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Quiet Dance to Our Beating Hearts

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It is a quiet autumn evening. Not a lot of people are left walking down the river, but there are still some musicians here and there giving rhythm to the few bystanders' walks, within them a lot of couples walking side by side and hand in hand. Harry, however, is alone and humming to himself along with the delicate music, and looking around.

It isn't an unfamiliar place for him, far from it actually, he walks on this riverbank at least once a month, and he just loves the fact that no one usually recognises him here, or people are just too busy playing, or being on a date, to even pay attention to a lanky British guy just walking past them. He is here to enjoy himself like all these people and appreciates how walking around the Île Saint-Louis, just next to where he is right now, makes him feel like going back in time.

In fact, all Paris makes him feel like he just went back in time to the golden age of Europe, a peculiar charm that even his good old England doesn't have, in his eyes, at least.

It’s just pretty. So incredibly pretty, it looks fake.

Sometimes he dreams. He imagines himself just singing softly every single word he pronounces like in that film he saw some years ago. Les Parapluies de Cherbourg. Granted, it wasn't set in Paris as the title so subtly implies, but the general feeling, the romantic and yet melancholic aspect of the whole country was just perfectly shown in that classic, as absurd as singing every single word even in a dramatic scene may sound like.

And yeah, Harry is rather fond of romantic, sometimes exaggerated to the point of being laughable, stories. Which is probably why he thinks he must be dreaming when he sees him.

At this point, the sun already has set, and the moon is slightly rising in the sky, the Seine reflecting the starry night, and the street lights illuminating ever so slightly his and the boy's slender bodies, drawing their shadows together on the ground. He was only a silhouette at first and Harry didn't dare to move, frozen in place at the scene unfolding in front of him.

The boy was mindlessly moving his body to the sound of a distant accordion. He had his eyes closed in a serene expression, letting the music guide his movements and feet dangerously close to the edge, no barrier preventing anyone to fall into the water. At some point it seemed like he was flying, jumping and twirling, feet barely touching the stones beneath him. Harry wanted to join him in this dance, even though he himself isn't that much of a great dancer and would probably just end up falling into the river. But, seeing this boy being so careless, so careless about his movements, about anyone seeing him, made him feel like... like he could do anything, try, and if he failed, well it wouldn’t be a problem because it would stay a secret between him, this mysterious boy, and Paris.

Turns out, he doesn't have to decide, because suddenly, without him realising, the boy is right in front of him and staring at him. Harry's breath gets caught up in his throat for the second time as soon as he meets those gorgeous blue eyes sparkling with amusement and mischief. The boy is... a lot smaller than he thought from looking at him from a distance (or maybe should he blame the heels on his boots, making him appear taller). Harry has to look down to clearly drown in those crystal blue eyes. He means to say something, to introduce himself maybe, or just say “Hi”, but a hand brushes his, lightly, and then their fingers are intertwined. He doesn't want to talk anymore.

And they're dancing.

Just like he expected, it comes to him naturally, following the boy's silent instructions and somehow the music seems to magnify the more they are entranced by each other. They are smiling, too, and Harry just can't believe this is actually happening and is still convinced he is at least half sleeping.

Except. Except it ends all too soon when the sound of a boat's horn resonates, breaking whatever trance they were in.

Somehow, it feels like opening his eyes a second time while never closing them in the first place. Harry is still breathless and speechless as he takes in the position they're in. His arm is around the boy's waist, holding him near, and two hands are plastered on his chest, barely catching the material of his shirt. Harry then takes some time admiring this boy's facial features contrasted by the night and the moon’s light, from his sharp cheekbones and long eyelashes to his thin and pink lips still forming a smile – or was it a smirk?

He must come from one of Harry's dreams, it isn't possible otherwise.

Bonsoir?” the boy softly speaks, chuckling lightly – probably at Harry's gobsmacked face.

“Um I— I mean— ugh,” he babbles so intelligently and blushes furiously.

The boy laughs once again. Yeah, he's definitely laughing at him, “Not French then, I should have figured,” he continues with a surprising perfect British accent which only confuses Harry more.

“I speak French actually you just— yeah.” He can't even finish his sentence now under the other's intense gaze.

“Make you nervous uh?” the stranger hums. “Funny, you weren't, when we were dancing. Thanks for that by the way, I needed it.”

Harry dumbly nods. He wants to ask so many questions though, but before he goes through them all to decide which one would be the more appropriate to bring out without coming off as creepy, the boy leaves his embrace.

“Well, it was a pleasure. Au revoir.”

And really, Harry should let him leave. All of this seems too unreal for anything to come out of it. But he also has the feeling that he can't just let the boy leave without at least a name.

“Wait!” he shouts when the French boy has already turned around, ready to leave. He pauses however and sends Harry a confused, surprised look. “Give me your name at least? I'm Harry.”

He purposely doesn't mention his last name, just in case. The boy may not have recognised him because it is pretty dark now.

“Louis,” the pretty boy— Louis answers, in a disbelief tone which makes Harry frown but then he adds, more softly, “Peut-être à une prochaine, ‘arry!” he chuckles, pronouncing the curly-haired lad's name with an exaggerated French accent.

Harry smiles too and then Louis just... kind of disappears in a blink of an eye.

At least that's what it felt like.

—————

A month later, Harry finds himself in the company of his best friend, Niall, and his manager, Liam, the three of them trying to guide themselves in the Jardin du Luxembourg, in the search of apparently a peculiar fountain where they are supposed to meet with someone who will help them for his next music video. Harry insisted it needed to take place in Paris, and ignored Liam’s endless questions about his not so new obsession over the city, but more like his stronger infatuation with it in the past few weeks.

Harry may, or may have not, spent way too many nights walking by the Seine in the hope of finding a certain boy again.

It’s not creepy.

He believes.

Okay, it kinda is.

But there’s not so much he can do with only a name, and no last name, in mind.

“We’ve already walked past this partake of flowers before,” Liam says, sounding both frustrated and exasperated by their own incapacity. “This park isn’t that big, is it?”

It is, actually, Harry thinks as he looks ahead of them to what seems to be an endless row of perfectly squared trimmed trees.

“You sure? Look at those cute little trees!” Niall exclaims, still joyous as ever and jumping around. Harry wonders how he manages to be this serene, yet again, it is also Niall’s first time in Paris. He doesn’t care about being lost, he enjoys the view surrounding him.

And what a view it is.

While Harry appreciates the picturesque, wild landscapes of English gardens, making him feel like entering some sort of magical realm where a pixie could greet him at any moment, he has a soft spot for the strict, well maintained and symmetric patterns the French gardens offer them. It’s satisfying walking past them and also admiring them from a certain height. It’s just… art.

Despite the gradually colder weather, it is a sunny day and Harry feels quite warm inside. There aren’t a lot of people, due to the fact that it is the middle of the week, most normal people are at work or at school. Harry guesses he is technically working too. After a not so long meeting, Liam agreed to plan his next music video to be set in Paris, but Harry wanted to capture the French capital’s peculiar charm through other iconographic symbols than the Eiffel Tower or the Arc de Triomphe, and he also wanted a particular scene which would involve dancing (to which Liam raised an eyebrow but Harry brushed it off, he isn’t stupid enough to admit there’s a flicker of hope in his heart that he might find that Louis guy again). That being said, Harry, despite his obsession with Paris, is not that adventurous and has a shit sense of orientation — as it is currently proven — so Liam managed to contact someone who could help them figure out which spots, more unknown, of Paris, they could use, before they would bring a whole crew to film and then start to find someone to be Harry’s love interest.

However, Liam should have told that person to meet them at the entrance of the garden because clearly, he forgot he, too, isn’t good without a map in his hand and without any knowledge of the French language to ask people around (he did try to ask in English. Most of them replied with “I don’t understand” which was… quite ironic enough, may Harry say). Technically, Harry could help. He does know French, but Niall and Liam are too afraid of him being recognised — despite the singer reassuring them that he’s never been recognised before unless he went to the most visited landmarks of the city.

Then Harry nearly has a heart attack when he feels something fluffy bump his leg.

He lets out a very manly squeal, though.

“Oh my god, what a cute and huge doggo!” Niall exclaims and Harry lowers his eyes to, indeed, be faced with a big black labradoodle. Its curls are so long though, that Harry has trouble seeing its eyes.

The dog’s tail is wagging as it is staring straight into Harry’s soul and the singer doesn’t really know what to do. The animal doesn’t even move when Niall starts furiously petting him while trying to check out his collar for a number, a name, or anything.

“Clifford,” the Irish man reads. “Clifford?”

This time, the dog does react and starts barking happily at the lad, and even tries to jump on him but Liam catches the big animal before it actually manages to tackle poor Niall to the ground.

“Oof.” Liam has now his arms full of an excited dog who seems pretty content there, tail still wagging and tongue out. “He sure loves his name, a reference to Clifford the Big Red Dog you think?”

“If its owner is tiny, it’d be kinda funny,” Harry replies. It would be cute too. That dog is huge though, he is a little afraid of knowing how tall it could appear if it stood on its back paws.

“He seems fascinated by you,” Niall comments again and, well, Clifford is indeed still staring at Harry and he kinda feels intimidated, for some reason. “Didn’t see any number or address, however.”

“Let’s search for his own—” Liam starts but gets interrupted by Clifford himself who jumps right out of his arms only to nudge Harry’s legs again with his head and then bark at a direction.

And then the dog runs. The boys all look at each other for a panicked second, before following the animal without really thinking about it.

That’s how they find themselves running through basically the whole Garden, apologising to confused bystanders — who didn’t even try to help them catch the dog, those kind souls — and being careful as to not shove a child or step on a toy or a flower. Harry always prides himself into having lots of stamina as he exercises and jogs quite regularly even when in London, but it is usually when he is in adequate attire. Right now, he’s wearing skinny jeans and boots and he is currently hating these two pieces of clothing.

Niall looks like he’s having fun while Liam appears to have a mild panic attack while still running after Clifford.

Funnily enough, it sums up their trio quite well. Three idiots being overrun by a goddamn dog.

When finally Clifford seems to calm down, they are back in front of the Palace and Harry slows down just like his two friends, to observe the dog who then takes a sharp turn on the right into a more obscure path surrounded by huge trees which foliage is slowly turning brown. The three boys exchange a look again and decide to take a small break to breathe properly again.

But then they hear barks and they all simultaneously groan.

Niall drops down, landing quite abruptly on his bum, not that he cared anyway. “Nope, I need a bigger break we just ran through the whole fucking park and it’s huge. Harry go get him.”

“What? Why me? What happened to ‘can’t let Harry alone’?”

“The dog clearly wanted you for some reason. He wants to play with you, so. And anyway there’s no one here, no risk,” the Irish lad explains.

Harry looks at Liam with a raised eyebrow for his opinion. The manager actually looks doubtful for a second, but then he takes a look around to indeed observe the curious emptiness of the place so he nods and points towards where the dog disappeared while mouthing “Go”.

Harry gawks at him for a few seconds, but then just turns around with a grumble. He needs new friends. For all they know, a murderer could be waiting for him out there, using the cuteness of a dog to lure their victims in. And then Niall and Liam will be responsible for his death.

Lost in his — quite gruesome — thoughts, he only looks up and stops mindlessly walking only once he hears a surprisingly familiar voice.

“Aw Clifford tu es de retour ?” A bark, and Harry also can literally hear the dog’s tail wagging. “Donc tu les as trouvés ? Quel bon garçon tu es, tu auras droit à un festin de roi ce soir ! Pour l’instant, tiens, une petite friandise.”

So.

That’s Louis right in front of him.

And Harry is stunned. He just really wasn’t ready to face the boy again (even if he was kinda searching for him for a whole month… he still wasn’t ready).

Then their eyes meet and Louis smiles, simply. Not an ounce of surprise can be seen in the smaller boy’s face.

“Oh hello there!” And damn, that smooth transition between French and English. “Didn’t expect to see you again… kinda.”

“You— what—”

“I will be your guide around Paris. But weren’t you supposed to have some company?”

Harry blinks. “Oh. Your dog tired them.”

Louis snorts. “Weak souls.”

And ok, this feels… weird. Weirdly easy.

“Anyway, guess we need to properly introduce ourselves?” Louis says again, now facing him completely. “My name’s Louis Tomlinson, and your manager contacted me to help you choose appropriate places for your music video, and… other stuff. Here is what I think could be the perfect place as the main setting of your video, after I listened to the song.”

And then Harry finally takes the time to take on their surrounding. Louis is standing right in front of a huge rectangular pond surrounded by warm tainted trees, sunlight flittering through their foliage, and the water thus scattered with pretty red leaves. At the very end of it (and Harry can see it above Louis’ head), seems to be sculpted a godly scenery. Harry, unfortunately, doesn’t know enough mythology to recognise the figures facing him — he also isn’t close enough to really distinguish what’s going on, to be fair —, and only can identify a Cyclops standing above and looking down on a couple, while on the sides, he can also see two Godly figures overlooking the whole scene. Judging, curious, amused. Who knows. Harry is fascinated.

“And, right, this is La Fontaine Médicis,” Louis announces and Harry looks at him again.

He doesn’t look much different from the first time he saw him. However, his skin has a golden undertone emphasised by the subtle ray of sunshine he is currently standing in. He looks soft, oh so soft, with his hair somehow a stylish mess and an oversized sweater on. He is wearing shorts, however, contrasting with his warm top and Harry has to stop himself from just ogling the boy’s petite and delicate figure.

“This wasn’t supposed to be a fountain at first you know?” Louis comments, now leaning against one of the stone vases filled with bouquets of marigolds also surrounding the pond. Harry follows him and leans into the fence, while Clifford is busy playing with dead leaves next to them. “The Queen Marie of Medici asked for a sort of cave, the pretty looking ones of course. It just turned into a fountain. And it wasn’t supposed to be there either, it changed places.”

“It’s… beautiful.” Harry is a songwriter and yet he can’t come up with anything else to say. “Shouldn’t there be more people?” As in, tourists, who are currently strolling all around the park.

“Very few know of this place, even French people, surprisingly.” Louis shrugs, eyes looking down on some ducks making a dance between the dead leaves in the pond. “And it’s next to the Palace so people tend to walk past it. I mean. You did take forever to find this place, I’ve been waiting for an hour and apparently Liam forgot to check his phone.”

“Oh yeah, about that, I should probably call them— well, Niall, if Liam doesn’t answer.”

Louis only hums in response, not even asking who that Niall guy is.

Except, Harry doesn’t really want to do that and break whatever moment he is having right now with the pretty stranger still.

“Or,” Louis suddenly says again like he just read Harry’s mind, as he stops the latter from taking his phone out, small hand grabbing his forearm, “you can tell them to join us in the next place I intended to take you all to.” There’s a hint of mischief in Louis’ blue eyes and Harry can’t help but smile too. “I mean if Liam let you just walk here without supervision, I wonder how long it would take before he properly freaks out, he’s never been good at keeping his calm.”

“Wait, you know him personally?” That knowledge doesn’t sit that well in Harry’s belly, for some reason.

“Childhood friends,” Louis answers. “I wouldn’t have said yes to this otherwise, honestly. He owes me though now.”

“Childhood friends?”

“Wait, he never mentioned me?” Harry slowly shakes his head, slightly scared by the French boy’s incredulous tone and Louis is pouting now. “How rude, forget about ditching them, I need to yell at him!”

And then Louis bolts towards the entrance of the fountain, and as soon as he’s out of Harry’s sight, the singer can hear him yell “Payno!”, and Harry swears he can also feel Liam shiver from here.

Goddamn, that boy is loud.

Harry finally follows when even Clifford starts to run after Louis and he finds Liam and Louis play wrestling on the grass.

Or, well.

Liam pinning Louis down while the smaller boy tries to get away but to no avail, more like. Niall is cheering on the side, seemingly completely unbothered by the fact that a complete stranger — in his eyes — just jumped and “attacked” one of his friends out of nowhere.

Clifford, however, doesn’t seem pleased and ends up jumping on Liam, sending the poor boy to the ground while Louis sits up straight with a smug face. Liam lets out a half scream, quickly muffled by the dog now licking his face.

“He’s offended you didn’t recognise him at first,” Louis says.

“Excuse you he was only a pup last time I saw him!” Liam protests in return, trying to get the big labradoodle away from him. Which is a funny sight in itself, since Liam is known to be a dog person and usually wouldn’t deny playtime with a dog.

“You also couldn’t be bothered to remember his name, huh. When I told you Clifford might kick your ass, did you really think I cared enough to go hire a guy named Clifford just to kick your ass for being late?”

“You didn’t have any names figured out last time we talked months ago!”

“And whose fault is that?! Mister ‘I don’t reply to my calls or texts anymore because I’m too busy dealing with a worldwide pop star so I don’t have time for my low-class friends unless they can be useful to me!’” Louis is pouting and Harry somehow can sense that Louis isn’t completely sincere in his accusations.

Instead of replying, Liam just sighs, and the way he calms down seems to prompt Clifford to also settle down and sit beside him, instead of on him.

“You need a hug,” Liam states as if it was obvious. And maybe it was. Harry just doesn’t know how their dynamic works.

“Yes,” is Louis’ immediate response as he physically deflates, all traces of pretend bitterness or anger gone. “Not now though, you smell and you’re covered in grass.”

The manager gasps. “Because of your dog, you wanker!”

“Whatever,” Louis dismisses with a wave of his hand. “Harry?” Harry kinda startles, engrossed by their exchange so far. Louis is now reaching for him, looking like a small child. “Help?”

“Can’t ya get up on your own like a big boy?” Niall suddenly chimes in before Harry can react, laughing too.

He’s far from big, though, Harry thinks.

“I’ve waited for you lots for an hour and I had a late night yesterday, I’m spent. Also, who are you?” Louis replies, not even looking at the Irish man, still beckoning Harry to come closer.

So Harry does as Niall says back, “Just the worldwide pop star’s best friend I guess. Who you already tamed I see.”

“Niall!” Harry chastises, blushing. Even so, he helps Louis get up mindlessly, just proving his friend right and the French boy giggles.

Then as soon as Louis is back on his feet, he leaves Harry’s arms and somehow gracefully twirls towards Niall, only to land so perfectly just in front of the other boy. Louis is only slightly smaller than Niall, Harry notices, yet here Louis is on his tiptoes, so their faces would be close. So close. Harry is surprised Niall hasn’t backed away yet — maybe Louis’ goal — and is instead looking back with an eyebrow raised and an amused smile.

Then Louis takes a step back with a hum and states, “I like you.”

Harry stares a bit confused, and startles — again, for fuck’s sake he needs to toughen up — when he feels a hand rest on his shoulder.

“Niall just passed the test,” Liam’s voice tells him.

“What test?”

“The closeness test. Think you’ve noticed but Louis is quite the affectionate and touchy-feely type.” Harry pictures their first meeting again, as they danced chest to chest without even knowing each other’s name. Yeah, he got that. “Louis is quite… the spectacle, if you know what I mean? Well, he’s a dancer, so, obviously, but… you’re gonna see.”

“And he’s apparently a long-time childhood friend and I never heard of him?”

Liam only lifts an eyebrow as if he was talking nonsense. “It just never came up before, kid. Sorry I prioritise work here.”

“Kid,” Harry mocks, “you’re barely one year older than me.”

“Still older.”

“Childhood friends though, how? He’s French, and you can’t even say Bonjour without sounding like an idiot.”

“It’s a long story for another day,” Liam dismisses. “Now come on, Lou! We’re supposed to start working here.”

Louis doesn’t reply immediately. Because he and Niall are passionately conversing about whatever topic got both of their blue eyes to shine so much.

Football. Most likely football. Niall wouldn’t get so excited over anything else, except golf or Justin Bieber, but for some reason, Harry doesn’t feel like Louis would be interested in any of these two things.

“Well, Lima,” Louis finally says after Liam repeated variations of his names several times, “we should have started that one hour ago but your asses got lost. Payno the Fontaine Médicis is literally where we met how can you even forget where it was?”

“Louis, it was twenty freaking years ago! We were six!”

“No excuses!”

And here they are again. Niall and Harry share a bemused look. They won’t move for a while like that.

………….

Clifford is curiously playing with a duck, and it’s absolutely adorable considering how huge he is compared to the little duckling.

But Harry can’t stop staring at Louis instead, as the French boy explains so passionately to Liam and Niall the story behind the fountain. Louis speaks a lot with his hands, Harry notices, as his eyes seem to just be stuck on how small and soft they appear. Louis is just incredibly cute, is the thing, with how giddy and smiley and excited he is and bashful and shy the next second when Liam compliments him for his research (or his looks, which, Harry does wonder if there isn’t something more there or if it’s just how these two’s friendships is).

And then, there’s a pause in the conversation as they all just listen to the platter of the ducks peacefully swimming in the pond. It’s a nice contrast from earlier — peaceful and quiet.

And then, Louis turns to Harry, who startles upon meeting those crystal blue eyes all over again.

“So, dancing?”

Harry flushes.

“Yeah, this one surprised us with this request— Harry manages to lose his balance while standing!” Niall comments.

“He did alright last time,” Louis says so casually he barely reacts when everyone — Harry included — sends him an incredulous look.

Liam’s whole behaviour seems to change as he throws a glare at Harry who blinks at such animosity coming from the usually soft, puppy-like man. “You know each other?!”

“No…?” Harry answers while Louis just. Giggles. Little shit.

“Calm down Payno, you know when I need inspiration? I just end up going outside at night near the Seine and I just dance whatever. Improvisation is your best friend and best indicator of what your body wants to express. He found me one evening. The irony being I was creating the choreography for, well, this video.” Louis then smiles again at the singer. “So I think you’ll be alright. Also, thank you, you showing up kinda helped, now I have the whole choreography in my head.”

“Oh—”

“Can we see? Can we can we?” Niall interrupts whatever Harry was about to say, and the singer can’t help but glare a little at his best friend.

“This is where the proper dancing scene will most likely be filmed anyway— aren’t we supposed to ask for permission by the way, for the crew to film there?” Liam asks, now calm again and Harry seriously needs to ask him what is up with him being so protective of Louis, for some reason.

“You’re the manager, arrange that,” the dancer replies easily. “It shouldn’t be too much of a problem either, you have the money and I have contacts. And no I can’t show you, Zayn is not here to do the whole choreography with me.”

Zayn? Who the hell is Zayn now?

“Why couldn’t he come again?”

“School year barely started, can't have both the teachers gone already. Also, you know he just… doesn’t like to go outside.”

“But it’s Paris!” Niall exclaims, somehow offended by this statement.

“When you’ve lived here for years, this isn’t anything special, mon ami.” Louis shrugs.

“Wait, he didn’t even want to see me?” Liam asks, now pouting — it’d be hard to believe that some minutes ago he was killing Harry with his eyes.

“I’m not the only one you haven’t replied to in months.” Louis’ tone is suddenly icy and Harry sees Liam take a physical step back.

“Right,” he manages to let out. “Um. So Paris tour?”

……

They don’t actually do much more that day. Louis only brings them around the huge park, mostly per Niall’s request, and sometimes points to a statue and explains its history behind it. They then go eat in a small café where Louis seems to be a regular since every single waiter and waitress greet him happily and even offer the whole group free desserts. None recognised Harry, or Louis warned them beforehand so they wouldn’t cause a scene. Nothing special happens after that as they wander around the pretty streets of Paris, walk past the Louvres and enjoy the numerous stores around the Rivoli street. Harry gets spotted once or twice by some fans, but they were kind enough to promise to not post the pictures until the next month (and since, by the end of the day, they haven’t been mobbed, those fans kept their promise).

Once Louis drops Clifford off at his own house somewhere in the 16th district, he walks them back to their hotel and as soon as they’re in the lobby, Niall quickly hugs Louis goodbye, lightly complaining about the amount of walking they just did (they did walk through the 6th district to the 1st district with close to no breaks, and only took the subway to go back to the 16th) before disappearing in the elevator. Liam takes a little more time, hugging Louis then kissing him on the nose — and Harry sees the smaller boy physically melt at the cute action — and wishes him a good evening, before leaving too, but taking the stairs instead (Harry admires his strength, his own legs feel like jelly right now).

It leaves Harry and Louis alone and the French boy just looks at him with a little smile.

“So, enjoyed today?”

“We didn’t do much, but yeah.”

“Don’t worry I have a busier day planned for tomorrow,” Louis sing songs. “Want me to tell you all about it?”

It was not a question, because a second later Louis grabs his arm and guides the both of them towards the elevator, most likely to prompt Harry to show him where his hotel room is. Harry doesn’t protest, obviously, and quickly takes the initiative as he leads the way, sliding his hand into Louis’ one and intertwining their fingers.

He hears Louis gasp quietly but then squeezes his hand, and Harry smiles to himself.

“I actually have a house here,” Harry casually says once they reach his room and Louis happily jumps on the bed.

“Why didn’t you stay there and make Li and Ni sleep in your guest rooms? Because I’m totally assuming the house’s huge.”

“Haven’t actually had the opportunity to visit it yet.” Louis snorts. “What?”

“Must be nice to be rich, huh.” The French dancer grins, but there’s no bitterness in his voice. Besides, Louis doesn’t seem to be so badly-off himself considering he got himself a house in the fanciest and most expensive part of the city, but Harry doesn’t say that out loud. “If you don’t need it anymore, my mum and her four other children would be glad to have it.”

“You have four siblings?!”

Louis instantly lights up.

Turns out, Louis loves to talk about his family.

His mother moved to France alone for work at merely 17 and met Louis’ biological dad not so long after.

“She was only 18 when she had me. I wasn’t planned, and that asshole left her. But she never considered me a mistake. She always calls me her miracle,” Louis says fondly. “I don’t necessarily believe her at times, I’m a handful, but… yeah.”

He then goes on to say that when Louis was roughly six, Jay met Mark and quickly moved to Doncaster. Louis then took Mark’s last name instead of his biological father’s. Despite that, and thus growing up mostly as a Yorkshire boy, Louis still practiced French with his mother, as she was still obsessed with the language and culture — so much so, that’s how Louis ended up with two younger sisters with equally really French like names, Charlotte and Félicité.

The family wasn’t completed yet as Louis tells him how he got also a pair of twin sisters a few years later, named Phoebe and Daisy. He also mentions that ever since then, his mum and Mark separated (which again, makes Harry understand why during his whole speech, Louis never called him ‘dad’), but everyone is on good terms with everyone. Louis then moved to New York to attend Juilliard school and then decided to settle down in Paris instead. It is not as flashy and fantasy-like as if he would have stayed in New York where more opportunities would have laid in front of him, but.

“Paris just had something else, back in the days. But it kinda lost its spark since then, at least in my eyes, and I do wonder if I did the right thing, leaving New York,” Louis muses vaguely.

Harry frowns, because, he feels like he doesn’t have the whole story there, and, if he has to be honest, he quite despises New York himself. It is mostly personal feelings. He can never be alone and in peace out there, someone always recognising him at every street’s corner, or a pap just showing up out of nowhere and taking pictures after pictures of him just walking down the street.

“But if you had stayed there, I’m not sure we would have met,” the singer points out which makes Louis smile softly.

“Liam sure wouldn’t have called me to help you today,” the French boy confirms. “We met at that fountain, twenty years ago. I remember having a slight crush on him, cute small and chubby Liam. He took one flower from those stone pots and then gave it to me, telling me I should be showered in flowers because I was pretty.”

Harry slightly huffs, though he can’t deny the way his insides uncomfortably twist. Six years old and already a charmer and a sweetheart, that Payne.

“He and his family were staying for a few weeks at a hotel next to my house. We spent so much time together… we kept contact when they left, and then I moved to England and he happened to move up north too and we were neighbours suddenly. It kinda felt like fate.”

“Did…” Harry gulps down his unreasonable jealousy. “Did anything happen between you two?”

Louis shakes his head. “No. We grew up like brothers. He’s a few months older than me, so he took on this brotherly role I appreciated since at home I only have younger sisters, which balanced out the fact that he has two older sisters.”

Well, Harry didn’t know that. Liam became his manager only a few months ago when Harry wanted to start anew, with a new and more independent label as well. It was a risk to take, especially with a big name like his, but after years of being overworked, maybe he was ready to take on a more indie, peaceful, and personal route.

So far, he’s enjoying it. He’s never been this involved in the creation of one of his own music videos before.

“Anyway, enough of me. What about you?”

And so Harry tells his not so interesting ‘background story’ as journalists like to call it. Growing up in little old Holmes Chapel, first only with an older sister and his mum, and later joined by his now stepfather. He used to post covers on Youtube every once in a while, and then one day, one of his covers blew up, he got contacted by a producer, and he went from small independent music Youtuber to worldwide pop star now trying to step back a little from the spotlight and going back to his roots.

Louis only nods along, a small smile on his lips, all the while eating the macarons laying in a plate a maid brought some time ago.

Then silence follows and Louis gets up. Harry watches him go towards the radio placed on the bedside table and turning it on. Immediately, the sound of an accordion fills the room and Harry jumps on his feet at the smile the boy is sending him.

Louis wastes no time and gently grabs his right hand, intertwining their fingers.

“Let’s redo this now that we know each other?” he offers. “You’ll see how different dancing can be when two intimate souls join hands and become one.”

Intimate? Harry smiles and initiates the next contact, wrapping his other arm around Louis’ waist who keens.

“Besides, better start dance lessons early for the video since you’re a beginner,” he adds.

And yeah, with Harry’s two left feet, this does make sense.

“Dancing is about chemistry, mostly. If you and your partner aren’t in sync or don’t get along or are not comfortable enough with each other, the performance will ultimately be damaged by it,” Louis goes on. “Last time, I was leading. It’s your turn now.”

“Uh…”

“Don’t worry. You’re a musician, aren’t you? Listen to the beat of the music, and let it guide you, as cliché as it sounds. Count in your head, and follow it with your body. It isn’t as difficult as your mind makes you believe it is. I’ll help you at first. Take a breath, pull me close, and take one step…”

That sounds oddly familiar, Harry thinks, as he stumbles a little because of this distracting thought. Louis tuts and grabs his chin to make him look down so their eyes meet as if telling him — keep your eyes on me, don’t worry about your feet.

And then, they’re moving.

It’s… easy, Harry sounds like a broken record but everything seems to be easy with Louis as Harry takes the lead in their small waltz to the sound of the accordion from the small radio. It’s a repeat of that first night they kind of met, but calmer, and maybe more intimate now that they know each other a little more and are safely hidden between four walls.

They twirl slowly and at some point, Louis even steps on his shoes and, surprisingly, Harry doesn’t stumble or fall over because somewhere in between their dancing, Louis removed his own shoes and the boy just feels so… light, Harry can barely actually feel him. And like that, their faces are even closer, Harry can see speckles of green in Louis’ blue eyes and his freckles on his left cheek.

Instead, Harry just inhales, a bit — a lot — mesmerised as Louis looks up at him with a gentle smile, and apparently giving all his trust to the singer since his body seems completely loose in Harry’s hold now.

Eventually, their dance has to come to an end, when the music slowly quiets down before ending completely.

“Why do you like Paris so much?” Louis asks after a moment of silence, eyes still boring into Harry’s ones.

When Harry doesn’t immediately reply — he doesn’t have a definite answer to give — Louis leaves his embrace only to walk towards the balcony. He then stops at the barrier and seems to be looking out above the endless Haussmannian buildings in the view.

The Eiffel Tower is there too, shining in the distance. You can hardly have a more cliché depiction of the city.

“Maybe I’m just a helpless romantic who still believes the City of Love can actually act up to its name and reputation… for me,” Harry says, not so subtly insisting on that last word.

A few moments of silence pass again, until Louis turns around, only to jump backwards and perfectly land on the thin guardrail.

Harry’s heart skips a beat, again.

It’s quite a view, Louis sitting on the barrier of his balcony so carelessly, so unafraid of falling backwards as he stares directly into Harry’s eyes, intense, inviting. So Harry slowly walks towards him and a smile starts to form on his lips when he sees Louis’ eyes light up with delight. Without even thinking twice, he finds himself between Louis’ thighs, a hand holding Louis’ waist to make sure he really won’t fall, and the other gently stroking the boy’s cheek. Louis hums, as his whole body seems to be shaken by a gentle shiver at the contact of Harry’s hand. Louis’ hands find their place on Harry’s hair and neck, thumb gently caressing the veins of his throat.

“I’ve always had mixed feelings about Paris. Love, doubt, bitterness, annoyance… boredom,” Louis cryptically announces. “But she brought me you, finally something interesting to spice up my life.”

“Yet, you embody everything I love and admire about Paris.” Louis only blinks at his remark. “Incredibly pretty, so bright, timeless and embracing me, right now.”

Harry can’t help but revel in the deep blush now adorning Louis’ cheeks. It’s something he noticed throughout the day, the boy will act all tough and confident, but as soon as anyone — from Liam, Niall to the waiters at the café — shower him in compliments, he turns into a shy puddle, only blushing and accompanied by incoherent mumbling.

“You sap, no wonder you like Paris so much, fantasising about it like every foreigner who doesn’t actually know how living here is a struggle,” Louis then mumbles, and Harry smiles to himself.

“Maybe I’m a sap, but I write and sing love songs for a living so I have an excuse.”

“Should I expect a song about me in your next album?”

“Yep.”

The utter lack of hesitation makes Louis laugh for a second. Then, his smile slightly disappears. “What are we doing? We’re clearly attracted to each other, so, what is this?” A pause. “For how long would you want me.”

Harry gulps. And oh, oh okay, why is Louis making it sound like Harry is the only one who can decide for the both of them? “Well. I like to go with the flow. But I’m also not sure I can let you go.”

“Which means?”

“Let me take you out.”

“Paris is my scene, you’ll have trouble wooing me here.” Louis smiles sweetly, teasingly, and Harry rolls his eyes.

“You can never answer straight, can you.”

“Well, I’m not straight—”

“That’s usually my line.”

“Well, I stole it. It’s also a way too easy joke to make. Also, one you can’t make in French, which bothers me a lot with some friends, and—”

“Lou.”

Louis immediately stops at the use of the nickname, blinking prettily at the singer. Harry keeps this information in his mind for later.

“After the whole video is done, let me take you out. In Paris, London, LA, you name it and I shall take you.”

“You’re very passionate for someone you just met today, to be really honest, I thought you only wanted a quick fling here.” Harry knows he’s lying since Louis keeps looking everywhere but in Harry’s direction. And even in the public eye, Harry has always been known as a helpless romantic, privileging long relationships over quick one night stands even though it would be easier for him and the person he is interested in. Louis is hesitating, doubting.

“I do believe infatuation at first sight can lead to more, only if you give it a chance. And you just said, I am here to spice up your life a little,” Harry teases lightly, causing the dancer to huff, and then take a deep breath.

Ne me fais pas regretter, t’as intérêt à honorer ta réputation de gentleman et romantique,” Louis whispers, confirming that he does know the singer’s reputation, and Harry shivers.

Maybe he has a thing for the French language, alright.

Promis,” he says back and Louis giggles. And just like that, their lips meet.

Harry can’t help but hum into it as Louis wraps his thighs around his waist to keep them close and steady. It must be a cute scene, Harry muses. A couple sweetly kissing in the darkness of the night, on the balcony of a luxurious hotel, the moon shining bright and high in the sky along with the yellow artificial lights in the streets casting a light under them resembling a fire, and finally the Eiffel Tower, all illuminated in its full glory keeping an eye on them as well next to the moon.

Louis tastes like the sweet chocolate macarons they just ate together, thin lips somehow fitting perfectly against Harry’s plumper ones. There’s nothing really particular, actually, about their kiss. It’s sweet and tender, just like the day they just spent together. It’s not exceptional, Harry never believed in those butterflies or fireworks going off in your head when kissing someone. But he definitely loves kissing Louis and keeping his tinier frame perfectly against him.

Just as Harry planned on deepening their kiss, Louis pulls back — not without a small lick to Harry’s lower lip, making the singer groan in frustration. Louis laughs, wholeheartedly, his whole body falling into Harry’s, completely limp, almost like in relief.

“Let’s not get ahead of ourselves here, babe,” the dancer sweetly hums against his ear. “Like I said it’s only been a day.”

Feels like forever. Harry doesn’t say that. “Doesn’t feel like it,” he replies instead. “We still… we still need to talk.” At the end of the day, they still barely know each other, yet Harry knows nothing, probably, will ever make him lose interest in the dancer.

He’s seen Hollywood in all its glory. He’s travelled all around the world, seen places only privileged ones get to experience, yet he always came back to Paris, as if unconsciously knowing something there was waiting for him.

And now, the entirety of the city pales in its beauty compared to the prettiness of the boy rightfully in his arms right now.

Louis hums. Harry doesn’t know if he agrees with him or not, the French boy only whispers, “I’m cold.”

And just like that, Harry carries Louis back inside, the boy still wrapped around him so effortlessly — dear god, his legs are really strong because of all that dancing, huh, Harry is barely supporting his weight with his arms right now.

They talk for a few more moments — or, Harry tried to distract Louis from leaving, more like — up until Louis said he really needed to leave before Zayn beat his ass. Louis leaves him with a bashful kiss on the cheek, disappearing before Harry could properly see the blush that overtook the smaller boy’s face.

Harry smiles to himself.

Only later does he realise Louis hasn’t actually told him what were his plans for the day after, nor did he explain who this Zayn is.

…….

Harry isn’t the only one already completely smitten with Louis. He already knew Liam was a bit on the protective side with the small boy, but he didn’t expect for Niall to literally try to become one with Louis with how close to each other they are walking, Niall refusing to let go of the dancer in any way.

And it surprises Harry because Niall usually isn’t one to get attached. Sure, he is friendly and charms everyone into liking him, but he rarely actually makes an effort of that, people come to him, but he doesn’t chase people. It took Harry years for Niall to consider him a friend instead of just a fun acquaintance with whom he parties every now and then.

Louis is an exception, he guesses.

They are currently in the middle of the 16th district, walking around the Bois de Boulogne, enjoying the bright sun above their heads. Liam is mesmerised, barely believing they are still in the capital, meanwhile Niall is getting excited over, basically, everything, as he marvels in how different this park is from the Luxembourg one.

Le Bois de Boulogne appears to be more of a forest than an actual park in its wilderness and a huge lake, and if Harry remembers correctly, it is even far bigger than Central Park which is pretty impressive in his book.

“I’ll be honest, there isn’t much to this place,” Louis admits once they settle down in a cute hidden spot.

They were walking down a pretty small and dense path, when suddenly, Louis dragged Niall into the bushes, startling both Liam and Harry who hurried to follow them. They had to be careful as to not get scratches from the brambles and avoiding the few trees on their way, and then they found a lovely little place.

There was a small dark tree with various carvings on it, and a log right next to it where Louis and Niall were already sitting by the time the two other men arrived. The ground was all covered in dead leaves, orange, yellow and brown surrounding them everywhere, with the sun only slightly slipping through the foliage of the bigger trees above their heads. They were also situated just slightly above the beginning of a stream. Only water and the singing of the birds can be heard.

Harry felt isolated from the rest of the world.

“But,” Louis continues, “I discovered this place not so long ago, with Zayn. He mentioned how romantic that place is, it is hidden, a secret, and for some eyes only.”

Louis sing songs the end of his sentence, making Harry smile softly.

“It is cute…” Liam ponders. “The only problem is that I don’t think we can fit a whole crew in here. It is small.”

It is. Harry kinda has to crouch down a little to avoid getting hit by a branch in the face. Liam is in the same situation, meanwhile, Louis and Niall are both standing straight without any problem.

“Could be like home footage, don’t need to be professional with how intimate this place is,” Niall suggests and smiles widely when Louis pats his head with a soft “that’s an incredible idea Ni!”

Harry swears Niall is just an excited puppy in human form.

“Should we… should we then film now with one of our phones? Would save us time,” Harry says.

“We don’t know which part of the video this could be though,” Liam points out.

“Oh c’mon, the video is supposed to be simple and personal!” Niall interjects again. “Let them just act all cute then casually waltz around the log or something, this won’t be the choreographed part, then we can edit the footage we have in the slowest parts of the song.”

Harry feels a wave of nostalgia hitting him upon seeing his best friend taking directions.

“Niall, you’re a genius!” Harry exclaims.

Instead of melting under the praise like he just had with Louis, Niall only huffs at Harry’s compliment. “Just took you ten years to finally realise it.”

Harry pouts. “Alright alright. No need to be rude.”

“C’mon c’mon!” Louis sing songs again, interrupting the sort of dispute, “and dance with me, baby!”

And just like that, Harry’s smile is back, wide and bright on his lips, as Louis takes both of his hands in his and Niall and Liam back off while Liam hurries to take out his phone from his pocket. But Harry couldn’t care less about what they were doing because Louis’ undivided attention is on him, and only him again.

But then Niall had to ruin the moment again. “Just don’t fall, Haz, that’d be embarrassing!” And Louis laughs.

Ne fais pas attention à eux, et juste, faisons la même chose qu’hier soir, veux-tu?” Louis gently whispers then.

J’ai sincèrement l’impression que c’est tout ce qu’on fait, faire la valse,” Harry remarks, just as softly and without an ounce of reproach in his voice. Louis seems to perk up at the way the singer just let out a full sentence in French without any stuttering.

Et tu veux changer ça?

“Nope,” the singer proudly states as he, without any warning, makes Louis twirl so that they’re now front to back, Harry’s arms still delicately wrapped around Louis’ waist. Louis giggles with glee at the sudden gesture and Harry beams at the lovely sound.

God, he cannot be this whipped already. It’s been barely two days.

They dance for a little while, sometimes the singer lifting Louis up so the smaller boy lands on the log allowing him to be the one twirling Harry, and Harry has half a mind to actually notice Niall playing the song through his phone, filling the silence and punctuating each of his and Louis’ steps. And then Liam appears out of nowhere, manages to grab Louis’ arm and in one swift movement lifts the boy up to carry him bride-style as Louis yelps and Harry blinks, confused.

“Alright, that was enough,” the manager says as he casually walks away with Louis thrashing in his arms, telling him to put him down.

“What the fuck?” Harry questions.

“Look at our Liam being all protective big brother,” Niall coos once the two other lads are out of their view, lost between the trees and bushes.

“Still doesn’t make sense, did he film anything at least?”

“Yeah, don’t worry. Now go take your boyfriend back.”

“Not boyfriend yet.”

“Hurry before I steal him, he’s great,” Niall laughs.

Harry doesn’t question it because even though Niall has only shown interest in girls in the past, he doesn’t think that was a joke.

———————

They spend some more time around the huge park (which is becoming a habit of theirs since it’s the second day in a row), even though they technically don’t need to, but Louis insisted on all of them getting on small boats and paddle a bit around the lake. That’s how Harry finds himself in a small boat with Niall, while Liam dragged Louis away before the dancer had the chance to jump on Harry — or Harry had the chance to take Louis apart himself, that is.

“I still can’t believe the guy you constantly told me about is the same guy who is today showing us around Paris and will be starring as your love interest in your music video, your luck is off the roof mate,” Niall comments suddenly as Liam and Louis’ boat start to distance itself from theirs.

The two boys seem to be in a deep conversation, from what Harry can decipher from where he is. Liam is talking animatedly, eyes big with something close to worry, while Louis looks at him, between exasperated and fond.

“I can’t help but feel like Liam is currently warning him off against me, though,” Harry replies, frowning and wondering why Liam seems so opposed at the idea of Louis and him getting together.

After all, a few weeks ago, when Liam announced he found someone who was willing to be their tour guide and star in the music video basically for free, he kept worrying over whether or not Harry will like that person, given how different they apparently were from each other.

And they are. Louis is bold, loud, graceful and flirty as hell. Harry is much more quiet, collected, clumsy and a very bad flirt if he hasn’t planned things beforehand — he’s rather one to be more forward and directly ask for a date, while Louis seemed okay playing with Harry’s infatuation all duration of their work together until Harry made a move.

He probably didn’t expect Harry to give in so fast, though.

“He’s probably worried about the whole fame thing, by being associated with you. Sure starring in your video is one thing, most people won’t care if it’s just a random male dancer, but if it’s your boyfriend? No matter how much you’re trying to lay low and step back from the spotlight, all media outlets will try to know everything about him. I mean, I’m just your best friend, yet, how many rumours are there out there that we’re together as a couple.” Harry makes a face at that. “Hey, I can be a pretty good boyfriend, asshole.”

“You’d rather marry your bed, drunk you said so, so those are your true feelings.”

“I just haven’t found the one.”

Harry simply rolls his eyes at that.

“I never dated anyone who’s not famous ever since I started my career,” Harry muses. There’s also the fact that half of those relationships weren’t even real. “But Louis didn’t seem too afraid when I asked him out.” He seemed more afraid I’d get bored of him, he doesn’t add. “Or maybe he forgot what being with me entitles.”

“He doesn’t seem to be the type to be afraid of much or think too much about the future, if you ask me,” his best friend admits. Harry doesn’t agree, but he keeps quiet. “Liam seems to be the one worrying for him.”

Harry only hums, not up to argue about someone they both barely really know.

Once they land back on safe ground, they find Louis entertaining a group of children as he dances carelessly to some stranger playing the guitar. Harry can’t help but smile at the sight of the kids looking at the petite boy with sparkles in their eyes, as Louis brings a reluctant Liam with him, a reluctant Liam who, surprisingly, quickly gets the hang of it and soon leads the dance instead.

It’s something that must happen often, Harry gathers, for Liam to go from flustered to completely at ease as soon as Louis grabs his hands.

It doesn’t last long since Louis soon spots Harry and Niall, Liam’s gaze following his, and they slowly put an end to their show, earning a few groans of disappointment from their young public (and also the parents, who were also watching from a small distance). Louis giggles, and takes the time to thank the guitarist — to whom he gives twenty euros— and offer a cuddle to every kid that wants one, while Liam observes with a fond smile on the side.

They then make their way back to Niall and Harry.

“You know, your obsession with bucolic places and the way your movements enchant others make me believe more and more that you are not human but an actual elf, or pixie,” Niall comments once they’re both close enough to hear. Surprisingly, the French boy doesn’t take offence in the remark.

“I’m more of a Peter Pan, truly,” Louis laughs. “And I kind of picked very nature-based places in purpose? So that there’s a constant theme throughout the video and it’s a part of Paris I don’t see people talk about a lot. The next destination is not so far from here, we can actually walk for a good thirty minutes if no one’s tired, but I swear you won’t be disappointed.”

And this is how, roughly forty minutes later (they got distracted by street markets where they had to stop Harry from buying anything that looked old and vintage) the group finds itself walking down the Camoëns Avenue, small and pretty, the quiet street gives them a gorgeous and close view of the Eiffel Tower, and Niall pretty much has stars in his eyes as he stretches one arm towards the Iron Lady pretending he could hug her.

“But I thought we said, no obvious landmarks?” Liam questions and Louis raises an eyebrow.

“This is a bonus if you think a shot of the Eiffel Tower is required in the end. Now, come down here, you’ll be surprised!” The dancer exclaims as he suddenly sprints towards stairs ahead of them.

Louis practically flies over the steps and then waves at them from down there. The three other boys share a look before following, curious about what Louis could surprise them with in such a humble little neighbourhood. Unlike Louis, Harry actually takes his time going down the stairs, hand slightly hovering over the old and rugged stones the stairs are made of.

It is obviously ancient yet still strong in personality, if that makes sense. Harry has spotted quite a few stairs like these around Paris which is just filled with history and tiny curiosities, but he wonders why this one particularly caught Louis’ flair for the video.

Then he’s finally at the bottom of the stairs and he understands.

The stairs actually split in two ways, but there, right in the middle, tall, imposing yet humble somehow, sits the bust of a man, a small desk with a book and a feather as well as a sword in front of it. “Luis Camoëns” Harry can read written around him. The whole seems to be engulfed in some sort of waves creating a throne for the figure here represented.

At the bottom of the sculpture are engraved in the stone medieval friezes, dragons and coat of arms adorning the monument.

“He was a Portuguese poet, compared, or rather, elevated to the likes of Virgil, Dante and Shakespeare,” Louis speaks up. “I just found this place interesting and… inspiring, while creating my choreography. The disposition of the stairs allows the creative flair to flow. He was a poet and like many of his time, a traveller, adventurer if you will, hence the sword beside the book. Thought it fitted the song, fighting with words or something, for a goal, love, conquest, whatever. The meaning doesn’t really matter I guess, but the visuals we can make here are something, you know.”

Louis takes a deep breath, Liam has a dumbfounded expression on his face, while Niall is still gawking at the French boy, and Harry’s eyes meet Louis’ almost immediately.

“So, what do you think? I have other minor locations we could film in, for in-between shots I guess to make it look like a whole journey through Paris and the evolution of the relationship—”

“Lou,” Harry cuts him off.

Louis startles, cheeks pink. “Y-Yeah?” There’s nervousness yet giddiness in his eyes and Harry smiles.

“You’re amazing,” the singer lets out in a long breath like he cannot believe it himself.

Louis literally lights up.

————————

The rest of the week, Louis brings them to those other minor locations in between the stairs and the fountain for possible, as Niall calls them, “pretty shots just so it won’t always be focused on Harry’s tangible lack of dancing skills”. It could have taken technically just a day really, as moving around the City of Love didn’t take that much time, but they took their time to just enjoy the city like sort of tourists before work comes knocking on their door again.

Now that they have the places figured out, Harry just has to see and then rehearse the choreography Louis created. In a surprising turn of events, Niall decided to accompany Liam back to London to help with the whole planning and budget talk stuff, leaving Louis and Harry alone, instead of staying to make fun of Harry’s lack of coordination.

Which, in retrospect, is probably because Niall wanted to leave them alone.

He just didn’t expect another person to come into the picture.

“Zaaaaaayn!” Louis shouts as soon as they enter the dance studio.

Harry kinda stands still at the door, surprised, as he watches Louis literally leaps into a man’s arms who lifts him up way too easily. Louis and this Zayn together seem out of this world, Harry notes in his head as his eyes linger on the stranger’s appearance… Slightly taller than Louis, golden skin and lean figure, along with a clean shaved face showing off his cheekbones and pretty smile directed towards Louis.

And yeah, Harry doesn’t like that.

Légèrement en retard, Loulou,” Zayn says and oh, okay, of course, he speaks French.

Désolé !” Louis laughs sheepishly. “J’ai été distrait par les histoires d’Harry. En parlant de ça…

Louis turns around and beckons Harry to come closer. And really, the singer isn’t one to be intimidated by anything ever since he began his career, but the pure contempt and suspicion he can see in Zayn’s eyes right now sure aren’t making him feel like this is going to go smoothly.

“Harry, this is Zayn, the one helping me teach kids. He’s also Liam’s boyfriend,” Louis adds quickly as if sensing Harry’s unease, to which Harry smiles a little.

“Uh, maybe ex-boyfriend soon if that idiot won’t answer me since he’s too busy because of…” Zayn cuts himself off with a cough, but Harry can sense it wasn’t a slip up at all. However, it still lets Harry notice how perfect of an English accent the guy has, too, for some reason. “Nice to meet you, Harry Styles, but I’ll let you know that pop star or not, I won’t go easy on you with that dance.”

Louis lightly hits him in the arm and Zayn responds with an unimpressed look.

“Ignore him, he has a soft heart, he will go easy on you,” Louis reassures Harry.

“Yeah, well, after he falls on his face a hundred times, maybe.”

“Zayn!”

“I’ve watched compilations of you falling on stage mate, impressing how it lasted almost thirty minutes really.”

“Zayn!” Louis exclaims again, this time more firmly, angry, and that seems to calm the guy down.

“It’s okay Lou,” Harry surely doesn’t miss the way Zayn frowns again, so he stands up even straighter to appear taller, more confident, “But all that is irrelevant talk. We have a limited time for me to learn this dance, and you throwing spikes at me like that won’t do anything apart from making you look petty.”

Zayn visibly stiffens, eyes back at glaring daggers at the singer, while Louis is nervously playing with his fingers. Harry can’t really find it in himself to regret it — Zayn did ask for it when he attacked him for no reason within five minutes of meeting.

Finally, Louis pulls Zayn’s sleeve. “C’mon, let’s show him at least once the choreography.”

Zayn grumbles something but nods curtly. Louis smiles softly and the other dancer visibly relaxes. Harry still has a lot of questions.

“Keep an eye on Zayn, Haz,” Louis continues. “He’ll do your part, obviously, this is the whole choreography but we’ll split it in two, and one will be just slightly different when we’re gonna film in the stairs, but don’t worry about that too much for now, yeah?”

“Alright,” Harry says simply and then Louis leads Zayn in the middle of the room while the singer backs away, not really knowing how much space they needed.

Harry bites his lips as Zayn sends him yet another glare behind Louis’ back before his face softens as Louis rests a hand on his shoulder. And then, the music starts, Zayn drops his gaze from Harry to instead focus on Louis as the smaller boy spins and lets himself fall backwards, knowing Zayn would catch him. And he does. Bending forward, his right arm settles around Louis’ waist while his free hand is gently tucking some hair behind the boy’s ear. Tenderness, intimacy. Their forehead touch for a second and the two of them breathe in, eyes closed, and open them as the beat gets louder and suddenly Zayn manages to send Louis in the air while the boy twirls only to land right in front of his partner again.

Harry watches, mesmerised — and slightly concerned too since he’s supposed to recreate this later with Louis and he clearly… doesn’t have the skills to — as Zayn and Louis then start what appears to be a waltz, but more energetic and with more jumps and twirls that make Harry’s head spin just seeing them. They always gravitate around each other, somehow always touching even if they are simple and discreet caresses. They do separate at some parts, mainly during the verses and the bridge, if only for Louis to do what he knows to do best — that is, dancing with his whole body into it, his arms and legs mere vassals of his emotions — while Zayn stays still, but keeps his eyes on Louis, sometimes acting as if trying to catch up to him and thus replicating his movements but always failing at the end while Louis happily prances away only to come back, again and again. At one part, they even feign falling, Louis first, then laying on the floor, as he brings Zayn down with him who steadies himself on his elbows around Louis’ head.

Towards the last notes of the song, Louis winds an arm around Zayn’s shoulders, hand now cradling the back of his head, and steps on the man’s feet, only to gain a few millimetres of height so then their lips are hovering over one another. Harry feels… something ugly on his stomach, as this image is recent in his mind, but it quickly disappears when Louis steps away as soon as the music ends and smiles so brightly at the singer.

“Yeah, so that’s it!” Louis exclaims as he runs towards Harry and wraps his arms around the taller boy’s shoulders before giving him a quick peck on the lips. He must have sensed Harry’s jealousy, then, again. “You like it?”

“Obviously,” Harry says in a breath, a bit taken aback by how affectionate Louis suddenly is, and not missing the way Zayn is fake vomiting on the side. “Though I doubt I can make it as beautiful as I just witnessed.”

“We’ll teach you, don’t worry.”

“We manage to teach 12-year-olds who barely want to listen to us because their parents forced them to start a sport, in retrospect, I think we can manage with you somehow,” Zayn speaks up, and he’s definitely smirking.

Louis slaps him in the arm, but the other guy remains completely unfazed, again. “You’ll be fine Hazzy!” Harry can’t help but melt at the nickname. He ignores Zayn’s snort. “Plus most of the time you’ll just need to hold me and keep your balance. Those beefy arms aren’t only for show, I hope.”

“They are not,” Harry confirms, trying to appear smug, but Louis giggles. Again.

Words will be just words, until you bring them to life,” Louis grins, and Harry groans.

“Will you stop quoting my older songs I am absolutely not proud of?”

“Nope, because I had to listen to them on repeat because all my sisters and Zayn’s sisters were obsessed with them. I still can’t believe I let them sing along to a song basically about fucking someone to oblivion, though.”

Harry flushes. And he shouldn’t. He wrote way dirtier songs ever since.

“To be fair, I didn’t write this one and I didn’t realise the meaning of the lyrics at the innocent age of seventeen.”

“Yeah right.”

“Besides, if Zayn can do it, I certainly can too, I’m stronger.”

“Hey!” Zayn protests, but doesn’t argue more.

“There’s more to dancing in duo than physical strength,” Louis defends him instead, “I can lift someone up too, as long as there’s not a too much difference in height or weight and they know where to put their weight on strategic parts of my body. However, physical strength sure is a plus and can make things easier, so, you better not disappoint me, Harry.”

Then Louis marks a dramatic pause and there’s a sudden malicious glint in his eyes, to which both Zayn and Harry frown.

“But anyway, today, it’s just the two of you.”

“Louis, what—” the two other boys say simultaneously.

“Please, for me,” Louis says softly, but mostly directed to Zayn. “Please.”

And it’s all it takes for Zayn to sigh and surrender.

———————

Louis doesn’t exactly leave, and stays on the side for a whole hour, cheering Harry up with small interjections like “yay” or “you’re doing amazing” and Harry would find it extremely cute and endearing — especially with how sometimes Louis just starts going all cheerleader on him while clapping his hands loudly and jumping everywhere — if his legs weren’t currently in agony and Zayn wasn’t glaring down at him.

So when Louis actually has to leave, saying he’s going to buy some lunch for them and then he would need to leave to take care of some business thing (and to take care of Clifford that he’s apparently neglected ever since he had to help Harry), Harry expects to feel even more like shit, with Zayn insulting him with every single step he takes.

Except.

Except Zayn doesn’t do that once Louis walks out the door. He doesn’t soften, of course, he doesn’t, there’s still contempt shining his eyes, but he’s suddenly more factual, telling what Harry is doing wrong while helping him correct it. He still maintains an unimpressed expression, but he stops just being mean for the sake of being mean and Harry can’t help but be just slightly, at least, intrigued.

Harry has learned the basic of his part of the choreography when Zayn decides they need to take a break once Louis leaves after lunch. That is how the singer finds himself on the roof of the building, looking down at the pretty streets of Paris, and refusing a cigarette from Zayn.

“Proper clean pop star are we,” he comments, but there’s no snark in his voice this time.

“I’ve had my fair share of scandals.”

“Being gay isn’t one.”

And, true.

“Made people talk, though,” Harry muses, remembering the first time he got caught kissing an actor, all the headlines screaming how millions of girls in the world were heartbroken at the news (which he knew was a false statement, he never explicitly came out, but all his fans have been supportive since the beginning).

“Because people don’t know how to take care of their own business.”

Also true.

“Speaking of which, maybe I should apologise,” Zayn continue.

Harry nearly chokes on air. Zayn quietly takes a drag from his cigarette while the singer is having a cough.

“I’ve been harsh on you but you did take my boyfriend’s time away from me and Louis just keeps talking about you and I’m not in the best of moods right now.”

“Alright, but all of that wasn’t intentional on my part, that doesn’t justify you treating me like shit, honestly,” Harry replies immediately.

“Never said it was rational,” Zayn huffs. “But, I am sorry, really.”

Somehow Harry believes him because Zayn’s features soften and the singer is pretty sure he notices the ghost of a smile on his lips.

“Apologies accepted, both your boyfriend and best friend are quite the passionate and hardworking type, after all.”

“They sure are,” Zayn muses, fondness dripping down his voice. “They sure are.”

Several beats of silence pass, in which Zayn continues smoking while Harry lets his mind wander and realise where he is, right now. Middle of the 16th arrondissement in Paris, sat above most other buildings and the Eiffel Tower still watching him in the distance, and with a fluttery heart in his chest.

A dopey smile takes over his lips as his thoughts undoubtedly bring him back to the memories of Louis that very morning picking Harry up from his hotel room with a box full of macarons and some croissants to eat while walking towards the studio.

Harry then told him about his past as a “baker” — revealing that he actually was only the cashier, and once he tried to impress a boy and bake him a cake only for it to, literally, explode all over the kitchen. Louis laughed, so loud and bright, Harry got stunned for a few seconds, entranced by the mere and pure sound of joy from the smaller man next to him.

“You know, Louis is here because of me,” Zayn suddenly speaks up.

“Because?” Harry startles a little, not expecting the other to open up about Louis without Harry prompting him to.

Zayn looks guilty for a second as he looks into the distance, bringing his cigarette to his lips. He doesn’t take a drag, though, and instead throws it on the floor and stepping on it.

“I may have taken advantage of how loyal he is. I honestly don’t know anyone as trusting or as kind as him, maybe too selfless at times too,” he sighs. “We met in New York, he was hired as a backup dancer in some Broadway show, and I helped with the fitting of the costumes. We hit it off quite quickly.”

He bites his lower lip, eyes focused on his shoes.

“The thing with Louis is that he falls, hard and fast.” Harry gulps at the implications behind the words. “When he loves someone, whether as a friend or as a crush, he tends to put that someone over his own person.”

“And you took advantage of that?”

Zayn grimaces. “Kinda? It wasn’t malicious, or intentional, but, oh do I regret it now. At some point I had the opportunity to present my artworks in a gallery in Paris. I was scared shitless, obviously, and I didn’t know anything about the city to allow myself to just move there like that. So I asked Louis if he’d be willing to come with me, even though… even though he had things going on on Broadway— he was ready to accept an important role, one he would actually have to act more than dance, and sing and he’s so insecure about his voice but he’s… amazing.” Harry files that information in his brain for future requests. “Yet, he decided to leave with me, because he’d rather help a friend first before thinking about his own career.”

Harry closes his eyes, somehow already knowing how this ends.

“The gallery thing didn’t work out. Well, we were hopeful for a few months, thinking someone would take interest in buying my creations, but I just got rejection on rejection. Meanwhile, Louis tried out for the opera of Paris — and ended up being a teacher assistant, then a teacher. Not exactly what he wanted, quite a downgrade after Broadway but he said he was happy, especially when I started getting interested in dancing too and became his assigned partner, somehow. But then, uh. I met Liam.”

Oh, Harry can already see where this is going.

“He was on a business trip for one of his clients, but still took time to visit Louis and catch up and it just… happened, alright? Fast, too, and Louis encouraged us, he even bugged me day and night to text Liam and make a move since Liam was always so busy. Somehow, I spent so much time with Liam and, it was the honeymoon phase of a relationship, and Louis was supposedly fine with it… But I knew it took a toll on him.”

“I mean, I would too if my friends left me behind even though I’m the reason they met in the first place.”

“It was two years ago now, give me some slacks, Louis is way too selfless for his own good. Now it’s Liam who doesn’t reply to our texts or calls anyway since he works with you.”

“And now you’re afraid I’ll take Louis away from you like I did with Liam or what.”

“No, wanker,” Zayn groans with a strong roll of his eyes. “It’s just— I don’t like you, alright?”

“You don’t know me!?” Harry protests, somehow offended at the idea of someone not liking him. Zayn only levels him with an unimpressed look.

“I don’t like people in general, and privileged pop stars are kinda on the top of my list, so don’t really feel offended. However, both Liam and Louis speak highly of you, so I will have to grow to tolerate you at least.”

Harry is about to complain again, up until he sees a tiny smile lift the corner of Zayn’s mouth. Oh, he enjoys getting on Harry’s nerves, huh.

“I’m not naive enough to believe Louis is content with how things turned out now. Sure, we have a stable, quiet life and could stay like that until we die I guess, but… I really had to push him and convince him to accept helping you and Liam, while knowing it could drive him away from me, and it did, for a few weeks now.”

Zayn sighs.

“All that to say, the first time he took a leap of faith, it didn’t end well, even though things worked out afterwards, and again, I didn’t do anything really to help with the situation, too devastated that my own dreams would never come true—”

“That’s a lie, though, you still got time, to pick it up and try again too,” Harry cuts him off. “You’re not any older than me, are you?”

Zayn stares at him for a while, quite stunned or ashamed, the singer is not sure, but he gulps, cheeks reddening.

“Anyway,” the dancer continues, “I guess it is a way to redeem myself here. Louis has so much to give, and I do believe you’re the perfect opportunity to help him figure out what to do from now on with his talent. He loves teaching, but I know he doesn’t want to do this for the rest of his life, he wants to create, express himself… and he’s doing it now, with this whole music video thing. Even if that may drive him away from me for a while, I know I just won’t lose him to you or something.”

A full, genuine smile finally graces the boy’s face, and Harry can’t help but feel proud at the sight.

“You’ll still be the overprotective best friend huh?” Harry states, more than asks, really.

“Yeah, I didn’t expect him to charm your famous ass this fast, but in retrospect, I should have expected it, no one can resist him. And, I still don’t like you, for the record,” Zayn chuckles, as he then turns around and leaves the roof just like that.

Somehow, Harry knows he’s lying.

————————————

The rest of the day goes more smoothly than Harry expected, even if a bit more uncomfortable in a completely new way because Zayn barely speaks at all, now mostly lost in his thoughts and always frowning, like trying to figure out an odd puzzle in his head. Harry doesn’t question him, though he really thought they kind of bonded earlier and he expected the lesson to be a bit more cheerful now.

The next day of rehearsal comes around, and then the next, and the next, that go much quicker than the first day due to Louis being there, and adapting the choreography depending on Harry’s ability, which makes Zayn roll his eyes.

They may be sort of friends, Zayn still won’t let go of how terrible of a dancer Harry is.

“So, give me a briefing on Harry’s dancing?” Is the first thing Liam asks when he’s back in Paris, this time with a whole crew for filming, and also Niall.

“Beginner level, obviously, but he makes up with his determination and physical strength,” Louis answers.

“Also, he adapts well with Louis’ sometimes unpredictability when he dances. They read each other’s body language surprisingly well, probably because pop star over here is already half in love with our dancing star,” Zayn chimes in.

“Hopelessly smitten, I tell ya,” Niall snickers.

Harry rolls his eyes, tired of defending himself at this point.

“Or is it just because Louis is a professional who knows when not to push too much people’s abilities?” Liam concedes, gently nudging Zayn who only shrugs and looks away.

Liam’s and Zayn’s reunion was… surprisingly underwhelming in Harry’s eyes. They all met up at the hotel the whole crew would be staying in while Louis, with Zayn’s agreement of course, invited Liam, Niall and Harry to stay in their house, though Liam declined the invitation as someone had to keep an eye on everyone at the hotel.

While Louis jumped in Liam’s arms — he does have a tendency to just do that with people, Harry noticed, since he also jumped on Niall after that, except the Irish guy wasn’t ready at all and fell backwards on the couch of the lobby — Zayn only greeted him with a nod but Liam was quick to trap him into a hug Zayn pretended to try to escape from.

Harry has to say, though, that he feels a little bit offended of the way Zayn immediately liked Niall after sharing one handshake.

“They’re a very private couple, as soon as we’ll look away, Zayn will jump on him,” Louis told him.

But the thing is, Harry does notice how Zayn’s whole demeanour is just softer and gentler with Liam around. He is less focused on Louis and making sure Harry isn’t doing anything, and more attentive towards Liam’s every single and small movement.

He, also, still looks slightly angry, probably because of all those texts left on read Zayn has been complaining about for a whole week to Harry as if it was the singer’s fault (it indirectly is, right, okay).

Anyway, right now they are sitting in the lobby of the hotel. It is surprisingly empty and quiet so far despite it being the middle of the day.

“So, what’s the schedule? How much time do we have?” Harry asks Liam.

“Well, we technically could finish this all in one day. Ni and I decided to go with the ‘day spent in Paris dancing everywhere’ idea, so we need to be quick and efficient, otherwise, I booked this hotel for a week anyway, so no rush.”

“This is supposed to be a simple video,” Niall reminds them all, again, Harry feels like he’s heard it a thousand times already even though he was the first one to insist he didn’t want anything too extravagant. “So, no stress! But, I gotta say, I can’t wait to see this baby giraffe who can’t stand on his feet dance,” he continues, pointing at his best friend.

“Hey!”

“That sounds mean from your mouth, he’s a baby deer trying to venture a new world more like,” Louis supplies, giving a gentle head bump to Harry’s shoulder who huffs in response.

“You’re cuter, little one.”

Louis flushes while smiling, and Harry doesn’t miss the way both Liam and Zayn’s looks turn briefly into protective glares. Niall’s squeal, on the other hand, was far from discreet and he doesn’t even look sheepish at all when they all send him a confused look.

“Oh yeah by the way. I’ll be the director!” Niall announces happily, now that all the attention is on him. “I’ve missed yelling instructions to people.”

“And I’ll help with makeup and stuff,” Zayn adds.

“Like old times, innit?” both say while looking respectively at their best friend.

Louis beams and Harry pushes back his own hair, trying not to smile upon seeing Niall’s pure excitement.

Like old times, huh.

————————————

Niall used to help Harry a lot for the cinematography of his YouTube covers (which, maybe “cinematography” is a big word for it) before he blew up and they started drifting apart. It sounds more dramatic than it is, really, because they never lost touch, but Harry was travelling around the world meanwhile Niall stayed in the UK mostly for uni, and then found a job as a cameraman for some British TV show. They still talked a lot, texted and FaceTimed a lot, and Niall was always there when Harry had a show in the UK or in Ireland, but it just wasn’t the same as seeing each other every day.

That’s what Harry wanted when he took a step back from the spotlight and decided to go back to his modest roots — the familiarity. It feels great, really, he thinks as he looks around the fountain and can spot only a small crew scattered a bit everywhere. The ground is still covered in leaves, the ducks won’t shut up but everything is peaceful and oddly organised in a chaotic way.

The filming goes smoothly, despite the two or three times Harry messes up the choreography and they have to do it all over again. He’s just not used to it, he is used to lip-sync and fake play an instrument while a camera turns around him, not to dance while making sure to never look straight in the camera all the while also making sure he doesn’t trip, doesn’t destroy things around him, or doesn’t drop Louis in the fountain, it would be unfortunate.

Fortunately enough, Niall and Zayn both decided to focus the whole video more on Louis — as if to paint him the way Harry sees him — so, the camera mainly stays directed at the dancer and Harry can catch his breath.

Louis seems to just downright shine in front of the camera, confidence transpiring in his every move, even when he messes up and looks straight at the camera. He always laughs it off, loud and bright, lighting up the mood around him just like that.

“You’re a natural in front of the camera,” Harry tells him during their lunch break, to which Louis only tilts his head in confusion. “Neither Niall or Liam had to tell you what to do, you knew immediately how to tilt your head just perfectly to get the best angle. You really never did that?”

Louis flushes and shakes his head.

“You should consider it, you are made for the camera.”

“Eh, I like my quiet little stage in front of a classroom, though,” Louis tries to dismiss, suddenly looking anywhere but in Harry’s direction. “Besides…” he starts, getting back a bit of his confidence as a small smile appears on his lips. “I’m only willing to play the love interest for one boy.”

Undeterred, however, Harry shakes his head slowly.

“I meant modelling, actually.”

At that, Louis doesn’t reply.

“I have connections—”

“Harry,” Louis stops him. “You don’t realise, but you’ve already done a lot for me, do not feel the need to do more.”

There’s a beat of silence, Harry evaluating the situation, before he sighs loudly, making Louis look at him again in confusion.

“What do you plan to do once the video is up?”

“Well…” Louis starts, quickly glancing at Liam and Zayn in the distance. “Liam advised me to contact my old agent again if only to manage whatever impromptu calls I may get after this video. Then, I’m not so sure yet what to do.”

Harry takes that as his cue to not push the question, at least for now.

“And about our relationship? Are you still okay about it being out to the world?”

“Oh, that! I don’t mind.” Harry blinks, a bit surprised. “I barely use social media anyway, so if I get hate, I won’t even know. Also, the paps thingy? I’m not even famous, Liam told me that, unless I’m with you, they won’t bother me at all, that is if I don’t call them on me, which I find weird? Why would I do that? Anyway. No, I was more afraid you’d just get tired of me at some point.”

“What? Why would I? God, I’ve been obsessed with you ever since that first night,” Harry admits, his pale cheeks now a light shade of pink. “And I thought I’d never get to see you ever again, but you just had to not tell me you were actually already working for me to keep up the mystery card, huh?”

Louis shrugs with a sheepish smile.

“Guilty,” he says, holding up his hands before giggling. “There wasn’t really a reason for me to actually tell you, knowing we would meet more formally later.”

“Formally,” Harry snorts. He’s not sure a giant dog coming to get him because he was late for their first meeting in the middle of a touristic Parisian park could be considered “formal” but alright.

“Well, listen, I didn’t expect to leave such a lasting impression! Others—”

Others? You make a habit out of bringing strangers into a dance?” the singer questions with wide eyes. “And here I thought I was special,” he dramatically announces, a hand on his heart.

“Well, only the pretty ones?” Louis replies, embarrassed. “When I dance I just get into a… zone, if you will, almost a character? Each performance exhales a different kind of emotion, personality, so of course, I don’t always drag poor strangers into this. When I created your choreography, I had Liam’s words in mind: kinda like a mermaid, an enticing creature luring someone not by their voice, but by their dance. I think some birds do that, anyway.”

Harry listens as Louis starts to rumble on and on about his thought process when creating a choreography. The smaller boy’s hands fly a bit everywhere again as he speaks, and Louis doesn’t seem to notice, eyes fixed on Harry. He talks about thinking about a colour, a feeling, then coming up with a story to tell through their bodies once he listened to Harry’s song.

And then it leads to the French boy gushing about Harry’s songwriting and “sweetly rough voice” (Louis’ words, not Harry’s). At some point, he just switches to French probably without even realising it and Harry has trouble keeping up and translating everything in his head. Harry can’t help it, he quietly gets up and rounds the table. Louis doesn’t stop to talk still, though he raises a curious eyebrow at Harry’s action.

And then the singer simply takes Louis’ hands in his, and that shuts the smaller boy up immediately. He leans down and kisses Louis’ nose.

Louis goes bright red in approximately two seconds.

“W-What was that for?” the dancer squeaks out, blushing even harder at how high and embarrassed his voice sounds.

You’re cute, that’s all. “That enticing thing you talked about? Well, I guess it really worked on me,” Harry chuckles.

Louis huffs, as he takes the initiative next, tilting his head up just right so that his lips meet Harry’s without any issue. It is a chaste kiss that ends just as quickly as it started, but when they pull apart they are both smiling.

Only then does Harry notice Niall in the distance filming and he frowns deeply. Louis, catching up, turns around to be met with Niall waving cheerfully at them, Liam smiling fondly behind him and Zayn looking at the two formers like a disappointed mother.

“You two were being so cute!” Niall explains once Harry drags him at their table to explain himself. “It looked so natural and the street behind you is so lovely too, the lighting was even perfect, I couldn’t pass up the opportunity! Look!”

The footage is cute, and Harry would be a bit embarrassed at how completely helpless he seems when he looks at himself and his dopey smile, if he wasn’t feeling Louis’ heart — because the French dancer is currently clutching his arm for some reason — flutter or if Louis’ twinkle in his eyes wasn’t there.

The feeling is mutual, and it feels so rejuvenating.

“You two really are sickeningly and effortlessly sweet,” Zayn sighs, but he’s smiling. At Louis, of course, not Harry.

“Yeah,” Liam agrees quietly next to him, but he is frowning, like slowly processing something. It’s the same expression Harry has seen on Zayn after their discussion on the roof a few days back. Harry wants to question it, but lets it be when the manager speaks up again, “So do you want to see the dance footage too?”

Harry flees.

————————

They don’t manage to finish the filming on that day, mostly because of Harry who kept stumbling on the stairs at their second location and nearly fall down every time. Louis was kind enough to not make any comment about this, Niall wasn’t so kind, however, as he kept laughing behind the camera, causing the whole crew to lose focus too.

So really, Harry is going to blame Niall for the lack of efficiency, he wonders why Liam even agreed to him directing the video.

They are now walking back to Louis’ and Zayn’s house, while Liam went back to the hotel with the crew. Both Niall and Harry are actually excited to properly see the house, as the last time Louis just quickly dropped Clifford off and told them to wait for him a few streets away. They end up in a quiet neighbourhood where trees are king. No cars in sight, just people walking their dogs, bikes or children rollerskating surrounding them.

Auteuil. Village d’Auteuil.

It’s fascinating again, Harry thinks. Once again, he doesn’t feel like he is in Paris, this quiet neighbourhood looks like a small peppy village in the middle of the big city.

But then. Then Louis and Zayn stop in front of a huge gate, leading to what looks like a mansion. They must be pranking them, Harry thinks, but then Louis opens the smaller door next to the gate and tells them to follow him.

The front yard consists of a large patch of green grass and a small path right in the middle. Colourful partake of flowers can be seen a bit here and there, it is not really organised like in the Jardin du Luxembourg, but no as wild as the Bois de Boulogne, Harry muses. Dog toys are scattered around the yard as well.

And then comes the house. Harry blinks at how vines are decorating the facade of the house and when he steps inside, he’s a bit taken aback by the wooden and very nature-based decoration greeting him.

“Louis I was joking about the elf thing!” Niall exclaims as his eyes go around the living room decorated by fake vines and plants around the TV and on top of the shelves.

“You haven’t even seen the first floor,” Zayn says. “With Louis’ dance studio which isn’t a dance studio but we managed to make it look like one.”

“Don’t you have a dog…” Harry asks slowly, wondering how nothing can be broken or misplaced on a daily basis with such a lively creature around.

“I made sure to not put anything easily breakable in his reach, all the pots are suspended and none of the fake vines touch the floor.”

“Anyway, guest rooms are this way,” Zayn says while pointing at a hallway. “Also don’t go on the second floor just yet we’re repainting the walls.”

“How big is your house?!” Niall exclaims.

“Your best friend is a pop star why do you sound surprised and impressed?”

“I’m still not used to it and I have a crappy flat in London, leave me alone.”

“My family’s big, so when they come to visit we need a lot of place to accommodate the young ones. One of my sisters is also a home designer, so even if it’s my house, she physically needs everything to be aesthetically pleasing,” Louis explains as they make their way down the hallway. “Initially, we only rented a flat in the middle of Paris when we thought we wouldn’t stay long but then we just settled and I bought the house with all the money I saved, it’s been a year we’re taking care of this place now. Zayn is still paying me back to this day.”

Zayn only rolls his eyes.

——————

As night falls, Harry somehow finds himself upstairs in Louis’ room. After dinner — that Zayn prepared with help of Niall who really insisted despite the other boy’s protests but no one can say no to the Irish lad — Zayn went on the second floor, to finish repainting those walls, completely uncaring that he has guests over, Niall went straight to his room, claiming he now needed his beauty sleep (in reality, Harry knew he would be up for at least a few hours watching movies on his laptop) which left Louis and Harry alone.

Louis invited him to talk in his room, Clifford following closely behind them as they make their way upstairs. And somehow before they entered the room, Zayn appeared out of nowhere, only to shout “no funny business!” and then disappear again on the second floor.

Now, the sun has set. Harry can’t see anything from Louis’ veranda except, well, the back garden. It is still a work in progress, Harry notices, what with the rough patches of dirt here and there, or Louis and Zayn recently decided to start it all over again.

He then feels arms wrapping around his middle and a head resting between his shoulder blades. The singer smiles softly.

“Whatcha doing over there?” Louis asks quietly.

It feels oddly domestic, natural. Again, Harry really sounds like a broken record. They’ve spent the evening cuddling on Louis’ bed while watching some French movie during which they barely paid attention to the story (Les Demoiselles de Rochefort, was the title. Harry could recognise one of the actresses who was also in the Umbrellas of Cherbourg he loves so much, and Harry will probably rewatch that movie later when he’ll actually be in the mood to understand the story), and rather focused on telling each other stories. The movie was for background noises purposes, though Harry noticed how most movies Louis has on his shelves are musicals. With a lot of Disney movies.

Then, Louis went back downstairs to make himself a cup of tea before bed. Harry had a choice, to stay or go to his own lent room.

He stayed.

“Nothing,” he replies, turning around, kinda surprising Louis who stumbles a little until Harry stabilises him.

“You’re gonna change?” Louis asks then, “You kinda left your stuff downstairs. Unless you sleep naked?”

“Is that a hopeful tone I hear?” Harry laughs. “I do, sleep naked though.”

“You wish, I’m spent and I just wanna cuddle, c’me here,” the dancer replies as he drags Harry back inside.

Harry only shrugs and follows suit, managing to close the glass door with his foot. Louis is already in his pyjamas, so he slips under the cover of his bed quickly, while Harry gets rid of his shirt and dress pants, shamelessly. Louis eyes his almost naked body with a small, interested smile, but the singer doesn’t comment on it and joins him on the bed. As he faces Louis and shuffles closer, he feels something weighing on his legs for a second.

Clifford jumped on the bed too and is now safely laying down in the space between Louis and Harry. Louis reaches out to him and scratches the dog’s ear softly. Funny business would sure be complicated with a dog right there, Harry thinks immediately, then slaps himself mentally.

“You know,” Harry starts to say slowly. He waits for Louis to look at him again before continuing, “the way you talked about living in Paris, it sounded like you were struggling to afford a home, but, you’re pretty, very, well-off.”

“Still can’t afford a second house for my family who wants to move back here, though, so if you’re really not gonna use that house you bought here, just saying.”

Harry rolls his eyes.

“The struggle is not so to be able to afford it, I was lucky on that side, between everything I saved from New York, and being a teacher at the Opera is not exactly a badly paid job. Paris is just… overrated. Loud, the streets are dirty, people are rude and grumpy, tourists overflow landmarks…”

“Yeah, you already said that, more poetically the first time though.”

“I know.” Louis laughs. “And I sound like all those annoying Parisians. We hate living here, but it is where the best opportunities are… I think.” He pauses, as he seems to doubt his own words. “But… I’m glad I did this. I’m so glad I said yes to Liam’s impromptu call at 2 am and you’re in my life now.”

“Hopefully to stay,” Harry murmurs, shuffling as close as he could with Clifford between them. “Hey, Lou.”

“Mmh?”

Harry is gently holding Louis’ cheek. “Be my boyfriend.”

Louis snorts. “That didn’t sound like a question. But yeah, of course, big boy.”

They manage to fall asleep, hands linked and foreheads touching.

—————————

Harry wakes up to a mostly silent house. He can hear some fuss upstairs and assumes it is Zayn painting again. One look at the window tells him it is still pretty early in the morning, thus, there is no way Niall is awake yet or he probably would already be able to smell breakfast being made.

He is on his back now, Louis’ head resting on his right shoulder, and still fully asleep. Clifford is not in the room anymore, Harry doesn’t know how, but he is guessing Zayn let him out but then closed the door behind him.

He sighs pleasingly to himself, a huge smile quickly forming on his lips as he recalls the events from the day before.

Louis is officially his boyfriend now.

And he shouldn’t be as giddy as he feels. He shouldn’t act like an actual teenager again. But he is way too happy.

T’as l’air d’un idiot,” a sleepy voice brings him out of his temporary euphoria, and Harry is about to reply but his voice gets stuck in his throat when he feels Louis starting to trace the tattoos on his arms. “Couldn’t see them properly yesterday,” Louis slurs, in a very wacky French accent this time. “You have a lot…”

“A lot of stupid ones,” Harry hums. “Dares, all that.”

Louis doesn’t reply. He still looks half asleep, movements slow and lazy, and Harry can’t help but stare at Louis’ porcelain skin devoid of any ink. Then, the dancer swiftly rolls over so he is laying directly on top of Harry, chest to chest, and noses touching. He is light, is the thing, Harry has no trouble still breathing under his weight. Slowly, he wraps the smaller boy in his arms, somehow bringing their bodies even closer together.

“You have freckles,” Harry says quietly, suddenly hoping his morning breath wasn’t too bad.

If Louis scrunches his nose for a split second, he doesn’t comment on it and only hums.

“Cute little triangle,” the singer continues softly. He’s noticed it before, of course he did, he’s that weird friend who is very observant and will remember the most random facts about you, but that doesn’t stop him from being fascinated.

“And you have cute bunny teeth,” Louis compliments too, shuffling a tad bit closer. “Kiss me kiss me.”

And who is Harry to say no?

He brings a hand behind Louis’ head, playing for a few seconds with the short hairs there before they both lean in and their lips meet. He feels Louis’ hands caressing his neck, then tangling his fingers in his hair too. Harry hums as they both open up to deepen the kiss, eliciting a small whine from Louis as they do so.

It’s slow, languid, sweet. Harry’s other hand traces down Louis’ back. Eyes closed, he can feel and picture the dancer’s curves under his fingertips but stops himself before he can reach too low, afraid of overstepping whatever boundaries they haven’t discussed yet.

Louis is the one who breaks the kiss, then trails kisses all along Harry’s cheek to his neck. Harry only giggles at the action, before he easily reverses their position, now caging Louis under him. The French boy only smirks as he looks at him, clearly getting what he wanted.

They still haven’t uttered a word, and Harry doesn’t know if he should… push his luck, initiate something more, because Louis is just laying there, almost like he’s waiting for him to make a decision and—

“Did you know the word in French for ‘kiss’ also means having sex?” Louis suddenly blurts out.

An incredibly loud laugh escapes Harry’s mouth.

“You ruined the moment!” Harry complains, struggling to stay upright with how strong his laugh is.

Baiser, baiser, baiser,” the dancer chants, puckering his lips. “It’s an ugly word actually.”

“Shut up shut up,” Harry pleads, still laughing a little.

“Make me!” Louis exclaims, but in a high pitched childish voice, eyes twinkling with mischief.

“Did you just turn into a toddler overnight, who are you and what did you do with my Louis?”

This seems to settle Louis down as he lets out a little huff with a soft smile.

“He’s just really, really happy and pleased right now. Haven’t felt like this in a while,” the smaller boy confesses genuinely, voice small and a little bit insecure. “I’m happy, that’s all, the honeymoon phase, all that” he continues, wrapping his arms around Harry’s neck, forcing the singer to lean down again.

They kiss, this one somehow more desperate yet just as languid and sweet as the previous one. It doesn’t last long before a knock on the door startles the both of them.

“Hey lovebirds, I am not making breakfast alone with the overexcited leprechaun out there,” Zayn says as he opens the door and then looks, unfazed, at the couple. “Great you’re awake enough to make out, so you’re awake enough to help, c’mon.”

And then he just leaves, though they can hear Niall screaming something in the distance in an offended tone — he probably heard Zayn calling him a leprechaun. Louis and Harry share a look and spend at least ten more minutes in bed just giggling and cuddling before Zayn sends Clifford to retrieve them.

———————

Filming actually takes up the rest of the week, mostly because in between shots Harry and Louis would keep disappearing and lose track of time when no one was checking up on them. Other times it’s because fans finally notice them (with the cameras and all, it was about time, really), and Liam had to stop everything to make them promise to not post anything on social media yet (and make them sign NDAs just in case). The days go by in a routine Harry wouldn’t be opposed to getting used to — waking up in Louis’ arms, cooking breakfast with Zayn, early morning walk with Clifford and Louis, meet up at lunch with Liam, filming during the afternoon, and then back to Louis’ house.

Right now, the sun has set, Harry needs to go back to the UK the next day, yet he’s currently walking down the same riverbank he met Louis weeks ago now, hand in hand with the said dancer. It’s funny to think about, the singer muses, as the last time he was there, he couldn’t help but notice couples walking around him while he was alone.

Louis was the one who suggested they ended the filming in this riverbank for the video as the place wasn’t too far from Camoëns Avenue. It was more romantic then, ending it on a nocturnal shot of Paris, the lights reflecting into the Seine as Harry’s and Louis’ figures just danced around each other in a final waltz.

They don’t have the energy anymore to dance now, though, they are content walking.

“Is filming a video always as fun as this was?” Louis asks at last, breaking the silence.

“When the concept of the video is something I like, yeah,” Harry easily replies. There’s the added bonus of working only with people he enjoys the company of. “So, have you decided what you want to do next? Now that Paris doesn’t seem as boring as it once was?” he shoots back.

“Well, I don’t plan on moving, if that’s what you’re asking. I bought a house and I don’t feel like selling it.”

They both come to a halt when they spot a stoned bench in the distance.

“I spoke to my agent, and he said it would be interesting to consider doing more little projects like this video, as a backup dancer or on the front, maybe join some artist on tour, he said if your music video is well received, considering your level of fame, it would be a given for me to receive a lot of propositions,” the dancer continues as they sit down. “But I think I’ll lay low until the end of the school year at least, so I can find someone to replace me to teach the kids, can’t go ever again with two weeks off without any replacement… Besides, I think Zayn wants to quit too and start painting again.”

“I still haven’t seen teacher Tomlinson in action, now that I think about it,” Harry mentions.

“I literally taught you how to dance in a week?”

“With kids, I mean. It must be the cutest sight to behold!”

Louis rolls his eyes. “Shut up.”

As the French boy rests his head on the taller boy’s shoulder, they let the quiet sound of the city at night wash over them.

There are still unanswered questions. Harry doesn’t know how they will be able to keep up their relationship when promo will fully kick in, because sure, in the past Harry has always managed to visit Paris at least once a month, and back then it was enough. However, his life still relies on a constant back and forth between London and Los Angeles, Paris is nowhere near his routine. But he doesn’t want to make the same mistake as Liam, and become so engrossed in his work, he will forget to find time for Louis. And he’s someone dedicated, when in a relationship, he refuses for theirs to be only long-distance — he would miss Louis’ cuddles too much on a regular basis anyway.

Heck, he wanted to change label to switch to a more independent route in the first place so he could have a more laid-back lifestyle in which he wouldn’t need to be on flights every single night.

But… but right now is not the time to worry. They’ll figure it out. Right now, Harry will enjoy the warmth Louis’ body provides next to him for as long as he can.

———————

They get to see each other again a month later. Louis feels weird during those four weeks, getting used again to his quiet little life with Zayn and Clifford. Of course, his days are now also punctuating by calls here and there with his old agent — who was more than ecstatic to work together again, which Louis didn’t expect at all — and FaceTime sessions with Harry, with the occasional appearances of Niall or Liam.

He and Harry talk almost every day, and every single day Harry reminds him he still has to accomplish his promise of taking Louis out wherever he desires once he is done with the promo and few performances. Louis jokingly tells him he wants Harry to actually try to woo him in Paris, only to say he’d never been to Madrid before.

The day the music video is supposed to drop, Louis takes a day off to deal with the overwhelming nervousness suddenly filling his heart. Fortunately Zayn doesn’t tease him too much about it, agreeing to do the lesson alone today, and even brought Clifford with him so the dog wouldn’t disrupt Louis’ alone time which, the French boy found a little strange because he never minds Clifford’s presence, but didn’t really question it.

Louis paces around his living room for a while, anxiously waiting for the impending time the video will be published. However, as 7pm strikes, his doorbell rings as well, startling him. Unsettled, and a little annoyed when the bell rings again, and then continuously, Louis begrudgingly makes his way towards the gate, and then freezes when he opens it.

“Harry?”

And indeed, in front of him stands the singer with a sheepish expression.

“Surprise?” Harry greets him, taking a step forward to hug Louis but then he stops mid-step, eyes going up and down the French boy’s body. “Is that the shirt I forgot here?”

Louis flushes, looking down at his own attire. “You left it here, it’s mine now,” he replies eventually, trying to sound confident.

“I don’t mind, you look cute in my clothes.”

“I look cute every second of my life, thank you very much,” Louis huffs, but then smiles softly. “Whatcha doing there, then? You could have called.”

“I did, I called Zayn, asked him to make sure you wouldn’t have anything to do today. So I’m here to take you out now!”

That is how Louis somehow finds himself at the top of the Eiffel Tower as the sun is already settling down and the lights of the Iron Lady are, one by one, lighting up along with the Trocadéro gardens beneath them.

Louis must have stars in his eyes as he leans into the metal bars and tries not to feel light-headed at how high he currently is. Harry is besides him, not really looking at the landscape, but at Louis himself and the dancer would usually feel all bashful about it, flushing under the British boy’s gaze, but he is way too busy admiring the view.

They are alone too, so Louis guesses Harry somehow managed to book this for the evening which isn’t something normal people can do, perks of being a worldwide known artist.

“Let’s take a picture?” Harry suggests.

“To post?” Implying — to announce, kind of, this thing we have going on?

“Yeah.”

Louis simply agrees then.

Harry lends his phone to a member of the staff before he wraps his arms around Louis’ waist, while the French boy happily cradles Harry’s face, bringing their foreheads together. When he clearly hears the photo being taken, Louis goes on his tiptoes, pecking Harry’s lips before turning around and immediately making grabby hands towards the phone to see the picture.

It is lovely, really, the lighting making it look like two silhouettes embracing each other in front of a million lights. Harry smiles when he posts it on both instagram and twitter with a caption thanking the fans for the support for the new video — and possibly the new relationship resulting from it.

Louis, on his part, also posts the picture on his own personal instagram. When Lottie immediately starts flooding his texts asking for explanations, Louis only then realises he hasn’t properly told his family yet. Well, he told them about the music video, and all his sisters were frantic, but he may have forgotten to add the new relationship part.

He’ll call them tomorrow.

“Is that all this date is though? Not gonna lie, it is pretty, but I’m not wooed,” Louis comments, sending a playful smile towards Harry who is already looking at him.

“That’s not all, don’t worry. Brought you there for a picture first, I’ll be honest.”

“Instagram hoe.”

Harry shrugs sheepishly. “The romantic in me would have regretted forever not taking my love in the most cliché place of the world.”

Louis rolls his eyes. “Sap.”

“Can you stop insulting me now?”

“I do it fondly.” A pause, then Louis just falls back between Harry’s arms, back to chest. “I missed you, too.”

Much to his delight, Harry holds him closer, nuzzling the place behind his right ear, making him giggle. “Missed you too, baby.”

Louis squeals just a little at the term of endearment.

“It won’t be an issue anymore, though,” Harry continues. “I’m free for the next week, then I’ll have a few performances, here and there, then it’s back to working on the next album, I think I can finish it for beginning of next year, then tour during the other half of the year… if you… you know?”

Somehow, Louis understands immediately. “You want me to go with you on tour? As… as what?”

“My boyfriend, obviously. Not to every show, obviously, but if you’re willing to explore the world with me…”

“I haven’t— I haven’t worked out yet everything about my job right now but… I would love to. But will you stay here in the meantime?”

“Yeah, about that… Let’s eat first, though.”

————————

Louis is not exactly surprised when Harry takes him to the house he bought in Paris. Well, “Paris”. Louis points out to the British singer that his house is actually located in Boulogne-Billancourt, which is close to the 16th of Paris, but isn’t technically part of the capital, yet at least.

“Hey, this is like, ten minutes away from my house,” Louis comments as he casually walks into the living room space. “Your house is not dog proof though.”

And it isn’t, the decoration is very minimalist for now — he doubts Harry had time to properly decide how to design his house yet, so far it feels very impersonal — but there are a lot of items made of glass and a bunch of expensive looking vases around. Louis is actually afraid Harry himself might knock over one at some point.

“It is not, I’m working on it, but my surprise is upstairs,” Harry indicates.

“Your bedroom?” Louis questions, a bit intrigued.

“Is that a hopeful tone again?”

“Nope, first date rule, I would have declined.”

“But we already slept in the same bed before—”

“That’s besides the point!”

Harry cackles loudly. “C’mon Lou, it’s on the roof.”

The singer actually doesn’t wait for Louis to reply, dragging the dancer up the stairs. Louis follows easily, basically skipping through the steps when Harry decides to just fucking sprint for some reason.

He is so excited, yet nervous. Harry’s hand is sweaty, Louis didn’t dare to tell him, though he probably knows by now.

Anyway, soon enough, they are met with a trapdoor, which is when Harry just abandons Louis behind and hurries to get through it. It takes Louis so much by surprise that he stands there, looking up at the trapdoor while blinking heavily, before he finally climbs too.

He struggles a bit, his strength in his arms not quite as impressive as the strength in his legs. When he finally manages to set his feet into the concrete of the roof, Louis is proper ready to yell at Harry but then his eyes immediately catch hundreds of plants surrounding him, decorated by fairy lights.

“Haz, what is this—” Louis asks, confused, looking around the roof until his eyes land on a trail of rose petals on the ground.

Louis only looks up when he hears Harry cough. And then only does he realise that the petals make a path towards a fancy looking bench covered by a white tablecloth, in front of which Harry is standing with a bouquet of roses in his hands.

Louis almost wants to cry, or laugh at the over the top feeling the scene displays, he’s not sure.

“Are you kidding me,” he lets out instead, but smiling incredibly big in front of Harry’s dopey and sheepish expression.

“You challenged me to woo you in Paris even if it’s your scene, so here it is.” Harry announces proudly, as if he hadn’t already brought Louis at the top of the fucking Eiffel Tower.

“It looks like you’re proposing!” Louis yells, flustered yet pleased.

“And you think I won’t be able to top this one again and again? Especially when I’ll propose? Baby, you have no idea what’s about to hit you.”

First date, Harry,” Louis repeats, emphasising the first word.

“What? You're worried about that, now? Haven’t we already, how did you call that? Baiser?”

Harry! You’re using that word wrong!”

The singer laughs, seemingly way too pleased for reversing the roles right now and making the dancer all flustered and in lack of words. Louis is slightly stunned, though it is an observation he made weeks ago. Harry is bolder, more shameless than he is. Louis likes to tease and string things along and make others chase him. Harry is the opposite, he chases and is straightforward in his intentions.

“Sorry sorry!” Harry apologises in between laughs. “This is supposed to be romantic, will you at least accept those roses?”

Louis pouts for a second before he reaches for the bouquet and immediately sticks his nose in it, melting all over again at the sweet scent embracing him.

“Harry, I—” he starts, but then gets interrupted by an all too familiar melody. Louis almost drops the bouquet - both because of surprise, and fear. Where does the music even come from, he wonders, looking around frantically to finally spot a few speakers hidden behind the plants.

Harry is suddenly right in front of him, his confidence and cockiness replaced by something akin to nervousness. Louis slowly looks up at him and then lowers the bouquet on the ground, smiling.

‘Can I Have This Dance?' Really?” Louis asks in a fond whisper, taking a step back and eyeing the bench for a second, suddenly understanding why that random piece of furniture is there. On a fucking roof.

“Liam told me how you loved that scene as a teenager, which motivated you to choose dancing for a living. Zayn helped me learn it, too.”

Louis chuckles. “When even—”

“Had to fit a lot of interviews in one day at times, but, yeah.” Harry shrugs shyly. “I really wanted this first date to be a surprise.”

The dancer hums, eyeing the taller boy with a raise of an eyebrow. “Whose part did you learn, then.”

“Troy, obviously,” Harry replies, cheeks a deep red still. “Dancing with Zayn was awkward, especially with Liam watching and glaring at me the whole time.”

“Well then,” Louis announces as he presents his hand. “Take my hand,” he says just as the song truly starts.

To Louis’ surprise, the whole choreography goes smoothly, maybe more smoothly than when they were filming. Harry is less tense, keeping eye contact the whole time instead of worrying about messing something up and smiling dopily. Louis feels like flying every single time Harry lifts him up effortlessly and spins him around in sync with the music. His eyes span around the landscape — lights, lights everywhere.

Fairy lights decorating the roof now glowing so bright, the moon so high in the sky, in its full glory and, again, the Eiffel Tower in the distance, which lights are currently flashing making the Iron Lady look made of glitters.

And with every step together
We just keep on getting better.

Eh, it fits, he thinks. Every single time they engage in a dance, they seem to keep getting better, despite Harry having no experience in that field. Louis never felt such connexion with someone else before, not even Zayn.

Louis sings along in his mind, meanwhile Harry has no problem singing over Troy’s parts passionately, though not that seriously. As they spin one last time, sadly without any rain pouring on them all of the sudden, Louis clings a little tighter to Harry than necessary.

So can I have this dance?
(Can I have this dance?)
Can I have this dance?

He feels so happy, he doesn’t know what to do, he needs to move again, do something with all that giddiness and energy suddenly filling him, like run around a bit or something, but then Harry leans down, an arm suddenly around his waist as the singer dips him and kisses him.

So, Louis just melts right there and then, throwing his arms around Harry’s neck, unafraid of falling.

“Now won't you promise me, that you'll never forget and we'll keep dancing wherever we go next?” Harry whispers again.

Louis chuckles again, pecking his lips.

Promis.”

As Harry smiles oh so bright, Louis can only imagine the hundreds if not thousands of ideas going through his mind to try to top this first date.

Louis might need to step up his game too.