Give me a reason: not to cry
Hiii! Finally, I’ve finished this. And I’m really sorry, because I think I remember who gave me this idea but I’m not 100% true so I’m not gonna say anything. But you know who you are so consider this your tag!
“Yeah, just GO!”
Niall can still hear the echo the slamming door made throughout the house hours ago. Can still hear his own voice, rough and thick, screaming for Harry to leave. His throat feels just as raw now as it did seconds after the fight had come to a stand-still; after neither of them had anything left to say because everything else had already been said.
“‘s what you’re good at anyway, innit? Takin’ off.”
“Oh - we’re back to that are we, Niall?”
“We never left that, Harry - we just stopped talking about it.”
"Well god forbid I want to see my friends every once in a while.”
“Every once in a while?”
“Considering we’ve been on tour every year for the past four years for eight to ten months out of the year, yeah - every once in a while.”
He can’t remember the last day they didn’t fight. Can’t remember the last night either of them went to bed without being angry or upset - or both. Nor can he remember the last time Harry was still in bed with him when he woke up or the last time they were able to have a simple conversation without it turning into a fight. He can’t remember the last time he and Harry actually acted like they liked each other.
He thinks it shouldn’t be this hard. Thinks it shouldn’t hurt so fucking much - like his heart is breaking apart in his chest.
“It’s a little more than once in a while, Harry. It’s like the second the tour ends you’re flying out to LA-”
“It’s not like I’m there the whole time, Niall!”
“You’re there more than you are here - that’s my point! When we have time off you spend more time in fucking LA than you do here, with your family. With me.”
The thing is, they haven’t fought in ages - nor do they fight very often. Like, at all. And even when they do fight it never lasts very long because it’s like…neither of them really knows how to fight. Which makes fighting, now, even harder, he thinks.
"You act like I’m over there partying all the time and having the time of my life without you but, like, 80 per cent of the time I’m working-“
“I’m writing and I’m recording demos and I’m working out melodies-”
“I know that, Harry!”
"Then what the fuck is the problem?!”
“I fucking miss you, that’s the problem!”
Even from the bedroom upstairs, curled under the blankets and hugging his pillow, he can hear the front door open and close - softer and quieter than the last time. His breath catches in his throat and his stomach flips nervously. He looks at his phone, at the message from someone else he has yet to open because he doesn’t know what to say.
It’s well past midnight now and, to be honest, he hadn’t been expecting Harry home until morning - at the earliest.
He wipes the heels of his hands across his eyes and dries his cheeks with the duvet. It feels like the hundredth time he’s done that in the last week and he hates it; hates crying. Because crying means there’s something wrong. (Some people like to say that crying - letting everything out - makes you feel better but Niall would beg to differ. He’s only ever just felt worse.)
+"I miss you too, Niall.”
“Evidently not enough.”
“Are you - I don’t - what more do you want me to say?! I’m trying here and you just keep - you’re all over the fucking place! How about you just let me know when you’ve figured out exactly what you want me to say?”
"Oh - what, are you leaving? You’re just gonna leave?”
“I need some air.”
“Why don’t you just go back to LA while you’re at it?”
“Maybe I fucking will!”
“Good. I’ll send you a post card-”
“Fuck you! Just - go! LEAVE!”
The bedroom door opens quietly, like Harry’s trying not to wake him. He’s awake though, of course, because it’s hard enough falling asleep without Harry there and even harder falling sleep after a fight. He can hear Harry walking carefully across the room, closer to the bed - like he’s tip-toeing in order to keep quiet.
Niall rolls over, then, to face him; watches Harry empty his jeans pockets and place his wallet, phone and coins on the bedside table on his own side of the bed. Harry glances at him, stares for a minute before turning to sit on the edge of the mattress, his back now to Niall. The blond sighs inwardly as he pushes himself up and leans his shoulders back against the headboard. “Lou texted me. Is that where you went?”
“Yeah,” Harry mutters tiredly.
“She’s knows, then?”
Harry sighs as he runs a hand through his hair. “She knows we had a fight; she doesn’t know everything.”
Niall nods once to himself. He contemplates texting her back to thank her for looking out - maybe even thank her for being there for Harry. He decides against it, however, because she can wait until morning. Harry can’t.
“Lux asked for you,” Harry says, voice rough - he’s been crying too. He sits back, swings his legs up in front of him and leans his shoulders against the headboard. “She wants to see you - asked why you weren’t there for lunch with us last weekend. I told her you’d see her soon.”
Niall snorts. “Which means I should probably head over tomorrow.”
“You’ll come?” he asks tentatively.
Harry blinks, letting his head fall back with a soft thud against the wood. “If you want me to.”
“I always want you to,” Niall whispers.
Harry reaches out for the lamp beside him on the table and turns it on. Niall winces as the light floods into the room, rubs at his eyes as they adjust and then his gaze lands on the brunette, whom leans back against the headboard, head tilted back. He looks at Harry; Harry, whose cheeks are a bit flushed and eyes are rimmed red. He thinks they probably look identical.
“What do you want from me, Niall?” Harry asks, letting his head fall to the side so they’re face to face.
Niall blinks, takes a deep breath. “I want you to give me a reason not to cry.”
“I don’t…” Harry trails off, brow furrowed as he licks his lips. “What am I supposed to do?”
"They say that the person you’re meant to be with - the person who’s worth your tears - will never make you cry,” Niall murmurs, dropping his gaze to stare at his lap. He picks at a loose thread on the duvet.
“You don’t - you don’t believe that, do you?”
Niall shakes his head, rubbing both hands over his tired face. “Couples fight and sometimes they cry and it doesn’t mean you’re meant to be together any less - sometimes I think it means you’re meant to be together more because you can do that and survive,” he whispers. “I’m just…I’m tired of crying, Haz. It’s all I’ve been doing since you got back.”
Harry sighs softly. “I can’t just not go to LA, Niall. It’s-“
“I’m not asking you not to go to LA,” the blond assures him as he turns to face his boyfriend. Harry’s staring at him, eyes wide and curious, searching Niall’s face. And Niall knows that - knows that LA is some place special for Harry, knows that Harry has friends there, has songwriter friends there, likes to write there. “I’m just…I just wish you wouldn’t spend so much time there. I wish you would spend more time here during our time off because I just…I just miss you when you’re gone.”
Harry blinks, continues to stare at him for a moment and then swallows hard before looking away.
“And I know you miss me too, yeah,” Niall continues. “I was an asshole before trying to make it seem like you don’t miss me enough - because I know you do. It’s just…it’s different-“
"How is it different?” Harry demands, sounding a bit offended.
“It just…” the blond trails off, licking at his lips. His stomach churns; he feels sick. “It’s like we spend all this time on the road, in and out of hotels, and we’re with each other every day - except we aren’t really alone. Because the lads are there and around and then there’s the crew and the fans and just…everyone - and apart from having quickies in the room or dressing rooms we don’t really get any alone time.
"And then when it ends I just…I just always think we’ll get all this time together but we don’t because you go to LA and I don’t see you for three or four weeks and then all of a sudden it’s time to rehearse for the new tour and it’s the same shit all over again.”
“And I know we made our plans,” Niall continues again, because now that he’s started he can’t bring himself to stop. “I know I said I wanted to bring the lads out from back home and grab some pints with the crew and play some golf and I know you wanted to see Jeff and Zach - and that’s fine. That’s not - it’s not about that. It’s that at the end of the day the house is way to quiet because you’re not here and the bed is way too fucking cold because you’re not in it and I just miss you.”
Harry continues to stare at him, one eyebrow raised and his eyes a little bit softer than before. “You’re mad at me because you miss me?”
Niall rolls his eyes. “I’m mad at you because you I was done hanging out with other people a week into the break and you were an insensitive git who wouldn’t come home.” And, suddenly, Niall feels like maybe all this time spent crying was a bit of an overreaction - and maybe a huge waste of time. Maybe all he had to do was say that instead of attacking Harry about going to LA to begin with.
"And you missed me.”
The blond snorts. “Don’t make me laugh, I’m mad at you.”
“C’mere,” Harry murmurs, reaching one arm out for Niall - who’s already crawling across the bed and into Harry’s open arms. “‘m sorry,“ he whispers, burying his nose in Niall’s hair.
“If I had known it meant that much to you I would’ve changed my flight.”
Harry breathes in deeply before pressing a kiss to the back of Niall’s head. “How ‘bout next time I go to LA you just…come with me?”
Niall jerks, pushed himself away from Harry’s chest and turns to look at him. “We can’t do that.”
“Because we - if I go with you there will be suspicions and-”
“People already have their suspicions, Niall,” Harry points out.
“But this will be different,” Niall insists. “We agreed we weren’t ready and if I-”
“Nobody has to know why you’re there,” the brunette says, taking each of Niall’s hands into both of his own. “Everyone knows I write there so if I fly out first and then you fly out a couple days later they’ll just think we’re writing together. Louis and Liam write together all the time.”
A smile tugs at Niall’s lips. “And where will I stay? A hotel?”
Harry scoffs. “You’re not staying at a hotel. Band mates can crash with band mates, can they not?”
Niall shrugs playfully. “I suppose, yeah.”
"Then you can stay in the guest room-”
“Fuck you,” the blond laughs, slapping at Harry’s chest. “‘m not staying in a bloody guest room.“
Harry grins back, pulling Niall against him. “So you’ll come?”
Niall cocks his head to the side and furrows his eyebrows as though in deep thought. “Hmm, I dunno. I mean, I guess if I have to-“
"Fuck off,” Harry smirks.
Niall laughs, tossing his head back as Harry wrestles him onto his back. He tries to fight back, to knock Harry off but even though he’s gangly and clumsy, the brunette’s bigger and stronger. Niall finds himself gazing up at Harry a moment later when Harry’s got him pinned to the bed.
“You know that thing you said - about giving you a reason not to cry?” Harry asks softly, resting his forehead against Niall’s.
Niall shakes his head gently. “I’m fine-“
“I know, I just…I like it a lot better when you’re laughing so just…don’t ever let me make you cry,” Harry whispers.
“Deal,” Niall whispers back, carding his fingers through Harry’s long curls.