24. Silent Night
Christmas Tree . Decorations . Cinnamon . Stocking . Baking . Mistletoe . Elf . Reindeer. Ugly Sweater . Santa Claus . Caroler . Grinch . Lights . Snow . Gift . Ice Skating . Naughty . Nice . Wrapping Paper . Tradition . Hot Chocolate . Holiday . Sleigh
Niall gets stranded in London on Christmas Eve, alone in a silent house. Until he isn’t.
The house is far too quiet. So quiet, he’s seriously considering writing a whole new song called Silent Night. And it’s only been a couple of hours since he got back from the airport, where his plane to Ireland had been grounded due to wind and bad weather and his flight was rescheduled for Boxing Day. Apparently, not even being a member of the biggest band in the world is enough to get him to Mullingar in time for Christmas Day.
He’d called his mum from the airport and even though she was upset and disappointed that he wouldn’t be there for dinner tomorrow, she’d admitted that flying out on Boxing Day is probably far safer than taking a chance any sooner than that anyway. Once he’d gotten home he’d texted some of his friends back home, texted Harry soon after and then sent out a vaguely angry tweet about being stuck in London.
Since then he’s been tittering around his otherwise empty, silent house, scrolling quietly through Twitter and watching the newest hashtag - #getniallhomeforchristmas - trend worldwide. Best fans in the world, he’s always said.
It’s getting late, now, and Niall thinks he might as well go to bed since he has nothing better to do - maybe even sleep all the way through to Boxing Day. And he’s about to when, as if on cue, there’s a muffled, rustling noise at his front door and then there’s a key sliding into the lock and Niall stares, mid-step and dumbfounded in the front of the stairs.
The door swings open to reveal brown suede boots, black, practically painted-on skinny jeans, a brown winter jacket with an even darker brown faux fur collar, dark curls spilling out from under a green beanie, dark pouty lips and the greenest eyes Niall’s ever admired. Harry freezes in the doorway, eyes wide, lips stretched into a wide smile, a dimple carved out in his cheek. “Hiya!”
Niall’s mouth runs dry and his knees buckle slightly at the sound of Harry’s voice; as they often do, even to this day. He blinks, confused. “W-what are you doing here?”
Harry invites himself in, pockets the key ring in his hand as he closed the door behind him. He pushes both hands into the pockets of his jacket as he turns back to face Niall, eyes roaming Niall’s confused, curious face.
The brunette pushes away from the door and kicks his boots off to the side. “If we leave now we can get there by midnight. Where’s your suitcase?”
Niall’s brow furrows as he watches Harry look around for the black suitcase - and then find it leaning against the kitchen island next to his green backpack. He watches Harry swing the bag over his shoulder and then pull up the handle for the suitcase. “What are you talking about?”
Harry sighs, rolling his eyes fondly with a smile. “Can’t just roll with it, can you?”
The blond continued to look at him expectantly.
"I was halfway there when I got your message," Harry explains, walking closer to close the gap between them. He stands in front of Niall, nearly a whole head taller. "I pulled off to the side of the road to call my mum, to tell her you were gonna be alone and I didn’t even get two words out before she was telling me to turn the car around because she’d seen your tweet. So I did."
Niall blinks, licks his own lips as his gaze flickers instinctively towards his before he forces himself to look back up. “Why?” he asks dumbly, because he already knows the answer. He just…sort of wants to hear it for himself.
Harry stares at him for a moment, licks his own lips. “Mum didn’t want you to be alone.”
Niall blinks at him and his heart feels like it’s sinking into his stomach.
“I didn’t want you to be alone,” the brunette whispers, curling his free arm around Niall’s slim waist, pulling the blond against him gently.
Niall’s pretty sure he forgets how to breathe, then, and his heart stutters in his chest before hammering so hard against his ribcage he’s certain Harry can feel it. He looks up at him, leaning back slightly to keep their gazes locked. “I - I thought we agreed not to-“
"We did," Harry mutters.
They’d agreed to not make Christmas a huge deal; agreed to leave figuring out exactly what they are - after several months of fucking around on tour - until after the holidays because, well, Christmas is stressful enough. Spending Christmas apart was a decision they’d made weeks ago, not because their families don’t already know- because how can they not? - but because the prospect of other people (the media, the fans) finding out before they’re both ready was far too risky.
"But I’ve changed my mind," Harry continues, pressing his forehead against Niall’s. "Come home for Christmas with me."
Niall nods, silently, because all the words he wants to say are stuck in the lump in his throat. He closes the gap between them a second later, pressing his lips against Harry’s whilst curling both arms around the brunette’s neck and pushing himself up on to the tips of his toes to get impossibly closer. He moans as Harry deepens the kiss, licking into his mouth as he, too, leans forward and Niall still has to arch his back to accommodate for Harry’s height.
Harry’s the first to pull away and Niall chases his lips with his own, pressing a chaste kiss to Harry’s bottom lip as the brunette laughs. “We better leave if we want to get to Holmes Chapel by morning.”
Niall steps back obediently, untangling himself from Harry’s. He watches, then, as Harry walks back into the front hall and slips his feet back into his boots. And now he can’t even remember why they thought spending Christmas apart was ever a good idea in the first place.