The Train - Part Three
Pairing: Y/N and Harry
Word Count: 4500
Prompt: Y/N walks in, and Harry notices she’s wearing yellow again, this time it’s a yellow sweater with a pair of dark skinny jeans and brown ankle boots, her hair is pulled back into a pony tail with a white scrunchie with little smiling suns and he swears that he has to squint to look at her. “Oh! I know you-you’re the guy from the train,” Y/N beams, “Harry, right?” she sets down the tray of muffins.
“I didn’t tell you my name,” Harry snaps.
Y/N pouts, “well yeah, but I’m also not stupid,” she says.
“Are you joining us today Harry?” the man asked, “I’m Seth, I run the group.”
“Why else would I fucking be here,” Harry grumbled.
Y/N grabs a muffin, ignoring Harry’s sour attitude, “here, they’re made with love,” she smiled, holding out the blueberry muffin.
“Fuck off,” Harry says. He watches as her smile fades and the glint in her eyes seems to disappear, for a split second Harry feels like a dick, but then he realizes he doesn’t care and Y/N should just shove the muffin up her ass.
Y/N was fifteen when she first realized that what she felt wasn’t normal.
Y/N grew up in a big family, and she was the middle child, so no one really focused in on her. Her parents focused on getting her older siblings into college and the youngest what they needed, forgetting about Y/N. It seemed like she was invisible in her house hold, and she knew it. It had taken her parents a little over two weeks to realize Y/N ran away one summer. Y/N got away with a lot, since no one bothered to ask how she was feeling.
When Y/N turned seventeen she got her first job, and with her money she bought everything in the color yellow. Y/N hated the color yellow, but yellow meant happiness and she had convinced herself that if she wore it enough, looked at it enough, she would be as happy as the sun.
Y/N hated the way she felt, and she wanted no one to ever feel the way she felt. So she tried helping others, baking for them, laughing with them, taking them out, spending time with them, anything she could to make them feel happy. She believed if they were happy, if she could make others happy, she would eventually become happy herself, but it didn’t work that way.
Y/N knew, she knew that helping others, baking, wearing yellows, were not her way to happiness, but she refused to accept herself. She refused to accept that she needed help. She never spoke in group therapy and every time she saw Seth it was a dead end. She would sit there and talk about her day, go on and on about some new recipes or Nugget, but she would never talk about herself. Seth would ask her how she was feeling to which Y/N would always shrug and say “the usual,” but Seth never knew what the usual meant.
But he knew when she got bad, when she reached her worst days, when she couldn’t be trusted on her own. Y/N would show up drunk for an appointment, hiccupping, tears in her eyes, she would cry, begging Seth to make it all end. She would tell him how she felt hopeless, how she didn’t see the point of trying anymore. She would cry, “why should I try? I’ve got no one, no one likes me, no one would care,” and Seth would close his eyes, really just wanting to take the crying girl into his arms, but he couldn’t, and he would call, waving her right and sending her back.
“Y/N, want to play some UNO?” A nurse asked, smiling at Y/N.
Harry turned his head from the book in his lap, looking over his shoulder at Y/N. She stood in the doorway of her room, her face emotionless. Her eyes weren’t as soft or as bright anymore, the smile she usually wore seemed to be gone, and she didn’t look like Y/N, but a ghost of Y/N.
She doesn’t respond as she walks to one of the empty couches, sitting down and looking at the TV. Harry diverts his attention but to his book, trying his best to focus on the story, but he can’t. His mind goes back to Y/N.
“Y/N, did you take your medicine? What about you Harry?” the same nurse asks, walking over to them.
“I took mine,” Harry says, looking at her. Harry wasn’t sure what they were giving him, but he found himself more calm, and he found himself being able to sleep at night.
“What about you Y/N?” The nurse turns to the girl.
Y/N looks away from the TV to the nurse, shaking her head no. She starts to fiddle with her fingers, “no,” she whispered.
“You know the routine Y/N, vitals and then meds, come on,” the nurse says.
Harry watches as she gets up and follows the nurse down the narrow hallway. He wonders how much longer he’ll be there and if Y/N will ever be able to stay out.
“Hey,” Harry says, sliding into the seat across from Y/N, she sits at the table working on her tenth Sudoku of the day.
Y/N had come to learn that coloring was not her thing, and Sudoku took her a while, but it made the time pass and that’s all there seemed to do at this place. After group therapy in the morning and afternoon, everything else was optional and she chose to stay in her bed or in the common room.
“I wanted to apologize for all the things I said to you,” Harry says, taking his lower lip in between his teeth, “I’ve uh, I’ve been seeing Janet and she’s helped me open up and realize that I was taking out my anger on you and the fans, and everyone else really, but I wanted to say sorry.”
“Thanks,” she whispered, and goes back to her puzzle.
Harry bites his lower lip, “how are you?”
“I’m in here.”
“This place is a real dump huh?” Harry says.
Y/N looks at him for a second, “you can’t relate to me, so please don’t try,” she said.
“But you were, you and me aren’t the same. You’re on fifteen minute watches I’m on five, you’re depressed, so am I and that’s the only thing we have in common but not even because we are different people,” Y/N says, “people like you, people don’t like me. As you’ve said before, I’m annoying.”
Harry’s taken back by her words, “I didn’t mean it-“
“But you did, and it’s fine, I’ve heard it all before,” Y/N says, “now if you don’t mind I would like to finish my puzzle before snack time.”
She’s not the same Y/N and that bothers Harry. In the two months he’s seen Y/N he has never seen her like this and he wonders which is the real Y/N.
“I’m really grateful that you took me home that night,” Harry keeps going.
Y/N stands, grabbing her puzzle and pen, “I appreciate you talking to me, but you just like everyone else will leave and I have no interest in getting attached to someone who is going to walk out of my life.”
Y/N’s fear of abandonment is probably what had lead her into the hole she’s in. Y/N hated being by herself, she hated coming home to no one, she hated not having friends, she hated eating alone, she hated walking alone, she hated being alone. So she bought Nugget, and ironically enough she ended up being the one to abandon him every couple of months to be tossed in her hole again.
Y/N never let anyone in, because she had seen what it had done to her family. She had watched her dad leave, then her step dad, then her mother’s new boyfriend, only to watch the women fall apart. She had watched her siblings lose loved ones, she had watch them build a relationship only to have the other person walk away-and she refused to have that happen to her.
But she didn’t know when she made the option to not let anyone in, she would be as lonely as she is. Y/N had no one, she had her group therapy and even then she was tired of seeing former members leave and new one’s join. She was scared, scared of opening up to have someone take what they want and leave, she was scared just like Harry.
Y/N wrapped her arms around herself as she sat on the couch, staring at the TV screen. One of the other girls had picked out the movie and Y/N wasn’t much of a fan, but the nurse encouraged her to get out of her room. Y/N knew the routine by now, join all the activities, eat, and stay out of your room, and in a week she would be home.
“Want some popcorn?” Harry asked, holding out the bag.
Harry was set to leave tomorrow, and he was ready. He was ready to go back home, he was ready to see his family again and be around them.
“What the hell do they have you on to make you less of a dick?” Y/N retorts.
“Uh, I think it’s Tricyclic, I was on Prozac but it made me even more depressed-well not really I just kind of shut down and felt nothing so they put me on this new one like a week ago? I’m starting to feel like my old self again,” Harry explained, “what the hell are you on that makes you bitter?”
Y/N grabs the bag from his hand, “none of your business, and I’m not bitter, I just don’t want to be here.”
“Well compared to the Y/N I met a while back you’re bitter,” Harry stated.
“Yeah, well you’ve changed too, depression doesn’t just go away with pills, you’ll figure it out,” Y/N says.
“I think what I needed was a mental break, you know? And for me, being here worked. I was away from the public eye, from fans, from work, and this isn’t your mental break,” Harry stated.
“Then what is my mental break?” Y/N asked.
“I don’t know, I’m not you, everyone is different right? If you could go anywhere, to just like escape, where would you go?”
Y/N presses her lips in a line and thinks, “I don’t know.”
“Oh come on, where is your happy place?”
“I don’t know.”
“I don’t have a happy place Harry, I don’t have a place that I can go and relax, a place where I can be with myself, because I hate myself and do not want to spend time with myself, do you get that?” she snapped, tugging the blanket up to her legs, “why are you being so nice to me anyways? Because I’m in here? What do you think your comments put me in here-because they didn’t.”
“No,” Harry shakes his head, sighing, “you saved me.”
“I did not.”
“You did, that night at the train station-on the tracks, Y/N I didn’t care if I died, I didn’t care if a train ran me over, but you helped me. That stunt would’ve killed me, it would’ve hurt my family, and you not only saved me but you saved them, and I want to do the same, I don’t want you to even reach the place I was in, I don’t want to see you on those tracks,” Harry stated.
“I did what anyone else would do,” Y/N said.
“Anyone else would have dropped me off somewhere and went to the press, you took care of me and kept my life out of the media, Y/N you respected my privacy and you saved me. I was being reckless and stupid that night, I wasn’t in my right mind, and now you need your own Y/N to help you,” Harry whispered.
Y/N looks at him with a blank stare, and Harry knows she’s already there.
Harry hears the sound of Nugget’s paws on the ground before he hears Y/N shuffling around. He had gotten out three days before Y/N, and every time he went to visit the nurses would apologize and say that Y/N wanted no visitors, she was shutting him out, she was shutting the world out, and he didn’t want that. Harry didn’t want to find Y/N in the state he was in.
When the door is pulled open Y/N stands with two garbage bags in her hands and he can see that it’s all filled with clothes, more specifically yellow clothing. Her house doesn’t smell like cookies, instead it smells of coffee and he wonders if she’s even bothered to bake.
“What are you doing?” Harry asked.
“Donating these, it was stupid,” Y/N mumbled, closing the door behind her and walking down the hall where she sets the bags in the donation pile, “why are you here?”
“I’m going to take you to your happy place, and if by the end of the week you’re not happy I’ll leave you alone, I promise,” Harry says, holding up his pinky.
“I don’t have a happy place,” Y/N says, unlocking her door and before she can shut it Harry sneaks in.
She rolls her eyes and shuts the door behind her, “see, I don’t believe that. Now come on Y/N give me five days, I promise you’ll love it,” Harry says.
“Look I saved your life-but you don’t have to do this okay? I’m okay being on my own,” Y/N stated.
“You’re not Y/N! If you are in and out of there you are not okay!”
“Your job isn’t to fix me!” Y/N yelled, crossing her arms and Harry can tell she’s angry.
Her chest rises and falls and her breathing increases as her dull eyes brim with tears. She’s a mess, a terrible and broken mess, and Harry just wants to fix her. His heart breaks seeing the girl in front of him.
“I know that,” Harry says softly, “but it doesn’t mean I don’t want to be your friend.”
“Why would you want to be my friend?”
“Well for starters you’re an amazing baker, which leads me to believe you must be an amazing cook. And you like my favorite shows, and you’re cute, and you’re nice, why wouldn’t I want to be friends with you?” Harry asked.
“I’ve never had a friend before,” Y/N whispered, her eyes dropping to the ground.
“No one is meant to be alone,” Harry says, “and I would love to be your friend.”
Y/N is silent for a second, biting the inside of her cheek as she weighs her options. The fear of leaving with Harry, of being happy, and then losing him scares her, but the idea of her being alone that night with her thoughts scares her even more.
“You visit Seth a lot huh?” Harry asked, looking at her calendar that rested on her fridge.
Y/N sits on top the counter next to the stove where Harry cooks himself a meal. Her legs are crossed and she’s slumped forwards, her dull eyes on the pan next to her that sizzles, “yeah,” she says.
“Can I ask why? Also that posture is bad for you, try and sit up,” Harry says.
Y/N ignores him, “he’s the only person I’ve got.”
“Y/N no one is meant to be alone,” Harry stated, he turns back to her, his eyes soft, “I’ve been alone, and I didn’t like it.”
“I don’t need a friend.”
“Well we don’t have to be friends,” Harry shrugged, “we can just be alone together.”
“Alone together?” Y/N repeats, her eyebrows scrunched together in confusion.
“Yeah, we can eat alone together, we can watch a movie alone together, we don’t have to talk, but we can just be alone, without being lonely,” Harry explained, “how does that sound?”
“Alone together,” Y/N repeated, “sounds nice.”
And that’s how their small routine began. Harry would pop over in the morning when Y/N’s hair was still a mess, her pajama’s a mess, and drool on her cheek, and while she showered Harry would make them a light breakfast. Y/N would sit eating in silence as she read her book, Harry would sit across from her scribbling little versus that came into his mind on to a sheet of paper.
When breakfast was over Y/N would do the dishes and take Nugget for a walk, when she returned the two would sit in her living room. Y/N would work silently from home and Harry would sit on her couch, strumming his guitar in silence as he tried to get back into the groove of things, which he found to be slightly difficult but not as hard as before. They would eat lunch and dinner together in comfortable silence. Y/N liked it, she liked not being alone, she liked not having to cook for one, she liked having someone else around her, she liked not being lonely.
It wasn’t until December rolled by that Y/N started to get anxious. Harry was bound to go home and spend it with his family, leaving her alone and she wasn’t sure she was ready to be lonely again. Harry could sense her discomfort at lunch.
“What are you doing for Christmas?” Harry asked, breaking the silence.
In the month of their agreement Y/N and him had kept to herself in silence. Harry would ask her some questions relating to what she wanted to eat but besides that the two spent their time in silence, and they both seemed to be comfortable with it.
Harry liked it, he liked sitting near her, he liked eating with her, he liked Y/N. He liked how she scrunched her nose when she couldn’t figure something out or she was confused, he liked how she pouted at her screen when she was working and was annoyed, or the small, soft, giggles that left her mouth when Nugget would climb on her laptop to grab her attention. He liked Y/N, a lot, and he knew it was an issue.
“Nothing,” Y/N says softly, “you?”
Harry watches as she tucks a strand of hair behind her ear and rest her chin on the palm of her hand. Harry had noticed how the bags under her eyes had begun to disappear and how the life was slowly returning back to her eyes.
“My family is spending it with my step dads side of the family,” Harry explained, “and I thought about flying back, but I think since they are flying out here for New Year’s I might as well wait, and so I guess I was hoping that maybe I could spend it with you.”
“But this time we aren’t alone,” Harry adds, “we can just be together.”
Harry looks at her hopefully, biting his lower lip. He watches as Y/N presses her lips in a line to hide the smile, “I would like that,” she says.
“I like our time together,” Harry says.
“Yeah, me too.”
“Oh I don’t know Harry,” Y/N says as Harry hands her the leash to Nugget. She looked down at the dog in little green boats and a white jacket, the snow wasn’t terrible, only falling in soft flakes and then melting as soon as it hit the ground, “a tree, really?”
“Well it is Christmas Y/N, what am I supposed to put your present under?” Harry asked.
Harry smiled as he looked at her, she had stopped wearing yellow, and while Harry liked the yellow, he liked this Y/N more, the one who did things to please herself, the one who was comfortable in her own clothes (except she happened to be wearing Harry’s jacket, but he didn’t mind at all, she looked better in it than he did).
“We can get a tree but we have no decorations,” Y/N says as she looks at the different trees in front of her, “and it has to be small, it can’t be taller than me.”
“Darling, I don’t think they make trees that short,” Harry teased.
Y/N smiled, “you’re not funny.”
“Just pick out a tree and then we can take it home, drop of Nug, and get decorations, it’ll be fun I promise,” Harry says, excitement laced in his voice.
Y/N sighs, looking around until she sees the one she wants. It’s as tall as her, and with the stand it’ll only be a couple inches taller. She looks at Harry with a smile on her face and his heart skips a beat because Y/N, the real Y/N is back. Not the girl who wears yellow and bakes all the time, not the girl who sits in a behavioral unit looking for a way to escape, but Y/N. The Y/N that loves Nugget, that loves to read, the Y/N who has bad days, the Y/N who sometimes wants to be alone together, the Y/N who warms Harry’s heart and doesn’t care that he’s Harry Styles.
“This is it!” Y/N smiled, “it’s perfect.”
“It is,” Harry agrees, picking up the tag.
“Okay, maybe this wasn’t a bad idea,” Y/N says, “I haven’t had a tree in years.”
“So what you’re saying is, Harry you’re right?” Harry smirked.
“What I’m saying is, it’s a good idea,” Y/N stated.
She reaches up to wipe a snow flake that falls on her eye and Harry chuckled, “your mascara smudged a bit, darling,” he says, reaching over and gently wiping it away. Y/N likes his touch, it’s warm and gently. She can feel her cheeks get warm and she wonders if he can tell. Harry drops his hand, “there we go,” he whispered.
“Thank you,” Y/N says, “it was stupid to wear makeup.”
“You did have the raccoon look in the bag,” Harry joked.
Y/N laughs, “come on, let’s get the tree I’m cold, and we still have to stop by Seth’s so I can give him the cookies.”
“Thank you,” Seth smiled grabbing the small plate from Y/N, he looks out into the waiting area to see Harry sitting on a chair holding Nugget in his lap, “you two seem to be spending a lot of time together.”
“Yeah, he’s nice,” Y/N says.
“He managed to get you to ditch the yellow,” Seth comments, “how are you feeling?”
“Honestly?” Y/N asks, Seth nods. For the first time Seth sees Y/N, he sees a real and genuine smile on her face, eyes that match her warm smile, a smile that lights up her whole face, “I’m good, I’m really good.”
“I’m happy to hear that Y/N,” Seth grins, “do you think we can do once a week every other week?”
Y/N nods, “yeah, that sounds good.”
“Darling,” Harry calls, he stands walking over to her, “I’m going to take Nugget outside, he seems like he needs a wee break.”
And then he bends down, kissing her cheek and Y/N’s taken back by the sudden gesture, and Harry is to. But he’s never liked the way Seth had looked at Y/N, he could tell, that just like him, Seth liked Y/N a little too much, and he knew Y/N better.
“Oh, okay,” Y/N says, “I’ll be out in a second.”
“Nice to see you again Harry,” Seth smiled.
“Yeah, you to man, take care,” Harry forces a smile on his face and turns from the two.
Seth raised an eyebrow at Y/N, “you two seem cozy,” he comments, “well I hope you enjoy your holiday’s, and thank you for the cookies.”
“Thank you, you never gave up on me,” Y/N says.
“I’m happy to see you’re doing better, and you know the group will be happy to see you if you ever want to stop in and just say hello,” Seth stated.
“Yeah, of course,” Y/N nods.
“I’m sorry, but I just have to ask,” Harry says quickly, Y/N looks over from her side of the tree.
She places another ornament on a branch, “ask what?”
“Did you and Seth have like-a relationship outside of therapy?”
“No, he can’t date his patients and I don’t think I would like to date my therapist,” Y/N giggled, “why? You jealous?” she teased.
“Yes.” Harry looks over at her and she seems to freeze, “I like you Y/N, and I’m surprised you haven’t noticed.”
“Excuse me?” Y/N squeaks.
“I never wanted to get into another relationship after my last one, it just seemed like so much. It felt like I was being used, and then I met you, and I started spending time with you and I like it, I like you, I like the time we spend together,” Harry admits, “and God, please, if you don’t feel the same way stop me now because I would rather be friends and keep you in my life than lose you altogether.”
“I’m scared,” Y/N admits, “I’ve never liked anyone as much as I like you.”
“I haven’t either, and we can figure it out together,” Harry promised, “I’m not going to leave you Y/N. Never, not now, not in the future, not even if us being together doesn’t work out, I will not leave you.”
Harry holds out his pinky, and wraps it around Y/N, kissing hers, “pinky promise,” Y/N whispered, “pinky promise,” he repeats.
“Hey,” Y/N whispered as she holds the blanket around her, her glasses rested on her nose and she yawned, her hair falling all over the place her scrunchie slipping out of her hair and Harry can’t help but chuckle at how ridiculously cute she looks, “are you coming to bed?”
“Yeah, I just wanted to set your present under the tree,” he says, grabbing the small box and placing it next to hers, “I got Nugget something to.”
When Harry walks into her bedroom he sees her laid in bed, tucked under the grey blankets, her arm under her head, “saved you a spot,” she says.
“Why thank you,” Harry grins, wrapping his fingers around his shirt and lifting it over his head, he tosses it on the chair and slides in next to Y/N. Harry rests on his side, his face inches away from her, “merry Christmas.”
“Merry Christmas,” Y/N repeats.
“I think the best gift you could have given me was not turning me down back there,” he says, leaning over, he pressed his lips against hers in a gentle manner and Y/N follows his movements. It’s warm and it makes her stomach flip, he’s gentle, his hand coming up to her cheek to hold her as close as possible, “thank you.”
“I think that was my favorite gift,” she says.
“C’mere,” Harry mumbled, pulling her close and wrapping his arms around her, the scent of vanilla filling his nose.
“Thank you for not giving up on me,” Y/N whispered.
“I would never give up on you,” Harry responds, rubbing small circles on her back.
Y/N relaxes into his touch, letting herself rest next to him. She presses a kiss to his jaw and then closes her eyes.
When Harry wakes up he turns to his side to see Y/N still sleeping. Drool rests on her chin and some on her pillow, her lips parted as she snores softly, her hair a mess behind her, and the blanket tucked under her chin. He groans, pulling her closer and closing his eyes as he enjoys her warmth.
He can’t remember the last time he had been so content, so happy, holding someone in his arms. He can’t remember the last time he was comfortable with someone, he can’t remember the last time he looked at such a mess in the morning and was convinced that she looked so beautiful at the same time.
But he’s okay with that, because he doesn’t want to remember anyone before Y/N. He wants to keep his past in the past and work on his future with Y/N. A future with Y/N meant a future of happiness, and Harry knew. He knew that there would be bad days, days were she would just want to be alone, but she wouldn’t be lonely. He knew there would be days where he would feel alone, but it didn’t mean he was lonely, because she would be there for him, and he would be there her.
She was home.
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