Y/N would have never imagined the amount of attention being Harry’s best friend would bring. There’s also always speculations, suspicions that the two might be more than friends, given the fact that when they go out, it’s like they might as well be joined at the hip. Where Harry is on a day off, Y/N is sure to follow, and the paparazzi gets pictures of it all. But Y/N’s always been just a friend. It’s not like she trails behind him like a puppy, no. Harry just always loves having her around, finds comfort in the way she talks to him without a hint of glorification. Tracing back to the beginning of their friendship, Y/N didn’t tip toe around Harry, trying to make sure to not say the wrong thing, never really made impressing Harry a priority. And Harry really appreciated that.
And the relentless bother and questions of “are you two dating?” doesn’t end with the public, no, it continues, and probably gets more intense coming from their group of friends.
Whenever Y/N steps away from Harry’s side, there’s always one of the boys whispering to him about how they’re sure she’s got him wrapped around her pretty little finger. How at the call of his name, Harry never thinks twice about dropping everything and tending to her wants and needs. They make it sound awful in a way, as if Y/N is always needy of Harry and demanded his attention. But they don’t mean it like that really, just like bothering him about it, specially because he gets all worked up in trying to defend her.
They even comment about how they’ve taken notice to the fact Harry’s smile can stretch for miles at the mention of her name, which Harry has never denied. Only nods his head in amusement at the fact others notice.
And maybe their secret little escapes to what they refer to as “friend dates” are no help. They’ll be having a night in on the sofa, Harry sat at the edge of it, elbow propped on the arm rest, mindlessly scrolling through texts and thumbs swift on the screen, typing replies to friends. And obviously Y/N’s with him, lying down and feet resting on his lap, her head flat on the cushion, eyes shut because she quite enjoys just lying about in a silent room, knowing Harry’s there. And it’s not until he shuffles to stand up, pushing her legs off him in the process, that she opens her eyes and follows his body across the room where he doubles over to slip on his YSL boots before he goes for his coat. With a small whisper of “ye’ comin’?” Y/N is sure to follow his steps. Most nights like that they end up in some random bar or restaurant, sat on a stool or a booth, laughing and eating. Harry will often opt to sit next to her rather than in front, taking the chance to lay his head on her shoulder. Even kiss at her neck sometimes.
And when the boys catch a glimpse of the paparazzi photos taken of them all cuddly on a random Tuesday night at a local cafe, Harry’s phone just about overloads with texts from Niall going on about “I knew it!” And “just ask her, man!”
So no, it’s not out of the ordinary for Louis to make a ‘wuh-PSSSH’ sound followed by something snarky like “so whipped, mate. And she’s not even ye’ girlfriend,” when he notices Harry’s stare trailing to where Y/N goes as she makes breakfast for the lot. Harry tries to disregard the comment as Louis takes a seat next to him at the kitchen island.
“What’re you guys going on about over there?” Y/N asks, giggling to herself, “got Harry blushing and all.”
And of course with no chill what so ever, Liam pats Harry on the back, a devilish smile playing on his lips, “Harry here has found himself head over heels.”
Y/N can’t deny that her heart sinks a little at that, but she doesn’t let it faze her, or at least she doesn’t show it. “Really?? Oh who is she??”
“Yeah, Harry! Tell our lovely Y/N who’s the lucky woman!” Harry would hope Niall would be the one not to indulge in his current tormenting.
But Harry can only look at Y/N, her eyes locked on his from across the room. And Harry swears he’s never seen her look at him the way she is right now.
And the boys don’t mean to over tease him this time, just wish he’d finally let it out and tell her because they’re rather sure Y/N feels the same. It’s hard not to notice the way she looks at him, eyes full of adoration and dare they say, love.
When the air has fallen silent for far too long, Liam decides to change the subject for Harry’s sake and stands up to give Y/N a hand with the pouring of the beverages.
“You two have gotten to the point where you grocery shop together.” Liam starts again when Y/N steps away for more milk, “you cook together. You do laundry together. You’re always going on dates. You go with her for manis and pedis, and I’m sure you enjoy it, too.”
“So wha’?? I like spendin’ time with her.” Harry doesn’t really see why that’s so bad, being whipped and all.
“You sleep together,” Louis chimes in, “hell, wouldn’t be surprised if you showered together.”
Now that’s just nonsense.
“Sod off ye’ prick.”
It’s been a few weeks since the day Y/N found out Harry’s interested in someone. And she’d be lying if she said it doesn’t keep her awake at night. Awake while she’s lying next to Harry because of the fact that they’d much rather sleep together than alone. But when she looks over at him, she can’t help but smile.
She’s lying on her side, eyes tracing his, rid of any wrinkles they get when he smiles or frowns. They trace all of him. From his eyes to his eyebrows, then his cheeks and to his nose, where she kisses lightly, careful not to wake him. He only crinkles it for a short second, to which she only smiles. Her eyes linger down his neck, tracing every muscle and crevice until she’s looking at the tattoos on his chest, the steady rise and fall of it has her breathing adapting to his.
It’s when she looks at his parted bubble gum pink lips that she raises a hand, her index finger ghosting over his bottom lip. The touch has Harry stirring, eyes open for a moment before he puckers his lips to peck her finger, a smile on his face. He flutters his eyes shut for a second before resting his hand on her waist and rubbing his thumb gently on the exposed skin. He moans in content, pulls her body closer to his and rests his lips on her hair line.
“Go t'sleep, pet.”
And why oh why did she ever think some friendly flirting and bed sharing with her best friend could never lead to any emotional attachment.
The cuddles haven’t stopped. Harry’s lingering kisses and hugs haven’t stopped. The boys teasing on Harry behind Y/N’s back hasn’t stopped. Y/N sleeping in Harry’s bed hasn’t stopped. And Y/N’s constant self reminder that Harry might just be in love with someone else has not stopped.
If she’s being quite honest, she’s not liking the way the boys snicker and whisper to Harry when she walks off. And she really doesn’t like how whatever and whoever they’re whispering about is making Harry blush and smile sheepishly like crazy. Wishes she knew what they’re always being so secretive about. But giving it a second thought, maybe she doesn’t wanna know. It’s all the same to her now though.
The movie on the telly doesn’t seem to distract her anymore, not from her thoughts which are taking over her mind the more time she spends in Harry’s home. And to add to that, the second she steps back into the room with a bowl of popcorn the boys go silent. It makes her feel awful…left out, but she’s sure they don’t mean to do it. She should be thankful right? At least they’re nice enough not to talk about Harry’s girl in front of her, or maybe that’s just something she wants to believe.
“Oh popcorn.” Niall’s first to reach out and grab a handful before she’s even had the chance to get to her seat next to Harry.
“Thanks, love.” Harry whispers, kissing her cheek the second she sits down.
She notices out of the corner of her eye how Louis smirks and nods his head when Harry wraps his arm around her shoulder. What’s so funny??
The moment Harry presses another kiss to the top of her head is the moment she realizes she’s had enough. It’s the moment she realizes she can’t keep pretending and letting herself fall even more. Not after what Liam said.
“I have to go. It’s getting pretty late.” This catches everyone off guard, especially Harry.
When she stands up to leave, his fingers around her wrist are quick to make her stop and have her look down at him, still sat on the sofa. “Wha’ do ye’ mean? Ye’ always spend the night, poppet.”
His brows are furrowed now, grip tight on her wrist, fearing that if he loosens it she might just slip away.
Of course they can’t ignore the other people in the room though, so when Y/N’s eyes avert to the boys, Harry is quick to stand up and lead them away.
“Everythin’ a'right?” His eyes scan hers for answers, his hand now cupping her neck, thumb rubbing soothingly at her jaw.
The cool of his rings on her skin keep her at ease. But the uncertainty in her eyes has Harry feeling all types of useless.
“Tell me wha’s wrong, little one. Wha’ can I do to make ye’ feel better?”
And those words would have made no sense if it wasn’t for the sudden feeling of Harry wiping away a stray tear she didn’t notice she’d shed.
She can’t. She can’t break down. Not in front of him. What can she say for him to let her go??
“Nothing’s wrong, Harry.”
But she’s sure he doesn’t believe her, not one bit. He knows her too well.
And she can tell he’s about to say something else, and she knows if she lets him, she’s sure to fall back into whatever they have.
“I’ve really got to go. I’ve got a date in an hour and I have to go get ready.”
As much bullshit of an excuse as that is, Harry’s grip on her wrist loosens, and the hand on her neck falls.
And she takes the opportunity to slip out the door.