What do you do when your best friend asks you and your (now) ex to be the best men at his destination wedding? You can either tell him the truth, tell him you’re not together anymore, and deal with the consequences, or you can pretend you’re still together and roll with it, just pray you don’t spiral. Fake it ‘til you make it. You know, for the sake of the wedding.
Harry and Louis choose the latter. FAKE/PRETEND RELATIONSHIP WITH A TWIST
He jumps when he feels a hand stroking his hair lightly. “I love it like this,” Louis murmurs, reaching to tug a wayward curl.
“Love what like this?”
“Your hair.” Louis’ touch is hesitant, almost reverent, all trace of humour gone now. “When it’s still kind of damp but the ends are dry and curl up like corkscrews. It’s supposed to look gross but it doesn’t.” He pauses before continuing quietly. “Your curls are so lovely.”
Harry swallows. Louis is a hurricane, and amidst his whirlwind of emotions, he slowly says; deliberately says, “So are you.”
In a world where YouTuber baker Harry pines for the (inconveniently taken) Louis. In other words, another YouTuber AU.
The fact that Louis’s most precious belonging was a cat with a face like thunder and an uncanny ability to cover every single inch of Louis’s clothing with cat hair was something that Louis chose not to think about too much.
or: Harry’s a pop star and Louis isn’t, and there’s a non-disclosure agreement where there used to be a relationship. SECRET RELATIONSHIP
I’ve seen things on my dash that say that the last 24 hours of Liam’s comments about Zayn can fall under “Old Team Sabotage”. But what exactly do they mean by that? “Old Team Sabotage” isn’t stopping Liam - or for that matter, Harry, Niall, or Louis - from releasing music and going on full scale promotional tours. “Old Team Sabotage” isn’t stopping them from saying One Direction will be coming back as a band. Even the dad!Loammy articles that have been generated during the past two weeks’ aren’t really negative or brand damaging (and we can talk about how it was someone on Team Loammy’s decision to use a baby as an active marketing tool another time).
I guess you could make the argument that this is “Old Team Sabotage” to try and lay waste to the One Direction fandom, but at closer inspection, that doesn’t really work either. The only part of the One Direction fandom this hit were OT5 enthusiasts or Ziams, which are the minority of the fandom and not the majority (and the most hardcore of those fandom subsets won’t leave anyway).
The great thing about having some mythical, nefarious entity like 1DHQ is that it can act as a catchall for things we don’t like. Things we don’t like hearing them say, mistakes they’ve made? Those can go in the pile. Granted, One Direction was a boy band that was generating hundreds of millions of dollars, and each of those dudes had to adhere to 5 very straight boy archetypes. We saw signs that they were unhappy in their contracts. Depending on where you fit in the fandom pyramid, we saw them shade and fight against closets. We watched as Zayn left and the four remaining members hugged each other tightly on X Factor like they were survivors.
But at what point does ‘1DHQ’ fall away and we start looking at the choices that are being made by these guys and holding them to them? The term “Old Team Sabotage” worked while these bruhs were still mainly under contract. For a lot of things, it actually does work for Zayn, who’s literally contractually chained to Syco’s radiator due to the Leaving Member Clause. But Harry, Liam, Niall, and Louis all signed brand new contracts as solo artists. In Liam’s case, he signed with a brand new management company, a brand new record label not with Sony, and a brand new publicist.
Two years later, Zayn is clearly an active talking point in the solo campaigns of the other 1D members, and the short answer is a fucked one: his name generates headlines and people love drama. Liam’s team made the decision that Zayn was on the promo table, starting with the comments from yesterday and today. Yesterday they were tone deaf af, white privilege at its finest and dismissive at best, callous and borderline cruel at worst. This morning, they were petty and could be filed under “Dick move, bro”. How do those comments become okay, when even from a narrative standpoint, Zayn expressed gratitude in his time with the band, but explained in print interviews and a whole book, that his reasons for leaving were for his own personal health and happiness? Two years after the fact, all that explaining seemed to go out the window, in exchange for labeling Zayn as “scorned”. The comments especially felt like a punch in the boob coming from Loammy, designated 1D company man who had been openly positive about Zayn previously, and who Zayn particularly spoke fondly and positively about in his own print interviews.
A study in contrast and a punch in my heart boob:
No matter where you fall on the coin, as far as the official narrative, please understand something: the record industry is a business. At the end of the day, the bottom line is decided by Business Hoes, and those Business Hoes are always going to lead with what’s going to make the most dollars, not to personally fuck with a small subset of fans. “Old Team” does not give a fuck about us or our feelings, or even particularly these 5 dudes, except for how they relate to the bottom line. For Liam in particular, a fuckton of money and care has been put into his rollout. Capitol/Republic did not hire the Quavos or the Pharrells or the Ed Sheerans of the world to be faced with contract sabotage.
So I guess what I’m saying is, official narrative or not, however you wanna call it, my general feelings can be summed up by one Michael Scott: