I recently saw a video (I don’t have a link, I don’t know where it came from) of the boys outside a photo shoot on 8 August 2011.
These “bulletproof weeks” are my favorite era, because I think it was the last time we saw them truly relaxed and natural. Here are a couple of screen caps from the video. They know they are being filmed:
(It’s possible they are holding hands here, or Harry is fixing his pants, but regardless, Louis’ hand placement is my favorite)
The natural body language makes me weak.
I saw a gifset today of the Detroit 95.5FM Meet & Greet on 26 February 2012 and it really drove home just how quickly their world changed and how much Louis, especially, struggled with that in early 2012 as they did their promo tour in America.
This meet & greet was about 7 months after the photo shoot video in August 2011. Louis hovers near Harry, reaching out to grab his arm at one point, and Harry senses his discomfort and rubs Louis’ back.
It hit me…this was only their second meet & greet at a radio station in America. They didn’t do meet & greets like this on the first leg of the UAN tour in the UK. They had done book signings and met fans backstage, but not quite like this. This was also the first meet & greet like this where there was video allowed.
So consider 8 August 2011, when they were 2 weeks into promo for an album that came out in November and hadn’t even released a single in the UK, let alone signed a contract for U.S. distribution.
And then consider their behavior as they began their promo tour in America at the end of February 2012.
They’d been thrust into this whirlwind promo tour that was, in Louis’ own words, “relentless” with an entirely new set of rules that only applied to Harry and Louis. They had likely been told not to interact as they had before in front of these new American fans and Louis was floundering a bit, struggling against his natural instincts, which is to reach out for Harry when he’s feeling unsure.
The effects of this on their relationship must have been profound. But they didn’t back down. They still haven’t. They’ve worked so hard to counter these natural tendencies, going so far as to stop looking at each other, but they still slip through every once and a while.