Where you’re his ex-girlfriend and you see his new girlfriend wearing your t-shirt
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If she closes her eyes hard enough, and just at the right moments, Y/n can feel Harry in Dan.
It’s quite peculiar, how she finds Harry in almost anything. It’s something she finds so riveting yet so dangerous at the same time. He’s everywhere, he’s in every breath she takes and in every move she makes, and it’s something that brings her an overwhelming sense of comfort yet an overbearing sense of instability.
Dan—an individual full of insecurities and excitement—who varies oh, so differently from Harry, can feel like him if she really tries hard enough. His arms don’t hold her quite the same, and his lips aren’t as soft and flavorful, but if she squeezes her eyes shut, and she loses herself in the memories of Harry, it’s like he’s almost back again—only in the most minuscule of ways.
Which is why, now, in this moment in time, Y/n can barely keep her eyes open.
It’s the first time Y/n brought Dan to the house, letting him stop by to watch a film after his shift. It’s a little something he’s wanted to do for a while, and after many coffee dates and many pleas from Dan, she finally took the step of being completely alone with him.
Gabby decided to go to a friends house and insisted they take their time together. It started off wonderfully; a bottle of red wine, a box of chocolates, and a bag of popcorn while they watched Jaws.
It was all wonderful until Dan decided to make the move.
Dan is on top of her, lips connecting to hers in a lustful motion. It isn’t that Y/n doesn’t want to be in this position, but more of her being hesitant to do so. She hasn’t kissed anybody since Harry, and although Dan is one of the nicest people she’s ever met, she can’t find it within herself to keep moving any more forward.
And everything about it feels wrong.
Between all the touching, all the kissing, all the feelings within her, she can’t stop thinking about Harry. She can’t stop thinking about how much she misses him and how much she wants him back. She’s still in love with him, so much so that doing this with someone else makes her feel dirty—makes her feel like she’s betraying him.
And it’s all too much, because no matter how hard she closes her eyes, no matter how hard she tries to feel him, he’s not there, and she can’t help but seem to think that he never will be—not anymore.
“No, no, stop.” She whimpers, shaking her head in an attempt to reject Dan’s restless lips.
He doesn’t stop, however, too engaged in the moment to really understand the words stuttering from her mouth. He continues kissing her, instead, moving down to her collarbones.
At this point, Y/n starts to hyperventilate. Between the sobs daring to escape her chest and the lack of air from her previous activities, everything is straining against her. She doesn’t fully understand how she was able to get this far without it being with Harry.
Her arms push Dan off of her until she’s alone on the couch as he’s panting on the floor. She can’t breathe. Her chest is tightening and her cries are so harsh that her lungs are collapsing inside of her.
She reaches her hands up to the roots of her hair, pulling back on them as she tries to gather all the oxygen she can. At this point, her head feels light and her sight is completely blurred by the tears flowing out of them—ones that she doesn’t even try to stop.
“I’m s—so sor—ry.” She hiccups, her head falling to her hands.
Dan gulps as he tentatively stands from his spot on the floor, his hands up in front of him as if in a panic—trying desperately to figure out how to fix the mess being made in front of him.
He looks around the room, as if in search for something to guide him through this situation, but there’s nothing. All the room occupies is a broken woman, sobbing breathlessly on a couch in front of him, muttering incoherent phrases under her breath.
“Okay,” he huffs out, nodding his head to himself, “It’s okay, yeah? You’re okay?”
He occupies the empty spot next to her, hesitantly wrapping an arm around her shoulders in an attempt to comfort her. In all honesty, Dan is complete shit at helping people during emotional breakdowns, and considering this one had happened so suddenly, he had absolutely no warning that he would be put in this position.
Y/n feels bad, she does, considering Dan doesn’t deserve the treatment she’s given him and surely doesn’t deserve what was once an innocent date to end up a complete disaster. But she can’t help it, and she can’t stop now, no matter how hard she tries.
“It’s Harry, isn’t it?”
His voice is nothing but a whisper, and the words that spoke out from his lips nearly brings every movement in Y/n’s body to a halt. She never told him that it was Harry who broke her heart, and to be honest, she doesn’t even find the strength within her to begin to question how he even knows of Harry—especially his relationship with her.
Of course, their relationship has been publicized for years, but Dan is a very closed-off type of person. He’s not much into music, either—another part of him that differs so drastically from Harry—and spends a majority of his time working or spending time outside rather than succumbing himself in social media.
He looks down at the rose ring wrapped around his pointer finger, twirling it around with the hand that was once wrapped around Y/n’s shoulders.
He knew the moment he saw Harry’s reaction that this ring very much belonged to him. He wasn’t quite sure why she sacrificed it so mindlessly—why it seemed to have no story behind it. But between everything Gabby’s told him and everything he’s gathered from her previous relationship, she wanted nothing more than to get rid of every reminder she had of him.
He doesn’t feel worthy enough for it, though. If Y/n and Harry don’t find their way back to each other, he feels she should at least give it to somebody that she loves, not somebody she needs to help her get over her heartbreak.
He slides it off his finger, placing it gently on the palm of his hand before closing his fingers into a fist.
“We can’t keep doing this, Y/n. Not if you can’t talk to me.” He mutters softly, “Not if you’re still in love with him, we’ll be getting nowhere.”
This makes her cry harder. She still doesn’t have the audacity to look up at him, no, how could she? After everything she’s done?
This is why she always ends up alone. No matter how in love she is, no matter how much effort she puts into a relationship, they always end up leaving her. It’s happened long before Harry, and she was so convinced he’d stay when he came around. She was so dead set on him being her forever, but the same thing happened again. He left, just like everyone else.
And now, Dan is leaving her, and although she can’t exactly blame him for doing so, it’s another wound to her heart—it’s another pain in her chest that only seems to increase with pain.
He sighs sadly at the sight in front of him, upset with himself that he’s probably a partial reason for her soul-shaking sobs and lack of air, but he has no other choice. If he stays with her, he’d be forcing her to love someone she doesn’t. He has to let her go if it means to possibly make amends with her happiness again.
He takes one of her shaking hands away from her face and bringing it towards his lap, spreading her fingers away from her palm so that he can set the ring softly against it.
She sobs at the sight, bringing her opposite hand to her mouth as she tries to quiet herself down.
“This was Harry’s, it always was. This belongs to you, Y/n, not me.”
She nods, trying her best to smile at him as a form of appreciation, but it fails miserably. He understands, though, that she cares, and doesn’t ask her any questions.
“I’ll let Gabby know to come home now, okay?”
He kisses the top of her head, the way he always does, before removing himself from the couch and toward the front door.
“Take care of yourself, Y/n. I mean it.”
And then, he’s gone, leaving Y/n alone in an empty house and her haunting thoughts. She feels the world is closing in on her, only giving her a restricted amount of air and a limited amount of light to see what’s in front of her.
She’s alone—she’s left by herself in a dark room that’s only being illuminated by the television light, where nobody can hear her, where nobody can touch her, where nobody can see her; in a place where she just can’t trust herself.
She’s left alone, as she’s always left, and she just can’t take it anymore.
Her emotions become so strong that her body collapses onto the floor, her head throbbing and throat burning from all the tears and cries. She can’t breathe, her lungs failing to take in oxygen and her chest is pounding.
It’s so bad that if Gabby doesn’t come home soon, she actually believes she’s going to die. She feels the tug on her heart and feels how hard it is for it to do its job properly—she practically feels it overworking itself.
Gabby finds her on the floor, making her immediately drop her purse and run to her collapsed body. Y/n is a withering mess underneath her, completely drenched in sweat as violent sobs erupt from her body.
She’s quick to sit her up properly onto the floor before lifting her back onto the couch, running a comforting hand down the side of her neck as she begins to shush her down to a calm state. However, her attempt falters when Y/n shakes her head to remove Gabby’s touch from her neck.
“I can’t—I can’t—“
She tries to find words to explain what’s happening to her right now. Between the pain in her body and the feeling in her head, her brain is scrambling with so many fearful thoughts that the only thing she can truly comprehend is being saved from this horrifying feeling.
Gabby is taken aback when she says it, completely astonished by just how serious this all is. She realizes this isn’t a situation that she can fix on her own, and it makes her feel like such a bad friend that she can’t give her what she needs.
Tears fall from her eyes in panic, well aware that her friend is undergoing something far worse than a mental breakdown, but also knows that the hospital won’t be able to help her.
Only Harry can.
“Let me call for help, okay?“ She asks softly. “I’m gonna send help.”
When Harry sees Gabby’s contact light up his phone, something inside of him instantly fills with worry. He knows, without a doubt, that Gabby hates him more than anybody ever since what happened. And knowing her so well, she would never reach out to him, especially when her negative feelings toward him were so strong, unless it’s serious.
“You have to do something, Harry.” She cries through the phone, peaking over her shoulder to look over Y/n from her location in the kitchen.
She’s still a mess, holding her hand over her heart as if it were going to mend the pain. Her head is thrown over the back of the couch, her other hand running over her face continuously. Her sobs haven’t settled, only seeming to increase with panic over the unfamiliar reaction occurring over her body.
“She thinks you don’t want her and—Harry she thinks she’s dying. Her heart is so broken. She keeps saying her heart is going to fail her and I don’t—I don’t know what to do. I don’t think there’s anything I can do. She—she was trying so hard. Harry, please, you have to—you have to—“
Harry leans on his elbows over the kitchen counter, huffing out a shaky breath when he hears both Gabby and Y/n’s cries through the phone. He rubs his hand over his face, doing anything to prevent the tears nearly pooling out from his eyes.
He’d be lying if he said that guilt isn’t eating him alive in this moment. And it’s not that he hasn’t felt any remorse or any guilt since he’d broken Y/n’s heart, but he’s now fully aware that he has to look at the damage he’s done. He’ll have to witness all the pain, all the heartbreak he’s put her through, and nothing makes him feel worse.
“I’ll do anything.” He whimpers. “Just tell me what to do and I’ll do it. I promise, I won’t keep doing this to her, you have to believe me. Just—“ he lets out a broken breath, reaching his hand up to rub his eyes to prevent any tears from escaping, “just tell me what to do.”
Gabby wipes the tears from her cheeks, yet again peering over to watch over Y/n on the couch. To her dismay, there is absolutely no improvement.
“Come here, pick her up, and bring her home. Just talk to her, please. Nothing makes her feel worse than believing you don’t want her anymore. Hell, even if you don’t—I don’t know with you anymore—just give her something. You’re the only one that can fix this.”
He sighs, nodding his head before making his way out of his house without much of a response to her. He’s only concerned for Y/n, and is so focused on getting to her so that he can prove to her that he’s changed—that he’s not the same Harry he was and is going to be there for her for as long as his life lasts, even if she doesn’t allow it.
But it’s upon arrival he realizes how much more serious this is than he thought. She’s completely breaking down, every inch of her shaking and fear written on her face. She’s a complete and utter mess, a completely wrecked version of such a beautiful, unbroken woman who had so much love in her heart and surrounded by so much love in the air.
And even though Harry knows she believes she’s going to die, apart of him believes she’s already dead. The life inside of her has burned out and is now just a product of what once was. The Y/n he always known is long gone—so far gone he almost doesn’t believe it’s her.
He looks at her with the most distraught and sympathetic look Gabby has ever seen. She has never seen so much guilt in somebody before that—no matter how much she hates him—she can’t help but feel sorry for him, too.
“Baby, hey. Hey now, it’s alright.” He whispers, kneeling in front of Y/n’s shaking figure and tentatively reaching for her hair so that he can attempt to calm her down. “I’m here now, I’m right here.”
A pitiful sound leaves her lips when she looks up at him; something between a whine, a sob, and a groan. It’s messy from her throat being raw from all the screaming and cries, and it leaves an indescribable pain that only makes her cries stronger.
She can’t even think properly, everything in her body overworking itself. It’s something she’s never experienced before, and all the fears of it being permanent rush through her veins—leaving her with an overwhelming amount of anxiety.
“She’s having a panic attack.” Harry mumbles to Gabby, making sure to rub gently over the back of Y/n’s neck. Although panic attacks weren’t common for her, whenever she was overwhelmed and stressed, this gesture always seemed calmed her down.
“I don’t know what to do. I can’t drive with her like this I—Gabby, how do I focus with her like this?” He cries, the situation in front of him making his body turn to shambles, “Especially when it’s my fault? How do I—do I keep her here until she’s calm? I don’t—I don’t know—”
Gabby shakes her head, reaching her hand over to graze his tense shoulder. She squeezes the muscle softly, almost as a sort of reassurance.
“She needs home, Harry—” she whispers, “she needs you.”
He nods, choking back sobs as he brushes the hair out of Y/n’s face. The skin of her face is red and completely soaked, but this is the first time he’s seen her since the morning in the grocery store, and she’s never looked so beautiful.
“I’m going to take you home with me, Y/n. But I need you to breathe for me, can you do that?” He asks, holding her face delicately between his hands, “Breathe with me.”
Y/n sucks in a deep breath when Harry inhales deeply, attempting to rid all the anxiety and pain settling inside of her. Her inhale is broken between hiccups and cries, but as she keeps eye contact with him as she tries to calm down, a little part of her feels revived.
“It hurts.” She whimpers between sobs, referring to the pain in her chest and the throbbing in her head that just can’t seem to heal.
She watches as Harry’s face scrunches with an agonizing cry, and she knows he’s aware of exactly what she’s talking about. She’s been brokenhearted for so long, she doesn’t even think he’s the least bit shocked when she tells him her heart is hurting.
“I know, baby. I know.” He whispers as he kisses her forehead gently. “Let’s get you home, yeah? Make you feel better?”
And as much as she wants to hate him, or yell at him for everything he’s done to her and make him understand just how much of her life he’s ruined, she genuinely feels like her body is going to collapse at any given moment. She needs him, even if it’s just for right now, she has to just focus on everything happening in the now. Harry’s come back to her and she’s about to go back home.
Because if she doesn’t think about the present moment—Harry holding her, Harry kissing her, Harry about to take the both of them back to their house—she’ll never find a way to fix herself. She’ll be stuck in this anxiety and pain for far too long—so long that it could actually kill her.
So she closes her eyes, only focusing on his touch and his breath fanning over her wet face. She forgets the t-shirt, she forgets all the times he’s ignored her after declaring them to take a break, and she forgets about Jessica. At least for right now, she can focus on all that tomorrow.
She nods, and it’s then Harry notices how much more calm she is. Although she’s still crying and still incapable of speaking much from the aching in her throat, she’s breathing properly again and her once undying sobs have turned into soft whimpers.
He leans in so that he can properly wrap his arms around her, hooking one hand on her back and the other under her knees. There’s no way in hell she’s capable of walking—not like this, and in all honesty, he would much rather hold her now than leave her side for another second.
It’s when Y/n is being held so close to him again that the aching in her chest seems to almost vanish completely. And although there is still a weight on top of her lungs, and still a slight uncomfortableness in her heart, she’s finally able to breathe again.
“I’m gonna make this all better, okay? I promise you, gonna fix you.” He mumbles with his lips against her hairline, making sure to keep rubbing the back of her neck softly.
It’s a promise he intends on keeping—a promise he never plans on breaking again. He could never live with himself if he were to keep putting her through all of this pain. She’s the most undeserving person—he knows that—and he knows she’s too pure to go through all that she’s been through the past couple of months.
The car ride is completely silent, only Y/n’s cries and small sniffles filling the empty space. Although she still isn’t completely calm, she’s improved so much since he first came to pick her up and it is able to keep his mind at ease. At least while he drives.
And he doesn’t miss her hand sneaking over the console to intertwine her fingers with his. He doesn’t expect it but he also doesn’t mind it. If anything, it makes him feel better just as much as it does her.
When they pull up to the driveway of their once shared house, every bit of composure she’s withheld in her body is breaking down by the second. Her strength is wearing thin, and knowing she’ll be reuniting in the house where Y/n and Harry once had everything makes her more afraid than ever.
Harry notices her sudden shift in mood and doesn’t hesitate to unbuckle himself from his seat and walk around the car to where her exhausted figure is sobbing, slumped against the passenger seat. He sighs meekly before unbuckling her, as well, and lifting her against him the way he had before.
“Hey there, s’alright, I’m here. We’ll work this out, but you need to sleep first, yeah? Looking very pale and I know you well enough to see you’ve been lacking sleep.”
Although they both know Y/n isn’t going to respond, she wants to continue listening to him speak. It’s something she hasn’t heard in so long, and she wouldn’t even care if he was talking about the goddamn weather, she just wants to hear him again.
He keeps talking, too, because he notices the effects of his voice on her anxiety and how the muscles in her body relax under his words. He’ll stop at nothing to make sure she’s okay again, even if it means having a one-sided conversation.
“You know how you are, too—grumpy and sensitive when you’re tired. Almost take my head off if you don’t get more than seven hours. Remember that one time at my mum’s Christmas dinner party? Barely slept the night before from wrapping so many gifts that you genuinely got upset with me for not knowing your favorite alcoholic beverage.” He chuckles softly. “Funny lil thing.“
Through the nonstop crying and the frown that hasn’t left Y/n’s lips in what feels like an eternity, the first smile stretches from her lips. It’s the smallest closed mouth smile he’s ever seen, but it’s there, and it’s the most genuine feeling of happiness she’s had in so long.
When Harry unlocks the door, he wastes no time making his way over to their couch. He knows very well that she wouldn’t want to sleep on their bed, considering she’s well aware of what he did with Jessica on that bed and he wants no reason to upset her any further.
He sets her down in front of the couch, petting the top of her head softly before gathering a blanket and a pillow for her to sleep on.
He sets it up like a bed, almost, before turning to leave so that she can have her privacy. He doesn’t think she’d want to sleep with him, so he decides to sleep in the guest bedroom since he knows she’d always pick the living room couch over that room.
But before he gets too far, Y/n weakly captures his fingers in hers, pulling him back towards her.
His head snaps down to her finger, noticing the rose ring being worn beautifully on her middle finger. He almost chokes when he sees it on her, eyes wide and lips slightly parted in half confusion and half in awe.
“Please,” she whimpers, “stay.”
He snaps out of his trance at her words, slowly nodding his head as a small “of course” falls from his lips.
He lays comfortably on the couch, looking up at her when he finds a position where she can lay beside him.
“If you want you can take the—alright” he huffs.
His eyes narrow as he watches her lay on top of him—fully on top of him; her cheek nesting right where his shoulder meets his neck as her arms slither around his sides until her hands meet under his back. Her legs tangle perfectly in between his, and in any other circumstance, this probably wouldn’t have been an ideal sleeping position for the either of them. But Y/n is exhausted, both physically and mentally, and she feels this is the only position she can sleep.
Harry doesn’t mind, and easily ignores the subtle uncomfortableness in his back as he wraps his arms securely around her frame.
Although Y/n is already fast asleep on top of it, he’s unsure how he can close his eyes for longer than a blink. This could be the last chance he has to be with her in this way. He’s unsure what tomorrow holds for the both of them and their relationship—it could end entirely or create an entirely new beginning.
With the possibilities almost endless against their favor, he doesn’t want to miss a second of what could be the last of her in his life. So, he embraces the feeling of her tight hold, the little puddle of drool on the shoulder of his t-shirt, and the tickle on his chin from her loose strands of hair, because this could be the last time he feels all of that.
But he also can’t help but feel that small bit of hope still latching onto him. That somewhere—deep down—he knows they belong to each other for the rest of their lives. And that, maybe, if the universe decides that their relationship should end tomorrow, he knows destiny will find a way for the both of them again.
So, he holds her a little tighter, breathes her in a little harsher, and soaks up all the extra warmth in her body, and prays that everything will be okay.