"No, have you ever done it with a normal person?"
Louis shifted uncomfortably, glancing out of the corner of his eye at Harry, who’d sat up straight and was now staring, “I, uh, haven’t we covered this?”
Harry shrugged; smile playing on his lips, “You never answered it.”
Louis hunched his shoulders and shook his head, glaring at the four other boys, “Look, I’m not going to discuss my private life with total strangers.”
"It’s kind of a double-edged sword, isn’t it," Zayn muttered, "If you say you haven’t, then you’re a prude, if you say you have, you’re a slut. It’s a trap, you want to but you can’t, but when you do you wish you didn’t. Right?"
Louis swallowed nervously; licking his lips a blush crept up his neck, “Wrong.”
"Or are you a tease?" Zayn asked and Louis shifted uncomfortably.
"He’s a tease," Niall declared and Louis shook his head.
"Well if you’d just answer the question," Harry suggested and Louis turned to glare at the boy.
"Yeah," Liam said, leaning forward, "Just answer the question."
"It’s not a big deal”
"Yeah, just answer it Louis!"
"Answer the question Louis!"
"Come on, just answer the question on."
"It’s easy, it’s only one question-"
"No!" Louis yelled, finally bursting, face bright red, "I never did it!"
The room fell silent for a few moments, before Zayn shrugged casually.
"I never did it ether, I’m a compulsive liar."
Louis’ eyes widened, “You are a complete dick! You did that just to fuck me over!”
Zayn shrugged again, holding his hands up defensively, “I would though…if you love someone it’s okay.”
Louis continued to glare, “I can’t believe you, you’re so weird. You don’t say anything all day and then you open your mouth and unload these tremendous lies all over me!”
Niall rolled his eyes and laughed, leaning against Liam, “You’re just pissed off because he got you to admit something you didn’t want to admit.”
Louis sulked, crossing his arms and staring down at his shoes, trying to ignore Harry’ stare, “Okay, fine,” he muttered dejectedly, “But that doesn’t make it any less bizarre.”
"What’s bizarre? I mean, we’re all pretty bizarre! Some of us are just better at hiding it. That’s all."
Louis scoffed, raising a brow at Niall, the star athlete. One of the most popular boys in school, “And how are you bizarre?”
Niall paused biting his lip, eyebrows furrowing together in confusion, so Liam answered for him.
"He can’t think for himself," he answered for Niall and Niall looked over his shoulder, nodding and smiling gratefully at Liam.
"He’s right…do you guys know what I did to get here? I taped Anthony Jones’ together."
Louis snorted and Niall turned to glare at him, before staring back down at the ground, playing with the fuzz of the carpet, “You know how hairy he is, right? Well when they pulled the tape off, most of the hair came off and some, some of the skin too…”
"Oh my God," Louis muttered, covering his mouth with his hand and Harry leaned forward next to him, paying more attention to Niall, who’s voice was beginning to shake.
"And the bizarre thing is, is that I did it for my old man…I wanted him to think I was cool. You know, he’s always going off about, you know, when he was in school. All the wild things he used to do. And I got the feeling that was disappointed that I never cut loose on anyone…right…so I’m sitting in the locker room, taping up my knee. Anthony was changing a few lockers down, and he’s kind of skinny and weak. And I started thinking about my father and his attitude about weakness, and the next think I knew, I uh, was on top of him and just started wailing on him….and me mates laughed and cheered me on. Jesus, and afterwards I was sitting in Stevenson’s office and all I could think about was Anthony’s father. And how Anthony was going to have to go home and tell his dad what happened, and how humiliating that was going to be, I mean…" Niall took a shaky breath and Liam rested a hand on his back, as the other four boys stared at Niall silently.
"Niall," Liam whispered softly but Niall just shook his head, wiping at his wet eyes.
"I mean, how do you apologize for something like that? There’s no way…it’s all because of me and my old man. Fuck, I fucking hate him! He’s like this…he’s like this mindless machine that I can’t even relate to anymore…"Niall, you’ve got to be number one! I won’t tolerate any losers in this family…Your intensity is for shit! Win. Win! Win!!". That son of a bitch! You know, sometimes, I wish my knee would give…and I wouldn’t be able to play football anymore. And he could forget about me…"
The room fell silent and Niall leaned heavily against Liam. Finally Harry leaned forward, catching Niall’s eye, “I think your old man and my old man, should get together and go bowling,” he muttered and Niall laughed bitterly, smiling slightly at the boy who’d he’d grown to appreciate, in a sick sort of away.
Harry was a dick, but sometimes, he truly did mean well.
Liam sighed, “It’s like me, you know, with my grades…like when I, when I step outside myself kinda and when I look in at myself you know. And I see me and I don’t like what I see, I really don’t.”
Attention shifted to Liam, and Niall turned around, biting his lip, “What’s wrong with you? Why don’t you like yourself?”
Liam signed pinched the bridge of his nose, rubbing at his head where his headache was growing, “Because I’m stupid,” he whispered, “Because I’m failing shop. See we had this assignment, to make ceramic elephants, and um…we had eight weeks to do it. We were supposed to, it was supposed to be a lamp, and when you pull the trunk the light was supposed to go on…my light didn’t go on. I got an F. I had never gotten an F in my life…when I signed up, you know, for the course. I thought I was playing it real smart, because I thought, I’ll take shop, it’ll be such an easy way to maintain my grade point average…”
Harry leaned forward slightly, catching Liam’s eye, “Why’d you think it’d be easy?”
Liam shrugged, wide-eyed, “Have you seen some of the dopes that take shop?”
"I take shop," Harry snapped, before shaking his head and leaning back next to Louis, "You must be a fucking idiot!"
"I’m a fucking idiot because I can’t make a lamp?" Liam snapped, eyes watering and Harry scoffed, shaking his head.
"No, you’re a fucking genius because you can’t make a lamp…." he muttered and Liam glared, licking his lips.
"What do you know about trigonometry?"
Harry stared back, face consorted with contempt, “I couldn’t care less about trigonometry.”
"Harry, did you know without trigonometry there’d be no engineering?" Liam informed and Harry grinned cockily, shrugging.
"Without lamps, there’d be no light," Harry shot back and Louis sighed next to him.
"Okay!" he interrupted, holding up a hand to silence Liam before their argument could escalate, "So neither of you is better than the other one."
Zayn looked back and forth between the two boys, before interrupting, “I can write with my toes,” he muttered, “I can also brush my teeth, and play Heart and Soul on the piano.”
"I can make spaghetti," Liam muttered and Niall grinned from next to him, nudging shoulders with him.
"I can…uh, tape all your buns together,” Niall said, and the others laughed and smirked at Niall.
"I want to see what Louis can do," Harry declared, turning to Louis who was blushing next to him, playing with the hem of his shirt.
He shook his head, “I can’t do anything.”
Harry snorted, “Now, everybody can do something…”
Louis sighed but sealed slightly, nodding, “Okay, but you have to swear to God you won’t laugh…I can’t believe I’m going to do this…”
Louis took a deep breath, the attention of the room on him, and then opened his mouth as he began to sing the theme song from Friends, every last word. His voice was clear and soft and Harry tensed next to him, clenching his eyes shut as he listened to the angelic voice.
When Louis was finally through the room erupted into applause, Harry’s clapping slow and sarcastic as he rolled his eyes, “That was really great Louis,” he muttered sarcastically and Louis’ smile fell as he turned to glare at Harry, eyes hurt.
"You’re a shit!" Zayn yelled and the rest of the boys tensed as Harry started laughing, "You told him you wouldn’t laugh! That was really fucking good! You don’t get to suddenly become a dick about it!".
Harry bit back his laugh and turned to glare at Zayn, “Am I laughing?”
"You fucking prick!" Niall yelled.
Harry turned to Niall, eyes flashing with pain, “What do you care what I think?” he muttered gruffly, “I don’t even count, right? I could disappear forever and it wouldn’t even make a difference…I may as well not even exist at this school, remember?” Harry paused and turned to glare at Louis, who was still looking down at his hands, hurt, “Besides, you don’t like me anyway!”
Louis sighed, “You know, I have just as many feelings as you do,” he muttered, voice shaking as he stared down at his trembling hands, “And it hurts just as much when somebody steps all over them.”
Harry rolled his eyes and stood up, face red with furry as he stared down at Louis, “God, you’re so pathetic! Don’t you ever, ever, compare yourself to me! Okay? You got everything and I got shit! Fucking Prince Charming! Right? School would probably shut down if you didn’t show up! I like that phone Louis,” Harry spat, looking down at the blackberry that rested in Louis’ lap.
Louis trembled on the ground, biting his lip and glaring down at his hands, “Shut up,” he whispered quietly, holding his breathe as Harry got into his face.
"Did you work for the money for that phone?" he taunted.
"Shut your mouth!" Louis yelled, but Harry didn’t back off, his face centimeters from Louis’.
"I bet your Dad bought you that phone-"
"Shut up!" Louis yelled furiously, wiping at his eyes, as Harry backed off. Harry stalked over the middle of the library, four sets of eyes watching him.
"I bet he bought it for you! I bet that was a Christmas gift!" he spat, still backing away from the group, "You know what I got for Christmas this year? It was a banner-fucking year at the old Styles family! I got a carton of cigarettes. The old man grabbed me and said "Hey! Smoke up Harry!" Okay, so go home and cry to your family, don’t cry here, okay?"
The room fell silent, four sets of eyes falling from Harry to the ground, as they listened to their own hearts thump uncomfortably in their chest. Finally Niall lifted his head, eyes wide in panic.
"My God," he breathed, running a hand through his hair, "Are we going to be like our parents?"
There was a collective intake of breath at the thought, and Louis quickly shook his head, clearing his throat, “Not me. Ever..”
"It’s unavoidable," Zayn muttered, from where he sat doodling on his arm with a pen, "It just happens."
"What happens?" Louis asked brokenly, looking at Zayn who sighed and looked up into his eyes.
"When you grow up, your heart dies," he whispered and Harry shrugged, walking back to the group and flopping down next to Louis.
"Who cares?" he muttered and Zayn turned to look at him, eyes swimming with unshed tears.
"I care," his words hung in the air, and even Harry didn’t have anything to say after that, the room falling back into silence.
A few minutes later Liam cleared his throat, “Um, I was just thinking, I know it’s kind of a weird time, but I was just wondering. What is it going to happen to us on Monday? When we’re all together again? I mean, I consider you guys my friends…I’m not wrong, am I?” Liam asked.
"No," Niall said, quickly shaking his head.
Liam nodded and swallowed thickly, “Right. So on Monday, what happens?”
"Are we still friends, you mean? If we’re friends now, that is?" Louis asked.
Liam nodded slowly.
"You want the truth?"
Liam nodded again, holding his breath for the answer, Niall’s warm hand heavy on his back.
"I don’t think so…" Louis muttered brokenly and Liam sighed, leaning heavily against Niall again.
"Wait, do you mean everybody or just Harry?" Zayn asked and Louis sighed, running a hand through his hair.
"Oh, that’s a real nice attitude to have Louis!" Niall snapped, wrapping a protective arm around Liam.
"I’m just being honest!" Louis yelled, his voice cracking, "Niall, if Liam came walking up to you in the hall on Monday, what would you do? I mean picture this; you’re there with all the sports. I know exactly what you would do, you’d say hi to him and when he left you’d cut him all up so your friends wouldn’t think you really liked him-"
"No way!" Niall snapped, pulling Liam closer as he glared at Louis, who rolled his eyes.
"What if I came up to you?" Zayn asked Louis who shrugged.
"Same exact thing-"
"You are a fucking dick!" Harry screamed furiously at Louis, who turned defensively to Harry, crossing his arms. He’d watched the perfect boy crumbled into nothing more than a superficial prick in less than an hour, now lost in a sea of confusion, trying to pick out who was the real Louis and who was the imposter.
"Why? Because I’m telling the truth? That makes me a dick?" he snapped and Harry shook his head, curls falling into his face as he stood up, glaring down at Louis.
"No! Because you know how shitty that is to do to somebody! And you don’t have the balls to stand up to your friends and tell them you’re gonna like who you like! So good luck coming out of the fucking closest! You poor pathetic loser-“
"Okay!" Louis yelled, climbing to his own feet to square off with Harry, "What about you, you hypocrite? What would your friends say if we were walking down the hall together? They’d probably laugh their asses off, call you a fag, and you’d tell them you were trying to buddy up with me, to fuck my sister, so they’d forgive you for being seen with me-“
"Don’t you ever talk about my friends! You don’t know any of my friends! You don’t look at any of my friends! And you certainly wouldn’t condescend to speak to any of my friends! So you just stick to the things you know, women, your step-father’s BMW, masturbating, and your poor-rich-drunk mother in the Caribbean-“
"Shut up!" Louis screamed, not bothering to wipe at the furious tears in his eyes that began to fall, as he stared up at Harry who was shaking with anger, his own face bright red.
"And as far as being conned about what’s going to happen when you and I walk down the halls at school, you can forget it! Because it’s not gonna happen! Just bury your head in the snow and wait for your fucking prom!" Harry spat and Louis sunk down to the floor, glaring up at Harry as he wiped at his eyes.
"I hate you," Louis muttered, swallowing thickly and shaking his head. Except he didn’t, he needed to hate Harry, but he didn’t. It wasn’t right; everything he knew was crumbling around him.
"Yeah?" Harry asked, kicking at the bookshelf next to Louis, making the older boy jump, "Good!"
The room fell into the deadliest silence yet, tension thick in the air. Liam looked around the group of boys, all of their heads ducked down as they sulked, and he once again was the one to break the silence.
"So, I guess Zayn and I are better people than you guys. Us ‘weirdos’," He turned to Zayn, "Would you do that to me?"
"I don’t have any friends,” Zayn whispered quietly and Liam nodded, swallowing nervously.
"Well if you did?" he asked and Zayn paused before shaking his head, smiling at Liam, "I just want to tell each of you," Liam said, voice trembling as he looked around the group, "That I wouldn’t do that, I won’t. Because I think that is real shitty-"
"Your friends wouldn’t mind because they look up to us," Louis whispered and Liam turned to him and laughed, shaking his head.
"You are so conceited Louis. You’re so, like, full of yourself. Why are you like that?"
"I’m not trying to be conceited, okay!" Louis snapped, wiping at his eyes, ignoring Harry’s eyes that were burning a hole through him, "I hate it! I hate having to go along with everything my friends say! I hate having to date girls, when maybe I don’t want to! Okay? I hate it!"
"Well then why do you do it?" Liam asked, brows furrowing together in confusion and Louis sighed, shaking his head and wiping at the rest of his tears.
"I don’t know, you don’t understand. You’re not friends with the same people Niall and I are friends with! You don’t understand the pressure they can put on you!"
Liam paused and stared at Louis for a moment, before laughing bitterly, shaking his head, “I don’t understand what? You think I don’t understand pressure? Well fuck you! Fuck you!” Liam pulled away from Niall and crossed his arms, glaring around at the group, “Know why I’m here? I’m here because the janitor found a gun in my locker…”
His voice trailed off and the boys’ eyes widened in panic as the stared at the crumbled form of Liam, huddled in the circle. Louis spared a glance at Harry, whose malice was replaced only by shock. Bringing a gun to school was something even Harry didn’t know how to make funny. That was serious. That was scary.
"Why’d you have a gun in your locker?" Niall asked, turning to the boy he’d bonded with in the past few hours. The boy who’d made this entire shit experience almost seem worth it.
"I tried," Liam muttered brokenly, resting his chin on his knees, "You pull the fucking trunk on it and the light is supposed to go on…and it didn’t go on…I mean…"
Nail crawled over to Liam and put a hand on each of his shoulders, touching his forehead to Liam’s, “What’s the gun for Liam?”
Liam shook his head, “Forget it,” he muttered trying to pull away from Niall, but Niall just gripped him tighter, shaking his shoulders.
"You brought it up mate," Niall insisted, looking into Liam’s watering, panicked eyes.
"I-I can’t have an F," Liam muttered like a broken record, and Louis bit his lip, shifting uncomfortably as he watched the put-together boy break down like the rest of them, "I can’t have it. And I know my parents can’t have it! Even if I aced the rest of the semester, I still only get a B. And everything’s ruined for me!”
Louis sighed, shaking his head, “Oh, Liam,” he muttered and Liam sighed, allowing Niall to wipe some of the tears away from his face.
"So I considered my options, you know?" Liam continued and Louis shook his head, staring into Liam’s eyes.
"No, killing yourself is not an option!” he yelled and Harry nodded stiffly next to him, staring at Liam, who Niall will stilly clutching.
"Well I didn’t do it! Did I? No, I don’t think so!” he snapped bitterly.
Zayn sighed, running a hand through his hair. “Was it a hand gun?”
Liam shook his head slowly, “No, a flare gun. It went off in my locker.”
Harry turned wide-eyed to Louis, who was fighting off his own smile. It was Niall who finally lost it, pulling Liam into a bone crushing hug and laughing, “Really?” he asked between laughs and Liam nodded against Niall’s shouldered, glaring.
"It’s not funny…" he muttered, but slowly a smile spread over his own face and he began to laugh as well, pulling away from Niall and wiping away the rest of his tears, "Yes it is…" he agreed, shaking his head with a bright smile, "The elephant got fucking destroyed."
The group dissolved into laughter and Zayn spoke up, “You want to know what I did to get in here? Nothing…I didn’t have anything better to do.”
The laughter paused for a moment, each of the boys catching each other’s eyes, and then dissolving into laughter again. Zayn smirked and shook his head, "You’re laughing at me," he muttered and Liam shook his head quickly, trying to muffle his laughter.
"No we’re not," he attempted to argue, before breaking back down into laughs.
"Yeah you are!" Zayn insisted and Harry nodded, turning from where he’d been watching Louis laugh, to Zayn.
"Yeah, we are," he agreed and Zayn smirked, crossing his arms and watching the other boys slowly regain their breath, as the laughter subsided.
Harry glanced at Louis’ watch and suddenly cursed quietly, jumping to his feet, “Shit, detention is almost over. I got to get back to the janitor’s closet.”
Niall and Louis jumped to their feet as well, “We’ll help you get up,” Niall offered, and Harry opened his mouth, as if to make a sarcastic remark, but instead closed it and nodded gratefully, leading the way to the hole in the ceiling Harry had fallen out of.
They hoisted him up, onto the bookcase, and Harry saluted them before he climbed back up into the air duct and out of site, leaving the room with an odd sensation of dull peace.
"You like him?" Niall whispered, looking up at the air duct Harry had disappeared into. Louis shrugged with a heavy heart, turning to Niall.
"What would you say if I thought I was gay?"
Niall shrugged wordlessly, turning to Louis, “What would you say if I was?”
Louis smiled softly, “Liam?”
Louis nodded and then laughed, shaking his head, “What did detention do to us mate?” he asked and Niall shrugged, tossing an arm around Louis’ shoulder and tugging him over to the desks, where Zayn and Liam were sitting.
Louis hoisted himself onto a desk next to Liam, who was swinging his legs back and forth, “Liam, are you going to write that paper?”
Liam nodded distractedly, “Yeah, why?”
"Well, I think it’s kind of a waste for all of us to write a paper. Don’t you think?"
Liam turned to look at Louis, eyebrows knitted together in confusion, “Oh, but that’s what Stevenson wants us to do…” his voice trailed of as he felt a hand on his knee and he looked up and smiled shyly at Niall who’d suddenly appeared and joined the conversation.
"True, but I think we’d al kind of say the same thing," Louis continued his argument and Liam smirked, turning and raising a brow at Louis.
"You just don’t want to write a paper…right?”
Louis smiled slightly, “True, but, you’re the smartest, right?”
Liam broke out into a proud smile and Niall turned and smirked at Louis, “Oh, well. I suppose I could,” Liam muttered and Niall grinned, leaning down until his forehead was touching Liam’s.
"So I don’t have to write a paper?" he whispered, breath hot in Liam’s face, and Liam smiled and shook his head, staring into Niall’s clear, blue eyes, "Thank God! I could kiss you right now!"
And before Liam could say anything else on the matter, Niall had closed the space between their faces, and their lips were touching, working together as they kissed. Louis “whooped” from next to them, patting Niall’s back, before he turned to Zayn.
"Can you do me a favor?" he asked and Zayn nodded wordlessly, following Louis to the back of the library, where Harry’s hole in the ceiling was. "Can you help me up here?"
Zayn smirked, “You and Harry?”
"Just help me up," Louis muttered, blushing, and Zayn laughed, hoisting Louis up onto the bookshelf and spotting him as he heaved himself up in the air duct, crawling the direction he’d seen Harry go. After a few minutes of shimming his way through the slim metal tube, he heard carefree whistling from bellow and he grinned, knocking his fist on the plaster tile he was on top of.
There was a pause in the whistling, and then brightness, as Harry pulled the tile down from the ceiling and stuck his head up, into the air duct, smirking at Louis.
"You lost?" he asked with a grin and Louis smiled, letting Harry help him down from the air duct and into the cramped janitor’s closet.
Harry turned expectantly to Louis, opening his mouth to ask just why the hell Louis was there, but before he could Louis wrapped his arms around Harry’s neck and pulled him into a long kiss. He’d never kissed a boy before, but it was different in the ways it needed to be different. It was perfect, electric like the air right before a storm. Soft and firm, wet but not sloppy, it was exactly what Louis had been missing when he’d kissed the girls who’d thrown themselves at him.
Harry was exactly what he’d been missing.
When Louis finally pulled away, his arms still draped around Harry’s neck, hanging off him loosely, Harry looked down with a puzzled smile, “Why’d you do that?”
Louis laughed, his face flushed, “Because I knew you wouldn’t.”
Harry smirked cockily, his eyes flashing mischievously, “You know how you said before, how your parents use you to get back at each other…wouldn’t I be outstanding in that capacity?”
Louis laughed, gazing into Harry’s eyes as he hung off him. He paused, squinting at Harry, “Did my singing really disgust you?” he asked and Harry smirked down at him, raising an eyebrow.
Harry laughed, “No…” he whispered, before pulling Louis into another kiss. He pulled back a few seconds later and glanced at Louis’ watch, “Would you look at the time,” he whispered into Louis’ ear, and Louis glanced at his own watch, “We’re almost free.”
Just as the words left his mouth the doorknob jingled and Harry turned in panic to Louis, “If Stevenson catches you here, he’ll give you another detention.”
Louis smirked and nodded, gazing into Harry’s eyes, “That may have been the plan.”
The door swung open and Stevenson stood there, arms crossed as he glared at the two boys, “What is going on here?”
Harry shrugged casually, zipping up his jacket, making to push past Stevenson, only to be blocked, “Sir? I believe detention is over-“
"You’ve earned yourself another detention," he snapped at Louis who grinned brightly, taking a step forward, and reaching for Harry’s hand.
"Gladly sir," he muttered and with a laugh Harry shoved his way past Mr. Stevenson, dragging Louis by the hand, through the hallway.
On their way they ran into Liam, Niall and Zayn, Liam leaning against Niall, wrapped in the Irish boy’s letterman jacket. They paused right before they reached the door, turning to look around at each other.
"So, I’ll see you all Monday?" Zayn asked tentatively, and Niall turned to look into Liam’s eyes, and Louis turned to gaze into Harry’s eyes.
"Definitely," the four boys agreed, turning to Zayn and grinning, before they pushed their way out of the school, free from Saturday detention, much different than the five boys they’d been coming in. Their stereotypes had been shed, revealing the five boys underneath.
In the library, they left behind one single sheet of paper for Mr. Stevenson.
"Dear Mr. Stevenson,
We accept the fact that we had to sacrifice a whole Saturday in detention for whatever it was we did wrong. But we think you’re crazy to make an essay telling you who we think we are. You see us as you want to see us…in the simplest of terms, in the most convenient definitions.
But what we found out is that each of us is a brain, and an athlete, and a basket case, a princess and a criminal.
Does that answer your question?
The Breakfast Club