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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?

----

Chapter Text

----
The outdoor pool in the complex isn’t exactly Niall’s favorite place to hang out, but it does have its benefits; it’s not actually used all that much- one of those amenities that people always get excited about but then barely use. He’d just spent the last couple hours watching Taron, Julie’s son, while she finished her weekend shift. She had just picked up him up a while ago so since then he’s just been working from his laptop, enjoying the sun.

Liam’s been working with a new artist and his task for the weekend is to go over the music and backing tracks and do some of the minor editing. But he’s been stuck longer than he’d like because there are just a couple of tracks that he knows the artist isn’t happy with, and that he didn’t like at all, so he has a notebook of notes filled with times and cues that he wants to look at changing. Liam demands as close to perfection as he can get so he needs to make sure they are all prepared for their meeting Monday.

So after watching Taron for a couple hours, he’d just decided to stay in his lounge chair and work, sometimes it’s too easy to get distracted in his own flat. Here it’s easier just to focus in and ignore the world. It’s not like he’s here for the tan... he doesn't really tan much- burns more often than not- but he loves being outside and being by the pool is nice just because the smell of the chlorine kills all the other scents. Here all the others around him can be just people- not Alpha, Beta, or Omega- just people- really just like it should be anyway. Normally it’s quiet this time of day, and he has the pool area to himself, the sun just now starting to set, but that’s not the case today.

He’s on the last track, when the sound of a little girl's screech pierces through the music playing in his headphones. He’s lost track of time which is usual when he works from home, but he can’t help looking up to see what’s causing the noise. There is a little girl with floaties on each arm standing in the shallow end, splashing into the deeper end of the pool. According to her happy screeches she is having the time of her life.

At first he doesn’t think that anyone else is there, that is until a dark head peeps up then goes back down underwater again when the little girl starts to screech and tries her best to splash the other person. It’s a cute picture something he’s not used to seeing around with not a lot of kids in the complex. Most people usually just lay out and try to tan during the summer- or like him, just enjoy the sun.

He tries to go back to work and does so successfully for about 30 seconds before he’s pulled right back out of it when the little girl's laughter rings loud and clear. He hits the pause button looking back up and he’s grateful for the fact that he’s wearing sunglasses because then no one can see his eyes widening as Harry walks from the deep end to the shallow end where the little girl stands splashing at him.

He’s wearing yellow swimming shorts, they seem a little on the short side – even for shorts- and not only that, but they are hanging indecently low. Niall can’t help but take the minute to look him up and down taking in his long legs, muscular thighs. His legs, much like his arms, are scattered with tattoos- though not as many- an animal of some type and some words here or there. It leads him up to his hips, decorated with fern leaves that just lead him to look down between his legs. The wet material clings to his crotch leaving very little to Niall’s imagination. For the first time in a year, since his last somewhat short but real relationship- he feels a spike of pure lust rush through him.

His attraction to Harry is so strong he can taste it- feel the heat in his stomach, lower even and his stomach clenches and his blood runs south. He tears his gaze away from Harry’s crotch and moves up to his flat tight stomach and chest- moth tattoo on display- then up to his upper chest where even more tattoos are scattered. He wants to learn all of them- the taste and the texture with his tongue. He wants to feel those muscles bunch under his fingertips; he wants to know what Harry feels like inside him, knotted deep.

He finally reaches his face and Niall can’t help but blush because Harry is looking right at him smiling and giving a small wave. He tells himself that Harry can’t tell where he’s looking, not at all- his sunglasses cover his eyes completely, so he just gives a wave and smiles back. His smile is a little shaky but it obviously does its job because Harry is grabbing his own sunglasses from beside the pool and walking over to Niall leaving wet footprints. He lets his notebook drop down to cover his lap, hiding his half hard dick from sight.

He looks past Harry and the little girl has found her way out of the pool and is being wrapped up in a towel by what Niall can only assume is her mother.

Niall turns back to Harry, taking off his headphones and giving him his attention. He can’t help but feel a little self-conscious. He’s not nearly as fit as Harry, skinny legs, soft belly, but Harry doesn’t seem to pay it any mind when he sits down by Niall’s feet. His large tan hand falls to Niall’s ankle rubbing the bone lightly. It makes him shiver.

“Hey,” Harry’s voice is as bright as his smile, like he’s genuinely pleased to see Niall.

“Hi. Are you all settled in?” It was only last Saturday, but he hadn’t heard from Harry in a week- and at first he thought there had been some flirting going on, but when he didn’t run into Harry all of this week- not for lack of trying on his part- he figured that it was all in his head.

“Close, really close. I’m almost ready to have you come back- this time to watch a film or something, maybe dinner to say thanks for all your help?” Niall can’t help but be a bit disappointed, he was sort of hoping that Harry might be interested in him; the last thing that he wants is to feel like an obligation.

“No big deal” is what he goes with instead. “It was fun.” He ends up adding on, and then messes with his headphones, wondering if he should just put them back on and end this conversation before it can turn awkward.

“But it was a big deal. You were at my place for almost six hours and I really feel like I should do something in return.” Harry brings a hand up and pinches his lower lip between his fingers, almost like he’s nervous. But he doesn’t need to be.

“It wasn’t that long! But I promise I had fun so there's no need to make me dinner or anything like that to thank me.” He feels like he has to reiterate.

“What if I want to do it for other reasons?” Niall can see a dark eyebrow raise behind his ridiculous white bug eyed sunglasses. “What if I just thought ‘Hey this guy is kinda cool and I want us to be friends?’”

“Oh,” friends, “that's different then. That’s okay then I guess.” Niall's not ashamed to say that it is different. It is not at all what he wants, but you can never have too many friends. Besides maybe being friends with Harry would help him get over this little infatuation that seems to have developed in the past week or so. It’s not like he’s surprised- Harry looks like a movie star and Niall just looks like- well himself, so it's not like he was expecting something different.

“How about this weekend? Do you have plans?” Harry’s smile is incredibly bright and contagious. Niall finds himself laughing and smiling back at him. But he can’t stop looking down to Harry’s chest, the smooth tan muscle and the bulge in lap his also equally distracting.

“No, I don’t…well not yet anyway.” He raises his sunglasses and sets them in his hair, maybe this way he’ll be forced to look him in the eye- and stop thinking about other things. He raises a brow at Harry and he can’t help but smirk. It doesn’t hurt to flirt with soon-to-be friends right?

“Wait right here, ok?” And Niall can’t help but watch him as he speeds away on those long legs, with an almost coltish unsteady grace as he stops by a lounger to dig through a bag and pull something out. He rushes back over skidding to a stop in front of Niall.

“Program your number in my phone?” Harry extends out his rose colored iPhone and Niall takes it adding in the contact. He debates about adding a winking face but instead adds a shamrock- because well- Irish.

He hands the phone back to Harry and that radiant smile is back, like Niall just gave him the world.

“I’ll text you. I just need to catch up with Lou and Lux. They’re friends of mine and they wanted to use the pool. Do you normally hang out here?” And Niall can’t help but wonder if Harry had been looking for him this week too. Even if he was it wasn’t for the same reason that Niall was looking for Harry- really he could just look at him all day.

“No, I was watching Julia’s son and doing some work. After she picked him up I just stayed.” He points to his macbook, headphones, and note book that are somewhat scattered around him.

“What do you do?” Harry asks and Niall shuffles his legs around as he sits up in the lounger. He ends up cross-legged and Harry straddles the end of the lounger. Niall can’t help looking at those long muscular legs and right back to his crotch where the swimsuit is still damp letting Niall know almost exactly what Harry’s dick looks like. He presses down on the notebook in his lap as he shifts. It’s been a long time since he’s wanted someone. And right now he wants to know what Harry tastes like.

“Uhm, I’m a sound engineer. I work at Payne Productions.” Niall doesn’t expect Harry to know what that means, he has to explain his job to a lot of people, but Harry echoes Niall’s movements from earlier and takes those ugly glasses and sets them up in his dark hair that’s starting to curl into a halo around his head.

“You get to work with music all day! That totally explains your flat.” How did Niall forget how green his eyes were? They’re gorgeous, thick lashed and totally focused on Niall- it makes him lose his breath. Once again he’s grateful for the overwhelming smell of chlorine or he would hate to know what scent, his body, was projecting to Harry. He already knows he wants him.

He’s going to have to start taking his suppressants if he’s going to hang out with Harry- he really doesn’t want to take them- they make him nauseous, but right now all he really wants to do is spend more time with Harry and he’s not going to ruin what might be a pretty awesome friendship by not being able to control his own hormones.

“Yeah, I do. I love music so I guess I’m really lucky.” Niall stutters but Harry just keeps smiling and scoots in a little closer.

“I guess we’re both lucky-” He starts to say something else but his attention is grabbed by the little girl- Lux- rushing up to his side.

“’arry, it’s time to go.” She grabs his hand and tries to pull him away.

“Okay, okay. Hey Lux, say hi to my friend Niall.” And it’s like she just sees he’s there for the first time. She looks at him with big blue eyes. Then instead of saying ‘hi’ like Harry had prompted she shyly tucks into Harry’s side and just peeks at him. “Don’t be shy.” Harry tries to get her to speak, whispers something that Niall can’t really hear. She mumbles something into his shirt and it makes Harry laugh.
“Yes, I agree he is very pretty.” He’s looking right at Niall when he says it. He wants Niall to hear it.
There is a smirk on his lips and Niall can only describe his look as intense.

Niall can feel the blush on his cheeks, knows that he’s turning bright red because well- Harry looks like sin and now he seems to be insinuating something too. Butterflies fill Niall’s stomach in a fell swoop and he can’t help but wonder if Harry wasn’t completely honest about the friends part but then again it could be Niall’s imagination. God please don’t let it be just his imagination.

“I have to go.” Harry stands up and for a second it’s just a bit clumsy as he tries to un-straddle the lounger and Niall wants to laugh but bites his lip so he doesn’t. The last thing he wants to do is embarrass Harry.

“Yeah.” He finds himself nodding and turning to Lux with a smile trying to make the girl a little more comfortable. This time he hears when she mumbles.

“His smile is really pretty too.” She is still avoiding eye contact, but she peaks up at him from under blonde bangs.

“Yes, it is, he should always be smiling, right?” Lux nods, her blond hair moving up and down and she finally gets the guts to look at Niall smiling bright.

“Bye, ‘aill.” She waves at him before rushing off to her mom who is standing patiently at the gate.

“Yeah, bye Niall.” Harry turns and starts to walk away and Niall can’t stop himself from looking at his arse.

“Uhm, bye.” Niall can’t help feeling stupid when he raises a hand and waves. But Harry turns and looks over his shoulder and just smirks- like he knows what Niall is thinking- like he knows that Niall’s stomach is zinging and heart is skipping every other beat and Harry thinks he’s pretty and Harry thinks he has a nice smile.

And he’s fucked…

----

So he’s pretty sure he was reading the signs right. Niall’s interested; definitely interested; and he wants to explore that, but he doesn’t really know enough about Niall to just jump in. He’s never dated an Omega before- but for some reason he doesn’t think that matters. Niall is unlike any person he’s ever met before, Alpha, Beta, or Omega.

But the one thing he doesn’t want to do is put himself in the friend-zone. It’s the worst place to be especially if he gets locked there. So he wants to bring Niall up to his place… feel it out… get to know him a little better.

Friday is Louis housewarming party, it completely slipped his mind earlier- when he was with Niall at the pool, so maybe they could hang out there… there would be alcohol and sometimes that makes things a bit easier, but sometime it clouds things too. He just doesn’t want to fuck this up. He’ll take being friends with Niall but only if he can’t get more- which is what he wants.

He’s looked at that damn contact number about forty times now this week. And it’s time… time to make the leap of faith and just text the other man.

Hey this is Harry.

Okay so probably not the most original but he needed something to go with and he doesn’t think that Niall grabbed his number when he entered his own. So Harry has to make the first move.

He had tried to not look at Niall when they were at the pool- he’d tried to focus on Lux instead. But he couldn’t stop looking over at the Irishman. He is fit. Just altogether a different kind of beautiful- like angel on earth beautiful. Harry can’t remember the last time he was so instantly attracted to someone.

But it didn’t start at the pool, no it started at his apartment a while ago when Niall unselfishly came to his flat to help him out with nothing but dinner as repayment. If he’s really honest it happened even before that. It happened the second Niall walked into that damn leasing office with a smile as bright as the fucking sun and eyes as blue as the sky.

There was no way that Harry was going to let Niall go that easy.

But he's also a bit nervous, which is new for him at least in this aspect. He’s usually good with people, meeting new people and getting along with them. Harry's always known that he's good looking, he's never really been embarrassed or ashamed of any part of his body, even those damn love handles he can’t get rid of. He's sure that Niall found him at least a little bit attractive. Or he can hope so at least. He definitely felt those blue eyes watching him leave.

He waits anxiously looking at his phone and putting a sandwich and crisps together for lunch. He's a bit disappointed when his phone does alert him of a text message and it's just Louis asking if he's coming this weekend.

He plans on it…but maybe that would be a better ‘first date’ with Niall. Maybe they could drive there together. They are neighbors it would just make sense to carpool. But really he just loves the idea of spending time with Niall where there are no distractions. Where no one else is vying for his attention and there is nothing else that needs to get done.

He wants to know more about him. What motivates him, about his love for music, and why he’s here? He can’t help but be a little curious about how he is obviously fiercely independent. For an Omega he’s old to be unmated, and Harry hates that he even thinks about that but he can’t help but be curious. Omegas are rare, but male Omega’s are even more rare. Harry has only ever met a handful, most of them coming off as dramatic and self involved so Niall is by far the only one that has ever held his attention.

He can’t really explain it but he can't help but be drawn to the other boy. He really just wants to be around him. He doesn't even try to understand it, but he trusts his instincts on this one. He needs Niall in his life.

Niall is special.

By the time his text tone goes off again, his eyes are blurring from scanning through all the photos for the current campaign he’s working on for a friend’s makeup line. It’s a welcome relief because he really does need the break. It’s only when he realizes that it’s from Niall that his heart skips a beat and he can’t stop
the smile that races across his lips.

Hiya harry

And ok, he can work with that.

So Louis party is tomorrow. Wanna ride with me?

That’s casual and friendly right? He wants to make sure that there is something there before he leads either of them on. He’s been fooled by lust before and he doesn’t want to ruin what could be a good friendship just because he already knows he wants to shag him.

I take the tube when I drink.

Oh, that’s a really good thought. He doesn’t really drink that much but he will probably drink some so maybe…

Good idea. Want company on the walk? I’ll meet at your place tomorrow and catch the tube? Harry sends the text before he can think too hard about it. He would love to do something tonight but he needs to get all these photos finished for Lou’s bleach makeup line.

Sure. What time ya thinkin’?

Well that’s a good question. The party starts at 6:00 and they are going to most likely have food and a bunch of backyard games even though the yard really isn’t all that big.

5:30?

Niall doesn’t get back to him right away, but he gets it. Harry’s lucky- he’s self employed for the most part- can be on his phone all the time as long as he not at a photoshoot, but he does understand that most jobs aren’t like that. If Niall’s in the studio he probably can’t have his phone on him- it would be a huge distraction. Harry tries not to be anxious about it, but he keeps looking at his phone. He really hopes that Niall’s not just being polite. He keeps his phone in his hand almost the rest of the afternoon. He makes dinner a bit disappointed and unsure of whether or not he’s actually supposed to go to Niall’s flat tomorrow.

He’s already crawled into bed, sheets pulled up staring at the ceiling when his phone goes off. He looks over to the nightstand where the screen has lit up the black of the room. But now that it’s gone off he can’t not check it. Especially on the off chance it’s Niall finally texting him back, but more likely it’s Lou- he sent her a bunch of the edits earlier today and they’ve been discussing the pictures on and off all night.

He reaches over patting the nightstand, the phone screen already dimming casting the night back into darkness. He curses as he knocks the phone down off the nightstand, falling on to the floor. But he can’t stop himself from grinning like an idiot when he looks over the edge of the mattress, the fall activating the screen again and he can see that it wasn’t Lou that text, it was Niall.

Sorry caught up at work. And that’s great. See you then!

Good night Harry

The second text comes in rapid succession and he can’t help but smile.

He finds himself at Niall’s door the next evening, dressed with more care than he would like to admit. It’s a housewarming party so really he’s just going with black torn skinny jeans, a pink polka dotted shirt, and his beloved Chelsea boots. He’s left his shirt partially unbuttoned, and that’s nothing new, but he’s curious to see if it will cause a reaction in Niall. He hopes it will.

He can’t help but think that he is projecting what he wants instead of what actually happened during their conversation at the pool. He swears that he could feel Niall’s eyes on him, both the times that he walked away. He didn’t miss his disappointment at the word, friend, and he didn’t miss the blush when he ‘used’ Lux to sneak him some compliments. Really Niall is too attractive for his own good. Such a juxtaposition of characteristics that shouldn’t make him look like an angel- but he does.

When he finally answers the door that’s all that Harry can think – Niall looks divine.

He shouldn’t- not really- in blue slack like shorts and a white tee- it’s plain but it’s not when Niall wears it. It makes his shoulders look broad, his waist look narrow and trim and shows off just how skinny and toned his legs are- he can’t help but wonder how they even keep the other boy standing.

“Hiii” Harry draws out when he brings his eyes back up to Niall’s bright blue ones. There’s a smile on his face and a blush on his cheeks.

No- Harry wasn’t wrong in his memories. Niall’s eyes are on his now, but he could feel the other lads gaze running up and down his frame as well. Now he’s glad for the twenty different outfit changes.

“Hey,” Niall finally answers back. Harry doesn’t try to pretend to be cool, he knows he’s not; instead he just smiles back, letting his dimples show.

“So, shall we?” He waves a hand towards the stairs and Niall nods before closing the door and checking to make sure it’s locked behind them.

It’s easy to talk to Niall in way that Harry is not familiar with. He normally finds that even though he’s comfortable around other people he likes to let others lead the conversation, but he’s eager to learn about Niall- even more than the first night that he had him over.

He learns about him quickly enough, his love of the Eagles, Don Henley, and their shared love of Fleetwood Mac. He loves his job, loves making music, loves meeting new people, and traveling when he can.

Harry’s not ashamed to say that the walk passes in a blur, his only clear focus is on Niall. They are heading down the stairs, scanning their Oyster cards, and waiting on the crowded platform for the train continuing to chat. Harry can’t keep his eyes off him. He also can’t stop laughing- Niall is so unconsciously funny that Harry’s cheeks hurt from laughing and smiling.

It’s not until they get on the tube that he notices the shift in Niall. The way his breathing deepens, cheeks flush, and spine straightens. The tube is abnormally crowded for a Friday night and there is only standing room when the get on. Harry doesn’t think anything of it just goes to the corner and grabs the pole to stand. Niall follows up albeit slowly.

“You okay?” Harry can’t help but ask. It’s not often that he trusts his ‘Alpha’ instincts but they are screaming at him now.

“Uh, yeah.” And he seems okay, until the next wave of people get on and Harry knows he doesn’t imagine it, Niall is definitely getting a bit uncomfortable the more that the car fills up with people. He
latches on to Niall’s belt loop, pulling the lad a bit closer to him.

“You sure?” Harry keeps eye contact with him, but can see his chest rise and fall as he takes a deep breath.

“I don’t always do the best in crowds. Got trapped in a deflated bouncy house as a lad and it scarred me for life.” He almost sounds a little depreciating, but…

“That had to be terrifying, I’m an adult and I would freak out about that.” Harry tells him, but he also just wants to keep him talking. They have two more stops and a line switch between here and Louis’ place so hopefully he can just keep him distracted.

“A bit…” Niall gives him a small smile and the tension around his eyes relaxes.

“So do you have any other ‘when I was young’ stories?” Harry asks.

“Well, when I was younger, I stole my brother’s guitar and taught myself how to play.” Niall tells him this time laughing. They stop and more people shuffle on and off, but Niall doesn’t even react.

“Is that where your love of music came from?” Harry keeps his hand on his belt loop, keeping the other boy steady, but he likes the way his hand looks on his hip, spanning wide.

“No, it came from everywhere. My folks, my friends, I just loved always having music in my life. Went to school for sound engineering and then Liam, my buddy hired me at his record label. I also help out as guitar player but mostly just work in the booth, behind the scenes. I love it though. Tell me about what you do?” Niall asks obviously getting a bit uncomfortable talking about himself all the time. So he lets him off the hook.

“I feel kinda lucky like you. I was always that kid with the toy cameras and then I took polaroids for a while and then when I hit primary school I got serious. I was in all the photography clubs and worked on the yearbooks and then went to uni. I was an apprentice of sorts to another photographer and somehow got hooked up with some folks for the beauty industry and then I went on tour with a couple music acts and everything has kinda fallen into place.” Harry keeps him talking as they exit the car and switch lines.

“That is lucky.” Niall agrees, “But I’m sure you worked hard.”

“Bloody right I did.” Harry nods; it was a lot of hard work. When the tube pulls to a stop Harry presses a
hand to Niall’s back. “It’s our stop.”

Niall looks around, a bit in shock, “So it is.” He heads toward the door and Harry can’t help but feel accomplished. Niall is definitely more relaxed than he was before.

During the walk, he finds himself sharing more and more about himself with Niall. It’s eerily comfortable talking to the Irish lad and he can’t help but think it’s a two way street. Niall is just as willing to talk to Harry about things that usually are much more in the 3rd to 4th date kinda thing. But Harry loves it. Every little thing he learns is like warmth absorbed through his skin to melt his heart.

He loses Niall quicker than he would have liked when they get to his old place. There have been a lot of changes since he’s moved out and Louis has moved in. Things have shifted and it makes him smile to see how much his two friends have worked to make this into a home. He can’t help but wander through the rooms and find all the changes when it’s obvious that Niall’s been dragged away to play some sort of beer pong.

It’s well into the night that Eleanor finds him in the kitchen. He does his best to act normal but he hasn’t been able to stop looking at Niall all night and he knows that El knows him well enough to pick up on it. They’re working in tandem to make a couple drinks and while the conversation is flowing she just keeps giving him this look, dry and weary as she listens to him talk about his next photo shoot. He’s trying to distract her. Not sure if he’s really ready to talk about the way he fancies Niall, but she finally huffs out a sigh before looking him in the eye. “So… just spill already.” It was all she had to say before he looked at her with a hefty sigh.

“I really really really, like him, El.” She looks over to Niall because he is standing right there, and Harry doesn’t care if he heard him or not- he’s being sickeningly obvious anyway. He can’t keep his eyes off Niall. If Niall hasn’t picked up on Harry’s interest by now he’s blind or too naive to recognize it for what it is.

“Well, what are you going to do about it?” He starts sipping on his gin and tonic and she’s making a drink for Louis, who is talking to Niall just through the doorway. He can see Niall laughing, head tilted back, full bodied laugh. He’s not the only one looking and he can’t help the jealousy that he feels shade his thoughts. He knows he doesn’t have the right- there never really is a right to be jealous, but he hasn’t been able to talk to Niall since they walked through the door. Everyone wants a piece of Niall- but Harry will get the walk home- so he can be patient. He will have all of Niall’s attention again soon enough.

“I don’t know. Invite him to my place for Thai tomorrow?” He looks over at El and she is raising a perfectly manicured eyebrow at him. He’s obviously still trying to work out a plan. Niall seems fun and spontaneous and that sometimes makes it hard to plan.

“You better be careful or you’ll get your arse friendzoned.” Harry gasps dramatically and she just laughs at him, but it is a very real fear of his. He wants Niall.

“I sure as hell won’t. No way.” But it could happen. Harry’s confident in most things but he’s not always good at making the first move, at understanding interest and projecting his own. He thinks he’s doing well right now, but sometimes he can just never be sure.“I’ll just order way too much Thai and then invite him up. But I don’t think our telly interest are the same… he likes to watch sports.” He says it softly in a whisper not remembering that she’s met Niall before. She knows him pretty well too.

“He is weirdly obsessed with golf…” She agrees. She pauses for a minute before nodding, “Okay, so here is what you do. Tomorrow night is X-factor, everyone watches it, if not they can at least enjoy it, right? Then invite him to play golf, don’t give me that look, you love golf even if you can’t stand watching it for hours on the telly like he does. By then you should both be comfortable enough with each other and then after that ask him on a real date. Like the basic dinner and a movie or something.”

It’s actually a good plan. With Niall’s love of music he knows that he would watch X-factor and the golf idea is great. He does love golf he just hasn’t played in ages, but one of his friends should be able to get him a decent tee time. His trip to Rio is just around the corner, and maybe he should just wait, but it’s still almost three weeks until he leaves so maybe that is enough time. Besides if they are both really interested then they’ll be able to handle two weeks of travel.

“I like that plan.” El just smiles at him.

“Isn’t that why you came to talk to me?” Her brown eyes are laughing at him but she’s just giving him a little smile.

“I didn’t come to talk to you but sure….” He presses a kiss to her forehead. “Now go give your man that drink.”

When he looks up Niall’s blue eyes are on his, staring intently. Harry can’t help but think that Niall got the wrong idea- because no- he would never make a move on El; but instead he just gives Harry a smirk the left side of his mouth tilting up and now he can’t help but wonder if Niall heard the whole conversation. He can’t help the smirk that he sends back to him. But then Niall turns away talking to El as she joins the two of them, then he’s talking to Louis, then everyone else at the party as Harry loses him again to the crowd.

It seems like everyone is entranced by Niall- not just Harry, but he feels a bit of confidence in knowing that he keeps catching Niall’s eyes across the room; Niall’s looking at him as much as he’s looking at Niall. They seem to both know just enough people to keep them apart for most of the night. It isn’t until people finally start to trickle out the door that they find each other again.

Harry finds him on the back deck, it’s almost like Niall senses him as he turns to look over his shoulder shooting Harry a smile. It’s bright in a way it shouldn’t be for how small it is, but Harry smiles back without having to even think about it.

“Hey.” He slides in beside Niall who is leaning against the side of the deck leading to the small back yard. Harry doesn’t really know who he was talking to, but notices that they seem to wander off quick enough when Niall focuses his gaze on him instead.

“Hi. Having a good time?” Niall asks, his cheeks are red, eyes slightly glazed; he’s not pissed but he’s definitely had a few beers.

“Yeah, you?”

“Yeah, it’s good. I’m good.”

“So, hey. I know it’s not really that late, but the last tube leaves in 20 minutes.” And he’s ready to be the sole focus of Niall’s gaze again. He’s done sharing him with everyone else.

“Yeah, I wanna sleep in me own bed tonight.” Niall says with only the slightest hint of a slur. Harry feels like he should take offense to that line, but in all honesty- he didn’t want to get into Niall’s bed tonight.
That would be too easy and not at all what he wants.

He’s thinking of the big picture more than just tonight.

The walk home is much more intimate. Niall is not drunk, not really, but every once in a while Harry reaches over to steady him; a hand on his waist or a quick touch to his elbow, nothing intrusive, he doesn’t want to cross a line he doesn’t know about but Niall is moving into those touches and just so open, laughing, smiling, relaying conversations to Harry.

He’s actually a bit amazed they have never met before- he and Niall know a lot of the same people, but they just never really met in the time El and Louis started dating, maybe never would have if Louis lease hadn’t expired when it did.

The tube ride is much less anxiety ridden with the car mostly empty just the two of them sitting on the bench trading stupid sappy stories over how gone for Eleanor Louis is. By the time they’re at Niall’s door Harry’s a bit at a loss as to what to actually say. Mostly because he doesn’t really want this night to end.

“So X-factor?” Harry blurts out. They’re standing at Niall’s door, he’s just put the key in the lock and Harry knows it’s now or never. Tonight might be ending but he can still make sure that they see each other soon- El’s idea is ringing in his ear. It’s a good plan- it’s also his only plan.

“Yeah, what about it?” Niall raises a brow sending him a questioning look as he makes eye contact after opening his door. The door sits there, open, the darkness of Niall’s flat their only audience. Niall slips his keys back in his pocket as he gives Harry his full attention, hazy blue eyes focused solely on him; it'd be easy to get drunk on it.

“Do you watch it? Or do you want to watch it? With me? Tomorrow? It’s always a bit more fun to watch with someone, isn’t it?” Harry hates how every word comes out a question because that was not what he was going for- he was hoping that he would be a bit more smooth.

“Uh, sure? I mean I would watch it anyway, but yeah? Why not?” Niall looks at him, almost like he’s trying to decode him. Harry isn’t sure what else he could do to make his interest known- because today wasn’t a date… he refuses to move in for a kiss, but it’s hard not to because Niall’s head is tilted up to his just right and they are standing a little closer than they should but for some reason Harry just feels like this is delicate, in a way he isn’t sure of.

“Great, I’ll see you tomorrow then. I’ll order Thai again and we can eat before the show.” Ok- that was a little bit more confident. He can do this.

“Yeah. That sounds good. It’ll be fun.” Niall agrees. “G’night Harry.” He walks through his door and tosses a quick look over his shoulder, it’s almost like Niall doesn’t want the night to end either. Harry doesn’t think that he’s imagining it either.

“Sweet dreams, Ni.” Niall’s lips curl in a small sleepy smile.

“You too.” Niall closes the door but not before Harry catches him dropping his gaze to Harry’s lips.
He can’t help the bashful smile he sends to the door before he looks down at the ground. He stuffs his hands in his pockets before moving up the stairs to his own flat.

Okay… So Niall is interested, but he’s going to take this slow. Harry wants to do this right.

Because he’s never really felt like this before- and he can’t decide if that scares or excites him.

Chapter Text

----

When Niall wakes in the morning it’s only with a slight headache, nothing that a shower and a morning cuppa can’t fix pretty quickly. For a Saturday he actually has quite a bit going on at work, so he’s heading into the studio for a while. But even that isn’t enough to keep him busy. He can’t stop looking at the clock and can’t stop twitching filled with nervous energy. He knows why- it’s not a surprise.

He’s looking forward to tonight.

He kind of wants to shake himself out of it; he’s not normally like this. He doesn’t fancy people like this. He’s not an idiot, he recognizes that he’s attracted to Harry. He has been since the beginning, but after the last couple weeks of not seeing him and then finally seeing him last night… he had felt Harry’s eyes on him constantly. But he hasn’t gone all weirdly ‘Alpha’ like the couple other Alphas he’s briefly dated. They were always weirdly possessive and domineering and Harry hadn’t been like that at all.

But he can’t understand why Harry didn’t make a move last night?

It’s not like Niall wasn’t projecting his own feelings. He was, wasn’t he? He thought he was being obvious but maybe he wasn’t. Maybe Harry’s not good at picking up on signals like that- God knows that Niall isn’t. Which makes this so much worse- it's like the blind leading the blind.

He drops his head to the desk as he groans. He hates this part; the fucking not knowing what the hell is going on. But he’s not quite ready to ask Harry what his intentions are. What if he does want to be just friends? Maybe he flirts with everyone like this?

But he already knows that’s not true. He watched Harry interact with plenty of people last night and none of them got the same looks from Harry that Niall did. Niall knows it’s mostly his own insecurities. He’s had too many people tell him he’s too outspoken, too independent, too headstrong to be an attractive Omega to any sort of Alpha. The fact that he’s strong, successful, and independent are all frowned upon just because he’s an Omega.

That’s why it’s so hard to believe that any Alpha could look at him and see someone desirable.

But it’s only just telly and dinner so what he needs to do is try and calm the fuck down and get back to work.

He sits in on one final studio session and then he’s headed home. Normally he doesn’t work on Saturdays, but this was honestly the best distraction that he could come up with even though he spent most of the day thinking about tonight. Will Harry make a move or won’t he… what if he’s waiting for Niall to make a move? That’s a possibility but also not very ‘Alpha’ like- but then again Harry isn’t like any Alpha he’s ever met before.  

When he finally gets home, he ends up staring at his closet for almost a half hour in just a pair of pants trying to figure out how he’s supposed to approach this? If he was watching at home it would be trackies and t-shirt, but he’s not, and he wants to look good but not like he’s trying too hard to look good… fuck.

Shorts and a striped shirt it is then- he only has a few more weeks of shorts season left anyway, might as well get some more wear out of them before they’re done for the year. He feels comfortable though, satisfied with his choice. The last thing he needs is to dress in clothes he’s not comfortable in and then spend the evening picking at his clothes trying to get comfortable. That would just end up making things more awkward and he doesn’t want to do that.  

He double checks that the suppressants have been in his system long enough to hide any embarrassing scents his body might try to use to betray him before leaving his flat.

He’s only a bit early when he knocks on the door of the flat above his. When Harry does open the door he’s a bit taken back because wow he looks good, really good.

Harry’s broad shoulders are draped in a white button up that is mostly see through and showing off his collection of tattoos across his arms, chest and stomach and he’s wearing black ripped skinny jeans, the denim almost straining over his muscled legs and his crotch.

“Hey,” Niall says as he snaps his eyes back up to Harry’s because Jesus he doesn’t need to be that obvious. It’s going to take him a bit to get used to Harry’s fashion choices. It’s not like Niall himself doesn’t like a bold splash of color every now and again himself, but Harry’s style is a bit more out there and he still always looks good.

Harry shuffles back and Niall’s eyes move to the kitchen island and he knows his eyes shoot wide as he takes in the pile of food that’s there.

“Hey! So, I may have ordered too much food. But to be honest I wasn’t 100% sure what you would like.” Harry laughs and when Niall looks back at him he seems almost embarrassed.  

“Well, you’ll have plenty of leftovers.” Niall smiles, he finds he doesn’t like it when Harry seems self-conscious or nervous, even though he’s only seen it a couple times now. Niall has never liked making other people uncomfortable and whenever he sees it he does his best to make people feel at ease.

“I may just have to send some home with you.” Niall laughs but nods anyway because more food definitely never hurts anything.

Once in the kitchen Harry’s handing him a plate, napkins, and chopsticks. “Dish up, the show is about to start and we can just sit in there.” Harry is nothing less than a gentleman, letting Niall dish up first and choose where he wants to sit, making sure he has everything that he needs before sitting down himself to dig in. He’s not sitting too close, or forcing himself into Niall’s space and it’s not what he’s used to from Alpha’s even though he usually tries to avoid them. Honestly he’s only dated a couple. But with Harry it's already different. It’s almost like Niall is leading and in a way and he likes it, likes the comfort it gives him, but he also doesn’t know what Harry wants. He does wish that he could read Harry a little better- but maybe that will come tonight. Maybe they will get to know each other a little better and then Niall will feel more confident in taking the lead?

But even though Harry’s intentions are still unclear- Niall’s once again struck by how comfortable this all feels. Normally on dates – not that he’s calling this a date- it’s not… or he thinks it’s not but- he’s on edge, waiting for the questions, the constant almost disapproval that comes whenever he talks to an Alpha, but he’s not getting that from Harry.

It’s easy in a way he’s not used to. He can’t help but question it a little, because life has never been easy for him. He’s had to fight claw, tooth, and nail for everything he’s accomplished and now he’s here sitting with an Alpha that seems to respect that and it's not something he's experienced before. Most Alphas look down on him for not wanting to be in the traditional Omega role but Harry really does seem to be different. He doesn't seem to care at all.

He can't help himself from looking over and staring at the other man. He can’t deny that he’s attracted to him. The small dose of suppressants he took should makes sure his scent doesn’t give that away… but he’s attracted in a way he’s never been before. It was an instant attraction, mental and physical.  

Harry’s face is fit for a model, chiseled cheekbones with a sharp jawline, and eyes so green and mischievous they make Niall want to think a bit harder about just dragging him to bed. His shoulders and chest are broad and sculpted, tattooed skin tight over muscles. His legs are long, almost coltish with grace but muscled and thick. Even his feet are nice to look at with a couple tattoos scattered on them, but he can’t make them out. Yeah, there is no doubt that Niall is attracted to him, his mouth is almost watering just looking at him.

But he also likes the sound of his voice, how the soft tones and rolling cadence seems to melt down his spine and turn his bones to mush. There’s something comforting in the slow way that he speaks, the careful meandering of his words as they slowly string together his thoughts for Niall to understand. He can’t help looking at his lips when he speaks. So pink and the top lip almost a perfect cupid's bow while the bottom lips is fuller, plump- just asking for Niall to sink his teeth into it.

When he looks back up those green eyes are on him and there’s a smirk on his lips. “It’s movie theme night.” Is what Harry says but he doesn’t turn back to the telly. He just keeps his eyes on Niall- letting him know that he was caught staring.

Niall can’t help but blush, the red moving up his neck to his cheeks and he curses his pale complexion- he can feel his skin changing temperature. “Should be a good one then.” Niall clears his throat after he speaks, trying to make himself sound normal. Now more than ever he’s thankful again he decided to take those suppressants or else Harry would be a hundred percent sure what Niall was thinking because his own body would betray him.

He tries to avoid looking at Harry but he really just can’t keep his eyes off of him. He tries to distract himself by talking about the contestants- who’s doing good, song choices, choreography, all that… but his eyes keep drifting back to drink Harry in.

He’s just glad he’s not the only one, he’s caught Harry looking at him just as much, but it doesn’t change his comfort level at all. He finds that while he’s constantly curious about what is going on with the two of them he’s still relaxed and comfortable. There is nothing about Harry that is putting him on edge, when he catches those green eyes; he’s thrilled; he wants those eyes on him. He never wants that intense gaze on anyone else- only him- forever.

He ends up staying after the X-factor, and Harry doesn’t mention leaving so he doesn’t either. Then a couple hours later they’re watching a second movie, and it surprises him that he’s relaxed enough to feel his eyes drift shut, posture relaxing into the sofa, cluing him in that it is way past his bedtime.

“I should go,” it’s more of a whisper than anything, because Niall really doesn’t want to go. He doesn’t want to leave this warm, comfortable space that they’ve created. But the logical part of his mind is starting to gear up; warning him it’s time to end the night. But with that comes the closing of the night and all the issues that brings.

Was this a date? Or just hanging out? Are they supposed to hug at the end or should he be looking for a kiss? Is that even what he wants?

The answer is a resounding yes.

And that’s a whole new issue in itself, because he doesn’t really do that. He doesn’t do hugs and kisses. He’s never wanted a connection. He’s always been more of a casual lover. Only being with someone for a couple weeks before moving on; people don’t get him anyway. So he’s always ended things before he becomes a disappointment or before he’s disappointed, it’s always been one or the other. But he’s finding right now that he wants that, he wants the cuddles, the intimacy, the connection, he’s always just questioned whether or not it was actually possible for him. Harry’s making him question it more and more these last couple weeks.

“Yeah, it’s late.” Harry doesn’t go to stand but he does look at the clock that’s telling them it’s well after 2:00 in the morning. But still Harry doesn’t move and it seems like he’s letting Niall control the situation, but Niall has no clue what Harry wants and he’s even more clueless about himself.

It’s only after he pushes himself up and off the sofa that Harry does the same, escorting him to the door, “Sorry I didn’t mean to keep you so late.”

“Ah, don’t be sorry. I could have left when I wanted.” Niall tells him looking down at his shoes to toe them on even though he’s just going up the stairs.

“So, um. Golf?” Niall looks up from his shoes and Harry looks a bit like a deer caught in the headlights, his green eyes wide and surprised and Niall pulls open the door to stand in the doorway. It reminds Niall of how they got here tonight, with the way that Harry had just blurted out ‘x-factor?’ expecting Niall to know what he meant. He can’t help but smile because, yeah, it looks like tonight might just be the start of something.

“Golf? Yeah, I love golf.” Harry’s hand comes to rest on the door holding it open but also resting his hand right above Niall’s head. Strangely he doesn’t feel caged in, but there is a flutter in his belly. It’s warm and it echoes to his fingers and his toes.

“I mean do you want to go golfing? We could go to Roehampton Club, I have a friend that can get us in.”  His smile is bright and genuine and it draws Niall’s attention to his mouth. His lips are red and Niall already has the curve of them memorized. He wants to know what they feel like pressed against his.

“Uh, yeah,” He looks back up to his eyes and there is a different intensity than there was there before. His eyes are sending heat down his spine. “But, uh, I can’t this weekend. I have to work tomorrow mid morning. We have an artist coming into the studio. It was the only time he could get in.”

“So next week then?” Harry’s moved closer, and Niall can smell his scent, warm cinnamon filling up his senses; right now Harry is all he can see. He thinks it’s a bit unfair that Harry can’t smell him, the suppressants doing their job, but he wants this on his terms, he wants to know with confidence.

“Yeah,” It falls slowly from his lips as his eyes stay locked with Harry’s. All of his thoughts and worries about what’s going on disappear as Harry takes that step closer.

“Sunday work? We can do an early morning tee time?” Harry asks.

“I knew you were too good to be true. You’re a morning person.” Niall jokes, trying to lighten the atmosphere… it's getting heavy, but that comment doesn’t help. If anything it just makes it a little worse.

“Guilty as charged, I do love the mornings, but in my defense golf is always best in the morning.”  Harry’s angled his head down and his eyes flick down to Niall’s lips that he can’t help but wet with his tongue.

“Okay, yeah. You pick the tee time. I’ll be ready.” I am ready is almost what he says because he’d go with him now if he could. It’s then that he catches the click-clack-click-clack of heels coming up the stairs and he steps back startled just as Jade rounds the corner to come up the next flight of stairs. Her head is down; she didn’t see anything but it was enough to break them out of their warm cozy headspace.

“Hey guys,” she says with a smile. Niall smiles back, knows without a doubt Harry is doing the same.

“Hey, Jade,” He hears Harry's voice chime in with his. She nods at them both before heading up the next set of stairs.

He looks back to Harry and he can see that both of them know the moment is lost. “I’ll talk to you soon?” Niall asks, smiling, trying to lighten the disappointment lighting Harry’s face, it’s echoed in his own.

“Yeah, I’ll see what I can get for a tee time and text you tomorrow.” Harry hasn’t even touched him but Niall feels hot. He wants to know what Harry’s touch feels like.

“Yeah, Goodnight Haz,” the nickname slips off his tongue, heard it from Louis and El and when he says it Harry smiles, dimples winking at him.

“Goodnight, Ni.” He finds that he smiles just as bright with the echoing nickname, one that he’s sure that Harry heard from El. When he peeks back up at the landing he notices Harry is watching him go, so he gives him a wave before he disappears from the landing down to his own floor.

Sleep is slow to come, but when it does it’s filled with Harry’s bright green eyes and cinnamon soft scent and it’s not the first time, but it is the first time he’s completely okay with it.

----

Harry had felt zero guilt in calling his friend from uni to get a decent tee time for their golf game. He had taken his friend and his wife’s engagement pictures years ago for just a handful of pounds when he was just gettings started. So that was the least nerve wracking part of getting things set up.  No- he was much more nervous showing up at Niall’s door at 7:00 in the morning to drive them both to the golf course.

Niall’s quiet, obviously a bit tired when Harry picks him up so the drive is quiet and for the morning that suits Harry just fine. He must have been serious about not being a morning person.

When they got to the course and on to the first hole Harry realized that he wasn’t really sure what to expect from this golf game. Not to his surprise, he’s realized that Niall is better than he is and by hole three he’s realized he’s a lot better- but he seems to keep quiet, certainly not rubbing it in that he is- to put it politely- kicking Harry’s arse. By hole nine he must pick up on the fact that Harry doesn’t really care and the smiles and sarcasm start to come out. He seems to be loosening up, really relaxing and starting to really enjoy the game.

It makes sense when Harry starts to think about it… Alpha’s normally aren’t very pleased when an Omega is better than them at something, especially with something physical… he can’t help but wonder if Niall has run into that before; his guess is yes, based on the very conservative smack talk that Niall had exhibited up until now.

In his mind though it’s not really his fault he’s doing so bad… he really hadn’t know what to expect from this golf date, but he didn’t expect to be constantly distracted by Niall either. It only took the first glance of seeing him this morning to know that Niall needs to always wear golf clothes.

The white shorts make his arse look amazing, so much so that Harry has lost minutes imagining the flesh under his hands and lips and between his teeth. It doesn’t help that every time he goes to tee off he shakes it just a bit to settle in before his swing. He doesn’t know if Niall’s doing it to be a tease or if it’s just something he typically does. Either way it entrances Harry.

The navy blue polo makes his shoulders look broad, trailing to his trim mostly flat tummy that Harry also wants to have his mouth on… well there is no part of Niall that he doesn’t want to have his mouth on if he’s being honest… and he can’t quite remember lusting after someone like this before. He’s been partially hard most of the morning and it really is throwing off his game.

The only thing that’s really confusing him is that he can’t catch any type of scent coming off of Niall. He can distinctly remember his flat smelling just like him for the first couple days after he had come to help him. He can remember it reminding him of sandalwood, spice and vanilla, it was a warm and comforting scent- so helpful for him feel at home that first night, when the silence was a bit too much. But now he can’t smell anything and he fights the urge to stand close and nose down his neck- because that just rude and is not appropriate at all.

“Fuck.”

“Huh?” Harry is snapped out of his thoughts, sharp green eyes taking in the tense line of his shoulders.

“Sliced to the left…” Niall turns around muttering another curse under his breath. His display of temper should be annoying more than cute- but Harry just needs to face it- he’s heads over heels for his neighbor, he could do just about anything and Harry’s sure that he would find it attractive.

“Well if it makes you feel better you’re still doing much better than me.” Harry says it on a laugh; making sure to catch Niall’s eyes and he smiles back slowly.

“So it really doesn’t bother you?” He asks quietly, almost like he doesn’t want Harry to hear it. He’s shaved today, the shadow of his beard gone, revealing even more of the pale skin, and it’s tinged pink either by the sun or his question. Harry’s not sure.

“Nope, not at all.” And he takes the risk, throws it out there, “You’re going to be better at some things and I’m going to be better at some things. I don’t see you as an Omega Niall, I see you as a person.” And maybe that was a bit too serious for a golf date when neither of them have actually stated their intentions but it’s out there now.

“Uhm,” Niall’s blush on his cheeks deepens answering the question of whether it was the sun or Harry- it was Harry, “I don’t really know what to say to that.”

“You don’t have to say anything, Ni. Just know it’s true.” Harry bends down pressing his tee into the ground and he feels Niall’s eyes on him, hot like a flame as it traces down his back to his feet. The black pants he is wearing are warm, really warm, and his pink shirt clings to his shoulders with sweat from the mid-morning sun and he hope that Niall appreciates the view because he thought about it a lot over the week that led up to this morning’s golf round.

After he tees off he looks back to Niall and his bright blue eyes are still on Harry. “I’ve never met anyone like you before… or who thinks like that… thinks like me.” Niall looks embarrassed that the words tumbled out and Harry doesn’t want to make it worse by rubbing it in- asking for clarification- so he doesn’t.

“I’ve never met anyone quite like you either before.” Harry tells him ignoring the rest and he walks a bit closer to him. He has to tell himself not to reach out, not to touch, not to pull Niall closer to him and bury his head in his neck to seek out that scent, seek out the clarification that he’s not alone here.

“Is that a good thing?” Niall asks, shy for the first time, looking down and away like the eye contact with Harry is too much.

“It’s a great thing, as long as you mean it in a good way?” It comes out as a question one he didn’t even know that he wanted the answer too.

“No!” His eyes pop back up to Harry’s wide, worried that he may have damaged the feelings that seem to have bubbled to the surface in the middle of the golf course. “I mean, yes, it’s in a good way, I promise it’s a good way.” Niall shakes his head, and Harry watches as he fists his right hand over then tries to relax it only to tighten into a fist again and he can’t help but wonder if it’s a nervous tick. Just like when he reaches up and messes with that hair right by his temple twirling it with his fingers. Every time he sees him do it he wants to grab his hand and kiss his fingers, make him relax, ease his tensions.

The urges he gets around Niall are getting more and more intense and he’s ready to move on from this unknowing, unsure stage of ‘what the fuck is going on.’

“Good, so shall we?” He steps back, remembering where he’s at, and that he is a full grown adult and can control all these stupid Alpha urges he’s not used to feeling. He’s not a person to be ruled by his hormones or the stupid idea that just because he’s an Alpha he has the right to act on them.

The rest of the day is surprisingly light considering the somewhat tense conversation that happened on hole number nine. After that it seemed like Niall stopped holding back. That ends up amazing and disgusting Harry at the same time- disgusting him because at some point in time Niall had met an Alpha that had told him he couldn’t be good or better than him just because he’s an Omega. Amazing him because Niall’s good- really good and he felt the need to hide it. That just pisses Harry off and it makes him want to know every person that Niall’s ever had talk down to him- just so he can go and revisit his boxing days.

There is something so bright about Niall, it’s like his smiles are sunshine and the stars shine from his beautiful blue eyes. There is something about him that makes him want to protect the other man, even though it’s not like Niall can’t protect himself. He’s not tiny by any means- sure he’s shorter than Harry and definitely skinnier, but he’s definitely a man with solid muscle and a strange mix of confidence and shyness. He wonders if those protective urge are his Alpha instincts or if they are just his infatuation with Niall. Either way he doesn’t care. He’s been completely captivated by Niall and all he wants is to get more tangled up with him- until neither of them can get loose.

In a way it’s like Niall’s just like him, an oddity of their stereotype and that just goes to make them even more of a perfect match.

It’s amazing how Niall’s become almost a daily part of his life. At least twice this week they left for work together- Harry found himself walking with him to the tube and one of those times he had to go back and get his car because he needed his camera and gear. Running into Niall on the stairs just made him forget what he was supposed to do and ended up making him a bit late to his  meeting just because he coveted his time with the other man.

He was constantly looking for his phone, looking for that incoming text and if it wasn’t coming then he was sending it. Just seeing Niall’s name on his phone made him smile and he wanted to keep it there.

It’s over a early afternoon sandwich in the clubhouse restaurant that Harry finds the words spilling out in a way he wasn’t expecting, “So maybe next weekend we can do a movie? Maybe add on dinner too? Go out?” Harry asks. He wills his cheeks to not flush as Niall’s eyes look up from his food to meet Harry’s.  He feels out of breath with anticipation. The intensity of Niall’s eyes freezing the air in Harry’s lungs. He’s not full on asking him out, but it should be obvious right? Niall should be able to pick up that Harry wants a date. That the next time w ill be a date.

“Yeah, let’s do that.” Niall’s smile curves his lips and it warms the frozen air in Harry’s lungs letting it flow out of him in a relieved sigh. His heart catches and breaks a bit and he doesn’t feel like he’s going to get that piece of his heart back anytime soon- but that just fine by him. Niall  has it and will keep it safe.

Harry jumps when his phone vibrates in his pocket and Niall’s small smile becomes a chuckle. Harry hates to do it but he pulls out his phone seeing a call from one of the fashion magazines he works with occasionally.

“I’m sorry…” Niall waves him away taking a drink of his tea and goes back to his food letting Harry answer his call.

The conversation is brief and he’s disappointed but he’s not quite in a position to turn away a high money offer motivated by last minute desperation.

“I’m so sorry…” Harry starts but Niall just throws his napkin down.

“We have to go right? I got lunch.” Harry looks over to see that Niall has already taken care of the ticket while he was off handling this ‘crisis.’

“No, Ni, I wanted to pay.” He barely keeps from stomping his foot on the floor. He didn’t want Niall to pay for anything.

“You covered the rounds. This is only fair.” Niall tells him and they both start to make their way towards the door. He can’t help it; he lets his hand fall to Niall’s lower back. His hand looks large, spanning most of Niall’s back, and he ducks his head down, still frustrated that he can’t catch Niall’s scent.

He doesn’t want to rush, so he lingers, slowly walking, collecting their clubs, then loading them into the car. There is nothing that he can do about the London traffic, but he loves that the conversation seems to stay easy between them. Niall doesn’t seem angry or upset. He has to stop himself twice from laying his hand on Niall’s thigh, stopping mid-air to pull his hand back to land on the gearshift. Niall must notice, because he captures Harry’s hand and presses it on to his thigh keeping his hand pressed over Harry’s.

Harry can feel the toned muscle underneath and gives it a squeeze before relaxing his fingers. Niall doesn’t move his hand though- instead he leaves it there for the rest of the drive back.

“I really am sorry about this.” Harry tells him. He wishes he was in a better place in his career- to have jobs like this on his terms, but this one photo shoot will be able to pay his rent for the next two months.

But Niall wastes no time reassuring him. “It’s going to happen to me sometime too eventually. Someone is going to call and need me ASAP, so don’t worry about it. Do you want me to take your clubs up?”

“Uh, no, I need a couple things from my flat anyway.” That’s not completely false, but it’s not 100 percent true either. But he really wants to walk Niall to his door. Even though this outing didn’t end up as planned he still wants it to have a decent ending.

He parks illegally in front of the building walking Niall to his door, both of them dragging their clubs up the stairs. He doesn’t want to try for the kiss today, even though he can tell Niall’s open to it; Niall seems very relaxed and Harry feels pride straighten his spine, that he was able to make Niall feel that comfortable with him.

He has a feeling, even right now, standing at Niall’s door, sweaty from the sun and 18 rounds of golf, that Niall would let him in the door if he tried, but that’s not what he wants, not at all. He respects Niall and he wants to do this right.

He settles for a hug, their first hug, and he tries to fight the urge to hold on tight, because he doesn’t want to break this fragile bubble they are in. He wants it to grow, get stronger, and move past fragile into something strong and unbreakable… and that won’t happen if he steals a kiss and runs.

“I’ll text you later.” Harry whispers in his ear and he can feel the shiver that races down Niall’s spine. He can’t help but wonder if it is from his words or his lips on Niall ear.

“Ok,” Niall’s not pulling away. His arms are wrapped around Harry’s waist and he can feel those thick strong fingers of Niall’s spread out on his lower back. It’s another moment or two before Niall does finally start to pull away. Harry doesn’t let his hands fall off his shoulders, instead cupping them right on the ends. Niall follows his lead and leaves his hand on Harry’s waist.

“We’ll need to figure out the details of next weekend. So start looking at movies.” Harry tells him.  It looks like Niall wants to say something, but Harry can see him stop himself.

“Yeah, I’m sure we can find something we both like.” Niall settles on finally letting his hands drop away from Harry’s waist. He misses the warmth instantly.

Both of them startle when Harry’s phone vibrates again.

“You better get going.” Niall tells him, laughing, just proving to Harry how truly easy going Niall is.

“Yeah, yeah, I’ll see you soon.” He promises leaning down to press a kiss to Niall’s cheek. There’s just a bit of scruff that is starting to grow in from when he shaved, last night or this morning- Harry can’t tell- but it’s enough that it stings his lips and gives him something to remember Niall by at least for the next few moments.

Niall’s blushing when he pulls away. Harry has to physically stop his muscles from moving in for the kiss, from covering those lips with his own. He’s never wanted anyone like this before and he knows, just somehow knows, that this is special.

He can wait one more weekend.

He’s going to do this right.

----

Chapter Text

Niall can’t really explain the anticipations that starts building on Monday with the first text from Harry. It’s a screenshot of the movies playing this Saturday at the closest cinema. He’s gone through and underlined some options- the only text included with the picture is a ‘?’.

Niall browses through the options and decides on the rom-com just because he knows how much Harry loves them.

Harry’s excitement is apparent after Niall tells him the movie he decided on because he eagerly starts sending Niall restaurant options that are close to the theatre. Most of the restaurants are trendy, but Harry throws in some casual places too. Nothing he sends is something that Niall would feel weird going to, even though there are some places he’s never even heard of.

Thursday he starts to feel a little bit under the weather. His muscles seem lethargic and tired. He barely gives it any thought- but heads to bed early that night, hoping a couple good nights of rest will get him ready for Saturday. He doesn’t even put it together for what it is.

It’s not until Friday that he realizes what’s actually going on. Niall wakes with a headache, a low throbbing in his temples that radiates down his body, he’s achey and sore. He would think that he was getting sick, but he knows what all this means- he’s experienced it too many times not to. Can’t help thinking that he was an idiot for not realizing what it was yesterday. He groans as he pats for his phone to thumb open the app that tells him it’s time to start on his suppressants; or increase dosage in this case; since he’s been taking them for a while already to attempt to hide his scent from Harry.

It’s not even that this heat is off schedule- it’s more that he just lost track of time? He’s just not in the habit of always looking at his calendar when Harry asks him to do something, and he always wants to instantly say yes. With all their texting back and forth and planning for their upcoming date this weekend- checking his heat schedule was the last thing on his mind.  

Niall’s been looking forward to the plans they made all week, but when he wakes up like this he knows it isn’t going to happen. Once again his own body is disappointing him.

He eats a light breakfast, thankful that it’s Friday and he won’t have to take heat leave; he always finds requesting for it embarrassing. In theory he should be able to last through the day, but with the extra suppressants he’s been taking he’s not sure how this heat will roll out. He’s been taking them pretty regularly so that he can hang out with Harry.

The good thing about his job is that Liam lets them off early, on most Fridays anyway. He starts going through his heat preparations, rushing because he doesn’t want to be late for work. He’s only got a few minutes to get this done before he needs to get ready for work. He pulls the Gatorade out of the hall closet and throws it in the fridge and makes sure he has plenty of meal bars. He makes sure that he has plenty of protein mix and then some easily accessible fruit- apples and bananas. He always gets hungry during a heat but never really wants to cook anything. He needs brainless easy food on hand.

He makes sure he showers- cold- just a little longer than normal and puts on a little bit more cologne and deodorant. This weekend should be nothing more than just couple uncomfortable days and a lot of wanking. He’ll wait to send the text to Harry though- the longer he waits the less he’ll have to talk about it. Besides, Harry leaves early Monday morning for Rio. He had talked about it a lot when they were playing golf. It was a safe topic after the heavy conversation halfway through the game and he knows that Harry’s looking forward to it- he hates the fact that now he’s not going to get to see him again before Harry leaves for his flight. It’s going to be almost a month until he sees him again- but in this case it’s for the best.

But even with just the thought of Harry lust filters down his body, making his heart race and breath puff out staccato from his lips… maybe he should call Harry, invite him for the weekend. For a second that thought leaves him frozen, muscles tense and shaking as vivid images scald his brain, of Harry naked, over him, in him , giving him everything he needs. Because Harry would know. He would be good at taking care of Niall.

But asking Harry to see him though a heat? Can friends ask that of each other? Even though more and more they seem to be stepping towards something more than friends. But he’s never done that before, never gone through a heat with someone. He’s always been stubborn about it. He doesn’t need someone to get him through a heat. He can do it on his own. He’s not going to change that now. He’ll wait, even though the idea is tempting; he knows that his hormones are already coloring his thoughts- he can’t trust them anymore.

Work is worse than he thought. He was sure that he would be okay, but by noon he realizes that he’s not going to make it. He’s going to have to go home early- and he hates it. Most of the time- okay- some of the time he’s okay with being an Omega, he doesn’t let it control him, but when he has to leave work early and let his boss down, that’s when he doesn’t like being what he is. But he already feels like his body’s overheating, his thoughts keep going back to Harry and the what ifs? And it doesn’t help that his body’s starting to react- he’s partially hard and the slick is only a little while off. He knows how this goes.

He peeks his head into Liam’s office, “Hey Payno. Sorry to do this, but I need to go. I’m gonna need to take my leave.” He waits for Liam’s head to pop up so that he knows for sure that Liam understands. “Can I take my work home?” Liam nods, not really saying anything and just nods again before looking back down at his computer. Niall is just so thankful for this job and so thankful for a laid back boss.

He takes another dose of suppressants as he gets ready to leave for the day. And while it’s all that he’s been able to think about all day he just can’t get over the embarrassment of it. He gets on the tube and he catches a couple people eyeing him and he knows he must be projecting a bit but he’ll be fine as soon as he gets home.

He locks the door behind him with a feeling of comfort. He’s home, he’s safe, and with the suppressants and the safety of his apartment he will be just fine. It’s then in the sanctity of his home that he finally gets the courage to text Harry.

hey hate do to this but I have to cancel tomorrow .

i’m really not feeling well and i’m going to rest this weekend.

have fun in Rio !

He puts his phone down and putts around the kitchen and the bedroom getting things ready. He pulls out the extra sheets, puts on the waterproof mattress protector, moving in some water bottles to set on the nightstand.

Vaguely he notices that Harry texted him back, but he ignores it instead opting for another cold shower to sooth his skin and cool him down. It’s his first of many showers that he knows he’s going to take over the weekend. When he gets back he sees the text message, notes that there’s another one that came in- but he’s made his decision, he’s going to do this alone- just like all of his other heats. He presses the power button and turns off his phone. No one will blame him. He’ll just have to explain it to Harry later. Harry isn’t like other Alphas; if anyone will understand or at least try to understand, it’s Harry.

He climbs into bed falling into slumber. When he wakes the next 24 hours become a blur of showers, Gatorade, sleep, and wanking mostly- always- to thoughts of Harry- thoughts of calling him, texting him, going up to his flat and climbing him like a tree, begging him to fuck him, knot him. He’s never thought so much about someone during a heat. He actually turned on his phone just to turn it off again this morning because calling Harry was a bad idea… right?

But the more and more he thought about it the more appealing it sounded. It doesn't help that he knows when Harry’s home, can every once in a while hear his steps through his apartment, can imagine him walking around his bedroom- getting naked… or ready for bed- but really he's more focused on the naked part- his memory taking him back to the day at the pool, with the small yellow shorts and how hungry he was even then.

Harry wouldn’t judge him- wouldn’t look at him like he’s just a needy Omega in need of a fuck. Harry likes him- even more importantly Harry respects him, he thinks, he hopes.

And there have been moments- those moments- and right now more than anything he wishes that they would have actually kissed so he didn’t have to second guess all of it in the middle of his fucking heat.

But they’re just friends right? Can you ask this sort of thing from a friend? Can you still be friends after something like that? Niall would rather face the confusion in his mind right now than the embarrassment afterwards so he just keeps his phone off. That's doesn't mean that he doesn't look at it regularly but he stays strong and keeps it off.

He gets through most of Saturday and he takes his last dose of suppressants early Sunday morning after changing his sheets for the second time. He can’t stand knowing that it’s his own slick producing these wet spots that he keeps waking up in.

But constantly taking his suppressants around Harry means that with this heat he’s already burned through the last bit of his suppressants, so this last day might be kinda rough but he’s so close. He’s almost over the worst of it- and into the home stretch.

He’s trying to sleep on the couch, where he's pulled a bunch of blankets to make a warm comfortable refuge, but just as he’s drifting off there’s knock at the door. At first he thinks it’s his imagination and tries to ignore it until the knocking becomes constant.

“Niall!” The smooth voice works through the haze in his mind and just the sound of his voice causes shivers down his spine.

Fuck, it’s Harry. “Niall, are you okay?” He pulls himself up off the sofa, running his hands through his hair as he walks to the door to look through the peephole. His mind is racing- it just can’t be…  Shit… shit… he’s really here… He’s pretty sure that one of his fantasies started off just like this. He’s not dreaming is he? He grabs the skin on his forearm, pinching hard and fuck that hurts. Shit- this is real.

“Uh, Haz, yeah. I’m fine.” He doesn’t sound fine, not to his own ears. He sounds hoarse, gravelly, and he really can’t remember the last time that he drank anything. His throat is parched and when he looks in the mirror by the door he doesn’t look great either. He’s just in jogging shorts, no shirt, no pants, and his skin is flushed, cheeks red, eyes dilated black with only a ring of blue, his lips are red, bitten by his own teeth.

“You don’t sound fine. C’mon, Ni, I brought you some food. I made chicken noodle soup and some banana bread. You haven’t responded to any of my texts, you haven’t even read them, and I’m just worried.” Harry’s voice is pleading. He can hear the worry; his words are drenched in it. And when Niall looks out the peephole to double check, sure enough he has a bag with food in it. “I just want to make sure you’re okay.” The last part is whispered through the door, small and almost pitiful and it breaks his heart that he’s hurting Harry like this. He doesn’t want to hurt Harry- the thought itself is nauseating.

But, God- he doesn’t want to answer the door, because Harry should actually be able to smell him now due to the suppressants wearing off, and he’s definitely going to be able to smell Harry. He’s never been this physically and emotionally close to an Alpha before and never during a heat. He doesn’t know what he would do. He knows what he wants to do but-no it’s a bad idea. A Very Bad Idea…

“C’mon Niall, you wouldn’t cancel our date for no reason.” Date? It was a date? He’s pretty sure it was even though he kept trying to convince himself it was just a movie. He doesn’t remember being asked out on a date. But he’d been thinking it all week, wondering if that was the case… or if he was reading too much into it. But really that is the least of his concerns right now.

“Haz, I just…” He doesn’t know what to do. He takes the risk and unhooks the chain. He opens the door just a crack and can’t help but notice Harry’s eyes go wide.

“Jesus, Niall!” Harry presses the door open a little farther and brings the back of his free hand up to rest on Niall’s cheek. The touch sends a ripple down to his toes and he can’t help a sigh. That touch soothes him in a way that almost pisses him off.  He’d wanked for hours and not gotten the same relief as just that simple touch.

“I’m just- it’s not a good time- I’m…” Harry’s scent is washing over him like a drug. His body’s reacting to him and it doesn't help that he already wants Harry. His growing attraction to the Alpha isn't a secret- he doesn’t think it is to either of them. And being this close to Harry right now- it’s thrilling. He looks so good too, dark curls slightly damp like he’s just out of the shower. His black skinny jeans are tight and  his grey shirt is almost threadbare and if he looks hard he can see the dark lines of his tattoos.

Harry presses the rest of the way in, letting the door close behind him. “You have a fever. You’re burning up.” Harry sets the bag on the counter, delaying only seconds to put the soup in his fridge, and moves in closer to him but Niall puts his hands up, originally trying to ward him off but instead he ends up just resting them on Harry’s chest. Harry’s concern is palpable in the air and if Niall didn’t want to jump him already he’d been even more enamored with him.

“No, not a fever, I’m ok, really, I’m…” But touching Harry was a mistake. It makes it harder for him to think. But the suppressants he’s taking must be working because Harry doesn’t seem to smell it on him yet- or he’d know the truth. Which in this case might be easier- because now Niall’s going to have to tell him- and he’s not in the right mind to explain anything right now.

“You're not ok,” Harry brings his hands up to cup Niall's face and his body is reacting in all sorts of ways. The thoughts whirling around his brain are gone- like they never really existed anyway. He closes his eyes in partial embarrassment, God - he's fully hard again, arse slick, nipples budding – and all he wants to do is push in closer and strip Harry’s kit off and ride him until they both cum over and over again. He's having a hard time right now remembering why it’s a bad idea.

“Heat…” he finally spits it out, “I'm in heat.” It comes out on a sigh as he tries to push Harry away, but even he knows it’s half heartedly, his hand is still tangled in Harry’s grey shirt.

“I- no- I would be able to smell that?” Harry questions, but he drops his hands to Niall’s hips, right on the band of his joggers, and dips his head low, pressing his nose in to Niall's neck. He can feel his huff of breath as he breathes deep. “Ohh,” he sighs as he catches the scent that he’s searching for. The suppressants can’t hide everything- especially during his actual heat. And it doesn’t matter because Harry should smell the other things happening right now- now that his breath is on Niall’s neck- turning him on even more. His arousal, his leaking prick, his slick that’s dampening the back of his joggers, Harry can probably smell it all, now that he’s looking for it..

“Yeah,” he’s not doing a very good job of pushing Harry away, probably because he really doesn’t want to anymore. Moments like this have been the center of his fantasies since the other boy moved in almost a month ago- God has it been that long already? His fingers still tight in Harry’s shirt- he’s surprised he’s not ripping it- but he keeps him close.

“Why didn't you ask for help? Did you…. Don't you trust me?” There's a small press of his lips to Niall’s neck but it can’t really be called a kiss- maybe more of a taste, and he finally pulls away, to look him in the eye.  

“No that's not….” Niall stutters because he didn't think that Harry’s feelings would be hurt. Harry’s feelings shouldn’t be hurt by this- it’s Niall’s choice.

“Is there someone else here?” That question comes out on a growl, and the fingertips gripping his hips tighten, digging into his skin, a pressure that sends a shiver down his spine. Niall tells himself that it doesn't turn him on even more- the idea that Harry is possessive is not arousing; not at all.

“No, it’s just me, and of course I trust you, if I didn't I wouldn't have opened the door.” Niall pauses and realizes he doesn't know what else to say but the truth, “I just always do this by myself.”

“But why Ni, I'm right here.” Harry looks confused and still a little hurt and he can’t really put the words together in his head. But he’s comforted by the way Harry’s green eyes are clear; he’s not forcing his way in or pushing- he’s just curious.

Niall can't really explain why he's always done this alone. He doesn't know if it's the lack of control, the way that he's almost embarrassed with the way his body acts, or the just fear of trusting someone that much- to see him that needy, to see him at what he considers his lowest point- where he is just reduced to a basic need to fuck. But he wants to with Harry. And that is new because he’s never desired an Alpha before.

Harry’s hands are on his skin, hands moving up from his hips to his waist, it’s not meant to arouse- though it is- Niall can tell that Harry’s goal is to sooth. His thumbs are on his skin moving in small circles and even though he knows that Harry isn’t trying to seduce him those little touches are sending shockwaves through his system. Niall’s brain is having a hard time thinking of anything other than getting more skin on skin. Every time a thought comes into his mind, it melts and he’s constantly trying to grab just a single thought… a single word… something to clarify what’s going on in his head…but he can’t do that on even a normal day.

“It’s embarrassing,” Niall mutters out, staring right at Harry’s collarbones. They stand out stark; the tattoos around them drawing even more attention. He wants to taste them. He wants to taste all of Harry, “I take suppressants, they help,” He’s pulling Harry towards him now, takes a step closer so they’re pressed against one another. He drops his forehead to Harry’s collarbone and his whole body just relaxes into the other man. It gives him a moment of sanity in the last 36 hours of chaos.  

“That’s dangerous, you could hurt yourself.” Harry’s hands come up on his back, he presses into his skin, fingernails scoring gently. But Harry is right, suppressants are dangerous, if taken out of context, but he doesn’t do that… he walks the line cautiously using them only when he needs.

“I’m careful.” Niall assures him, nosing into his neck, pressing a kinda-sorta kiss in, lips and tongue pressing into his skin. Harry tastes amazing, addictive. He presses his lips up his neck and right below the other man’s ear, he bites the skin. Harry lets out a moan, fingertips digging into the muscles on Niall’s back. He wants Harry to pick him up and take him to bed.

Niall pulls his face back from Harry’s neck to look up into his eyes. Harry’s cheeks are pink, green eyes hooded and dark and he watches carefully when Harry licks his lips. His overthinking brain has officially gone offline… his hormones are in complete control and all he can think about is all those thoughts he had of Harry earlier- of Harry making him cum, knotting him until his heat dissipates and his body is sore in the best of ways.

His body is in complete control when he presses up on his tiptoes to touch his lips to Harry’s; in a brief barely there kiss.

“Are you just doing this just ‘cause you’re in heat?” Harry looks at him closely and Niall really doesn’t want to know what he sees because he can feel Harry’s echoing hardness and Niall's inhibitions are down enough to just go for it.

“I've wanted you in me since you walked up to me at our pool in those stupid yellow shorts that leave nothing to the imagination.” Niall blurts out but Harry saves him the embarrassment that comment causes by pressing his lips back to Niall’s and taking his breath away.

Niall doesn’t really feel in control, desire is pulsing through his veins now that Harry’s lips are on his, his teeth sinking into his lower lip, it’s worse- like a fire tearing across his skin. He lets out a gasp and his knees go soft, his balance is wavering but maybe that’s because Harry’s moving pulling Niall into him and shuffling him backwards at the same time.

Niall lifts his hands to catch on Harry’s shoulders, Harry’s lips are aggressive on his, taking possession and dominating over him, Niall lets him. His heart is racing and his mind is going peacefully blank. All he can think is Harry. He has Harry’s body pressed into his and his lips on his and his hands feel like sin pressed on his back, massaging the flesh relaxing him but filling him up with a different type of tension all at the same time.

But – no this isn’t what he wants- he doesn’t want this to be their first kiss- their first time- when he’s out of his head with desperation. He doesn’t want it to be forced by hormones- he wants to be confident that they both want this that it’s not just their bodies taking control.

Bad idea...

He doesn’t know how he does it but he pushes Harry back, “No,” he heaves it out on a sigh.

“What?” Harry eyes lock on his and he looks shaken and wounded?

“This just- no- I don’t…” Niall doesn’t even know how to finish it- he can’t get his brain to come back online. He’s battling against that instinct to pull Harry back in and drown in his kisses.

“Niall, don’t you trust me?” Harry looks hurt and part of Niall gets that- he does- but it’s easier to grab on to the anger. It’s coiling in his head and he knows he’s making something out of nothing- but logic isn’t playing right now.

“Stop-stop trying to guilt me- yes I trust you…” His voice echoes in the room and it’s only then that he realized he raised his voice. He doesn’t feel guilty for pushing Harry away, but the words Harry’s using aren’t connecting with him.

“I’m not trying to guilt you.”  Harry has backed up a bit and has his hands up, his green eyes are serious and he looks worried- but that’s not Niall’s concern right now.

“Just stop trying to placate me.” Niall can’t help but feel the anger welling up, it’s intense in a way his anger never is. He’s never one to lash out, yell.  He doesn’t like this feeling- not at all. “You should go.”

“But are you alright?” Harry’s concerned obviously, but in way all that does is intensify Niall’s anger. He doesn’t need some Alpha to help him, he has never needed an Alpha to get him through a heat- he certainly doesn’t need one now.

“I’m fine, I’ve been doing this on my own for years, I don’t need some Alpha to come in and change that now.”  He can hear the bitter resentment in his voice- he’s letting his colors show. He knows he’s not a good Omega, he’s not good at laying back and doing what he’s told. He doesn’t want to. He has his own mind and he knows how to use it. He’s an Omega no Alpha would really want. Harry’s going to see that now.

“I’m not trying to change that, I just wanna help. Make sure you’re okay?” Harry told him, he takes another couple steps back and he’s looking at Niall like he doesn’t even know him- like he doesn’t want to know him. And go figure- Harry is just like every other Alpha that he’s encountered. He doesn’t realize he’s said it out loud until Harry shakes his head almost violently- those curls that he had just had his hands in loose around his head.  “You know I’m not. You know I’m not here for that.”

“I don’t… I just…” Every time he breathes in to calm himself all he does is keep dragging in Harry’s scent and he’s confused and aroused and scared and he doesn’t know why, “I don’t need your help and I don’t need an Alpha and I do need you to go.” It doesn’t help that he feels his throat clogging up, there are tears in his eyes and he refuses to let them fall.

“But…”

“You can’t help me!” Niall finally lets it tear out, “I don’t trust it.”

“So you don’t trust me.” When he looks up Harry looks a strange mixture of distraught and confused and Niall hates that his scent still reaches him, the tone of cinnamon smoothing down his spine and calming ruffled feathers.  

“No- yes I do- but fuck Haz I can’t talk to you about this right now.” He’s too fucked up in the head- he knows he’s not making sense- he knows it- but he’s not in the right mindset to explain it. “You need to leave, and if you don’t respect that then I don’t want to see you again.” Harry’s eyes widen in shock then his face empties of all color and emotion and he nods.

“Okay- okay-” He turns and walks out the door and Niall can’t explain the feeling that settles through his body- it’s not relief, it’s not disappointment- it’s complete and utter fear that he just fucked up everything.

He doesn’t even think about it, it’s late enough and he’s done it before, but he just goes into the bathroom ignoring every instinct to go after Harry- because it’s true- he doesn’t trust it, he doesn’t trust his emotions right now. He doesn’t want to question why they got together- he doesn’t want to be able to blame it on the hormones- he wants it to be a choice.

He rummages through his bathroom cabinet- finally finding the sleeping aids. He doesn’t even blink as he grabs four- twice the normal dose, and swallows them down. He doesn’t use them often, mostly like this, when he wants to sleep through an uncomfortable part of his heat and this definitely qualifies as uncomfortable.

It only takes a handful of minutes before he’s making his way to bed, falling on to the dirty sheets, and passing out into blissful oblivion.

When he wakes, his mind and his body are calm in a way they haven’t been for days, but his head is groggy. So groggy- sleeping pills have the tendency to do that to him. He’s going to be in a haze most of the day. His alarm is sounding by his bed telling him joyfully that it’s time to get ready to go to work.

He sits up in bed, taking deep breaths trying to clear the fog over his brain. Automatically he reaches over and it’s with a sinking stomach that he powers his phone back on. It only takes seconds for text messages and notifications to start rolling in.

Harry.  Harry. Harry.

His words from yesterday are clear in his memory- and now he can form the coherent thoughts that he needed yesterday. But now it’s too late. He knows what he needs to say- but now the look on Harry’s face is even clearer to him. He was hurt- really hurt and rightfully so. Nothing Niall said last night was coming out right.

Harry’s phone goes straight to voicemail.

He tries again, and again, no answer.

“Okay, think, think,” it’s then that it starts to click, his mind coming back online- he’s on his way to Rio. God damn fucking Rio. Where he’ll be next two and half weeks- having three different photo shoots scheduled. “Fuck.”

There is no way Niall can just send a text, international calling is expensive. Harry doesn’t have WhatsApp and he deserves an apology- a real one- not a shitty one via email or iMessenger- and that’s even if he’s getting phone service.

Right now, in this moment, there is nothing he can do- and what’s worse is that he hurt Harry- and he’s still hurting at this very moment. Because he knows how sensitive Harry is- he knows that Harry is carrying Niall’s hurtful thoughtless words with him and there is nothing he can do to fix it.

Fuck..

----

 

Chapter Text

Harry turns off the alarm as it buzzes in his ear. The alarm itself was pointless, he was already awake. He hadn’t been able to sleep all weekend, a nervous anxiety has been sinking in his belly since Friday with every unread text he’d sent to Niall. Now he can’t stop thinking about him and all of Niall’s words are swirling in his head. He keeps replaying all of the conversation- trying to figure out when it turned into an argument. When he became the bad guy but he’s just too confused and he doesn’t know if talking to Niall is even an option now.

Obviously not right now, it’s 4:00 in the morning and he’s about to catch a flight to Rio.

Sadly he’s not really looking forward to the upcoming couple weeks as much as he was just a few days ago.

He can’t help but look longingly at Niall’s door as he trudges down the stairs, luggage in hand. He wants to talk, to clear the air, to figure things out, but he knows that now is not the time. He really hopes that the timing will be better when he gets back. He can’t help but press his hand to the door anyway and just hope that this will all work out- that Niall will just know when he wakes up that Harry wasn’t trying to hurt him. That he wasn’t trying to guilt him in to anything- and he certainly wasn’t trying to imply that Niall was a needy Omega- Niall had made it more than clear that he needed no one.

The idea of seeing Niall through a heat was a dream to Harry, but he’d never expected it to turn out like this. He shoots a frown at the door and continues the rest of the way down the stairs. Then he’s off.

Exhaustion wins halfway through the flight and he passes out only to wake up when the plane lands. He only has one day to reset his clock so he fights to stay awake, manages to go to sleep at a normal time that evening, and gets up early enough the next morning.

But almost luckily; between the traveling and his work; his mind goes blissfully blank.  

Rio’s amazing, a busy bustling city with tourist traps everywhere that make for some great images. He’s three days into the trip when he finally gets a good enough WiFi connection- apparently the hotel is having issues- that he can back everything he’s taken the last few days up to his computer, and possibly post a shot up on social media since he hasn’t really tried to post anything online. Now that he finally has a decent connection he scrolls through his pictures and finds a good one of Christ The Redeemer and posts it on to his Instagram.

The day passes quick enough; he’s just finished up today’s shoot and he has two other different photo shoots coming up over the next two and a half weeks. Today’s photoshoot was touristy and he shot with a model he’s never met before; but at least he got to see all the different views of Rio. There were some swimsuit beach shots, some summer dress street shots, and then some of the hiking trails.

His friend Cara flies in tonight though, and the next two shoots he has booked are with her. She is the model for a swimsuit line that booked a shoot here and then they’ll be doing another shoot for her upcoming movie. For the first shoot they will be hitting a beach but for the second shoot they’ll be in a studio. When they first booked the shoots they were both excited to stay in Rio and also get to vacation a bit as well. But now- with the way things are with Niall- Harry just really wants to get home. It’s weighing on his mind more than he would like, and he really just wants to clear the air.

It doesn’t help that the cell phone reception in Rio isn’t great, he doesn’t have data, and a WiFi connection is a huge hit or miss. He really has no reliable way to communicate with Niall.

When he gets back to the hotel, he’s pleased to see the WiFi is still working and when he clicks on Instagram he freezes. ‘niallhoran liked your post’ pops up right there in his notifications. Standing in the middle of the hotel lobby his heart stops and then starts beating again.  

He feels his lips curve up and he might be acting like a silly kid, but he feels better now.

He doesn’t have international calling and WiFi might be good enough to load a picture, but not enough for a facetime call- so Harry will have to take what he can get.

He posts another pic that night and when he wakes up in the morning his phone is the first thing he checks.

And it’s there again, ‘niallhoran liked your post’ .

“What are you smiling at?” Cara gives him the side eye at breakfast as she takes in what he’s sure is a dopey smile.

“Nothing.” He slips his phone into his back pocket and ties to give her his full attention.

He tells himself that he’s not posting any more pictures up just for Niall to like- he’s not- he’s really not... but with every small red heart that appears on each post he feels a bit like the shreds of his heart are being stitched back together. He feels a bit of lightness- because maybe Niall realized he can’t call or text- but he’d found a different way to communication with all the obstacles in their way.

Having Cara on this shoot ends up being a blessing. They spend most of their nights together and on the last night before they leave they both have bit too much to drink. Harry ends up finally pouring everything out to her. She looks at  him with a smug smile when she agrees, “Yes it totally means something that he’s stalking your Insta, and he’s not even being subtle about it.”

Now he's looking forward to going home and sleeping in his own bed and hoping that he can see Niall and try to work this all out. Social media stalking has never been more welcome and it’s stupid that it gives Harry such fucking hope that this- the very special whatever it is that they were building- wasn’t completely lost.

Other than the Instagram likes and a Twitter follow he hasn’t heard from Niall. But being part of the way around the world is not really conducive to conversation. At this point he doesn’t know if he’s supposed to reach out or if he should leave that to  Niall. He just doesn’t even know how to approach him. Is he supposed to apologize- and what is he supposed to apologize for? He’s still not even sure what he did wrong. It doesn’t matter how many times he plays that evening over in his head- he doesn’t know what it is that he said, what is was that he did to make everything go so wrong.

The flight home is awful- between waiting in the airport, the delays, and then the actual plane ride, he’s exhausted. But it was two and a half weeks that will make him a few thousand pounds richer and secure his rent for at least the rest of the year, and he’s got a lot scheduled for the rest of September and some of October, but then after that his work slows down.

It’s a relief to see the London skyline as the taxi takes him towards home. He’s pretty excited to just drop into his bed. Then when he wakes up tomorrow he can really start to think about his next step. He’s done his best to compartmentalize and not think about Niall while he was gone- not that it really worked. But now that the work is almost done, his mind is already searching for a different focus, shifting back to the Omega that he left behind here in London.

Now that he can think about it, the thoughts of Niall are the only things racing through his mind. He wants to stop at his flat first thing, knock on the door and see if Niall will even answer. But now is definitely not the best time… he’s so tired from travelling that he can’t really even put a thought together- let alone try to make sense of everything that happened two and a half weeks ago. Plus it's still early afternoon- Niall should be at work- so knocking on his door would most likely just be a waste of time, but regardless he can’t help staring longingly at the door as he passes it.

When Harry finally walks up the last flight of stairs, the last thing he expects is to see Niall sitting in front of his door. He just barely catches a glance of him, shoulders hunched over scrolling through his phone before he’s popping up and standing in front of Harry’s door, phone hidden in one of his pockets.

He looks slightly terrified, eyes wide, skin pale; he looks like he hasn’t slept well in days. That concern that he had felt- that feeling that had driven him to go to the flat below, roars back to life now.

For a moment Harry’s just standing there, mostly stunned because, well, Niall!, and after the last time they had spoken Harry didn’t know for sure if he was ever going to see Niall again. He was hopeful- of course- but he wasn’t sure.

“Hi,” Harry starts because; where else is there to start. But his heart is pounding out of his chest. He can feel his heart racing, adrenaline pumping through his veins. He feels wide awake now. Niall looks terrible but he’s such a sight for sore eyes.

“Hi,” Niall tells him and he glances down before he looks back up looking Harry right in the eye. “How was...how was your trip?”

“It was--- good.” Harry’s a bit unsteady- he wasn’t expecting this- not at all. He never thought that Niall would just be here waiting .

“So, um, yeah. So listen. I was a fuckin’ prick and owe you an apology.” He’s so serious, sounds so confident, but when Harry glances down at his hands, his fingers are nervous and twisting, tangling with each other, nails bitten down to the quick, cuticles red and scabbed over. But other than his nerves and what seems to be exhaustion, he looks good, his dark brown hair gelled and swept lightly to the side, pink patterned button up with skinny jeans.

“Oh, it’s fine.” It’s not really…. but he’s just a bit stunned to be honest. Blindsided is probably an even more accurate term. He can’t really explain it but he can smell Niall’s nerves. Oh fucking god- he can smell him again, all warmth and spice. He can see the obvious signs of nervous tension but he can sense it on him as well. He has never been in tune with another person like this before, it’s very much like the urges that made him want to make soup and bread and take it to Niall’s flat to begin with.

“No it’s not. It’s really not fine at all.” Niall shakes his head and nervous tension is just radiating from his body. The tension in his shoulders traces all the way down to his toes holding the shorter lad tense, “I know that you’re probably tired and I know I owe you an explanation. And it’s stupid it really is, but I haven’t had great experiences with Alphas, ya’ know, and as soon as I woke up the next day I knew that I’d been an idiot, and I’d automatically thought about calling you but well- Rio - and I just panicked I knew I couldn’t call you, and I didn’t want to email you, that’s just the lazy way out of apologizing. And you deserve a real apology.

I know that you don’t see me as a needy Omega who’s only good for one thing, and I was just scared, because even though I’ve gone through tons of heats, I’ve never actually gone through one with an Alpha before and I was emotional and overwhelmed and I just want to know for sure that it’s me and you- just yeah… so I’m really sorry and I didn’t mean…”

“Niall…” Harry can’t really makes heads or tails of what he is actually saying… and he wants to. He wants to know, he wants to understand. He still doesn’t know what the hell was going on two weeks ago. But now isn’t the time or the place. He’s just traveled 16 hours and he can’t do this. He’s glad this is happening- the remaining chains around his heart are falling away- in a way it’s comforting to see Niall so worried about this, about him.

“It’s- just - my mind was so frazzled- and I wasn’t thinking- at all - because I know you, you’re my friend or you were and…”

“I’m still your friend.” Harry clarifies because Niall really looks a little panicked and the strange thing is Harry can be calm because that’s what Niall needs right now- and it’s not that he wasn’t hurt - isn’t still hurt - but he wants to understand where Niall is coming from. He wants to know how his words were taken so wrong.

“I just- I know you just got in and I cornered you here. I know you’re tired from your flight, but I really just needed- well wanted- you to know that I’m sorry.” He seems to deflate at that, like he doesn’t know what to do. His fingers all tangle together before he untangles them just to shove them in his pockets and leans back on his heels. He looks away from Harry over his shoulder, then heaves out a big sigh. “Do you maybe want to come to my place tomorrow? When you’re not like fresh off a plane and exhausted. Maybe we can just like hang out?” He’s never seen the other boy look so nervous. It’s one of the things that he’s always loved about Niall- how comfortable the other boy is in his own skin. How confident he is about who he is.

“Yeah, we can do that. Maybe we can talk more about this?” He waits for Niall’s reaction, a slight nod with a nervous smile, “I have to go through all the pictures I took and upload them, do touch ups and edits, but I should be done by 5:30. I'll just stop by your place? Maybe we can grab dinner?” Because maybe Harry can turn this around? Maybe he can pry out of Niall just what the fuck was going through his mind the last time and they can have a date on top of it.

But Niall still looks nervous, taking his foot and tapping his toes before looking back up at him. “Yeah, we can do that. I -just- thank you. I fucked up and I really just appreciate you even talking to me, I really am sorry.” He's relaxing a bit, his shoulders less tense.

“Niall- I care about you. And I kinda get it, I'm sure it can be a bit….emotional?” Harry finishes, because he honestly has no idea. He's only seen one omega through a heat and it was not nearly as intense as even the barely there kiss that they had shared. He's not sure if Niall can remember everything, he’s heard that some Omega’s don’t, but he can remember that kiss and it was amazing, he wants to do it again, and again. He’s not going to lie, he wants to date Niall, shag Niall, and see him through a heat. On top of that he wants to be the only person that gets to see Niall like that. So he's a bit emotional about it as well.

“Uh, yeah, I kinda lost the plot a bit.” Niall takes a couple steps away towards the stairs, not really closer to Harry, but he's no longer blocking the door to his flat, so Harry takes those next couple steps forward and pulls out his keys to unlock his door.

“Hey, please don't be so nervous.” Now that he's closer he can smell even more the scent of nervousness and anxiety and he hates that he's the cause of it. “If you're worried don't be, we’ll be okay.” Harry knows that now because he's here, Niall’s here, and that tells Harry a lot about how important he is to him. Niall had researched his flight, knew when he was coming home, had to have to even have an idea about when he was landing  to make sure that he was here to greet him, and took off work early to meet him here.

“Okay, okay… so see you tomorrow?” He starts to inch towards the stairs, almost like he's afraid to touch Harry. It makes him want to reach out, grab Niall’s hands, and reassure him, them, that it will all be fine. But he lets the other boy escape because even though it hurts to see him like this, he's not at a good point to deal with it. He's exhausted from traveling halfway around the world and he’s having a hard time putting sentences together.

“Yes. Tomorrow.” He nods as he goes down the stairs. It's only early afternoon but Harry feels a little bit better falling into bed knowing Niall is home in the flat below and that the other boy wants to talk to him.

He crashes and sleeps through the night, waking up ravenous. He eats while he works going through all the pictures, editing, cropping, and finishing them. He posts one to his own instagram, and Niall likes it immediately. That makes it a lot easier to go ahead and pull on his black jeans and long-sleeved grey tee and head down the stairs as soon as he’s finished up.

He’s going to play this by ear. That’s his plan. He can do his best to plan this conversation in his head or think of all the questions he’s going to ask, but really he just needs to get into Niall’s head for a minute… to try and better understand where he’s coming from. There’s a bigger picture that he’s not seeing clearly yet.

He’s barely knocked before Niall is opening the door. He looks better than yesterday, his skin has some of his color back and he looks like he might have slept yesterday. But he still looks tense, worried, blue eyes crinkled around the edges.

“Hey.” Niall whispers and Harry has learned to just follow his instinct around Niall- he doesn’t always trust it, but it hasn’t steered him wrong yet. He takes a couple steps in and wraps his arms around Niall’s shoulders enveloping him in a hug. It must have been the right move because the other boy sinks into him, wraps his arms around his waist, and he feels a deep sigh on his neck. Okay- definitely the right move.

Harry turns his head and tucks it into Niall’s neck, his scent comforting but still tinged with the sharp acidic scent of anxiety. He closes his eyes and just takes it in for a second, knowing now that it was most likely the suppressants that Niall had been taking that had blocked his scent, and knowing that he’s not still taking them. “Hi.” Niall doesn’t seem to be ready to let go so he just squeezes him tighter before letting his arms drop away. Niall pulls away and looks back up.

“Sorry,” Niall whispers before taking a couple steps back to look up Harry.

“Instead of being sorry let’s figure out what happened, yeah?” Harry asks. He’s curious and he wants to know what Niall’s buttons are, know what he said, what he did that made Niall feel like the only option was to force Harry out the door with a threat.

“Yeah, okay. You probably want an explanation or something?” It’s making Harry uneasy how Niall can’t look at him and just keeps looking at the ground shuffling his feet. It’s the opposite of his apology just yesterday.

“Well, you don’t owe me anything, but I guess I would like to know what I did wrong?” Harry asks. Niall’s eyes have finally made contact with his own, his eyes wide and shocked.

“You… no… you didn’t – you didn’t do anything wrong .” Harry can’t help but smile because it’s almost like his heart is piecing itself back together much like what he felt with each heart notification that popped up on his Instagram. Harry can’t stop himself from reaching out grabbing Niall’s hand. “Let’s sit down.”

Niall drags the two of them over to the sofa and sits down cross-legged turning to face Harry. He watches as Niall takes a deep breath, shoulders tense and spine ramrod straight. He looks so incredibly uncomfortable

“Ok so obviously I wasn’t in a good state last time, well not yesterday, but the time before that. Anyway long story short I hate being in heat.” Well okay- Harry can understand that but at the same time he doesn’t… because it’s not like his ruts are bad? He even enjoys them for the most part. His confusion must show on his face because Niall just lets out a sigh.

“I go through my heats by myself.” But Harry is still confused, “All of them. I take suppressants and hide in my flat and just take care of myself.” And that makes zero sense, because that’s just not sane. Why would anyone do that?

“But that’s not even healthy. That’s crazy. If I tried to do that with my ruts I would be a disaster! All of them?” He doesn’t mean for it to come off as rude or as an accusation, but it’s just that unbelievable.

“It’s not unhealthy as long as you do it right. I told you I was taking suppressants. And yes…all of them, I just- it’s so embarrassing. I don’t want just any stranger to see me like that …and I’ve never really had an Alpha friend and I’ve never really been in long term relationship and I don’t … I just… I don’t really depend on other people for anything.” Niall stops talking and just lets his head drop back before looking at Harry. “Listen it’s different for you. For your ruts it’s all like, ‘look at me, I’m an Alpha, let me show off my Alpha-ness’ while for us it’s like all weird and needy and I can’t even trust my own fucking emotions because my hormones are all over the place.”

Harry’s trying to analyze what he’s saying but it’s jumbled and he’s not really making heads or tails of it. In a way it makes sense, but he can’t quite put all the puzzle pieces together like he wants to. And while he knows he might not get an exact picture, he hopes to get one that he can at least make sense of. “Do you mind if I just ask you some questions?”

“God, yes. Please, just shut me up.” Niall drops his shoulders, obviously realizing that he’s not doing a great job of trying to explain everything.

“Do you just have something against Alphas?” That’s as good of place as any to start.  

“No, that’s not it- I just hate how a lot of them are entitled and pushy and all fucking superior just because they can knot their dicks- it’s stupid. I’m a man that can grow a baby and that’s a lot more impressive than a fucking knot.” Harry can’t help but snort out a laugh because- yeah- he can agree with that.

“Why did I feel like I had to come see you… when you were in heat?” Harry can’t help but ask because it wasn’t something he can even process. He just knew that he had to go down to the flat below. That there was something wrong and he needed to help.

“I don’t know… I was thinking about you quite a bit. That may have made a difference?” Niall’s face is completely red right now but Harry decides to plow through the embarrassment. Hopefully they never have to have this conversation again but if they do they’ll be more comfortable around each other.

“So when I asked if you trusted me?” Harry leaves the question hanging because he can’t even pretend that it didn’t hurt to hear Niall not be able to answer him clearly. But Niall put his hand on Harry’s knee squeezing tight.

“I trust you. I wouldn’t have opened the door if I didn’t, but I don’t trust my own emotions and I don’t trust your emotions because all you’re doing is reacting to a scent or a primal need and that’s not what I want.” Niall’s hand is steady and so are his bright blue eyes as he locks gazes with Harry.

And he gets that- it’s the first thing that he has really made sense of as he’s starting to piece together the gibberish from the disaster of his last visit to Niall’s flat. But it’s all a bit clearer now... especially with knowing how Niall likes his independence- his control. Having to surrender to your body and it’s hormones must really be something he hates. He’s never thought about what it was like as an Omega or from a different point of view. He always enjoyed his rut, it’s not like he didn’t know when it would come on or that he couldn’t plan on it. He’s just never thought that it was something to be embarrassed of.

Harry just never realized that Niall for how smart he is- he’s also kind of an idiot.

“But I couldn’t smell you… your scent was blocked?” It’s been bothering him for a while, that he hasn’t been able to smell him since that first night.

“Suppressants, they uh help make it a bit more bearable but I can also take them as scent blockers.”

“So you’ve been taking them a while…”

“It’s one of the shitty things about being an Omega. Your body just broadcasts out ‘Hey I’m interested in you’ and I didn’t want you to know right away because let’s face it- I know that someone like you wouldn’t really normally go for someone like me…” Those blue eyes are so stupidly earnest as he’s talking and Harry just can’t can’t let him continue.

“I feel like you should probably stop talking right now, because one- I really don’t want to hear you talk about yourself like that and two- you need to understand that I really like you.” Harry stops him and grabs Niall’s hand on his knee.

Niall’s eyes widen in shock and his mouth opens and closes. When he finally gets his senses back the words are stuttering out. “Wha- Are you sure?”

Harry can’t help but laugh because he would expect nothing else from Niall, “I’m very sure. And we’re gonna have to figure this all out because we were on our way to a first date and if that went well a second date…”

“So you’re serious? You want to date me? You know I’m like the weirdest Omega ever right? Like I don’t need an Alpha.” Niall’s shaking his head at him, but at the same time he’s smiling, shoulders relaxing.

“But what if you want one? Is that a problem? It’s not like I’m a normal kind of Alpha either.” Harry seems to have stumped him with that question. Niall just looks at him tilting his head to the right as he thinks. Like the idea that Niall would ever want an Alpha in his life is strange and abstract. And for him it was- because even Harry knows that Niall doesn’t think of himself as anything special- when really he’s extraordinary.

“I never really thought about it.” Harry stands up from the couch and pulls Niall up.

“So think about it, while we go on a date. Let’s go.” Niall looks down at himself almost disapprovingly.

“Now?” He stutters out and Harry adores his confusion. “But I’m not ready.” Harry thinks he looks perfect; long lean legs encased in dark skinny jeans and chest and shoulders covered in a black Henley. He looks good enough to eat.

“You look amazing.” He smiles as Niall blushes, “C’mon, let’s go.” Harry prompts and Niall just nods and smiles letting Harry take him by the hand and drag him out of his flat.

Harry still wants to talk more, but he wants it more natural. This still feels oddly confrontational and that’s not what he wants. No, they aren’t done talking yet, but he’s going to wait a bit to continue the discussion now that he knows it won’t be a big destructive argument; now that he knows that it isn’t all going to end right here.

No, it’s more along the lines of Harry teaching Niall that it’s completely normal not fitting into your stereotype- because he definitely isn’t a normal Alpha. And it really doesn’t matter to him anyway.

Because he must not have made it entirely clear- all he wants is Niall.

He doesn’t try to push things as they walk to the restaurant. There’s a little Italian place right around the corner and it’s early enough that the crowds haven’t started to fill up the place yet. Just from the walk over alone, Niall’s started to relax, tension easing out of him slowly, like the ground is stealing his tension with each step they walk together.

It isn’t until they’re finally seated with a beer for Niall and a wine for Harry, and their orders placed that he asks Niall again, “So can I keep asking you questions?”

Niall smiles a bit tightly, looking around at the other people. They’re seated at booth on the back wall, it’s mostly quiet and pretty private. But Harry already has a solution for that, he gets up from across the table and slides into the booth next to Niall. The Irish lad scoots over easily enough looking at him with wide blue eyes. He’s used to Niall being confident and it’s a bit strange to see him unsure. It makes him feel protective of the other lad.

“So about those questions?” Harry asks again, this time sitting right next to him it’s more of a whisper and he can see Niall relax again when he speaks.

“Sure.” Niall nods after taking a long draw of his beer.

“So the biggest thing that bothered you, when you were in heat…” he drops his voice down even lower and he already knows things are different now, because he can see the effect he’s having on Niall. He can see the hair on his arm stand up at his tone of voice, and when he ducks in closer to whisper in his ear he can smell his subtle arousal. “Is that you don’t want it to be about the hormones?”

It’s romantic in a way he didn’t expect from the logical practical Niall. It actually warms his heart. The idea that Niall wants it to be under normal circumstances that they shag for the first time.

“Yes.” The utter relief in Niall’s face makes Harry smile bright at him and again the timid and flirty Niall appears, smiling and tucking his face into Harry’s shoulder. He brings a hand up and presses it quickly through Niall’s hair before bringing it down to rest around his waist.

“So. Let’s say, things go well with this date, and the next, and the next, what happens when your next heat rolls around? I’m not asking to pressure you, but what is it exactly that bothers you about it?” He feels Niall sigh into his shoulder.

“There- it’s just- I- it’s embarrassing .” Niall’s said that before a couple times. Harry shifts using his hand around his waist to pull Niall in closer. They’re sitting flush, right next to each other and Niall speaks into his neck. “I’ve never really done it without suppressants, and even then I’m needy, and it’s so messy. I can’t tell you how many times I have to wash my sheets because I get my bed all wet. And I can’t sleep through the night, without getting myself off at least twice, usually more, and I’m loud.”

“Nothing about that sounds horrible.” Harry keeps his voice low; he can see the waiter is coming with their order so he needs to clarify something, “I would love to see it.” Harry tells him.

“But it’s my problem.” The words are mumbled into his shoulder.

“No.” He doesn’t mean for it come out sharp and firm as it does. “If we’re dating or in a relationship it should be our problem. Would you just want to sit back and watch me go through a rut on my own?” He can feel Niall still, like it’s another one of those things that he never really thought about. Ruts are different for sure, happening only twice a year  and while it lasts longer than a heat, they aren’t as insanely intense right away. It starts slow and builds up and normally lasts for about five days. But ruts aren’t a needy sort of feeling like Niall described, more of a low burning desire, a longing to tease, touch and finally fuck. He has a feeling it will be different with Niall… but they have time to figure it out, his next rut won’t be until the end of the year.

“I’d wanna help you.” Niall decides and his face has moved, tucked himself into Harry’s neck instead, each word almost a kiss to his skin. And it makes him smile.

“And no pressure because it’s your body, but I’d wanna help you too.” The waiter arrives at the table and places their meals down with a flourish and he’s back just a few moments later to top off their beverages.

Harry uses his left hand to hold Niall’s right for the first part of the meal, his thumb stroking along Niall’s skin, a calming soothing gesture he doesn’t even realize he’s doing. Eventually Niall has to let go to use both hands.

The conversation through the meal is more relaxed, Niall talking about work and Harry talking about Rio. Niall doesn’t even seem to realize it, but he keeps shifting closer as Harry speaks until they are pressed arm to arm and thigh to thigh. When Niall finally pushes his empty plate away with a sigh, he leans his head back on Harry shoulder and asks him more questions about Rio, and Cara, and Christ the Redeemer.

The waiter sneaks by and grabs their plates and tops off their drinks and leaves them back to their conversation. Niall’s hand is on Harry’s thigh and its rubbing up and down, and Harry doesn’t even think that Niall is aware he’s doing it, because it’s getting closer and closer to his half hard dick and he can tell that Niall is content but also aroused. It’s subtle but spicy in his scent that he can’t stop inhaling it- now that he can .

“Thank you for not taking your suppressants.” He doesn’t mean to say it but Niall looks up at him through his thick lashes.

“Yeah, I figured that maybe it was time to let my body do it’s thing around you?” Niall blushes a bit at that.

“There’s nothing wrong with being an Omega Niall.” He can’t help but feel that Niall has a bit of self-disgust at his classification- but in Harry’s mind it’s nothing to be ashamed of. “You’re you, and I like you a lot. ” Maybe if Harry had just been a bit clearer from the beginning, stated his intentions, told Niall that this was what he wanted, they would be farther along than this? They wouldn’t be a jumbled mess of emotions finally getting their act together.

“Thank you. I like you too, a lot more than I even realized. I am sorry.” Niall stresses it but Harry already knows. He could tell the second he walked up to his flat to see Niall sitting outside his door- actions truly speaking louder than words. But now Harry’s just having a hard time reconciling this subdued Niall with the one he’s really started to know so well. But he likes both sides- maybe now he’s just finally starting to see all of Niall instead of just what Niall wanted to show him.

“Don’t be sorry, we just need to figure out where to go from here. What the next step will be.” Harry tells him, looping his arm back around his waist, fingers tickling under his Henley to touch the warm skin of his waist. He presses a light kiss to Niall’s neck and feels the corresponding shiver on his skin. Niall lets out a shaky sigh before he speaks.

“Well we’re going to go back to my place to shag, or your’s. That was my plan. Is that not your plan?” Niall looks up and over at him, and Harry knows his mouth is open; the shock is there, because that is not what he was expecting. Not at all.

“Uhh, I was kinda just wingin’ it here.” Harry tells him shrugging his shoulders.

“Were you now?” Niall raises a brow and gives Harry a probing look and really that should not do to him what it’s doing to him right now.

“Uh, yeah.” Because he really wasn’t coming into tonight with ulterior motives, he just wanted to get them back to where they were going before they derailed a couple weeks ago. All he wanted was the both of them back on solid ground.

“Well, you’re doing a great job, I’m impressed.” Niall whispers, but with how close they are Harry can hear him just fine.

“I didn’t really think that it was good enough for a shag?” Harry questions a little bit surprised because he wasn’t aiming for that, but now that it’s on the table he definitely doesn’t want anything else.

“C’mon, like we both haven’t been thinking about it. I mean normally I never would on a first date, but I don’t really feel like this is our first date… more like our third or fourth...” Niall voice is only a bit unsure.

“Yeah, I just didn’t want to rush anything ‘cause, well you’re different in the best way possible. And the last couple weeks have sucked with just not really knowing where we stand. And even though I was working… I really thought about you a lot, like all the time. I mean how could I not? And I was really optimistic with every Insta like.” Harry tells him- he figures Niall should know that even while Harry was gone he was still slightly obsessed.

“Ahh, good so it did work. I was trying to convey anything really. Figured if I did that you would know that I was still here and still thinking about you.” Niall doesn’t look shy now; he looks more and more confident.

“It worked. I was a lot more hopeful when I came home than I was when I left.”  Harry assures him, and he wants to duck down to kiss him, but he really doesn’t want to do that here, not with knowing where Niall’s thoughts are. It doesn’t help that now that Niall mentioned it he’s thinking about it too. He can smell it on Niall too, heavier than before… that spicy scent of arousal and it’s curling in Harry’s belly turning him on too.

“I’m glad. And other than my colossal fuck up, I didn’t lie. I’ve pretty much been thinking about you and your dick since I saw you in those skimpy arse yellow shorts. It’s why I started taking suppressants in the first place- because you’re really fucking hot and I want to see you naked.” Harry knows exactly what he’s talking about but at least now the suppressants make sense.

Niall knew he was attracted to Harry, knew his body would try to give Harry signals, and Harry wants to question why, but he doesn’t care anymore. He’s not taking them now and that’s all that matters. Niall wanted- wants him just as much as Harry wants Niall. It makes his blood sing.

“Dessert gentleman?” Harry just keeps his eyes on Niall and the Irishman shakes his head.

“No, I think we’re ready for the bill.” Harry gives the waiter a smile before watching the waiter take the empty drinks away.

“Let’s go home.” It’s whispered in his ear with a bite to his ear lobe, he can feel Niall’s smile when it sends a shiver down his neck. His pants are getting a bit tight, the feeling of Niall’s lips on his skin and knowing what it is they both want to do when they get back to the flat.

“Yeah.” Harry can’t help the smirk that graces his lips as he looks at Niall. His gaze is hot, Harry feels hot, and Niall blushes just from his gaze. When he looks down into Niall’s lap he can see the outline of Niall’s cock, half hard. He takes a risk, pressing his hand in to cup around his dick and whisper into his neck. Niall’s breathe hitches but presses into the touch. “Just behave until we get home.”

He pays with just cash, not wanting to wait any longer for the waiter to run his credit card and he grabs Niall’s hand weaving their fingers together.

The walk home is brisk and by an unspoken agreement, they go to Niall’s flat. As soon as the door closes Niall’s back to looking at him all wide eyed and shy. He keeps bouncing between timid and confident and it’s giving Harry whiplash because either way it’s fucking hot.

“Alright, so the last one didn’t count.” Harry tells him, shaking out his curls and kicking off his shoes.

“What didn’t count?” Niall asks, he’s following Harry’s lead and kicking off his shoes. Harry takes the few steps forward to reach Niall and even thought Harry’s only taller by a few inches Niall has to crane is neck to look up at him.

“Our kiss.” Harry brings his hand up and lays it on Niall’s neck, watches as the flush starts under his hand and ends in his cheeks. He can feel Niall’s pulse racing under his fingers, he can smell his arousal making everything warm and hazy.

“Oh.” Harry takes the moment and sneaks down, pressing his lips against Niall’s. And fuck, it’s just as good as he remembers. Lips catching on each other’s before Niall lets out a sigh. Harry bites his plump lower lip between his teeth before pressing his tongue in to learn the secrets of his kiss. He tastes a bit like beer, but underneath it is a taste that matches up with his scent, warm and spicy and Harry knows he’s going to be addicted.  

Niall’s hands are up in his hair and tugging on his curls but it feels good, tingles across his scalp as he pulls Niall closer to him, up on to his toes, the hand on Niall’s neck racing down, to grab his arse. It’s firm in his hand and he uses it to press him into Harry’s hips where they’re both still half hard from all the flirting at the restaurant.

Niall’s lips don’t stop moving on his, fighting Harry for dominance, and Harry lets him in, lets Niall taste him and tease him as he walks the man carefully backwards hoping with a dull mind that he remembers the layout of the flat.

Niall lets out an ‘omph’ when he’s backed into the back side of the sofa and Harry gets both hands on his arse and lifts. The other boy gasps as Harry sits him on the back of the sofa and he takes back over the kiss, stealing his breath and every single sigh and moan that he’s teasing from him. He puts both hands up and under the black Henley and massages the flesh moving up just to drag his fingernails down gently. He feels Niall shake underneath him and he swallows down the moan it teases from him.

Then he does it again.

There is no question in his mind this time- it’s not the heat- it’s all Niall.

And now he really gets it, he knows why Niall pulled away, pushed him away. There are no questions on either of their minds if the desire between them is real.

By his hard cock and Niall’s echoing hardness he knows.

He pulls away from the kiss, and looks down at Niall. He looks dazed, blue eyes blown, lips red, Harry can already feel the beard burn on his face from Niall’s facial hair and he doesn’t care.

He presses his lips against his neck, tasting his pulse, feeling the blood rush under the skin as he bites, earning a moan from the boy above. Finally he grabs the edge of the shirt and pulls it up and off, dropping it on the seat of the sofa, and leaving Niall bare from the waist up.

Harry can’t stop kissing him, tasting him. The texture of his skin is hypnotizing and he wants to know it all. He lets Niall’s moans and whimpers tell him what feels good and what feels great. Niall’s stomach is trembling underneath his lips and he uses his hands on Niall’s back to keep the other lad from toppling back over the sofa. Niall’s hands are tight on Harry’s shoulders doing his best to stay anchored.

“I want to taste every inch of you.” Harry growls moving back up to his neck biting again just to sooth with his tongue this time, pleased when he sees a mark form from his lips. He presses in towards Niall and he fully approves of Niall wrapping his legs around his waist. Letting him grind their hips together and Harry echoes Niall’s moan as his hips jerk- the friction just what they needed.

“Uh…” Niall was going to say something, but it must not be as important as Harry’s lips on his nipple biting and sucking while pinching the other gently between his fingers. He teases the nub until it's puckered and red and then switches sides.

Harry pulls back; Niall is balanced precariously on the back of the sofa, hanging off Harry’s shoulders trying to keep from falling backwards onto the seats. But Harry likes the way he’s clinging to him.

“You were saying?” Harry asks and Niall glares up at him, but it’s lost its effect from the way the other boy is panting and flushed half way down his chest.

Niall shifts his balance using Harry’s hips to pull him closer and grind his hips against Harry’s much harder this time.  He’s fully hard in his jeans and Harry’s own jeans feel tight around his own dick, hard and pulsing in its confines.

“Screw tasting every inch, fucking take me to bed.” Niall growls at him and Harry just smirks. He loves this side of Niall- this frustrated horny side of Niall. He puts his hands under his bum and lifts and Niall tightens his arms around his neck and legs back around him.

“I can do both.” Harry tells him, tucking his face into his neck and carries him to the bedroom, Niall’s own breath hot pants into his neck. When he gets to the bed he lays him out and then takes his hands right to Niall’s jeans undoing the snap and then the zipper. He opens the flap and presses a kiss to the skin right there. Niall wiggles underneath him, anxious but at this angle he can feel Niall hardness right next to his hand. He peels the jeans down slowly, kissing the insides of his thighs, the curve of his knees, and finally his ankles as he pulls the jeans off him completely.

“I can kiss every inch” he says, pressing a kiss to the top of his left foot, then he switches to the right kissing the bone of his ankle. “I want to know every spot that makes you moan.” He traces up his right calf before switching to left knee, using his fingers to tickle underneath while he bites on the side.

“What the fuck? Why is that hot?” Niall mutters above him and Harry laughs into the skin of his right thigh, before sucking a bruise right there . “Oh god.” Niall groans hands diving in Harry’s hair as his hips arch up into his mouth.

“Fuck, you’re gorgeous.” Harry mutters moving his mouth to the waistline of his pants looking up at Niall as he pants, chest flushed and when the other lad looks down at him, his eyes are mostly black. Right here Niall is all he can smell, the air heavy with arousal and Harry pauses, “May I?” He puts his thumbs under the waistband of Niall’s pants.

“Please…” it comes out as more of a whine than anything else and it makes Harry’s stomach clench to know that he’s doing this to Niall. He’s taking him apart. He finally gets Niall all the way naked and he was right, Niall is gorgeous. He’s such a beautiful contradiction, strong but soft, broad but skinny. Harry loves the way his shoulders lead to a small waist. The way his skinny legs are covered with crisp soft hair but lead to strong trim hips. The way that Harry’s hands can span across his lower back and cover completely. Harry never thought he was large, but right now just pressing his one hand on Niall’s lower stomach and watching it cover it almost entirely- makes him feel Alpha in a way he doesn’t really understand.

He pulls Niall’s pants off slow and as soon as he does all he can smell is Niall. The scent of his arousal is intensified by the smell of his slick, he’s not going to lie either, he can’t wait to taste it.

Niall doesn’t even seem to notice as he spreads his legs and reaches for Harry.  

He reaches down and grabs Niall’s dick right around the base. He twitches in his hand and Niall arches up dropping his hands back to the mattress underneath with a groan. He crawls in and settles between Niall’s spread legs and presses in with his shoulders, make Niall’s legs spread even wider. Harry starts with kitten licks at the slit, tasting the salty pre-cum. Niall lets out a moan and he figures he must be doing something right so he seals his mouth over just the tip, sucking it, milking the precome from his tip as he leaks into Harry’s mouth. He lets his saliva roll down Niall’s cock and he uses that, jacking the base of his cock while he starts to suck him taking in inch by inch.

Niall’s hands are in his hair, then by his jaw massaging at the hinge and Niall bucks up, so Harry uses his free hand on his stomach and presses down to keep him pinned to the mattress.

“Fuck, Fuck, Harry, Harry!” He’s lost in the motion, until Niall pulls his hair hard enough to hurt. He looks up.

“Yes, love?” Harry presses a sloppy kiss to his hip, tasting the salt from his sweat.

“Not like this,” He shakes his head at Harry.

“How?” Harry asks, but he thinks he knows and his hard cock twitches in his pants even as Niall says it.

“On your knot.” Harry pulls back coming up to his knees and drags his shirt up off his body then reaches down to his jeans, but Niall’s hands are there first unsnapping, then unzipping. Niall works his way to his knees facing Harry on the bed and he doesn’t even wait for Harry to get naked, he just pushes his hand down his pants and grabs his dick. “Fuck.” Niall mumbles against his lips, a parody of a kiss, “It’s just as big as it looked in those fucking shorts.”

Harry huffs out a laugh as Niall’s hand moves up and down his dick, “Glad you approve.” Niall lets out a laugh against his cheek keeping his hand around Harry’s cock, stroking him and Harry presses his hips into his hand.

“I couldn’t stop thinking about you after that. Realizing that I gave you my number but didn’t have yours. Was worried you wouldn’t call.” Niall tells him. “I wanted you then.”

“Yeah?” Harry asks but it’s not really a question just a word mumbled into Niall’s neck as he finds that spot that makes him moan. He bites then kisses the skin when Niall hisses. He stumbles back a bit when Niall pushes at his shoulders.

“Get naked.” Niall tells him and that is an order he can get behind. He stands up quickly eyes meeting Niall’s and he watches Niall as he watches him; shimmying out of his pants and tight skinny jeans. His cock is red and hard, standing straight out from his body. Niall reaches for it again but Harry pushes his hand away and puts his own hand on Niall’s chest pressing him back into his bed. Niall spreads his legs and Harry kneels between them as he moves his hand down his body. He avoids his dick completely and goes past his bullocks slowing down as he nears his entrance.

“Are you wet for me, love?” He knows he is, he can smell it, can smell the slick and as he gets closer he can feel it. Niall blushes at his words and he knows that this is what Niall finds embarrassing, the way he’s hard and wet and it’s so obvious to both of them. But he nods anyway as he spreads his legs farther and Harry finally traces his fingers back all the way. Niall’s arse is soaked with slick and when he presses against his hole he feels more leak out. “Oh love, you’re so good for me.” Harry’s not much of a talker during sex, but he wants Niall to know that his body is nothing to be ashamed of, that being an Omega is nothing to be embarrassed of. And it’s even easier to talk after seeing how pleased Niall is, how he seems to enjoy Harry's praise. “So so wet for me, love.” Niall wiggles his hips and Harry takes his middle finger and swirls it over his entrance, massaging, before pressing in. Niall’s hips arch up, head tilted back in a moan as Harry presses his finger in deeper, all the way in.  

He pulls his finger out before pressing it back in, starting a gentle thrusting motion that Niall’s hips try to match. He can’t reach his lips but there is so much skin to taste, so Harry leans down, catching his left nipple between his teeth before sucking gently. Niall’s breath catches and Harry feels slick pool in his hand. His own dick throbs in arousal.

This time when he pulls his hand back, he adds his second finger. “Oh God.” It sounds like the words are ripped from Niall’s throat with how raw they sound and when he looks up Niall has both hands in his own hair pulling. He releases his nipple before moving so he can press up, kissing Niall, sliding his tongue in and claiming him. Niall hands grab onto his shoulders and Harry pushes up into Niall’s prostate and his hips shoot up.

“Now, now now.” Niall pants against his lips. But Harry doesn't rush, just keeps moving his fingers in and out, pressing up against that spot that keeps making Niall's hips jerk.

“How do you want it?” Harry asks because while he wants to keep doing this all night his dick is so hard. It’s painfully throbbing and he can’t remember ever being this gone for someone before.

“Just like this. I wanna see you.” Niall tells him and Harry nods. He pulls his fingers out and grabs Niall’s hips pulling him closer.

“Lift up.” Harry orders and he catches the shiver and smiles, he has a feeling that the bedroom will be the only place he ever gets away with giving an order. He's alright with that but he can’t wait to try that again.

Niall lifts his hips and Harry presses his cock in close, using the head to trace Niall’s hole. He’s mesmerized by how quickly it’s covered in slick.

“God you fucking tease… ” He cuts Niall off by pressing the thick head of his cock in and watching Niall’s body just swallow it down. He’s mesmerized as he presses all the way in, inch by thick inch until their hips are flush. Niall’s panting underneath him.

He keeps his hands under Niall’s hips, watching the other boy until he gives a nod then he starts the smooth glide in and out. It’s everything he could have imagined and more.

“Fuck, Fuck, You are amazing, you feel fucking amazing…” Harry mutters, and it’s true, tight wet heat envelopes his cock and can’t help speeding up when he hears Niall’s moans.

He tilts Niall’s hips searching, searching and then, “Oh God!”

“Found it.” Harry smirks and then uses his cock to press against Niall’s prostate unerringly, fast and hard with his smooth thrusts.

“Fuck!” Niall keeps cursing hands spread wide twisting in the sheets beneath him. He looks like a debauched angel there, red skin glowing on white sheets. He hooks his elbows under Niall’s knees and presses his hands right up by Niall’s chest. He leans down to kiss him swallowing all his curses and moans.

He almost has Niall bent in half this way, but it doesn’t seem to bother him at all. His hands are on Harry’s shoulders and he can feel the indent of each fingernail as it claws into his flesh, a non-permanent tattoo of Niall on his skin- and he loves it.

He can feel his knot forming though, the base of his cock thickening. It's happening too quick. He wants this to last longer. He fights the twisting in his stomach and keeps thrusting into Niall- memorizing every gasp and moan.

The wet sound is almost obscene mixed with his moans and Niall's curses. But he doesn't want it to end. Niall’s body is clinging to him arse tight and wet. If he could pick one moment to relive over and over this would be it.

He pulls away from the kiss to watch Niall. His eyes are closed, cheeks flushed red. “Niall.” Harry groans because he looks amazing spread out underneath him.

Blue eyes snap open, but they aren't really focused on Harry, they aren't focused on anything really more blown out pupil than blue. “Fuck- Haz.” and Harry takes it as a good thing he can't form a coherent sentence.

“You ready?” It doesn’t come out as a question. Harry’s voice rough and dark as he slows the thrusts, instead making them harder, his balls smacking Niall's arse every time he thrusts in deep making sure to hit Nialls prostate every time.

“God, yes.” Niall mutters opening his eyes again and locking them with Harry’s.

“You going to cum on my knot, just like you wanted?” and that sounds even less like a question more like a demand.

His knot has started to form, the base of his cock starting to get wider- ready to lock them together. But luckily for them- non-heat induced knots go down much faster- he’s already thinking of their next shag- how soon can they do this again.

He starts speeding up his thrusts again. Harry’s thrust gaining power and push as his knot presses against Niall’s entrance before he pulls back only to do it again. Niall’s a writhing mess below him. Sweat shining on his chest, cheeks red, and he can feel the muscles in his thighs shaking.

“Yeah, yeah, fuck! C’mon.” Niall goads him moving his hands down and grabbing on to his hips. Harry keeps moving, his knot growing, teasing Niall with the pressure but it doesn’t matter Niall’s body will take it. His body is designed for it, needs it even.

He keeps dicking into Niall but it’s getting to be too much and he can’t fight the twist in his belly. He wants to come, needs to, wants to come inside Niall and have him milk his cock dry. He shifts, moving his arms from behind Niall’s knees, but it doesn’t really matter because Niall just wraps his legs higher around his waist. He drops his hands over either side of Niall’s head and the other lad looks up at him, eyes blow out, lips red, bitten raw. And he can’t take any more- on the next thrust he presses in hard, presses the flared up base of his cock through the tight ring of Niall’s entrance and Niall’s hips arch up his muscles clenching around Harry’s knot.

He reaches down, grabbing Niall’s ignored cock, it’s soaked in precum and he uses it jacking Niall’s cock as his knot finishes expanding inside him. He grinds his hips, fucking Niall with his knot and then Niall’s whole body is tensing, tightening around him, cumming all over Harry’s hand with a pornographic shout and it rips his own orgasm from him, his entire body tensing from head to toe.

His dick is twitching hard, releasing into Niall’s body in spurt after spurt as Niall’s arse clenches around his knot kneading his cock, hips twitching against Niall's arse as he's barely holding himself up. Their hips keep grinding against each other as Niall’s body keeps clenching until he's milked out every last ounce of cum.

Niall’s chest under his is heaving, breath panting out before he lets out a laugh.

“Well fuck if you get any better at that we might both die.” Niall tells him and Harry drops his forehead to Niall’s collar bone and echoes Niall’s laugh.

“God that was... amazing.” Harry mutters out, trying to catch his breath, but his fingers and toes are still tingling, mostly numb, he can’t stop his hips from grinding where they’re still locked together, but his knot is already starting to go down. Soon they’ll be able to start round two- Harry wants to be here all night- right here- inside Niall preferably.

Niall moans low before panting “Just amazing? That was fucking mind blowing. My brain is oozing out from my ears.” Niall’s hands are moving up and down his back and he can feel that Niall’s body is still shaking underneath his.

“Maybe we should try again? Make sure this isn’t a fluke or something.” Harry bites that spot on his neck and Niall’s body shivers underneath his and it’s not from being cold. Harry can still smell arousal in the air, as well as Niall, and his slick, and them, it’s all mixed together and he wouldn’t want it any other way. And even though he's just cum he can feel his dick already getting interested again with a sharp twitch still locked inside Niall.

“We should definitely check that out. For science, ya know?” Niall tells him, pulling Harry back down for a dirty kiss.

----

Chapter Text

Niall wakes lethargic- heat sinking into his muscles warming him and almost pulling him back to slumber. But instead he opens his eyes to dark brown curls and finds himself clinging to Harry’s back; one arm draped around his waist, the other tucked under his pillow, nose nuzzled into the back of his neck. The room still reeks of sex, and sweat, and them, and it goes straight to his head, but God he’s sore. If he has another orgasm he just might die. But last night was by far the best night of sex he’s had, ever.

He works to untangle their fingers, leaving the other man undisturbed, soft little snores sneaking out as he dreams. Niall shakes his head; Harry is by far the most beautiful person he’s ever met, even when he’s sleeping. He’s a bit surprised he’s awake; he’s really not a morning person; but his mind is quickly ramping up. Thoughts starting to roll though his head one by one; his stupid insecurities and doubts flooding the morning already… hHe just needs to get out of bed.

He quietly pulls on some joggers and after heading in to the bathroom to brush his teeth and empty his bladder, before he finally heads to the kitchen. He puts the kettle on for tea and then just stares at the contents of the fridge. He doesn’t really have the makings for a fancy breakfast; really doesn’t have much at all; but he does have enough for eggy bread so that’s what he’s going to go with.

It's not that he doesn't like to cook, he does; he just normally finds it boring when he's cooking just for himself. Having Harry here, someone to at least make breakfast for is nice. He’s not doing it because he’s an Omega and it’s his ‘ duty’ to. Or is he? No, he shakes his head. He would do this for anyone after the night they just had, and he knows Harry doesn’t expect him to.

He knows that Harry would never wake up and just assume that Niall would make breakfast, he knows they aren’t locked into stereotypical roles like that, but it’s hard not to think it himself when he knows that society will. The whistle of the kettle draws him out of his thoughts. He’s being silly and ridiculous. He needs to stop overthinking and worrying about nothing.

Harry told him last night he likes him- that he doesn’t care if he’s an Omega or not.

He and Harry just sync up well; they seem to have a rhythm, something natural. Ever since they’ve met they gotten along well… and it’s not that Niall doesn’t get along well with almost everyone, but he and Harry have chemistry.

Last night pretty much confirmed that.

“What are you thinking about?” Niall jumps at the question, startled as he turns around. Harry’s standing in the doorway in nothing but his pants. There are still some dark circles under his eyes and his hair is in wild disarray, but he’s smiling and he looks happy.

“Good Morning,” Niall blurts out, and God, sometimes he’s so awkward. But Harry looks so good standing there, all tall lean muscle. He didn’t get to memorize all his tattoos last night. He should work on that- especially the one on his thigh… Brazil and… is that a tiger?

“Good Morning,” he laughs walking in closer, putting a hand on Niall’s hip and pressing his nose against his temple before pressing a kiss there. “Now tell me what you’re thinking about.”

“It’s..Nothing” and right now he isn’t overthinking. He’s letting Harry pull him closer, and he’s breathing in his scent cinnamon, crisp apple, spice and it’s crazy how it helps him to relax. He can’t help but wonder why it’s like this. He’s been with other people before, other Alphas too , but it’s never been this easy.

“Nope.” Harry pulls away and catches Niall’s eyes. It’s not that he’s not trying to look at him, it’s just that he doesn’t want to worry him or keep having the same conversation over and over again. “Did you know you have this wrinkle right here?” He presses his finger to the bridge of Niall’s nose. “It tells me you’re thinking about something. Or stressing over something.”

“It’s stupid.” He mutters looking down, Harry has big written on his big toe and that makes him smile.  That’s just so Harry.

“Well c’mon then...spill.” Harry looks at him, and he just looks so earnest and so sweet that Niall can’t help it.

“I was trying to figure out if I was making you breakfast because I’m an Omega and it’s my duty or some other bullshit.” He huffs out.

“Oh.” Harry’s eyes look wide and he looks a bit startled. “Well, you know that I can make my own food… in my own flat. That I don’t expect you to do anything that you don’t want to do. I mean…” And Niall just can’t let him continue.

“Yeah, see I told you it was stupid.” He interrupts him, and  he can feel the flush on his cheeks red and embarrassed.

“Not stupid. But can I assume that you actually just want to give me nourishment so that I can shag you again instead?” His eyes are a bit darker now, and he’s shuffled in close again, keeping their eyes locked.

“Well, maybe later? I’m fucking sore…” and his cheeks just get a little redder. God- he’s never had to turn down sex before but last night was that good.

“Oh, was I too hard on you?” Harry looks a bit smug and a bit concerned at the same time, but it doesn’t stop his hand from moving down to his bum and resting it there unassumingly comfortable.

“No. You were the perfect amount of hard on me.” Niall blurts out. What is it exactly about Harry’s eyes that makes him go stupid? Honestly.

“So, I guess we just need some more practice. So you get used to this…”  He pauses dramatically, and God he’s such a dork. But it’s hot. -like how is that even possible- “and then we can just keep making it harder and harder and harder.”

“We’ll be shagging all day.” Niall laughs.

“I think it sounds great. But maybe after breakfast?” Harry asks. “Want to make it together? What can I help with?” And when faced with the question Niall just smiles bright, he knows it’s bright, because the smile he gets back from Harry is just as bright.

He realizes then that no, he doesn’t want Harry to do anything. He actually wants to make Harry breakfast, and eat it with him, then maybe go back to bed, watch telly for a bit, take a nap, then shag, watch a film, and shag… but not in that definite order.

“Just make yourself a cuppa. We’re having eggy bread.” Niall tells him, cracking the egg open to get the batter started.

“My favorite!” Harry moves around the kitchen, making his tea and then sits at the island to watch.

It’s more domestic than Niall can ever really remember being before. And Omega or not- he decides he really really likes it.

----

Finally he’s home. This was his fourth travelling trip in the last month and a half since he’s started dating Niall. Luckily for him, Niall is the most laid back person he’s ever met otherwise this relationship would have been over before it even started.

After Rio, it was Paris, then Amsterdam, and then Edinburgh just at a studio and that was too close to not be home with Niall. But now he’s finally home for good. Niall’s had a key to his post box and his flat, so he find his plants are watered and his post sits on the kitchen island. When he pulls open the fridge, it’s decently well stocked and he can’t help but smile because there are apples and bananas on the kitchen counter and spinach and kale in the fridge.

He can’t stop grinning; Niall even remembered to get the coconut milk. He puts together a green smoothie then goes to unpack. He only has an hour or so until Niall’s back from work and he wants to make sure that he can dedicate his full attention to Niall once he’s home.

He hasn’t really traveled this much in the past; but a lot of this was booked before Niall- before Harry decided he wanted to be in a relationship; that he wanted a boyfriend.

It had never even crossed his mind that moving out of his little townhouse with El would change his life like this. He can’t remember a time when he’s been this happy. He’s already trying to figure out how to work the holidays so that they can spend them together instead of apart. He wants to take Niall home, introduce him to his mum and Gemma, take him around his hometown and show his everything.

It’s a first for him, and he has a feeling it’s the only time he’s going to feel this way. It’s only been a couple months of dating, but when he looks back he knew from the start that Niall was different.  It’s why he’d tread so carefully and wanted to do things right. He was so careful with Niall, and now he knows that it probably wasn’t as necessary as he made it, but the last two months have been pretty great and worth every ounce of emotional turmoil that he put himself through.

He passes the time quick enough then his phone is ringing and he wonders if it’s Niall running late, but when he dashes to the kitchen to find where he left his phone, the name flashing on the phone screen is ‘Jeff’.

“Hey Jeff.” He draws out. Jeff has helped him book some his magazine gigs, so chances are he’s calling about work.

“Hi, Harry! I have a job for you.” Jeff sounds distracted and Harry goes into the living area to dig out his iPad. He hates pulling up his calendar on his phone while he’s talking.

It’s just as he’s sitting down that the door to his flat opens and it warms his heart that Niall knows he’s welcome enough to just walk right in.

He can’t help but look up at the Irishman as he walks through the door. He shoots Harry a smile and Jeff’s voice in his ear turns to static.

He looks so good, tight dark jeans, black henley, and he can’t wait to get his hands on him. He doesn’t even register what he’s saying. “Hey Jeff, I need to go.”

“So you’ll do it?”

“Do what?” Harry asks as he tries to tune back in. He looks away from Niall and back at the calendar trying to give his full attention to Jeff..

“The shoot the week of October 9th? In Germany??” Harry looks at the calendar but he already knows the answer.

“I can’t do that week.” Harry tells him abruptly, there is no negotiation.

“But you don’t have anything scheduled do you? I mean you didn’t the last time we spoke.” And has it been that long since he talked to Jeff? Had it been before Niall? It feels like a completely different time in his life.

“I have personal stuff going on that week.” And he’s not contracted; he doesn’t have to do every job they offer him. He’s just not going to be gone that week. He counted it out… that week is 28 weeks since Niall had pushed him out of his apartment. It might still be three weeks away, and he hasn’t talked to Niall at all about it, but he’s going to be here for the next heat, whether he’s helping him through it, or just checking up on him afterwards. He doesn’t care as long as he’s here for it.

“Okay,” Jeff relents, “What about the week before or after? I can see their dates are flexible?”

“Yeah, do that, I’ll talk to you later.” He doesn’t wait to see what Jeff says, just ends the call and then pops up from the sofa rushing back to the entryway to kiss Niall’s smile. The curve of it feels good under lips lips, smile meeting smile in the most intimate way.

“Hi,” Harry kisses him again, “Hi,” and this time he presses is longer, “Hey,” he finally draws out, keeping his eyes closed as he breathes in deep resting his forehead on Niall’s. His hands are on his neck and he can feel Niall’s pulse, fluttering a little faster than normal.  Niall’s hands have snuck up under his tshirt to settle hot on his waist and he loves the touch- he’s missed it.

It’s only been 6 days but it feels like forever when this is still so new.

“Hey.” Niall breathes out and when Harry opens his eyes Niall’s are still closed. When he finally opens his eyes, he tilts his head to the side questioningly; “Are you already planning on leaving me again?” It’s said jokingly but the last couple months have been a lot, and he had told Niall that he wasn’t going to go anywhere for a while after this last trip. He wanted to stay local and stay close- he has enough connections that he can.

 "No. Well maybe in a couple month or so, but for the next while I’m here.”

 "What’s the personal stuff going on?” Niall asks then he turns red. “Sorry. I was eavesdropping and that is none of my business.” Niall shakes his head and pulls his hands off Harry waist. Harry for a moment thinks about ignoring it but instead he decides to tell the truth.

“It’s- Well it’s no pressure…” Harry starts because it’s not, he not going to force the issue. He doesn’t pretend to understand why Niall goes through heats by himself. He thinks it comes down to trust, and the fact is that it’s Niall’s choice, “But it’s your heat.” Niall’s eyes go wide, and Harry can see him thinking, counting the weeks in his head.

“Yeah. Yeah it is.  How did you… Nevermind. I think we obviously both know when my last heat was.” He rolls his eyes at his own statement and he looks uncomfortable, shuffling his feet and digging his hands in his own pockets. Harry hates that there are still some things that they aren’t great at talking about. The good thing is that they try- they fight through the awkwardness so that they can reach an understanding- and that’s what it is all about.

“Hey, I meant it-- no pressure, at all. I just want to be here.  I want to be an option for you. It’s your choice but I want to be here to support it.” And he does his best to project his earnestness because he’s not pushing; he would never want Niall to be uncomfortable. But he’s not sure what he’s going to do when his own rut rolls around, but they will cross that bridge when they get to it.

“You know it’s not like it is in the porn movies. It’s not all like, ‘ breed me Alpha’ and begging for a knot right? Like I don’t, I don’t want to get knocked up, I mean my body might want me to but I don’t. You know that, right? ”

“Yeah. It’s not like that for me…it’s not about the sex, though we don’t really have an issue there to begin with, it’s about being here if or when you need me.” Harry tells him- and he wants him to understand. “I don’t see you as a sexual object Niall, I just want to be here for you.” He extends his hand and waits. Niall’s just looking at him with eyes wide.

Then Niall is gripping his hand tight, before lacing their fingers together. He gives Harry a very small smile; Harry knows the ranges of his smiles by now;, and this one is grateful and just a little bit shy. Harry pulls him in by that hand, before letting it go to wrap him up again in his arms. He feels Niall tuck his head into his neck and he relaxes enough to do the same.

Is it weird that he’s thought more about his heat than Niall has?

“You don’t need to think about. You don’t need to worry about it. Just know that I’m here for you, in whatever capacity you decide.” And he’s not going to try to sway him, or talk him into anything. He wants Niall to make the decision himself and be comfortable with it and not second guess both Harry and himself later one. He wants Niall to make this decision and be confident about it.

“Thank you.” It’s mumbled into his neck with a kiss and it makes him smile- hell Niall makes him smile.  Just being around him always makes everything better.

He’s just glad to be home and really be able to dedicate some real time to Niall. He’s been so patient and so understanding with all his travel and work lately.

“Of course love.” Before he knows it, Niall has drifted out of his arms.

“How’d I do grocery shopping for you?” Niall asks looking in the kitchen to see the clean dishes from his smoothie on the side of the sink.

“Amazing…”

“Yeah?” And Niall has that flirty look on his face, raised brow, blue eyes shining with laughter.

“To come home to food is almost as amazing as coming home to you.” Harry tells him and smiles when Niall laughs.

“You’re so weird.” Niall can’t seem to stop smiling and Harry can’t either- and he knows they probably look like a couple of dorks.

“Weird is the new cool.” Harry smirks, reaching out and grabbing Niall’s belt loop and dragging him in. He really needs to get his hands all over him- as soon as possible.

“Care to take me to bed, cool kid? I’ve missed you and I’d fancy a shag.” Niall’s hand falls to his waist, bunching up his shirt, eyes looking up under dark lashes. Harry knows they need to talk more- knows that he has more work to do.

“Yeah and I’ll show you just how much I missed you.” And now, here, kissing Niall- he finally feels like he’s home.

----

It keeps playing over and over in his brain, “ it’s your choice but I want to be here to support it.”

Harry’s not pushing for anything. He’s letting Niall be Niall and he’s so grateful for that. But he still hasn’t made his decision. He still doesn’t know what he’s going to do, and they really haven’t talked about it since.

It keeps randomly crossing his mind for the next two weeks, and he thinks about it more than he would like.

It’s mid-afternoon when he starts to feel the headache, it’s only another hour until he’s starting to feel the flush under his skin. He knows, like a sixth sense that he’s early by two days, and he’s not going to make it. And he’s not on suppressants- he needs to leave- now. Besides it’s Wednesday and either way he’s going to have to leave work and request time off. Even on suppressants he can’t come to work for the rest of the week. But he’s not on them anymore, hasn’t taken them since Harry left for Rio.

No one bats an eye as he packs up his desk and he knocks on Liam’s door, opening after the muttered, “ come in”.

“Hey, Li, I’m sorry to do this to you but I need to take leave.” He feels the rush of embarrassment color his features when Liam looks up and takes a sharp breathe in. He knows he doesn’t need to say anything else. Even as a beta Liam can smell it.

“Yeah, get out of here. Text me when you get to Harry’s to let me know you’re safe, okay?” He looks concerned brown eyes wide. “Do you want me to have my driver take you? Nevermind. I’m calling him. I don’t want you taking the tube.” Liam is already on his phone before Niall can even decline. But it’s not a bad idea. He waited too long- but normally he’s used to having a bit more time. The suppressants must have helped to slow things down. He has a bottle at home, never even thinking that he needed to carry it with him.

“Ok, Paddy’s downstairs. I’ll see you next week?” Liam asks.

“Yes, definitely. Thank you for being so cool about this.”

“You’re worth it Ni. Don’t let anyone tell you different.” Liam smiles but waves him out the door.  

When he gets to the flat complex he doesn’t even pause until he’s at Harry’s door. It wasn’t even a conscious thought. He walked right past his flat to get here.

He doesn’t even need to think about it.

Harry is unlike any Alpha, any person , he’s ever met. Hell his birthday present from Harry was a bottle of lube and a night of shagging his Alpha boyfriend; he doesn’t know how many Alphas would actually allow that. It wasn’t just a one time occurrence either, and ironically it took a lot of his own embarrassment away when he’d bent Harry over the couch and had the other lad begging for his cock.

So subconsciously the decision was made long before he’d even realized it.

He trusts Harry.

He trusts him with this… but even more than that.

He’s in love with Harry.

It’s an odd realization to have while staring at Harry’s door knowing that his heat is about to start.  

But he already knows he’s not going back to his flat to grab his suppressants. For the first time he’s going to let his body do it’s own thing because he has someone he’s not embarrassed to show that to.

He digs his keys out and put them in the lock opening the door. He looks around for a second, but he doesn’t see Harry. He closes the door behind him, kicking off his shoes and dropping his work bag.

“Haz?” He calls out his name and almost instantly there are footsteps coming from down the hall.

“Niall?” And there he is, tall, gorgeous, amazing… and sleepy. His eyes are a bit tired and he’s just in his pants and a white tee- the joys of being self-employed, Niall guesses.  “Hey love, what are you doing home so early?”

He lets his arms come up as Harry’s arms go around his waist and he goes up to his tiptoes to press a kiss to his lips. Harry always tastes good, and he always wants more, always wants to make every kiss, deep and intimate. Instead he pulls away and nuzzles into his neck.

By now he knows that Harry can smell what’s going on. His hands feel large and hot as they rub up and down his back calming. He presses a kiss against Niall’s neck.

“I trust you.” Niall whispers into his neck. He knows Harry heard him by the way the other man stiffens in his arms; locking up before pulling away.

Harry puts one hand on each side of his face, but he knows what he sees. His eyes are still clear, his headache already gone just from Harry’s touch, and yeah, his cheeks might be flushed but he’s not even aroused yet. It’s just burning under his skin coiling in his belly. In his rush to get out of work he has plenty of time.

Harry’s smile is bright as he takes it all in.

“Yeah?” He asks, pressing a quick kiss to his lips.

“Yeah,” Niall nods, letting out a small laugh. He can’t help it. There is a lightness, a giddiness in him now that the decision is made, and he’s completely comfortable with it.

 "How are you feeling?” Harry asks him, pulling Niall back in and guiding his head back into the crook of his shoulder.

 Niall takes a deep breath before answering. His headache is already gone, the heat under his skin is warm, but not unbearable yet. The aches that he’s used to accompanying his heat haven’t popped up yet and he can’t help but wonder if they will or not- now that he’s not fighting it.

 “Good, I’m not like in it yet… I’m just… it’s just like there, under the surface.” Niall tries to explain but Harry just tangles their fingers together.

 “So, then are you up for a nap? It’s what I was getting ready to do before you got here.” And that makes sense, his tee soft and sleep worn. He seems sheepish to suggest the idea, but to Niall it sounds fantastic.

 “That sounds kinda great actually.” He lets Harry lead him back to bedroom and he can’t help but feel a bit shy. There is nothing to be embarrassed about and he knows that, Harry has shown him that, but he still can’t help but feel that way. This is just all new to him.

 He strips down to his pants and Harry peels off his shirt before pulling back the covers. Niall climbs in and it’s a different sort of comfort to be surrounded by the cool sheets drenched in his scent. Harry pulls the sheets up over the two of them, and then pulls Niall into his chest.

 It took him a while to get used to this, falling asleep next to someone. It was something that he never used to do, didn’t feel comfortable enough to really fall asleep next to someone, it was all part of his no relationship clause, but it’s different when its someone you trust- someone who gets you. He presses a kiss to Harry’s chest right over his heart and Harry responds with a hand through his hair.

 “You’ve got nothing to be scared of, love, I’ve gotcha.”  He can’t help but be comforted. He finds it hard to keep his eyes open; so he lets them drift shut and he falls into slumber.

When he wakes he’s in bed alone, but there is shuffling around in the living room and when he looks around the bedroom, there is just a lamp on. There are water bottles piled on both the night stands and he doesn’t even need to look into the drawers to know that Harry’s been preparing. It makes him smile.

He’s already much farther along in his heat. The heat under the skin has turned into a full fever, his prick is hard, and arse slick. He flops onto his back and just wiggles a bit. He can feel the slick leaking from his hole. Normally by this time he’s a bit annoyed with himself and his body. But it’s a lot different this time around- makes a whole world of difference that Harry accepts him exactly the way he is. For the first time ever- he’s actually looking forward to a heat.

He sits up when he hears the footsteps coming his way. The sheet falls down into his lap, theoretically hiding his eagerness, but it doesn’t really matter, Harry will be able to smell it anyway. They’ve been so attuned to each other since the beginning, since Niall’s decided to stop trying not to lie to himself.

Harry walks through the door, smile in place. “Hey, love.”

“Hi, pet.” Harry’s smile turns fond as he approaches the bed.

“So, I really wanted to let you sleep as long as possible.” He’s still just in his pants but Harry has no problem walking around completely naked so Niall doesn’t even know why he’s bothered with those. He can already see the impact his scent is having on Harry, his cock a large bulge in his pants. “But over the last couple of hours, your scent has been driving me mad, filling up the whole flat.” Harry crawls on all fours from the foot of the bed, forcing Niall to lie back down, as Harry boxes him in, hands by his face, knees by his hips- he’s trapped in the best way.

“You didn’t sleep?” Niall asks, and he’s breathless, this is new. Niall loves sex with Harry, loves it, but this anticipation is just exhilarating.

“I did, until you woke me up grinding your arse on my dick.” He leans down and lets Niall hide his embarrassment in a kiss.

 Niall opens himself up into the kiss, bringing his hands up, to grasp onto Harry’s biceps. He wants to move, but Harry’s hips won’t really let him. He’s a bit surprised when a whine escapes his lips.

Harry moves his lips away, pressing a kiss to his cheek, then his temple before looking down at him. He meets the steady green gaze.

 “So we’ve done a great job of not talking about this… but you are on birth control, right?” Harry doesn’t really seem worried about it, which makes it easier to talk about.

 “Yeah, five year implant.” Niall tells him; in the time that he’s been asleep his heat has raced along. His mind is struggling to string any of his thoughts together, and he’s drowning in Harry’s scent, soothing and arousing at the same time. He can’t stop his hips from shifting this time, pressing up but getting nothing.

 “I’ve only done this once before, years ago, and they weren’t nearly as important as you are. So promise you’ll tell me what you need? My research can only do so much.” Harry drops his hips pressing against Niall’s, the pleasure of the pressure blanking out his brain. He presses his hips back up and lets out a hiss, they’re both hard already.

 “Research?” Niall pants out, opening his eyes- when had he shut them?

 “Yeah, I learned a lot. Like you’ll be on a hair trigger, literally cum about three times to my one. You’re body temp will range from 38 to 39 degrees. It’s important to keep you hydrated and try to feed you protein when we aren’t shagging. You’ll only sleep for hours at a time, and as an Alpha my body goes into ‘sympathy’ so I can literally shag you for as long as you need. According to the medical journals I read you’ll burn most of it off in the first 36 hours then the next 36 hours are more of a coming down process.”

 “You did actual research?” Niall asks- amazingly more aroused by that list of random heat facts. God- he loves this man. He needs to make sure he tells him when he’s not off his senses from hormones.

 “Of course! I want to take care of you.”

 “I love you…” or not- he can tell him now instead. “I’ll tell you again later... so you don’t have to question that it is the heat talking- but I realized it when I was staring at your door. When I came here before going home because this is where I wanted to be.” He’s just rambling now because Harry’s eyes are wide as he takes in his words. He didn’t mean to say them- not now- but they are honest and true,   and Harry must be able to see that, because his gaze turns soft and fond, a smile softening his lips.

 “I love you too and I’m so glad you’re here, that you want to be here, and that you’re mine.”

 “I’ll tell you again, every day, I’m sorry, please trust me.” It bothers him that Harry might think it’s the hormones, might think that it’s just his heat talking.

 “Never be sorry to say ‘I love you.’ Plus I had a feeling anyway… you bought me kale.” Harry says like that explains everything.

 It doesn’t; not at all, but Niall can’t really string his thoughts together to explain that to Harry. He can’t stop his hips from squirming against Harry’s where he can feel his cock hot and hard. They’re both still in their pants, separated by the thin white sheet, and this is unacceptable. When he tells that to Harry, the other man just laughs at him.

 Harry pulls away from Niall completely, and he wants to complain until he realizes what he’s actually doing- giving Niall exactly what he wants. He pulls the sheet from over Niall and uses his feet to kick it down to the end of the bed and then dips his thumbs in the waistband of Niall’s pants. He looks up at Niall, but Niall is already nodding, begging without a word to get him naked.

 Harry peels them down, drags them off his feet, and then climbs between his legs this time, using his knees to spread Niall wide. “No, you too!” Niall tells him, hating that Harry still has clothes on. Harry just shakes his head.

 “We have time, love,” and then he’s leaning down, pressing soft kisses on his prick before sucking Niall’s dick into his mouth. He doesn’t really waste any time, moving his mouth up and down in a fast rhythm, sucking gently while pressing his tongue to the underside of Niall’s cock. His mouth is warm, tight, wet friction and he just knows he’s going to embarrass himself by coming incredibly quickly.

Harry’s big hand comes up to clasp around the base of his dick pumping his hand as he sucks on the head and Niall can’t stop himself from twisting his hands in the sheets. He tries to let go when he hears a tear, but he seems to be losing control of his own limbs. The only thing he knows is the hot, wet, pressure around his dick.  

“Harry, Harry, please ” his own voice is high and reedy and already he can feel his orgasm curling in his belly and racing down to his toes. He presses his hips up as far as he can, chasing the amazing heat and suction. Harry moans around his cock and he feels the vibrations everywhere. Harry’s other hand starts to move back and, “Oh!” Niall gasps as Harry sinks a finger right into him. He’s leaking slick everywhere, even he can smell it.

“I don’t… I don’t…” but he can’t really get out the rest of his sentence. Harry presses another finger in alongside the first and they both press up nailing his prostate. He’s cumming before he can even warn Harry. But it doesn’t seem to surprise him at all; he just drinks it all down, pulling off his still hard dick.

“I’m going to test this three to one theory.” Harry tells him, and when Niall looks down his own body Harry is smirking at him. He looks positively devious- in the best way.

“Oh…”Niall sighs orgasm-dumb. Harry’s big thick fingers are still moving inside him, pressing up against his spot, filling his mind with white noise.

“Yeah, just one more time, then I’ll fill you up, knot you good, and you’ll cum on my knot, take it just like I know you can, just like you love to do.” Harry’s voice is soft and cool, calming the heat rolling just under his skin.

“Please,” Niall begs, because that sounds like everything he could ever want- at least right now.

Harry presses a kiss to his hip, and then kisses down his cock, past his bollocks, until he’s nipping gently at the curve of Niall’s arse cheeks, moving slowly to where his fingers are moving in and out.  “You taste so good. You taste different right now,” his tongue moving around the edge of his hole, “It’s addictive,” Harry mutters before pressing his tongue in beside his fingers. Niall doesn’t stop himself this time; he grabs Harry’s hair and presses his arse against his mouth.  

“Oh god, oh god.” Harry’s only done this once before, but it so good, so good .  He’s can’t stop grinding against his mouth, his tongue pressing in deeper, licking, tasting, and fuck he’s going to cum again. Harry pulls away for a quick second, mouth red, cheeks and lips covered in his slick.

“Gonna cum for me again? C’mon, ride my face, I want you to.” He presses his mouth back down, and Niall grinds his hips back on his mouth, just like Harry wants. He’ll do anything Harry wants because it all feels so good. Harry’s thick fingers are still inside him, pressing up against his prostate on every thrust in. He’s losing his fucking mind.

It’s already better than any other heat he can remember. The headache is nonexistent, he’s used to his body being tired and lethargic from suppressants, instead he’s energized, on an almost unexplainable high,and this is supposed to continue for the 3 days. He’s going to be dead by the end of it.

All it takes a gentle scrape of Harry’s teeth on his rim, and he’s cumming again, dick twitching on his belly, his cum spreading on his quivering stomach. He’s shaking almost from head to toe and he has to think hard to make his hands drop from Harry’s hair.

"Yeah, that’s what I want.” Harry’s pressing kisses to his belly but Niall’s more concerned with the way he’s shifting up and finally pulling his own pants down.

His cock is hard, red, as it hangs away from his body.  He can smell Harry in the air now, it helps sooth him, but so does knowing that Harry is going to be in him soon, knotting him soon.     

“Turn over, love.” For a minute Niall just stares at him, not really comprehending what he said. He can’t help but shake his head- no- he wants to watch. “I know. Next time,” did he say that out loud or does Harry just know him that well? “The first time we knot in a heat it may last longer than normal and we’ll be more comfortable this way.” It makes sense, to be able to lie down, his back to Harry’s chest, knotted together. He can’t help but wonder how many times he’ll cum on that first knot. Will he want to rest or will he still be anxious, needy, wanting more and more?

His arms are shaking as he presses himself up, shifting his hips as he shuffles to get on his hands and knees.

Harry’s hands are on his hips helping him turn and he’s struck for just a moment by how large and tan Harry’s hands look on his pale Irish skin.

When he finally gets turned over, he thinks he should feel humiliated to basically be presenting his arse to Harry, but his hands are moving up to his waist and reverent kisses are being placed on his back and take away any thought to feel shame at his level of want, because its Harry and that makes it okay.

“Are you ready, love?” The words take a minute to penetrate the haze in his brain. The fevered want is zinging through his entire body.

“Yes, please,.” He feels like he yells it, but when he hears the words, they sound more like a whispered plea. He’s rewarded with kisses down his spine and fingernails scratching gently down his sides.

His breath hitches when he finally feels Harry start to press into his body. Harry’s cock feels hot and large as it drives into his body. Harry stops when he’s filled Niall to the hilt and for a second he thinks that Harry’s just being patient, waiting for Niall, but he can hear the Alpha’s panting breathes and his fingernails are digging into his hips. The pressure inside him is overwhelming and he wants to demand that Harry move but his own breath is coming out in pants and just with this alone he’s seeing stars.

Harry’s calms his clawed grip and moves his hands from his hips to Niall’s waist, his fingers on his skin helping him catch his breath. Harry’s hands trace all the way up to his shoulders, and down his arms to tangle their fingers together. Niall squeezes tight, the cool metals of Harry’s rings providing a moment of clarity.

Harry,” he breathes out his name on a sigh, “Move.” He’s proud with the way it comes out, strong and almost sounds like a demand.

Harry huffs a laugh into Niall’s neck, biting sharply with his teeth before he finally pulls out, and then thrusts back in. The slick that Niall is producing makes a sloshing sound as Harry starts to pound in and out. Niall is moaning underneath him, trying to move his hips to meet Harry’s but he caged in by Harry’s body over his, heating his skin even more.

“Oh god, oh god …” Niall whimpers as Harry’s hips continue their steady pace. He can feel Harry’s balls slapping against his arse and the room is filled with the sounds and smell of their shagging. It’s overwhelming all of his sense and Niall swears that he’s seeing white on the edge of his vision.

Harry pulls his hands away from Niall’s tracing down his body and he starts to move faster finally placing both hands on his arse, pulling Niall to him as he thrust harder, faster. Niall can’t help dropping down to his elbows, forehead falling to the bed, hands tangling in the sheet, pulling the fitted corners off the mattress.

“Oh, you should see it love, the way you take me, all the way in, so tight like you never want to let go. You’re so fucking perfect.” He’s thrusting harder, again and again and Niall can feel his muscles starting to shake, his nerves are tingling from head to toe. “So close, you’re gonna make me cum so soon.  I’m going to knot you up, fill you, dick you so full until I’m all you’ll ever smell, all you’ll ever taste.” His words are pressing into Niall’s neck as he leans over him, lips hot on his skin.

“Oh,god. That’s all I want, to be full of you always.” It’s overwhelming in the best way- because he trusts Harry with this. With this needy, begging, pleading side of him, and he won’t make fun of him. He won’t embarrass him. He’ll just give Niall everything he needs.   

And he needs this. More than he can explain. His body is reaching, striving for that peak and he knows that Harry will give him exactly what he needs.

Finally Niall can feel the base of his knot’s right there at his rim, and there are tears trapped in his eyelashes as Harry presses it in and grinds into Niall’s arse as it starts to expand. It calms the fever racing through his blood and he can feel it getting larger until they’re finally tied together. It's then that he feels that massive hand wrap around his cock and that’s all he needs. Niall’s cumming again, tightening around Harry’s expanded knot, stars exploding in his vision as he tries to breathe.

Harry lets out a shout, before biting down on his neck and cumming inside of him. Niall can feel his own body tightening down around Harry’s knot, milking it dry as he twitches inside of him, releasing into his body.  

Niall must lose a bit of time, because when he opens his eyes he’s lying on his side, Harry tight against his back and he’s still pumping Niall full, hips grinding into his arse. He can’t stop the moan that escapes his lips as he grinds back gently against Harry’s hips.

“Hmm, there you are.” It’s a dark whisper in his ear and it causes a shiver to run down his spine. Harry’s hand that’s resting on his chest trails down to cup his dick. “I lost you for a minute.”

“I guess you just blew my mind.” Niall huffs out, enjoying the laugh that is tucked into his shoulders as Harry starts to move his hand up and down.

“Well you blew mine too. You’re fucking gorgeous, every inch of you. I love the sounds you make; I could listen to them all day. I want to hear more” He presses kisses into his neck as Niall gives him what he wants- moaning and pleading as he teases another orgasm out of Niall. “Sleep love, we’re going to have so much fun.”

When he wakes, he’s not thinking of fun. He’s thinking only of Harry and his cock, and his knot. The heat is roaring under his skin again, but all he has to do is turn over and Harry is there, those big green eyes, blinking open as he lets Niall roll him onto his back. It’s just like he needs; Harry’s already hard and throbbing when he grabs him in his hand and holds it at his entrance. He can feel his own slick already dripping down over his hand wrapped around Harry’s cock so he just presses down. He takes it all in on one stroke, his thighs landing flush with Harry’s as he claws at his chest.

Harry’s hands land on his hips bracing him, but not helping, instead they are just two anchors of heat on his body but it’s perfect because it gives Niall something to focus on.

“Hmm, just look at you,” he slurs out just lying there watching him with hot eyes. “You’re so fucking beautiful.” Niall’s already starting to rock; finding his pace as he starts to lift his hips up and down hands spread wide on Harry’s chest. “Just fucking yourself on my dick, a dream come true.” He finally finds the right angle, and then he starts moving his hips faster, up and down as he rides Harry’s cock. He can feel his orgasm curling in his belly. It only takes a few more strokes before he’s coming, spilling on Harry’s belly as he slumps down on to his hands just to catch his breath and recover. He’s not done yet.

Harry’s hands are running up and down his back, his dick still hot and throbbing inside him. For the first time he’s almost mindless as he starts to move again.

“Oh God, you feels so good, love. The way you fill me up.” He mutters it, almost hoping that Harry doesn’t hear, but he does and his eyes grow darker and his hands tighten. And it’s true. He feels so good, like they are two parts of the perfect puzzle. Harry lets out a low moan and he’s thrusting up to meet Niall, the sound of their skin meeting, wet and crude “Are you gonna fill me up, Haz, cum inside me?”

 

“Yeah, you know it. You know I will. Fill you up so good.” He presses up underneath Niall making him moan. Niall starts to move with more purpose, his hips bouncing heavily on Harry’s and Harry finally helps pressing his feet into the mattress and meeting him in counterpoint. “C’mon babe, yeah just like that.” Harry’s hands are tight on his hips and he wants there to be bruises, he wants to carry them on him, a reminder of this and he’s never really felt like that before.  Niall’s moving up and down using Harry’s cock to nail his prostate each time, his muscles are locking up but he can feel Harry twitching inside him and as he moves up and down he can finally feel his partial knot, expanding as he moves up and down.

 

And he can’t wait, and Harry won’t make him; won’t tease him or make him beg, and it’s in the mindless heat that Niall finally understands that Harry loves him, just like Niall loves him.

And he’s choking it out, wet and soft, “God, I love you.”

Harry pulls him flush, pushing his knot past his rim and Niall’s cumming again with Harry whispering in his ear, “I love you too, so much. You have no idea, I want you with me forever.” It’s an insane relief to hear it from Harry’s lips. That he’s just as far gone as Niall is.  

The heat passes in an almost blur.

There is sex, so much sex, but there’s also cuddling, and flirting. Every time Niall needs Harry- he’s there, with things he didn’t even know he needed. There’s water bottles and meals between shags, there’s showers and an incredibly dirty bath, and Niall never even needs to say what he needs because Harry just knows.

 He’s never felt this level of comfort before.Harry is the first person who has seen all sides of him and accepted him as he was- an oddly headstrong, stubborn, loud Omega.

He doesn’t know what day it is when he finally wakes and the heat is no longer lingering under his skin.  

He’s tucked into Harry’s side, arm across his chest, leg lying between Harry’s. He’s not hard, Harry isn’t either, and he knows that it’s over.  

But it wasn’t this horrible, embarrassing experience that he was so worried it would be. It was instead an intimate, warm, special experience that he can’t help almost looking forward to the next one.

Harry’s hand is already moving on his back and he can’t help but smile because during the last –he’s lost track- three days?- Harry has woken up within seconds of him, like a sixth sense. So he just tilts his head up and looks into groggy green eyes.

“Hey,” Harry presses a kiss to his forehead and it makes Niall heart skip a beat. “You good?” It’s like he already knows, so he just nods and tucks his head back into the curve of his neck. He’s warm, content, and still a bit sleepy.

Then he remembers. He jolts up looking over back at Harry’s who is just looking at him with startled wide eyes.

“I love you.  It’s my first non-heat I love you!”  Niall clarifies when Harry just looks at him like he’s grown another head.

“I love you too.” He laughs out as he maneuvers himself to sit up and Niall can’t help but laugh too because it’s a bit contagious. “But just so you know, I didn’t question your ‘heat’ I love you’s . I figured it out when I came home to you sitting on my doorstep looking like you hadn’t slept the entire time I was gone. I could see it in your eyes when you took me to the airport and when you were overjoyed when I came home.” Harry’s hands come up to hold either side of his face making Niall look at him. “Thank you for saying it, but don’t worry about when you said it- because I never questioned it.”

And Niall finds that he wants to say it again, and again, and again, because this man is just something else.

“I’m still going to tell you everyday.” Niall argues and Harry’s just laughing at him again- because well it’s not like that’s a bad thing. His hands drop from his face to join with Niall’s own hands in his lap.

“And I’ll tell you every day, but how about we shower, start some laundry, and maybe get some breakfast and then we can talk about the rest of our ‘every days.’”

“You may have mentioned forever.” Niall prompts and after everything the two of them have gone through the last few days he can still feel the blush on his cheeks.

“I definitely mentioned forever… but only as long as that’s okay with you?”  Harry questions.

Niall’s once again floored by just how different Harry really is. He’s not here like any other Alpha, demanding or claiming, no he’s asking - just like he’s asked every step of the way- just like he’s let Niall decide and control more than anyone else would have even thought to do.

“Yeah, it’s definitely okay with me… but let’s start with that shower, yeah?”

“That sounds like a great start.” Harry squeezes his hands tight, giving him that bright smile that’s all joy and dimples.

Niall’s never really thought about forever- but now- he can’t imagine his being any other way.