zee (thediamondskies) wrote,
zee
thediamondskies

fic: i'll be home for christmas (harry/niall) // pg-13

i'll be home for christmas.
4590 words. pg-13. harry/niall, side liam/zayn, louis/nick grimshaw
summary: harry is coming home for christmas for the first time in two years.  what he doesn’t expect is to find his childhood best mate staying at his family home for christmas as well.  things happens.
author's notes: i should make this clear: this is an abandoned wip.  sort of.  i'm posting this to gage reactions?  so like if enough people like it i'd probably continue.  but it's just been sitting for a while and i don't want it to go to waste, so.  also it's not beta'd.



“Can we please just stop at Nick’s?” Louis whines for the fifteenth time, his voice vibrating on Harry’s very last nerve. They’ve only been on the road for half an hour, and he’s so ready to slice Louis into tiny little pieces and scatter his body along the motorway.

“You literally just said goodbye an hour ago. With his dick in your mouth. In our kitchen,” Harry seethes, giving him a sideways glare.

Louis sighs, voice far away when he responds, “I know.”

He seems to dwell on this for the next two minutes before poking Harry in the side.

“So can we please just stop at Nick’s.”

Harry nearly swerves off the road making the U-turn to get to Nick’s, and Louis’ sheer panic is payment enough for his suffrage.

-

“I just said goodbye to you,” Nick huffs when they come parading into the pub.

Grimmy’s, as it’s actually called (Louis refuses to call it anything over than Nick’s), is slow but steady, most kids off at home for the week. Merely a street or two away from the main campus, it tend to be one of the busiest pubs in the area due to it’s young owner.

Harry rolls his eyes and Louis glares menacingly. “That’s what I said.”

“Shut it, Harold,” Louis hisses, crossing his arms over his chest and cocking a hip to the side. He stares at Nick silently until he lets out a dramatic sigh and comes from around the bar, wrapping an arm around Louis’ middle before laying a big kiss on him.

And they continue like that for ten minutes. Actually ten minutes of heavy petting in the middle of a crowded pub while Harry fidgets about in agitation because they were supposed to be halfway there an hour ago.

“Okay, honestly? Enough. Louis let’s go,” Harry snaps, yanking him away from Nick. Louis makes a sound akin to a wounded bird, reaching out for Nick like they’re passengers on the Titanic.

“But, I didn’t say--” Louis starts, frowning deeply. Nick seems to read his mind, grabbing a handful of his ass.

“Bye babes, sithee in a bit,” Nick says with a cheeky smile.

Louis looks at him something fierce and growls, “Do not grab my arse in public!”

“But it’s such a nice arse,” Nick says, smiling fondly.

Louis blushes and grins, trying to lean in for another kiss. “Babe!”

“Right, you’ve had it. Off we go, don’t have too much fun without him Nick,” Harry interrupts, pulling Louis rather forcefully towards the door.

“And don’t get with any of these Soho cunts while I’m away!” Louis shouts, glowering.

Nick seems offended, scoffing before turning his back, “As if I’d cheat, Lewis.”

Louis frown into Harry’s shoulder, shrugging off his hand. “God, he’s such an arse.”

“I know,” Harry drones, rolling his eyes.

Louis grins, “He’s a sensational fuck, though.”

Louis.”

-

The car ride with Louis had been... difficult.

When they finally arrive at Harry’s family home in Holmes Chapel three hours later, Harry jumps out of the car and throws himself onto the ground, caring fuck all if his cloths get soaked in the process.

“Mate, I don’t mean to be on ya, but you’ll fuckin’ freeze if you keep up like that,” Louis says, kicking him with an ugg-clad foot.

Harry groans, turning onto his back before looking up at him. “I’m never taking you anywhere. Ever again.”

Louis huffs, turning on his heel. “Fine then, but if I walk in the door before you do your Mum’s gonna to have a conniption fit.”

Harry sighs, sitting up in the snow before finally thumping behind Louis with heavy, awkward feet.

The thing is he hasn’t seen his family in two years. Last Christmas he’d fed them some bullshit about feeding the homeless when actually he just laid in his dorm avidly avoiding anyone and everyone after his kinda-sorta-not-really-a-relationship break up with Caroline.

It was a whole big thing.

So now he finds himself back at his old front door, watching Louis press down on the doorbell with an annoying amount of excitement.

“You know they’re not actually you family, right?” Harry hisses in agitation.

Louis gives him an incredulous look, “Harold, your mother sends me care packages. With cards in them.”

Harry sighs, but he doesn’t have much of a chance to respond before the door is swing open.

“Zayn, I told ya, you don’t have to-- oh.”

“Oh,” Harry breathes, eyes wide.

“Oh?” Louis adds, looking between Harry and the blond boy slowly paling in the doorway.

“Oh, Harry!” Anne shouts from behind them, pushing her way through him. She lunges at Harry in full force, wrapping her arms around him in a tight hug.

Harry can’t help but smile, though he looks over his mother’s shoulder with confusion because Niall’s here. In his house. For Christmas.

“I missed you, little duck,” his mum says, voice hushed.

Harry forces a smile as she pulls back, petting his face. “Missed you, too.”

Louis looks between him and Niall curiously, greeting Anne with a kiss on the cheek as they stare lamely at one another.

“And who might this be?” Louis pipes up, eyebrows raised in a question.

“Niall,” they say in unison. Harry bites down hard on his lip before their eyes meet. It’s been two years, two years, and Niall still looks the same. His hair’s shorter and darker, but his eyes are still the same light blue, and he still stands with his hand in his pockets and--

“Well, let’s not let all the cold air in!” Anne says. She claps her hands together delightedly before shouting into the house, “Liam, go get your brother’s bags!”

The boys all filter in, Harry swallowing thickly as he slides past Niall.

-

“So what’s the deal with Niall,” Louis says immediately after they arrive in his bedroom. He launches himself onto his bed, landing face first with his limbs spread as far as they can reach.

“Are you secretly a five year old?” Harry snits, unzipping his suitcase. There’s no real point in putting his clothes away for the week, but he does it anyway just to have something to do while Louis prys at him.

Louis turns gracefully into a sitting position, resting his weight on his arms as he leans back. “‘Fraid not. Only teach them how to be better human beings in the future.”

“You fingerpaint and take naps,” Harry retorts.

Louis frowns, sliding to the edge of the bed. “Oi! Watch it, killer bee. Who pissed in your cheerios?”

Harry sighs. “Nothing.”

“Nothing,” Louis hums, mocking his tone. He waits patiently for Harry to speak up, looking at him expectantly.

Harry pauses, turning around as he crossed his legs. “We used to be best mates, alright?”

Louis nods, giving a short hum in response. Harry averts his gaze, picking at the carpet. It’s only silent for a moment before Louis suddenly lets out one of his classic dramatic gasps, starling him.

“Jesus! Can you not,” Harry scolds, furrowing his eyebrows.

Louis ignores him, grinning like a cheshire cat.

“He’s the one, innit he?” he says, voice mischievous.

Harry looks at him, cross, “Beg pardon?”

‘Beg pardon?’, you posh fucker. He’s the one! The one, the one!” Louis exclaims. He gets excited then, clasping his hands together before his eyes go wide. “The first one.”

Harry turns a deep shade of red before he vehemently shakes his head, “No. Absolutely not.”

“Oh my god, he so is! He’s the one! Virginity boy! The one you left the morning after? Jesus, Harold!” Louis says, practically chirping with joy.

Harry rushes forward, wrapping a hand around Louis’ mouth, “God, can you shut up? My whole family is here.”

“Oh my days,” Louis gasps when Harry pulls back, shaking his head in disbelief.

Harry frowns, throwing himself on top of his bed.

“Leave me here to die,” he groans.

“He’s well cute, innit he? You’re a stupid fucker for leaving him behind,” Louis declares, his typical disapproving judgement heavy in his voice.

Harry pushes him off the bed, cackling when he lets out an indignant squawk.

“Harry! We’re about to set up the tree, love!” Anne shouts.

He sighs, outstretching a hand to help Louis stand up.

“Not a word to anyone, alright?” he says sternly, giving Louis a firm look.

Louis looks ready to plead, but backs down.

“Alright, fine. I won’t tell a soul, blah-dee blah,” he concedes, borderline stomping down the stairs.

Harry grins behind him. “Ta, darling.”

-

Harry immediately goes towards his brother and sister, wrapping his arms around them.

“I miss you guys,” he mumbles against Liam’s shoulder, grinning as his cheeks turn a deep shade of red.

Liam had always been rather shy. Harry could remember the day that his Mum had brought him home, back when he was seven, and Liam hadn’t said a word to him or Gemma. His Mum had explained to him back then that Liam had been through a lot and that he was there to learn what it meant to be loved. That was twelves years ago, and Anne had since adopted Liam. They’d definitely shown him a great amount of love since then.

“Oi, don’t put him on the spot,” Gemma hisses. There’s no malice behind it, just a playful sort of protection that she always had over Liam.

“How’s college?” Harry asks eagerly, sitting down on the old green sofa.

Liam shrugs, smiling wide enough for his eyes to crinkle. “I dunno, good I guess. I passed my mid-terms.”

“Passed? He bloody well aced it! Highest score in the school,” Gemma interrupts, shaking her head. Liam’s always been one to under-exaggerate his accomplishments.

“That’s great, Li! You’re A-levels are going to be crazy, yeah?” he praises.

“Maybe,” Liam replies, biting down on his bottom lip. Harry rolls his eyes, kissing him on the forehead.

“Don’t be a dope,” he chides softly.

“Oi, Malik!” Niall shouts across the room, getting up from where he’s currently sat beside the tree untangling lights.

“Irishman!” the boy responds, his smile wide and reaching his eyes.

Harry immediately feels a sense of jealousy, watching the two of them chat together enthusiastically. Niall’s friend is gorgeous. Thick, dark hair with clear amber eyes and even-toned caramel skin. He looks like a model for JCrew or Ralph Lauren the way he carries himself. Harry wonders what a guy like him is doing in Holmes Chapel.

“Who’s that,” he asks Liam begrudgingly, crossing his arms over his chest. JCrew reaches out and brushes his hand over Niall’s shoulder, pushing him playfully. Harry scowls.

Liam averts his gaze, playing with a stray thread in his jumper, “Oh! That’s um, that’s Zayn. He’s Niall’s... friend. He works at the comic book store. Top lad.”

Harry barely has time to give Liam a puzzled look because soon Zayn is standing right in front of him with a warm grin and outstretched hand.

“Hey mate! Heard a lot about ya,” he says, seemingly genuine.

Harry gives Niall a black look, shaking it stiffly, “Oh you have, have you? Do tell.”

“Harry,” Niall starts, face solemn. Zayn frowns just slightly like he’s ready to intervene.

“Hi, Zayn,” Liam mumbles quietly, looking up at him with red cheeks.

Zayn smiles then, happily plopping down on Liam’s other side. He wraps a loose around around the back of the sofa, Liam’s body falling into his side. He giggles nervously, avidly avoiding looking Zayn in the eye as they begin to chat quietly.

Harry continues to scowl at Niall, standing up slowly. “Kitchen.”

-

Harry is pacing back and forth, hands pressed together and resting against his lips when Niall finally walks into the kitchen.

“You told him,” he says plainly, stopping in his tracks to look at him.

Niall crosses his arms and frowns. “Yeah, I did.”

Harry shakes his head, closing his eyes in the process. “Why would you... we haven’t even talk about it and you--”

“Oh, piss off, Harry,” Niall interrupts, face cross as he turns around. He grips the edge of the kitchen sink, resting his weight against it.

It’s silent for a long time. Harry doesn’t dare move any close to Niall, afraid of the burn that it’ll leave behind.

You left. Ten years of friendship and you left without ever saying goodbye. Because you were scared,” he fumes.

The thing is Niall’s fury is the quiet kind. He’s never been a yeller, or particularly nasty. When they used to get in fights when they were younger, over girls and video games and the stupid shit mates argue about, Niall would just get eerily quiet. He’d speak in short sentences and blatantly ignore Harry and it was the silence that killed him more than anything.

Somehow, even though he’s talking, it feel just like that.

“Niall...” Harry trails off, arms dropping to his sides. He can seen the tension in Niall’s shoulders, the way he holds himself so taunt, like if he lets himself be pliant he’d break into a million pieces. He gets an image of a carefree seventeen year old boy with braces on his teeth and adventure in his eyes, and this is nothing like being seventeen.

He turns around, slowly, looking at Harry tentatively. His gaze is soft, almost inviting. Like he’s just wishing for Harry to come in. “It was my first time, too, y’know.”

They gaze at one another for a long time, and Harry finds himself speechless. He shouldn’t... there are things that he wants to say, means to say. But he feels like none of it will ever be enough, and Niall obviously got a new boyfriend anyway and what does it really matter if he never tells him about his feelings? What does it really mean if he doesn’t tell Niall about how he cried the whole train ride to London, or that he still has a picture of them from their post-college holiday in Amsterdam tacked on the wall of his dorm room?

Niall lets out a deep sigh, running a hand through his hair. “Right. Do you want some eggnog?”

Harry shakes his head no silently, watching as Niall opens the refrigerator and comes back with a bright red carton.

“I’m gonna go back,” he mumbles, eyeing him carefully.

Niall nods somberly, leaving Harry with an empty feeling as he quickly flees to the living room.

-

Louis gets along with Zayn infuriatingly well.

Like within ten minutes of meeting each other running around the Christmas tree having a serious candy cane fight. Harry watches from his spot on the sofa with crossed arms, pouting like a scorned toddler while Liam stands awkwardly holding a box of ornaments unsure if it’s safe to approach the tree while it’s been used as a shield.

“Will you two stop?” Anne finally huffs, glaring at the both of them.

They stop, standing side by side with their hands behind their backs while holding laughter in their cheeks. It’s not hard to picture them as two misbehaving schoolboys.

“Sorry, Mum,” they croon, cracking into a fit of hysterical laughter seconds later.

But Anne doesn’t seem to be all that bothered, giggling on her own before shoving them both playfully in the shoulder.

“Oi, all you kids outta here!” she declares with the wave of her hand, smiling as she heads towards the kitchen.

“I’ve gotta get goin’, anyway. Shift at Socks starts in half an hour,” Niall says, standing up slowly. He checks his phone, running his hand through his hair in a habit that Harry’s seen since they were 12 years old.

“Socks?” Louis asks with a look of confusion.

Everyone in the room gives a mandatory, “It’s a pub.” Visitors never get it.

Louis, ever the opportunist, doesn’t miss a beat. “Oh, Liquors!”

“Aye!” Zayn replies enthusiastically, wrapping his arms around Louis to lift him up. The spin in a circling shouting unintelligibly, prompting an eye roll from Harry.

“Absolutely not,” he says, shaking his head. Louis and Zayn both look at Harry with a serious frown, crossing their arms in near unison. (Seriously, they’re getting on way too well.)

“Yes-olutely! And Liam’s coming,” Louis challenges, yanking Liam up to his feet. Liam, to his credits, begins to stutter out some excuse about needing to finish a reading for school, but Louis brushes him off with a dismissive wave.

Harry rolls his eyes, “Mum will never allow that.”

“Actually,” Anne speaks up, raising her voice from the kitchen, “the quieter the better. Gemma and I need some girl time.”

“He’s seventeen!” Harry scoffs, turning to give his mother a look of disbelief.

“Which is practically eighteen,” Louis quips, already headed towards the door.

Harry frowns, adamant in his disapproval, “No, it’s seventeen.”

“Don’t be a kill joy, Harold,” he shoots back, half-way out the door with Liam damn near dragging behind him. Zayn’s hot on his heels, shouting enthusiastically into the winter air as he wraps a scarf around himself, wrapping a stiff arm around Niall’s neck as he pulls him outside along with him.

Harry turns quickly to his mother, face petulant. “Mum!”

“Just let it be, duck,” she hums, kissing him on the cheek. He lets out a huff, rolling his eyes as she flattens his fridges, pushing it away from his face. “Just.. watch out for your brother, yeah?”

Harry can only frown at his mother for so long before it softens, sighing as he heads towards the front door.

-

Socks is, per usual, flooding with 25 and unders. The difference tonight is that it’s even busier becomes everyone’s come home from uni for the holidays. Louis blends in with all of Harry’s old sixth form friends easily, telling one grad story after the next about his wild days as a teenager.

“And then her Mum walks in right, the girls fucking Mum! We had to all jump out the windows. I mean, she called the cops!” Louis exclaims bright eyes, waving his hands around.

Harry rolls his eyes, chugging the rest of his beer with determination before slamming it down on the bar.

“Pretty sure that was an episode of Skins,” Niall snorts, nodding over to where Louis has moved on to the story of how he got stuck in a lift with Robbie Williams.

Harry shakes his head, “Wouldn’t put it past him. He started out as a drama major.”

Niall grins sideways at him, popping the cap off a second beer before sliding it across the counter. Harry gives him a smile in response, letting his eyes linger as Niall turns to help the next person down the bar. He’s grown into his body now that their older. He’s not short and awkward in some places and long and dangly in others. There’s definition to the muscles in his arms, and his hips stand up, sharp and jagged where they peak out from under his shirt, underwear cut with the ghost of them.

“He still talks about you, y’know,” Liam says, sitting beside him.

Harry clears his throat, taking a swig of his beer before looking over at him, “Not sure what you’re on about, Li.”

“I was fifteen, not stupid, Haz,” he mumbles, playing with the rim of his cup (“Just coke,” Niall had said with a gentle smile.), “I was with you two every day that summer. I saw the way he used to look at you.”

Harry swallows thickly, looking down at his hands.

That summer had really been all about him and Niall. Years of friendship cultivating into a kinda sorta romance that reached it’s climax just before he had to leave.

He could remember riding around town with Niall laughing over his shoulder as he rode on the pegs of his bike. He could remember drinking themselves stupid of the roof watching the sun come up. (That was the first time they’d ever kissed. He could remember the way Niall had touched his lips afterward, fingers heavy. If he closed his eyes he could feel the press of them now.)

“Yeah, well. I fucked it up, didn’t I?” he frowns, bowing his head.

“I don’t think so,” Liam replies cautiously beside him, pausing for a beat, “He still looks at you the same way.”

Harry chews on his bottom lip them, sneaking a glance at Niall, laughing at something Zayn’s said across the bar. He tips his head back, hands holding his stomach like he’s got to hold himself up from it. He can’t help but smile.

Still the same old Niall.

-

“Get up, loser, we’re going sledding!” Louis shouts in the morning, pouncing on top of Harry’s sleeping form.

Harry groans, shoving Louis enough that his foot slips off the bed and he has to catch himself. “Fuck you and you’re sledding.”

“Harold Styles! Get your arse up, there’s a more pressing matter beside sledding to attend to,” Louis huffs. Harry’s not looking but he’s almost certain that if he turned around he’d see Louis hands sitting on his hips.

Harry lets out a dramatic sigh, shifting to flop his head in Louis’ direction. Pushing his curls out his face, he relents, “What is it, Louis?”

Clapping his hands enthusiastically, Louis plops down on the bed with one foot tucked underneath his bum. “We’re going to get Zayn and Liam together!”

Harry scowls, “Absolutely not, Louis.”

“But Haz-za,” Louis whines, throwing himself down beside him, “They’re made for each other!”

“I’m gonna punch you in the face in a minute,” Harry growls, slipping out of bed. He searches his drawers for a pair of pants, settling on his superman ones that still feet after two years time.

Louis rolls his eyes in an overexaggerated fashion, sitting up in bed, “Harry, he’s seventeen years old.”

“And Zayn’s what, twenty? Twenty-one?” Harry retorts, face hard.

Louis give him a look, leveling him, “Nick is literally eight years older than me, and you’ve never once said anything about it.”

“Well you and Nick have the most dysfunctional relationship I’ve ever seen, so,” Harry snaps back, glaring at him.

Louis looks wounded, placing a hand on his chest. “Oi! I resent that. Our relationship is perfectly fine, thank you!”

“You’re either fighting with each other, or with everyone else,” Harry reasons, looking back for a moment to give a face before sifting through his closet.

“That’s just banter,” Louis replies with a wave of his hand.

Harry snorts, bringing a pair of trousers and a jumper to the bed. Raising his eyebrows, he adds, “Last week you told me you threw a lager mug at him.”

“Merely a prelude to our passionate love-making on the bar,” Louis quips, smirking to himself.

Rolling his eyes, Harry continues, “Well Liam’s not you, and he’s not dating Zayn.”

“Harry, he’s not a child. And if I have to see those two stare longingly at each other until Christmas I will call Nicholas and have very loud phone sex in your bed,” Louis concludes, giving Harry a pointed look.

Sliding off the bed, Louis walks towards the bedroom door, pausing before he opens it. “Oh and also, we all already decided to get them together. I was just letting you know.”

Harry lets out an undignified huff, throwing his shoe at the door as Louis rushes to close it.

-

Sledding has always been a tradition in Harry’s family. Even back when his Dad was still around, he could remember getting all geared up in snow pants and heavy winter coats, his Mum wrapping a hand-knitted scarf tightly around his face after the disastrous year where he and Gemma bought had caught a cold just days afterward.

It’s still kind of the same now, just more chaotic.

He’s just barely unbuckled his seatbelt before Louis and Zayn are pouncing out the car, running up the hill with wild abandon, making it a race to see who can get to the top.

“I’ve created a monster,” Harry sighs, watching his best friend charge Zayn until their both tumbling back down the hill.

Gemma snorts, dragging a sled behind herself. “You got that right..”

Harry gives her a snarl, rolling his eyes as Liam comes up to his side, eyes never once leaving Zayn, who’s dusting white snowflakes out of his frayed hair. Harry can see that Louis was right, Liam does really want to be with him. He can tell by the way his cheeks gets a little pinker, smile a little softer, eyes and little glassier. Liam is absolutely smitten.

Zayn turns to Liam, waving enthusiastically before calling out, “C’mon, Li! I need my partner-in-crime to beat this doss over here in a race.”

Zayn’s accent is thick and foreign to his ears, but it’s full of zealousness. Liam giggled, trudging off towards him with eagerness as they hike up the hill, shoulders bumping.

“He loves that boy,” Anne says beside him, stealing Harry’s attention away from the two of them.

Harry frowns. Reluctantly, he replies, “You trust him?”

“Let me tell you something, little duck,” his Mum says, eyes going soft, “About six months ago, his Mum, his bio Mum was meant to meet Liam for coffee.” She pauses, frown setting and face becoming dark, “And that... that slag stood him up. Twelve years and she didn’t even bother to call and cancel.”

Harry can see the mix of emotions in his mother’s face, the love she has for Liam. He reaches out for her hand, squeezing it tightly. His mother clears her throat, pushing a stray lock of hair out of her face. “Anyway, I had 40 minutes of traffic between me and the shop he was at. And d’you know what? He called Zayn hysterical and he came and talked Liam down from a panic attack. Took him home and made him soup and watched Friends with him until Liam forgot all about her.”

Harry swallows thickly and looks at Zayn now, leaning over Liam where they’ve apparently tumbled off their sled at the bottle of the hill. He looks different now. Less like a new bloke trying to steal Niall away who gets on annoyingly well with his best mate, and more like the boy he definitely deserves the chance to make his little brother happy.

“He a sweet boy,” Anne concludes, rubbing a hand on Harry’s back as if he’s the in need of comfort. Harry nods, pulling his mother into his side before kissing her on the forehead.

“You’re a good Mum,” he tells her, smiling down at her brightly.

She laughs, but he can tell by the way she subdues her smile that it means a lot, “Thanks. You’re a good son.”

“Oi, Styles!” Louis shouts from halfway up the hill. He’s got his hands on his hip and looks utterly ridiculous with a hip cocked while in snow gear. “I didn’t wake you up this morning to stand on the sidelines. Get your arse up here!”

Harry snorts, pulling away from his mother before catching up to Louis.
Tags: fic: one-shot, filed under: abandoned projects, rating: pg-13, ship: harry/niall, ship: liam/zayn, ship: louis/nick
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