Title: Heartstrings (That Play Soft and Low)
Summary: “We need to talk,” Tom announces, and Harry jerks around to look at him, sees Danny do the same thing out of the corner of his eye. Tom does not look happy. “And by ‘we,’” he continues, assured he has their attention, “I mean ‘you two,’” and he frowns pointedly at Harry and Danny in turn.
Pairing: Harry Judd/Danny Jones
Warning: Oneshot. Slash. Angst. Lotion-use.
Author's Notes: 5,953 words. Sequel to Shadows Falling - written because figletofvenice was threatening not to speak to me if I didn't give the boys a happy ending. So thanks to her for making me write this, and for being a lovely beta as always. Any remaining errors and/or discrepancies are mine - this was written long before the final draft of Shadows Falling.
Harry slumps down a little in his chair, flips the page of the magazine he has open on the dressing counter in front of him, and does not turn around. He fixes his gaze firmly on the glossy pages and takes in nothing, same as the last page and the page before that. He’s tense and on edge, and knowing it has nothing to do with the show only makes it worse. He could handle it if it were just the show, which will be over in a few hours in any case. But this. He hasn’t been able to look directly at Danny in weeks, but preventing himself from trying to watch him out of the corner of his eye is making him twitchy.
“Now?” Dougie’s voice cuts across the iPod music that has been attempting to fill the awkward silence of the dressing room.
Harry swivels in his seat to see what Dougie is up to. He blinks in confusion to see Dougie hovering next to Tom, who is speaking rapidly in a voice too low for Harry to pick up. He notices Danny, seated across the room, looking in the same direction, and abruptly forces himself back to his magazine.
A minute later, the music shuts off, and Harry looks up again, startled, to see Dougie standing next to his iPod, looking a little awkward, but mostly determined, arms crossed over his chest and glaring back and forth between Harry and Danny – who is also looking surprised – like whatever’s bothering him is their fault. If Harry lets himself think about it, it probably is.
“We need to talk,” Tom announces, and Harry jerks around to look at him, sees Danny do the same thing out of the corner of his eye. Tom does not look happy. “And by ‘we,’” he continues, assured he has their attention, “I mean ‘you two,’” and he frowns pointedly at Harry and Danny in turn. “No,” he says, holding up a hand when Harry opens his mouth to protest, because, seriously, this isn’t fair. He’s dealing with it. He is. “This is not a negotiation. You two being in the outs, acting like someone’s run over your mum with a bus, is causing problems for the whole band. If this keeps up, we will fall apart.” Harry doesn’t really know what to say to that – is starting to be afraid it might be true, really hopes to god it’s not – but Tom’s not finished. “Dougie and I are going to go find some dinner. We will be back in one hour. If you two haven’t fixed things by then, I’m calling off tonight’s show. We can’t perform like this.” He jerks his head again at Dougie, who is already heading for the door, then glares warningly at Harry and Danny. “So fix it,” he tells them, “because if I have to cancel this show because you two can’t just shag and make up like a normal couple, I will not be held responsible for the consequences.” And he follows Dougie from the room, letting the door bang shut behind him.
Harry can’t help but think that the sound is slightly ominous. He stares at the door, not entirely sure he believes what he just heard. He takes a minute to blink at the spot where Tom had delivered his ultimatum, then picks up his jaw and glances over at Danny, to see how he’s handling it. Danny turns towards him at the same moment and they both abruptly look away, avoiding each other’s eyes.
Harry opens his mouth to speak, then closes it, unable to think of anything to say. After a moment, he tries again, with the same result. Lather, rinse, repeat, he thinks inanely, and barely manages to keep from laughing out loud at the utter absurdity of his thoughts. Though maybe laughing wouldn’t be such a bad thing. It would be noise, at least, a break from the almost physically painful silence that has shrouded any space they’ve shared since Harry had forced himself to walk out of that hotel room and not look back.
It’s so very quiet, Harry imagines that if he listens hard enough he can hear the clock ticking away the seconds until Tom comes back and – what? Cancels the show? Would he actually do that? Harry is nowhere near as certain as he would like to be that Tom was bluffing. Then he remembers there is no clock, so the ticking must be the bomb Tom planted to teach them a lesson instead of canceling the show, or maybe it was Dougie, and when it explodes, there will be advertisements for hookers everywhere, like the last time Dougie – but no, there is no bomb, just like there is no clock, and the ticking is all in Harry’s head – besides, when would Dougie or Tom have had the time to plant a bomb filled with advertisements for hookers without anyone noticing? And now Harry really is laughing, can’t help it, because he’s been teetering on the edge for far too long now, and, really, how dumb can he be? And that’s when he realizes that he’s not the only one laughing.
He looks up, startled, at the same moment as Danny, and the laughter dies in his throat. Danny stops laughing as well, ghosts of its echo taunting them as they lapse back into the dreaded silence, shooting glances at each other only to jerk and look away whenever their eyes meet.
And it’s so much worse now than it was before. The laughter didn’t help at all, the break didn’t ease the silence, only made it heavier, more oppressive.
Finally, after what seems like hours but can’t possibly be more than a few minutes, Harry cracks. It is not surprising – that detached part of his brain observes – that he would crack first. He does not have the temperament to withstand torture (he’s not Dougie, after all), and this – being in the same room with Danny, but being unable to touch him – is torture of the worst kind. Besides, he excuses himself, Tom had said they needed to talk, and Tom might not be particularly frightening in the general course of things, but the band is his baby, and Harry has no doubt that he can and will cause grave bodily harm to protect it (which of course begs the question as to whether canceling a show would protect or harm the band, and therein lies Harry’s conundrum).
“So,” Harry says to the room at large, and feels vaguely accomplished.
Until Danny looks directly at him for the first time in days and says, “‘So’ – what?”
Harry blinks. “So,” he says again, then adds, “we should talk.”
“All right,” Danny agrees, and if Harry didn’t know him so very well, he’d think he sounded comfortably amiable. “What do you want to talk about?”
Harry blinks again. “Tom said –”
“Right,” Danny cuts him off. “So we’re talking about us.” The way he says us makes it sound like a curse.
“Yes, that’s –”
“All right,” Danny cuts him off again. “You start.”
Harry blinks yet again, and wonders absently if it’s possible to blink too much. “You keep interrupting me,” he mutters, loud enough to be heard. “Why don’t you start?”
“Why don’t you tell me why you walked out that night?” Danny doesn’t have to say what night he means.
“Why don’t you tell me why you had to be such a twat and accuse me of sleeping with Dougie, of all people?” Harry shoots back.
“Why don’t you tell me why you thought it was a good idea to drape yourself all over him all night, then tell me you were through with me?” Danny’s voice is starting to rise, but that’s probably a good thing, as the buzzing in his ears that Harry last heard the last time he and Danny fought is back with a vengeance.
“Why don’t you tell me why the hell you care when you spent half the night licking him, and the other half practically fucking Tom on stage!” Harry’s not sure he really wants the answer to that, but he doubts he’ll get it anyway, and, sure enough, Danny only fires back with,
“Why don’t you tell me why the fuck it matters what I do on the fucking stage with either of them when you wouldn’t so much as touch me in fucking public?”
“Why would you think it was a good idea to touch in ‘fucking public’ if every time we touched in private we ended up fucking like bloody rabbits?” Harry is on his feet, and shouting, but he doesn’t care.
Danny’s standing, now, too, and they’re somehow much closer together than they were, though Harry can’t remember when either of them moved, so maybe it’s just the room shrinking.
“Why would you think it was a good idea to start shagging in the first place, if it didn’t mean jack all to you?” Danny’s face, which is now scarcely half a room away – along with the rest of him – is an angry red that shouldn’t be attractive, but manages it anyhow.
“Don’t you fucking dare put that on me,” Harry hisses, somehow managing to control his volume. “You seduced me. I never would have had the nerve to touch you otherwise, and you fucking know it.”
“In case it’s slipped your mind,” Danny snarls back, “You shoved me against that wall backstage and fucked me, not the other way around. There wasn’t a whole lot of time for me to seduce you.”
“You fucking kissed me first, you miserable little bastard!” Harry’s screaming again, can’t help it, can’t stand the fact that Danny’s refusing the responsibility when Harry’s the one with the broken heart.
“I wouldn’t have if you hadn’t been staring at my fucking arse through the entire fucking show, you bloody prick!” Danny yells right back.
“Well, you have a nice arse!” Harry shuts his mouth hard and almost swallows his tongue. That was not what he’d meant to say.
Danny stares at him, looking very wrong-footed, which is something of a relief, because at least Harry’s not the only one.
“I –” Danny hesitates, shifts, then blurts, “You think I have a nice arse?”
Harry cringes internally. “I should think that was obvious,” he mutters in the general direction of his toes. Shoes, he thinks, regarding his at length as silence fills the room once more, are underappreciated by the male half of the species. They are wonderful for walking. And running. And standing. And they have. Laces.
He is so lost in contemplating his footwear, that he misses Danny’s next few words, which are, after all, very quiet after all the shouting. “Sorry, what?” he tears his gaze from his trainers to fix it once more on Danny, who is very close now, and very red, but in a less-angry sort of way. Harry’s not sure how he can tell the difference, but he’s fairly certain he’s right.
“I said you’ve got a nice arse as well,” Danny informs him, and the look on his face is somewhere between embarrassed and shy.
Harry can’t quite look away, though he’s pretty sure he’d feel less awkward if he could look at his feet again. He doesn’t know what to say, or do, and the tension between them – when did they get so close? – is thrumming like some kind of intense bass line in his blood – he’d laugh at the awful simile – metaphor? Simile – but he’s afraid to move – and –
Danny kisses him.
It’s a sudden thing, this kiss, and effectively brings all of Harry’s whirling ruminations to a complete halt.
Danny pulls back just as suddenly after only a few seconds, and gives Harry an odd look. “This would probably work better if you helped me out a bit.”
Harry stares at him blankly.
“You could kiss me back, for example,” Danny suggests, and moves to close the distance between them again.
It takes all of Harry’s willpower to back away, and he stumbles slightly.
“What are you doing, Dan?” he asks, more tense and awkward than ever.
Danny’s forehead crinkles. “I was trying to snog you properly.”
Harry closes his eyes and takes a deep breath, mentally crossing his fingers and toes. “Why?”
“Why?” Danny’s tone borders on incredulous. “You still want me and I still want you. Why not?”
“Want isn’t everything,” Harry tells him, and means it, but it’s still difficult to get his body under control when even his skin is tingling from the hard kiss and their continued proximity.
“What do you mean?” Danny’s voice is tight.
“I can’t do this,” Harry says, each word costing him. “Not with you.” He forces himself to open his eyes and look at Danny, hoping to make him understand, but all he sees is hurt and resurfacing anger.
“Not with me,” Danny echoes. “But you could with him?”
“What?” Harry grits his teeth in frustration. “Who?”
“Don’t bullshit me.” Danny is invading Harry’s personal space, getting right in his face again – Harry can feel the angry heat radiating off of him.
It’s too much, Harry thinks, and pushes Danny backwards, trying to put some distance between them before he does something rash – like kisses him back. “I’m not bullshitting you,” he bites out, and shoves Danny back another step for good measure.
Danny closes in almost immediately and shoves Harry in return. “I know you’ve been fucking around with Dougie,” Danny growls, voice low and dangerous. “I’m not an idiot.”
“You sure do a good impression of one, then,” Harry retorts, and tries to push Danny again in retaliation, but Danny catches his wrists and they grapple.
They are fairly equally matched – Harry being slightly taller while Danny is stockier – but Danny has a firm grip on Harry, and for several moments it looks like he has the upper hand. Then Harry throws his weight forward instead of trying to pull back and free, and the unexpected move throws Danny off-balance and he tumbles over backwards, landing heavily on the floor with Harry on top of him, still fighting for control.
The fight on the ground lasts all of two minutes before Danny makes a noise deep in his throat and releases one of Harry’s wrists to fist a hand in his shirtfront and drag him down into a kiss. It’s brutal, noses smashed together awkwardly, teeth clashing against teeth and biting at lips. Harry’s got one leg wedged between Danny’s thighs and he can feel him harden against his hip, knowing Danny feels it when Harry’s body responds. Harry gasps into Danny’s mouth when the younger man drives his hips upwards, seeking friction, and he pushes back, bending his head to trail a line of rough, open-mouthed kisses and nips along Danny’s neck, over his chin, and back to his bee-stung lips for another rough kiss as they find their rhythm.
It’s the taste of blood in his mouth that startles Harry out of his lust-induced frenzy enough to attempt to pull back. “No,” he says, panting, and, “We have to stop.” Because this is stupid, stupid, stupid, there was a reason Harry had stopped this to begin with, and he knows he’s being a girl about it, but –
“No,” Danny counters, voice rough, “We don’t.” His fist uncurls from Harry’s shirt and slides up and around to the back of Harry’s neck, fingers tangling roughly in the hair along his nape, tugging him back into the furious kiss, and Harry’s brain shuts off again, losing the battle for control. He should have known better than to try, that part of his brain that is being drowned out says snarkily, he never could tell Danny no.
Harry’s free hand fumbles awkwardly with the buttons on Danny’s shirt, struggling to pop them open one-handed, then Danny releases his other wrist, and Harry makes quick work of the remaining buttons, even as Danny’s hands slide up under his tee-shirt, blunt nails dragging across his skin, making him shiver.
“Off, off,” Danny grits against Harry’s mouth, pulling on Harry’s shirt, which has gotten awkwardly rucked up under his arms. Harry releases Danny’s belt with a half-irritated groan to lift his arms up, and Danny tries to yank the shirt over his head, but somehow it gets tangled, and Harry goes off balance and almost topples over. He makes a frustrated noise, and rolls off of Danny to get the shirt off himself, then to follow suit with his jeans and boxers.
“Condom?” Danny asks, and Harry looks up to see him rummaging around on the counter under the mirrors, completely nude except for the shirt that’s still hanging unbuttoned off his shoulders.
“Right,” Harry says, and grabs his jeans again to fish in the pockets for his wallet. There’s a tiny voice in the back of his mind going Stupid, stupid, you are being fucking stupid, this cannot end well, but he quashes it ruthlessly. Condom in hand, he tosses the jeans aside just as Danny comes back to him, a bottle in one hand that Harry recognizes.
“Lotion?” he asks. “Really?”
Danny gives him a look, that says, ‘It’s yours, you dumb fuck, and my arse, so why are you bitching?’ but all he says aloud is, “You got any better ideas?”
Harry just glares at him and grabs the bottle. “You wanted this,” he says, and he’s not sure if he’s referring to the lotion or to them actually having sex again, but he really doesn’t care. He’s standing in their dressing room, completely naked, and knows this shouldn’t be happening, but he can’t want it to stop. He just.
Then Danny grabs him around the back of the neck and drags him in. And as much as Harry knows they should not – should not – be doing this, he’s insanely grateful because now he can stop thinking about it and just do.
Skin to skin – press back. Lip to lip – kisses, bites, rough, soft, taste of salty sweat. Harry doesn’t think beyond, now, now, need – oh fucking god – and he wants this, knows Danny wants this, can feel how much in the thrum of their combined heartbeats, the way their pulses race, the shivers that jump from Danny’s slick skin to his and back.
The top of the lotion bottle gets lost somewhere, and Harry can smell the faint trace of eucalyptus as he coats his fingers. He’s not sure when they ended up on the floor again, but he can’t – can’t – face Danny, can’t – can’t – watch his eyes darken, pupils dilated, lower lip clamped between his teeth, freckles standing out stark across his nose, his flushed cheeks. He doesn’t know what he’ll do, say – doesn’t dare find out – so he flips him over, hauls him up onto his hands and knees with an arm around his waist, and Danny doesn’t say anything but, “Do it – fucking – just – please.” And Harry knows he’s being rough, that he’s left bites marks and bruises all across Danny’s chest and that he’s leaving them over his hips and shoulders now – tugging the unbuttoned shirt down off one arm for better access, dragging his lips and tongue and teeth across the freckles he’s never been able to count, but – god – he kind of wishes he could spend his life doing just that.
And then it’s just. Go. Do. Feel. Slick fingers sliding, touching, stretching. Then Danny’s shuddering and pushing back. The rip of the condom package. Harry moans as he pushes in, can’t help it, steadies himself with both hands on Danny’s hips, hard enough to bruise, and he doesn’t care. The vibrations of Danny’s groans under Harry’s chest, against Harry’s lips as he latches on to the nape of Danny’s neck, kissing and biting by turns, then just breathing, gasping.
“Fucking fuck, harder, just, fucking –” Danny chants, a litany of curses tumbling out over his lips, his head bent, weight on his knees and one hand as he jerks himself off, because Harry won’t do it, isn’t sure he can pry his fingers from Danny’s hips, and Danny obviously doesn’t expect him to, doesn’t ask, too proud, maybe, but Harry doesn’t care. Doesn’t care. Because fuck he’s missed this, he’s missed Danny. Missed the feel of the familiar body under him, around him, the familiar voice hoarse and low as they move together. Missed the way Danny’s spine arches as his muscles tighten and he loses it, a jumble of curses and Harry and Oh fucking God dropping from his lips with each breath. Missed the way he follows him over, shattering into a million pieces, biting into his neck again to muffle any sound he might make. Missed the way they collapse together, panting, breath rough in their throats.
He pulls out slowly, barely registering Danny’s wince. He doesn’t even think about it as he removes and ties off the used condom, throwing it in the trashcan under the counter, just moves automatically. Doesn’t think about it as he slides back against Danny’s body, tacky with sweat, smelling of sex, and presses his forehead against Danny’s bare shoulder, head still lost in a post-orgasmic haze.
Harry’s heart and breathing slow gradually and his vision clears as he comes back together, bit by bit. He feels languid, heavy, sated, and all he really wants to do is curl up with the warm body pressed against him and sleep for a few hours. But the floor is hard and uncomfortable – a fact he’s only just now realizing – and they have a show to do, and Tom and Dougie will be back soon –
Shit, Harry thinks, jerking upright, ignoring the way his head spins for a moment before settling. Tom and Dougie. And everything clicks back into place. “Fuck,” he says aloud, and, hesitantly, “Danny?”
Danny shifts and turns over, half-asleep. “Hm?”
Harry’s eyes rake over Danny’s form – hair mussed, lips swollen, unbuttoned shirt still on one arm, bite marks and fingerprints bold against the pale skin of chest, throat, thighs – and he swallows, hard. “Fuck,” he says again, then “We need to talk.”
Danny sits up and stares at him, sleepiness slowly vanishing as comprehension takes its place. “Talk,” he repeats. “Fuck.” He shoves his other arm roughly into his shirt and begins scrabbling around to find his pants. “Fuck. Fuck.” He throws Harry’s jeans at him – nearly hitting him in the head – and starts pulling his own on. “Fuck. Fucking –” he turns to face Harry, jeans pulled up but still unbuttoned over his boxers, “Fuck you!”
Fuck, this is bad, Harry thinks, getting to his feet, and, God, he’s hot like that, he thinks, and I wonder what he’d do if I just grabbed him and – but No, that’s what got me into this position, and Boxers, boxers, boxers, need to find my boxers… “Danny,” he says, because he’s not sure what else to say, other than, “I’m so sorry, this wasn’t supposed to happen like this.” Which is clearly not the right thing to say, as Danny shows him half a second later when he chucks Harry’s balled up boxers straight at his face.
“You’re sorry?” he screams. “What was it supposed to happen like, then?”
Shit, shit, shit, shit, Harry thinks, and yanks his boxers on, which doesn’t really help him feel any better, but at least he is less exposed. “It wasn’t supposed to happen at all.” And, because this is really all Danny’s fault, “And it wouldn’t have if you didn’t keep pushing.”
“So this is my fault?” Danny is clearly outraged, but at least he finally seems to be getting it.
Danny’s eyes widen and his mouth opens, but Harry cuts him off. “We ended this, remember? There was a reason why we ended it –”
“You ended it,” Danny breaks in. “You and your stupid reason. Well, your reason will be back soon, so you’d better get dressed because I’m sure he won’t be thrilled with you fucking me.” And he flings Harry’s shirt at him.
“What the fuck is your problem?” Harry demands, ducking the shirt. “Why the hell are you always on about fucking Dougie?”
“Because fucking Dougie is the fucking reason you fucking decided to fuck this up,” Danny seethes.
“What the –”
“Until you decide you need some change up and –”
“I’m not fucking Dougie!” Harry screams, then shuts up, breathing hard, some tiny part of him consciously grateful that all the rooms under the arena are soundproof, while the rest of him wonders how bad it would be if he actually hit Danny, just to make him shut the fuck up. He cannot believe how he could have come up with something as ludicrous as Harry and Dougie being involved in the first place, and to keep harping on it –
“Don’t fucking lie to me,” Danny’s hands are balled into fists, held rigidly at his sides. “I see you two together.”
“I am not,” Harry says slowly, enunciating each word as clearly as possibly, “fucking Dougie. I have never fucked Dougie. I never want to fuck Dougie. He’s like my brother.”
“Then what –”
“You are the only guy I have ever fucked, or have ever wanted to fuck,” Harry says, and feels something constrict in his chest. He’d never meant to say it like that, or at all, out loud, knowing it would hurt to say it and not hear it back, thought Danny must know anyway, just didn’t care, because they were just fucking, it wasn’t like it meant anything to Danny, not like it did to Harry. But he’d never thought Danny would be upset by the thought of Harry fucking someone else, and he clearly is, though why, Harry can’t fathom. Unless. Unless it’s something to do with Dougie. Specifically. Which, given Danny’s behavior, suddenly seems like a distinct possibility. Harry feels sick.
Danny’s talking again, but Harry can’t hear what he’s saying, the buzzing in his ears almost deafening, drowning out everything but the anger in his tone. There are images flashing through his mind – not movie-style, or a slide-show, he’s never experienced that before and doesn’t know if anyone real ever does, it’s more like flipping the channel on the telly – Danny on stage running his tongue up the side of Dougie’s face, pressing his lips to his cheek, tackling him on the floor of the bus –
“– not Dougie,” Danny’s voice finally pierces the buzz and the images, and Harry wonders vaguely what he’s missed, “or anyone else, then it’s down to me, then. Or you.”
“What –” Harry tries to ask, thoughts a confused jumble, but he knows – really knows – that what Danny is saying is important – perhaps vitally so. But Danny isn’t stopping, just keeps barreling on.
“But you’ve never thought I was good enough for you. Even if you’re not –” Danny grimaces “– with Dougie, you don’t want to be with me.”
And Harry realizes abruptly that it’s not about Dougie at all. It never was. It could have just as easily been Tom that Danny decided to point the finger at, or someone else entirely. He feels a wave of relief at that, because he’s not sure what he would have done if Danny had been in love with Dougie, cares too much about both of them to want either of them to be unhappy, but it’s Danny, and he doesn’t know if he could have just stepped back and watched, even if he knows he can’t be in the picture – but it’s not over yet, Danny’s still –
“Don’t want to be seen with me. Good enough for a bandmate, maybe a friend – make you look good next to me – but nothing more than that. Maybe a fuck now and then, when there’s nothing better, but you don’t want anything else with someone like me, with your fucking pride –”
“I’m not too fucking proud to want something more than that with you!” the words fly from Harry’s mouth before he can stop them. Does Danny really not get that is has nothing to with him not wanting more – because he does, he does, damn it – and everything to do with Danny not wanting more?
“Don’t bullshit me, Judd. What else is the problem? Besides you thinking I’m not even good enough to fuck regularly?”
Harry’s hands flail somewhat uselessly, why does Danny always – “What the hell are you always on about – ‘not good enough’ – you’re too good!” How does he not understand that?
“What?” Danny’s face slides abruptly into a confused blank.
“I said you’re too good, you dumb fuck!” Harry’s voice rises and breaks like it hasn’t in years. “God! I’m in love with you! Don’t you get it?”
Danny stares. “You’re – what?”
A groan of exasperation bubbles up from Harry’s throat. “I’m in love with you, you stupid twat!” It wasn’t supposed to go like this. It really, really wasn’t. “That’s why I won’t fuck you anymore.”
“You – what?”
Harry really, really wishes that Danny would say something else. Would stop staring like he’s never seen Harry before. Would stop making Harry feel like he’s in a really bad daytime soap. “It was killing me to be with you like that when I knew you didn’t feel the same,” he says. “I couldn’t –”
“But – I do,” Danny cuts him off, and now it’s Harry’s turn to stare, because Danny says it like it should be the most obvious thing in the world, but.
“You – do? Feel the – what?”
“The same. Of course. Do you think I would have wanted you to fuck me so badly if I didn’t?” Danny is still looking at Harry like he’s the dumb one.
“I just wanted whatever I could get.”
That makes sense, Harry realizes. He wonders if maybe Danny’s right about who the idiot is. But, still, he really isn’t sure he could have handled it any differently – as much sense as Danny’s preference makes, Harry didn’t want just sex, even if that was all he could have.
Fuck, he thinks, he really is a girl.
“So this,” he gestures between them, “– all the shit of the last few weeks – it was all because we were both complete idiots and thought the other was just fucking around.”
Danny gives him a rueful half-grin. “Looks like.”
Harry’s not sure what to say to that, other than, “Fuck.”
Danny nods. “That sums it up quite nicely, I think.” Then, “But we’re all right now, yeah?” And Harry can see the embarrassed flush of his skin from his face all the way down his chest, making the freckles and bruises stand out.
“Yeah. Yes. Definitely.” Harry forces himself not to nod too vigorously. He kind of wants to throw his arms around Danny’s neck. He won’t, of course, he’s not actually a girl, but he really kind of wants to. He also kind of wants to ask if this means that Danny’s his boyfriend now. Danny just really seems to bring out Harry’s inner fifteen-year-old girl. He can’t help it, but he will deny it to the grave.
“So this is real, now?” Danny seems to need confirmation, and Harry’s almost ridiculously relieved, because it makes him feel less foolish for wanting the same. “Just us?”
“Very real,” Harry takes an awkward half-step closer, unsure what he’s supposed to do. “Just us. Official, exclusive, for the long haul.” He makes himself stop talking, because if he doesn’t shut up now, he’s not sure he’ll be able to.
Danny also takes a half-step in, and they’re both just looking at each other, shifting from one foot to the other. Harry feels incredibly stupid, because this is Danny and things should not be so awkward.
“I feel incredibly stupid,” he says. He almost adds, ‘like I’m back in school’ but he just manages not to. And then Danny’s grinning like the sun’s just come out and Harry doesn’t care anymore.
“Me, too,” Danny says, and laughs, and suddenly everything’s okay and it’s not uncomfortable at all for Harry to close the distance between them and press his mouth to Danny’s, sliding his hands up into his hair, eyes fluttering closed. Danny’s fingers skim Harry’s bare sides, coming to rest along his spine, fingertips of one hand fitting into the grooves, the other hand right at the small of his back. Harry presses closer, sighing – or maybe the sigh comes from Danny, Harry’s not sure, but it doesn’t matter, because god can Danny kiss, and now they can do this whenever they want, because –
“I think we’re interrupting, Tom.”
Harry and Danny break apart, jerking around to look at the now-open door.
Dougie’s standing a few feet inside, bouncing on the balls of his feet, a wicked grin pasted across his face. Tom is just behind him, holding onto the back collar of his shirt as though to prevent him from moving any farther. Tom’s grin is slightly less full of evil, but it’s definitely very smug, despite the not-so-well-hidden hint of relief.
Harry really wants to give them both death glares, but he can’t seem to make his face behave. He sort of feels like he’s slept with a hanger in his mouth. Somehow, that doesn’t seem like a bad thing. He’s got his arms wrapped firmly around Danny’s waist, and he kind of feels like bouncing himself.
“You’ve made up, then?” Tom asks, though he clearly knows the answer and is giving himself a pat on the back, the bastard.
“He called me a twat and told me he loved me,” Danny replies, and Harry can’t see his grin, but he can almost taste it.
“Did you really shag?” Dougie wants to know, and he’s peering at them with a rather disturbing amount of interest.
Harry tightens his arms around Danny’s waist and says, “None of your business,” right as Danny responds, “Course we did,” and both Tom and Dougie laugh, though Tom has that ‘too much information’ look on his face.
“I knew it!” Dougie punches the air triumphantly, then turns and punches Tom in the arm. “Didn’t I say they would?”
Tom rolls his eyes, but nods.
“You owe me ten quid,” Dougie tells him, poking him repeatedly in the same spot he’d punched.
Tom swats at his arm. “I know, I know,” he says, and reaches for his wallet.
“You bet on us?” Harry isn’t sure whether he should be amused or offended.
Tom has the decency to look properly ashamed, but Dougie’s grinning and bouncing again. “It was my idea!” he says. “Tom didn’t want to, but even he can’t spend an entire hour eating dinner.”
Tom thwacks him absently upside the head. “Why don’t you two. Um. Get dressed,” he says, and Harry suddenly remembers he’s wearing nothing but his boxers and Danny’s shirt is still unbuttoned and his jeans are still unzipped.
“They can go on like that,” Dougie suggests, even as they separate to put themselves back together. “The fans would love it.”
Tom swings at him again, but Dougie ducks before he makes contact. “Get dressed,” Tom repeats, though it’s unnecessary at this point. “The fans will just have to love you with your clothes on, for once.”
“Ruin all my fun,” Dougie says, but he’s grinning as he turns his iPod on.
Tom’s laughing and Danny’s practically beaming like a light bulb. Harry still feels the easy stretch of his own smile, and he just knows the show is going to be fantastic. Danny meets his eyes, and Harry thinks that even if the show is awful, he’ll still remember it as their best show ever.
OH, EMMA I LOVE YOU SO MUCH FOR WRITING THIS SEQUEL, AND MADDY WAS DOING GOOD MAKING SURE YOU DID.
Seriously, my heart is all fluttery and warm & I've got a stupidly ridiculous grin stuck to my face! Those two & all their utterly complicated feelings & their abilities to always makes things, well, more complicated than needed, oh dear.
Dude, so much love for you for writing this, did I mention?!
And then Danny’s grinning like the sun’s just come out and Harry doesn’t care anymore.
Boys are dumb, throw rocks at them? :D? By which I mean, people are pretty dumb when emotions get involved, so, obviously, they had to fight it out, then fuck it out, then yell it out once again. ::grins::
I'm happy you liked it, though. ♥
(I actually really kind of like that line. Does that make me conceited, or something? I don't actually remember writing most of this fic, so maybe not.)
This made me so happy this morning. Sent it to myself and read it on the Tube, in the street, all the way to work, couldn't stop, needed to know that things were going to be okay, and yes, yes they are, because those two need to fight it as much as they can until they're just faced with the bloody truth, right? I loved it so much, so so much. So much, Emmaaaaa.
Be careful reading while you're on the move! Wouldn't want you to walk into anyone. I do enough of that for both of us. :D
I feel like fighting-leading-to-blurting-things-out is sort of a trope. I'm not sure if I mind or not. It's worked well for me thus far, though. Glad you liked it. ♥
It made me so happy to see that you'd posted this! =)
I guess they were both really.. emotional to see things objectively. But YAY! they fixed things up, and now we have an amazing happy ending, and I love this more than anything! and of course the sex was hot =P
Danny just really seems to bring out Harry’s inner fifteen-year-old girl. That's just the cutest thing ever!