after-hours

Chapter 27

Warning: This chapter contains graphic depictions of rape and violence. READ AT YOUR OWN RISK!

I’ve been warning y'all this chapter was going to come with a trigger warning, and there it is.

Please don’t hate me.


She slipped in and out of consciousness for what seemed like hours, her mind floating to faraway places, away from Oliver, away from Starling City, away from everything. It was a nice place, a comfortable place, one she didn’t mind being in until someone slapped her across the face, forcing her out of the dream world. Felicity’s eyes popped open only to be assaulted by bright white lights. She struggled for a moment, trying to lift her hand to shield herself from the blinding light, but found her arms immobilized.

Fear quickly blossomed in the pit of her stomach and crawled up her spine as her eyes widened, attempting to focus on the room she was being held in. She was surrounded by dank grey cinder block walls and storage units that were rarely ever seen by their owners and realized she’d been taken into the basement of her building. The light above her came from a bank of fluorescent bulbs hanging from the ceiling, some of which flickered giving the place and eerie feel.

“Hello, my love,” the chillingly familiar voice she’d heard just before passing out said. Her head whipped toward it, seeking out its owner. Who she saw made Felicity’s skin crawl.

Beside her stood a man she hadn’t seen in several years. His blue eyes were colder than she remembered them, and his features no longer resembled the boyish teenager she’d fallen in love with in her youth. No, he was all hard lines and harsh angles, aged by the time he’d spent in prison. He wore a black cotton t-shirt beneath a black leather jacket and a pair of dark, stone washed jeans that fit his body to a tee, outlining the hard muscle he’d developed during his time away.

Now Exclusively On AO3

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]

After Hours FYI

I won’t be able to post the next chapter until this evening. I’m currently at work and for some reason my computer becomes a little bitch when I try to post things on AO3 and FFN. So I’m gonna hold off till I get home and then post the new chapter.

2

There are still spaces available to spend the night under the blue whale! 

The overnight adventure will begin with a champagne reception and music provided by the 12th Night Jazz trio in the Theodore Roosevelt Memorial Hall. Continue your evening by roaming through the nearly empty halls of the Museum, where you might run into a herd of elephants in the Akeley Hall of African Mammals or come face to face with looming dinosaur skeletons, including a 65-million-year-old Tyrannosaurs rex.

Learn more about A Night at the Museum Sleepover for Grown-Ups.