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Fic - Three Cheers for Involuntary Attraction
Sam holds his tongue
checkthemargins
Title: Three Cheers for Involuntary Attraction
Author: checkthemargins
Fandom: One Direction
Pairing: Nick Grimshaw/Louis Tomlinson
Rating: NC-17
Disclaimer: I do not own this band, or the people in it, or anything at all having to do with it. This is just for kicks. No harm intended.
Word Count: 7869
Warnings: sex, language, schmoop
Summary: The one where Nick is accidentally dating Louis.
Author's Note: I have leapt onto the love-hate Tomlinshaw bandwagon and can't even stop. I already have this ones sequel in the works. I don't even know. My life is ridiculous. Thank you so much obstinatrix and lazy_daze for the beta and Brit-pick!


Three Cheers for Involuntary Attraction

In all sincerity—as sincere as Nick ever gets, anyway—Louis Tomlinson is intensely pleasant to be around. He's beautiful and compact in an unforgivably appealing way, with nice thick thighs and a truly spectacular bum. He has sharp blue eyes and delicate features and he always smells like clean boy and expensive, subtle cologne and his hair looks soft and perfectly coiffed at all times and his smile is like sunshine. He is, without doubt, one of the loveliest things that Nick has ever seen.

Until, of course, he opens his goddamned mouth.

Nick's spent the last half hour venting in the aftermath of Louis's appearance at the studio with Greg. Nick isn't even sure why he stayed. He had far better things to do than watch Louis Tomlinson be charmingly cheeky on air and an aloof prick off. But he'd stayed, and watched, and bickered with him when he was snotty and left afterwards feeling both frustrated and oddly aroused.

"I think you should proposition him," Harry advises distractedly.

He's at his flat with Harry now, fondly watching him look through Nick's LP collection. Harry is incapable of lifting his feet all the way up when he walks around Nick's house and shuffling around the carpet in only socks is causing him to repeatedly shock himself anytime he touches another record. He jumps and swears every time it happens. It's frightfully endearing.

"Proposition him with what?" Nick asks grumpily. Louis played the piano in the studio today; Nick can't quite get it out of his head.

"With a shag," Harry answers. "Can I borrow this?"

"Sure," Nick replies, waving a dismissive hand at the record Harry's pulled from the shelf. "And if only that would help. The stick up his arse probably can't even be fucked out of him."

Harry pads back across the room and stretches out on his front on the floor in front of the sofa and rests his chin on his folded arms.

"Well, I think it would do you both some good to get laid, even if it's grumpy angry sex. He's barely spoken to me in months and you need to work your aggression out on something. Might as well be his arse, mm?"

"I can't believe how long he's holding this grudge against you," Nick comments mildly, and he nudges Harry in the side with his foot, feeling a bit bad for him, though God only knows how less of Louis could be a bad thing.

"I don't even think it's him holding a grudge," Harry sighs sadly, dropping his chin onto his folded arms. He's precious, big doe eyes and curls and just enough naiveté to make Nick want to wrap him in a blanket and bake him pie and promise him the world will never hurt him. "I think I just hurt his feelings—"

"You moved into your own house!" Nick says, overly loud and exasperated. "All five of you have piles and piles of money and there's absolutely no reason for two of you to be sharing a flat. How did that hurt his feelings?"

Harry carries on as though Nick hasn't spoken at all, "—and now he's got all these defense mechanisms going and he's walking on eggshells around me. When we try to talk it usually ends up with him being unbearably polite and a bit crazy and Liam has to intervene before Lou rambles himself off a cliff. He's really quite messed up in the head. I think a nice thorough dicking would be healthy for him."

"He's a jealous spoilt brat," says Nick. And then, recklessly, "Were you shagging, or something? Is he a jilted lover?"

Harry laughs, curls bouncing. He turns onto his back and flops about fish-like until he finds a comfortable position. Nick is ninety-nine percent sure that Harry and Louis never slept together, but the angst that Harry moving has caused seems to imply otherwise.

"You're not serious," Harry says, catching the look on Nick's face. Nick frowns at him and cocks an eyebrow and Harry sits up, looking scandalized. "No, we were not shagging! God, Nicholas, you could've asked before if you were curious."

Nick shrugs. "I find you very intriguing and mysterious, young Harold. I savor my questions."

Harry rolls his eyes. "He and I weren't ever anything like that. Not that he's not completely shagable. Anyone would be lucky to have him."

"Mm. I suppose. He's dating that model girl, yeah?"

"Oh, no," says Harry. "That ended. El was being harassed too much. And anyway, they were never actually together. It was more of a suggestion from management. Lou's gay."

It's not as though Nick didn't know. His gaydar works just fine, thank you. But he wasn't sure if Louis knew and having it confirmed is a bit strange and tingly. "Well."

Harry grins a little, but then looks doleful and sad again. "I miss him."

"I know you do," Nick says, and opens his arms when Harry climbs up onto the sofa next to him for a cuddle. Harry's curls are soft and he smells like strawberry shampoo and if Nick didn't feel so bad for him he'd give him shit for it. "Why don't you invite him to my Halloween thing?"

Harry lifts his head off Nick's chest slowly, blinks up at him with dopey eyes. "Really? You'd let him in your house?"

"Fuck no, it's at the studio. But he can come. Maybe he just wants to be included."

"Maybe."

"Because God forbid he not be the center of everyone's attention for even a second."

"He's wonderful," Harry says, and smacks a kiss to Nick's cheek. "You'll love him if you give him a chance. I've been telling him the same about you but he's such—"

"A fucking brat?"

Harry beams at him and untangles himself, kissing Nick's cheek on his way up. "I'm going to ring him now, invite him round for tea."

"It's ten thirty!" Nick says, wide-eyed as Harry runs around collecting his things, the DVDs Nick borrowed from him a few weeks back and the record he's borrowing.

"I know!" Harry says belatedly, stuffing his feet into his shoes at the front door. "He'll come over."

Nick can't believe he's being abandoned in his hour of need. He's not finished complaining yet. "He hates your house!"

"Defense mechanisms!" Harry calls, already out the door.

After he's gone, Nick turns on the television and watches fourteen minutes of Here Comes Honey Boo Boo, and then boots up his laptop and watches the Behind the Scenes for One Direction's new video. Zayn and Niall are very hot and Liam is gorgeous and Harry charming. Louis looks like his mother chose his clothes for him one morning before school. Possibly ordered from a Lands End catalogue. They all look quite smashing drenched from head to toe.

He watches it three times. There's something very wrong with him.

At one-seventeen in the morning, just as he's about to go to sleep, he gets a text from Harry: he's said hell between and he's staying tonite! Xx

What? Nick texts back. Harry answers right away. Sry autocorrect lou will go to Halloween and he's sleeping over tonite im so happy ty grimmy I owe you

Nick rolls his eyes and gets into bed.





He has a lovely, Louis Tomlinson free life for the next three weeks. He hangs with a much happier Harry all the time and goes clubbing with his friends and does his show and he's very nearly forgotten that Louis exists until he's sitting at a table with Pixie and Henry and Harry at his Halloween party and is on his third drink.

The studio basement looks phenomenal, and it's very crowded with all of his dearest mates and a lot of other people that he quite honestly doesn't know. It's loud and comfortable and his zombie costume is quite literally the single most amazing thing on the planet, though the prosthetics on his face are a little uncomfortable.

Harry, across from him, makes a very compelling werewolf, though he looks rather more like a domesticated dog with his eyes huge and his bottom lip tucked between his fake incisors as he turns his head continuously to look at the front entrance.

"Would you stop? I'm sure he'll be here."

"It's been over an hour."

"You said that you two are bros again. I don't see why you're so worri—"

"Oh sweet and holy mother of God," Harry says suddenly, eyes locking on something over Nick's shoulder and his mouth open.

"Hey Hazza," a voice says brightly behind him, and Nick turns around and nearly chokes on his drink.

He's going to kill him. He's going to wrap his hands around Louis's pretty neck and squeeze squeeze squeeze until his lovely blue eyes pop right out of his pop star head.

Louis is wearing skinny black jeans, a white t-shirt, a very, very familiar leather jacket and has his hair gelled into a tall quiff. Nick, reacting only in horror, finds himself reaching up involuntarily and pushing at the lapel of the jacket to see the sticker on the chest of the t-shirt. It says "HELLO, MY NAME IS: Nick Grimshaw</i>.

Harry's little fucking twink of a friend dressed up as him for Halloween.

"Oh my God," Pixie says, and she sounds so utterly delighted that he'd quite like to kill her too. She starts to laugh so hard she's wheezing and Louis looks incredibly pleased.

"Thanks for the invitation, Nick," he says politely. "The party is lovely."

Nick can't speak. Pixie is batting her hand at him as she composes herself. "Oh my God. Nick. I love him. I love him so much. Let's adopt him and keep him forever."

Louis grins at her in an entirely filthy way and makes his way over to Harry, who stands up and Nick can just tell that he's trying not to laugh. Louis wraps him into a hug that looks overly possessive and intimate, leaving his hand on the small of Harry's back when he pulls away. "Your costume is amazing. How long did it take?"

"About an hour and a half," Harry answers. Nick's hand clenches with the overwhelming need to strangle something. "Lou, I can't believe you."

"What?" Louis says innocently. Harry reaches up to delicately brush his hand over the top of Louis's quiff, and then he fingers the nametag on Louis's t-shirt.

"This looks exactly like his signature."

"Zayn made it for me. Perfect, isn't it."

"I thought you said you were going to be something, y'know. Scary."

Louis looks right at Nick, eyes actually sparkling with demonic energy. "But I did, babe. I couldn't think of anything more horrifying." He turns his attention back to Harry. "Join me for a drink?"

Harry's face is twisted so obviously that it's even worse than if he'd just let himself laugh. He sends Nick an apologetic look and lets Louis lead him over to the bar. Nick watches them go, only focusing on Pixie when she snaps her fingers in front of his face. She leans back in her chair, looking gorgeous and calm and still very amused.

The thing is, it's funny. It's funny, and clever, and if it were anyone—anyone—but Louis Tomlinson, he'd have laughed. He might've been a little embarrassed still, but he'd have laughed, probably paraded around the room with whichever one of his friends had done it, posed for pictures and put them up on Twitter. But it's Louis, and Nick is furious.

"Hell hath no fury like a boybander scorned," Pixie sing-songs, grinning into her drink.

"He's horrible."

"He's darling," she corrects. "And he really, really doesn't like you one bit."

Nick is going to need significantly more alcohol to handle this.

For the sake of his love for Harry, he does his best to let it go. He takes the ribbing from his friends with a good-natured smile and he even manages to hold his tongue when Louis makes his general snappish comments on the age difference between he and Harry and how very good he is at being friends with famous people.

He's impressed that he lasts as long as he does, but at after nearly three hours he catches sight of Louis in a corner with a group of Nick's friends, and he's not even doing anything. He's smiling and there's nothing conniving in it, it's genuine and unbearably sweet, and just the sight of it makes Nick snap.

"'Scuse," he says, after making his way to them. He grips Louis by the arm and smiles tightly at his friends, wiggling his eyebrows inappropriately. "I need to have a bit of a confrontation with myself."

Louis looks like he wants to laugh, but doesn't, and he willingly allows Nick to drag him up a flight of stairs and into the studio Nick hosts his show from every morning.

"What's with all the manhandling?" he gripes, but it's half-hearted, and when Nick looks at him Louis looks ready for a fight, hands clenching and unclenching at his sides, a somewhat manic smirk on his face. Nick tears the prosthetic jaw off his face and drops it on the desk. The glue is still on his skin, as is the make up from his top up to his forehead. Louis quirks an eyebrow.

"Something you'd like to say, love?"

"You," Nick points for emphasis. "Are a horrible, insufferable cunt."

"Bite your tongue!" Louis says. "Lady parts make me queasy."

"I have never wanted to hit someone so much before in my life."

"That's not very nice of you. Aren't all you unbearable hipsters pacifists?"

"Just because you're so threatened, or whatever the bleeding fuck you are, by my friendship with Harry—"

"What's there to be threatened about?" Louis cuts him off, his mellow smartarse persona cracking like ice. He's angry now. "You're clearly a phase."

Nick explodes. "You petty little arsehole! You've been an absolute knob to me since the day we met, and Harry hadn't even moved out of your damn flat yet. You and I have literally not spoken outside of his company before and I'm quite certain I've never said any of the many, many offensive things I've thought about you before. The only thing I can think of is that you're jealous. Are you in love with him?"

"No!" Louis answers at once, and even though he's breathing hard and a bit over-emphatic, Nick doesn't think he's lying. The gel and hairspray are starting to fail, and Louis's abysmal quiff is falling. He rolls his eyes at Nick in such a disrespectful, petulant manner that Nick wouldn't have thought it possible if he hadn't seen it. "Jesus, no. You're such a fucking drama queen, Grimshaw, honestly."

"Then what the hell is wrong with you? Either get over yourself or get out, because this whole thing with you is upsetting Harry and as I'm apparently the only one that actually cares about—"

"Don't you fucking dare," Louis growls, livid. "You don't know a fucking thing about me and Harry."

"Then tell me! If you're going to be such an unbearable bitch you could at least explain what it is I've done to deserve this attitude of yours."

"He's my best mate!" Louis explodes. "And it sucks when your best mate goes out and gets a new best mate. It's an unwritten loophole in the code of civility that I get to treat you like the holier-than-thou sanctimonious wanker with his head stuck in his sphincter from the years and years of talking out of his arse that you are."

Nick stares at him for a long time, and then rubs a hand over his mouth and shifts his weight from one foot to the other.

"Shit," he says, because what else is there to say to something like that? Louis looks bright-eyed and angry and hurt and gorgeous. Nick closes the distance between them and grips Louis's chin to tilt his face up and kisses him. It lasts all of four seconds before Louis shoves him back, looking shocked and hot. Nick stumbles, but Louis's fingers curl into his torn blazer and keep him upright and close.

"What the hell're you doing?" he demands. His breath is warm and smells like mint and vodka.

"If I have to spell it out for you, maybe it's not such a good ide—"

He's cut off quite abruptly by Louis's mouth on his again, and Christ but the little shit can kiss. He's clearly just as passionate about sex as he is about hating Nick and horrible music and pastel trousers. He licks and bites his way into Nick's mouth and Nick sucks on his tongue and slides his hands beneath Louis's leather jacket and fits his fingers into the gaps between his ribs, palms at the small of Louis's back with the other hand to haul him in closer. Louis is so small. It's startling considering how fucking loud he is all the time. He fits easily into the frame of Nick's body and a sudden vision from God of hauling Louis around, picking him up by the scruff of his neck and slamming him into the wall makes Nick moan.

Louis is all hands, fingers in Nick's hair and scrunching up the back of his blazer, pushing up under his shirt to touch his sides and skittering up over his shoulders just to claw at his back again. He kisses with his whole body. Nick is still angry and a bit drunk and even as he presses his tongue into Louis's mouth and laps at the vodka clinging to the backs of his teeth he's taking a vindictive sort of glee in knowing that this is quite possibly the worst idea he's ever had and still having every intention of going through with it anyway.

He palms Louis's perfect arse and down his thigh to hitch his leg up until Louis gets the hint and lets Nick lift him up, both his legs winding around Nick's waist, his back pressed against the wall and Nicks arms folded under his bum. Nick bites sharply at Louis's bottom lip, grinds into him and Louis moans hotly, tangles his fingers in Nick's hair. Nick isn't exactly Arnold Schwarzenegger, but Louis is pretty light and it's only a few steps backwards to get to his chair. He drops into it, swears when it jars Louis against him, and immediately goes about tugging that damn jacket off Louis's arms. Louis's repositioning himself, getting his knees on either side of Nick's hips and Nick has to get an arm around his waist to make sure he doesn't fall.

"I really, really, really fucking hate you," Louis gasps, each 'really' punctuated with sharp little teeth sinking into Nick's neck. He's going to have a love bite the size of his fist tomorrow. He mouths his way down Louis's jaw, nips at the hinge.

"Feeling's very mutual, darling."

Louis's arms are toned and warm against Nick's hands and he starts pawing at Nick's trousers, their mouths fused together again. Nick's lips feel bruised and Louis tastes heady and good. Nick groans when Louis gets his trousers undone and shoves his hand inside under Nick's boxer-briefs and around his cock.

"Fuck," Louis swears, wetting his lips, his forehead pressed to Nick's shoulder so he can see his hand work. Nick's hard and precome is smearing over the head and this feels ducking marvelous. He barely gets Louis's trousers unbuttoned before Louis's batting his hands out of the way and dropping off Nick's lap and onto his knees.

"Knew your mouth could be put to better use," Nick breathes, winces when he realizes now really isn't the time to piss Louis off anymore because if he's denied that mouth he's not sure he'll survive the night. But Louis just tells him to shut up, tugs at Nick's pants and trousers when Nick lifts his hips to let them slide down. His dick is aching, his balls throbbing. He hasn't had sex in weeks and Louis Tomlinson is on his knees for him.

Louis doesn't waste anymore time, just looks up at Nick through his stupidly long eyelashes and opens his pretty mouth and sinks it down over Nick's cock. It's graceless and glorious, hot and wet and tight and soft, Louis's tongue running all along the vein on the underside, teasing at the crown and then jabbing into the slit at the tip. He cups Nick's balls with one hand and squeezes gently and Nick swears weakly. He cups the back of Louis's neck, thumbs through the hair at the base of his skull. Louis grips his hip, fingernails digging in, and closes his eyes and takes Nick all the way in until the head hits the back of his throat and Nick can feel the flutter of muscle around it as Louis swallows.

"Jesus fucking hell," he gasps breathlessly, trying really damn hard not to rock his hips up. Louis's face is buried between his legs, rising and falling as he sucks Nick's cock and his hair is damp with product and sweat and his lips are stretched so wide and Nick can't even breathe through the pleasure. When he comes, he touches Louis's throat to feel him swallow and grunts weakly when Louis hums, pleased, like it feels good.

And because Louis's kind of a prick he keeps going, sucking at him until Nick has to shove him off because he's too sensitive. Louis falls back on his arse, lies back on the studio floor to shimmy the tight trousers down over his ass and spread his legs a bit. Nick slides out of the chair and onto his knees, hitches his own trousers up, tucks himself back in. Louis's dick is thick and hard and slick with precome. Nick lowers himself down on top of him and gets him in his hand and starts to jerk him roughly. Louis's noisy, demands and 'fuck' and 'yes yes yes'. Nick palms over the head and cups Louis's cheek in the other hand and kisses him hungrily, tastes himself in Louis's mouth.

Louis doesn’t last much longer, too wound up. Nick shoves his shirt up, lowers his head to bite harshly at one of Louis's nipples and Louis arches his back and comes with a loud cry, spilling hotly over Nick's hand and his own stomach.

They lie there catching their breath for a few minutes, Louis's chest heaving under Nick's cheek.

"This doesn't change anything," Louis says eventually. He shoves at Nick's head until Nick picks himself up. Louis's hair is a wreck from Nick's fingers, but it just makes him look better. Louis puts himself back together and grabs his jacket off the floor, pulls it back on. Nick finds a paper towel under his desk and wipes his hand off before doing up his trousers and standing up.

"Never dreamed it would," he says.

Louis tilts his head, studies him for a second and then nods. "Right," he says, and leaves, back to the party downstairs, Nick watching his arse as he goes.





Nick rings Harry to see if he wants to get lunch the Friday after Halloween.

"Incorrigible!" Harry shouts upon answering. "Hi Nick!"

"Erm. Hello," Nick says delicately. And then he hears Louis's voice in the background, also shouting, but not so near the phone.

"I-N-C-O-R-R-I-G-I-B-L-E. Haz, you saucy trollop!"

"Correct!" Harry shouts happily, and then Nick hears the sound of turning pages and the unmistakable sound of Niall's voice, though he has no idea what he's saying.

"I'm somewhat afraid to ask," he tells Harry.

"The other boys are over. Lou's bet us collectively twenty quid that he can spell any word we choose out of the dictionary within thirty minutes."

"Of course he has. How's he doing?"

"He owes us three hundred and twenty-nine pounds."

"Three hundred and twenty-nine?"

"The extra nine are for cheek."

Nick rubs at his chin. "I was going for lunch. You and your lads interested?"

He doesn't really want to go with the rest of the band. He likes them well enough but it's more comfortable with just Harry. Still, he'd rather hang with him than not, so he'll compromise.

"Oh!" Harry says happily, and Nick imagines he can hear his stomach grumbling. "Lunch sounds wonderful. Let me ask them."





After Harry, Nick likes Liam best. He's a loyal, loveable puppy with fiercely protective instincts and the most adorable tendency to blush at anything even subtly inappropriate. So at the Chinese restaurant, he sits between Liam and Harry and directly across from Zayn, and pretends not to be totally taken in by Louis, on Zayn's left, wearing glasses.

"Poor Lou's got a headache, so he's giving his eyes a break from his lenses," Harry had told him immediately, as though Nick needed to know, squeezing Louis around the shoulders and stroking his hair lovingly.

It's unfair how attractive he is in them. It's doubly unfair that this irritating pain in the arse seems to fit into every single one of Nick's fetishes. Nick would quite like to lick him.

"I love this place," Niall says, smiling hugely and looking around the dining room in a very fond manner. There is a truly giant Buddha statue in the center. It's a quirky, classy spot and Nick's very fond of it himself. "We should come here more often."

Liam frowns. "Then it would lose its novelty. We'd get used to it."

"I would never get used to it," says Niall, scandalized. "It's a good place. Even Nick likes it."

Nick, for his part, can't actually believe that this is a conversation and that he's been made a part of it. Niall starts to make bad kung fu hand motions. Nick wants to make a joke about Mr. Dumpling, but then remembers that all these boys are too young to have ever seen Sidekicks, and even if they had were probably more interested in Chuck Norris than Jonathan Brandis.

"What're you up to the rest of the day?" Harry asks him, slumped forward with his elbow on the table and his cheek resting in his hand. He looks very sleepy. "You should come back to mine after this. We're going to watch a few films."

"Oh?" That could be fun. He hasn't seen a good film in ages.

"The Fast and the Furious," Niall says, looking delighted. "All five of them."

Nick is entirely incapable of controlling the expression on his face, and Zayn laughs at him. "It'll be fun, mate. There'll be drinks."

"I like Tokyo Drift best."

"You would," Zayn tells Liam.

Harry shakes his head lethargically. "I like the last one, where he's after revenge on the guy that killed his girlfriend."

"That's the fourth one," says Niall.

"No, no, Haz's right. It's the fifth one."

"It is not! The fifth one is when they break him out of prison!"

"But then he goes after the guy that killed his girlfriend!"

"I listened to your show this morning," Louis says loudly over the rest of them, effectively ending the argument. He's leaning into Zayn, playing with his hair, and Zayn is tilting his head into it without realizing it, casually holding onto Louis's other hand in order to protect his nipples. Louis is looking right at Nick. He's wearing braces over his t-shirt.

"Did you?" Nick asks him with polite disinterest. He's stirring his straw through his soda, listening to the ice clink against the side of the glass. "What did you think?"

"It was...cute," Louis says, lips pulling into a slow smile, and all at once Nick feels the quick boiling irritation thrum through him. He'd like to wipe that stupid smirk off Louis's pretty face. He's really not a violent person.

"Cute like singing back-up in a boy band?" He's very proud of himself for not making a sound when Harry stomps on his foot, and he's even more proud of himself at the mutinous look Louis shoots him.

"I caught a bit of it too," Liam says quickly. "It was good. Emma Watson was charming. Oh thank God, our food is here."

Niall and Zayn laugh, and there's a lot of general chatter and clanging as dishes and silverware are divvied out. Louis is still looking at Nick though, lips wrapped around his straw, and he's got the same expression on his face that he had on Halloween night.

After lunch, in the face of Harry's big green eyes, Nick can't think of a good enough reason to not go over to Harry's and suffer through nine hours of movies about cars crashing into each other. He's walking with Harry a bit behind the other four. Liam is carrying Louis on his back and all four of them are being boisterously loud about something related to football. Niall says something that makes the others laugh, Louis's head thrown back and his smile blinding.

"I think Lou is quite smitten with you," Harry says, voice quiet and amused. Nick quirks an eyebrow at him.

"Why would you think that?"

"Because he's having too much fun pushing your buttons. He likes to get a reaction out of you."

"He's just a filthy little attention whore."

"I saw you two come back downstairs on Wednesday," Harry says, and Nick is proud of himself for not reacting, though that just gives him away all the more, and Harry huffs a laugh. "I told you you two needed was to shag."

"We didn't shag. We just—"

Harry makes a face. "I really don't need details. You should ask him out on a date."

Nick hasn't had the heart to tell Harry what Louis said in the studio the other night about exactly why Louis likes pushing all of Nick's buttons. It would only make him feel guilty and it's out of his control, anyway. Louis is too stubborn and wouldn't believe it if Harry crawled on his knees and cried with how much he loves him best, and besides, Nick figures it's a part of life. Louis had a best mate before that was probably hurt by Louis's friendship with Harry. It's not like there's really anything to solve. And even if there was, it's none of his business.

"I don't think smitten is the right word for it," he says.

"Well, he's been talking about you quite a lot. Must've been some not-a-shag."

Nick gives Harry a look, ignoring the bit of himself that squirms, pleased, at the thought of Louis talking about him. Harry smiles and Nick shakes his head. "I am not going to date your cheeky little monster. He's too young and too obnoxious and I'd kill him before appetizers."

"He's quite pretty, though, right?"

Louis is back on his own feet and appears to be deep in conversation with Liam, rubbing idly at the back of his head. Liam says something that makes Louis smile and Nick sighs. "Yes. He's very pretty."

"I'm just saying you have options."

"Harry."

"Just think about it," Harry says, and jogs over to the other boys, launching himself at Zayn, who squawks but keeps his footing and tosses Harry over his shoulder and smacks his arse soundly. Nick can't believe how homoerotic this band is.

Louis turns around to look at Nick, an eyebrow raised. "Are you stuck in your own elitism back there or something? Catch up!"

Nick makes a face and Louis's eyes narrow, his lips pulling into a smirk. He waits for Nick to catch them up. "Sorry, angel," he coos, winding an arm around Louis's waist and dropping a kiss to his hair, grinning as Louis squirms away.

"Fuck off," Louis says cheerfully, in his ridiculous polka-dot braces and glasses. Still slung over Zayn's shoulder, Harry is giving him a thumbs up. Nick ignores him.




Harry's house appeals to Nick in every possible way. It's just big enough, without a lot of superfluous nonsense and it has a nice vintage feel. It's old and haunted and has so much character. He feels comfortable in it. That and the truly admirable selection of alcohol available is the only thing that might get Nick through the afternoon.

Harry fusses over Louis, because his head hurts, and Louis looks appropriately solemn and indulgent, getting Harry to make him tea and bring him biscuits while Liam collects a blanket for him to curl up in. Nick pours himself some wine and prays for patience.

Once Louis is tucked into one corner of the cushy sofa with his tea, the other boys get their drinks and Nick sits down in the comfortable armchair, safe from the inevitable cuddles that will happen with all five of them crowded together. A small end table separates him from Louis, and the sound of glass breaking in the kitchen makes them both jump.

"That might be a new record," says Louis. Niall is laughing, and Zayn and Harry are arguing over whose fault it was and Liam is making heartfelt apologies to Harry for the accident, which likely had nothing to do with him. Louis looks deeply fond of them all. "They're not even drunk yet."

"I'm surprised you're not with them. I don't think I've ever seen you at a party sober before."

Louis cocks an eyebrow. "What are you implying?"

"That you are a filthy, selfish alcoholic who drinks because he doesn't love himself."

Louis laughs, once, like he can't help it, and Nick feels like he's just won something. Louis clears his throat primly and tries to subdue his smile, sipping at his tea. "That was mean."

"What was mean? Nick, are you being mean to him?" Harry asks, loping into the room from the kitchen, the rest of the band not far behind, all with drinks in hand.

"Yes," Louis answers. "He's being dreadful to me and I'm ill, Hazza."

Harry sets his glass down and curls up next to Louis, tittering lovingly and checking Louis's forehead for signs of fever until Louis laughs and pushes his hands away. They're children. Children. Nick doesn't even know what has become of his life that he's sitting here witnessing this. Niall squeezes in between Harry and Louis, and Zayn and Liam have a brief but violent tussle over who gets the other corner seat. Liam ends up letting Zayn win, because he's too nice for his own good, and Harry finds the remote control to his Playstation 3 to turn the movie on.

Nick falls asleep somewhere between the fourth film and the fifth one and wakes up with his neck aching just after midnight. Vin Diesel and The Rock are on the screen arguing with each other, but it's notably silent beyond that. He straightens up, winces and rubs at his neck and rolls his eyes at the pile of sleeping boys on the sofa.

Zayn is sprawled across their laps and Harry has Niall tucked under his arm and his head buried against Liam's chest. Liam's head is tilted back and his mouth open and he has one hand curled in Louis's t-shirt and the other resting on Zayn's head in his lap. Louis is turned away from the rest of him, knees pulled up and head tilted at an awkward angle into the corner of the sofa. He's still got his glasses on. Nick reaches over to pull them off carefully, flicking Louis's fringe out of the way. He folds them neatly and sets them on the end table next to Louis's empty teacup.

He yawns as he rises, stretches, and pads past the kitchen and down the hall to the bathroom. He's too old for sleeping in chairs, and Harry has several perfectly nice guest rooms, but tomorrow is Saturday and he'd like to have a lie-in and he's not sure he's up to dealing with five teenagers in the morning. His own bed sounds wonderful.

He's just washing his hands when the door opens and nearly gives him a fucking heart attack. Louis steps in, takes one look at him standing there with his hand over his racing heart, obviously startled, and grins cheekily. "'lo, Nick. Did I scare you?"

"Do you always just waltz into rooms when the door is closed?" Nick asks him.

"There are no secrets among true friends," Louis says sagely. Nick quirks an eyebrow at him. Louis shrugs. "I was hoping to catch you with your pants down."

Nick, rather childishly flicks water at Louis with his still-wet fingers before reaching for a hand towel. Louis blinks, wide-eyed and a bit sleep-slow, and makes a face. Nick frowns at him. "You know, I see you out there sleeping and I remember how good you are with your mouth and I think, hey, maybe he's not so bad. And then you start talking and I recall what an obnoxious little brat you are."

Louis rolls his eyes and puts his hands on his hips. He looks like Peter Pan. "I really don't like you very much." He sounds like Peter Pan.

"My heart," says Nick. "It bleeds. I'm holding back tears. Please leave before I embarrass myself."

"You're entitled and an absolute knob and your hipster chic is appalling."

"As opposed to your ode to pastels, which are the height of men's fashion."

Louis makes a disgusted sound and throws a hand up dramatically and makes to leave, but Nick catches him by the wrist, marveling just a bit at how tiny it is in his hand, and Louis looks around at him with his mouth set in a tight line.

"You're not better than me," he says, toeing at the door until it closes. Nick tugs him in a bit, wets his lips when Louis stumbles forward willingly.

"I know."

"Of course you do." Louis kind of shuffles forward all nonchalant. He has to get up on his toes to get an arm around Nick's neck and it's really very hot, how much littler Louis is. Nick curls one hand around Louis's hip, flicks Louis's fringe off his forehead with the other and since his hand is already there he traces the shell of Louis's ear just to see his eyelids flutter.

"Such a pretty little pain in the arse."

"Twat," Louis says, and kisses him. Nick closes his eyes, threads his fingers into Louis's hair and presses the heel of his hand to Louis's obscene cheekbone and opens his mouth. Louis isn't really angry like he was at the Halloween party, so it's less teeth and fury this time when he licks his way into Nick's mouth. Nick leans back against the wall and spreads his feet enough for Louis to stand between them, curls his shoulders a bit so Louis's not on his toes anymore. He sucks on Louis's tongue and chases it back into his mouth, licks at the swell of Louis's bottom lip and bites down just a little.

Louis's arm tightens around his neck, his other hand pushing up under Nick's t-shirt to feel skin. Nick cups the round swell of Louis's arse and pulls him in closer. When the kiss breaks Nick is helplessly aroused and Louis's practically climbing him. They're both a bit breathless. He trails his lips down Louis's neck, feels his pulse race under his mouth.

"Take a walk with me?" he murmurs, his voice low and rough.

"Back to yours?"

"Mm. I find it horrifying that we're on the same page."

"Shut up, Christ, you're ruining the moment."

Nick grins, even when Louis bites his jaw, and pulls back. Louis's mouth is pink and wet, his hair a wreck. Nick opens the bathroom door and shoves him out. "Leave your lads a note. They'll worry."

Louis flips him off, and Nick takes a moment to appreciate his lovely arse as he sashays back down the hall.





Nick wakes up around six-thirty in the morning, his internal clock set to breakfast radio time. He feels boneless and comfortable and rolls onto his side toward the warm body next to him. Louis is on his belly, face turned toward Nick, one hand under his pillow and the other between them, fingers curled so his knuckles graze Nick's chest every inhale. The blankets are down by his waist and his back is smooth and goose-pimpled. He looks pale in the early morning light encroaching on the room and he's breathing deep and even, back rising and falling softly. Nick pulls the covers up over him and frowns at him sternly. Louis makes a soft snuffling noise that Nick has no doubt is unadulterated insolence and rubs his cheek against his pillow. Nick glares at him and goes back to sleep.





"I knew it!" says Harry quite smugly that night when he comes over. The boys have been in the studio recording all day. Harry looks tired and entirely too pleased. Nick's just started in on the pizza he ordered, and Harry just sweeps in and looks at him with big green eyes and his precious curls and his goofy smile. "You love him!"

"I most certainly do not," says Nick around a very hot piece of pepperoni. He swallows, scalding his throat in the process. "Did he tell you that?"

"He didn't tell me anything. I had a note taped to my forehead this morning that said he'd gone home with you."

"Mm." says Nick.

"Also, you let him borrow your jumper."

"Mm."

Harry's grin widens. "He pretended to be embarrassed about it. Insulted you all day."

"Mm."

Harry folds his long body up on the sofa next to Nick. "I'll be the best man for you both at your wedding."

"It was just a shag, Harold."

Harry sighs dreamily and rests his head on Nick's shoulder, smiling. "If you hurt him I'll gut you I'm not even joking."

"I am not going to put up with your disappointment when this little delusion you have in your head breaks down."

Harry picks his head up and looks at Nick for a solid thirty seconds before he starts to sing Endless Love in response, and Nick shoves him off the couch and onto the floor, where he lies on his back, crooning the refrain.




Louis in his bed (or alternatively Nick in Louis's) turns into a kind of regular thing over the next month. Nick doesn't realize that he's actually dating the bratty little pillock until he's out one night at a club with Pixie and Greg and Pixie asks where his boyfriend is and Nick says, "Liam's making him stay home because he has a bad cold or something," before he realizes that his mind made the connection before his common sense did.

"Oh," Pixie says, and pats his arm sympathetically. "Poor sweetheart. And you haven't been to check on him?"

Nick is still trying to process the whole boyfriend thing. It's true that he and Louis have been spending quite a lot of time together. And it's also true that not all of that time together is spent fucking. Granted, most of the time not spent in bed (or against the wall, or on the sofa, or in the shower or on the kitchen floor) is spent fighting because Louis leaves his shit everywhere and is constantly late and talks through films and drinks all of Nick's tea. But the ten percent of the time not spent fucking or fighting is actually quite, well, couplish.

"Oh my God," he says, feeling strangely bruised and vulnerable. "I have to go."

Pixie makes some noise about what a nice guy he's turned into, and Nick has a series of minor mental breakdowns on the way across town to Louis's flat. Louis answers the door wearing pair of pyjama bottoms rolled up several times and a Bon Jovi t-shirt. He looks pale and kind of ill, but the way he smiles all soft and sweet makes Nick's chest hurt.

"I thought you were out with Pix," says Louis, stepping aside to let him in. His voice is atrocious and he sounds very congested. The sitting room is unusually void of clutter. Liam must've tidied up before he left.

"Are we dating?" Nick says. Kind of shouts, actually. It isn't what he means to say, but it's what comes out. Louis's just barely gotten the door closed. He looks bewildered. Nick toes off his shoes and heads for the kitchen to start some tea for Louis's throat. Louis follows after him.

"What?"

"Dating," Nick repeats, filling the kettle. It's best to keep his hands busy. "I'm just curious."

"Curious," Louis repeats slowly, leaning in the doorway. "About whether or not we're dating."

"Yes. I feel like I should know one way or the other. How's this? We're out together and you see someone you know and when you introduced me you say: 'This is Nick, my…"

"Indentured servant?"

Nick frowns darkly. "Not funny."

"Kept man? Yoga instructor? Massage therapist? Sleep time whale-noise maker?"

Nick sighs, pointedly, and sets the kettle on the stove, lighting the burner before he turns to face Louis. "You're a dreadful boy and I don't know why I hang around you."

Louis smirks, leaning his head against the door frame. He really does look like he's not feeling well. Liam probably made a good call in guilting Louis into staying home tonight. "Where's all this coming from?"

"Pixie called you my boyfriend tonight."

"Oh? What did you say?"

Nick shifts his weight uncomfortably. He's really several years too old to be having this conversation. "She just asked where my boyfriend was, and I said you stayed home."

The grin that spreads across Louis's face is unabashed, delighted evil. "So really, you called me your boyfriend tonight."

"Christ, talking to you is quite literally causing my blood pressure to rise to unhealthy levels. I'm too young for these kinds of medical complications."

"Your quiff is sparkling, you know," Louis offers helpfully. "I can see it in the light."

"Pixie's dress had glitter."

"You look quite fit, otherwise. I'm impressed. Did you dress yourself?"

"Louis."


Louis bites his bottom lip on a smile. "I would say: 'This is Nick, my obnoxious hipster boyfriend.'"

Nick straightens his jacket compulsively, lips tugging up a bit at the corners before he quickly stops them. "Well." He clears his throat. "Okay then."

"Okay then," says Louis, but he doesn't hold back his pleased smile, and when he pushes off the doorway Nick meets him halfway, drops an arm around Louis's shoulders when Louis winds his arms around him and hugs him back.

"If you get me sick I'm going to murder you in your sleep."

"So you're staying tonight?" Louis asks drowsily, cheek resting on Nick's chest. Nick rolls his eyes at himself and presses his mouth to Louis's hair. "I s'pose so."

Louis kisses his neck, pats him on the cheek, and then turns round and walks back out of the kitchen. "Good. Bring my tea to bed!"

Ugh.





The next morning, Harry's twitter says: it took u long enough boo so happy all my love xx.

#Larry Stylinson trends for days.

HILARIOUS. AS WELL AS HOT. BASICALLY JUST GR9.

I'm laughing bc most of the Tomlinshaw one-shots out there are like, angry grumpy smut but you- you, my lovely, took it to the next level and beijehfk idk you're amazing.

Here are some of my favorite parts-

* Nick doesn't realize that he's actually dating the bratty little pillock until he's out one night at a club with Pixie and Greg and Pixie asks where his boyfriend is and Nick says, "Liam's making him stay home because he has a bad cold or something," before he realizes that his mind made the connection before his common sense did.
* "Cute like singing back-up in a boy band?" He's very proud of himself for not making a sound when Harry stomps on his foot, and he's even more proud of himself at the mutinous look Louis shoots him. "I caught a bit of it too," Liam says quickly. "It was good. Emma Watson was charming. Oh thank God, our food is here."
* Louis rolls his eyes and puts his hands on his hips. He looks like Peter Pan. "I really don't like you very much." He sounds like Peter Pan.
"My heart," says Nick. "It bleeds. I'm holding back tears. Please leave before I embarrass myself."
* Harry fusses over Louis, because his head hurts, and Louis looks appropriately solemn and indulgent, getting Harry to make him tea and bring him biscuits while Liam collects a blanket for him to curl up in. Nick pours himself some wine and prays for patience. (HAH! That part about praying for patience, loved it)
* Louis is wearing skinny black jeans, a white t-shirt, a very, very familiar leather jacket and has his hair gelled into a tall quiff. Nick, reacting only in horror, finds himself reaching up involuntarily and pushing at the lapel of the jacket to see the sticker on the chest of the t-shirt. It says "HELLO, MY NAME IS: Nick Grimshaw</i>.
Harry's little fucking twink of a friend dressed up as him for Halloween.
* "I thought you said you were going to be something, y'know. Scary."
Louis looks right at Nick, eyes actually sparkling with demonic energy. "But I did, babe. I couldn't think of anything more horrifying." He turns his attention back to Harry. "Join me for a drink?"
* "Hell hath no fury like a boybander scorned," Pixie sing-songs, grinning into her drink.
"He's horrible."
"He's darling," she corrects. "And he really, really doesn't like you one bit."
Nick is going to need significantly more alcohol to handle this.

HAH! I loved it. I liked how you didn't over... well, to be rather blunt, you didn't over gay Nick. Does that make sense? Like, he wasn't overly fucking flaming flamboyant like a damned peacock with its tail in the air and murder in its eyes. Because clearly, some people need to know that being gay doesn't mean saying fucking 'toddle-lo!' for good-byes. And I liked Louis. Louis, Louis, Louis. Lots of times, Louis'd be innocent and fucking Nick would be the evil old man or something but you wrote them all (and I mean all, right down to Pixie, really) so perfectly.

Well done, dear, you certainly are fantastic and this is amazing. I won't be able to get it out of my head for days.

(The next morning, Harry's twitter says: it took u long enough boo so happy all my love xx.

#Larry Stylinson trends for days.) (hehe, still the best ending I've read in a long time)

Oh god what an amazing comment THANK YOU SO SO MUCH!! I'm so glad that you enjoyed this!!! I had a lot of fun writing it. :) And thank you so much for taking the time to leave such a wonderful comment!!!! <3<3<3

this was really so lovely. i've actually read it twice now once on ao3 and now here, i love it even more the second time! i am so pleased to hear about the sequel as well! really brilliant :)

this ship kind of snuck up on me and since then i've been reading as much as i can and i was so excited when i saw this. this was so good and your characterization was excellent and this was just an amazing fic i really enjoyed it :)

Yeah, same here, but honestly I'm all about Louis. Whichever guy he's madly in love with I'm open to exploring. :D Sneaksy!couple is sneaksy!

Thank you so much!!! I'm so glad you enjoyed it!

In a hurry, sorry, but this is possibly perfection. I absolutely adore your characterisation of these boys and Nick and the way he and Louis are so confrontational with each other is nothing short of hilarious - except it's also a bit sad and achey, with Louis' motivation behind it. And then when they crash together it's so excitingly explosive and then it turns sweet so quickly and I'm pretty sure Louis was already rather nice and fond at their communal lunch but Nick just refused to see it. But it all worked itself out, so. :D They're just so lovely together, I can't.

And Harry. Harry in the role of BFF extraordinaire is the most amazing thing.

Absolutely adore it!

Oh, wow, I'm blushing madly and don't know what to say! Thank you so very much!!!!

oh loved this! the humor and quirky spats were absolutely gorgeous and that last little snippet - perfect!

Thank you so much!!!! I love your icon he is darling!

I DON'T EVEN LIKE THIS PAIRING BUT OH MY GOD I BELIEVE EVERY WORD OF THIS FICTION.

Oh my god. I feel like Nick in this fic. STOCKHOLMED OMFG.

(by which I mean, this is absolutely fantastic and I can't stop making squeaking noises)


Thank you so much!!!! LOLOLOL!!! I feel like Louis has that effect IDEK!! This pairing came out of NOWHERE!!!

OH GEEZE THANK YOU SO MUCH!!!! *hands!*

LJRGT.LRH.AR.FRG.FMNG.NG I CAN'T EVEN DEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEAL WITH THE AMAZINGNESS OF THIS SR;OGHS;FHJ; WEEPING AND FLAILING.

well this is just so so lovely!! eeee

IM SCREECHING I LITERALLY CANT ASDFGHJKLJHGVBNM
ugh i was going to leave a cute comment with quotes of all the best parts but i cOULDN'T PICK A REASONABLE AMOUNT UGH
no this is just
i love this so much whY ARE YOU DOING THIS TO ME

OMG WHATTTTT. So I read Smaller Than Me and that was amazing so ofc I had to read all the other one d stuff you wrote and I found this gem! And OMG ...! It's great too!! I can't wait for the sequel. I absolutely loved the ending, hilarious. "This is nick my..." "Indentured servant??" I laughed out loud, honestly. It's 1 am and I have contracts class at 8 tomorrow and I don't care because your fic is all that's good in the world and wow I am honestly in love!! Sequel soon pleaseeeee!!! Xxx

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