Eventually We Find Our Way.
Pairing: Narry, side Lilo (I can’t remember if there’s any Lilo in this part lol)
A/N: I suck I know.
Of course when Harry needs to talk to Louis about something actually important, he doesn’t pick up his phone.
So he knows nothing about Harry having to sit in the office or fighting with Cher or Niall asking him out or kissing Niall. Needless to say, when Louis spots him leaning over his Maths at the receptionists desk, he’s a bit surprised.
“What happened?” He screams, three other people bumping into his back as he stops short. “Why aren’t you in class?”
“My mum got called in yesterday to a meeting and her and the dean decided it would be best if I wasn’t in class because I was distracting people.” In light of everything else, this news seems a bit boring. “But that’s not important, I have to tell you what hap-”
“They did what?!”
“I know, it sucks whatever but-”
“Are they serious? What, are you a zoo animal?”
“Hell yeah it is!” Louis leans back to see if the dean is in and continues loudly. “I can call my father the lawyer who can sort out the justification they have-”
“Louis,” Harry grabs onto his sweatshirt so he can get his attention. “we kissed.”
“Wait,” That stopped him short. “Who did?”
“We? As in you and me?”
“Ugh, no,” Harry’s getting annoyed now. “Me and Niall. In the freezer last night, where were you?”
“Wait, wait, wait back the hell up. You and Niall kissed? In the freezer?”
Harry feels his cheeks flame up. “Don’t say that so loud.”
“What else happened?” Harry could tell Louis was trying to be quiet but it apparently wasn’t possible.
“He kissed me. And asked me out and said I had nice lips.”
“Shit,” Louis slaps him on the shoulder. “Hell yeah. I told you he wanted your dick.”
Harry rolls his eyes. The bell rings and Louis wraps Harry up in his arms and Harry’s not really sure what it’s for, but he feels better.
“I don’t know what to wear.” He mumbles into Louis’ shirt. He feels dumb because only girls make their best friends come over to pick out outfits before their first date, right?
“I’ll come over later.” Louis smiles at him before making his way to class.
The only thing that has come out of sitting in the office all day, is Harry gets all his work done, and he’s sure his grades have never been this high before.
Sometime during the day, Harry hears hissing over his shoulder and turns around to Niall leaning against the little wall that separates the hallway from the office. Harry hates to admit it, but he literally lights up when spotting Niall.
But Niall does too so it’s not a big deal.
“Hey,” Harry smiles.
Niall grins back, braces on full display. “How’s solitary?”
“Horrible. I’d rather stab myself in the eye.”
“Aren’t you supposed to be, like, doing work?”
“Haven’t you heard? Besides inspiring people to write #1 singles, I’m also a genius.”
Niall laughs loudly and it makes Harry smile so wide he feels like his face might split open.
“Can they really make you do work all day every day?” He asks, running a hand through his blonde hair and he looks so sexy Harry just wants to lean over and kiss him.
He pushes that thought away. “If they can make me run, they can make me do anything.”
“Same.” Niall jumps up to sit on the wall. “I’ve gotten used to admiring you from afar.”
Niall was funny and witty and cute and admired him from afar and Harry got a mental image of all the nasty things he’s done in front of Niall like clearing all the phlegm from his throat and sneezing during an allergy attack. “Maybe you can call in spies. Make it like a Bond movie.”
“Really though,” Niall grabs Harry’s hand unexpectedly, “you’re ok?”
“Yeah, I’m ok. Have you seen Cher?”
“Harry,” Niall sighs out. “I thought we established that I don’t care about her yesterday.”
“It’s just,” Harry feels so dumb. “you promised me a date.”
“Oh, um. Yeah. About that.”
Harry feels his stomach drop. “What?”
“I-” He scratches the back of his neck and scrunches his face up.
“Do you not want to go anymore?” Harry interrupts.
“I was just thinking-”
“Because if you don’t want to, we don’t have to.” Harry decides he’ll spend the rest of the day planning Niall’s imminent demise.
Niall stops trying to talk over Harry and takes a breath. “Has anyone ever mentioned you interrupt a lot?”
“Louis’ my best friend, I have to interrupt.” Niall doesn’t say anything. “So you don’t want to go out?”
“No, I do,” He takes another breath. “I just-I didn’t want you to feel like you had to. With everything that happened in the freezer. And stuff.”
“Niall,” Harry leans in close. “I’ve already asked Louis to come over and help me pick out an outfit and he’ll probably pull some movie montage shit where he throws my entire closet on the floor looking for something ‘perfect’.”
Niall flushes. “Is that a yes?”
“Yes!” Harry’s exasperated in a fond way. “Of course! Yes! Si! Oui! Do you need it in another language?”
“Do you know Gaelic?” Niall humors him.
“I could learn Gaelic if you wanted.”
They just kind of stare at each other with big, dopey grins on their faces until the secretary clears her throat and says Doesn’t Niall think he should be getting back to class now?
“Can I call you later? I, uh, need your number but yeah.”
“Yeah!” Harry grabs the pen he was using and scribbles the digits across the back of Niall’s hand.
The secretary clears her throat again and Niall smiles before walking to class.
“Um,” Harry doesn’t know how to word this and it’s weird to be telling an adult what to do. “can you not tell anyone about that? Even if, like, a reporter offered you a lot money?”
She smiles. “Does it look like I can be bought?”
It takes awhile for Niall and Harry to actually go out. Harry’s parents have him on lockdown so he can barely leave the house.
“Don’t be too innocent or they’ll know something’s up if you try and pull the ‘perfect child’ act.” Louis says over the phone.
“I already am the perfect child.” Harry snaps, looking for the Fleet Foxes album he just bought but has apparently gotten lost in the mess of his room. He hears the clack of the keyboard on Louis’ end. “What are you typing?”
“Nothing. It doesn’t matter right now.”
“You can’t keep secrets from me. What is it?”
“I’ll tell you if it works.”
Suddenly, he trips over the leg of his chair and tumbles to the ground, shoulder bumping into the desk which knocks over his lamp. Faintly, he can hear Louis asking if he’s ok as Anne comes bursting into the room.
“Are you alright? Did you break anything?” She asks, rubbing Harry’s head for any signs of bumps.
“I’m ok but,” He takes a deep breath and sits up. “You know Niall, who works with me? And I thought he was a huge dork? Well he kind of is a dork but in an adorable way but anyway he’s, like, really cute and nice and I cried on him and he didn’t even mind and he asked me out and I really want to go and you would really like because he’s smart. And stuff.”
Anne looks at him dumbfounded.
“Please?” He tries again.
“That was real smooth, Harry.” Louis’ staticy voice breaks the silence.
Harry’s allowed to go on the date on three conditions:
- Niall has to meet Anne
- They go on a ‘normal’ date. (“No crazy concerts or partying on rooftops. Or whatever.”)
- Harry has to call home every half hour. (“Even if you have to beg, borrow or steal someone’s phone.”)
Harry calls Niall to tell him the news.
“Guess what?” He asks, dropping onto the bed.
There’s silence. “Do you really want me to guess?”
“Nah it’ll take too long. My mum said we could go out.”
“That’s great!” Harry can hear the grin in Niall’s voice. “No bodyguards though?”
“No,” Harry laughs. “My mum has some rules though.”
“Good. I love rules.”
“Really.” Amusement laces his tone.
“Yes. Especially if those rules are put in place by the mother of the boy I want to date.”
Harry can’t get over how funny and witty Niall is. Wasn’t it just a few months ago that Niall was a stuttering mess around him? He quickly signs into Skype and sends Louis a message.
Harry: Niall’s funny!
“So what are these rules then?”
“You have to meet my parents. But don’t worry, they just want to make sure you’re not a pervert or something.”
“Second rule, no rooftop concerts.”
“Is that normal for you?”
“No, she’s just trying to cover all the bases.”
“I have to tell you, these rules are pretty simple. I might win.”
“And lastly, I have to call them every half hour.”
Louis’ reply distracts Harry from the conversation
Louis: Good funny
Louis: Or nervous tic funny
Harry: Good funny
Louis: I told you!!!!
And then Skype exploded. Hundreds of requests for calls and messages opened until the computer froze. “What the hell.” Harry slams his finger down on the cursor a couple times in a vain attempt to get it to work.
“What happened?” Niall asks.
“I was Skyping with Louis and…” Harry can’t even get his computer to turn off. “Niall there’s like a hundred messages coming in, I can’t do anything.”
“Did someone give out your name?”
“Probably,” Harry leans back, frustrated. “Fuck!”
“What’s your name? I’ll Google it.”
“BoysDontCry. No apostrophes or anything.”
“Is that your favorite Cure song?” Harry hears Niall typing in the background. He likes The Cure too. “Wait, I Googled it and some message board came up?”
“Not Zayn’s message board is it?” Harry panics.
“No, it looks like a fansite for you.” Niall clicks around a bit. “Someone leaked your Skype and email.”
“These people know a lot about you. I should read up before our date.”
“They’re all lies.” Harry says, burying his face in the pillow.
“Harry,” Niall booms in an announcer voice. “is it true your favorite food is mac and cheese?”
“I’ve never really thought about it, but sure.”
“Harry, do you love pastels?”
“I hate pastels.”
Niall laughs. “Where did they even get this information? If it’s not even close to being correct?”
“They’re probably getting paid for it.” Harry replies bitterly.
“Welcome to my life.”
First dates are never easy.
Especially when the day of said first date, the song written about you goes into the Billboard Top Ten. Harry watches in horror as a photo of Zayn pops up on screen, followed by a picture of Ed with his yearbook photo in the middle.
When Harry grabs the remote and un-mutes it, Ed’s on screen.
“I guess I owe Harry my thanks,” He starts and Harry wonders how he even found him attractive. “he’s a special guy. Maybe I should write a song about him for my next album.”
“Fuck off!” Harry yells and glares at the screen. Then he realizes he’s naked and Niall’s going to be at his house in like 15 minutes and he’s not even close to being ready.
On TV, it cuts from Ed to Zayn. The rest of the band looks nervous, but Zayn is calm and collected, just like always.
“Harry inspired the song, but we can all agree that we wrote it. Harry got the ball rolling, but this is our band and our career and we hope that our fans will be able to think of us without thinking of him.” Zayn says, and even though this is what Harry wants, the comments make him mad.
“Where would you be without me then?! You’d be sitting in your managers dorm room getting high!” Harry angerly shoves his legs into a pair of boxers.
Zayn’s expression changes and Harry knows a snarky comment is on it’s way. “And I think some other musicians should find their own boys.”
The doorbell rings and Harry still isn’t ready.
“Shit!” He reaches for the first shirt he can find, hoping it isn’t dirty.
“Harry, watch your language.” Anne calls from the hallway.
“Sorry mum! I’m just not ready yet.”
“Don’t worry,” She leans against the doorframe. “your stepfather will keep him occupied.”
“No. I’d rather die.” Robin will pull some ‘if-you-hurt-my-step-son-I’ll-hurt-you’ shit. Louis’ voice floats up the stairs and Harry thanks Jesus.
“Harold!” Louis calls, storming into the room. “Hello Anne.” He smiles at her. Louis can do no wrong in Anne’s book.
“Hi Louis! I’ll be downstairs if Harry needs to be resuscitated.”
Louis waits until she’s out of hearing distance. “I have great news. What is the best thing that could ever happen?”
“I die.” Harry mutters, throwing down the dirty shirt he hastily picked up.
“The second greatest thing.” Louis flops onto the bed.
“If my parents act normal in front of Niall. Is my paper plane necklace over there?”
Louis takes a quick glance. “No. But seriously listen!”
“Fine, best news ever, go.”
“Ok don’t be mad-”
“The best news ever shouldn’t start with ‘don’t be mad.’”
“Ok anyway, so last week-”
“I’m sorry Lou, but I really don’t have time. Niall’s going to be here in, like, 7 minutes.”
Harry finds the necklace and shoves it over his head.
“There’s so much I could tell you in that time! And you look fine.”
“Don’t be nice to me so I’ll listen to you.” Harry leans over the banister and yells downstairs. “Have you seen my white converse?”
“I’m not your shoes.” Anne yells back.
“But if you were?”
“By the back door.”
Louis latches onto Harry’s arm and he knows he won’t let go until he says what he has to say.
“So last week?”
“Right, I got an email from a producer saying ‘We hear your good friends with Harry’ and I was like ‘Ok what about it’ and he’s like ‘Oh we’d really like to talk to him. So we started talking and now I’m talking to a lot of them. They want to send you free stuff to endorse their products!”
“Great.” Harry looks at Louis’ watch. “Can we talk about selling my soul for free things later? Niall’s going to get here soon.”
“I think this is more important.”
Harry stops what he’s doing. “Coming from the boy who’s wanted me and Niall to go out for the past 3 months.”
Louis doesn’t say anything and glances out the window. “Does Niall drive a black car?”
“Yes, is he here?” Louis nods and Harry races down the stairs. “Niall’s here!”
“Let the roasting begin.” Robin laughs.
“No, please no.” Harry pleads with him.
“Look, Haz, I’m just going to come out and say it.” Louis apparently can’t be stopped, following Harry and he sprints to the back door in search of his shoes, which aren’t there.
“They’re not here!”
“What’s not there, darling?”
Harry makes a noise of frustration.
“Do you remember the email I was writing when you tripped and broke the lamp?”
“Painful memory, but yes, I remember.” Harry rips open the hallway closet door, and spots the Converse.
“Well I was confirming a reality show.”
The joy Harry felt by finding his shoes is overshadowed by the words ‘reality show.’
“What?!” The doorbell rings. “Why would I want a reality show?!”
“Hello Niall, come in.”
Harry looks past Louis to see Niall standing in the entryway, chatting with Anne and Robin. He brushes past Louis to where he’s sure his parents are embarrassing him.
“-and you’re not going to write a song about my stepson?”
Niall is as red as a tomato. “N-no sir.”
“You’re not going to do anything to make him any more famous?”
“Um no?” He clears his throat. “Definitely not.”
“You’re not going to sell pictures to the tabloids?”
“You’re not with the paparazzi?”
Niall was so red Harry thought he might pass out. “No.”
“Ok, you guys met him.” Harry interrupts. “Let’s go Niall.”
“Be home by midnight.” Anne reminds them. “Lovely meeting you.”
“Do you have money?” Robin asks. “You don’t need to borrow from Harry?”
“No, I have money.”
“Alright, see you later, call every half hour I know bye.”
Harry shepherds Niall out of the door and into the car. When they’re safely inside, he turns to say, “I am so sorry.”
“It’s alright,” Niall beams at him while fastening his seatbelt. “how do you think I did?”
“Well considering I’m in your car right now, I think you did pretty well.”
Niall takes him to a total dive diner, but it has a jukebox and has a cozy, home-y feel that makes him feel comfortable, just like Niall. The date is going really well. So well that Harry decides now is a good time to bring up something that’s been on his mind for awhile.
“Niall,” he shoves a french fry into his milkshake and shoves it in his mouth. “can I ask you something?”
Harry doesn’t know how to word this, so he decides to just be blunt. “What took you so long?”
Niall nearly chokes on his drink. “What?”
“I mean, like, when I first started working at Scooper Dooper, you wouldn’t even talk to me! Like, when I asked you what kind of music you liked-”
“Butter pecan.” Niall interrupts, smiling.
“Yeah!” Harry slams his hand onto the table for emphasis. “What was that about?”
“No offence Harry, but you’re a bit intimidating.”
“Intimidating?” He recoils.
“Not in a bad way,” Niall is choosing his words carefully. “like, you like what you like, music wise, movie wise, whatever, and don’t care about other people and you and Louis are loud rule breakers and I felt really different from you. I sounded stupid compared to you.” He takes a sip of his drink. “And you had a super slick musician boyfriend.”
Harry can’t resist. “That is so cute.”
Niall unfolds a napkin and buries his face into it, hiding his blush. “Oh jeez. Don’t say that!”
“Come on,” Harry pulls the napkin away. “it’s cute that you were jealous of Zayn!” Niall shakes his head and Harry takes the chance to press his luck one more time. “When did you figure out you liked me?”
Niall thinks for a minute. “Only if you tell me.”
“It was your first day and I said that we couldn’t change the station but you changed it anyway and sang along to every single song with this big smile on your face. It was pretty cute.”
Had Niall really liked him for that long? Harry thinks of all the times he made Niall work his shift because he was sneaking out for a concert or to go meet Zayn. Guilt wells up in his stomach at how badly he had unintentionally been treating Niall.
“Your turn, Harry.”
He doesn’t need to think about. “When I heard the song for the first time and was about to have a breakdown and you told me to ‘scoop now, think later.’”
“That’s the moment I got you?” Niall laughs.
“The mixtape was a close second.”
They stare at each other over their meals with heart eyes until Harry has to call his mum.
Niall takes him to the local record store next. Which happens to be Harry’s favorite place. Like ever. As they’re driving, Niall takes a sudden left hand turn.
“You have to go straight.” Harry is a backseat driver. Liam could tell absolutely horrific stories to prove this.
“I know,” Niall makes another sudden left hand turn. “but I think we’re being followed and you’re supposed to make four left hand turns to get rid of them.”
“Where’d you hear that?” Harry asks, while Niall makes his third left hand turn.
“In a cheesy spy book. The only one I’ve ever read.”
“Oh.” Harry tries to see what’s going on through the rearview mirror, but he can’t. “How many are there?”
“Two. Maybe three. I think they have cameras.” Harry looks at Niall and Niall looks right back. “Ever outrun the paparazzi?”
They make it to the record store, but there’s already a bunch of reporters waiting who are about 2 seconds away from trapping them in the car.
“I guess we have to make a run for it.” Harry says, unbuckling his seatbelt.
“Is now a bad time to tell you I hate crowds? Like they give me panic attacks?” Niall’s face is all mottled red as he examines the mass of people.
“Don’t worry about it Niall, I’ll keep you safe.” Harry doesn’t know if he really can, but he’ll try.
They walk as fast as they can without running towards the entrance, but it doesn’t stop the reporters from firing questions at Harry and snapping pictures.
“Who’s the new guy?”
“Made out with him yet, Harry?”
“What’s his band name?”
“Have you talked to Zayn recently?”
“Any comments on his success?”
Harry slams the store’s door closed behind him, only to have it reopened as the manager makes his way outside, probably to deal with the situation going on in the parking lot. He hears a cashier mutter “Harry. Cool.” to the other cashier and has to restrain himself from rolling his eyes.
Niall starts looking at CDs on one side, while Harry starts on the other and they meet in the middle, camera phones clicking in the background.
“Did you find anything?” Harry asks, as Niall examines Julian Casablancas solo album.
“‘m not really paying attention.” He says, putting the CD back.
Cue the awkwardness. “You know your picture is going to be everywhere tomorrow, right?”
“Mine?” Niall’s face flames up.
“Do you still want to go out with me?” Harry asks sheepishly.
“Of course.” Niall drops his hand so it’s next to Harry’s on the CD stack and rubs his thumb across the back of his hand. “What’s that clicking sound?”
“Someone’s camera phone.”
More and more people file in until finally the manager comes over and asks them if they could wait in the back until he was able to get everything under control. Harry’s beyond embarrassed.
“Do you want anything Harry?” He shakes his head. “Niall?”
“How do you know my name?” Harry can tell the realization of what’s going on is sinking in.
“The guys outside seem to know it.”
“Oh.” Niall sinks back into his chair. Cue Harry’s guilt complex.
“I’m sorry.” Harry sounds like a broken record. “I’m so sorry.”
“Hey,” Niall rolls his chair over. “it’s not your fault.”
“I shouldn’t have dated you right now.” Harry takes Niall’s hand and interlocks their fingers. “I should’ve waited. This isn’t fair to you or your family and-”
“It’s not your fault.” Niall says again. “I’d rather date you and be surrounded by paps then not be dating you at all.”
“Swear to God.”
They sit in silence for awhile, listening to bustle of people downstairs and outside until Harry says, “Did I mention you acting all spylike was pretty hot?”
“Well it was. If making out with you right there wouldn’t have killed us, I totally would have.”
Harry wheels himself closer to Niall and leans in so their lips are almost touching. “Yeah.”
Harry decides if kissing Ed had been like a wildfire, all quick and hot, kissing Niall was like birthday’s and sunshine and wishes and something he wanted to keep for the rest of his life.
“I’m looking forward to the day we’re not kissing in storage room or freezers.” Niall whispers, brushing his nose against Harry’s. Harry just laughs and kisses him again.
The second phone call Harry makes to his mum is a tiny bit more eventful than the first.
“The paps followed me and Niall from the restaurant and now we’re kind of stuck in the record store.”
“By fans and stuff but the police are coming.”
“The police?!” Harry hears Robin’s voice in the background. “We’ll be right there.”
Once they get there, Anne pats Harry and Niall down in search of bruises and/or broken bones while Robin goes berserk on the closest police officer.
“Do you mean to tell me,” he fumes. “that my stepson can’t go out without being worried about getting mobbed?”
“I’m sorry sir, but he’s not exactly a normal teenager-”
“Not a normal teenager?!”
“Mum can you please stop him before this police officer beats him.”
This was the worst advice Harry could have given her, because then Anne gets sucked into the argument too so it’s the police force versus Harry’s parents.
“Are you sure you still want to date me?” Harry asks Niall again.
“Are you sure your parents don’t hate me?”
“I’m sure. This isn’t your fault.”
It ends with the police officers yelling at the crowd to step back and make room so everyone could leave the store. They have to walk out single file and as soon as Harry takes one step outside, the flash blinds him. Niall is walking in front of him and Harry can see him shaking and he wants to grab onto him and calm him down, but that would only make things worse so he settles for keeping his eyes glued to the back of Niall’s Supras.