Tired of Feeling Alone

The room was empty and the piano was soft as Harry hit the keys.

 

Seven months. Seven months. Seven months.

 

That was the length of time since he’d poured the remnants of his broken heart out with Sam McCarthy in a recording studio in London.

 

Now the entire bloody internet knew about the song. They had their speculations, their fangirl moments, their tumblr posts and their endless amount of tweets to him.

 

Harry swallowed hard as he fumbled around with the piano music. He didn’t know it perfectly, but he knew it well enough.

 

“Now you were standing there right in front of me…” he sang softly to himself. It wasn’t the actual music that hit him hard and spoke to his soul. It was the words. The words that illustrated exactly how he felt and how sick to his stomach he’d been when he’d sobbed them out for the first time.

 

“Goodnight New York!” Harry shouted into his mic as another pyrotechnic went off. The crowd at Madison Square Garden went crazy, but the boys weren’t about to stick around to experience it. Five more seconds and they would be off to their hotel amidst a bubble-wrap of security.

 

The stage lights were bright and hot on all of their faces. Harry looked at each of them one by one. Louis, who had been his best friend and flatmate for a while – he’d grown up so much, but he was still somehow the same sassy kid he’d been on X Factor.

 

Zayn was quiet and dark as ever. He stood there with a slight smile on his face and Harry’s expression softened a bit. No matter how much he tried to act like the stereotypical “bad boy” he knew Zayn was anything but.

 

Liam would always be the same. Looking out at the crowd in awe and living each moment as though it was the last one he was going to have in the spotlight.

 

Harry’s eyes landed on Niall. Adorable, loveable Niall. Niall, who was breathing heavily and grinning from ear to ear. Every concert Harry was sure that Niall wouldn’t be able to look any happier, and every show after that he was always proven wrong.

 

Niall glanced up at Harry and his delight went from exuberant to content. Harry nodded at him, sharing a mutual understanding of “This is fucking surreal.”

 

That wasn’t the only mutual understanding they had. For what seemed like months, they’d been on and off. Except not really off – just not officially on either. Every once in a while Niall would come ’round his room, or Harry would go to his. Whoever showed up first didn’t matter – they would always spent the night together in lonely hotel rooms doing things they never spoke of to the other lads.

 

It wasn’t that Harry was ashamed – not in the least. It just wasn’t something that he and Niall talked about. An unspoken agreement of sorts. It was just for fun, just for the night. Eventually the sun would come up and the light would end their time together until the next time.

 

Under these stage lights however, Harry’s opinion started to change. What he had been content with before suddenly wasn’t enough. He needed more – he needed to walk over and hug Niall and experience this surreal moment with him, as an important part of him.

 

With seconds left before they had to run off stage and head back to the hotel, Harry walked over to Niall and held him tightly. Niall hugged him back, of course. He had no reason not to – the boys were always affectionate with one another.

 

He pulled away from Niall and that should have been it. He shouldn’t have done anything else and logically he knew that. But the lights had blinded him with Niall’s beauty.

 

But the moment they were back at the hotel, Harry was knocking on Niall’s door with more force than he ever had.

 

Niall opened it right away, of course. They were both still sweaty and tired from the concert, but Harry didn’t care. Overly passionate, he needed to see Niall, and he needed to see him right at that moment.

 

Harry shut the door behind him and looked at Niall.

 

“I love you,” he blurted out, because it was the only way to put into words what he was feeling.

 

In a perfect world, Niall would have professed that he loved Harry too, they would have dramatically kissed, spent the night in Niall’s bed and told the other lads about their relationship the next day.

 

That wasn’t what happened, and with every passing second of silence Harry found it harder to breathe.

 

“What?” Niall asked finally.

 

“I love you,” Harry repeated, with less confidence.

 

Niall looked at him, his blue eyes searching Harry’s green ones. Finally, he spoke again. “Tell me you’re joking,” he said. “Tell me.”

 

Harry felt his stomach drop, because he was so, so sure that Niall felt the same. Or at least had some kind of feelings for him that were more than apparent horror.

 

“Fuck Harry,” Niall exhaled, running a hand through his dirty hair. “This can’t happen. I’m with Amy now, you know that. Haven’t come ’round your place since I’ve been with her. I thought you understood that…”

 

Yes, Harry knew full well about Amy, Niall’s girlfriend-but-sort-of-friend-but-girlfriend-that-the-world-didn’t-know-about-but-really-she-was-and-they-did. He’d never really thought much of her to be honest. He’d had his own share of girls, but he always thought that (even though momentarily on pause) what he and Niall had was above all that.

 

“Shit, Harry,” Niall continued when Harry just stood there dumfounded. “She’s gonna be up here like…” he glanced over at the clock. “Now. You gotta go. I can’t… we can’t… you gotta go.”

 

So Harry did.

 

“Don’t let me… don’t let me go…. ’cause I’m tired of feelin’ alone…” Harry sang softly, the memory still burnt into his mind.

 

Of course Niall and Amy hadn’t lasted long after that. Maybe a couple of months at best. Harry had tried not to pay it much attention. He’d tried to distance himself from Niall, not keen on going back to being just friends.

 

Even though, apparently, friends is all they ever were. It was hard for him to accept, and he never truly had. For weeks afterwards he’d fall asleep imagining Niall’s pale skin and blonde hair beside him. Those nights became fewer and further between as time went on, but they still happened.

 

Harry was so lost in the song that he didn’t hear anyone enter the room. If he had, he probably would have stopped abruptly. Because the very object of his affection and subject of the song was standing in the doorframe, listening to every word.

 

It wasn’t until the quiet bridge of the song that Harry noticed him, and it was only because Niall sat down on the piano bench beside him.

 

Harry looked over at Niall and his heart skipped a beat. He didn’t know what he was doing there, and this was certainly the closest the two of them had been since that night at Madison Square Garden. He forced himself not to care. He pushed his fingers onto the keys and the notes out of his throat.

 

If Niall wanted to sit there next to him and act like everything was fine, Harry would let him.

 

“Don’t let me, don’t let me, don’t let me go, ’cause I’m tired of feelin’ alone…” Harry sang with more force as he approached the end of the song.

 

Niall rested his hand on Harry’s thigh, but Harry ignored this and kept singing. Even when Niall joined in with him.

 

“Don’t let me, don’t let me go…” the two of them sang together. Harry looked at Niall, slightly astonished that he knew the words.

 

“’Cause I’m tired of sleepin’ alone,” Niall finished when Harry was unable to find the rest of the song.

 

“You know the words,” Harry said, allowing the rest of the piano notes to linger in the room around them.

 

Niall just nodded, leaning in closer to Harry. “Listened to it on repeat,” he said, shrugging a bit.

 

Harry didn’t say anything. He couldn’t really say he was surprised that Niall knew about it – the Irish boy spent every free moment he had stalking tumblr.

 

Niall leaned in and kissed Harry softly on the mouth. Harry stayed rigid on the bench – he didn’t dare make a move. Niall had clearly figured out that the song was about him, and it had clearly resonated with him.

 

Niall pulled his lips away from Harry’s and slid in closer next to him, wrapping his arms around him. Harry swallowed, feeling a lump start to rise in his throat. Tender, loving, sweet Niall was the one that he remembered. This was the Niall he loved. The Niall he’d known was there all along, underneath his stupid relationship with Amy.

 

“I’m sorry,” Niall said softly, still holding him.

 

Harry leaned his head against Niall’s. He slowly lifted his arms and hugged Niall as tight as he could. Whatever had happened between them over the course of the past seven months, Harry no longer cared about. As long as Niall continue to hold him like that, he was certain he’d never feel so empty again.

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