I’m sorry it’s taking forever to update, but thank you for being patient and sticking around!
If you haven’t, this follows the Whipped Friends series which you can read here.
Every tear that slipped, every muffled cry that got caught in his throat, every heart breaking sigh made Y/N break just a little more. Her Harry’s breaking down right before her eyes and she doesn’t know what to do, what to say, to make him feel better.
It’s never been this bad either. On days when he didn’t feel like himself, whether it was because he was feeling under the weather or just having a bad work day, a bath and a cuddle normally did the trick.
He would get home from a particularly bad day, body slumped and feet practically dragging on the floor. And Y/N would be sat on the couch in one of Harry’s shirts and a pair of boy shorts, feet propped on the coffee table, flipping through channels, the rim of a glass of red wine between her lips. She’d glance his way when a soft ‘hey, love’ escaped his lips, and she’d look at the way his tall frame would walk over to where she was, and knowing what was to come, she’d sit up straight and plant both feet on the white carpet, wine glass sat on the table. He’d offer her a small smile before toeing off his shoes and plopping down at the edge of the couch, giving himself enough room that when he lies down, his head would rest on her lap, eyes meeting hers. Only then would she ask what was wrong, and feeling safe, Harry would tell her about how his day went from bad to worse. She would let his fingers play with hers, his other hand resting on top of his chest, sometimes mindlessly fiddling with his necklace. She’d hear him out and nod accordingly, speaking when necessary while the fingers on her free hand worked to pull at his hair in twists. And Harry would feel better after, he always did. Just having his Y/N listen to him and empathise is all he needed sometimes, Harry just felt like he needed to be heard.
And that’s what she did. No matter the situation, even before they started dating. Y/N always made time for Harry, as did he for her.
She would listen and give him advice. When they were best friends she would gladly take on Harry’s problems, and she would console him the best she could by doing things Harry enjoyed, to get his mind off things until they came up with a solution together.
She still listens, and gives advice, now that they’re dating. She still takes on his problems, and she’ll console him the best she can by still doing things Harry enjoys. They’ll go out for late dinners, Harry still choosing to sit next to her, taking the chance to lay his head on her shoulder, arms crossed as they think up a solution to his problem. They’ll go for walks around town, popping by their favourite little cafe for coffee on a nice chilly day, and stay for a bit to chat to their favourite waitress. She’ll gladly watch rom-coms until the next day, too, and pepper him with kisses when she gets the chance.
But now, she’s not so sure that would even help.
What can she do? Other than let him get it out, let him sulk as she stays kneeled in between his thighs. The room’s fallen into a heart breaking silence, and no matter how many times Y/N’s pleaded with him, begged him to tell her what’s wrong, Harry hasn’t budged, hasn’t muttered a single word other than the phrase ’m'sorry, love. M'so so sorry.’ It’s the only thing he’s said since he wrapped his arms around her, grip tight like if he was scared that if he let go she wouldn’t be there. His sobs rack his body uncontrollably, she can feel the heaving of chest against her own in attempts to gain control, failed attempts to stop crying. She feels his hot breath on her neck every time he whispers those words, and it’s starting to scare her, not knowing exactly what he’s sorry for.
All she knows, all she sees when she finally pulls away from his tight embrace is red bitten lips. His cheeks blotched a dark tint of pink, and damp from the tears that’ve finally stopped. His eyes are red and puffy, eyelashes wet. Nose red from when he’d rubbed at it with the back of his hand to rid it of any snot.
“Need t'take a shower,” is all he says.
He’s not meeting her gaze.
“Harry-” she begins. She needs to know what’s wrong. She needs to know what he’s sorry for.
“G'na take a shower.” His head is pounding, the pulsing on his temples sending him into a daze the second he makes any effort to push himself up off the chair. He can’t remember the last time he cried this much.
But his head hurts, his eyes hurt, his throat hurts…his heart hurts.
And he can’t bear to look at the woman he’s hurt.
Heart heavy, he makes his way to the bathroom, heel of his hand pressing into his eyes.
He strips down, movements too weak that it seems he’s taking longer just to remove his shirt. When his feet hit the cold tiles of the walk in shower and the hot water begins to trickle down his back, he lets himself break down for the second time since he’s stepped foot in the house. He stands under the shower head, hoping the steam that’s building up mixed with the sensation of water washing over his body would relax him in the slightest, but it doesn’t. Of course it doesn’t.
Now, he’s gotta decide. Does he tell her now, or does he wait.
“You’d think Netflix would stop asking if we’re still watching after the tenth time of clickin’ yes,” Harry laughs, pressing the button to assure the telly that yes, they’re still wide awake.
They’ve been binging on the US version of The Office ever since Harry mischievously woke her from a nap.
She’d seemed spent when she got to his, instantly letting her body fall on his comfy white sofa. Harry had stepped away for no more than five minutes to fetch a blanket, only to find her asleep when he walked back into the sitting area. He’d taken off her shoes for her, leaving her to rest for about two hours, until he got bored of course. He’d finished the book he was reading, and had even taken some time to jot down ideas on his brown leather journal. When he had nothing else to write, he’d tiptoed back into the room, undoing the bun his hair was in and slipping the hair tie on his wrist. He had admired the way she looked, so serene, lips parted slightly to allow her lungs to fill with air. He thought maybe, if he pressed his lips to hers and she didn’t wake up, he’d finally find out what she tastes like. He’d always wondered. But no, he couldn’t. Not his best friend. Not like that and definitely not if it might ruin things. So he pushed the thought to the back of his mind and instead grinned cheekily, taking a few strands of his hair in between his fingers and bringing the edges of it to the apples of her cheek. He choked back laughs as he tickled at her temples, then just behind her exposed ear, and to the top of her lip. Harry’s eyes smiled at the way her brows knitted, and she’d brought the pads of her fingers to scratch where his hair lingered. It’d taken a good five minutes until she’d finally gotten up in disgruntlement, knuckled at her still tired eyes, and lightly pulled at Harry’s hair only for him to over dramatise the gesture and tumble forward, over the back of the sofa, and on top of her still laying body.
Harry had laughed at Y/N’s incapability to push him up and off her, his body clearly much stronger. And she’d only settled when Harry sat up, wrapped an arm over her shoulder, and pulled her up and into him, pressing a kiss to the top of her head. They’d talked about her day for a bit until Y/N insisted they watch the telly, and Harry couldn’t help but feel like there was something she wasn’t telling him, but he obliged none the less.
So now here they are, arguing over how Jim hasn’t said anything about his crush to Pam.
“What was that??” Y/N’s so involved in the show that Harry thinks she thinks if she screams loud enough at the telly, somehow the characters will be able to hear her.
“Harry, did you see that??” She moves to sit up, taking Harry’s arm with her.
“Paper, love. They do work at a paper company y'know.” She scolds him, stare kept no more than a second before she’s turning back to the telly.
“But why’d he take it? Didn’t he put it there for her to read!” She wasn’t questioning the fact that Pam was meant to see it, rather stated that Jim meant to give it to her for a reason.
“Maybe he changed his mind.” Harry knew what that would set off.
“Ugh-” she grunts, plopping back into his chest with force, but not enough to really bother him any, “why can’t he just tell her! Would save a lot of trouble.”
“S'not as easy as it seems, kitten.”
It never is.
“But-” she chokes out, “why?” Her voice small, hurt.
“Hey,” he whispers, like you would to get the attention of a sad toddler, “hey. Wha’s wrong, kitten?” He feels like there might be more to it than just Jim discouragement to tell Pam he likes her.
The light emitting from the TV allows him to see the single tear that’s making its way down her cheek, and he reaches out to wipe it with his thumb.
She laughs half-heartedly, “nothing, nothing. M'fine.”
But all it takes is that look. All Harry has to do is stare at her long and enough, and right into his arms she goes, sobbing and shaking.
It isn’t long until his white tee is soaked at the shoulder, his best friend clenching by where it’s ripped in a hole.
Harry rubs at her back when he moves her to sit on his lap. He sighs into her hair, eyes closed and chest heavy just at the thought of her hurting. His large hand strokes her hair as he rocks her back and forth. And when she seems calm enough, he detaches himself to look at her face, his hands reaching out, removing the strands of hair sticking to her cheeks, thumbs caressing at the flushed skin.
“Who did this to ye’, pet?” He’s pleading for her to tell him.
But she doesn’t say anything, just nods her head no and wipes harshly at her eyes to dry them.
“C'mon then.” He pats at her thighs once, and Y/N tucks a strand of hair behind her ear as gets up off his lap.
Harry kisses her forehead and whispers “be right back” before clicking the telly off and disappearing into the hallway in the direction of his room.
“Here.” He reappears with his long black coat on, his beige jumper in hand, handing it to her with a small smile. And yes it’s much too big for her, but it smells like Harry. And that’s okay.
She might not want to tell him exactly what she’s got going on, but he’ll be damned if he’s just gonna sit around not doing anything to lift her spirits up.
“Harry,” she whines. She really doesn’t feel like going out, not for the next year at least.
“Please, kitten. Jus’ put m'jumper on.”
She doesn’t question him after that. He hands her her shoes from where he’d placed them, and slips on his own.
They walk down the streets in silence with their hands in their pockets, Harry occasionally glancing to make sure she was okay.
“Know ye’ too well, kitten,” he says, hoping to get her to talk to him.
“M'fine, H.” And again, a weak smile he’d come to know as her 'tell’ in situations like this.
They’re nearing a corner when a body bumps into her.
“Sorry. M'sorry-” the guy starts, “Y/N?”
“Oh, hey man.” Harry greets, nodding his head once as an informal 'hello’.
She tenses up.
“Hey, Harry,” the hello’s rather quick as he turns his attention back to Y/N.
“Y/N, can we talk?” He reaches a hand out, but she steps back from his reach.
Harry notices how she’s looking anywhere but at her boyfriend.
The man glances at Harry once, a flash of irritation in his eyes.
“I need to talk to you,” and this time he grips her arm. All Harry does is stare at where he touches her, eyebrows knitted in…concern. Maybe even anger. And he can’t ignore the fact that his tummy had tighten in…jealousy?
Harry doesn’t need to see more, the situation clearly uncomfortable for her, so he removes the man’s hand, “don’ think she wants to, man.”
He snaps, “doesn’t concern you Harry. She’s my girlfriend.”
“Was.” It’s the first she’s said since they’d left his place.
“No. I just, let me-” he takes another step towards her, and this time Harry wedges himself in between them, one hand finding Y/N’s behind him, the other firm on the guy’s chest to halt any other actions.
He tries to look at her, eyes pleading, but Harry’s body seems to shield all of her from his view.
“I’m sorry okay.”
Y/N turns her head to avoid the man she thought she once knew as he makes his way around Harry and past her, the sob that’d been caught in her chest erupting from her throat.
If Harry recalls correctly, he remembers Y/N was completely smitten with that guy. It was as clear as day when she first introduced him, eyes brighter than Harry had ever seen. And Harry was courteous with the bloke. Made conversation when Y/N brought him to gatherings, but they were never really friends, per-se. He couldn’t pinpoint what it was either. Maybe because she’d stopped going to his, making the trip only once in a while and no longer staying at his when he asked. Maybe Harry was jealous because for the year or so they dated; he had to share Y/N with another man. No, not maybe, definitely, but he’d never admit that.
Y/N wipes at her eye harshly, a tear already threatening to fall.
“Don’t wanna talk about it.” And she’d kept walking along.
Harry presses his forehead to the shower wall, tile cool despite the temperature in the room due to the hot water. He remembers that day. It was the first time he’d seen her that broken. It was the first time he realized how fragile she really was.
He also remembers the night she’d revealed to him the reason for the breakup. It was the same night he’d confessed his love for her. They had been talking about everything and anything, and after Harry confessed that she was the reason for the lads’ teasing, she’d shyly mumbled 'y'know. That’s why my last relationship didn’t work out.’
He’d been confused at first, until she’d explained that her ex had become overbearing. He had compiled an endless, and frankly absurd, amount of reasons for why he thought she was cheating. He’d admitted that he was very wary of Harry. He’d insisted and insisted that surely Harry didn’t want just a friendship from Y/N. It’d started with 'a guy knows when another guy is into his girlfriend.’ Which turned into 'I see the way you two look at each other’ until it became everything he could talk about. She’d tried to explain more than once that it wasn’t at all like what he thought. That Harry and her were only friends. But of course that didn’t help. Not when her ex knew them before he’d expressed an interest in her, not when he saw them cuddling at gatherings, or sharing lingering glances.
She told Harry how she tried to make it work, tried to defuse the situation, but when her ex had gone banging on her flat door, drunk and in the mood to fight, is when she’d called it quits. She told Harry how she wasn’t going to stand for it, not after he’d yelled harsh words, accusing her of having an affair and calling her a whore.
Harry remembers it all because it was the same night he’d promised he’d never hurt her in any sort of way. He didn’t want to be the cause of her sadness.
But now here he is, in a position he could never have thought he’d be in.
He exits the bathroom to find his bedroom empty, curtains still closed, rays of light illuminating a picture of the both of them in its respective frame. He walks to the dresser to pull out a pair of briefs and shorts.
Meanwhile Y/N’s been sat quietly on the white, soft sofa. Telly background noise to her thoughts, a foot tucked under her knee and her hands clasped together on her lap.
Her head whips up when she hears footsteps nearing from behind to see Harry, damp hair and all making his way to her.
She says nothing, rather watches meticulously at the way his body moves, a hand running through his hair to push the wet strands slickly back, his nose scrunching for a second and his eyebrows knitting.
“What’re we watching?” He coughs into his fist before taking a seat next to her and giving her a small smile, his hand on her bare thigh.
It feels like she hasn’t heard his voice in a hot minute.
When she doesn’t answer, Harry turns his head to press a kiss to her temple, allowing his lips to linger and his eyes to close as he breathes in her scent.
“I love you, y'know tha’ right?” His thumb rubs her skin, state holding hers.
She’s somewhat relieved to hear that, but it doesn’t settle her worries fully.
She nods anyway.
“Love you, too.”