Louis looked at the text on his phone sent from Niall. Harry’s team had won their semifinal against Liam’s, so Louis’ team would be playing Harry’s for the final Frisbee Battle of the year; the Frisbee Battle to end all Frisbee Battles, you could say. Excellent.
Except...Harry’s team was a total unknown for Louis. Harry was a new captain this year and somehow in the drawings of how Niall had set up the games, Louis’ team had never played Harry’s.
“Dude, are you ignoring me about more Frisbee Battle shit?”
“Language!” Louis teased as he turned to look at at his sister sitting beside him. “Plus, it isn’t just shit, Charlotte. This is serious college pride that is on the line here.”
Lottie rolled her eyes and looked down at her scrambled eggs. “The game doesn’t even make sense, Lou.”
Louis scoffed. “Just because you haven’t been initiated to the age old Logan University tradition that is Frisbee Battles yet doesn’t mean you can judge me for it. You don’t understand it because it literally only has one rule: you can’t leave the designated field-of-play. Otherwise it’s pretty much a free for all that is completely incredible because of the fact it is so physically trying and the tactics are always changing. It’s pretty cool, actually.”
Lottie kept shoveling eggs and sausage into her mouth as if Louis hadn’t said anything.
“Anyway, does mom not feed you guys anymore? God. It’s okay to, like, chew before you swallow, you know.”
“Shut up. I was up at the ass crack of dawn because Fizzy was freaking out about her PSATs and then I had to drive up here to see your ugly face, so sue me if I’m hungry.”
Louis blinked, completely unamused. Once he’d swallowed his bite of toast, he said, “Such a filthy mouth for such a young girl. Does Mom know you talk like this when she’s not around?”
“Probably,” Lottie smirked. “She washed your mouth out enough when you still lived at home to know I likely picked it up somewhere along the line.”
Louis shrugged. “True. Hurry up and finish. I’ve gotta go talk strategy with Bebe and Steve.”
“We’ve never even been able to see them play,” Bebe whined as she took another sip of wine straight from the bottle. Louis had tried handing her one of his super fancy mason jars he’d saved from his mom’s homemade applesauce she’d sent back with him back in the fall, but Bebe had decided to just keep it real and drink from the bottle. Not that Louis really minded. He’d started it this time around, anyway.
“How are we going to get information about who’s even on his team?” Steve asked from where he was doing push ups on the floor. “We need to know if we’re going to be going against people who are speedy but not particularly strong, or if they’re big and slow, all that kind of shit so we know what we’re going against.”
Louis pulled at his lip. They didn’t know when or where exactly the final would be going down until around twenty-four hours in advance. The University had put up sanctions against Frisbee Battles after too many students ended up with concussions about ten years back, so now it was all underground. There was a Game Ruler who organized everything and passed it on to someone new once they graduated, and right now that was Niall. He found different locations that were unused and would work for the games as needed and then texted the captains of the teams about when to meet up, but because of that few people who weren’t associated with the specific teams playing that night found out about them and were able to watch. Unless Louis’ team played the others, he didn’t really get a chance to know who was on the team at all.
They were also always late at night so they wouldn’t interfere with usual business hours for jobs or classes in order to allow for the highest participation possible. There were currently twenty teams on campus, and Louis’ was in the top two for the second year in a row. They’d lost to Grimshaw’s last year, but his team had disbanded since most of them had graduated and now Louis wasn’t going to lose his last shot to win before graduating to some Sophomore.
“I’m in Mexican American Lit with Liam. I’ll see if I can get any information about Harry’s team out of him tomorrow and we can go from there, alright?”
The three of them agreed and then went back to gossiping about the fact that it looked like Niall had a new boyfriend from the golf team.
Louis jogged on the treadmill a little longer while Steve’s latest remix played loudly through his earbuds. He, Bebe, and Normani had been working on some new stuff and wanted to see what Louis thought about it, but his earbuds were so poor he knew he’d have to listen again once he got home. It was perfect for his cardio day, though.
Louis had been frustrated because no matter how much he tried to pry information from Niall or Liam or even Niall’s suspected boyfriend, Rory, none of them would give him anything. Niall and Rory because they were sworn to secrecy or some shit, which technically was kind of true, but Liam just said he wanted Harry’s team to kick Louis’ ass because then at least he wouldn’t feel quite so bad about losing to them. Louis hated it, but had to admit it made sense to him too.
With this being the case, though, Louis was a bit at a loss as to how to prepare for the game. Usually they went in a bit blind for the first game or two of the year, but that was because they didn’t know their own team yet, as much as not knowing the others. As the season continued on, they generally got random information about the other teams, usually through mutual friends or just experience from previous years, but they were truly flying blind in this case, and it was the most important game of the year. Louis couldn’t lead their team in knowing nothing.
As Louis jogged and the music switched to a demo that Niall had recorded with his new home equipment of the song they’d worked on together, Louis thought through the options he had left, and they weren’t many. He could ask around, find the people who most often showed up to games as spectators and see if they knew anything, but that seemed low, even for him. He had pride and he wanted to play this like a gentleman, so that tactic didn’t seem the way to go. The only other avenue he could think of was to seduce Harry and see what information he could get from him.
He wouldn’t go so far as to sleep with him or anything, even that seemed a bit too far for his own sense of morals for the game. But Louis could still see if he could get Harry to trust him, to fall for him, and see if his lips loosened as he came to trust Louis. It was worth at least a try. Louis had learned during his online searches that Harry was out and proud and single. The idea had been planted by Niall himself, actually, who’d thrown away a comment the day before about how if they weren’t rival captains, Louis would be exactly Harry’s type.
Maybe Louis needed to find that out for himself.
The treadmill slowed to do his cooldown, and he picked up his phone. He pulled up the team WhatsApp group and sent a message.
Louis: I’m gonna seduce Harry to get info about his team.
Immediately he had several responses.
Oli: That seems like a really bad idea.
Perrie: Get in!!!
Bebe: Lou, babe, is this really the only option we have?
Steve: Bro, that’s dangerous for you too, ya know?
Louis rolled his eyes as he kept walking and the treadmill slowed some more.
Louis: I know what I’m doing
Louis: Besides, Niall said I’m totally his type
This time it took a little longer for his phone to buzz again, so he was already stretching when they came through.
Oli: How do you know Harry wouldn’t try to do the same thing back?
Stan: Yeah, dude. Listen to Steve and Oli, as much as I hate to say it.
Perrie: Well I’m supportive. If you two actually got together, it would be super cute.
Perrie: Jesy says she stans you and supports your marriage
Stan: Shut up, Perrie. He doesn’t need more fuel for this.
Stan: For real, Louis, I don’t think it’s a good idea.
Louis huffed a laugh and sent Perrie and Jesy some hearts before sending more than just random emojis.
Louis: Too late. I’m captain, which means my vote counts more than yours, and my mind’s already made up. I’m gonna woo him and learn about his team and we’re gonna kick their asses.
Louis finished his stretching and then headed back to his apartment to figure out more about Harry’s schedule and habits so he could figure out his seduction plan. It was risky, Louis couldn’t say if Harry would actually be interested much less let any information spill about his team, but it was the only real option Louis had.
Louis sat on the bench beneath the ginkgo tree that caused him such issues in the fall. Apparently it was a female ginkgo tree, which made a difference. All Louis knew was that it had fruit that would drop and make the entire surrounding area smell like shit, but it was very pretty in the spring.
Louis had learned that Harry had a business course on Tuesdays and Thursdays, thanks to Rory being on the golf team with him, so Louis was stationed outside the building, hoping to catch a glimpse of the guy he’d Facebook stalked over the past week.
(The guy really should use those security parameters available a bit more than he did.)
Campus was pretty busy since it was early afternoon, and Louis wasn’t able to focus on much of anything, but after about ten minutes, he saw a tall man with curly hair wrapped up in a blue bandana leaving the building and he knew he’d found him.
“Hey! Harry!” Louis called out as he stood up and jogged over, holding his bookbag so it didn’t bounce all over the place.
Harry turned around, looking confused. He looked around at the other people surrounding him, as if maybe he thought he was the wrong Harry before turning back to Louis.
“Me?” he asked, and damn. His voice was low and smooth and Louis loved it.
“Yeah, you,” Louis smirked. He bit his lip and swung his hips a bit more as he finished approaching him. “I was looking for you.”
Harry’s cheeks pinked up a bit. “How do you even know who I am?”
Louis smirked and held out his hand. “Louis Tomlinson.”
Harry’s eyes widened at the familiar name before he raked his eyes up and down Louis’ body. “ You’re Louis Tomlinson?”
Louis laughed lightly and held the back of his hand to his mouth. He needed to play coy and cute for this first meeting to see where he could get with Harry and how hard it would be to get to the man. This was just a quick meeting so Louis could assess how how much effort he would have to put into wooing Harry to get him to spill.
“Yes, I am. Is that surprising?”
It was Harry’s turn to smirk, his eyebrows raised, but his eyes looking mischievous. “A bit. With how people talked about you, I was expecting someone a little more...intimidating.”
“Hey now,” Louis warned, trying to keep his flirty body language still in it, even if he didn’t want to come off as too soft. It was a narrow line he had to toe if he was going to do this right. “Don’t judge a book by its cover.”
Harry hummed and smiled a bit larger causing massive dimples to pop. God, the man was sinful. He licked his lips and then leaned in a bit closer to Louis.
“All the same, I dunno why you were looking for me, but this is as far as it’s going until it’s time to play.”
Louis tilted his head and shifted his body just enough to show off his curves, and it definitely had the desired effect. Harry couldn’t help but check him out. “What kind of play are you talking about?”
Harry lifted his finger and traced it along Louis’ jaw before lifting his chin a bit and saying, “You know exactly what I’m talking about. No fraternizing. I’ll see you soon enough.”
And with that, he walked away, taking his deep voice, soft touch, and long legs with him.
“Shit,” Louis whispered. This was going to be great, but it was also going to be harder than he expected. Time to figure out his battle plan.
“I know my end goal, which is get him on a date with me. If I can get him on a date with me, then I should be able to charm him enough so that he trusts me, but he completely blew me off when I was just introducing myself yesterday. I don’t think he’s going to agree to a date easily, so how do I do this?”
Louis stopped his pacing in his living room and Calvin just raised his hand. “Dude. I appreciate your dedication, but I’ve gotta finish a big project.”
Louis shooed Calvin away to his room so Louis could brainstorm with people who were actually focused.
“Well, just do what you normally do with a cute boy, Lou,” Bebe said. She finished touching up her lipstick and then looked up at him. “Show off your curves, look up at him through your eyelashes, and bite your lip.”
Louis groaned. “Didn’t you hear what I said about yesterday? I already tried that and he saw right through me. I’ve gotta try to prove to him that I’m going after him cause I like him, not just because he’s the team captain we’re up against!”
“Except that is exactly why you’re going after him,” Stan said, dryly.
“But he doesn’t need to know that,” Louis countered.
Steve flipped his hair over his shoulder before he started doing lunges across the room. “Listen, bro. If you’re serious about this, you’ve gotta show him you’re actually interested in him.” Steve continued his lunges and talking as if the physical exertion didn’t even phase him. Louis always had been a bit confused as to how Steve was able to do so much at once, but it was just who he was. “Find out his coffee order, his interests, all that shit. Find a way to cater your advances to him, but you’ve gotta be careful, man.”
Louis’ brows furrowed. “Careful of what? That he doesn’t figure out the reason I’m doing all of this?”
“Careful that you don’t fall for him in the process,” Bebe said, arching a brow. “We know you, Lou. You give your heart away too easily, sometimes without even realizing it.”
Louis rolled his eyes.”I’ll be fine, and I’ll come out of this with useful information about his team and we’ll win the final Frisbee Battle, okay? You’ll see.”
The few of them gathered went on to talk about when their schedules might line up for a practice, and then Louis went back to his room to see what kinds of information he could gather on Harry’s interests.
Louis set up the final grouping of origami roses on Harry’s bed, making sure the rainbow of paper flowers were as aesthetically appealing as he hoped they were. Approving of the final display, he zipped up his bag that had held the flowers and walked back out to the kitchen of Harry’s apartment.
“Hey, dude, I’m done. Thanks again for letting me in.”
Greg looked up from his book, reading glasses slipping off his nose. “Yeah, ‘course. I mean, I dunno what you’re doing, and it probably won’t work, but origami seems harmless enough.”
Louis smiled. “I swear, it’s not for nefarious purposes. Well. Not completely.”
Greg snorted and shook his head. “Yeah, that really helped me feel better.”
Louis laughed and shrugged. “Hopefully I’ll be seeing more of you, but if not, thanks anyway! I appreciate the help.”
Greg waved and looked back down at his book, highlighting another line, and Louis let himself out.
Yesterday Louis had met Harry outside of the cafe where he had a study group with Zayn and handed him his usual chai latte (made extra strong with coconut milk, since he was lactose intolerant according to Zayn) along with his phone number. Harry had accepted the chai and taken an appreciative sip when he’d confirmed it was his usual order, but hadn’t used the phone number, just as expected. It was okay. Louis had plenty of other ideas and didn’t think he was going to get to Harry so easily.
Today’s rainbow flower bouquet had a message written on the flowers. Each flower was numbered so he knew the order they’d go in, and once put in order they asked Harry on a date with, once again, Louis’ number so he could text his refusal or acceptance. Louis was really hoping he’d get at least some response this time, because then he would have Harry’s number to work with, but if not it was okay. He was a creative guy who wasn’t going to give up easily.
Harry, it seemed, really wanted grand gestures. Or at least he did from Louis. Well, Louis didn’t really have the funds for grand gestures, considering he was basically living off of student loans and the small amount of money he made tutoring and babysitting, but he knew how to go big or go home.
Louis hadn’t heard from Harry after the origami roses the other day. That made him a bit sad, but he also hadn’t been sure if it was still too early for Harry to accept, so he had been prepared for no answer. Hopefully Harry at least appreciated them. Louis had had to get Perrie and Jesy to help him fold the papers so he had them done in time to give to Harry.
Today, Louis was going to surprise Harry at his volunteer hours at the Humane Society off campus. It had taken Louis longer than he’d hoped to get there, but he was just there to play with the puppies and help them get out some pent up energy while their cages were being cleaned anyway. Hopefully being late was okay.
“Welcome to the Capital Area Humane Society! How can I…” Harry’s voice dropped off when he saw who had walked through the door. Louis smiled and waved, but Harry just looked at him confused. “Are you stalking me?”
“I…” Louis blinked. Shit. He kind of was. “I was not intending to stalk you, but now I can definitely see how this could be a little creepy.”
“Yeah. Just a little.”
Harry’s lips were a flat line showing that he was definitely unamused. Fuck, this was not his intention at all.
“Okay, listen. I can leave if my being here has made you uncomfortable, but I really was here because I volunteered to play with the puppies.”
Harry arched a brow and cocked his hip. Louis could tell even though he had yet to approach the high desk. The way he had shifted his position implied total attitude, but it also had a hint of the flirtatious nature he had shown the first time Louis had approached him outside of his class.
“You’d leave here and not try to contact me again?” Harry asked.
Louis swallowed, eyes going wide. “Uhm. I mean, if you really wanted me to. Yeah. I just really do want to go on a date with you, Harry.”
Harry rolled his eyes and shook his head. “You don’t even know me. The only reason you’re interested in me now is because of our particular situation.”
Louis laughed a little at how Harry had chosen to word it. They could get into a ton of trouble if they were caught participating in Frisbee Battles, much less leading a team, so Louis understood the need for discretion, but it still made him giggle.
“That may have put you on my radar, but I would have been interested in you no matter what as soon as I saw you.” Louis bit his tongue. That was a little closer to the truth than he was comfortable with. He had to remain focused on his goal, which was information. Not actually dating Harry.
Harry opened his mouth to say something, but it quickly closed again and Louis saw a light blush appear on his cheeks, just like it had when he’d first seen him a few days ago and again when he’d gotten him his chai latte. It made him look a bit softer, and Louis wanted him to always look like that. His flyaway curls made him look a bit frazzled, but in the best of ways, and with the pink blush on his cheeks to accompany it, Louis wanted to take a picture and frame it. Use it as an award. Louis Tomlinson made Harry Styles blush this prettily.
“It’s gonna take a lot more to woo me than just some flattering words, paper flowers, and stalking, you know.”
Louis’ eyes flashed back up to Harry’s from where he’d been distracted by the movement of his plush lips.
“Plus, I’m more than just a pretty face.”
“Of course you are,” Louis replied. “You volunteer at the Humane Society want to become a social worker. You’re definitely more than just a pretty face.”
Harry looked a little pleased that Louis knew that about him, and bit his lip. Maybe he wasn’t so disturbed by the supposed stalking as he made it seem earlier.
After standing in silence a little longer, Louis said, “So does that mean I’m allowed to stay and play with the puppies? Or should I let Sharon know I’m no longer available…”
Harry rolled his eyes. “I won’t punish the puppies just because the volunteer who was supposed to play with them is a stalker.”
“I swear I’m not trying to be a stalker!” Louis cried. He really wasn’t. Harry needed to lock down his facebook profile a bit more and tell his roommate and friends to not give out information about him so willingly.
“I know,” Harry said, laughing. “But I’m still going to let my mom know what’s going on so if I end up dead in my room or something they know who did it.”
“My intentions are pure!” Louis said, dramatically. “I mean no harm!”
“Sure. You’re just trying to get in my pants over a game.”
Louis held up his hands. “Okay. You caught me. You’ve learned my master plan. I guess I can just go home now.”
Harry snorted, and Louis felt relieved. He’d basically told the truth just with a sarcastic tone to his voice, but Harry didn’t seem bothered. He either already knew, or didn’t believe him entirely. Louis would take it either way, as long as that meant Harry wasn’t completely averse to his advances.
“Does this mean I can continue to court you? Are you giving me permission to make advances?” Louis teased as he walked towards where the kennel was after Harry had buzzed him through.
He huffed a sigh and tried to look annoyed, but Louis could see his pleased blush got a little darker. “I’m not saying it’s going to work.”
“I’m not saying I expect it to.”
Harry watched Louis, curiosity bright in his eyes. “Knock my socks off, Tomlinson.”
Louis smiled brightly. “I fully intend to.”
Louis took what Harry said that afternoon as a challenge. He had a deadline, if he wanted the information he was after in time. He didn’t know when exactly the final game would be, but it was bound to be in the next two weeks, so Louis had to figure out some hard hitting ways to convince Harry to let Louis take him out. Louis was convinced if he was able to spend some time with Harry alone, he’d be able to get his guard down.
He texted Greg, who, for some reason, was willing to hang out with Louis. Sure, maybe Louis offered to buy him a couple beers in exchange, but Greg knew Louis was after more information. Louis had been entirely upfront about his motives. He didn’t want to come off even more stalker-ish.
This, of course, was how Louis found himself partly buzzed in his apartment with a near stranger on a Thursday night.
“Listen, Louis. He’s a huge sap. He loves The Notebook and The Titanic. He loves dancing under the stars. He wants...what’s he always saying? He wants a great love, or something like that. He watched that Tad Hampton movie or something earlier this year and hasn’t given up ranting about it.”
“ How To Win A Date With Tad Hamilton? I love that movie.” Louis sat and considered how that movie went and how Topher Grace finally won Kate Bosworth.
Greg snapped his fingers and pointed at Louis. He was pretty drunk considering he’d only had three beers. Must be a lightweight. “That’s the one. Loves that one.”
“Okay, but how am I supposed to get him to agree to do any of this stuff with me if he won’t even respond to my asking him on a date?”
Greg smirked. “He fucking loved the origami flowers.”
Louis turned to look at Greg so fast, he felt something pop in his neck. “Did he?”
Greg nodded. “He whined to me a bit about wanting to know the message, but not wanting to unfold them to get it. Took tons of pictures of them and keeps them in a bowl in his room.”
Louis’ jaw dropped. “He never opened them?”
Greg shook his head. “Nope. Liked them too much and was afraid he wouldn’t be able to fold them back.”
“Dammit!” Louis cried, shaking his fist in the air. “Gregory, my man! Please do me a solid and give him my number for me and a note. The note I’m gonna write right now, okay?”
Greg shrugged and took another sip of the nasty, room temperature beer. “Sure thing.”
Louis jumped off the couch and went to the kitchen where he was sure he’d seen Calvin stash some notepads. As soon as he found one from a random hotel nearby, he pulled it out and grabbed a pen.
“Okay, how sappy are we talking here, Greg? Do I need to think over this note and make it all fancy or will he appreciate me being straightforward and just asking him out?” Louis paused before tacking on, “Again?”
Greg tilted his head. “I don’t think the note itself needs to be fancy. Straightforward is actually probably better. Less chance of him thinking you’re making fun.”
Louis nodded. The man was right. Louis looked down at the notepad and began to scribble.
I caught wind that you never got my intended message on the flowers, so let me ask again. Will you give me the pleasure of your company for a date this Friday night? I look forward to hearing from you.
Louis signed off with his phone number, for a third time, and then capped the pen. That would do just fine.
Louis tore the page off and handed it to Greg. He folded it in half and stuck it in the inside pocket of his jacket. “That’ll keep it safe for sure.”
“Just don’t forget to give it to him!”
Greg stood up and patted his pockets to be sure he had everything. “Definitely won’t forget.” He walked to the door and paused, his hand on the door handle. “Text me in twenty minutes to be sure, though.”
Louis chuckled. “Okay, man.”
Louis cleaned up the cans that had been emptied and was about to reach out to Greg about a half hour later when a text from an unknown number came in.
Unknown: Is that what the flowers were asking? I was curious.
Louis rolled his eyes then saved the number to his contacts.
Louis: You aren’t even gracing me with an answer? Just leaving me hanging?
Louis: But yes, that’s what I was asking.
Louis plugged his phone in, the beers he drank earlier wearing off and making him even more drowsy than he already was. Right before he dozed off, his phone buzzed twice in quick succession.
Harry: You do realize Friday is tomorrow, right?
Harry: But yes, I’ll go on a date with you.
Louis: Awesome! I’ll text details in the morning. Night, lovely Harry.
Harry: Night, stalker Louis.
Louis smiled to himself as he locked his phone and put it to the side of his bed. He was surprised that asking Harry was all it took for him to say yes to a date, but he wasn’t upset. Now he had to make sure the date itself went as planned so he could hopefully get all the details about Harry’s team that they needed to win the Frisbee Battle final.
Louis had been laying the groundwork for this date since he came up with his plan to seduce Harry. It needed go off without a hitch, which of course meant he was incredibly nervous.
Louis rolled his eyes at himself. Harry had told him at the Humane Society that he wanted to be wooed, so that was exactly what Louis was going to try to do. He also knew that Harry would be expecting him to try to get the details about his team out of him the entire time, so Louis had a plan in place where he would absolutely ignore all things Frisbee Battles the entire time so he could lull Harry into a false sense of security and let his guard down then BAM! Louis would hit him with the questions and Harry would tell him everything. Maybe. Hopefully. At this point, Louis would take any and all information he could get.
Louis took a deep breath and looked down at his outfit. He’d chosen the black skinny jeans that Niall and Calvin both called his ass jeans and paired it with a heathered gray tank that showed off his collarbones and his chest piece. He hoped it would impress Harry enough because he didn’t want to dress up too much for this tonight considering what he had planned.
Louis walked to the front door and pulled on a denim jacket. He rolled up the sleeves and pulled on a pair of vans before checking himself in his full length mirror. His fringe was already flopping a bit, but it would have to do. He picked up the single daisy he had bought for Harry earlier and ran out the door so he wouldn’t be late to pick up him up.
It didn’t take him long to get to Harry’s door and it was opened by Greg.
“Hey, man. Good seeing you again,” Greg said with a smile as he let Louis in. He pulled him in for a hug before walking back into the apartment and calling for Harry. Louis stood in the entryway by the door and stared at his shoes. Fuck, he really hoped tonight worked.
“Hey, Louis,” Harry said softly.
Louis looked up and almost swallowed his tongue in surprise. Harry was always an attractive man and maybe exactly Louis’ type, but holy shit. Harry was wearing a simple all black outfit, and it looked like it was created just for him. His top had the first few buttons undone showing off his creamy smooth chest and the sleeves were rolled up to show off his tattooed arms and Louis was supposed to just be unaffected? Damn. Focusing on his goal was going to be difficult.
“Hey, Harry,” Louis finally said, a bit breathlessly. Harry blushed with the attention and bit his lip before Louis finally realized he was still holding the daisy for him. “Got this for you. I know it’s just one this time, but my mom once told me the center is a bunch of mini flowers so giving just one is still like giving a bouquet.” Louis shrugged and chuckled. “She might have been making up some bullshit, but I thought it was a nice thought anyway.”
“Thank you.” Harry accepted the daisy and quickly took it to the kitchen to set it in a little vase that had been sitting empty. “Beautiful.”
Louis smiled happily. This was starting off well, at least.
“Ready for a great night?” Louis held out his arm and Harry looped his own through, allowing Louis to escort him out of his shitty student apartment.
“Where are we going?”
Louis led Harry across campus to the lot where his car sat. “How do you feel about nature?”
“I feel pretty warm and fuzzy,” Harry said, eyebrows furrowed.
“And are those boots okay for walking in?”
Harry stopped and let Louis unlock the car doors, but rather than getting inside, he looked at Louis over the hood.
“These boots are made for walking.”
Louis snorted, but Harry’s face remained serious.
“And that’s just what they’ll do,” Louis agreed, smirking. “Now hop inside, Nancy.”
Louis heard Harry laugh brightly as he shut the door and buckled his seatbelt. Harry followed suit and they were on their way.
“So where are you from originally, Harry?”
Harry sat and stared at Louis for a minute before saying, “You didn’t figure that out in all your digging earlier?”
Louis laughed. “Okay, maybe I did. But I was trying to pretend like I hadn’t so you would feel more comfortable. God, such a hardass!”
“I’m just saying, Mr. President of the Senior Choir and Class Secretary all four years at Hilliard Davidson High School, that you seemed to know your subject, so I didn’t think you were going to go easy tonight.”
Louis’ jaw dropped. “How did you learn about all that? It sure as hell wasn’t from Facebook!”
“No,” Harry agreed, as he laughed softly. “That was from a Google search. Your security settings on Facebook were locked down tight, but some of your friends from high school can’t boast the same.”
“Oh my God,” Louis groaned. “You were calling me a stalker and you did the same exact shit I was!”
“No, I wasn’t following you around campus and the surrounding areas!”
Louis laughed and pulled off the highway onto a small side road.
“Okay, for real though.” Harry calmed his giggles and finally spoke again. “You already know, I know you do, but I’m from Pittsburgh originally.”
“Yeah, and I’m from around here. As you obviously found out. I can’t believe you were able to learn that stupid shit.”
They laughed together easily as Louis drove them to their destination. Soon there was a sign for Prairie Oaks Metro Park and Louis pulled in.
“You’re...taking me to a Metro Park?” Harry asked.
“It’s not just any Metro Park, Harry. This one has indigenous plants and wildlife, specifically that found in the wetlands, and bird watching from a tower that is only open for another hour, so we actually need to hurry a little bit if we want to be able to enjoy that.”
Harry studied Louis a bit longer before looking out the window at the prairie grass growing.
“Aren’t you going to drill me about my team?” Harry asked quietly. “Isn’t that the real reason you’re doing all of this?”
Louis pulled into a parking spot that was fairly close to the bird watching tower and once the car was in park, he turned to Harry. He didn’t want to lie to him, per se, but he also knew he was going to have to answer this carefully.
“I’m doing this to get to know you, Harry.” Louis smiled a little and tried to get Harry to look at him in return. “There will be time to pry information from you,” he teased.
Harry rolled his eyes. “You’re never going to get anything about my team from me and you’re not going to win that final match.”
Louis smiled and tilted his head. “You keep saying that, but I still don’t believe you on either account.”
Louis climbed out of the car and waited for Harry to get out. It took him a minute, but he did eventually.
“I just don’t want you thinking that if you play your cards right that I’ll fold easily. Because I won’t. So don’t go into this with any expectations that aren’t realistic.”
Louis studied the man before him. He’d known from the beginning that Harry wouldn’t be an easy egg to crack, and he was fine with that. It had taken both more and less effort than Louis had anticipated to get Harry to even agree to be here with him tonight, but Louis wasn’t going to back down easily and just stop trying because Harry was showing himself to have a backbone. Besides. There was still that weird flutter in his belly whenever Harry so much as breathed that Louis had to get a handle on.
“Alright. Good to know. You ready to have some fun and forget Frisbee Battles for a bit?” Louis raised his eyebrows and Harry smiled nervously.
“Yeah. I guess so. Are we seriously bird watching?”
Louis shrugged. “If you want. Last time I was here my sisters caught a frog and were asking strangers who passed us on the walking path if they wanted to, and I quote, ‘Pet the big guy’, so the experience you have really is up to you.”
They ultimately decided to forego the birdwatching because neither of them knew anything about it and they had missed the designated hours where an aviary specialist was present. Instead they took a nice walk through some woods and the wet marshy grounds, having fun talking about themselves.
“So are you seriously telling me that Gene Kelly was your first crush? Because of a musical I’ve never heard of?”
Harry looked like he was about to stop breathing from shock when Louis said that. “You’ve never seen On The Town? It’s a masterpiece!”
Louis shrugged and laughed a little as Harry stomped on. “Oh come on, Harold. I’ll tell you something embarrassing about myself now.”
“That wasn’t an embarrassing fact!” Harry cried, arms flying up as he neared Louis’ car. “If I were to tell you an embarrassing fact, I’d tell you something like that I cry every time I read A Little Princess!”
Louis tripped over a loose board on the walkway and froze as soon as he’d regained his balance. “Hold on, every time you read it? How many times have you read it?”
Even in the waning light, Louis could tell Harry was blushing. “I...hurry up or it’s going to start raining on us.”
Louis saw a flash of lightning in the distance and decided to heed Harry’s words, but he wasn’t going to let him off the hook that easily. He rushed to the car and was about to unlock Harry’s door when he paused and looked at Harry from beneath his eyelashes.
“My first crush was young Harrison Ford, which is an embarrassing fact for me, because that meant that until I came to terms with being gay, I had to lie and say I thought the girl in the Indiana Jones movies was hot and that’s why I was so into them.”
Harry giggled a little. “I preferred him in Star Wars, myself.”
Louis nodded. “God, he really was a looker.”
Some raindrops started to hit the roof of the car, so Louis decided to actually unlock it. They got in and the rain became so loud that Louis could hardly hear himself think, much less talk to Harry easily.
The car ride back to campus was quiet, outside of the rain, but comfortable, and Louis kept thinking about everything he’d learned about Harry this week. The man was quirky, but incredibly soft hearted and loyal. In the case of Frisbee Battles, Louis wanted to say he was loyal to a fault, but he also didn’t feel that was fair. What kind of captain would give up information about his team easily? Not a good one.
Louis’ focus eventually had to be solely on the road. The rain got so much worse as they neared campus, they nearly hydroplaned a couple of times.
“So, I don’t have the funds to take you out, but I did have a bit of a meal prepared at my place. It’s a little further away from the parking lot than yours, though. Do you want to chance the deluge and finish the date? Or would you prefer a rain check?”
Louis really wanted Harry to come back with him. It was the main part of his plan, after all, but he also found that this witty, dorky, lanky man was also quite charming. Louis truly wanted to spend some more time with him, for reasons other than recon for Frisbee Battles.
“If you don’t mind me borrowing some dry clothes, I’d be okay with continuing the date.”
Louis glanced at Harry before refocusing on the road. His tummy did a bit of a flip as he thought about Harry in his clothes, rainwater still dampening his curls. Yeah, he wouldn’t mind that at all.
“I think I can work that out,” Louis somehow squeaked past his throat. He really had to get a handle on himself and not get distracted. The gorgeous man beside him was also his enemy at the moment, and he couldn’t allow himself to forget that.
They parked and the rain was now coming down so hard it was visibly splashing off the surface of the car and the sidewalks.
“Shit, I think I left my umbrella at my apartment after the last time I drove while it was raining,” Louis said as he dug around the accumulation of junk in his backseat. “We’re really gonna get soaked, I’m sorry ahead of time.”
Harry shrugged. “That’s fine. It’s Ohio in the spring. What more do you expect?”
Louis flipped up the collar of his jean jacket to give him the most protection it could afford and made sure his phone and keys were safely lodged in his pockets before grabbing ahold of the car handle and looking at Harry.
“On the count of three, okay?”
Harry nodded and also made sure he was ready.
“One, two, three!”
The two of them jumped out and locked their doors as quickly as possible before running across campus. The sidewalks were basically streams, but they were still better options than the soggy grass that tried suctioning off one of Louis’ shoes, so they splashed their way towards Louis’ apartment.
Halfway there, Louis felt water splashing his back and he turned just in time to see Harry kicking some more water at him.
“Hey!” Louis laughed. “My phone isn’t going to work after this if you keep that up!”
Harry’s eyes widened like he hadn’t considered that, shouted “Sorry!”, and then focused on running faster.
They eventually made it to Louis’ apartment building, and Louis opened the door to allow Harry through first. He slipped on the floor a bit, and Louis giggled as he gripped Harry’s elbow.
“Come on, I’m just up here.” Thankfully Louis’ apartment was only on the second floor, because Louis’ wet jeans made it very difficult to bend and lift his legs to climb the stairs.
“I feel like the tin man in The Wizard of Oz. I need some oil,” Harry laughed.
Louis laughed so hard he almost lost his breath. “Do you only watch musicals?”
“No,” Harry said, sounding offended. Louis could hear the chuckle in his voice, though, when he said, “I enjoy romantic comedies as well.”
“You are an enigma, Harry Styles. You’re a golfer, and a Frisbee Battles captain. You enjoy sappy musicals and romantic comedies, and dick jokes. How is that possible?”
Louis flicked his wet fringe out of his face and tried to wipe the water from his eyes, but his sleeves were all wet and just smearing the water around more than anything. When Louis finally was able to look up at Harry without rainwater hindering his vision, Harry had a soft smile on his face, and dare Louis say, a look a fondness? No, that couldn’t be it. He just didn’t know Harry well enough to read him yet.
Harry shrugged, his wet shirt making weird suction noises as it shifted around on his skin. “I dunno. Just part of my charm, I guess.”
Louis hummed and unlocked the door. Calvin had done as promised and finished cleaning up before he left, so it looked pretty good.
“Welcome to my humble abode,” Louis said with sweeping gestures. “You can leave your shoes here by the door and we can hang up the rest of your clothes in the bathroom to dry.”
Louis turned on lights as they walked through the small space and when they got to Louis’ room he immediately went to his drawer filled with sweatpants and old tees.
“These will probably be a bit small on you, but they’ll keep ya covered anyway.” Louis handed a pair of pants and a shirt to Harry before pulling out a set for himself.
“I’m sure it’ll be fine,” Harry said.
Louis got a bit distracted by the way one of his curls was stuck to his forehead and the water rivulets still making their way down his chest. That was exactly the kind of distraction he didn’t need and should be avoiding, so, with a blush he felt even burning his ears, Louis turned around and headed towards the hallway.
“You can change in here, I’ll go ahead and change in the restroom.”
He closed the bedroom door behind Harry and leaned his head gently against it. This really was a bad idea. Harry was everything Louis didn’t even realize he had been looking for, and now he was going to try to get him to divulge information about his team and tactics.
Louis clenched his jaw. He could do this. All was fair in love and war. Harry would understand. He hoped.
Louis marched himself off to the restroom and got changed before shuffling to the kitchen to get their dinner out of the fridge. He had just finished setting up their impromptu sandwich bar when Harry came into the kitchen as well. He looked a bit self conscious, the shirt was nearly sheer and quite snug on him, but Louis thought it fit him perfectly.
“So, uh, dinner’s not anything special, but growing up, our special dinner was a little sandwich bar with various cheeses and lunch meats and then some baked beans and potato salad, so I thought we could do something similar, if that’s okay?”
Harry’s eyes looked happy as he looked over the selection. “Sounds great to me.”
“Great. Want something to drink? Might warm you up better than dinner will. There’s beer in the fridge.”
Louis continued working on getting the plates and flatware he needed out when he heard Harry snort.
“Seriously? Nasty Natty?”
Louis scoffed. “You don’t have a right to judge! You can pay for the beer next time.”
“Oh my God, is that what you got Greg drunk with last night? How much Natty Light did he drink?”
Louis turned to look at Harry, who kept randomly convulsing with laughter that he finally just shut the refrigerator door and covered his mouth with his hands.
“It didn’t take much, let me tell you. Only like three and the guy was talking up a storm. It seems his tastes aren’t as finely honed as yours.” Louis arched his brow and Harry broke down in laughter again.
“Yeah, Greg doesn't drink much, as you could tell. It’s actually because of him that I even said yes for tonight.”
Louis slowed his movements but still put the last spoon in the dish and turned around. “What exactly did he say to convince you to do that?”
Louis’ heart felt like it was going to beat out of his chest, and he didn’t even know why. It’s not like Harry’s answer would change anything. Right?
Not looking at Louis, Harry smiled and shook his head. “He just wouldn’t stop talking about how nice you were and how cute you were and how dedicated you were to making sure you were making the right moves.”
Harry paused, like he considered whether to add something or not, and Louis’ mind screamed for him to keep talking. Louis wanted to know everything that was going around in his head. Harry finally looked up and made eye contact with Louis and said, “He actually was making me a bit jealous, talking about the time you spent together last night. So when he finally remembered to give me the note, I knew I had to say yes.”
Louis studied Harry’s bright green eyes. “Had to, huh?”
Harry nodded with a small smile. “Yeah.”
The moment was broken when a crash of thunder shook the building and Louis held a hand up to his chest. His heart wasn’t racing any faster than it had been already, but at least now he had an excuse.
“I hate thunderstorms,” Harry said with a shudder. “Scares the shit out of me.”
“Well, let’s get some food and we can cuddle up with a movie to drown it out or something.”
They both loaded up their plates with food and grabbed some of Louis’ cheap beer before getting comfortable on the couch. Louis still felt chilled from the run through the rain, so he grabbed one of the extra comforters he and Calvin kept in the living room for times like this and draped it over his and Harry’s laps.
They never did end up choosing a movie to watch. The TV remained off as they stuffed themselves with food and drank too much beer, and if Louis thought that a damp Harry wearing Louis’ clothes was too much to handle, he definitely wasn’t prepared for slightly drunk Harry.
“Oh my God, Lou, I’m so serious, though!” Harry said as he leaned into Louis and laid his head on his shoulder. “Rory was so gone for Niall all year. I was so happy when they finally got it together, you know? Kind of like Liam and Zedd. God, they’re so cute. I just love love. Don’t you? Love is so...lovely.”
Louis allowed himself to run his fingers through Harry’s hair as he tried not to shake his shoulders as he laughed. “Love is lovely, you’re right.”
“Have you ever been in love?” Harry asked, his eyes falling closed now. “I haven’t. But I want to. I once thought I was, but it turned out the guy was fucking like three people behind my back, so that definitely wasn’t love even if I thought it was.”
Louis’ heart sank. “How could anyone treat you that way?”
Harry shrugged as best he could in his slumped position. Mainly, it just shifted his body so he fell more into Louis’ side. Louis didn’t mind. He actually probably was enjoying it more than he should.
“People do mean shit to good people all the time. It happens, even if it shouldn’t. But someday, Lou. Someday I’ll fall in love and he’ll love me and it won’t be perfect, cause nothing is, but it’ll be perfect for me. Ya know? An imperfectly perfect love. Hey, you never answered. Have you ever been in love?”
Louis smiled softly at Harry as he tilted his head back so he could see Louis’ face. “Nah. Had boyfriends here or there through the years, but I always kinda knew it wasn’t love.”
Harry smiled sweetly. “Well, I hope you find an imperfectly perfect love too.”
Harry yawned. “Did I drink too much? I’m so sleepy and you’re so comfy. I don’t wanna go home. Wanna stay snuggled with you.”
Warmth grew from Louis’ chest and seemed to radiate through his limbs when Harry said that. Louis wanted that too. He shouldn’t, but he did.
“Let’s at least move to my bed where it’s more comfortable, okay? But you can stay the night.”
Harry yawned again, and Louis swore he looked like a sleepy kitten. “Thanks, Lou. Do you mind if I call you Lou? Hey, you, Lou! It rhymes,” Harry rambled, his voice syrupy and soft.
“You can call me Lou if you want, Harry.” Louis wrapped his arm around Harry’s waist and guided him to his bedroom again. This definitely wasn’t how he’d intended for the night to end, but at this point he didn’t really mind. Maybe Bebe was right and he really did give his heart away too easily.
“Lou?” Harry asked as Louis tucked him in and walked around to the other side to climb in himself.
“Maybe we could be that imperfectly perfect love. Wouldn’t that be nice? I wouldn’t mind being imperfectly perfectly in love with you.”
Louis’ heart jump started again, but he reminded himself that Harry was drunk. “Maybe we could be.” Louis remained quiet for a minute before he said, “Hey, Harry?”
Harry’s face was smushed into Louis’ shoulder, his arms and legs draped over Louis like an octopus. Louis couldn’t really say he minded. He was warm and soft and cuddly and Louis loved the sensation of having someone close to him.
“No. No Frisbee Battles talk. No talk about the battle over the frisbee. I won’t say anything. Nothing. Let me sleep, Lou. Don’t ask me about that. I won’t tell you. We’ll still win. Shhhhhh.” Harry smushed his hand over Louis’ face in an attempt to shush him.
Louis giggled but moved his head so Harry’s hand just fell to the pillow. “How’d you know I was gonna ask about Frisbee Battles? Maybe I was going to ask something else.” He wasn’t, so the fact Harry guessed kinda freaked him out, but that’s okay.
“I just know, Louis. Sleep. It’s sleepy time. Goodnight my maybe love.”
Louis chuckled a little before turning out the light and allowing himself to relax into Harry’s warmth. “Goodnight.”
“Louis, dude, how did the...oh.” Louis could hear the smirk in Calvin’s voice, and honestly he didn’t want to deal with this right now. He wanted to keep dozing in Harry’s shared warmth. “Looks like it went well, then, hm?”
“Shut up, dickwad,” Louis grumbled. “Let us sleep. What time is it anyways?”
Louis tucked his face back into Harry’s neck. He smelled amazing. Like warm brown sugar and rosemary.
“It’s eleven. I figured you’d be up by now.”
Louis shook his head. “No. Go away. Sleepy time.”
Calvin scoffed. “Fine. But we’re talking later.”
Louis waved his hand blindly at the door until Calvin laughed and closed it, then tucked it back around Harry’s waist and pulled Harry closer to him.
“My head hurts,” Harry murmured. “Did you try killing me?”
Louis chuckled. “Nope. But you tried convincing me to be your imperfectly perfect love.”
Harry froze beneath him. “Oh shit.”
Louis chuckled. “It’s okay.”
Harry didn’t really relax any before he asked, “Did I...say anything I shouldn’t have? About the battles?”
Louis shook his head a bit. “No. To my frustration you were an excellent captain.”
Only then did Harry relax back into Louis.
“Hey, H?” Louis whispered.
“Do you think that rival captains can still date?”
Harry snorted softly before whining a bit. “I shouldn’t have drank that shit beer you gave me. But yeah. As long as lines are understood, I think so.”
Louis smiled a bit and nosed at the back of Harry’s neck before sniffing behind his ear. His scent was strongest there, and Louis was already addicted.
“Why do you ask, Lou? Are you implying something?”
Louis nipped at Harry’s ear a bit causing him to squeak in response. “Maybe. If you’re interested, anyway.”
Harry took a deep breath and forced it out. “Interested in what? You’re gonna have to spell it out.”
“In dating me?”
Harry rolled over so he was facing Louis. His eyes were a softer green this morning than Louis had seen them before. Not muted, but just...calmer.
“Yeah. I think I’m interested.”
Louis gave a smile before leaning his forehead to meet Harry’s. “Do you mind a morning breath filled kiss? Cause I really wanna kiss you right now.”
Harry answered by tilting his chin forward, and meeting their lips in a chaste kiss. It was simple and short and warm, the perfect first kiss, and it caused an electricity to buzz beneath Louis’ skin.
“Maybe we should brush our teeth before doing anything more, though.”
Louis smirked and chuckled. “Yeah. Let’s go take care of that and get you some Advil.”
Louis was readjusting his sweatpants and walking towards his bedroom door when Harry said, “But, Louis?”
Louis turned around and saw Harry looking like a smug cat that had just caught the canary.
“Your team is still gonna lose.”
Louis let out a cackle and said, “In your dreams,” as he headed into the hall.
Harry and Louis both got the text three days later with the time and location for the final battle. Both teams showed up and played well, even if the captains were a bit more distracted than they usually were. All was well and good until Niall got the alert that Campus Security had been tipped off and they needed to end the game early.
The winner for Frisbee Battles was always awarded to the team with the frisbee in their possession when time was called, but this final ended a bit differently. The frisbee had been pulled loose from Bebe’s hand and slid across the floor. Rory had put his foot on it to stop it when Niall called time, therefore meaning the frisbee was not in the possession of either team when the game ended. The final battle of the year was, for the first time in Frisbee Battle history at Logan University, a draw.
“I told you your team was gonna lose,” Harry teased as they all left the dorm basement where they’d been playing as fast as they could.
“We didn’t lose, Styles. We just didn’t win.”
Harry shrugged. “Same thing.”
Louis rolled his eyes. “You’re an idiot. Now, where are you taking me to dinner?”