boys to write off even as he was tongue tied and positively tripping over himself in excitement when he met the pop star for the first time. Justin's kind of an out-of-the-blue crush, just like Liam's itty-bitty man crush on Johnny Depp, even if Liam probably doesn't spend his nights daydreaming about boning him.

Well, Niall doesn't know that for sure. Liam might and ew, okay, yeah, his crush on Justin is definitely a one-man kind of thing because the idea of Liam wanking, to Johnny Depp or not, is just gross.

It's just that - he and Justin are friends now, and they have inside jokes and they tweet each other and Justin texts him sometimes when he's bored. He's pretty sure it's because Niall's a riot and they're both blonde-ish so they were destined to be friends, but he won't complain when he gets a 'hey man im bored howr u?' (The whole being bored thing he doesn't understand because Justin is seriously a bigger pop star than he is, as far as Niall knows, and he barely has any down time himself, so where Justin's finding it, he has no idea.)

Even when Louis sees and it's just like the first time he'd caught him listening to Bieber during X-Factor, he still doesn't complain - just rolls his eyes and yanks his phone away from Louis, who is leaning forward across the tour bus's small dinner table to try and sneak a peek.

"Wait a minute! Niall's got that stupid grin on him - it's Bieber, isn't it?" Louis is pretty normal around Justin, and he's always used his first name when they're around each other in person, but otherwise Louis usually acts like Niall's got a high school crush on the most popular guy in school and none of them are actually in his league enough to use his first name. Sometimes Niall lets himself think that if maybe they got to the actual snogging part it would be somewhat similar to one of those corny high school movies, but so far, they've only gotten to the casual texting bit.

"No, it's not-" but the vibration stops and his ringtone sounds and suddenly his face is too hot for him to really lie his way out of this one. 'If I was your boyfriend, I'd never let you go... ' "Shuttup," Niall grumbles over Louis's cackling.

"Real swaggy," he hears Zayn mutter quietly, snickering, and Niall gives him a betrayed glare, ignoring the sound of Louis's - and Harry's - laughter, because Zayn at least is supposed to be on his side.

"Piss off!" Niall snaps, cheeks burning as he replies - 'not much the lads are being wankers'.

'When arent they?'

That one has him giggling and Louis's stopped the witch cackle, at least, but he's still doing this irritating, probably intended to be perverted thing with his eyebrows. "What's up with the Biebs?"

'never' he replies, shooting off a mouthy, "Sympathizing with me for having to deal with you!" at Louis, who just smirks and maneuvers so his feet are in Harry's lap. Harry, of course, doesn't react except shifting so he has an arm over Louis's legs, petting at the bare skin of Louis's ankle. Niall rolls his eyes, returning to his texts. Normally, he would snap a picture or something, but he's not in the mood. It's kind of hypocritical of Louis, really, teasing him when he and Harry are both in the same situation - over each other! - and neither have realized it yet.

'haha what r they doin thats got you pissed?'

And no, Niall isn't answering that one honestly. He's sure that oh, just teasing me because I've wanted to bone you since you were sixteen, no biggie will go over real well, so yeah, he's not going with that.

'just being twats like always, nothing new' he answers, laughing when almost immediately he gets a 'well they should stop bein twats then :)' because for one, Justin's infatuation with European slang is adorable (not that he'd ever admit that out loud), and for two, Justin's grammar is atrocious. No one will claim that Niall is particularly awesome at it, either, but he at least can tweet and text with full words unless pressed for a character limit.

"Can you and your phone get a room?" Louis sighs dramatically, sitting up to cuddle into Harry's side. Harry shifts again to accommodate him, running his hands through Louis's hair this time and really, those two need to get it together. Niall wonders what Justin thinks on the subject, and then realizes he's never brought it up. He considers it for a moment, but then again, he's never actually discussed anything of the like with Justin, so he's not totally sure how he feels about the whole gay thing in general. It would kind of suck if he was a homophobe, Niall admits to himself as he watches Harry and Louis cuddle, seeing how Niall kind of totally has a crush on him (he can admit it, sparingly and only to himself).

"I hate you sometimes," Niall grunts, but he remembers that he has yet to text Justin back so he decides to do that instead of listening to Louis's whining.

'i agree even Zayn is against me today'

'give him a 'bugger off' & tell him its from me!' Niall has a tiny urge to defend his friend, but Justin's clearly sticking up for him, albeit playfully, and Niall doesn't think he's going to throw a fit about it - besides, he's using the cute British slang again, just for Niall. He's in the middle of replying when he gets a rather disappointing, 'hey man gotta go talk 2 u later?' He loves how it's a question, not a demand but a I'm busy right now but I still want to talk to you so if you want we could continue this later, and Niall responds with an affirmative.

"See?" he sniffs at Louis. "No need for a room."

"He had to go?" Zayn asks, probably because he's bored playing around on his phone's Twitter app. Niall knows that Zayn doesn't give two shits over who he's texting, even if it is Justin Bieber - he just likes to help Louis tease him.

"Yeah. He's, you know. Justin Bieber. He has shit to do, whatever." But Niall's already feeling the absence, even if Justin hadn't actually been there in person. Whatever, he thinks as Louis makes pouty faces at him, causing Harry to laugh.

"Sorry, Niallar!" Louis's cackling again, and he's too annoyed to respond. He gets up, muttering that he's going to bed, but he smiles as he hears his friends laughing behind him.

The next time Justin texts him directly, it's not so carefree, even if it's a similar situation - they're all sitting in the main area of the bus (and they're not actually on tour, though they're starting to prepare for it; they're just out of town, in between cities) and even Liam has joined them. They're mostly there to support Louis and Harry, who are quiet and leaning against each other for support. Niall can't imagine what it must be like for them, with Management tweeting rude things at the fans all the time, Louis's "relationship" with Eleanor, and Harry's supposed romance with Taylor Swift. Louis_Tomlinson and the press are kind of ruining their lives, even if they're not actually together, and Management is definitely taking things out of hand.

It had been Harry who had been casually checking out Tumblr's Larry Stylinson tag because it's usually good for a few laughs and he's been in desperate need of them recently. Unfortunately, that wasn't how it had turned out. Half of the fans were raving about what arseholes Louis and Stan were, and the other half was convinced it was Modest! (which it was) and that Louis was at home crying in Harry's arms (which was also true).

Niall's heart breaks for them, because he knows now that at least Harry is aware of his feelings for Louis (and it took both more and less time than he expected, but at least Harry knows), and he's pretty sure Louis has figured it out, too. Still, they're not together; Niall would bet that neither of them have even brought it up between them. Even if they were together, though, it wouldn't make a difference, because they would still be making heart eyes at each other and Management would still be trying to put down the Larry shipper rebellion.

'is everything ok? saw some of louis's tweets earlier' is what his phone rings with, and Louis's dull blue eyes look over at him. His lips twitch in what is only barely a smile.


Niall nods. "He's worried; saw Management's tweets earlier on your account." Louis's smile vanishes.

"Great. Yet another person who thinks I'm a dick." At his words, Niall winces and Harry wraps an arm around Louis's shoulders, puling him in closer. Where Louis looks a tad lifeless, Harry looks like he's going to cry enough for the both of them and to be honest Niall isn't sure what's worse.

"I don't think he does, but gimme a sec - I'll make sure he doesn't." 'wasn't Lou. Management is kind of being horrible about the whole Larry thing.'

He doesn't get a reply for a minute or two - then 'been there done that, man. tell him im sorry he has 2 go thru this shit 2'. Niall examines that text in curiosity for a second, relaying the message in a curious voice, and Louis picks up on it, of course.


Niall relays the question and gets a terse, 'dont really wanna talk bout it' by way of reply. Then, a minute later, as he's still contemplating a reply, 'well i guess i do, but not over text. whens ur next break?'

Niall feels like a major arse considering the current situation, but he can't help but be excited at the implication of a visit.

Niall and Justin are sharing the couch in Harry's apartment (really, Louis and Harry's apartment; it was even before Harry and Louis decided to make it official. Among them, anyway), with Harry and Louis crammed into an armchair, and Zayn and Liam in beanbags on the floor. There's a movie playing, but no one is really watching it.

Harry and Louis have only really been officially together for a week or so, but from the way they act, no one would be able to tell. Things are normal, but with casual kisses and even more physical contact than before, which sounds slightly difficult but they manage without even trying.

They're always wrapped up in each other and Management is furious. It was enough of a pain in the ass for them to deal with back when Larry was just rumors among the fans, backed up by the duo's natural chemistry. Now, Harry and Louis are stubbornly refusing to play anymore stupid games. Eleanor - who was hired as a press relationship anyway in an attempt to at least put a flood gate on the Larry shipping, though she and Louis have become fairly good friends - is almost a thing of the past for the fans, contract nearly up. Louis can't wait to end the sham of a relationship because El's a lovely girl and they all know it, but now that he's actually in a relationship, playing pretend with Eleanor seems ridiculous.

They tweet each other and sit next to each other in interviews - and okay, there's only been one since they've gotten together, but the intention to continue is there, so specifics aren't really necessary.

"Dude, never thought I'd say this, but they're kind of really cute together," Justin mutters next to his ear, and Niall can hear the smile in it.

"Aren't they?" he whispers back. "They've had this thing going on since X-Factor, so it's 'bout time they owned up to it."

Justin chuckles quietly and his leg is arm is pressed against Niall's and the older of the two is feeling quite warm. "'M glad they got their shit together, then." He sounds much more articulate in person, Niall thinks somewhat dazedly. "Niall?"

He looks up from where he was zoning out, grinning at Justin weakly, a little embarrassed. "Yeah, mate?"

Justin snorts at him, pulling back to punch him lightly on the shoulder. "You're such a spazz, dude."

The differences between them are obvious (starting with the accent) but for some reason, Niall can't help but think that they get on rather well. If he didn't know better, he'd say that they were meant to be. And Justin is cool with the whole gay-best-mates thing, which is aces. He isn't a homophobe, and that's relieves Niall to an almost ridiculous point (and solves a lot of potential issues with Niall's fantasy relationship).

Niall just rolls his eyes and lightly bumps shoulders with him. "Whatever," he replies, lacking in an actual retort and Justin just chuckles under his breath, knowing he's won.

It's a couple hours later, after the movie ends and they're all shuffling to wherever they're going to sleep (Harry and Louis are obviously bunking together, probably to shag or something, and Liam and Zayn have called the guest room, so Justin and Niall are snagging the couch and the beanbags, respectively) when Justin looks over at him and finally tells him what he'd made the trip to tell him in the first place.

They haven't settled in for bed yet, and had been contemplating putting in another movie (it's not like they have anywhere to be tomorrow), but with those doe-like brown eyes on him, Niall completely forgets about the movie. Seriously, his eyes are as bad as Zayn's, with eyelashes and everything. While Zayn's are so dark it looks like he doesn't have pupils sometimes, Justin's are brighter, warmer, like caramel. Niall's pretty sure that the comparisons going on in his head are not okay to think about when it comes to your friends - because that's what Justin is now, a friend - but he doesn't really care because Justin's always been more than just a friend. He's not just a crush, either - he's like a crush and a friend and a legend, all at once.

"You remember when I told you to tell Harry and Louis that I was sorry they had to deal with Management?" he asks out of nowhere and Niall pauses in surprise at the seemingly random question. He realizes pretty quickly that this is the huge reason Justin is here, judging from the tense set of Justin's jaw and shoulders and the wary look in his eye.

"Yeah," Niall answers as calmly as he can. It's not like this person he really respects and has kind of wanted to be for a really long time is about to tell him something he's clearly kept a secret or anything.

"So I snapped at you and was kind of a dick there for a minute, but it was because there was something I kind of wanted to tell you - shit, I mean, we're friends, right?"

"Yeah," Niall affirms, nodding eagerly. Yes, friends was good. Justin Bieber thought of him as a friend.

"And I don't want this to make things weird between us or anything -" And Niall is suddenly confused, at a loss as to where Justin could be going with this. "-but with Harry and Louis and all, I kind of figured..." Justin's hand is in his hair and he's pulling at it lightly. Niall really wants to pet him and pull his hand away and tell him to be nicer to his hair, but Justin's speaking again, so that will have to wait. "I think..." Justin pauses to clear his throat and Niall scoots in a little closer, resting a hand on his arm as comfort. He's not sure if it works or not.

"You don't have to say if you don't want, mate," Niall says gently and Justin sighs and bats his hand away, looking glum.

"I want to say it," he responds firmly, if a tad miserably. Underneath that, he sounds scared and Niall is seriously worrying over what this big, bad secret could be. "I think..." He cuts himself off again and swallows hard. "I think I might be gay." His voice is quiet and a little rough, but Niall, well, he's not really paying attention to the specifics. He's in shock.

Justin is biting his lower lip and no, he's not crying, but he looks like he could if this ends really badly. Which, of course, it won't. The thing is, Niall knows how hard that admission is - he has a good friend back home in Ireland who's (put bluntly) gayer than a rainbow, and as obvious as his sexuality was, coming out had taken him a pint of some alcoholic beverage Niall can't name to this day and a good half hour of stuttering and lip-biting. So, really, he thinks Justin's doing pretty good, even if he looks so damn unsure of himself.

He can see, quite clearly, how insecure Justin is about this and he can understand that. He's Justin Bieber. People have been accusing him of being gay since his career started and this - actually possibly being gay - probably makes that a lot harder.

Never mind the fact that Niall is dying inside because he just might have a chance.

Justin is obviously getting a little uncomfortable about Niall's lack of reaction because he's continuing with, "Well, yeah, and I might - fuck - I mentioned to my publicist and she's really not for the idea. She told me that it wasn't a good idea - like I planned it, you know, like I wanted to be gay, what a laugh - and then told me to keep it on the down low and to not bring up the possibility again unless I had to and then she told me I should probably tweet a few girls, or Selena or something and -" Justin cuts himself off, face a bright red.

"Justin-" Niall says softly, like he's trying to calm a wounded animal, but Justin cuts him off.

"I didn't want this!" he says urgently and okay, he looks a little more like he's going to cry now. "I was so fucking scared when I first thought about it and I'm still really fucking scared because what the hell am I going to do? I'm - I'm me, and just, I liked girls, didn't I? I've had sex with them and it was fine but I was at home and Selena was hanging out and she wanted to watch some show and there was this guy and he was just really attractive and shirtless!" Niall is a little overwhelmed by all this information. "And she started coming onto me! I mean, we hadn't exactly done a lot recently, I dunno, just wasn't interested for some reason, and I realize that I'm more turned on by this guy on the screen than her! And fuck. I pretty much hate myself and please don't tell me that this is a problem for you because if it is - you're the first person other than my publicist that I've told -"

"Justin." Niall's voice is stern and Justin falls silent. He's biting his lip again, and Niall kind of wants to bite it himself, but he holds off. "Seriously, mate, calm down. It's not a big deal - well, I guess it is a big deal to you, but..." He trails off with a sigh, knowing he's shit at this. He tries again. "We're friends, yeah? You could be asexual and you'd still be my friend. You get my drift?"

Justin is nodding silently, looking down. "I'm so fucking confused," Justin says softly then, like he's realized that he can talk to Niall about this without him freaking out. "I didn't want to be, but every time - it's just like..." Justin is the one to sigh in frustration, not knowing what he wants to say. Niall understands what he's feeling - shame, confusion, maybe a little bit of anger. "I've never even kissed a dude, but the idea scares the shit out of me. Partially because I'm pretty sure I'd like it."

Niall snorts at that and he knows it's kind of rude, but he does it anyway. "Okay, I feel you, I really do, but kissing blokes isn't a big deal. Not a lot different than kissing a girl."

"You've kissed a guy?" Justin sounds a little bit in awe.

Niall shrugs. "Yeah. I'm in a boy band, mate. It's not abnormal to get pissed and a little lonely on tour." (No, it's not abnormal, but it's always awkward the day after because it's usually Zayn, and Zayn is unwaveringly straight, but they usually wind up laughing about it, so it's okay.) He pauses, and he doesn't want to make this weird - but, well, he has to ask. "It's a lot easier with a friend, you know. Experimenting and stuff."

Justin catches his drift immediately, freezing and meeting Niall's eyes. He looks scared - but he can see the want, the curiosity. "Would you -?" The question trails off and Niall's mouth has gone dry.

"I - yeah. Yeah, I guess." He sounds a little shell-shocked, which is understandable. Because he is.

He expects maybe a bit of hesitation, expects to have to initiate this - but no, not the case. The minute Niall finishes speaking, Justin is leaning forward, large hands curled into the hair at his nape. Niall has a split second to comprehend what's happening before there are soft lips on his and a Justin Bieber in his personal space.

It's little different because he's not drunk, and neither is Justin, so no one is giggling or reeking of alcohol, the normal things he's come to associate with kissing guys. Justin smells kind of good, actually (he's pretty sure it's cologne, because it's not a normal scent), and his mouth is kind of a world of wonders. He's a good kisser, all things considered, and slots their lips together without waiting for encouragement from Niall. Niall - Niall's taking what he can get, really, and is kissing back enthusiastically, mouth hot and lips moving against Justin's.

He doesn't expect the tongue, either, but it's there, swiping across his lower lip and when he mimics the action - a non-verbal go-ahead - it licks its way into his mouth.

Okay, so Niall was definitely wrong before; Justin is a fantastic kisser. The hand at his nape has moved to his cheek, mirrored by his other hand, and is cupping Niall's face, angling his head how he wants it, and Niall puts a hand on Justin's thigh to steady himself.

When Justin pulls away, it's too soon and Niall misses the slippery heat of Justin's tongue in his mouth immediately.

"So that was fun," Justin says breathlessly, cheeks pink and eyes bright.

"Yeah," Niall croaks. "Fun is one word to call it." Justin grins at him, a little sheepishly and Niall can't help it; he leans forward at the same time Justin does and their lips are together again. God, Niall could kiss Justin forever, he thinks as their tongues twine together.

Justin shifts and Niall wasn't exactly anticipating a lapful of pop star - but neither is he arguing, and the hand he'd left on Justin's leg curls around his thigh instead. His other hand he lays on Justin's waist and Justin settles over Niall's crotch, pressing in close. "You know," Niall manages between kisses. "This isn't productive unless you want to get off."

Justin pulls off, eyes wide, and quickly realizes why Niall had said that - there is a hardness growing in Niall's sweats, pressing against Justin's ass.

"Would that make things weird between us?" Justin asks, calculating, and Niall isn't going to pass up this opportunity. Eagerly - too eagerly, probably - he shakes his head and Justin smiles, pressing another kiss to Niall's lips before pulling back and sliding off of Niall's lap. He settles next to Niall and reaches for him, pulling Niall into the same position that Justin had been in before - only this time, it's Niall settled over a very distinct bulge in Justin's jeans. Niall kind of wants to see it, despite his sort-of heterosexuality, but he's not going to ask.

So, to make up for it, Niall presses down, kissing Justin hard. Justin seemed a little uncomfortable having a cock against his ass, but that's okay (Niall has always figured him for a top, anyway). Niall, however, has no such qualms - which is obvious as he rocks over the length of Justin's rapidly hardening cock.

He doesn't expect anything out of this but a one-off, Justin getting himself sorted out with a friendly romp. He won't complain, though - definitely not, if he gets to be the friend Justin romps with. Justin doesn't seem to have a problem with it, either; he's put his hands on Niall's hips and is rocking him himself, hips canting up with every roll of Niall's body over his erection. Niall's not exactly soft himself - he's pressing his own erection into Justin's stomach, groaning into Justin's mouth, and Justin is groaning back because he likes it just as much as Niall does.

It doesn't take either of them very long to come, not long at all, but he's okay with that; it was fantastic anyway. Niall's just glad things aren't awkward. Justin laughs at the mess they've made and after they clean up, Niall sets up the bean bags close to the couch where Justin is going to sleep. Justin kisses him goodnight before they nod off, and Niall is pretty happy.

The whole situation with Larry and Management comes to a head in the next several weeks, Harry and Louis being quite firm about not taking anymore bullshit. They're not insisting that they be allowed to come out - they're not really ready for that - but Louis's done letting management make him out to be a complete arsehole and Harry's done letting them be kept apart in public.

For the rest of the guys, it's a relief. The tension between them with all of the shit going on has finally settled, everyone comfortable, everyone happy. Niall has seen Justin once since then, and they might have made out in a shady corner at the venue for Justin's gig, but things are still light and friendly, and everything is good.

Louis still teases him whenever Justin texts him, though, which is becoming increasingly frequent nowadays. Niall supposes that Justin trusts him more, and the idea of being upped to a close friend makes him incredibly happy. He's not going to ask for more, but what he's gotten out of this has been, well, really great. Not only has he gotten to make out with his crush, he's gotten to be even closer with him, and that's really great.

"I'm so exhausted," Liam is saying, rubbing at his face tiredly. He and Niall are sharing a hotel room in New York, where they've just touched down earlier that day. He loves the city, he really does - they all do. The thing is, though, they were just in New York a month or so ago and he's exhausted too. He would really like some down time because the entire band seems to be go-go-going all the time.

"Same, mate," Niall grunts, sounding a little whiny. He blushes when Liam chuckles at him tiredly. "Ugh - and my phone's blowing up! Who the hell is texting me?" Liam is laughing at his complaints, but he stops speaking rather abruptly when he sees who it is.

'niall! mate!'

'dude u got 2 NY right? u didnt die in a plane crash or something?'

'niall dude text me back'

'i swear ill call louis'

Niall is laughing a little bit, but he's also worried that Justin really has called Louis because he does not need to hear about it from their favorite prankster. The last one was a couple seconds ago, so he really hopes Justin wasn't that worked up to have already called.

'i'm here! calm down don't do anything rash! no need to call louis'

Liam is clambering into his bed, snickering when he sees who Niall is texting. "Did he seriously call you 'mate'? He's an American."

Niall huffs. "He's Canadian, Liam. Jeez. And yeah, he did. He thinks some of our words are funny, okay? No need to make fun of him." Liam is snickering anyway and Niall is pretty sure he picked it up from Louis, but he doesn't have time to deal with that.

'oh good'

Niall nearly facepalms. All of that, and he responds with oh good. He can't help but grin, though. 'what's going on?' he texts back because really, he's quite curious. Liam is still looking over his shoulder, but that's all right. It's not like he and Justin are sexting, after all.

'what hotel r u at?'

Niall's eyebrows shoot up to his hairline and Liam is grinning at him. 'Ur in town?'

'yeah man! what hotel? we could hang. kinda hoping for a snog 2 if ur up for it haha'

And Niall's frozen (though internally he's squealing like one of their fans because dammit, Justin just used the word snog and it is adorable, even if it should be annoying) because Liam has frozen, and he's not sure what to say.

"I'm not sure if I should laugh at him for saying the word snog or be really confused," Liam remarks when he unfreezes, and to be honest, Niall's still not sure what to say. He doesn't think he'll ever know. "Did he just say he wanted to snog? Really?"

"Erm - yeah?"

"Snog you."


Liam's got his Daddy Direction face on. "Explain, Horan." Niall winces, blushing bright red, and he bites his lower lip, unsure of how to explain this.

"Not sure he'd want me telling you."


Niall breaks pretty easily. "So he may or may not be gay. He kind of told me when he came up after Lou and Haz got together, and I might have offered to um, be his first gay kiss, and he might have taken me up on it." His explanation is jumbled. "And we might have fooled around again after his show a couple weeks ago," he adds, because Liam probably wants the full story.

Liam looks like Niall's just broken him. The information doesn't seem to be computing.

"This is new."

Niall is bright red. "Yeah, a bit."

His phone buzzes. 'Niall? um so im kind of freaking out over here... r u in? or did i just say something stupid?'

He's quick to reply with a 'no no you're fine gimme a minute i'm sharing with Liam. and he might have been reading your texts over my shoulder because i wasn't expecting... that.'

A minute after sending that, his phone rings with a call. Liam still looks a bit dumbstruck, and Niall's wincing as he answers. "'Ello?"

"Please tell me he's not going to tell anyone."

"Nah, this is Liam. But I think I might have broken him. So I'm not sure if you coming over is a good idea...? Maybe I should come to you..."

Liam is reaching for the phone and yanks it out of his hand. "I'm a bit shocked, but I won't tell anyone," he says immediately. Niall can't make out what Justin replies, but he's sure that Justin is freaking out just as much as he is. "No, mate, you can come over. It's fine. I think I'll probably room with Zayn, though, because I don't need to be there for... that."

Niall is blushing again and Liam gives him a wry smile, but Liam's blushing a bit, too. "Yeah, I'm sure. Go ahead." He tells Justin the hotel and room number, and follows it up with, "We're seriously right next to this room, though, so you could keep it down - cool. And one more thing?" Niall doesn't know what he could possibly want to know, and waits curiously. When Liam continues, he really wishes that he hadn't listened. "You're not, like, going to keep Niall a dirty secret, yeah? Because if that's what this is, and you're gonna do the whole ashamed-of-yourself, stringing-him-along thing..."

"Liam!" He doesn't think he's ever blushed a darker shade of red. Seriously. He and Justin aren't even together - they're just friends who happen to be single and kiss occasionally. It's not like it's a thing. He's a tad mortified that Liam just asked Justin that.

Liam laughs a bit uncomfortably. "Yeah, okay. I'm gonna head out so I won't be here when you get here, but I hope you... have fun?"

Niall is considering killing him when Liam hands him the phone, grabs his duffle bag, and practically runs from the room.

"That was seriously the most awkward conversation I've ever had." Niall's inclined to agree, but Justin's moving on before he can respond. "Anyway, I'll be over in twenty?"

"Sounds good. I'll be here?" He practically squeaks out the last bit, making it sound like a question. Justin chuckles at him, surprisingly good natured about the last ten crazy minutes, and hangs up.

Later, when he and Justin are jelly-boned and relaxed in bed, Justin gloriously mostly-naked and Niall uncaringly nude (because while Justin was still a bit shy and uncomfortable with this whole guy thing, he was surprisingly eager about stripping Niall), they're talking under their breath and giggling to each other. Niall is the most relaxed he's been in weeks and he can't keep that stupid grin off his face. Justin seems to find it endearing and doesn't complain, resting his head on Niall's abdomen.

"So," Niall says when they've run out of other topics to stall for time with. "I think I should tell the lads. If you're all right with that."

Justin is closing his eyes, biting his lip again like he does when he's nervous. "I guess it is kind of weird to hide things from guys you're with 24/7."

"Glad you understand." Niall nods at him and Justin manages a bleak smile.

"I guess I really am gay, aren't I?" he sighs and Niall nods somberly. "I'll have to come out to people. Like my mom and stuff."

"She might like to know."

"And my publicist is going to be a bitch. For like, forever."

"Unavoidable side-effect, yeah."

"And at some point, I'll probably have to tell the whole world." Justin winces on that one and Niall can't blame him. He's kind of in the same boat Harry and Louis are. If he and Niall were actually together, he would be in the exact same boat.

And god, does Niall feel badly for him. Coming out to friends and family - that's hard enough. Even worse is that Justin has not only those, but a legion of screaming fans and has no idea how they will react. On top of that, he has all of those overly-harsh critics, people who hate him and judge him without much reason. There's already enough of them in the world; this would inevitably only add more.

Niall avoids thinking about what would happen if this got out, this crush he has on Justin. He refuses to think of the possibility, because if it got out - this thing with Justin, or if they ever actually got together - Niall would be in the boat with him. The thought scares the shit out of him.

The guys, though - his band mates? They're another ballpark, an admittedly easier one. He can handle telling the rest of the guys. Harry will just smile knowingly, and Louis will make fun of him, and Zayn will throw his hands in the air and ask Liam if he's still straight or if Zayn's the only one who's not into blokes. Yeah, he knows they won't react badly.

"It's always your choice," Niall says gently instead of sharing his thoughts. Justin's probably thought of all of that anyway; he doesn't need Niall's thoughts freaking him out even more. "You don't have to come out if you don't want. Except maybe to the guys, because I'm shit at keeping secrets and Liam already knows."

Justin manages a weak chuckle. "Yeah. I guess - it's not really a problem. We could tell the rest of the boys tomorrow, that's all right. I'm just - I can't stay in the closet all my life, Ni. The world will find out eventually. I can't just escape the limelight and then come out. Without being a total douche about it - the entire world knows my name. Pretty much anyone will know me in an instant by taking a glance at my face. I can't just dye my hair and change my name. Eventually - unless I want to be miserable and alone my entire life - I'll have to come out."

"Your choice when, though," Niall reminds him. "Be comfortable with yourself first. You could keep it to yourself, if you wanted. If you don't lie about it if it comes up, but don't make a big announcement, no one would have to know. You could wait until you were happily in a serious relationship and wanted to make it public. It doesn't always have to be some huge announcement, yeah?"

Justin is smiling a little more loosely now, turning his head to press a light kiss to Niall's tummy. "I don't know what I'd do without you." Niall smiles fondly, and sets his hand on Justin's hair to stroke it lightly. He watches Justin fall asleep, his breath evening out, before he wiggles out from under him and maneuvers him into a normal sleeping position. Niall pecks him on the lips lightly before he settles in at his side.

He was right about how the guys would take it, Niall thinks as he watches them laugh in Harry and Louis's hotel room. Justin is pressed into his side, head on Niall's shoulder, and if he didn't know any better, he would have said Justin was asleep. There's a content smile on his face and his heart isn't racing anymore. He's probably as pleased as Niall is about telling everyone.

Except that, Justin hadn't exactly stuck to the plan. He'd actually walked in, pulling Niall behind him, and announced, "So I'm fucking the leprechaun. Problems?" And then, because obviously Justin doesn't think before he speaks, he'd frozen up like an ice sculpture and blushed the brightest shade of pink Niall had ever seen on anyone but himself. "Erm, what I meant to say was, I think I'm probably g-gay -" Niall hadn't teased him for the stutter, and neither had anyone else. "- and Niall and I are kind of fooling around?"

"Well, I never saw this one coming," Louis deadpanned and the entire group had cracked up. Justin's ears were red and he was biting his lower lip again, but his head was cocking to the side in confusion.

"What do you mean?" he'd asked, and before Niall could stop him, Louis was grinning like a maniac and responding.

"Only that he's probably had the biggest crush on you since Baby came out," Louis had responded as sweetly as he could with such an evil expression. Harry, curled in Louis's lap, had smacked him lightly on the shoulder and chided him on telling Niall's secret, but the cat was already out of the bag, so to speak.

Justin had paused, turning to look at a red-faced Niall, and, well, Niall wasn't sure what to do except hiss at Louis, "You're such a prick, Tomlinson!" Louis had burst out laughing and Justin had examined his expression curiously.

Niall wasn't sure what he was going to say, but he wasn't expecting the "I should have known you had ulterior motives!" that Justin had given him with a shit-eating grin on his face. Louis and Harry burst out laughing - though Harry appeared to be trying to hide it under his hand, and was doing a shit job of it. Even Zayn was chuckling under his breath.

"It wasn't like I was trying to get into your pants," Niall grumbled as Justin, still grinning good-naturedly, pulled him over to the couch. "I just had an itty-bitty man crush on you is all."

"Right," Justin had joked and here they are, cuddling on the small couch in the Larry Stylinson hotel room. Now, though, the joking has gone out of Justin's face. "Are you... do you really like me?"

Niall sighs. "Does it surprise you? It's not like I've ever been subtle about thinking you're the greatest thing since sliced bread."

Justin chuckles at that, running a hand through his hair. "No, I guess you haven't." He pauses, then says, "I'm not - I'm not sure how I feel. I really like you, man. I'm just not sure whether it's an I'm-sort-of-gay-and-you're-hot sort of thing or a we're-friends-and-you're-really-great kind of thing. So..."

"I never asked for an admission of undying love," Niall interrupts gravely, a hint of a smirk on his lips. "Don't think you're breaking my heart, Bieber." Justin laughs, and Niall does as well, the subtle tension dissipating. "Seriously, though. We're friends, and we have pretty great sexy times. So don't sweat it, yeah?"

Justin nods, and leans in to kiss him lightly. He's getting a lot better at doing that without being shy about it, even if his eyes open and dart around to make sure everyone else isn't paying attention. "Friends with benefits, then? Until we get things sorted?"

"Fuck buddies sounds great," Niall agrees bluntly and Justin pulls away with a snort. "Don't you laugh at me, Bieber - like 'friends with benefits' was classier at all -"

Two months later finds Niall in Justin's bed.

Niall hadn't been too sure about the whole gay sex thing, but, well, it's pretty damn great. He'd been sort of shocked when he'd shown up at Justin's place for a visit and found him grinning in the doorway with lube and cherry-flavored condoms and he'd definitely been unsure about it until he was on his knees with two of Justin's fingers pressed against his prostate (he was pretty sure that Justin had actually done research on the subject, which both aroused and worried him).

Now, though, he's just really fucking hard. Justin is too damn good at teasing for a beginner, brushing his fingers lightly over where Niall really wanted them, in and out, never picking up an actual rhythm. No, Niall's not an expert in this (though he's definitely not going to tell Justin that he's about to steal his ass-virginity, hell to the no), but he knows what Justin's doing. Justin knows what Justin's doing, laughing under his breath at Niall's high-pitched whines as he turns Niall into a mess. Logically, he knows that Justin shouldn't be this good and that part of the reason he's so worked up is because he hasn't had sex in what feels like forever. It's a little different, because he's the one receiving instead of giving, but he's still hard as a rock and about to get fucked, so he doesn't figure it matters which way he's getting it.

"Way hotter than Selena," Justin says against his hip and Niall groans out a little laugh.

"Thanks for that," Niall manages, his voice croaky and a little wrecked. Understandably. Justin's been at this for half an hour, worked his way up to four fingers and he hasn't once touched Niall's cock. "Just what I needed to hear about in bed. Selena Gomez."

With a raised eyebrow, Justin presses a finger into his fucking prostate and makes anything he might have said cut off with a keen, rocking back into his hand.

"You're a prick," Niall growls, a little out of breath, when Justin's fingers retreat and he's left uncomfortably empty, hole gaping and begging for something to fill it. Justin is watching his arse, biting his lip with a gleam in his eyes.

"Look at you," Justin murmurs, reaching down to spread Niall's cheeks apart with his hands. He teases the rim with his thumb, letting it sink in to the knuckle. Niall groans shamelessly, wanting more and knowing that a thumb, after that, is definitely not enough. "God, you really are so fucking hot. Fuck. Where did I put the..." He trails off, pulling his thumb out to reach to the bedside table.

"Forget the condoms," Niall hisses at him, face red, too damn eager. "Unless you have a disease I don't know about, just do it already!"

Justin smirks down at him, but stops reaching. "Niall. Didn't your mom ever teach you about safe sex?"

Niall glares at him as witheringly as he can with the energy he's got. "I'm clean, you're clean - I assume - so why bother with a condom? Seriously, I don't have the patience for that -" It's a miracle if Justin understands a word he's saying because his accent is so strong right now, words a jumble of thick Irish. He's an intelligible leprechaun right now as Louis would put it, but Justin is rolling his eyes and Niall gets a little distracted by a bead of sweat that rolls down the side of Justin's face, too distracted to continue.

He doesn't need to, however, because the blunt head of a cock - Justin's cock, his idol's cock - is pressed against his entrance and he shudders and drops his head, neck bared. Justin's being too cautious, an inch every couple seconds or so, and even though Niall knows that yeah, it's probably a good idea for Justin to go slow since neither of them really have any experience in this, he still wants Justin to just fuck him.

He relays this to his - friend? fuck buddy? - and gets a snort in response before Justin sinks into him the last couple inches. His cock is pressed right up against his prostate and Niall actually gasps out loud, feeling full and still so fucking aroused but it's okay because Justin is rocking his hips, pulling out almost completely before rocking back in and, so, yeah. Niall can understand why Selena stuck with him for so long because he's pretty damn amazing in bed. Or so Niall assumes because they've been at it for half an hour and he's enjoying it quite a bit. A huge part of it is probably how attentive he is - or maybe it's just with Niall, but he's not going to dwell on it.

He knows that this won't last long. They've both been hard since forever and to be honest, Niall's a little surprised they've made it this long without coming. Justin's wound up just as tightly as he is, maybe more so, but he's obviously holding back, fucking into Niall slow and deep, to the point where Niall is squirming and making these little sounds of pleasure every time Justin's cock brushes against his prostate. They've paused just long enough to maneuver Niall onto his back, and then Justin was back inside of him, filling him up and driving him mad.

He has a feeling that Justin could really fuck him if he wanted, but he doesn't, just goes slow. Their bodies are rocking together, skin sweat-slick and so hot, and Niall doesn't think he can take it. He'd expected a lot after all of that teasing and never would have considered this 'a lot', but he definitely does now. He's hypersensitive and his mouth is dry. This is almost too sensual for him, so much more than a quick fuck, and it might go on for ages or a few minutes before the coiling in his belly is too tight to handle and he's gripping at Justin like a lifeline. One hand is on Justin's back, and his fingers are digging into the skin there, impossible to get a grip on because of how slick their skin really was.

"Justin," he groans and Justin nods, his face pressed into Niall's neck, and it's that - the brush of Justin's lips against his fever-hot skin - that pushes him over the edge. He tenses, then he comes with a cry that really shouldn't be so loud but is anyway. Justin rocks against him, two, three more thrusts and he makes sure his cock is buried deep inside Niall's body when he let out a low fuck against Niall's neck and floods his body with come.

"We're definitely doing that again," Niall announces ten minutes later, having finally caught his breath. Justin grins at him and rolls over, back on top of him, and this time, Justin kisses him as he fits himself neatly inside of Niall's willing body.

It's another two months and Justin has finally asked him to be his boyfriend - which had of course backfired a little bit, with Niall singing Boyfriend around his apartment and Justin groaning pitifully in his bed. Still, there's a smile on his face and Niall is grinning ear to ear, not even trying to hide it. He shoots off a quick text to Liam, knowing that he'll inform the rest of the guys, and returns to bed, kissing Justin hard and proceeding to ride him enthusiastically to make up for his teasing.

Coming out hadn't exactly been a planned thing, even though Louis and Harry had begged them to when they did (which had gone over rather well, all things considered, especially with Eleanor vouching for their relationship, as unexpected as that was to pretty much the entire fan base).

It wasn't even anyone's fault - just an observant fan on Tumblr who had noticed a particular tattoo on his left hip and fuck, he'd kind of forgotten about that when he'd decided to go swimming when they visited the beach. He'd gotten it for Justin's birthday, who had just laughed loudly - but of course, the way he'd sucked Niall off (albeit a little sloppily; he was still improving) and fucked him into the mattress betrayed how pleased he was by the gesture.

Management had tried to pass it off as a drunk hero-worship thing, but to everyone's surprise, Justin had been the one to release a press statement outing them. He'd been scared to death - understandably - but he'd done it, and now Niall had done at least eight interviews almost entirely about his and Justin's relationship and he was kind of tired of talking about it because Justin and his relationship was supposed to be for them, not the entire world.

Still, he can't help but think it's a little cute when he sees fans on the internet squealing over a picture of them holding hands, or sharing a quick kiss.

"Seriously, though - does this bother you?" Justin had asked him once, and Niall had rolled his eyes, and leaned over to press a kiss to the corner of his mouth.

"I never asked for this..." he started, giggling a bit when Justin's eyes had dropped to the comforter on his bed. "... but does it look like I'm complaining?" A small smile had curled Justin's pink lips upward, and Niall took it for a no.

I'm a little upset that I can write this in two days with barely any time to write, but it takes me a month to update Teddy Bear Troubles. Sorry, guys! I promise that I've worked on it; I plan to have it up within the week. Be patient with me!