What We Had Is Gone
This fic is also on my Ao3, but I also wanted to post this on my Tumblr. I hope you all enjoy!
Summary: It’s gone, the warm feeling between them that felt as if their hearts were rubbing together. The friction is gone, has disappeared after what Harry did. If Niall takes him back now, there will be too much shrapnel and pieces to pick up–too much damage that has already been done.
It was May 13th, Niall was sitting curled up on his couch with his hands sweating and holding his lyric book tightly. It’s not opened yet, but his thumb is teasing at the side of the pages inside it, ready to flip it opened and pour his heart out.
Heartbreak is the grammy award winning emotion, the feeling that gets the brain thinking dirty, ready to spill out onto pages then into instruments and then echoed out in venues across the world. There are already words in Niall’s head, like ‘fuck you’ and 'how dare you, how dare you do this to me,’ and lastly, 'I’m afraid, I’m so afraid that what we had is all gone.’
But he can’t write yet, the point of him being cooped up in his own house was to be alone. He has his record player opened and a record already placed inside it, the needle teasing over top of it and ready to plummet down and blast the music from the speakers.
It’s Harry’s album, the pink cover that’s all back muscles, wet hair, and that damn cross necklace that Niall has had between his own teeth. It’s laid out beside him on the couch–untouched, but the booklet that came with it is wide opened, the lyrics to the first track in view to Niall’s naked eyes.
He’s scared, and his hands are shaking as he leans forward and grabs at the needle of the player, slowly and carefully placing it down onto the record as it turns at a slow pace. The first song is slow, and called 'Meet Me In The Hallway’ when he stares at the lyric book.
And Niall’s heart never dropped to his stomach that fast.
“Just let me know, I’ll be at the door, at the door. Hoping you’ll come around.” That lyrics sends shockwaves through Niall’s body, has him gripping at his pen and now his lyric book is being flipped opened to the first blank page.
“No, you won’t…” He mumbles under his breath. The tears are already stinging in his eyes and he told himself he wouldn’t cry, had assured himself that he has done enough crying over the stupid human being and ex boyfriend that is Harry Styles. But Harry’s voice is like a knife twisting in his heart, the honey-like deep voice already trying to wrap him up and drag him back to the dark hole he started in.
“When you’re feeling love’s been taken. When you know there’s something missing in the dark, we’re barely hanging on.” He scribbles into the first three lines of the page. They were barely hanging on, him and Harry–fights were too frequent, the days felt longer together because they never knew what to say to make everything better.
“Maybe we’ll work it out.” Harry sings, the vinyl scratching the slightest bit and his voice grows too quiet. But Niall can hear it loud and clear, like sirens in his brain making his ears bleed. No, no they won’t because Harry did this, in the end he was the one that broke down their walls and caused them to collapse. This is unfixable, but dammit Harry is a stubborn man who always thinks he can fix anyone or anything. Even the people he hurt most.
“So I’m afraid that what we had is gone.” He writes in bold, right after the “then you rest your head upon my chest and you feel like there ain’t nothing left.” He even underlines it, pen pressing harshly in the paper almost like it was going to rip right through the book and pierce his lap.
It’s gone, the warm feeling between them that felt as if their hearts were rubbing together. The friction is gone, has disappeared after what Harry did. If Niall takes him back now, again, there will be too much shrapnel and pieces to pick up–too much damage that has already been done.
Harry is repeating some lyrics now, sounding loud and determined with “I gotta get better” Slipping past his lips and through the speakers. This pauses the pen working away in Niall’s hand, and he’s now tapping the back of it along the notebook, perplexed.
Harry wants to get better? He wants to get better and change and be a better person? It sounds like he’s dripping with lies, and now Niall just thinks it’s some random song writer talking, not actually Harry writing this damn song.
But it keeps on repeating, “I gotta get better, gotta get better.” He’s screaming, and it’s cracking Niall’s heart opened all over again. It’s making him feel fuzzy and soft around the edges, and now his past memories are flowing back into his mind. The kisses, the touches, the laughs.
So he writes again, ink gliding along the paper elegantly as he neatly writes down the next part to his thoughts. “Then I think of the start, and it echoes a spark. And I remember the magic and electricity.”
There it is, the drop of a tear staining the page. It smudges the ink from his pen immediately, the 'electricity’ becoming unreadable. But he can’t seem to stop, he’s on autopilot now as he scribbles unsaid words onto the paper.
“Then I look into my heart, there’s a light in the dark. Still a flicker of hope that you first gave to me. And I wanna keep. Please don’t leave, please don’t leave.”
He has to stop, because now he has written 'please don’t leave’ seven times down the paper–a sob rips through his throat and the 'e’ at the end of 'leave’ looks like a scribbled mess. He forces himself to set everything down, now curling into himself and grabbing at one of the couch pillows to bury his face into.
The lyrics of Harry’s song plays in the background, “we don’t talk about it, it’s something we don’t do. 'Cause once you go without it, nothing else will do.”
It’s the tour now, the album is done and the songs are finished. Life is okay again, there is no broken hearts or stained pillows from tears. In fact Niall moved out of that damn flat, the old memories that laid across the place like a thick layer of dust was burning his skin no matter what he touched.
He’s moved on with life, got himself on his feet and his tour is successful–Las Angeles was tonight, a wild crowd that already knew all the lyrics to his songs. They echoed the lyrics back to Niall, the lyrics that he cried to, the lyrics that he laughed to. He saw smiles all over everyones faces, crying and laughing like he did. It’s heaven, the hot stage lights a soothing warmth across his cheeks and his bands music a mental massage for his thoughts.
He has felt amazing, is glowing really. But that changes quickly when he gets back into his change room. Because his stylist whips her head back to stare at him with wide eyes, a security guard meeting his eyes as well and not looking too impressed either.
His heart thuds a little faster in his chest, what’s happening? Are people hurt? He’s been a little on edge with concerts since the attack in Manchester, his anxiety never fails to appear no matter how secure his concerts are.
But it’s not that, it’s not an attack. They still look scared though, and his stylist is chewing at her bottom lip as she moves towards him.
“I think we should leave now, get you out before fans start piling up outside the doors.” She grabs loosely at his shoulder, but when she attempts to move him he digs his heels into the carpet of the dressing room. Something isn’t right, and her excuse doesn’t fool him.
“What’s happening?” He asks, his band shouldering past him and changing out of their sweaty stage clothes. They all look equally concerned, trying not to butt into the conversation but still side-eyeing Niall with curiosity.
“Nothing big, just want you out.” She lightly tugs him again and Niall let’s her steer him out of the dressing room and into the hallway. But now she is freezing in front of him and he is forced to stop before he trips over her feet.
There is a question on his lips, right at the tip of his tongue. But now he’s actually looking up, staring down the narrow hallway and watching as people moan and groan as someone comes barreling past them. Bodies swiftly move, and the group of stage crew break apart–revealing the man Niall got over, but didn’t get over at the same time.
There he is, a walking hurricane as he slips past the last bit of people backstage. He is dressed down compared to what he usually wears–just now wearing a t-shirt and black pants with sunglasses pushing his curly and short hair back. His eyes are wide, the lights reflecting off them and showing just how hard they are burning into Niall’s own.
Harry sees him, and there is no turning back now.
He first wants to say what the fuck, drill a hole into the wall beside him in anger that he couldn’t just be happy. He knows for a fact this won’t end well, he knows Harry will dig that hole right back into Niall’s heart to try and fit himself back in.
But there’s no room for Harry anymore, Niall’s heart isn’t made for him anymore.
“Niall,” Harry’s breathless, stopping in front of him and now he’s only a couple feet away. The only thing separating them is Niall’s stylist who is more than stiff and uncomfortable. She looks nervous, still biting her lip raw. “Niall can we talk? Please?” Harry asks now, regaining his voice.
He wants to say no, Niall can feel the words ready to come out but they are stuck in his throat. He hates himself, hates that this just confirmed Harry still has a grip on him, still controls his mind, body, and soul.
Because that’s what Harry does apparently, he drags you in and expects you to stay even when he leaves you in the dust a million times.
“What do you want?” Niall asks the simple question, now grabbing at his stylists shoulders to move her away. She looks concerned, brows furrowed and now frantically looking back and forth between them. But Niall silently waves her off, eyes flashing 'I’ll be okay.’
But will he?
“I want to talk.” Harry doesn’t sound right, like he’s trying to force the words out of him. But it’s the eyes that concern Niall the most, there is a sparkle of determination in the gold freckles spotted along the green.
“I’m here, so talk.” He mumbles, trying to act like he doesn’t care. But that’s a lie, cause Niall has been caring for a whole year now, has listened to Harry’s album over and over again with his phone clutched in hands, thumb hovering over the call button.
He really has gotten better, but it really was that bad at the start.
Harry looks a little frustrated now, he licks at his lips and moves an hand out to place on the wall and lean against it. He’s worked out a lot since Niall had seen him last, his biceps look hard and stiff.
“Privately.” He says simply, leaning in with a whisper but Niall is just blinking back at him blankly. He won’t take that–there is no way he will be in the same room as Harry Styles, alone.
But mostly he’s scared he will do something he’ll regret–Harry’s biceps will put him in a trance, those green eyes will hypnotize him, and those plump pink lips will become a drug. He’s done this over and over again.
“I’d rather not, here’s fine.” He sounds like a dick, and Harry’s getting more frustrated, the hand that isn’t against the wall is curling in a fist at his side.
“Fine,” Harry grumbles, but now he’s spewing and Niall isn’t ready for everything to collapse on him once again.
“I love you, I’m sorry. I love you so much and I don’t ever want to hurt you like that again. I thought it would be a good idea to speak my apology through my songs but instead it only hurt you more. I know you hate me, I know you never want to see me again but I fucking love you and I needed to say I’m sorry in person.”
Those three words, words that could sound like heaven, but could also be the death of him. Niall isn’t really sure which one it is right now, but he swore his heart stopped beating for a second and the whole world became Harry in his eyes.
“Why would you say that?” Niall doesn’t even realize he asked that question out loud till it’s already said. Harry looks confused, but now a deep frown tugs at his face and eyes fade from green to grey like grey clouds blocking the sun.
“Because I would never lie to you, and my life doesn’t make sense without you.” Harry sounds like he’s about to cry, choking and sounding strained. It captures Niall’s heart again, snatches it and cages it up–the key to the lock is gone, Niall is imprisoned.
So here they are again, Harry’s kissing his neck and laying him out on a hotel room bed. His hands gripping at the flesh of Harry’s hips. His legs are wrapped along Harry’s waist, keeping him close, their chests rubbing together.
It’s like they are trying to bring that friction back to recharge their hearts. Niall can feel the familiar coolness of the cross necklace dangling between his collarbones. And when Harry moves up to bury his nose into Niall’s hair the necklace falls to Niall’s lips, and slowly he bites it and brings it into his mouth.
They’re staring at each other, grinding against one another–shirtless, panting, and sexually frustrated. But the look they give each other doesn’t say 'I love you,’ it speaks 'here we go again.’