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Can I Borrow a Cup of Sugar (Then Steal Your Heart)

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Niall got the call early in the morning on his walk into work. He knew since Louis moved out, just last month, that the flat above his own would be up for rent. He also knew that he may or may not get a call to meet the new tenant if there ended up being an Alpha candidate. So while he wasn’t really looking forward to that call; he was just as equally prepared for it; being one of three Omegas in the whole complex. But if he was honest the last thing he wanted was a new neighbor.

Ten years ago housing laws changed. It was a huge win for Omegas, because now they weren’t restricted to living in certain areas of designated housing to ‘keep them safe.’ Now more than ever Alphas were being held accountable for their own behavior and that meant that Omegas weren’t to blame for everything. Now each housing building needed to have at least five percent of their housing designated for Omegas. The flat was required to have scent blocking drywall, extra locks, and special windows to prevent air flow out so they could stay safely inside during a heat. The idea was that they could now live wherever they wanted and not have to worry about Alphas coming after them when they were in heat. They could and would be safe.

It was only six years ago that heat/rut leaves became a standard employment practice saying that both Alphas and Omegas were given unpaid leave for 72 hours during seasonal heats and ruts. Up until then it had been an obvious given for Alphas but Omegas could actually risk losing their jobs due to their heat. In the last ten years things have become a lot more balanced for Omegas, so Niall knows that he really shouldn’t complain.

Compared to the way his grandma lived, Niall is living the dream- he can work, he can take both birth control and heat suppressants and he’s no longer required to be dependent on an Alpha. Which suits him just fine. There are old fashioned Omegas out there still- but Niall wasn’t one of them.

But the only trick with this new housing law that got passed is that each Omega and Alpha must be notified of a new Alpha or Omega moving into the complex and there must be a supervised meet with the building manager. Hence why he’d received the call this morning. He now has a new Alpha that he needs to meet. And while some of the other Omega’s get a sense of control from situations like this- he just wishes that they didn’t have to go through this red tape.  

He is also pretty lucky because the only other Alpha that he had to “approve of” that currently lives in the complex is in his sixties and has a Beta mate.

It’s not until he gets most of the way through his work day that he really tries to organize when he has to leave. The new guy is viewing the flat at 3:30, so Niall needs to leave the office around 3:15 to meet him and give his stamp of approval or whatever. There are only two unmated Omegas that he would need to have to meet with and Niall will be the second. It’s not like he can actually keep the Alpha from moving in, but at least this way he knows what’s going on in his own complex and can request that they not be near his apartment. Last he checked there were three open flats –one of course being the one that Louis just vacated. It helps being ‘in’ with the leasing agent.

He lets his best friend Liam; who also happened to be his boss; know that he’s going to be leaving early.  Luckily he has no problem with it- actually never questions Niall’s work ethic, but he’s making up the time tomorrow when he’ll come in early. He’s always been that way. His mum and da did not let him get away with anything just because he was born a rare male omega. Maybe that’s why he’s not really like a lot of the other Omegas. He is opinionated, outspoken, loud, the life of the party. He’s not one to meekly stand by and let others make decisions for him. Most of that probably goes to show why he is also single and unmated at the ripe age of 24 soon to be 25. Most Omegas are married with at least one child by now but he is completely content to live his life.

Besides, his mum taught him never to settle. And most Alphas suck and he’s man enough to admit he’s maybe a bit bitter towards Alphas. They seem to have it so easy and he’s constantly having to prove himself over and over and over again.

He pops his ear buds in and starts the walk to the tube station. It is part of the reason he loves the flat complex that he lives in. Not only does it come with the modern amenities, it has a pool, gym, hot tub, sauna, but it’s a block away from the tube station. Most of the time he can use the tube to get to work within about 30 minutes and he saves loads, he hasn't had a car for a almost year.

He scans his oyster card and does the math realizing that with catching the tube he’s going to be just a little late. He sends a quick text to the office manager and tries to calm the butterflies in his stomach. It’s not that he’s scared of Alphas, but one of them living in the complex could turn his life to hell, especially knowing that he could be placed in the flat right above Niall’s.

Niall’s not against fighting back or fighting at all, but he would prefer to not have to do it in the place he lives. He just wants everything to stay nice and copacetic like it was before Louis and Eleanor decided that they were ready to live together. On one hand good for them, but on the other hand Niall hates change. He really does recognize that it’s petty and selfish to think that way, but he can’t help it- but he would never –ever- act on it. Louis is amazing and he deserves all the best in the world. He’s happy for them- really.

When he finally gets to the complex he goes straight to the leasing office. The summer air is heavy and hot in London and he feels a bit bad, because he has definitely worked up a sweat in his quick walk from the recording studio to the tube to his flat. He’s lucky that he wore shorts today, but his white Henley shirt is definitely sticking to his body and his socks in his trainers feel damp with sweat. He takes a couple quick breaths and then goes for it. He knocks a little louder than what he planned, and waits for only a couple seconds before he hears, ‘come in.’ He can do this. He loves meeting new people. It doesn’t matter Alpha or not. He just really hopes this Alpha is old, old and ugly, or better yet old, ugly, and mated.

He’s not.

He's not old.

He’s certainly not ugly.

And he smells amazing- Niall can smell his scent the second he walks in the door. It’s like cinnamon and apple, fresh and crisp. He’s never smelled anything so delicious; he can’t help himself as he breathes deep, pressing his tongue to the roof of his mouth as he savors the scent. So definitely not mated either.

He looks over to Julia, the office manager, because he’s definitely does not look like a traditional Alpha.  As he stands up to greet him, Niall notices that he’s tall, a little gangly- long legs and long arms, with dark brown hair, it’s worn a little longer but it’s thick and curly and surrounds his head a bit like a halo. His eyes are bright green, but more than that they look honest and earnest. Julia smiles and nods- her way of saying- ‘hey, it’s okay.’ She must like him then. Julia has been on his side more than once, not that he’s had a ton of issues- just that water heater that wouldn’t heat. He thinks it’s really has more to do with the fact that her four year old son Taron, loves him, and more often than not they will hang out at the pool together if Julia can’t get a sitter.

The Alpha extends his hand out and it brings his attention back to him. His hands are large and three out of the five fingers on his right hand have thick silver rings on them. When he finally grasps his hand the rings are cool against Niall’s own skin- he tries to suppress his shiver. His grip is strong, sure and confident and Niall likes the touch of Harry’s skin on his. Wonders what it would feel like on other parts of body, hidden sections of skin.

“Hi, I’m Harry.” His voice, it’s deep, slow and smooth as it washes down Niall’s spine, bringing Niall’s eyes back up to his. Niall can’t help his smile. He’s completely charmed.

“I’m Niall.” Harry smiles back at him and of course he has dimples… he feels his knees shake, he’s more than charmed… he might be a little infatuated.

“It’s nice to meet you.” And he must always talk a little slower, almost like he’s carefully picking each word, wanting to make the very best impression. It doesn’t annoy Niall at all even though he thinks it should.

“Yeah, you too. Welcome to Candle Ridge.” Niall tells him, sitting down in the other chair because while he’s only done this once before he knows he needs to sign something that will go with both of their lease agreements, and that they know their housing rights and all of that.

“Well, not yet. I think you are still in control of that.” And he doesn’t sound bitter about it like a lot of the other Alpha’s do, some of them have had a hard time coming around to a new way of thinking and recognizing Omegas to have the exact same rights they do.

“Not really, I don’t think I would really tell anyone no, they can’t live somewhere, that’s just going backwards.” Niall tells him honestly. He doesn’t really like the idea of that type of control. While some Omega’s are enjoying being able to push back, Niall has never felt the need- probably because he never let himself get pushed around to begin with. Bobby and Maura raised a fighter.  

“Well that’s good to know. I like it here. It seems… quaint?” It comes out more of a question than a comment.

“It is most of the time.” Niall tells him. “Last neighborhood was a  lil’ too craic?” Harry looks at him oddly.

“Craic?” There is confusion on the other boy’s face until the green eyes widen really realizing what Niall is asking, “No- my roommate decided it was time for her boyfriend to move in and I wasn’t against getting my own place so- here we are.” His eyes are absolutely mesmerizing- he really can’t stop looking at them, such a beautiful shade of green.

“Here we are.” Niall agrees and Julia clears her throat drawing their attention back to her.

“So, Harry if you want the flat and Niall if you don’t have any legitimate reason to request that he be denied here then we are ready to proceed. Of course you do have the option to speak with me about it within the next 24 hours of course.” She’s pulling out her papers and Niall knows all the red tape that they are going to have to go through like a credit check and background check before Harry really gets approved for the lease.

“Well I don’t know he has a lot of tattoos.” Niall jokes, glancing up and down the other man’s left arm where the doodles of ink have been distracting him since he first caught glance of them. They’re everywhere. But he knows that tattoos are no indicator of good or bad; he's good at trusting his instincts and he feels comfortable with Harry.

“Hey! It’s art!” It’s drawn out in a jokingly offended voice, but he traces his own hand down his arm- Niall doesn’t know if it’s self-conscious or not because all it really does is draw his attention to the curve of muscle and the tan firm ink covered skin.

“No, its okay, I’m joking- I’ll sign.” He pulls his eyes away from the anchor and the rose that are currently stealing his attention and grabs the form that Julia hands him. Niall reads over the form quickly, and yes there are still laws protecting him if Harry starts to become obsessive or stalkerish or in any other way threatens his safety, but Niall really doesn’t get that vibe. He kinda feels like they could be friends, but that could just be the overly optimistic side of him hoping for more.

“Thank you,” Harry tells him and when Niall looks over he’s a little surprised by the honesty there.

“Not a problem at all.”

“I know you had to leave work early and really I do appreciate it.” And Niall can tell that he does. This Harry is not like some of the other Alphas he’s met. He’s warm, genuine, and seems truly kind- most definitely not on a power trip.

“Really, it’s a non-issue.” Niall tells him and Harry drops it with a gentle smile. Niall signs, then he gets up to leave with a jaunty wave.

“Nice to meet you Harry.” He pulls the door open just as he hears, “You too, Niall!.”

Then his attention must be on Julia because he can hear Julia as she tells Harry her spiel. He stands at the door just a little longer- because he’s more curious than he’s been in years.

“Alright, if all things go well- background check and credit check- you will have access to the flat, July 1st, come here to pick up the key and since the flat is already vacant depending on the work that needs done we can assist you with storing items there if you need to. Call me with any questions and I will see you in about a week.”  There is the rustle of paper and a scratch of a pen on paper and it’s really time to leave even though his curiosity has yet to be even close to sated.

Niall starts a quick walk away so that he doesn’t look like he’s been eavesdropping and heads towards his apartment. He can’t help but be curious if Harry will get the open apartment above his own. He doesn’t really think that he would mind- he certainly wouldn’t mind catching a glimpse of him every now and again, might even be looking for him. He is easy enough on the eyes.

July 1st huh? Niall’s going to appreciate the quiet while it lasts. Because he saw Harry’s Chelsea boots and for some reason he just knows he’s going to be a heavy walker.

----

It’s taken him three days to even get close to unboxing half his shit and he still doesn’t know what he wants to do with it. He has so many picture frames, pictures, and art pieces that it’s just all over. Right now it looks like a scattered mess and it’s driving him crazy. Tonight is the first night that he’s here- in his new place and it has been so long since he’s been on his own that it’s a little bit scary.

The silence alone is killing him.

He finally has the last of his boxes in the apartment, well, he thinks anyway. He and Eleanor had been renting a small town house for a couple years, right before she met Louis. Now two years later, Louis’ lease was up and after a long discussion over beer and scrabble they decided that Harry would move out and try to get into Louis’ flat. He could afford it now that he was a little bit of a more well-known photographer. He had regular contracts and he feels blessed to be able to have a steady paycheck in his career field.

He's seen Niall just a handful of times. The Omega seems to have a pretty steady schedule, he leaves at 7:30 in the morning and gets back around 4:30. And it’s not that Harrys stalking him, he’s not, it’s just hard for him not to notice Niall. He hadn’t put together that Louis friend ‘Niall’ was the same Omega that he was supposed to meet. Probably because Louis had never told him that Niall was an Omega. He's not at all what he expected, Louis had told him that Niall was a “lad”, liked sports, music, and beer, so Harry assumed they wouldn't get along, but now he hoped that he would just be able to catch a glimpse of him or at the very least say ‘Hi”.

The man had obviously made a deal with the devil to be as beautiful as he was.

When Niall had walked in the door of the leasing office, Harry’s stomach had been in knots. He knows he’s not a typical Alpha and he gets a lot of shit for it. But he just doesn’t really believe that just because he can knot an Omega means that he’s all special and meant to rule the world or anything like that. He can honestly say that Niall was the first Omega to ever draw his attention. And he gets the feeling that just like he’s not a ‘normal’ Alpha- Niall is definitely not a ‘normal’ Omega.

It’s not even just how he looks- he not delicate and tiny like a lot of Omegas. No, Niall is a contradiction of lean and thick, skinny legs, big competent hands, but his eyes- his eyes were like looking at the bright sun. Harry would be lying if he said he didn’t fancy his neighbor… he’s just not sure what to do about it.

It's almost 6pm when there's a knock on the door. He has about a dozen open boxes, stuff everywhere and he is not ready in any way, shape, or form to receive visitors. So not knowing what to expect he opens the door slowly and peeks through. It’s just Louis and he appears to have another box to go with the 100 he still seems to have.

“You forgot this one and you would be horrible person to be around if you don't have your coffee machine.” Louis tells him smirking. He must have smoked on the way over because the scent is lingering both to him and the box. It’s oddly comforting in the way it makes him think of home.

“I resent that. I'm a morning person.” Harry grabs the box from him and walks the few steps to place it in the kitchen which is right to the left of the door. There is a breakfast bar area right there- and he bought bar stools for it- only they are still sitting on the floor in a box.

“The coffee’s not for you, it's for anyone who you have over to drink so they can put up with your bright and chipper arse in the morning.” Louis tells him, looking around and laughing, “Man this place is a mess!”

“Hey, do you have time to stay. I would love some help?” Harry points back to the frames that still need to be put on the walls and the furniture that needs to be put together.

“Do you even own a hammer or screwdrivers? What about a level? And a tape measure?” Louis asks him, eyebrow raised, lips settling back in a smirk, because he knows the answers already.

“Don't they come with the tools?” He thought it would be a great idea to get some new furniture when he moved, he didn't know that he would need to puzzle them together. It’s not like he couldn’t figure it out but it would definitely take him longer to figure it out than it would be to hire someone to do it for him.

“Go talk to Niall, he’ll help. He's great at those things. You know he’s right in the apartment below you.”  Louis tells him and he raises his eyebrows multiple times and Harry gets what he’s suggesting and any other time he’d be game but he really just wants to get settled in before anything else.

“But that’s weird isn’t it? I don’t even know him.” Harry stuttered. He was all for being a friendly neighbor and lending a cup of sugar and all that but that is just a little forward.

“Well I can’t stay, El’s got dinner cooking. But seriously the lad’s super nice, he’ll help you.” He does look a little apologetic but not really. Sometime Louis takes joy in the weirdest things.

“But…”

“Just do it. Tell him I sent you, told him where he lived and all that. He and I are mates. I’ve talked to him about you before…” He walks backwards towards the stairs. “It will be fine.” He turns around with a carefree wave hopping down the stairs.

After he leaves, Harry tries working in the kitchen by emptying boxes and cleaning, but now since Louis has put the idea in his head, all he wants to do is just walk down to the flat below and ask for help. He decides to take Louis advice- it’s not like he hasn't been looking for an excuse to talk to Niall anyway and this way seems good as any.

It's not until he's actually at the door and knocking that he starts to overthink it… what if Niall thinks this is strange? Will he look like a stalker? What if he doesn’t answer? Does he knock again? What if he's not home? What if he's mated? Louis would have mentioned that right? But he didn’t mention that Niall was an Omega. And why was that? As a Beta does he just truly think that it’s not important? Harry kind of agrees with all of that…

Needless to say, Harry’s caught up in thought and just a little startled when the door finally opens. But there he is, standing in the doorway, his dark blue shorts show off his lean legs and light blue top puts on display histhe toned arms. His dark brown hair is mostly flat and looks incredibly fluffy, his blue eyes are literally shining. Every time Harry sees him he’s just stunned silent. Harry finally looks at his hands and realizesd he must have interrupted his meal because…he's eating a bowl of cereal?

“Are you eating cereal for dinner?” He can't help but ask, and his shock must show on his face because Niall just laughs at him. Seriously he is such an idiot- why can’t he think before he opens his mouth.

“Yup, frosted flakes.” He tells him smiling. Harry makes no excuse, he’s stunned- not by the meal of his choice but by that smile that has a way of stopping all of his higher brain function. “So Harry, what can I do for you?” He relaxes against the door frame and takes a bite of his cereal.

“Um, God this is weird, I’m sorry…” to that Niall just raises his eyebrow and prompts Harry to go on with his spoon. “Louis told me to come by, said you could help me with my place?”

“And here I thought you were going to ask for a cup sugar? If so you’re out of luck… no sugar here.” Niall laughs at his own joke and Harry can’t help but smile, but then he continues, “But what do you need? I’ll help if I can.” Niall seems curious now. Harry hoped that by mentioning Louis it would make Niall a little bit more comfortable with him, it seemed to have done the trick.

“Just a hand hanging pictures and stuff up and maybe putting my furniture together.” He’s not ashamed- he’s definitely not blushing- even though his cheeks do feel a little warm.

“Really aren’t you Alpha guys supposed…?” and Harry interrupts because yeah, he gets that a lot.

“I'm a person with strengths and weaknesses and tools and furniture assembly are not one of those many, many strengths Niall.”  He hates that he gets comments like that, but he tries to make light of it. Sure he’s built like an Alpha- tall, broad shouldered, muscular but he’s made a point to stay more lean than bulging- he just hates that there are certain expectations just because he’s an Alpha. No- he’s not great with tools, no he’s not good at putting furniture together, and he most certainty sucks at all sports that aren’t golf but he can catch more emotion in a photograph than most people can string together in a sentence. Harry can’t help but frown, because he thought, he hoped that Niall might not be like that.

But then Niall’s laughing at him, loud and musical. It makes Harry relax- ok so maybe Niall is like that...

“Okay, so that’s valid.  I shouldn’t judge- I’m eating cereal for dinner. C’mon in. You said you knew Tommo?” Much more at ease Harry takes a couple steps in and closes the door. He takes a quick look around the living space, directly to the left is a breakfast bar with two stools that blocks in the kitchen, a small closet behind the door for coats and storage on the other side and then it opens into the living space. It’s set up is identical to his. It surprises Harry that he has an exposed brick while Niall doesn’t but before he asks about it he realizes that it’s most likely the scent-proofing.

The other lad drains the milk from his cereal bowl and sets his bowl down in the kitchen sink before heading into the hall leaving Harry alone to explore a little.

The room is comfortable, done in shades of grey and white, with a hardwood floor that’s much darker than his oak floor. The room is very warm with the surprising lack of colors. He has a large grey-blue overstuffed couch in the middle of the room in front of a hanging TV.  For some reason Harry really just wants to fall onto the couch and relax. It’s all very homey.

His living space screams music, there are guitars hanging on the wall, pictures of the Eagles, and Frank Sinatra. There are a few personal pictures and an Irish flag, which would have helped Harry if hadn’t already figured out where he was from by his lovely accent. He seems to be digging in the closet in the hall that leads to the bedroom, and while he wants to go and peek he takes the high road and shoves his curiosity down.

“Louis? He and I met when he started dating El. She was my former roommate and we grew up together.” He tells Niall peeking down the hall. The flat smells amazing, like a warm cologne that makes him think of curling up next to a fireplace, it the same scent the he caught off of him when they met in the leasing office. It’s comforting to know that he now knows for sure what Niall smells like.

“He’s a great lad. I love me some Tommo.” Niall tells him coming back down the hall with a small toolbox.

“He is. A bit obnoxious at times, but we all have faults. He was the one that told me about this flat and told me to come see you. Said you were pretty helpful.” Harry looks at him, “So by the appearance of that…”  He raises his eyebrows as he looks at the toolbox, “You have decided to take pity on the useless Alpha that can’t put together his own furniture?”

“Yeah, I can help.” He laughs again and Harry really wants to make that happen all the time- to always be surrounded by that sound.

“Can I buy dinner then? A little take-away maybe? Thai? Pizza? Something?” Harry asks him as he leads the way out of Niall’s flat up the stairs to his own. Once he opens the door, Niall lets out a sharp whistle.

“Ah, sure, we’ll need some fuel to get this done.” Niall tells him.

Harry knows exactly what he sees too. His flat is a disaster. Boxes are everywhere, there is a big brown couch in the center and he doesn’t even know where his TV is going to go yet. Everything is just chaos.

“Where do you want to start? Here?” He points to the living room and he looks a bit concerned. “Where are you sleeping? Do you have your bedroom put together?”  

Harry looks at him a little startled, because no, he’s just been sleeping on the mattress on the floor. “Uh, no.” Harry tells him and he knows he looks a little embarrassed. That’s one thing bad about being an Alpha- everyone always assumes you have your shit together.

“Let’s start there.” Niall walks back toward the bedroom and Harry follows him.  

They make a good team, they are pretty quick to get the bed frame together, attach the headboard, and while Harry makes up the bed, Niall works on putting the new nightstand together. They get that done pretty quickly, mostly because Harry’s clothes are in the closet and the chest of drawers didn’t require assembly. When they leave the room, it feels almost like home.  

“I have some artwork and stuff to hang in there can you help with that?” Harry asks and Niall nods.

“Yeah, grab what you want and go mess with where you want it.  I’m going to put those together.” He tells him pointing to the bar stools that Harry had purchased for the breakfast bar- not realizing that some assembly would be required. “And for future reference, I’ll eat anything.” Hungry- he must be hungry, Harry did offer to buy earlier and that offer still stands.

“Spicy or not spicy?” Harry asks, pulling up the Thai food place just around the corner.

“Let’s do not so spicy. Acid reflux.” He tells him patting his stomach. Harry can’t help but let his eyes be drawn to it. Niall is skinny for the most part, but his stomach looks just a little soft, barely rounded and Harry really wants to sink his teeth into it, then kiss it. The sound of Niall tearing into the boxes pulls Harry out of his trance and he messes on his phone placing the order and putting it on his credit card. He grabs a few of the pictures for the bedroom- and the hall, placing them where he wants them.

He should probably get away from Niall and his skinny legs, and toned arms, and squeezable arse- or Niall’s going to be able to pick up on his arousal from the other end of the flat.

By the time he gets back from the bedroom, the breakfast bar is completely set up with barstools and Niall is walking back in the door. He must have taken a bunch of the moving boxes to the rubbish dumpster outside, because the whole kitchen already looks tidier. Harry is still a little dumbstruck that Niall is so willing to help a stranger.

“So…” He points to the hall and points out where all the art and wall decorations are lined up. “How can I help?” Niall gets in a pattern of measuring, centering, leveling and marking. Harry does what he’s told, ‘hold this’ ‘get that’ and answering politely when asked, ‘is this where you wanted it?’

Harry finds himself telling Niall about the pictures, his family, friends, and where he got certain pieces of art. He ends up filling the silence by telling Niall about himself and learning about Niall in return, the other boy is incredibly intelligent and his laugh is insanely contagious.

It only takes about half an hour before the hall and bedroom are done and the food is at the door.

Harry’s surprised by how easy it was to sit down and talk to Niall. He’s always enjoyed talking to people before, getting to know them. But Niall’s just easy. He shares parts of himself so openly and Harry’s instantly enchanted. With his confidence and way he speaks- Harry would have never guessed him as an Omega. Even more with the way he looks, sure he has lean legs, small hips, but he’s thick through the shoulders and arms. It’s the first time Harry’s found himself attracted to an Omega and he’s been around plenty of them.

He’s also amazingly skilled. After dinner they hang the rest of his artwork, get the bookshelves put together and moved and then work on mounting the TV on the wall.

It’s almost midnight, but Harry can fully say that he almost feels completely at home. His flat is still a little messy, but it feels much more like home then just a flat.

They both fall on the couch in a heap at either end of the couch.

“I don’t really know how to thank you for this. I couldn’t have done this without you.” Harry smiles as he looks over at Niall. Not only does he feel like this is almost home but now he feels like he’s made a friend.

“Well don’t worry about it.  Maybe I’ll ask for a Harry Styles original photograph someday, hang it in me living room.” Niall says on his own laugh, legs spread wide. Harry can’t help but glance down between them before moving his gaze to the ceiling. What he really wants to do is crawl between those legs and spend a couple hours there, see what Niall tastes like… sounds like.

“You can have one anytime you like. You just have to tell me what you want it to be of.” Harry keeps his gaze up on the ceiling, blinking slowly willing his body not to respond to all the thoughts that he’s having.  “I don’t have anything from Ireland- I’ve never been there but if I get the chance you’ll have to tell me what to see.”

“I will for sure, where are you going next?”  Niall asks.

And he seems actually serious about the questions so Harry fills him in, “I don’t have anything fun coming up for a month or so, but then I’m heading to Rio for a couple weeks, but I do have some studio stuff where I’m working for a couple fashion magazines. They’re small but it’s steady work- that’s all that I can ask for. I work with a couple blogs and a couple make-up lines for instagram too.”

“Sounds like fun. Rio will for sure be exciting.” Niall agrees, looking right back at him, he looks down at his phone and Harry already knows what’s coming- he actually dreads it a little. He is going to have to get better at being alone, but he’s so used to the noise and companionship of a roommate. “But it’s really time for me to head home.” Niall’s getting up and gathering his tools to place back in the small toolbox.  

“I really can't thank you enough for this.” Harry stands up as well shoving his hands in his pockets letting his heels edge out so he’s standing pigeon toed.

“Actually it was good; you’re not at all what I thought you would be like.” Niall blushes a bit, then starts to ramble, shoulders going tense “That’s not – what I meant was…”

“That's ok, I get it. We live in a world of stereotypes, I’m just glad you can look past them.” Niall seems to relax a bit at that.

“I sometimes…” he brings a hand up to wave it around like that explains all Harry really needs to know. “I just…I didn’t mean…”

“Can I just interrupt?” and Niall mutters “ please” as his blush gets darker and runs down his neck . “I get what you're saying; I’m not a normal sort of Alpha so I know what it’s like to be looked at funny for not fitting the norm.”

“I think I like that about you. Jesus, I just need to shut the fuck up and head home.” He looks around, probably making sure that he has everything and walks towards the door pulling it open. He pauses but looks up at Harry from under his dark brown fringe. “I'll see you around?”  

“Yeah, around…soon…hopefully, and seriously…thank you.” Harry expresses wanting to ease Niall’s self-consciousness. It seems to work the blush toning down to a soft pink.

“So yeah, soon and you’re welcome,” it’s with that and a little wave that Niall sneaks out the door.

Harry follows him to the door closing it behind him. He locks the door and slides the chain in place and can’t help the smile on his face.

He wanders back into his bedroom and he can’t keep the smile from coming back again and again. Niall’s warm spicy scent is still spread throughout his flat, for some reason it helps Harry feel a bit less like he’s alone. As he climbs into bed he can’t help but wonder- how soon can he make soon be without it coming across as too soon?

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