after-hours

Fav Fic/Fic Rec 2/? : After Hours by Velvetoscar​
Word Count: 26k
“Because you’re just an insecure mess that’s constantly trying to make others feel inferior to you because all you have is your tiny job with your subpar sports column and you know that nobody will remember you, Louis. You know that you are insubstantial and aren’t talented enough, not nearly, and you know that all you have is your bravado because you don’t have any other weapon to wield. You’re a tiny, forgettable person, Louis Tomlinson, in a sea of anonymity.” He says the entire thing in one breath, head a bit dizzy, pulse rabbiting.

And then Harry closes his mouth, startled as himself because… Where exactly did that come from, again?Silence settles between them.The cocky smile that had been soaked into Louis’ features slowly ebbs away. His eyes, blue and smooth as they are, diminish, their light shaded and muted and dull, seeming very distant. He looks…hurt. Sad. Small.

Something sharp hits Harry’s insides. He swallows, clutching the record across his chest as he drops his gaze.

Maybe he shouldn’t have said that.

He frowns, mostly to himself, but doesn’t apologize. Instead, he glances up at Louis, caught between guilt and shame.

Then, at long last, Louis clears his throat.“Well, uh. I guess that says everything then, doesn’t it?” His voice sounds frail, a pale imitation of the real thing.

His eyes fall to the record again. They look shaded and tired, a little sunken, the skin beneath them delicate, bruised, and thin. Harry wonders if it’s soft like flower petals. It’d probably scrape his skin if he touched, though.

Then Louis lifts his eyes again, a cutting blue that Harry feels in his throat.

“Goodbye, Harry.”

Summary: Harry Styles and Louis Tomlinson are the bane of each other’s existences. Unfortunately, they’re already in love–even if they aren’t completely aware of this minor detail. [A “You’ve Got Mail” AU]